Consider planning a trip to Nepal, a small country situated in the Himalayas, is rich in culture and the beauty of nature. Nepal offers globally famous trekking opportunities. Nepal is cited to be one of the most visited adventure tourism destinations in the world. Kathmandu is currently ranked the 5th top travel destination by lonely planet. Taking a Nepal trip may be the trip of a lifetime.
With a population of approximately 30 000 000 and 147 181 Km2 landmass, the country is home to 10 of the highest peaks in the world, Yeti and one of the most dangerous airports to land at in the world, Lukla, due to the extremely short runway. Your Nepal adventure begins before you even leave the plane!
Without further Ado, here are our top 5 reasons to take a trip to Nepal!
Nepal is home to 4 UNESCO world heritage sites including Lumbini – the birthplace of Buddha, Chitwan National Park and Sagarmatha National Park. Unesco sites are important due to the preservation of culture and heritage in each region. What this means, is that Nepal has a responsibility to conserve and present their cultural and heritage, as well as the research activities related to them.According to the Unesco World Heritage Centre, World Heritage properties can contribute to the UN sustainable Development Goal #1 of alleviating poverty and goal #10 of reducing inequality by providing basic needs like security, shelter, water and food access.
It is said that the Nepalese government gives 50% of income from tourism to communities near wildlife reserves. Although this statement needs to be shared, it is difficult to verify. Involving local peoples, as well as impoverished communities in the tourism scheme, is helping Nepal to achieve its goal of increasing annual tourism.
Tea tourism is a result of the federalism in Nepal. As powers are being transferred to the local levels, this initiative is finding that peoples in smaller communities are more engaged in economic activities. As a strategy of being more sustainable, the Nepalese government developed the tea tourism initiative as a way to encourage communities to get involved. This initiative brings more ability for self-sufficiency into the local communities and the significance of government transferring power to a local level is great. Farmers in 10 districts have begun tea farming already. As a result of this, travellers interested in organic teas have begun travelling to these areas, thus creating the tea tourism industry.
With so many sustainable options for tourism, there should be easily activities found to suit every traveller throughout their Nepal trip.
2. Rare Finds
There are some rare finds in Nepal. These are found in Nepal only. These include the Yarsagumba; caterpillar fungus, the Spiny Babbler bird, Black squirrels and Hallucinogenic honey.
The Yarsagumba is a fungi which grows on caterpillars in Nepal. This item is used in traditional chinese medicine. It is very expensive. Unfortunately, due to the overharvesting of this item, it is now endangered.
The Spiny Babbler is a bird found only in Nepal. This unique bird species is commonly located in the Chepang village area of Gadi. This forest also houses the endangered black squirrel. This area is an IBA area. There are a total of 38 IBA (Important Bird & Biodiversity areas) in Nepal. Visiting these areas are a valuable addition to tourists itinerary during a trip to Nepal.
Neurotoxic honey. Used for medicinal purposes as well as its hallucinogenic properties, this honey is also referred to as ‘mad honey’. The giant himalayan honey bees produce this honey variance by consuming the nectar from rhododendron tree flowers.
3. Nature and Nature Activities
As Nepal is a wonderland of abundant nature and nature activities, you will easily find something to do which interests you during your trip to Nepal. Trekking is a highly popular activity in Nepal, cited to be the most popular outdoor activity in Nepal. Ranging from intermediate treks to highly advanced and long-term trekking expeditions, rock climbing and mountaineering possibilities, you will find a trek for any level of expertise. Please do remember to “take only photos and leave only footprints”. Carry your rubbish with you until you find a proper and well-marked disposal bin. Improperly disposed of rubbish creates big problems.
Kayaking and river rafting are also highly sought-after activities. There is, for example, a beautiful lake in Pokhara where one could easily enjoy an afternoon.
There have been sightings of the yeti, or abominable snowman, in Nepal. Supposedly, the government of Nepal issued regulations for Yeti hunting expeditions already in the 1950’s. If the traveller has plans to search for the Yeti during their Nepal trip, it is advisable to read these regulations beforehand.
5. Events and Happenings
Things are happening in Nepal. The Nepalese tourism office shares happenings on their web pages and the information is more accessible in the common english language. Taking a quick look online at the Welcome Nepal website while planning your Nepal trip in order to access the most up to date information.
A plethora of festival options are available. It is recommended to research these closer to the date of your travels in order to get the best view of all options available during that time. One unusual festival worth mentioning, is the World Tantra Yoga festival.
The Everest marathon is another worthwhile happening. The worlds’ highest marathon is held every year in the month of May. Starting from Lukla and trekking to Mt. Everest base camp, through Sagarmatha National park, Namche bazaar, Pangboche monastery & Tengboche monastery. Details can be found on the Nepal tourism board website here.
Make good memories with a Nepal trip!
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*As the Coronavirus restrictions have had an affect on many countries, it would be beneficial to check the website or contact the tourism board if you are planning an upcoming trip to Nepal.