Top 7 reasons to visit Nepal
After the double earthquake of 2015, many people still wonder why going to Nepal. Now, at the end of ten wonderful days there, I could give you a thousand and one good reasons to go there. But let’s focus on the top seven ones which I consider the most important. Shall we start?
#1 - The Monkey Temple
This magical place is at the top of a hill in the middle of the middle of Kathmandu Valley. I have to admit that when I saw the steep three-hundred-step stairs that leads to the temple, I thought no air would remain in my lungs to allow me to appreciate the beauty of the place. However, I was wrong! It’s worth the effort of going up that huge amount of steps to enjoy the close contact with these tender creatures and with Buddha’s eyes observing everything. After having paid the ticket to enter the temple and gone up the incredibly long stair, I realized there was another way to reach it. But if I have to be honest, I would choose the stairs again to grasp the real meaning of the surrounding nature.
#2 – A view of Himalaya from Negarkot
There’s a big variety of hotels that has been built on Negarkot, a mountain of 2,200 metres high. The purpose? Beholding the sunset from the best spot of Nepal. Instead of choosing to accommodate in one of the hotels, we opted for the one-day private tour. It includes a walk in the mountains, going through the lush and exotic woods, and camping in the middle of the wild nature to sleep. The price wasn’t excessive at all: 50 dollars.
#3 – An unforgettable trekking adventure
There’s no better way of enjoying Nepal than walking along the paths if offers above 2,000 meters off the ground. The only month in which this activity loses popularity is in September. That is the month of the heavy rains and the tracks aren’t in the best conditions. As we went there in November, we could take three astonishing trekking tours. We began by a modest one in Langtang valley, where we remained speechless by the landscape and the picturesque village we could appreciate while ascending. But a few days later we went for a more challenging one along the Everest paths, which took us 6,000 meters off the ground.
#4 – Patan Durbar Square
This place is what I now remember as the reddish walk. Red is the main color of the Newari architecture, and white is the color of the locals smile as you ask them something or as you simply pass by. The hospitality of the Nepalese is something I have to give special mention when talking about my memoirs in Nepal and this is a very good place to benefit from it. The handcraft and food stalls complete the picture of a perfect place to relax, to get to know the culture and architecture of the place, and to try some of the typical food. I still can’t erase from my palate the scent of the steamed veggie momos (several kinds of fillings wrapped in a special mass) I bit while strolling around the square. Of course the tea and the pastries we shared at the romantic and cozy Café de Patan, placed in the square will always stay as part of my senses.
#5 –Seeing animals in the wild
Nothing compares to the magic of seeing one horn rhino and Bengal tigers in action. Although the latter are quite elusive, if you’re quiet and as patient as to lurk in the Chitwan National Park until one of them appears, you’ll have the chance to observe one. I had the joy of watching one walking in among the vegetation. I swear you it’s priceless.
#6 – Nepalese gastronomy
I don’t know what it’s like in your country, but at least in mine I’ll never have the chance to taste such incredible edibles as the ones I did in Nepal. The Bhaktapur yogurt with its secret ingredient, pulao with yogurt (rice with as many things as your imagination can think of), dal bhat with its lentils and rice and dhido (my favorite) with its polenta, butter and accompanying vegetables are mere examples of the wide range of options that pop up when it’s time for lunch.
#7 – Luxuriant nature
Beyond the damage the double earthquake may have inherited to Nepal, its nature has remained as virgin as ever. Especially when going trekking, I couldn’t believe all the exotic plants spread around in the mountains. I will never remember the names of the ones I asked about, but what is sure is that they will stay in my retina as the eternal present from my favorite Asian country.