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Why You Need to Visit Nepal in 2017

You may have seen recently that Nepal was ranked fifth among the top 10 countries to visit in Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in 2017’ feature. We weren’t remotely surprised by this news; even an earthquake can’t keep Nepal down for long!

After the utter devastation caused by the 2015’s natural disaster, visitation to Nepal collapsed. For a country which relies so heavily on tourism; it contributes 8.9% of gross domestic product, the earthquake wasn’t the only thing that hit Nepal hard, as a fuel crisis enveloped the country. According to the locals we met on our April trip, 2016 has been all about rebuilding and finding peace for the people of Nepal. Now, with 2017 looming, the country is ready and raring for visitors to return.

We totally think 2017 is the perfect time for you to visit Nepal; Lonely Planet and The Common Wanderer can’t be wrong, can we? 

WHY YOU NEED TO VISIT NEPAL IN 2017 

VISIT NEPAL AND HELP THE COUNTRY REBUILD

The 2015 changed Nepal as we know it. And while some landmark Unesco World Heritage temples are still be being rebuilt, much of the country remains intact, including the popular trekking trails and the low lying national parks. Kathmandu itself is as functional as it was pre-earthquake (note: not very, but it’s part of the fun).

The local people are as positive as you’ll find anywhere in the world, but the emotional scarring and financial impact remains. By visiting and spending your hard earned in the country, you’ll not only provide a boost for the locals doing it tough; you’ll also provide revenue for the country to continue to rebuild.
Visit Nepal and help the country rebuild from the Earthquake

BE INSPIRED: 30 PHOTOS THAT WILL MAKE YOU WANT TO VISIT NEPAL

NEPAL IS BRILLIANT VALUE FOR MONEY

After spending six weeks travelling all over Nepal, we can safely say it’s one of the best ‘value for money’ countries in the world. Accommodation, food, transport, clothing, hiking and even safari’s are all very reasonably priced.

If you visit Nepal, it can be done cheaply. Daily costs won’t exceed $30USD and if you’re willing to spend a bit more, you’ll live like a king! 

LEARN MORE ABOUT NEPAL WITH OUR COMPREHENSIVE TRAVEL GUIDE

THE HIKING IN NEPAL IS UTTERLY BREATHTAKING

We’ve gotta be real with you here; there’s nowhere in the world for hiking quite like Nepal. From Everest Base Camp to the Annapurna Circuit, world class trek’s are seemingly on every corner. There are also relatively unknown hikes which are worth your time, such as those through Mustang, Langtang and Gokyo. Do yourself a favour. Visit Nepal and get up into that fresh air and go hiking.

Visit Nepal and hike the Annapurna Circuit

KEEP READING: OUR TOP TIPS FOR CONQUERING THE ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE DEEP NEPALI CULTURE

Guys, a heads up – when you visit Nepal it’s impossible to not be immersed in the culture. It’s incredible. Spirituality and everyday life are completely enmeshed, and it’s not hard to see why. The standard greeting in Nepal is the coolest anywhere in the world – Namaste: the divine in me acknowledges the divine in you.

The Kathmandu Valley is bursting with culture; the indigenous Newari culture, formed from centuries old buddhist and hindu beliefs, the colourful stupas dotted throughout the Kathmandu Valley and the Unesco World Heritage sites of the former ancient cities of including Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan.

If Kathmandu is the beating heart of Nepal’s spirituality, its hiking trails are the veins and arteries extending this lifeblood to every corner of the country. There are tika blessings on our foreheads one day, prayer wheels spun for good fortune in each village, while prayer flags flutter messages of love and fortune through the deep valleys.

Visit Nepal and embrace the spiritual side at Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu

EXPLORE NEPAL’S CHAOTIC CAPITAL, KATHMANDU

There really isn’t an adequate way to describe Kathmandu. Crazy, chaotic, historic, spiritual, haphazard, enticing and vibrant come to mind yet they don’t do this city justice. With a population of around 1.7million, the city will, at times, frustrate you; but give Kathmandu a chance and you’ll realise that this city is a welcoming, achingly beautiful melting pot of buddhist and hindu religion, ethnicity and history.

In the centre of Kathmandu is the tourist hub is Thamel, where you can find everything a traveller needs (we mean everything!) in the rabbit-warren of narrow streets and alleyways.

To get those spiritual vibes on, you need to visit Pashupatinath, Boudhanath and Swayambhunath temples, while a visit to Kathmandu isn’t complete without visiting the three former royal palaces or Durbar Squares – Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan. 

Read more about our favourite things to do in Kathmandu.

READ MORE: OUR COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO KATHMANDU

Visit Nepal and embrace the chaotic capital of Kathmandu

WHAT’S NEPAL REALLY LIKE NOW?: NEPAL NOW: THE ONLY THING MISSING IS YOU 

EAT THE SURPRISINGLY DELICIOUS FOOD

It might be surprising but the quality and variety of food in Nepal is incredibly good! Nom.

Don’t visit Nepal without trying Dal Bhat, the staple meal for lunch and dinner. Dal Bhat is a traditional Nepali meal consisting of rice, a lentil based soup and other condiments, and it’s generally all you can eat so you’ll never go hungry.

For the local variety of snacks, you must try Momos. The Nepali answer to dumplings, these pockets of joy come in vegetable, buff (buffalo) or chicken and can be fried or steamed. You can also find amazing pakora and samosas on any street corner! Our fave was Choila, spicy grilled buffalo meat which goes down a treat with a beer.

If you’re that way inclined, the western food options are incredibly varied, but we think you should stay with the local cuisine!

Visit Nepal and enjoy the local cuisine such as Momo

THE BRILLIANT WILDLIFE EXPERIENCES

In Nepal? Surely not. We’re here to tell you they exist and they’re brilliant.

In the southern lowlands of Nepal, bordering India lies Chitwan National Park. This former royal hunting ground is now home to one of the world’s most successful National Park’s; Here, you’ll have the chance to spot Rhino (we saw 15!), sloth bears, crocodile, including the endangered Gharial, monkeys and if you’re really lucky, the Bengal Tiger or Leopard.

There are heaps of safari options available from one of the many tour outlets in Sauraha, the town that borders Chitwan.  

How to be an animal friendly traveller - by using respected companies

NEPAL BUCKET LIST: THESE ARE THE SIX BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN NEPAL

By visiting Nepal now and supporting local culture and people, you could help a nation rebuild and bounce back even stronger. Travelling to a heavenly place AND doing good? Winning.

Thinking of visiting Nepal? You might love these posts:

Our check out our Nepal page for all our posts!

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Jody
    November 2, 2016 at 7:52 am

    Q1. What time of year to you recommend?
    Q2. If you’re not very fit, I.e. you don’t have experience trekking, would u still recommend? Are there 1, 2, 3, and 4 hour walks you can do that don’t require experience?
    I’ll probably have more questions later but a very interesting article and I’m halfway convinced 🙂

    • Reply
      The Common Wanderer
      November 2, 2016 at 8:16 am

      Hi Jody,

      Thanks for the questions – we’d love to help!

      Now is the best time of year to be in Nepal – the weather is perfect and the air clean.

      If you’re not very fit you can still do a number of smaller treks, including visiting Nagarkot where you can get views of Mt Everest. Pokhara is a great place for day hikes also. If you are visiting Nepal, we would recommend putting in a bit of training before hand and trying to get up to the Khumbu region (near Everest). It’s so beautiful in that area and you can go from village to village at your own pace.

      Glad we’ve almost convinced you. Nepal is a culture shock but one of the most incredible places on the planet 🙂

  • Reply
    mindfullyexploring
    January 10, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Nice post, thanks for the tips! I’m making my way there next month! Did you guys do any volunteering? I’ve heard there are some scammy ones, know how to avoid them?

    • Reply
      The Common Wanderer
      April 10, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      You’ve probably already been on your trip so we hope it was wonderful!

      Definitely scammers trying to take advantage of volunteers – our solution – research and use reputable operators!

  • Reply
    Caterina Rosini
    March 21, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    Thank you so much for the tips! Would I ask you some questions..:)
    I want to go Nepal in August 2017, do you think it could be good?
    How do you consider the Nepal as a journey for a lonely woman?
    What kind of solution do you suggest in order to sleep?

    thank you for share!

    • Reply
      The Common Wanderer
      April 10, 2017 at 5:06 pm

      HI Caterina,

      We think it would be a wonderful idea to visit Nepal, however if you can, push it back to October/November. The weather is better and the countryside more beautiful.

      Nepal for solo travellers is relatively easy, however you need to take necessary precautions, especially when in rural areas. We did meet a LOT of single travellers, all of which had no issues in Nepal.

      Sleeping wise, there are hostels in most cities/towns, however otherwise gueshouses/teahouses supply accommodation at very cheap rates. Or, make a friend on your travels and buddy up!

      We hope this helps! You won’t regret visiting Nepal 🙂

      Mark and Mim x

  • Reply
    Mimie amellia
    April 3, 2017 at 9:29 am

    Hi. Just wondering. Heard the water contamination is bad there. I am planning to go with a toddler. Just want to make sure that he will be fine there.

    • Reply
      The Common Wanderer
      April 10, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      Hi, we’d very much recommend drinking bottled water (which is fine) or taking iodine tablets for use with a water canteen (bottle). This is the more environmentally friendly solution!

      Just be careful, however we never had any issues with water.

      Mark and Mim x

  • Reply
    Jill S
    April 9, 2017 at 2:36 am

    Loved your article. My husband and I are very interested in an adventure vacation (we are 50 and in decent shape) my husbands dream is to see Mt. Everest. Are their guides you suggest? Hotels or Airbnb’s? We are looking possibly going This summer or maybe a year from now

    • Reply
      The Common Wanderer
      April 10, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      While Kathmandu and Nepal in general are a shock to the system, you can have a wonderful adventure vacation there. You can hike to Everest base camp, or up into the incredible Khumbu region. We’d recommend using Intrepid Travel on one of their treks through the region – they’re safe and use wonderful local guides.

      In the mountains, there are guesthouses which vary in rating, but prepare for basic accommodation the higher you go. AirBnb doesn’t exist in Nepal, however Booking.com etc have many listings.

      We definitely suggest you visit this amazing part of the world!

      Mark and Mim x

  • Reply
    Millie
    July 16, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Wow this sounds amazing! Is altitude sickness and issue for most of the hikes and if yes any recommendations on how to deal with it? I’m planning a trip there for 2018 🙂 cheers and thx !!! Millie

    • Reply
      The Common Wanderer
      November 18, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      Hey Millie, so sorry we’re only just getting back to you now. We’ve just spotted your comment!

      Altitude sickness is something you need to keep in mind for any hikes that take you about 2,000m above sea level. Most of the hikes in Nepal go well above this, so if you’re planning to go, we’d recommend making an appointment with your doctor to get a prescription for the relevant preventative medications 🙂

      Altitude sickness is annoyingly random too – we took Diamox and had no issues on the Annapurna Circuit, but we did Kilimanjaro a few years prior, and despite Mim taking Diamox she ended up seriously ill and had to be evacuated off the mountain. We’re sure you’ll be fine – but whatever you do, make sure you do your research and take the risks seriously. Go slow, drink lots of water, and listen to your guides!

      Hope you have an amazing trip! 🙂

  • Reply
    Theresa Fields
    November 14, 2017 at 11:03 am

    My husband and I just got back from Nepal. We did an Everest Base Camp trek with Active Adventures. We loved Nepal. The journey to/from EBC was stunning. We loved the views of the mountains, the villages, the people, the culture. I highly recommend.

    • Reply
      The Common Wanderer
      November 18, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      Hey Theresa, we can’t even tell you how jealous we are that you were in Nepal recently – we miss it so much!

      So glad to hear you had an amazing experience. Mark did the EBC trek a couple of years ago, but we do think it’s about time we got back there to do it together 🙂

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