Nepal is the very watershed of Asia. Squeezed between India and Tibet, it stretches from rich subtropical forest to soaring Himalayan peaks: from jungly tiger habitat to the precipitous hunting grounds of the snow leopard. Climbing the hillside of one valley alone you can be sweltering in the shade of a banana palm in the morning, and sheltering from a snowstorm in the afternoon.
Nepal’s cultural landscape is every bit as diverse as its physical one. Its peoples belong to a host of distinctive ethnic groups, and speak a host of languages. They live in everything from dense, ancient cities erupting with pagoda-roofed Hindu temples to villages perched on dizzying sweeps of rice-farming terraces and dusty highland settlements clustered around tiny monasteries. Religious practices range from Indian-style Hinduism to Tibetan Buddhism and from nature-worship to shamanism – the indigenous Newars, meanwhile, blend all these traditions with their own, intense tantric practices.
The cultural richness owes something to the shaping force of the landscape itself, and something else to the fact that it was never colonized. This is a country with profound national or ethnic pride, an astounding flair for festivals and pageantry and a powerful attachment to traditional ways. Its people famously display a charismatic blend of independent-mindedness and friendliness, toughness and courtesy – qualities that, through the reputations of Gurkha soldiers and Sherpa climbers in particular, have made them internationally renowned as people it’s a rare pleasure to work with or travel among.
But it would be misleading to portray Nepal as a fabled Shangri-la. Heavily reliant on its superpower neighbours, Nepal was, until 1990, the world’s last remaining absolute Hindu monarchy, run by a regime that combined China’s repressiveness and India’s bureaucracy. Long politically and economically backward, it has developed at uncomfortable speed in some areas while stagnating in others. Following a soul-scouring Maoist insurgency, which ended in 2006, it has ended up as a federal republic – governed, for the time at least, by Maoist rebels turned politicians. Nepal seems always to be racing to catch up with history, and the sense of political excitement in the country is thrillingly palpable.
Around Good People offers a unique and exceptional opportunity to volunteer in grassroots organization led dental volunteering in Nepal. This is a singular reason why you should choose to experience “Nepal Dental Volunteering” whilst immersing yourself in an unparalleled sensory blast of a lifetime.
There are few countries in the world that can rival the travel experience that can be found in Nepal. Trekking shops, street-food aromas, and water color galleries are all common in the bustling squares of the cities. In stark contrast, the countryside belies a very different Nepal, where traditional mountain life continues at a stoically slower pace. High altitude lakes, hot springs, and the every-present white peaks of the Himalayas reward the hardy trekker.
The biggest problem faced by visitors to Nepal is how to fit everything in. Many people have spent a lifetime exploring the mountain trails of the Himalaya and the atmospheric temple towns of the Middle Hills, and they still keep coming back for more. Our advice is to pick a handful of essential experiences for your first visit and save the rest for trip number two, three and four and endless number of years…year after year.
The Nepalese Himalayas are one of the world’s greatest trekking destinations. It is a land of snow peaks and fluttering prayer flags, yak caravans and epic mountain adventures. For mountain lovers and the vertically inclined, the Himalayas represent nothing less than the crowning apex of nature’s grandeur. Here, dramatic forested gorges rise to skylines of snow-capped glaciated peaks through a landscape that ranges from high-altitude desert to dripping rhododendron forest.
Home to millions, much of this is no alpine wilderness, but rather a vibrant mosaic of peoples, cultures and communities that are criss-crossed by ancient trading and pilgrimage routes that offer their own unique inspiration. Test your mettle against some of the world’s most audacious and dangerous roads, or set a more measured pace on a trek through yak pastures to prayer flag-strewn passes haunted by snow leopards and red pandas.
To better understand your trekking options please speak with us about it! With thousands of connections, Around Good People will be able to set you on the right path to organize the trek which will be the envy of others. Whether you are drawn to the rugged trails of Everest, or the picturesque range of the Annapurnas, let us guide you to a trail of a lifetime.
Ever since Nepal first opened its borders to outsiders in the 1950s, this tiny mountain nation has had an irresistible mystical allure for travellers. Today, legions of trekkers are drawn to the Himalaya’s most iconic and accessible hiking, some of the world’s best, with rugged trails to Everest, the Annapurnas and beyond. Nowhere else can you trek for days or even weeks in incredible mountain scenery, secure in the knowledge that a hot meal, cosy lodge and warm slice of apple pie await you at the end of the day. Nepal is nirvana for mountain lovers.
Other travellers are drawn here by the adrenaline rush of rafting down a roaring Nepali river or bungee jumping into a bottomless Himalayan gorge. Canyoning, climbing, kayaking, paragliding and mountain biking all offer a rush against the backdrop of some of the world’s most dramatic landscapes.
Other travellers prefer to see Nepal at a more gentle pace, admiring the peaks over a gin and tonic from a Himalayan viewpoint, strolling through the temple-lined medieval city squares of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, and joining Buddhist pilgrims on a spiritual stroll around the centuries-old stupas and temples that lie scattered across the Kathmandu Valley.
Further south lie Nepal’s national parks, where nature buffs scan the treetops for exotic bird species and comb the jungles for rhinos and tigers from the backs of lumbering Indian elephants. Whether you cross the country by mountain bike, motorbike, raft or tourist bus, Nepal offers an astonishingly diverse array of attractions and landscape.
Wibungy-nepal-1000px-64th eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, epic valleys and rivers with personalities that run from gentle to ferocious, Nepal is one of the most famous outdoor destinations on the planet. But visitors are just starting to discover that the adventure-sports scene consists of more than just trekking. Rafting world-class rapids, soaring among the Himalaya on a paraglider and taking a plunge on one of the world’s highest bungee jumps are just a few of the ways to get your blood pumping.
With an outstanding selection of rivers, there are choices suitable for all levels; from fun Grade 2 and 3 rapids, to hardcore rides with waves that will flip you into raging torrents of water (if that is your thing). Nepal is also famous for its multiday trips, such as a 12-day journey into the wilderness along the remote Karnali River. Or if you are short on time, there are day trips along the Trisuli River that will have you back in Kathmandu by evening. But arguably the crowning jewel is the Sun Kosi, a wild ride along monster rapids that begins near the Tibetan border.
Rafting is far from new in Nepal and there are numerous long-established companies with considerable international experience and good safety records. Himalayan Encounters is recommended for its day trips along the Trisuli, while Ultimate Descents can arrange multiday journeys for more adventurous rafters.
White-water rafting is possible year round, except during monsoon season from June to August. October and November are considered the prime months to grab a paddle.
Paragliding is another adventure sport that has carved out a niche for itself in Nepal. In Pokhara, you will find numerous companies offering the undisputed best view in town via a tandem paraglide flight. Once up there, high over the valley and in the presence of the mighty Annapurna range, the silence is a sublime experience.
If you want to make things even more interesting, give parahawking a shot. It is essentially the same thing, but with a feathery twist. As you take off, a trained bird of prey will travel with you, leading the pilot to the best thermals. In exchange for its efforts, the pilot will blow his whistle to signal the bird’s reward, which it receives from you while perched on your outstretched, gloved arm — all while flying 2,000ft in the air! All birds involved are rescued as injured or orphaned birds and are not able to survive in the wild on their own.
Leaving behind the highways and fumes, and leading you to a side of the country that most tourists will never see, the rural tracks in Nepal seem to be made for mountain biking. While serious bikers bring their own wheels, there are also several companies in Kathmandu that hire out quality bikes and arrange tours. It is a scene that is fast emerging — while the completion of the road from Jomson along the Annapurna circuit has trekkers mourning, mountain bikers are rejoicing over this thrilling new route.
There are many ways to tailor your route, combining cultural sites with mountain views on a mix of single tracks and jeep trails. Dawn till Dusk and Himalayan Single Track are two Kathmandu-based companies that can offer good advice for off-road trails.
Any mountain-bike odyssey across Nepal will have a lot of uphill sections, so you will need to be a fairly experienced rider with good fitness levels.
If you are still searching for an added shot of adrenaline, the Last Resort near the Tibetan border may be able to help. Home to one of the world’s highest bungee jumps, the 160m-drop into the Bhote Kosi gorge is guaranteed to scare the wits out of you. Canyoning provides an equally unconventional route, as you abseil down the face of a waterfall before plunging into the natural pools.
If travelling up is more your preference, head to Bimal Nagar near Bandipur, where rock climbing is the latest addition to Nepal’s adventure sports, with several routes bolted in.
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