With snowy mountaintops reaching into the sky, shimmering high-altitude lakes, glacial plains, dense jungles bustling with diverse species of wildlife and plants, monasteries, and temples offering spiritual harmony, Nepal is a scenic place that brings spectacular imageries to life. On top of all these, it is a paradise for adventure enthusiasts. Whether you want to embark on the fabled treks like Everest Base Camp Trek or Annapurna Circuit Trek or want to take it easy and set about on the less-beaten paths of the Mardi Himal Trek, Nepal is the ultimate place to enjoy it all.
Before visiting Nepal or planning a trip itinerary, it is customary to discuss your travel plans with acquaintances who have already been to this magnificent land. Often, that presents an entirely different image of the country. You might hear about the immense challenges that each trek presents and how hiking in Nepal is not aloof from dangers. Or how the country resides in an earthquake-prone zone.
But Nepal offers much more than such dangers. In fact, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Let’s see why.
Get a chance to conquer the mightiest of Himalayan peaks:
Nepal contains the most significant portion of the Himalayas and houses eight of the world’s fourteen highest peaks (all above 8000 meters). While the Himalayas attract mountaineers and trekkers from across the globe, there are several high-altitude peaks that you might want to conquer. These ‘trekking peaks’ attract adventure enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies who want to do something more than regular trekking but are not quite ready for a lengthy mountain expedition.
The Nepal Mountaineering Association issues a specific permit classification for ‘trekking peaks,’ which covers those peaks approximately between 5800 meters to 6500 meters above sea level. Why would you want to climb these peaks?
They are less technical in nature and offer an excellent opportunity for beginner to moderately-experienced climbers.
You could use these climbing experiences to practice for your next high-altitude expedition.
You can get into a good physical and mental shape effortlessly.
It is an excellent opportunity to witness and appreciate the enchanting beauty of the Himalayas.
Summiting an absolute Himalayan peak gives you a fantastic sense of accomplishment.
Mera Peak climbing and Island Peak climbing are some of the most popular and exciting adventures to embark upon. The difficulty level is moderate to challenging, and they will offer you a first-hand experience at high-altitude climbing.
Trekking in Nepal is super-cheap:
One of the primary reasons why Nepal witnesses tourists and adventure enthusiasts flocking to it every year is because of the associated costs. It is one of the cheapest destinations to embark on an adventure of a lifetime. When you set forth on the Himalayan trails and get such good value for money, it should indeed be on your bucket list!
The experience that you gain while trekking in Nepal across the stunning Himalayas is fathomless. It can never be equated with costs. However, you can embark upon breathtaking expeditions on a budget in Nepal, which is next to impossible in other countries. For a trek in Nepal that includes guides, porters, accommodation, transportation, three meals a day, and other basic amenities, you spend less than 70 to 75 USD each day.
If you plan your treks with a travel agency or a tour operator, you can grab amazing deals. While a 7-day Poon Hill Trek might cost around 450 to 500 USD, the stunning 15-day Manaslu Circuit Trek will cost approximately 1000 to 1100 USD. However, it is better to do some personal research if you plan to travel solo.
Nepal brings you closer to a fascinating culture:
The Nepalese people are incredibly hospitable and friendly. While you are on lengthy expeditions like the Annapurna Base Camp Trek or the Everest Three Passes Trek, your only accommodation option will be the tea-houses on the trails.
Though these are humble village abodes with fundamental amenities, you will get a big welcome while staying there. One of the tea-house treks’ upsides is that you also get to meet and exchange stories with hikers from across the globe. Your Nepalese hosts at the tea-houses will also serve you the most delicious and invigorating platter of indigenous cuisine that will soothe you after an intense day of hiking. The tasty daal-bhaat, meat curry, noodles, momo, etc., will be something to look out for each day.
Not just the food but the indigenous Nepalese beverages are also quite a handful. Waking up with a cup of hot tea will energize you for another day of a grueling trek. When you are not on a challenging mountain expedition, you might even taste the local alcoholic beverages like Raksi and Chhang.
Once you are familiar with Nepalese etiquette, it will be elementary for you to get up-close and personal with the age-old Nepalese heritage and culture. The indigenous Nepalese population comprises various tribes who have their unique stories to tell. Hinduism and Buddhism are the primary religions.
Fluttering prayer flags and chanting monks are present across the famous monasteries. You may visit those ancient Buddhist shrines for some calm and dosage of spirituality amid your journey. Apart from the Buddhist monasteries, the country is full of ornate Hindu temples. The Nepalese Hindu people celebrate festivals like Dashain and Tihar with a lot of enthusiasm and pomp. Like the Tamangs, Sherpas, etc., the other Nepal communities celebrate festivals like Lhosar, Sunti, etc. Gai Jatra is an unconventional festival celebrated by the Newar community. Another exciting way to immerse in the Nepalese culture is to witness the celebration of Teej- a woman-only festival celebrated by the women across the mountains and plains of Nepal.
There are issues worth furrowing your brows. The army is ever-present, and the country is still suffering from the devastation of the earthquakes and the impact of the civil war. The treks also present dangers. Water-safety, air-quality, and power outages are some of the most pressing issues. Still, the country packs a lot of perks for beginners and expert trekkers. Your next hike in Nepal could be one of those experiences worth preserving amongst other cherishable moments of your life.