Top Things to Do in Nepal and Bhutan
Without a doubt, Nepal is one of the most alluring countries in the world, and an ideal playground for the adventurous traveler. With some of the most exciting tours on the planet, it is the perfect place for trekking, rafting, jungle exploring, and generally relaxing. While it may not have a tropical beach, it offers more for travelers than you can expect from countries well known for beach holidays. From its tranquil lakes set in a unique and unrivalled landscape to the ancient architecture and quaint, cobbled streets of Kathmandu, or the exhilarating treks around Everest and Annapurna, Nepal offers all this at its best, and is completely unique from anywhere else you have been.
Bhutan, on the other hand, is a land of ancient religions, culture, and traditions, and was secluded from the outside world for centuries. While it may now be open to visitors, it maintains its traditional values, and actually values happiness above wealth. The last true illusion of the legendary Shangri-La, Bhutan is well known for its beautiful landscapes, its huge tracts of forests, and the amazing Buddhist dzongs that are dotted around the country. An idyllic place to visit, it is a unique blend of ancient cultures and traditions combined with modern facilities and technology, all of which work together in perfect harmony. It is like traveling back in time several centuries, except that they carry cellphones and drive cars.
Top Things to Do and See for Nepal Tour
The city of Pokhara is one of those rare gems that travelers revisit every time they come to Nepal. This beautiful town set by an idyllic lake offers a huge number of activities for the adventurous traveler. Take a jump off the famous paragliding cliffs, hire pedalos and travel on the water, or grab some fishing gear and take a relaxing boat out onto the lake. The attractions at Pokhara are literally endless. The stunning lake is lined with rows of peaceful cafes, which make a great spot to laze around in the sun and soak up the romantic scenery this charming town has to offer.
Everest Base Camp (EBC)
As much as it would be an amazing adventure to climb to the top of Everest, unless you are an experienced mountaineer, it is not possible. However, you can trek the southern Base Camp in Nepal, which was used by Sir Edmund Hillary and several other famous climbers in their journeys to the summit. On the flight from Lukla, you get a sneak preview of the stunning mountain from the window of the plane, which is nothing in comparison to seeing it towering over you up close. No trip to the Himalayas would be complete without a visit to the world’s tallest mountain.
Everest Base Camp Trek is an amazing adventure
Close by Mt. Everest, at the head of the Dudh Kosi Valley, the region of the Gokyo Lakes offers an interesting and seductive alternative to the iconic EBC trekking trail. The trek to reach this beautiful and tranquil land take a more off-the-beaten-path route, and gives you more time to acclimatize as you ascend to the elevation of the lakes. The Gokyo Cho-la Pass EBC trek includes many breathtaking views of the stunning Mt. Everest, as you trail through the Sherpa heartland, wander around dazzling lakes, and look out on spectacular panoramas from beautiful alpine campsites.
One of the most popular trails in Nepal, the Annapurna Circuit trek winds its way through a patchwork of valleys, dense forests, and icy lakes and waterfalls. Around every bend is a new sight, and over every hill you see another spectacular view of the high mountains and stunning horizons. And for those who want more, there are dozens of other treks in the Annapurna region alone that will take your breath away, and leave you wandering in these beautiful hills forever.
The capital of Nepal, and the largest city in the country, Kathmandu is a pleasant surprise for those traveling to Nepal. The crumbling architecture, old-world streets and alleys, and bustling local markets are a captivating sight when you first arrive in this exotic city. Settle in a little, and you will discover the laid-back beauty of the real Kathmandu, the gateway to all of the attractions of Nepal, and the country’s most historic city. Filled with a plethora of temples and monasteries, it is a city where you can relax in peace, or take in the electrifying nightlife all in the same day. So kick back and relax on one of Kathmandu’s many rooftop terraces, while the relaxing sounds of therapeutic Tibetan music drift around the sun-drenched city.
Kathmandu is the country’s most historic city
The beautiful colors and peaceful atmosphere of Lumbini is a testament to the reverence that is afforded to the legendary Siddhartha Gautama, the first Buddha. Born in the city in around 563BC, he created the legend that is manifested by millions of Buddhist pilgrims around the world, many of whom traveled to Lumbini to honor this Buddhist icon. Lumbini is also a town of many temples and majestic scenery, which needs a few days to take it all in.
Chitwan National Park
In Nepalese, Chitwan means “Heart of the Jungle”, and this beautiful protected reserve is just that. Located in the dense jungles of south Nepal, near the Indian border, this stunning regions propels you into a world of dense marshlands filled with crocodile-infested waters and thick forests filled with a huge variety of wildlife and plants. The beauty of the dense jungle, and the hot, humid atmosphere repels the myths that Nepal is just a land of high mountains. There are rare birds and reptiles that are indigenous to the region, and you can often see the wild rhinos, crocodiles, deer, and with luck, the endangered Bengal Tiger, while riding on the back of an elephant.
Top Things to Do and See for Bhutan Tour
The border crossing point of Phuentsoling is also a place of major interest in Bhutan. This small town has one of the cleanest environments in the country, but that is not the reason for its interest. It also holds the Amo Chuu Crocodile breeding Center, the Chukha Hydrothermal Project, and the Karbandi Monastery. The natural beauty of the area around Phuentsoling is captivating, and for people who love nature, it is the ideal place to visit.
Normally the first place people see in Bhutan, Paro is not just the location of the international airport. Set in a gorgeous valley, surrounded by lush rice fields, Paro is a historic town full of sacred sites and historical buildings. One of the most popular of these is the Paro Dzong, one of the finest examples of a Bhutanese Buddhist monastery, which is the host to the famous Paro Tsechu, or Festival of Masks. Behind it lies the National Museum of Paro, which holds the country’s rich collection of Thangka paintings, stamp collections, slate carvings, prehistoric artifacts, ancient jewelry, and traditional weapons of the Bhutanese culture.
The capital of Bhutan, Thimphu is the city that embodies the culture of the Bhutanese people. This charming city, nestled among the Himalayan Mountains, has the stunning view of the Chuu River flowing through it. Aside from being the only city in the world with no traffic lights, it is one of the most interesting places to visit in Bhutan. It is the home of the famous Taschichho Dzong, the National Memorial Chorten, and the Motithang Takin Preserve, which are the top attractions of the city. Although it has its modern aspects, the city has retained its culture and old-world charm, with modern buildings being put up right next to ancient monuments, yet it still looks as if they belong together.
Also known as the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Taktsang sits high up on the side of a cliff above the Paro valley, and is one of the holiest places in Bhutan. Originally established as a place for quiet meditation, it sits on a rocky ledge nearly 800 meters above the valley floor. Believed to be where Guru Rinpoche landed when he came to Bhutan, flying on the back of a tigress that was his former consort, it is also a great place for a short trek, although the trek is uphill.
Another popular place to visit in Bhutan is the small town of Wangdiphodrang. Located to the south of Punakha, the upper reaches of the Wangdiphodrang Valley are a rich pastureland used for grazing cattle. The region around the Wangdiphodrang Valley is renowned for its slate and stone carvings as well as the fine bamboo products it exports to the rest of the country. The local dzong sits on the top of the hill overlooking the valley, at the confluence of the Chhu and Tang Chhu rivers, but is only open to visitors during the Wangdiphodrang Tsechu in autumn.
Punakha has been inextricably linked to some of the most momentous events in Bhutanese history. One of the most significant regions at the heart of Bhutanese culture, this beautiful city deserves its reputation. The region served as the country’s capital for almost 300 years, until it was moved to Thimphu in 1907. The main sights in the city are the Punakha Dzong, Limbhukha, and the Chhimi Lhakhang.
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