Nepal things to see and do

Tourist offices

Nepal Tourism Board

PO Box 11018, Bhrikuti Mandap, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: (1) 422 5709.
www.tourism.gov.np

Things to see and do

Float on Phewa Lake

After a mighty trek up the Himalayas – or a night on the local beers – take a well-earned rest on the limpid waters of Phewa Tal in Pokhara. Either rent a rowing boat or hire a captain to do the hard work for you. If possible, row out to Barahi Mandir, a temple perched on an island in the middle of the lake.

Go on safari at Chitwan National Park

Nepal's oldest national park, Chitwan is home to endangered Bengal tigers, one-horned rhinos and mugger crocodiles, not to mention numerous bird species. Visitors can explore the park on elephants or in a safari vehicle. It’s also possible to spend the night in watch-towers, listening to the roar of the jungle.

Go underground at Siddha Gufa

At 437m deep, Siddha Gufa is the largest cave in Nepal and features spectacular stalactites, stalagmites and a myriad of otherworldly rock formations. Located just outside the village of Bandipur, the cave can be accessed by bus from Pokhara.

Marvel at Mount Everest

The tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest is the ultimate test of physical endurance for climbers and hikers. However, if you can’t make it to the summit or even base camp, you can view this peak in all its glory from the window of a plane. Most domestic airlines offer scenic flights, which are available from Pokhara and other locations.

Paraglide over Pokhara

Pokhara has been dubbed as one of the top places to paraglide in the world. Unique geothermal patterns and stunning landscapes make this lakeside destination popular for international thrill seekers. Several companies offer flight instruction and transport to and from the landing site including Blue Sky (www.blue-sky-paragliding.com) and Fly Nepal (flynepalparagliding.com.np).

Party in Thamel

Once you’ve finished sightseeing in Kathmandu, have a well-earned beer in the lively Thamel district of the city. Packed with bars, clubs and restaurants, you won’t struggle to find a glass of the local brew in these parts. As well as pints of Khukuri, you will also find local cuisine, fellow travellers and loud music.

Photograph Pokhara

Described as the ‘jewel of Himalaya,’ Pokhara is a lakeside city of extraordinary beauty. Set to the backdrop of the snow-capped Annapurna mountain range, travellers fall for the city’s many charms while visiting temples, shopping in traditional bazaars and boating on Phewa Lake.

Pilgrimage to Buddha’s birthplace

The birthplace of Gautama Buddha, Lumbini is arguably the most important pilgrimage site in the world for practicing Buddhists. This spiritual site is not just a draw for religious devotees; the shimmering, golden temples and pristine grounds attract many tourists too.

Raft the Marsyangdi River

With its mountainous terrain, Nepal's crashing rivers offer world-class rafting conditions. From the swirling challenges of the Marsyangdi River, to the scenic Trisuli River, thrash it out on the country's exhilarating waterways for an extra-special experience.

Relax in Namche Bazaar

Clinging to the side of the Himalayas, the hillside town of Namche Bazaar is a hub for those exploring the Everest region. Bakeries and pool houses treat those who have walked from Lukla, and wifi accessible spots can comfort those missing home.

Scout for souvenirs

Peruse Tibetan handicrafts and artefacts at the hugely impressive Bodnath Stupa, a centre of Tibetan exile culture, just a short ride from central Kathmandu. Alternatively, visit the lively bazaar in the hill town of Gorkha – the ancestral home of the Shah Dynasty and residence of the original Gurkha soldiers.

Spot temples in Kathmandu

Buddhist and Hindu temples abound in Kathmandu. The most famous of which can be found in Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of Kathmandu. Also on UNESCO’s list is Pashupatinath, the oldest Hindu temple in the capital, which nestles on the banks of the Bagmati River and boasts beautiful gardens. For the best views in Kathmandu, climb the epic stairway at Swayambhunath Stupa (also known as Monkey Temple), which offers sweeping panoramas and playful primates.

Take part in a festival

Nepal's calendar is packed with all manner of festivals. Highlights include Holi, a spring festival where paint is thrown over all and sundry; Tibetan New Year; the light festival of Tihar; and Dashain, the longest and liveliest festival on the calendar. Check our calendar to see when exact dates fall.

Try traditional yoga

Feel the stresses and strains of daily life ebb away from you at one of the many yoga retreats in Nepal. Kathmandu, Lumbini and Pokhara offer various types of yoga, meditation and traditional herbal treatments for ailments. The Pranamaya Yoga community runs daily classes in Kathmandu and Pokhara (www.pranamaya-yoga.com).

Veer off the beaten path at Annapurna

The trail to Everest Base Camp is a well-trodden one, so if you don’t want to jostle for space with fellow hikers try the Annapurna Circuit. It’s slightly quieter and offers epic mountain vistas. While accessible without a guide, inexperienced hikers are advised to seek assistance locally.

Visit artsy Patan

The city of Patan has long-standing artistic traditions and is renowned for its beautifully crafted, artisanal goods. It is also a place of unremitting beauty where UNESCO listed landmarks meet opulent palaces and art galleries. Its most impressive landmarks include Patan Durbar Square, Krishna Mandir, the Royal Bath, Kumbheshwor Temple and the Golden Temple.

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