A popular television host once said, “If there is one thing you cannot waste your money on, it is travelling. Travel the world.” Never has a statement been truer, especially when it comes to one of Asia’s most popular trekking destinations – Nepal.
Nestled in the Himalayas, this jewel of South Asia is home to some of the most breathtaking natural wonders like Mount Everest, the Annapurna Circuit Range, and Poon Hill to name a few. Each trekking trail has a quality indigenous to it. The Upper Mustang trek is filled with caves sculpted into the cliffs, archaic monasteries, and the striking architecture of the ancient city known as Lo Manthang or the Kingdom of Lo. The Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is famous for its alpine grasslands and farming villages. Rara Lake, another magnificent trekking route, is a sanctuary for an array of flora and fauna. The base camps are a highlight of their own as each takes up a picturesque spot. Still, these are but a few of the reasons that should encourage you to choose Nepal as your trekking getaway.
The main reason why travelling to Nepal is a must is because of the obvious fact- It is a trekking utopia. Not only does it feature eight of the world’s highest peaks, each peak presents you with a view that is unparalleled. Every mountain crest is privy to a different portion of the horizon and scaling these great rock slabs will only draw you one step closer to partaking in their bliss. Furthermore, as you ascend, the grandeur of natural beauty hits you just as much as the chilly winds, if not more. Rhododendron forests, lakes boxed in by hills and villages bustling with the hum and thrum of life will greet you regularly at different portions of the trek. You can also count on helpful Sherpas every step of the way. In case of any emergencies, there are structured rescue services and medical facilities available to assist you.
When it comes to choosing trails, many trekking destinations in Nepal are chock-full of eager mountain climbers ready to sprint once the whistle blows. If you are eager to have a group of happy campers by your side, then plenty of trails are at your disposal, for Nepal sees almost 200,000 trekkers annually. Some of these bustling trail routes include the Everest Base Camp trek and the trek to Poon Hill. On the other hand, for people who enjoy trekking independently coupled with the silence of the mountains, there are trails you can have all to yourself. Mohare Hill, much like Poon Hill, is a sight for sore eyes and makes itself available for trekkers who seek privacy when exploring. Langtang Hill is another popular destination for solo sojourners and its proximity to the capital city Kathmandu makes it hassle-free.
Another prominent part of trekking in this country that is almost as important as the actual trek itself are the stops one takes at the cabins or “teahouses” along the way. These cabins are packed with a lot more than just sweaty backpackers. In fact, a whole assortment of authentic food, comfortable lodging for the night and pleasant locals await you. Dal Bhatti (Rice and Lentils) is one of the most common preparations served in these teahouses. So popular have these chalets become that there are treks known as teahouse treks which are organized for the sole purpose of travelling from teahouse to teahouse! While each has its own charm, you will find the most furnished and fully equipped homestays on the Everest, Annapurna, and Langtang treks and at lower altitudes. However, if you have the desire to stay up stargazing and sleep under the night sky, then there are plenty of rest stops for you to pitch up your tent at.
Another great thing about the trekking experience in Nepal is the people who surround you. If you think navigating through rocky terrain and steep slopes is an adrenaline shot, meeting the local people of Nepal is akin to consuming a bottle of Gatorade. Both succeed in boosting your energy levels, but the latter activity only improves the former event. Indeed, the friendly faces of the teahouse owners and generous gestures of the passing folk are a much-needed ingredient in the recipe for a memorable hike up the mountains. In addition, the cultural explosion all around in the form of festivals and spiritual centers is guaranteed to heighten your enjoyment.
So, this time, instead of heading to a resort, resorting to spend time ensconced in the highlands of Nepal may be a decision well worth your while. As I have often heard and might I say, truly believe, travelling is the one thing you cannot waste your money on. So, travel. And do begin this beautiful journey with Nepal.
By: Alaine Fernandes