Guide to Nepal


Nepal is one of those ultimate once-in-a-lifetime destinations. It features on many an adventurous traveler’s bucket list, and it’s not difficult to see why. For serious mountain trekking enthusiasts, Nepal is home to some of the planet’s best and most iconic trails. However for those of us who are short on time (and less energetic!) there are still a host of other activities and dramatic landscapes in this mystical and fascinating country to see and explore.

 

Popular Places to Go:

 

Kathmandu
As the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu will be the starting point for your Nepal adventures. Thamel is the popular tourist district and hub for backpackers and guesthouses, whilst most upscale accommodation is outside this area. You’ll find narrow bustling streets filled with temples, statues, restaurants, bars and stores selling hiking equipment, silver, rugs and Nepalese trinkets. Must sees include the ancient Durbar Square and Kumari Chowk, the home of the ‘Kumari’, a little girl chosen as the living incarnation of the Hindu goddess. Also see the stupa of Boudhanath, one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in Kathmandu.

 

Royal Chitwan National Park
This national park was the country’s first, and gained World Heritage status in 1984 for its incredibly diverse ecosystems. The low-lying subtropical jungle area is popular for safaris, canoeing, jungle walks and wildlife spotting. This area is the last known refuge for the endangered Bengal tiger and single-horned Indian rhinoceros. An elephant safari is an unbeatable experience for wildlife lovers here.

 

Pokhara
This lovely lakeside town has grown in popularity for its proximity to trekking opportunities and its laidback vibe set against the backdrop of spectacular mountain vistas, including the Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu ranges. Peaceful Phewa Lake makes a popular spot for boating, hire a bike to explore the local area, or hike up to the World Peace Pagoda for amazing views of Pokhara. Head to Sarangkot for sunrise or sunset and to get a taste of mountain trekking.

 

Nagarkot
This quaint hill station close to Kathmandu is a great option for those who want panoramic mountain and valley views without the intense trekking. Sunrise and sunset on a clear day are the best times to see the widest view of the grand Himalaya ranges, including the legendary Mount Everest.

 

Bhaktapur
This ancient town in the Kathmandu Valley is a UNESCO site famous for its ancient temples, culture, pottery, and intricate wood, stone and metal work. No vehicles are allowed in the city making the well preserved buildings and quiet dusty lanes a joy to stroll through and get lost in. Look out for the signature carved peacock windows, or pick a spot in one the many temple and pagoda-filled squares to watch the local activity.

How to get there:

Located in one of the more remote parts of the world, Nepal can take a bit of time to get to. Avoid having to fly to another country by taking one of the most direct routes from Shanghai to Kathmandu via Kunming. China Eastern has a morning flight that takes around 3.5 hours to Kunming, with a 3hr 40min transfer time. Another 3 hour flight will then get you to Kathmandu.

On the way back you’ll get to Kunming in the evening with no connecting flight, so a night in Kunming is required. We suggest taking advantage of your time in Kunming by exploring the city or checking out the incredible Stone Forest the next day, before hopping on an afternoon flight back to Shanghai.

 

When to go:
Nepal’s climate varies with topography and altitude, from hot and humid low-lying areas in the south, to chilly alpine conditions in the mountainous north region. Autumn (Sep-Nov) is considered the best season for visitors with pleasant weather, after the monsoon summer has passed, and before the cool days of winter set in.

 

Practical Info: