Nepal is an incredibly diverse country with everything from the world’s highest mountain peaks to flat lands where you can experience dense forests and see rhinos and tigers. That, combined with rich culture, delicious foods, trekking in the Himalayas, adventure activities, varied wildlife, and welcoming people, makes Nepal a country that everyone should visit at least once.
The Landscape, Namely the Mountains
When you think of Nepal, mountains must come to mind. Home to eight of the ten highest mountains in the world, you could spend months traveling and seeing various areas of the Himalayas. However, there are also the incredible foothills of these peaks, filled with massive green hills, rolling rice fields, and villages that slowly dissipate into the flat lands of the Terai. The hills are stunning, and the tea estates, flat lands, thick forests, and farms will be unlike anything you have seen before. Nepal is one of few countries to have three such distinct areas, from mountains to hills to flatlands.
With a diverse landscape comes equally diverse culture. There are many groups of people scattered across the country with their own unique languages, beliefs, clothing, dances, and traditions. As you travel across Nepal, you will see people from all backgrounds speaking various languages and celebrating their own festivals. For example, in Kathmandu, the Newar ethnic group continues to speak their own language, and you might even catch a glimpse of masked dancers or massive chariots during specific festivals.
Incredible Heritage Sites
Several UNESCO World Heritage Sites are scattered throughout Nepal, including the Kathmandu Valley, Sagarmatha National Park, Lumbini, and Chitwan National Park. All have unique features and activities to offer. In historic Kathmandu Valley, you can visit ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples and witness others who have made the pilgrimage worshipping there. You will also surely notice the incredible architecture that is unique to Nepal. Chitwan and Sagarmatha National Parks offer opportunities to see endangered species of plants and animals, each with its own distinct geography. Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, is also a must-see when visiting Nepal. The amount of natural and cultural experiences waiting for you in Nepal is truly unmatched.
There is a saying in Nepali culture that guests are God, and people will go out of their way to make all travelers feel welcomed and at home. Be prepared to be offered tea frequently; if you have time, accept. You will be welcomed into families and homes without a second thought and will make friends who will last a lifetime. Additionally, if you ever need help, there will always be someone willing to give you directions or help you find a taxi. This welcoming atmosphere is reason enough to visit Nepal.
Due to Nepal’s geographic positioning, food has been influenced by China and India; however, it certainly still has its own unique flair. Dal bhat (translated to lentils and rice, with the addition of curried vegetables) is consumed by nearly everyone in the country twice each day, and you will surely have an opportunity to taste it. This is also a staple meal on treks in Nepal. Another extremely popular dish is momo, a Nepalese dumpling. You can find this tasty snack in nearly every restaurant and on every street corner. Usually, they are served with a tomato-based sauce and can be filled with anything from meats to vegetables to cheese. While visiting the Kathmandu Valley, be sure to try local foods such as chatamari, yomari, and bara.
If you are an adrenaline junkie, you will never be bored in Nepal. There is nearly every adventure you could think of, including bungy jumping, paragliding, mountain biking, rock climbing, white water rafting, canyoning, and snow skiing. Not to mention the thrilling hikes amongst the world’s highest mountains. Home to the world’s highest mountain and deepest gorge, there is no better place to have hear-racing adventures.
Some consider Nepal to be the Amazon of Asia, and with good reason. In Chitwan and Bardiya National Parks, travelers have the opportunity to spot royal Bengal tigers, one-horned rhinos, crocodiles, leopards, sloth bears, wild elephants, deer, monkeys, and over 500 species of birds. Many types of safari are offered to help you spot such incredible creatures. If you happen to be hiking in the hills or mountains, you may see snow leopards, red pandas, bharal, and yaks. No matter where your adventures take you, there will surely be wildlife to enjoy.
Nepal offers endless adventure, an ever-changing landscape, diverse flora and fauna, and some of the friendliest people in the world. Combined with hundreds of adventure activities and delicious food to fuel your travels, there is truly no reason not to visit Nepal and make your next trip memorable.