The AFAR Guide to Nepal
Collected by Bryan Kitch, AFAR Contributor
Steeped in ancient culture and tradition, Nepal is often thought of as a spiritual retreat in the heart of the Himalayas. Tourism flourishes in Nepal, as adventurers and intrepid climbers brave the dramatic landscape and connect with the cultural soul of the place. Travel can be a challenge, with altitudes more familiar from plane flights than hikes.
Namche VDC 56000, Nepal
En route from Namche Bazaar, Nepal, we stopped to visit the Tenzing Norgay Memorial Chorten. Norgay was a member of the first expedition team to summit Mt. Everest in 1953, along with Sir Edmund Hillary. While trekking in the Nepal Himalayas on...
One of the best methods for experiencing a country is to rent a motorbike and zoom off into the horizon. You may not have a destination in mind and you will surely get lost, but it's the best way to escape the touristy spots, meet some friendly...
Sarangkot, Pokhara 33700, Nepal
We rolled out of bed in the dead of night, hopped onto our mechanical bull - a 600cc whirling dervish of unsteady power - and rode off into the mountains. We arrived at SangKot, a favored sunrise destination for many people whom visit Pokhara, and...
Tal, Dharapani 33500, Nepal
The village of Tal is the gateway to the Manang district of Nepal and the first Buddhist settlement you reach along the Annapurna Circuit. The trail to reach Tal is a grueling series of switchbacks and steep rocky inclines. The climb is made all...
Namche Bazar, Namche 56000, Nepal
Ever gotten tipsy at 11,286 feet (3,440m)? No climb or trek through Nepal's widely travelled Solukhumbu region is truly complete--or properly started--without a high-altitude night on the town in Namche Bazaar: a small, Himalayan hamlet that...
Ring Rd, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Although you wake up at the crack of dawn to see the moutain range at its clearest, it's well worth the early morning haul to the airport. There are several local airlines that will take you on a small plane on a one hour round trip flight from...
Kaskikot 33700, Nepal
One of the most authentic ways to experience the food of another culture is to be invited into a local’s kitchen and served a home cooked meal. And so I found myself on Thanksgiving Day licking my lips as I sat across the fire from this old woman...
Thorong La, Tanki Manang 33500, Nepal
I saw the first glimpse of them from the plane window – the rigid, snowy Himalayan peaks. They were practically at eye level with our cruising altitude; you could reach out and touch them as if they were the pages of a book. They looked beautiful...
Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
I’m not really much of a shopper but it’s hard not to look at the stuff for sale, especially when there’s a lot of it and it’s everywhere. One of my favorite places to *window shop* was Kathmandu. There, the vendors not only display their wares on...
Foot Track, Lakeside Rd, Pokhara 33700, Nepal
I was rather shocked to see just how many people try paragliding in Nepal, but I guess there really is no better way to get up close and personal with some of the world's tallest peaks (save for climbing to the top of one yourself). The Pokhara...
Kot Square, काठमाडौँ 44600, Nepal
The ancient buildings of Durbar Square are interesting enough on their own, but what fascinates me is the way people interact with the old and ancient in Kathmandu. We came upon this stunning stone monument, and sat in to listen to a monk explain...
Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Tourists call it the “Monkey Temple,” owing to the clans of rhesus macaque wandering through the grottos and recesses of this ancient shrine. The monkeys climb where they please, siblings squabble, parents scold and protect—a parallel simian...
Patan 44700, Nepal
Of all the cities in the Kathmandu Valley, my favorite was Patan mainly because there was traditional Nepalese arts and handicrafts was on display everywhere. When I mean everywhere, I mean everywhere….on walls, stairs and steps, building facades,...
Subarnapur 44200, Nepal
When I found out I was going to Nepal I think I was most excited to visit Chitwan and to interact with the mahouts and see the beauty of the elephants. They literally will stroll down the street kissing you for bananas or attracting attention from...
Gangalal Marg, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
I have an uneasy relationship with street food in South Asia. I've had my share of unfortunate encounters in India, and Sri Lanka, and I didn't want to add Nepal to my list. But after wandering Durbar Square for a few hours, I found myself...
Darsing Dahathum, Nepal
I don't care for maps, and I don't often ask for directions. Suffice to say, I get lost a lot. As a travel photographer, getting lost serves me well. I got quite lost along Nepal's Hyangja Kot hiking trail, a fantastic track some 40km from the...
Basantapur, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Durbar Square in Kathmandu makes for a fascinating visit. It's difficult to tell in a way where the ancient square begins and Kathmandu proper ends, so entwined is the old and new in this city. A tourist hotspot and a hangout for locals, Durbar...
Phewa Lake, Pokhara 33700, Nepal
We weren't quite lucky to see the snowcapped covered mountains in the lovely lakeside village of Pokhara since we visited during monsoon season. But it was a perfect way to start our introduction to the area and cross over to the trail leading up...
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