Did you know you could do all this in just 10 days in Nepal?
What should you do if you have 10 days in Nepal? Rugged mountain trails, leagues of fluttering prayer flags and the bustling city of Kathmandu with a sublime backdrop of mountains are the images that readily conjures up when anyone thinks about Nepal. And with the country slowly yet steadily reviving from the mayhem caused by the devastating Earthquakes of 2015, Nepal tourism in full gear has thrown its arms wide open for intrepid travelers from the world over keen on tasting the chills and thrills of Nepal’s Himalayas.
But Nepal is much more than its amazing treks and its stellar summits and speaking from a traveler’s perspective it’d be unfair to think Nepal hasn’t got much in store for the nomadic bum in you who is more into exploring the hippie scenes of a place like Nepal rather than toiling on a trekking trail for days. From isolated hill villages to amazing jungle safaris, from the mind-boggling food items to pristine valleys; add it all with some scream your lung out adventures like white water rafting and some amazing shopping runs in the traditional flea markets in Pokhara and you’ve got yourself 10 days of bombastic experiences in Nepal. Quash the worries of time crunches and get down on exploring the essentials of Nepal Travel in as less as 10 days in this amazing nation.
Let’s get on with it!
Go for a wild ride in the Jungle
Just South of Nepal’s mountains lies its reserves of thick and lush jungles, and a jungle adventure would be perfect to kick-start your journey. A world heritage listed reserve, the Chitwan National Park has remained a hotspot for travelers given its massive animal population and the unique mash-up of marshlands and grasslands in the area. Keep your eyes wide and cameras at the ready as some jungle celebrities like the Royal Bengal Tiger or even a Leopard might make an appearance. But don’t be heart-sunk if you don’t see spot any of these A-listers, cause you’re sure to catch the amazing one-horned Rhinos, beautiful deer, and some cheeky monkeys. You can opt for a safari in the Chitwan or brace yourself for a wilder ride in the inner sanctums of Bardia or Koshi Tappu. Whatever you decide, make sure to get your safari bookings done well ahead if you are traveling in a high season, as your time crunch won’t help your case much if you face any problems with bookings there.
Feed your adventurous soul
Nepal is what you call a true adventurers’ paradise and a hub of all things thrilling. The list of extreme adventures in Nepal is enormous, which even includes skydiving from the highest point of the Earth-The Everest! Yeah, that might be far-fetched for the 10 days ‘Itineraries’ and trekking novices like us, but you have all the time in the world to get some much-awaited experiences ticked off your lists like Mountain Biking, Paragliding, Heli-Skiing, Canyoning, Whitewater Rafting, Bungee Jumping, and the list goes on…Your mini break in Nepal could be an action-packed thriller and the best way to go about it is taking your pick of these activities and checking up on their booking processes (if any) before leaving to have a hassle-free adventure in Nepal!
Pick a cause close to your heart and volunteer
Every year Nepal hosts close to a million of travelers on an average and owing to the crown it wears of being ‘The most budget-friendly destination’, it has also remained a backpacking hotspot for ages now. And with this influx of high volume of backpackers, Nepal is also frequented by voluntary workers from all over the world who work with the local community at different levels to bring about a positive social impact. Responsible traveling is on the rise and now with more than half of world’s population lusting like crazy for travel (thanks to social media and internet) volunteering while traveling abroad has become almost like a cardinal part of international expeditions. And thanks to such legions of do-gooders, Nepal even witnessed thousands rushing in from every corner of the earth at the time of distress when that terrible earthquake hit the country without any warning. From local agencies to international organizations like Peace Corps, Red Cross even saw an overwhelming response.
It’s true that the worst part is over and Nepal in well off in reviving from the devastation of the Earthquake, but there are still multiple opportunities for the do-gooder in you to volunteer and change someone’s life. As a result of this calamity, hundreds of children were left orphaned, and volunteers like us are what they keenly look up to for some fun times and amazing lessons. A day or two spent at a local school in Kathmandu with underprivileged children, teaching them English and engaging in fun extracurriculars with them could turn out to be an amazing heart touching experience for you while in Nepal.
Eat your heart out
The Nepalese cuisine has been heavily influenced by India and Tibet and it is truly an ecstatic medley of flavors. From humble servings of Dal Bhat, the national dish which is nothing but rice with lentil soup, to the finger-licking Momos and Thukpas- Nepalese food even takes your taste buds on an exotic trip.
A trip to Nepal is a cultural extravaganza in itself, and tasting the authentic flavors of Nepal is almost a cardinal process of it. Kathmandu, being the most popular city is also a foodie’s hub and therefore the best place for you to go on an all-out Nepalese food adventure. Start off your gastro-journey with some helpings of the awesome Sel Roti, or the rice flour pancake called Bara which belongs to a subset of Nepali cuisine, or the scrumptious Yomari, or gulp down a drink with some Sandheko, which is also a popular bar snack.
That’s not all, have you heard about the Nepali Pizza? Locally it is known as Chatamari and is immensely popular in Kathmandu. It is nothing but a round, rice flour crepe which is cooked with different kinds of savory toppings, and it is truly ‘Pizza with a twist’. A walk around the restaurants and street food stalls in Kathmandu and you are sure to find some unique dishes of Nepali descent that is sure to titillate your foodie soul. Take some time out of your jam-packed 10 days and make sure to keep a day dedicated to the food of Nepal, if you don’t wanna miss out on experiencing a blast of flavors in your mouth.
Achieve Travel Nirvana
Your short getaway in Nepal can be more than just the rush of adventures, and your run of the mill travel wonders. The nation is dotted with multiple Buddhist monasteries which are known to host travelers, spirituality seekers from all around the world. The Medieval town squares of places like Kathmandu, Patan with centuries-old stupas is where you can take a stroll through the history of Buddhism culture and traditions and thus Nepal has remained etched in world history as the spiritual center of the Himalayas. And with the birth site of the father of Buddhism, Lord Buddha himself just a few hours away from the capital city, Lumbini has become a thought-provoking religious site for all of the Buddhist pilgrims as well as for Zen-minded people from the world over.
There’s an unspoken peace, a feeling of poignancy in these pilgrimage sites of Buddhism as well as in the air of Nepal that will surely give a new perspective to your travels and what you think of them, only good things! Staying at a monastery in Nepal could be your chance to learn about the basic tenets of Buddhism and learn the art of meditation, and as have many felt with such elated interactions with disciples of Buddhism, your spiritual experience in Nepal can also give you a new lease on life, and this newness, in turn, will also help you learn some important life lessons on the road and achieve Travel Nirvana!
Hang with the locals and experience their amazing culture
Nepalis are really going to be one of the friendliest bunch of people you’ll come across on your travels around the world. Their ability to shower love on strangers and welcome them into their hearts and their homes is one of the warmest things about these people. And if you’re truly lucky and make some gem of local friends in Nepal, you’ll see them insisting you on packing up and leaving your hostel and hotel behind and live like a local with them., in their places, with their families, eating their food, sharing their space. Getting to experience the Nepali culture from the close quarters of the locals could be a rewarding experience in itself. Did you know Nepal has an annual tradition of worshipping dogs all over the country known as Tihar? On the second day of this 5-day festival, every dog, be it a pet or a stray is celebrated for being Man’s best friend and as well as for their unconditional love. There are more such unique experiences awaiting you in Nepal.
Interacting with locals are believed to be an integral part of cultural immersion while traveling, and it is through these people that you learn a whole lotta more about the culture that you possibly couldn’t have found out about by yourself. Besides gaining some good friends in this small country on the opposite side of the earth from you, you’ll also be gaining some precious memories that are sure to stay with forever!
And obviously, Go For A Trek!
Trekking in Nepal, no matter how small or big is something almost as essential as drinking water. The complete 360-degree experience of Nepal comes packed with a kick of adrenaline, and strategically sitting amidst world famous trails like the Everest and Annapurna, what would be better than trekking to get a quick fix for the adrenaline junkie in you. Let the Himalayan madness descend on you while you’re in Nepal and plan to trek one of the best mountain summits of the world. Home to some 8 highest mountains of the world, there are multiple trekking trails in Nepal, suited for newbies as well as the extreme trekkers. The mountain air whispering in your ears as you feel blood pumping faster than the usual rate as you ascend through steep passes and crevasses- a trek should definitely be right at the top of your Nepal itinerary!
Adventurists from across the world flood into the country around the year to get a taste of the colossal Himalayan peaks, and as time has witnessed many mountaineers who couldn’t simply leave all of this behind have come to call Nepal as their home And owing to that, there’s a huge international trekking and mountain climbing community in Nepal. Though some trails Langtang, Manaslu has still not recovered completely from the aftermath of the Earthquakes, names like the Everest Base Camp, Three passes Trek, Upper Mustang will surely give you a run for your money people!
Planned travels are definitely better as it lets you prepare yourself for the outdoor extravaganza well ahead, but I would still say spontaneous plans have a charm of its own and most of these plans transpire into epic successes. You can work all of this into your short trip itinerary and allocate your available time wisely to each and every one of these quintessential experiences in Nepal. Your whirlwind travel tale of Nepal could make up for an exciting story and could even inspire others to take a chance at exploring Nepal in 10 days!
About Shriradha Mukherjee
In between dreaming of adventures and making them happen Shriradha is a travel writer with a penchant for exploring the unknown. Amazing food, new places to explore and turning thoughts into words keeps her going. Her tongue in the cheek wit keeps her stories lively while her deep research keeps them informative. Having first-hand experience in volunteering & traveling makes her a go-to person for seeking tips on volunteering and travel plans. Visit her IG account.