The Best Travel Destinations For 2022: Nepal

It’s the penultimate place in the series, and trust us when we say it’s a good one! Here are all the reasons you absolutely must add Nepal to your bucket list:

The Best Travel Destinations For 2022: Nepal

(Or The Seven Wonders Of The World, Part 6)

Image: KiraHundeDog, Pixabay

It’s the penultimate place in the series, and trust us when we say it’s a good one! Here are all the reasons you absolutely must add Nepal to your bucket list:

  1. The diversity

A huge part of travel is enabling yourself to open up to other cultures and ways of life, and you can rest assured that the melting pot that is Nepal will deliver in spades. The fact that it’s such a tiny country makes it all the more impressive that it’s home to 126 ethnic groups - each with its own unique language, traditions and beliefs! There’s no doubt about it; you will definitely be forced out of your comfort zone as you immerse yourself into the distinctive cultures.

The geographical diversity is also pretty impressive, what with the countless hills, forests, lakes, gorges, waterfalls, glaciers and mountains on offer - phew!

2. The food

Of course, a by-product of this incredible diversity is the equally incredible array of delicacies on offer here. Dal Bhat (a curried lentil with rice and vegetables) is the national dish of Nepal and, as such, you’ll find it absolutely everywhere, along with a range of other popular snacks.

Indulge your taste buds in this six-course dinner experience

3. The world-class cultural cities

Home to several incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Nepal will never disappoint when it comes to history, art and architecture. Here are some particular highlights:

  • Kathmandu. We’ll start with the capital - and biggest - city, for obvious reasons. But Kathmandu is special in its own right, boasting a richness of cultural heritage like nowhere else. The juxtaposition of the vibrantly bustling atmosphere in the streets with the old, dilapidated buildings in the heart of the city means you’ll soak up both the ancient and modern culture that live symbiotically here. Durbar Square - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - is bursting with various temples and monuments of different shapes, sizes, styles and faiths, Swayambhunath, lovingly coined the ‘Monkey Temple’ due to the monkeys who make it their home, is the second most important shrine in the Kathmandu Valley while the stunning Pashupatinath Temple is the oldest, most sacred in the whole of Nepal. Book a private Kollywood tour
  • Bhaktapur. This ‘Royal City’ also has a UNESCO World Heritage Durbar Square - filled with several temples and the royal palace - and this is definitely the place to start when exploring. Once you’re done temple-hopping, you can spend time mooching around the shops, where you’ll be met with gorgeous puppets and pottery!
  • Patan. Your expectations of a place that literally translates as ‘Beautiful City’ should be high, and you won’t be disappointed, what with the breathtaking architecture, wooden carvings and religious art that make up this unique city.
  • Dharan. As well as the old temples and monuments that you’ll have come to expect from a Nepalanese city by now, this little gem also offers countryside hills and endless banana trees.
  • Bandipur. Best known for the Siddha Gufa (caves) - along with the old temples and monuments.
  • Panauti. One of the oldest cities in Nepal is filled with ancient temples, old streets and historic markets.

4. The religious sites

Famed Hindu pilgrimage sites include the Pashupatinath Temple, the temple complex in Swargadwari, Lake Gosainkunda and Mahamrityunjaya Shivasan Nepal, where the largest metallic idol of Lord Shiva - one of the main deities of Hinduism - resides.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lumbini, is one of the most significant places for Buddhists, owing to its being the birthplace of the Gautama Buddha. This beautiful pilgrimage town offers a feeling of tranquility that you can’t help but soak up while there.

5. The safe and friendly environment

Not only are the people incredibly warm and welcoming (you’ll probably be served tea almost everywhere you go!), but Nepal is also considered one of the safest countries in the world.

6. The activities

Remember that diverse landscape we mentioned earlier? Well, it makes for an absolute haven for adrenaline junkies! You’ll soon see what we mean:

  • Mountain climbing. Let’s start with the most obvious, shall we: The Himalayas. Boasting over 100 peaks over a 720km stretch - including Mount Everest (the highest on earth), it is truly a sight to behold (and you can do so from the picturesque hill station that is Nagarkot.).
  • Hiking. Of course, you don’t have to actually climb a mountain in order to appreciate its beauty. Mount Everest, for example, also offers a popular hiking trail - Base Camp - which takes you around the foot of the towering peak. Pokhara - one of Nepal’s most scenic cities - is another fantastic example, serving as the gateway to the Himalayas and offering unrivaled views of the snow-capped Annapurna range (which you can also hike around on a once-in-a-lifetime trail called the Annapurna Circuit - one of the country’s most popular!). Expect lush forests, underground caves, spectacular waterfalls and unforgettable sunrises. A final mention must go to the Helambu Trek - a circular route that offers a striking contrast between the upper and lower regions. No matter which you choose, you can rest assured that you’ll fall in love with this hiking paradise. Read more: The World’s Best Hikes Near Me (And Not So Near Me)
  • Rafting/Canoeing. With endless rivers across the country, you can choose to glide through calm waters on a canoe, taking in the ruggedly beautiful scenery, or rush through roaring rapids. The Bhote Kosi River is one of the most popular places to go if you’re looking for a thrill-seeking experience.
  • Hot air ballooning/Mountain Flight. Yes, you could spend days climbing the tallest mountains in the world, or you could get a bird’s-eye view from the comfort of a hot air balloon or on an increasingly popular mountain flight, where you’ll enjoy the closest possible aerial views. #justsaying
  • Bungee jumping/ Paragliding. Experience the ultimate thrill of jumping/flying over villages, lakes, jungles, monasteries and temples, enjoying some of the finest scenery on the planet.
  • Mountain biking. The diverse terrain here is the stuff of mountain bikers’ dreams, and it’s a brilliant way to explore the country.
  • Rock Climbing. No matter where you are in Nepal, there’s a rocky wall for you to climb, courtesy of its increasingly popular status as a sport in this country. How’s that for a cliffhanger? (ba-dum-tss).

7. The wildlife

Considered the Amazon of Asia, Nepal is a perfect travel spot for animal lovers.

Chitwan National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most popular national park in the country - has it all. In this safari-like oasis, you’ll meet the majestic Bengal tigers, one-horned rhinos, leopards, crocodiles, elephants, buffalo, monkeys and over 500 species of birds! The Bardia National Park is another excellent option. However, you’ll likely come across animals in the wild no matter where you are in the country. Did you know, for example, that Nepal claims 8.5% of the total bird species found in the world? Mind-boggling.

8. The value for money

Coming in at number six on the best value for money destination post-pandemic by Skyscanner, Nepal is a worthy choice for budget travelers.

9. The tea

For any tea lovers out there, you simply cannot leave the country before visiting Ilam, Nepal’s tea district. Filled with breathtaking tea gardens that overlook this quaint, scenic town, you will not be disappointed!

Travel safe!