A once in a lifetime experience, a trip to Nepal will surely leave you breathless.
The only thing that’s flat about this country is the runway of Kathmandu Airport. Whether you’re approaching from the air or walking down the street, the towering mountains all around seem to vanish into the heavens.
The Kathmandu Valley boasts the world’s most dense collection of World Heritage Sites. The medieval Bhaktapur district is the most atmospheric, brimming with magnificent temples, pagodas stupas and shrines.
Wherever you go beyond Kathmandu you’ll encounter epic landscapes. You could take on the popular Annapurna Circuit Trek, a 17-day odyssey renowned for its outstanding Nepalese hospitality. You could go paragliding in the Pokhara Valley, or ascend to the glacial Gokyo Lakes in the Sagarmatha National Park. You could even go hiking in the Barun Valley, a mystical place packed with waterfalls, rhododendron forests and countless rare animal species, including the endangered snow leopard.
All this is in addition to what is probably one of the most popular fixtures of any bucket list: a two-week-long trek to Everest Base Camp. Aside from breathtaking scenery, anyone taking this 5,380-metre summit on will also experience unique Sherpa culture, with visits to monasteries and museums along the way.
But it’s not all snow-capped peaks and steep climbs. Straddling the Indian border is a great swath of steamy jungle, where tigers and other Asian wildlife prowl. You can stay in a safari lodge in Chitwan National Park or stray deeper to remote Koshi Tappu, stopping at the birthplace of Buddha in Lumbini along the way.
As you’d expect, most hotels and guesthouses are found in Kathmandu, but there are plenty more in hotspots like Pokhara and Lumbini.