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Discovering the Mystique of Nepal
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Guest Post: Discovering the Mystique of Nepal

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I very nearly made the visit to Tibet earlier this year, but opted at the last minute to switch my plans to Xinjiang due to the difficulties in gaining access to China’s most enigmatic province.

While it’s obviously not Nepal, the two regions share a similar sense of mystery and scale. There’s a beauty in the Himalayas that I someday hope to experience, and this guest post paints a picture that makes Nepal all the more alluring. Enjoy!

Discovering the Mystique of Nepal

Nepal invites visitors to embrace its ancient spiritual view of life while indulging in the comforts of modern luxuries. From secluded monasteries nestled into mountaintops to the bustling city of Kathmandu, Nepal is a land of extremes full of exotic beauty and natural wonders. Sightseeing tour packages (such as through Bales Worldwide) allow guests the chance to truly absorb this land’s diverse personality with hikes into the wilderness, tours of holy shrines and a safe escort through fascinating, yet rough, areas like Kathmandu’s Freak Street.

Garden of Dreams

Tucked away near the old Royal Palace is a secret garden that is like an oasis from the bedlam of Kathmandu’s busy streets. Tour guides can direct you to the tiny ticket booth that opens into this sanctuary of restful quiet where the deep shade provided by the lush plants make an excellent place to relax and unwind. Around the park are restaurants and tea rooms housed in romantic neo-classical buildings that reflect the serene mood of the secluded garden.

Garden of Dreams, Nepal
The enchanting Garden of Dreams in Nepal

Phewa Lake

This beautiful lake in Pokhara is a favourite destination for shutterbugs and fishermen alike. Surrounded by a lush, tropical valley, the placid waters are excellent for paddling around in a rowboat, either self-propelled or manned by local boatmen. On a forested island in the lake is the two-tiered Varahi Temple made entirely of wood.

Pokhara and Phewa Lake, Nepal
A beautiful shot from Wikipedia of Phawa Lake and Pokhara. Breath-taking!

Bodhnath

The largest structure in Nepal, this Buddhist stupa has been constantly upgraded since it was built sometime before 600 AD, and its significance has grown through the centuries. Visitors can climb into the upper layers of the stupa to watch the pilgrims below who circumnavigate the building, pausing at various places along the surrounding brick wall to turn the prayer wheels and chant prayers.

Bodhnath, Nepal
The Bodhnath is Nepal’s largest structure – a stunning tribute to the Buddhist religion

Bhaktapur

Know to movie fans as the setting for “Little Buddha,” this cultural gem of Nepal is home to Durbar Square with its massive 55-Window Palace accessed by the Golden Gate, a spectacular display of Hindu mythology captured in stone. In the Pujari Math district, art enthusiasts enjoy the Woodcarving Museum with its fabulous Peacock Window. Right across the street is the Brass and Bronze Museum displaying ancient examples of everyday house ware items and metal tools used in rituals. Take a hike to the top of Nagarkot Mountain, the second-highest point in Nepal, for an excellent view of Mount Everest and the Himalayas.

Bhaktapur, Nepal
Bhaktapur is Nepal’s third largest city and a truly stunning display of Nepal’s ancient culture

Freak Street

A favourite hangout of the counterculture, its real name is actually Jochne, but in the 1970’s it acquired the name “Freak Street” and it has stuck ever since. Although it has its dodgy moments, the “far out” fashions found in the shops, the incense stands and inspirational prayer flag vendors appeal to souvenir hunters and iconoclasts.

Your Say

Ever been to Nepal or any of the above spots? What are your Nepal recommendations? I’d love to hear them!

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2 comments

  1. I went to Nepal in September 2010 for 2 weeks to do charity work – we stayed in Kathmandu for 2 days which was insanely hectic; bikes, cars, tuk-tuks and cows all over the place.

    We left Kathmandu and went out to a village called Rampur, helped out in an orphanage and built 10 water wells for the community.

    After that we took a detour to Chitwan National Park before heading back to Kathmandu for a night of madness followed by a long flight back to LDN!

    Amazing trip though, one thing I really enjoyed out there was their laid back approach to life. Time stood still for me out there.

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