Ever since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay conquered the world’s highest peak, Mt Everest, in 1953, adventure buffs have made a beeline to this little Himalayan country. It’s not just its great Himalayan snow peaks which are of enduring interest, its fabulous forest trails, its racy rivers and its wilderness spaces in the Terai, filled with exotic wildlife and communities with unique customs, also which make it a huge draw.
First off, on your bucket list should be a champagne breakfast at Everest Base Camp in plain sight of the legendary peak. Even if climbing Mt Everest is a pipe dream for you, this is an exceptional opportunity to savour this experience from the comfort of the basecamp. What makes it even more fun is the possibility of rubbing shoulders with summiteers and listen to their amazing climbing stories. The icing on the cake is the helicopter ride that takes you over the legendary trekking trails to the peak before flying past the world’s six tallest peaks.
If you cannot get enough of Everest stories, head out with Everest summiteer on the most splendiferous trekking trails laid out in the second-highest hill in the Kathmandu Valley. The trail leads you through the fabulous Shivpuri Nagarjuna National Park with its mind-blowing vistas and challenging terrain of the Langtang Himalaya.
The mystical space of Shamanism has an enduring appeal for many travellers, and Nepal’s cultural world is closely associated with it, which will surely pique their interest. A visit in the company of a knowledgeable guide to the small village in Dhulikhel will offer some wondrous insights into the world of the shamans (jhakris); shamans are religious practitioners said to have special powers because they are in contact with the supernatural world and play an important role in treating those who are sick in many parts of Nepal.
A guided tour to explore the forested tracts of the Terai region can be a real eye-opener. Not only is the region famous for its fabulous botanical wealth and wildlife, but it also provides a full-blown cultural experience interacting with the Tharu community for whom the Chitwan area is their home. You can get to participate in a cooking experience, enjoy the local music and dance customs and learn all about their architecture and handicrafts.
One of the most memorable experiences you will take away from Nepal’s astonishing natural beauty is from your trek to Chepang Hill trek through a beautiful rhododendron forest. The lovely eco-friendly, back-to-nature experience with the bonus of a panoramic sunrise over Himalayan snow peaks also offers insights into the socio-economic standing of the shy Chepang community in the lesser-visited areas of the Chitwan region.