There is no doubt that Nepal is a land of wonders. This small country resting on the foothills of the majestic Himalayan range is a natural world of its own!
With breathtaking hills, majestic mountains, warm localities, and colorful cultures, you can easily spend a lifetime just exploring this land of wonder. But, sad as it may be, we do not have a lifetime to explore this tiny nation with massive wonders. What should we do then? This is indeed a dilemma. The good news is that we have a solution to your dilemma.
Follow us as we take you through the journey of the top places in Nepal that you must visit once in your lifetime.
Ready, Steady, Go!
1) Kathmandu Valley
Our journey starts in the capital of this mysterious nation, Kathmandu. Being the capital of Nepal, this is undoubtedly one of the most urbanized cities. You can easily find international restaurants and cafes to satisfy your hunger. However, this is not why you are here, are you? You are here to experience the local cuisine and experience what it feels like to live a day in this city of cultures.
The good news is that you won’t need to wait long or travel far. The Kathmandu valley is filled with Heritage sites, classic local temples, and ancient-style buildings. Among them, Pashupatinath, Swoyambunath, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Baudha Stupa are some places worth visiting in Nepal. But, if you are in the mood for some travel, just grab the local bus, and take 30 minutes to ride to either Lalitpur or Bhaktapur.
The bustling yet ordered Lalitpur or the calm, energetic Bhaktapur. During this small trip, you can visit Krishna Mandir, Lalitpur Durbar Square (Patan Durbar Square), Nyatapola and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. If you are lucky, you might even experience many Jatras when you can see this seemingly ordinary valley’s vibrant and accurate colors and culture.
2) Chitwan National Park
After experiencing the bustling life of Kathmandu Valley, why don’t we enjoy some nature at Chitwan National park? This is not just any other national park but one of the few locations where you may see the elusive cousin of the Unicorn – the one-horned Rhinoceros. Indeed, Chitwan National park is a heaven for all the nature lovers in the world. With the pristine sound of nature, playful elephants by your side, a fresh smell of wildlife, and euphoric sounds from the elusive creatures, Chitwan National park is one of the places that you must visit at least once in your lifetime.
Enjoy the breathtaking scenes as you travel through the plains and jungles on a jeep, and always keep an eye for the elusive creatures you might run across. But be careful; along with the wondrous yet harmless creatures, Chitwan National Park is also homed to the endangered yet equally dangerous Royal Bengal Tigers and Wild boards. If you do not respect nature, enjoyment can quickly become an embarrassment.
As long as you do not mess up, you will get the best of mother nature and the creatures within – making this place the best location to cleanse your soul and relax your mind.
3) Pokhara City
Now that you have relaxed your mind, let’s head to the tourist city in Nepal – Pokhara. Although both Kathmandu and Pokhara are Nepal’s urban centers, your experience will be completely different. Your expertise in Kathmandu Valley was all about the hustle and bustle of cultures. But, Pokhara is all about relaxing by the lakeside and enjoying the mountain view with some local cuisines.
Indeed, like a city filled with an immersive view of the beautiful lakes, the environment here is just as calm as the lakes themselves. Some popular ones are Phewa lake, Begnas lake, and Rupa Lake, which you must visit. Besides the lakes, you can see the Mahendra Cave for an underground experience, Devi’s fall to view the rapids, or Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave to feel lost in the naturally forming George.
Indeed, Pokhara city is a city for tourists. As a cherry on top, the nightlife here is highly active. However, unlike the calm days, nights are filled with lights and sounds – enough to make you want to vibe and dance to the beat.
4) Annapurna Base Camp
Next to Pokhara is the Majestic Mount Annapurna – why not experience this mountain as your next destination? But, you don’t need to conquer this mountain; it is the tenth highest peak in the world, after all. You can simply take Annapurna Base Camp Trek to experience the wonders of the mountainside while experiencing the local cuisines and breathtaking views as you ascend.
Both the destination and the journey are something that you must make at least once in your lifetime. Why? Simply because no words can describe the experience you get as you slowly ascend the mountain, you admire and experience the glory of the snow capped peak while experiencing the local cultures and stories.
Once you reach the Annapurna Base Camp, you will be greeted by the untainted nature and a warm greeting from the snow capped peak – truly a humbling experience and a journey worth every second!
You can take the Annapurna Circuit Trekking route if you are not satisfied with experiencing the Annapurna Base Camp. This trekking route goes through Annapurna Sanctuary which is another one of those breathtaking experiences around this mountain peak.
5) Everest Base Camp
If you are still not satisfied with the experience, which we doubt you will not be, you can always upgrade it with your on this Everest Base Camp trek. The trip will indeed be difficult, but it will be well worth the effort. Nothing is more satisfying than reaching the foothills of the world’s Roof. Throughout the journey, your view will be filled with the untamed nature around Mount Everest and the rocky, barren lands that no man has ever conquered.
If you are lucky, you might even get to see the elusive mountain wildlife, like mountain goats named Thar and Himalayan Goral during Everest Base Camp Trek. Although there are predators like the Himalayan Black Bear and the elusive snow leopard, encountering them is extremely slim to none. After all, the route you will take will be highly safe from these predators. Instead of these predators, you are more likely to encounter mountain donkeys that people have domesticated for transportation as you meet fellow trekkers and travelers along the way.
You will be greeted by rudimentary camps carefully constructed to not taint nature as you reach the destination. At Everest Base Camp, the cold mountain air and the snow covered mind cleansing view of expansive snow capped hills and mountains in front of you. Truly a place you must visit in Nepal once in your lifetime.
Among many things Nepal is famous for, Lord Gautam Buddha is one of the best examples. But did you know that he was an actual person – not just a myth? Lord Gautam Buddha wasn’t a god but rather just an average human who became wise through suffering and taught people the values of life. He essentially became a god in people’s eyes – and Lumbini is the place where he was born.
As the birthplace of a legend, Lumbini is filled with sacred customs and traditions. Along with this, Lumbini is also home to a rich history. After all, Lumbini once was a kingdom of Nepal, and Lord Gautam himself was a prince. The most popular attraction in Lumbini is known as the Maya Devi Temple- the place where Maya Devi gave birth to Lord Buddha. Besides this, you can visit International Gautami Nuns Temple, Nepal Buddha Temple, and Swami Maharaja Buddha Vihara.
Lumbini is not just about temples and stupas; it is also one of the best places to experience a mix of Indian and Nepali local cuisines. It is located at the border between India and Nepal, after all. Even if you are not a religious person, Lumbini is a place you must visit once in your lifetime for the ambiance, food, and rich history associated with this place.
Are these the only places in Nepal you must visit in your lifetime? Obviously, not! As we mentioned, Nepal is a country that you can never wholly explore in your entire life. Regardless of how much you study, that tiny corner always attracts your eyes and wakes up your inner explorer – be it the ally of Kathmandu valley or some unnamed hill of some rural district.
You need to experience them yourself to experience the beauty of this small yet mysterious nation. But, you can start with the ones we mentioned and seek your adventure as you travel.