Going to Nepal? Four places you cannot miss
If you are planning to travel to Nepal but unsure about what are the places you cannot miss, well here are four must-visit- places.
At the end of this blog, you will know
- Why each of the places I have mentioned should not be missed.
- The budgets you need.
- The time you require and
- The easiest and cheapest means of transportation to get to each of these places.
Durbar Squares: Experience old Nepal and see new Nepal
‘Durbar’ in Nepal means palace. The ‘square’ here implies there are many other temples and monuments around the palace. So, it’s a big area comprising temples, monuments, and palaces.
These squares were built by three different kings more than 200 years ago when Kathmandu valley used to be three different kingdoms.
Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan were the three different kingdoms which are now three districts in the ‘Kathmandu Valley’.
The reason why you must visit the square is that you will see and feel the cultural history of Nepal. The palaces and temples are mostly traditional Nepali, the ones you will not see anywhere in the world. I bet you will feel like you are in a whole different world.
Besides the temples and palaces, what I really love about this place is that you will see people walking around, drinking tea, smoking cigarettes.
One notable thing that has changed over the years is, it’s a place for couples to date. A lot of younger generations are seen taking photos.
It’s too amazing to be there that I can’t describe the feeling of being there. Well, I don’t have enough words to describe how you must feel. I can only share the pictures. Here are the pictures.
The distance between the three squares is approximately 30km. It might take you a maximum of two hours to reach each of the three squares on a busy day.
Pokhara: The most beautiful city in Nepal
Ask every foreigner that has already visited Nepal which is the best city, I will be surprised if it’s not Pokhara.
There are many reasons why Pokhara is famous among Foreigners and Nepali tourists.
- It’s naturally beautiful with plenty of mountains and lakes and forests around.
- There’s a big and beautiful lake called Fewa lake in the middle of the city. A beautiful temple called Bindabasini lies in the middle of the lake.
- Lakeside Pokhara is busy at night as well. It’s a place where you can enjoy the nightlife going to bars Pubs and clubs.
- Paragliding is another major activity you can enjoy. You will glide over the lake and above the city. I can’t explain how it was like paragliding just ‘Wow’.
Pokhara is about 150km away from Kathmandu. You can take a bus or fly or drive for yourself.
Bus leaves for Pokhara throughout the day. It normally takes 7 hours to reach there by bus. But it is best to take a bus in the morning.
You can take a ‘microbus’ which is a Toyota van. Or take a bigger tourist bus.
Or if you want to have luxurious travel experience, there’s a super VIP deluxe bus service which has a bathroom and many different facilities which other vehicles do not provide. Only one or two travel companies have this bus service.
The average fare is 900 Rupees($10). Super VIP deluxe bus costs more than 2000Rupees ($20).
But if you want to avoid traveling by road you can catch flights. There are frequent flights from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Almost all airlines fly there. It takes about half an hour to reach Pokhara from Kathmandu.
Sauraha,(Chitwan): Famous for Jungle safari and many more
Personally, this is one of the most favorite places for me in Nepal.
This place is famous for the jungle safari. Jungle safari is done in Chitwan National Park. This national park is famous for the one-horned rhino which is found only in Nepal and Bengal tigers.
Anyone who visits this place doesn’t miss jungle safari. You can either hire a Jeep or ride an elephant to see the animals in the park.
Boating in the famous Narayani river could be relaxing and good fun.
This place is home to Tharu, the ethnic community of Nepal. You can enjoy their dance and traditional activities if you are lucky enough.
Chitwan is in the plains of Nepal. So, it’s very hot in the summer. This place reminds of Thailand because of the landscape and vegetation. You can enjoy cycling which is common means of transportation or used to be because of the replacement of bicycles by motorcycles.
Chitwan is about 90 km away from Kathmandu. Similar to Pokhara, you can take a bus or fly. Normally, it takes you about 3-4 hours. It might take you, even more, depending upon how many times your bus stops for meals and toilets. Bus fare is Rupees 1000 ($10) if you take a normal bus but higher if you opt for VIP deluxe.
There are frequent flights to Chitwan from Kathmandu as well. It’s normally a 20 minutes flight. The airfare is about $100.This can be your best option if you want to save your time.
Bouddhanath: Seek Peace and Tranquility around the Buddha stupa
I am sure every time you search google for Nepal, you come across a big white dome with two wide eyes.
It’s called the Buddha stupa. The stupa was made by a woman who was extremely poor and had four sons. This poor woman wanted to make a stupa desperately although she didn’t have land and property. Somehow she got the opportunity to talk to the king and she begs for permission to build the stupa. She could just build the dome without the top of the stupa because she died. And her sons later finished the stupa.
It is believed that when you visit the Bouddhanath stupa for the first time and ask for something in your prayer, your wishes get fulfilled.
What I personally like about this place is, it’s always lively yet peaceful.
Bouddhanath stupa is inside the Kathmandu valley and it takes you about an hour to get there if you are staying inside the Kathmandu valley.
You can take a taxi which might cost you around (5-10$).
There are plenty of cafes and western restaurants. So, you will have a wonderful day at the stupa.
How should you plan to travel to all these places?
If you are here for a short period like a week, I recommend you visit one of the squares and Bouddhanath stupa. Those two places will take you a day minimum.
The next day you travel to Pokhara. I am sure you will spend about two to three days. And you will be ready to come back to Kathmandu to catch your flight back.
But if you are here for two weeks, you will have enough time to travel to almost all the places I mentioned to you above with ease.
What’s the budget like?
For a week of travel as a normal traveler, I mean if you are not a backpacker, you should at least have $1500.
If you are here for paragliding and all the activities that come your way, have around $3000-$4000 to be in your comfort zone.
Your expenses depend highly on
- Kind of hotel you opt to stay.
- Type of food you choose to eat.
- They charge nearly double to foreigners if you fly. So, don’t opt to fly unless you need it. And
- The activities you want to involve. As I mentioned, if you paraglide, take your own vehicle, etc. it’s expensive.
So, plan your travel carefully. You will need to plan your travel based on your budget, time, and the kind of places you love to travel to.
Photos were taken from the following sources
2. dis https://www.researchgate.net/figure/b-Map-of-Kathmandu-valley-within-the-valley-Kathmandu-Bhaktapur-and-Lalitpur-districts_fig2_307532682
3. wondermondo.com4. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-10/23/c_138496278.htm