Must Visit Places in Nepal

Author: Greater Himalaya

Dec 16, 2020

Must Visit Places in Nepal

Pokhara: 

Also referred to as the tourist capital and the lake city, this beautiful city in the western hills of Nepal is a tourist hotspot. This beautiful city is nestled between green hills and white Himalayan mountain peaks and is situated at an altitude of 900 meters. This city is known as the gateway to the Annapurna mountains as the trip to the base camp of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains and the famous fishtail mountain starts from here.   This small and tidy city is a shopper’s paradise as there are lots of shops for souvenirs and handicrafts as well as western goods. In an otherwise shy country not very well-known for its nightlife this city boasts of nightclubs, pubs, bars, and dreamy cafés, restaurants which make it an ideal place to hang around 24/7. 

 

The city is a destination for every possible kind of visitor as there are short hikes, single day or multiple days rafting trips, paragliding, ultralight aircraft rides boating, and mountain biking available in a vicinity of 5 Sq.kms.  You might visit this city on your way to the Annapurna, Mardi Himal, or Dhaulagiri trek or visit this city to explore it in detail. Besides the local attractions of lakes and nightlife, this city also has a cultural flavor to it as it has numerous Hindu temples, Buddhist monasteries, Christian churches, and Muslim mosques. 

 

The Phewa lake is situated in the center of the city and the lakeside beside it serves as the epicenter of all activities in and around Pokhara. This city is also famous for its numerous limestone cave systems and the mountaineering museum is also worth visiting.  One-hour uphill hike to the world peace pagoda is also an activity worth undertaking! The cuisine here is also very diverse but do not miss the typical Thakali food from the western mountains as it is a dietary delight!

 

Bhaktapur Durbar Square: 

Bhaktapur is one of the three ancient kingdoms in the Kathmandu Valley. It is also known as Bhadgaon and Khwopa and is known for its medieval art and architecture among other things. Situated around 12 km from the city center of Kathmandu, this old city features temples, monasteries, palaces, and a scenic view of mountains towards the north.  The center of the Town is known as the Durbar Square, which literally translates into English as the Palace area. 

The city center or the Durbar square is a protected area and has been listed in the UNESCO world heritage site list. The cultural heritage includes palaces from the 16th century or earlier with stone carving and wood carving, stone spouts dating back to the 5th century, there are some tall and majestic temples that are still visited by visitors daily. 

The city is also known for being a farmer’s town and a festive center as there is some sort of festival and celebration going on every day, worst case scenario you will at least see the preparation of some festival at any point in time. The city is famous for yogurt, handicrafts, and potteries. The outskirts of the Durbar square is like a living museum and you can observe people going by their daily lives, most of them still following the old way of life as they are very relaxed and all smiles! 

 

Nagarkot

Nagarkot is the most popular getaway for locals in and around Kathmandu. This small hillside town is located about 30 kilometers east of the city center in Kathmandu. This scenic viewpoint can be reached after a 1-and-a-half-hour drive from Kathmandu and is famous for the view of the Annapurna, Everest, Manaslu, Langtang, and other mountains from a close range.  If you are at the right hotel, the sunrise and sunset view is also a lifetime experience. 

This vantage point can be reached after a drive and some people go there after hiking for 3-4 hours from either Changunarayan Temple or the old city of Sankhu. Nagarkot can also be reached as part of the Kathmandu valley rim trek, which takes you around major vantage points in and around Kathmandu. 

Nagarkot can be added to your Itinerary as a day trip combined with the Bhaktapur Durbar square or an overnight stay with short hiking in and around the town again visiting Bhaktapur on the way back to Kathmandu. 

 

Patan Durbar Square

Patan or Lalitpur (city of handicrafts) is an old city towards the south of Kathmandu situated about 5 kilometers. One of the 7 UNESCO world heritage sites in the Kathmandu valley, the town center or the Durbar square is the central attraction here. In an otherwise Hindu majority country, this is one of the few cities where the majority of people are Buddhist, which is also reflected by the fact that there are only 55 temples but 130 monasteries in Patan.  The town is famous for its handmade bronze statues of many deities of Hinduism and Buddhism but mainly of the Buddha. 

 

Even though the city celebrates a lot of festivals the Rato Machindranath festival and the display of Dipanker Buddhas are spectacular and attract thousands of people. Besides the statues of Buddha, the town is also remarkable for the Thangka paintings, paintings that are used for teaching the principles of Buddhism. Such paintings can be seen in the little alleys of the city. Besides the buildings, palaces, monasteries, the Newari culture, and cuisine of the city is also quite popular. 

 

In the outskirts of the palace area, there are notable places to visit such as the Mahaboudha Temple, also known as the temple of thousand buddhas, the central zoo, the old towns of Khokana and Bungamati are also worth visiting. 

 

Lumbini

Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha is a beautiful and sacred town situated 22 km inland from the Indian border towards the south.  This sacred site has been listed in the UNESCO world heritage site list and has a grand collection of monasteries and stupas built by various countries and organizations for the cause of world peace.  The word Lumbini literally translates to a lovely place or a garden. Thousands of people visit this place for pilgrimage and spiritual activities such as yoga and meditation. 

 

The entire site is decked up with prayer flags that have blessings and incantations upon them, which have been put up by thousands of tourists. The site has been well preserved and is surrounded by monasteries from countries like Korea, Japan, China, Germany, and many more. The Lumbini development project is behind the conservation of the site, where Buddha was born in 600 B.C.

 

The birth site is the place where the Maya Devi temple is situated. Maya Devi was the mother of Lord Buddha, and this site along with the temple has religious significance.  The Ashokan Pillar, a landmark established by the mighty emperor of India in 249 BC is also a major attraction of this site. 

 

Swayambhunath and Boudhanath Stupa 

Swayambhunath and Boudhanath stupa are two of the Buddhist sites in Kathmandu valley which are listed in the UNESCO World Heritage site. Boudhanath dominates the Kathmandu skyline with its two eyes and sheer large size, as it is the largest stupa of Nepal. If you end of in the stupa at the right time you will be. There are numerous monasteries and gompas around the area, which have been serving as the shelter for Tibetan refugees in Kathmandu since the 1950s.

Swayambhunath Stupa is one of the oldest structures in Kathmandu valley and some monuments in the area date back to the 5th century AD. The temple can be reached by climbing about 365 steps or one can also take the car halfway up the hill and only climb 100 steps. The top of the hill offers a scenic view of the mountains and valleys on a clear day. 

The eyes of the Buddha- If you have wondered “What do the eyes of the buddha in Nepalese stupa mean?” then you should visit these two stupas. The eyes symbolize compassion and knowledge and the nose in the form of 1 symbolizes the unity and harmony of all creatures. You could visit the two sites on a single day as a Buddhist circuit trip included with Patan. 

 

Pashupatinath 

Pashupatinath temple, situated next to the Tribhuvan international airport in Kathmandu, is one of the most sacred temples in the country. The main statue dates back way before written history started to get documented, but the present structure has been around since the 5th century and has gone through numerous renovations. 

This is the largest temple complex in Nepal consisting of thousands of temples and holy monuments, situated at the bank of the Bagmati River a tributary of the Ganges in India.  The temple is also famous for being the most sacred cremation grounds for Hindus in Nepal. Even though it may not be a pleasant sight for many, but you can see a lot of other rituals going on besides the cremations taking place there. 

The best time to visit the temple is during the evening rituals when a ceremony called Aarati takes place. You can see hundreds of people gathered there for this ceremony. Pashupatinath temple also sees a lot of holy men gathering here in the month of February during the Mahashivaratri festival, as that is the biggest festival of lord shiva. 

 

Mount Everest Heli Tour: 

Everest base camp Heli tour with landing at the base camp or Kalapather is one of the best Heli tours that you can experience in the Himalayas.  This is by far the easiest and convenient way of getting to the Everest base camp, the other possible option is to trek for 11 days!  This flight takes you to the base of Everest base camp but besides that, you can witness the great ice blocks, numerous other mountains (some of them as high as the Everest), and the Khumbu glacier. 

Everest base camp Helicopter tour is the best way families with small children can experience Mount Everest. As this is a private trip on a small Bell Helicopter or similar this suits people with less time and families who are not able to trek or even those you want to experience Mt. Everest from a different perspective. 

As the choppers are small for the Everest helicopter tour with landing, everyone will have a bird’s eye view of the mountains from the takeoff until landings. The trip can start from either Kathmandu airport or Lukla (depending on the rest of the trip plan to Nepal) and usually lasts 3-4 hours. Besides the majestic mountains, you can experience the cultural aspects of the Himalayas as well as other natural wonders!  We have especially trained high altitude pilots who take you through the mountains over the Sherpa villages and farms and settlements like Namche (where there could be possible stops but weather permitting) before we head towards the base camp.  

The other option which is a bit cheaper than the normal trip from Kathmandu is to take a normally scheduled plane to Lukla and then take a Helicopter tour to Kalapather while circumnavigating around the Khumbu valley and Everest region. This program can also be done with breakfast at the world’s highest hotel and the program is called the Everest for Breakfast Heli trip. 

Due to the increasing number of domestic flights in the morning from Kathmandu airport, flights to Lukla are being operated from Ramechap airport, which is a good 1-day drive from Kathmandu. We can operate chartered or scheduled flights to and from Lukla as well as from Kathmandu. 

 

What happens on the day of the Everest Heli tour?

The morning starts with packed breakfast from your hotel(normally breakfast is included with your accommodation) at Kathmandu, then drive 15-20 minutes depending on your hotel location to the domestic airport. After that, you get into the chopper and fly for 45 minutes to Lukla where there will be a refueling break of 10 minutes. We will further fly for another 35 minutes to Kalapather via Pheriche shuttle a vantage viewpoint to check out the Everest base camp where we will stop for 10 minutes then a 10-minute Helicopter tide to the Everest view hotel for breakfast where we will stop for almost an hour, enjoying the breakfast with the Everest!  It will take a little more than a one-hour ride back, so the trip will last 3-4 hours be depending on the weather conditions and time you want to stop on the base camp. 

 

Cost and Available dates for Everest base camp Heli Tour

USD 999 P/P for a group of 5 people on a shared basis. 

The cost is inclusive of: 

• Transfers to and from the Airport

• Everest Heli guided tour on a shared basis for a group of 5.

• Arrangement of permit and fees service (to be paid by the client upon arrival at the National                park)

• All GOVT Taxes and National Park entry Parking Fees, for Helicopter

 

 

Weather conditions at the Everest base camp and essential clothing.  

The best time to visit the Everest base camp on a Helicopter is from September to May and March to June, even though flights are operational at other times July and August have heavy rainfall and frequent cancellations, so we do not recommend you take the trip during this time.  The temperature at the Everest base camp can range from 0- -10/-15 degrees Celsius so very cold. From December to March the weather can get much chillier due to frequent snowfall. You should have waterproof down jackets (good for temperatures lower than a freezing point) and similar trousers. You will need good sunscreen as the sun can get very strong up in the base camp with UV rays. A proper sunglass that is UV protective. Besides that, you can carry gloves, a good pair of warm socks and carry water bottles if you want. We also recommend you carry lip balm to avoid getting your lips cracked. 

 

Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)  about Everest Base camp Heli tour. 

What is the maximum altitude attained during the Everest Heli tour?

Most of the time it will fly at around 4000m then land at 5400 meters after a climb but depending on wind speed and weather conditions, the choppers can take you as high as 6800m-7000m 

 

How much time can I spend at the base camp?

Since the base camp can get very crowded, the maximum time is only 10 minutes but the breakfast location which is a great vantage point will offer an hour of the stop. It is not recommended to stop for a long time as it would be risky to spend a long time without enough acclimatization so shortstops are risk-free and good enough to enjoy the base camp. 

 

Can I book the trip as a solo traveler as I am traveling to Nepal on my own?

Yes, you can join our existing groups on the same date, or we can organize a flight for you with other groups on the flight, but it may require a bit of flexibility. 

 

Do I need Travel insurance for this trip?

Yes, we recommend all travelers to the Everest base camp to have travel insurance to cover for contingencies. 

 

What if I have shortness of breath and high-altitude sickness?

There is bottled oxygen on board, and we recommend having a Diamox tablet before the flight to avoid high altitude sickness. 

 

I have some more questions, who should I contact?

Please send us an email so that our travel consultants can resolve your query. 

 

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