Ultimate Guide to Nepal: Where to visit and what to do - Expat Living Hong Kong

Ultimate Guide to Nepal: Where to visit and what to do

Home to eight of the world’s 10 highest peaks, Nepal is certainly a climber’s mecca. However, there is also plenty to see and do for novice climbers and families alike. We asked tailor-made tour operator Lightfoot Travel to outline its top regions to visit when travelling to this spectacularly beautiful Himalayan country.
 

Kathmandu Valley

Kathmandu Valley


 

Kathmandu

Nepal’s capital is the stepping off point for Himalayan treks and is often rushed through or overlooked entirely by those looking to make straight for the mountains. If you do have the time, it’s well worth spending a day or two exploring the city. The historic sites are impressive and it provides great insight into the rest of the country, perhaps even more so after 2015’s devastating earthquake. While key sites were destroyed, Nepal has done so much to rebuild and move on and it’s an extremely uplifting and inspirational thing to witness. Wander around on foot to experience the real soul of the city, from monasteries and temples to gardens and markets, stopping along the way to sample some of Nepal’s finest restaurants.

Recommended length of stay: 1-2 nights

Where to stay: Dwarika’s Hotel. This charming heritage hotel is right in the city centre with spacious and unique rooms, each different in design. We recommend the Heritage Deluxe rooms for couples, with elegant furnishings and facing a lovely courtyard. Travelling families will love the Royal Suite, with a terrace for enjoying breakfast while taking in the views.

 

Fun for all the family in Pokhara

Fun for all the family in Pokhara



Pokhara

Set in a dramatic location on the shores of Lake Phewa Tal with stunning vistas of the Annapurna mountain range to the north, this laidback city is a far cry from Kathmandu’s hustle and bustle. Head here to kick back, chill out and enjoy the incredible views. Activities are abundant, from paddle boating across the lake to visiting the world peace stupa, or watching sunrise from Sarangkot. Families with older kids can choose from paragliding or white-water rafting, or even take an ultra-light flight to soak up the fabulous scenery.  

Recommended length of stay: 2-3 nights

Where to stay: Tiger Mountain Lodge. Perched 1,000 feet above the Pokhara Valley with a spectacular Himalayan backdrop, Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge is an amazing retreat for both pre- and post-trek, or for those wishing to take day walks exploring local communities, partake in bird-watching, or just relax in a typical Nepalese rural setting. Head to the candle-lit terrace for pre-dinner cocktails, or relax in comfy chairs around a log fire; Colonel Jimmy’s library contains a unique collection of Himalayan mountaineering literature to browse through before you head out on a trek.
 

Chitwan National Park

Chitwan National Park


 

Chitwan National Park

For families with younger children or first-time Nepal travellers, Chitwan National Park is a fantastic introduction to the country’s rhino, tiger and elephant populations. Rhinos are in abundance here, and the park is a relatively convenient five-hour drive from Pokhara. River and land safaris are popular, and while you aren’t guaranteed tiger sightings at either park, the search is all part of the fun, right?

Recommended length of stay: 3 nights

Where to stay: Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge. Tharu has large rooms that are great for families, as well as a pool which is perfect to retreat back to after morning game drives.

 

Bardia National Park

More remote than Chitwan – it requires a flight from Kathmandu – Bardia has the advantage of being less visited. The park offers walking tiger safaris through thick brush, with the grass above your head as you follow animal tracks. Alternatively, you can set up a picnic on the riverbank and wait to see the tigers as they come down for their daily drink – wildlife spotting for the less active!

Recommended length of stay: 3 nights

Where to stay: Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge. The lodge features a beautiful main pavilion with high ceilings, which is a lovely place to socialise and hang out with other guests in the evenings. Driving safaris are in old school English jeeps, and the guides are exceptionally experienced, show you all the footprints and clues, and give guests a really authentic tracking experience.
 

Breathtaking beauty at Annapurna

Breathtaking beauty at Annapurna


 

Annapurna Foothills

The Annapurna region of Nepal provides some of Asia’s best mountain hiking and views, and the foothills provide walks for both beginner and intermediate hikers. Trek through local villages where you can meet smiling Nepalese families and really immerse yourself in the culture and friendly faces you come across on your journey – think river crossings, suspension bridges, waterfalls and jungle climbs. Families with younger children can hire additional Sherpas who help carry the kids in little baskets on their backs. Serious hikers can opt for the gruelling, high-altitude Annapurna Circuit, requiring a minimum of seven days to hike to base camp.

Recommended length of stay: 3 nights

Where to stay: Ker & Downey Lodges. This series of lodges provides higher levels of creature comforts including flushing toilets and warm water. Stop at a different lodge each night, waking up to astounding views from your bedroom window.

 

For bookings or to speak to an expert, call Lightfoot Travel at 2815 0068 or visit lightfoottravel.com.lightfoottravel.com.