What comes to your mind when you think of Nepal – it must be Mt. Everest, and Kathmandu, the capital city, and perhaps even Chitwan National Park, and the lake at Pokhara. But there is a lot more to see in this beautiful Himalayan country – gushing streams, stunning valleys, heritage and culture, religion, hiking, adventure, and more.
So I will remove Mt. Everest and Kathmandu from this list, and speak of the other places that are a must-visit in Nepal. Here it is – check out my list.
Nagarkot offers the finest views of the Himalayan Range, not just from the viewpoints, but from every window in the town. You can see stunning sunsets and sunrise from here as well if you can wake up early morning. Nagarkot is very close to Kathmandu, just about 90 minutes away by road to the east. There are many hotels here, so the town can be a better alternative than crowded Kathmandu if you are a nature lover.
North of Pokhara, this region is a trekker’s delight. You can choose from many options, from a few days to several weeks. Some of these routes are busy, but others are good for beginners. You will see the Nepalese countryside, learn about the people, their culture, dress, and lifestyles. You can even see Tibetan features here, both in the people and the terrain. Reach the virgin Mustang region, a route where you will see very few people.
The Langtang National Park is another option for hiking. Come face to face with old monasteries, and see amazing views as you cross the high passes. Spring is the best time here because the rhododendron forests are at full bloom. You can see the Langtang Lirung peak on a clear day. Langtang is close to Kathmandu, so you can reach easily.
Also called the ‘City of Devotees’, Bhaktapur is an ancient city that witnessed considerable damage in the 2015 earthquake. Luckily, most of the shrines and temples escaped unscathed. You will love the rich architecture and ancient Hindu temples here. The ‘noble square’ or Durbar Square is a must-see. Shop for masks, puppets, cultural handicrafts and pottery!
Patan or Lalitpur is a center of spirituality in Nepal. There is a lot of history and architecture to see here as well. The temples, courtyards, and palaces go back to the 17th century. See the Sundari Chowk, and the Krishna Temple. You are sure to love the gilded spires, multi-columned façade, and the wood carvings.
The lake in the upper regions of Nepal is a 5 day trip from Kathmandu. But it is worth it because of serene and stunning views, and the adventure you will have trying the reach the place. The lake is located in the Annapurna Range. You will have to cross the Manang and Kali Gandaki valleys to reach Tilicho.
Another beautiful lake in the upper regions, but with more forest covers all around. The beautiful Rara National Park surrounds the lake on all sides. The snow-capped views are also stunning from Rara. There are many vulnerable and rare flora and fauna around the lake.