Interesting activities and destinations most tourists miss (but should not) in Nepal.

Author: Greater Himalaya

Jan 25, 2021

Interesting activities and destinations most tourists miss (but should not) in Nepal.

There are many popular tourist destinations in Nepal and all of them are popular for some reason few reasons. The places discussed here are places that see fewer tourists and most mainstream tourists do not visit or involve in these activities when they are in Nepal. These places are not crowded with tourists and bring people closer to the local lifestyle and culture and some of them are unique activities not many people who visit Nepal think about. 

 

Bazaar Walk - Thamel to Kathmandu Durbar Square (Doesn’t cost a penny)

Even though most people who visit Nepal are in Thamel at some point in their journey, most people also visit Kathmandu Durbar Square but many of them do not do the 1-1.5 hours walk from Thamel to Kathmandu Durbar square which is roughly 2 km in length. This walk gives you an opportunity to get closer to the local’s way of life.

 There are numerous interesting things to see in this walk. As you start the walk you will come across Tahiti square, it is one of the best residential squares in Kathmandu with 500 years old temples and stupas. After that take, a short stop at Kathesimbhu Stupa, a replica of the Swayambhunath Temple, the monkey temple.  You can see numerous pray flag and spice stores in the vicinity of the stupa.

The next interesting thing you will see during the walk is at Kilagal. A tree log pinned with numerous coins, It is Wasseya Dega, the goddess of toothache. Locals believe that you can get rid of toothache by nailing coins here. No wonder you would see a lot of dentists in the surrounding, who are there to capitalize on the myth. 

After walking for another 50 meters or so past the Ugratara Temple and a few bahals, you will come across the Ason Market. It was centuries the start of the caravan route to Tibet. You can spend hours in this square with lots of business activities going on as this is the busiest local market in Kathmandu. Street vendors and businesses selling spices, utensils, and clothing to the locals. Another few minutes of walk takes you to the Indra chowk. It has the most famous Lassi store (A drink made of yogurt with nuts, sweet in taste). Don’t miss the Pote (multicolored crystal jewelry) stores glittering nearby. There are numerous other temples like the Naradevi temple, The Machindranath temple, and many others in the surrounding to visit. You can continue into the Kathmandu durbar square from here.

 

The cuisines of Kirtipur.

Kirtipur is an easy half-day trip from Kathmandu (to the north) or Patan (to the east), but this charming Newari town does not get a lot of tourists. Most tourists miss this because many tour operators or travel guides do not suggest food from Kirtipur to foreigners believing that they do not eat spicy food. There are few places in Kirtipur which serve the locals mainly but can be a food adventure for the tourists as well. These places serve the typal Newari cuisines made of buffalo meat, chicken, pulses, and vegetables with the drink of choice being ‘Aila’, a home-made rice wine.  Most of the food is spicy hot but you can find food items that are not spicy as well. You sit on the floor rather than tables and eat on leaf plates. The variety of food is great and buff Choila, Smokey, and spiced buffalo meat is something you do not want to miss! Lahana is the most famous among all the local Newari restaurants in Kirtipur. 

 

 

Bardia National Park. 

While Chitwan National park is the choice of the national park for many tour operators and travelers due to its easy access and reasonable price, the animal sightings around Chitwan national park has gone down, thanks to overcrowding of tourists. If you want to experience a quiet safari in the Jungle, then Bardia national park in western Nepal might be a better choice. 

Animal sightings here are better and most people who go there would see the wild elephants and rhinoceros here, plus there is a better chance of spotting the king of the jungle: The Royal Bengal Tiger. The reason Bardia national park is isolated is due to the expenses and time it takes to reach there. If you drive from Kathmandu it will take a good 18 hours drive so flying is a better option. You can fly to Nepalgunj and drive to the National park.  It can cost around $200 for the flight, but it is totally worth it. There are very few accommodations and are very simple most lodges and hotels have no air condition.  Even Leonardo Di Caprio, of the Titanic fame, was here in 2010 and donated 3 million for tiger conservation.  

Bardia offers a great canoe ride on the Karnali River (the longest river in Nepal), the opportunity to visit the Tharu villages, and an overall higher number of animal sightings than any other national park in Nepal. If you want the best National park experience, Bardia National park is the place to be! 

 

Self-driving tour to Upper Mustang. 

This 4WD jeep adventure is a self-driving tour in the Himalayas. You are provided with a land cruiser or a similar vehicle to drive in the rugged terrain of the mountains. The trip starts from Beni Bazaar, and takes you to Upper mustang, to be precise the hidden kingdom of Lo-manthang. Driving in Nepal for foreigners can be a crazy experience in the city and almost impossible but when you start driving from Beni, you will see minimal traffic and driving is easy and exciting. 

 

Pre-requisites for the self-driving tours in Nepal.

• A local driver familiar with the terrain and road conditions will accompany you in each jeep. 

• US $. 3500.00 deposit per jeep, which will be refunded once you finish the trip. 

• If there happed any physical damage during self-drive then there will be necessarily charged for maintenance, which you should pay.

• All the self-drivers must have an international driving license and a significant amount of experience driving 4WD, 

 

 

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