One of our favourite destinations by far is Nepal. It’s one of those destinations we both still talk about a lot when we are reminiscing about our travels. We are really looking forward to go back in the (hopefully near) future and explore more of this country. In Nepal there is so much to see and explore. If you love nature, adventure and budget travel, Nepal is the place for you. There are so many reasons we can come up with why someone should include Nepal on their bucket list. In this article we list 10 reasons why you should visit Nepal.
1. The beautiful mountains of Nepal
The tallest mountains in the world are located in Nepal. Just a few impressive mountains located in Nepal are Mount Everest (8848 meter), Mount Kanchenjunga (8586 meter) and Annapurna (8071 meter). On Mount Everest you can quite literally be on top of the world.
Nepal is a great place to go on a hike or a trek. Every year countless of tourist embark on the journey of their lifetime in Nepal. Read this article if you’re planning to do a trek in Nepal too! There are countless of different trails to choose from. But even for those that aren’t going on a trek or hike, it’s also amazing to admire the mountains from a distance.
2. The rest of the landscape is pretty impressive too
Besides all those impressive high mountains, Nepal is home to gorgeous lakes, rivers, glaciers and jungles. There is really something for every nature addict. Next to all those amazing treks in the mountains, you can also go on jungle treks or smaller hikes. Really, Nepal is a country with so many hiking possibilities.
We especially loved the pristine lakes in Nepal, such as Rara Lake. Rara Lake is actually located on a mountain and it’s quite a journey to get there, but the landscape is amazing. Another lovely lake is Phewa Lake in Pokhara, which is very easy to reach.
3. The friendly Nepalese people
It’s not a lie that the people in Nepal are remarkably friendly. First I didn’t really realise it as much, as I was always wondering if they maybe wanted something from me (yes, I’m paranoid). But during the second time in this country, and after traveling to other countries, I realised how friendly the local people in Nepal actually are. Most local people we have met are so giving and kind! We always felt safe and in the right hands when we were in Nepal.
There have been quite some difficult times in Nepal, such as the 2015 earthquake which killed nearly 9000 people. But most Nepalese people we spoke never lost hope. They have lost their homes, family members and friends, but they still look to the future and are building new homes and new futures.
We have never seen happier people than the local people we met in Nepal. They never complained, no matter how often the power goes off or how hard they work each day. They will always put you, their guest, first.
4. The amazing wildlife in Nepal
Nepal is a great place to encounter wildlife. It’s possible to tick off four of the “Big Five” in Nepal: there are rhinos, elephants, leopards and buffalos. Also, it’s instead of lions, you can spot tigers. For instance at Chitwan National Park or Bardia National Park you can encounter these animals. Chitwan National Park is the most popular national park in Nepal, as it’s quite accessible and there is a big chance to see wild life. Bardia National Park is quite remote, but we recommend going here, as it’s less touristic. We have been to both and loved it. We only saw rhinos, but the whole experience of the jungle trek is amazing.
Besides during jungle treks you can also encounter wild life in cities and such. For instance, in Kathmandu you can visit the Swayambhunath temple where there are lots of cheeky monkeys.
5. Lots of adventurous activities
Nepal is the perfect place for a true adrenaline junkie. It’s not so strange, as it’s home to the highest mountain of the world; Mount Everest, and each year many adventurers risk their lives trying to climb it. But next to trekking and climbing mountains, there are countless of other adventurous activities you can undertake in the Roof of the World.
Perhaps you want to go on a jungle trek and encounter wild life. Or go bungee jumping, rafting, mountain biking, paragliding in Pokhara or even sky diving at Everest. Find more inspiration of extreme adventure sports in Nepal in this article.
6. The amazing Nepalese cuisine
Seriously one of the few food photos we took in Nepal was during breakfast at Gaju Suite Hotel. We usually eat our food right away and forget to take a picture.
We love the food in Nepal. Its not strange that it’s so delicious, as the food is a combination of ingredients and techniques from neighbouring countries, such as India, China and Tibet. We personally love Indian food, and you can see there are definitely similarities and influences.
But although a lot of restaurants in Nepal offer Indian food, the Nepalese cuisine is not precisely the same. The Nepalese curries are often based on tomatoes and use less and milder spices, while Indian curries are often based on coconut milk.
Food in Nepal is generally quite healthy, and there are lots of vegetarian options everywhere. The most popular eaten dish is Dal Bhat, consisting of rice, lentil soup and various side dishes. Also, when you’re in Nepal you at least have to try momos, the Nepalese version of dumplings. These usually contain vegetables and are delicious.
7. Traveling in Nepal is affordable
This was the bus to Rara Lake, one of the scariest journeys we ever experienced.
It’s really not expensive to travel in Nepal. We managed to travel in Nepal with a budget of 30 euros per person each day. This included accommodation, food, activities and transportation. But, it all depends what you’re looking for. Maybe you’re looking for a bit more luxury than we had. But I must say, our budget was comfortable enough.
You can get a very decent hotel for 20 euros/dollars a night. If you travel by bus, you can get around for a few euros/dollars. There is some price difference if you go with a tourist or local bus. Also, usually the tourist bus is a lot more comfortable. Activities can often be a bit more pricey, but if you don’t book tours each day or DIY you’ll be fine.
8. Experience the Nepalese culture
Besides the stunning sceneries and amazing landscape, Nepal offers many cultural highlights. There are different customs and traditions found in various parts of Nepal. There are lots of religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Sikhism and more. Therefore there are so many temples and cultures to experience in this country.
9. Have a great shopping experience
Nepal offers a great shopping experience. Especially in Kathmandu you can get some gems. Clothes, jewellery, artwork, souvenirs, – everything can be found in Kathmandu. It’s often colourful, handmade and unique. Unfortunately we couldn’t buy that much as we had to carry around most of the stuff we bought. But if you’re going to Nepal for a few weeks only we recommend you to take as little as possible with you and just buy everything there. You can come back with a whole new wardrobe.
It is certainly not expensive to shop in Nepal, just like in most Southeast Asian countries. However, in Nepal you really have to bargain for the right price. Usually they don’t give you a fair price right away. Read this article for some tips on bargaining in Nepal.
10. There is always more to see
Even though we spent more than two months in Nepal, which is quite a long time for us to stay in one place, we really want to go back. There are so many more mountains to climb, more remote areas to visit and unique landscapes to explore. We can’t wait to go back and to see more of Nepal.
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