Nepal, the country that leads you into the Himalayas and the magnificent Mount Everest.
This is a Magical country filled with surprises at every corner and some of the friendliest people i have ever met.
I spent six weeks in Nepal in 2012, it was the the spark that lit the match, it lead me to where i am now. Everything about this country is beautiful, the scenery, nature, landscapes, people, food – everything. It is filled with adventure and is yearning to be explored. Here are the Top Ten Adventures i had while travelling throughout Nepal… Enjoy!
10. Camping on a River Bank after White water Rafting somewhere between Kathmandu and Pokhara.
There was nothing quite as exciting and nerve-racking to be in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by Jungle, with a Thunderous and unforgiving River Rapid on one side and Mountains on the other.
This was our home for the next Two nights – Nothing made me happier than this – The great out doors in the best form. Now all we had to do was put up the tent….
9. Hands up if you’re a bit of an Adrenaline Junkie
I’m a bit of an adventure Junkie. Give me gorge walking, Cliff jumping, White water-rafting, Paragliding (which fate cancelled on me twice!) any day.
Getting geared up with life jackets and helmets, monsoon season was the perfect time to hope on a rubber raft with nothing but a guide and some friends – the campsite awaited (as did dry clothes). This was one of the most exciting experiences I’ve done.
Crashing through rapids, falling out and floating down the river was the greatest dose of adrenaline fun i had in a long time.
But climbing through the Jungle to the top of a Mountain, to then scale down waterfalls was one of the best experiences I’ve had in Nepal. The drops got bigger and bigger and the health and safety (what? I sliced my finger open and we made a Bear Grylls inspired bandage out of leaves and mini-vines..) got questionable (we didn’t really have much) and the thrill intensified.
The funniest moment was coming down the final Waterfall to realise some of the poorest locals were using it as a shower/washing machine (Don’t mind me as I drop in…).
8. Have you ever travelled in every Vehicle known to man? I have.
Nepal’s driving leaves something to the imagination… trust me, you need to experience the chaos.
In Nepal I hitched lifts on almost every Vehicle – backs of motorbikes, scooters, back of pick up trucks, Lorry cabs, arm-pit-in-face local buses, taxis that will pick you and any anyone else up – and that is just to name a few. If you are a fan of hilarious bumper stickers, hilariously annoying horns, pimped out taxis/buses and looking for the next thrill…. Hop in/on!
7. Nothing welcomes you into a country more than the sight of the magnificent Mount Everest.
Be sure to steal a window seat on you Plane from Delhi to Kathmandu – Ignore the seat allocation on your ticket, everyone else is. In fact, if you think you will be queuing to get on this plane, wrong, it’s almost like a free for all.
The poor hostess. (Yes, there was only one girl).
This plane ride was not only memorable because of its view. Before the plane took off (bear in mind I was the only stranger on this plane – I’m pretty sure everyone else knew each other) everyone on the plane (bar me) chanted some kind of prayer.
At this point I wasn’t sure if I should be worried…. Was I missing something?
6. Don’t worry – You will get Lost, but it’s ok.
We are used to street signs, landmarks, street lights – names in general – to help us navigate our way around big Cities. Google Maps has a challenge here.
Kathmandu will give the most street smart person a challenge – if you can navigate this place successfully – i take my (metaphorical) hat off to you.
Even our taxi driver got lost, a lot.
But it’s okay. The best adventures begin when you get lost.
I got lost with two Italian Girls – it was my job to tell the taxi driver we weren’t paying him because he left us in the middle of nowhere – this was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever had to do.
You soon realise, everyone wants to help you. We met the friendliest of them, we communicated through hand gestures and were eventually taken to a bus stop (lose than image in your head now).
You no, stand at the side of the road and shout at mini vans in the hope they are going where you want to go – typical bus stop, I know.
5. Stay with a local family. Soak in all the culture you can.
I was very lucky and stayed with a local family for a couple of weeks in my Nepal adventure.
It was a fantastic way of getting to grips with the culture, attempting to learn the language and stealing handy tips and making use of the local knowledge.
Everyone is more than happy to have you.
The family i stayed with even offered to help find me a job, husband (say what now?!) and house if nowhere in the world suited me…. Share the love.
4. Don’t Snooze that Alarm Clock! Trust me, it’s worth it.
Wake up at 4am to go and see the sun come up over the Annapurna Range.
Trust me it’s worth it. (pffft yeah right, whats so special about a sunrise?)
Trust me when I say, I am not a morning person at all.
But this was worth it and it had to be 4am, we had to get up there fast to beat the crowds that would follow.
If you are wanting to capture a great shot, silly shots or any kind of picture without annoying photo-bombs, get up and get up quick!
And, if you catch a perfect clear day (I.e. not in the monsoon season) people have said they can see Everest… if that doesn’t persuade you I don’t know what will.
Don’t snooze the alarm.
This sunrise will take your breath away (ok, maybe that was the hike to get there…)
3. Get yourself down to the Monkey Temple, seriously, it’s the best.
This is truly an amazing place. It is hard to put it all into words, but it is completely understandable why it is called the Monkey Temple. There are Monkeys everywhere…
The biggest tip I can give you. Do not stock up on those delicious foods before coming in. You will regret it, no matter how much you love monkeys.
The ‘Monkey Temple’ is not only filled with Monkeys, it also has many Buddha statues, working temples and blessing houses. Be sure to dress appropriately – covered shoulders and knees, no cleavage ladies.
Go into as many of the local artist shops and trinket pop up shops in the temple – Not just to snag some awesome deals – But the people want to speak to you, tell you about what they do, explain buddhism, help you understand the importance of this temple.
Embrace this, you come away with some fascinating knowledge and often, beautiful gifts. I came away with a beautiful, broken english, explanation of buddhism – given to me by a local artist because I showed my interest and enjoyed his conversations.
2. I volunteered in Schools and Orphanages for six weeks… Give something back, anything.
I travelled to Nepal to Volunteer, but I ended up with some amazing stories and adventures in between all that.
There is SO MUCH I can’t wait to share with you.
If you can, give something back – anything.
This was such a rewarding experience, I met one of my best friends through our placement, realised I would be a hopeless teacher (but gave it a bash anyway, the kids found me hilarious) and had some insane experiences – all without technology!
You volunteered in one, but you were invited to many.
I visited schools in mountain villages, because the head teacher of one school heard from the orphanage I was there and told his friend and so on and on it went.
Great way to tour the country – they will take you on the local buses or on motorbikes to get there – you may have to walk 7 miles to the next bit and then you will have your dinner with their family or with the school.
1. Get your butt down to Chitwan – More importantly Chitwan National Park!
If you ever catch me talking about Nepal, this will probably be one of the main things I yap on and on about. Why you ask? Because I had the most crazy collection of experiences in this beautiful town.
While here, we saw local dancing, stayed in a hotel where we were the only customers, drank home-made ‘wine’ (it was 100% vodka) had karaoke nights – with no music and witnessed the majestic and beautiful Elephants.
Chitwan is magical.
I am pretty convinced that no one drives in this town – in fact people get around riding an Elephant. I am not Joking.
The people who live here have such respect for the Elephants and told us all about Elephant Conservation, Rhino Protection and Tiger Protection.
Currently Chitwan has remained poach-free for a number of years – which is amazing! (Happy dance).
While in Chitwan we rode an Elephant, saw Rhinos on the back of an Elephant, Went to see the Elephant Sanctuary for newly rescued Elephants and babies, bathed an Elephant, had a water-fight with an Elephant (The Elephant won – it does have a built-in, extreme water pistol!)
I am an animal lover through and through.
While these experiences were amazing, we did all the checks we could before taking on this kind of experience – I would encourage everyone to do these checks – we made sure to check out the Elephants were properly cared for, it was legitimately run and the animals were in good health.
I would never condone cruelty to animals.
This was an experience that just lightened up my soul a little bit.