Nepal may be a tiny country. But, there are so many things to see and experience that two weeks in the country may seem inadequate to experience all that the country has to offer.
Ancient cities, artistic monuments, birthplace of Buddha, the beautiful Himalayas, exotic jungles, luscious hills and farmlands, there are so many things to see.
Trekking, hiking, bungee jumping, white water Rafting, paragliding or just relaxing with stunning mountain views, there so many things to experience.
You may be wondering on how you can accommodate all these wonderful experiences on a trip. Don’t you worry! I have prepared a travel plan which will rightfully fit your tight schedule and will allow you to have the best experience in Nepal.
Arrive in Kathmandu (2 Days)
Kathmandu is the city you may not be able to avoid if you are entering the country by air. There is only one international airport in Nepal and that brings you to Kathmandu. Also called “the city of temples”, Kathmandu valley is full of magnificent age old temples and monuments scattered among today’s modernity. It will take a at least 2 days just to visit the major sites in the city:
There are seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites within the Kathmandu valley.
Three Durbar Squares of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur are the palace areas exhibiting centuries old palaces temples and other monuments. Going around these dubar squares will make you feel like you have travelled back in the time for at least a few decades.
Two Stupas, Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple) and Bouddhanath Stupa (the largest in the world) carry artistic, cultural and spiritual significance in Nepalese society. These sites are some of the major pilgrimage sites for Buddhists.
Two temples- Pashupatinath Temple, which is a major pilgrimage site for Hindus and Changunarayan Temple is considered the oldest temple in the whole of Nepal. The area around the temples is dotted with other shrines dedicated to different gods and goddesses. It is pleasant to stroll around in leisure.
Namo Bouddha is a short drive away from the Kathmandu Valley. It is a major pilgrimage site for Buddhists. The Namo Bouddha temple stands on top of a beautiful hill surrounded by stunning views of the green hills. The temple is also accompanied by a beautiful Tibetan Monastery. The short hike to Namo Buddha offers a great view of the mountains and some fresh air away from the city.
Thamel can be a perfect place to spend your evening. Thamel is a vibrant touristy area offering a happening night life. There are multi-cuisine restaurants, bars, pubs, cafes, shops, Spas and hotels to relax and enjoy after an exhausting day.
Visit the Lake City Pokhara (7 Days)
If you are visiting Nepal, you should definitely not miss the beautiful Pokhara city. Pokhara is 25min away by plane from Kathmandu and 5-6hrs long drive from a bus. If you do not mind travelling at night, you can take an evening bus to Pokhara from Kathmandu and reach the Pokhara in the morning.
Pokhara is a stunning city surrounded by magnificent mountain views and serene lakes. If there is much to see in Kathmandu, there is much things to do in Pokhara. One of them is to just sit back and relax.
Pokhara offers different adventure sports like Paragliding, Parahawking, Bungee, Zip flying, Trekking etc. I suggest this as the first thing to do. Sightseeing may need a whole day and considering when you arrive, try these activities first. So, bungee, paraglide (or even try Para Hawking ), zip line, rest, boat in Lake Phewa and just enjoy the scenery.
Pokhara is the epitome of natural beauty. Mountains like Annapurna, Machhapuchhre, Manaslu and Dhaulagiri look over this lush green valley. There are 5 lakes including the famous Phewa, Rupa and Begnas Lake. Visit the museums, the Peace Pagoda, the Island Temple of Barahi and explore the caves; there is so much to do.
Trek to Ghorepani – Phoon Hill Trek (4 Days)
Pokhara is a starting and ending point of many treks due to its proximity to the mountains. The hills surrounding the city also make for a beautiful trek. Among them, Ghorepani – Phoon Hill Trek is the most popular short trek offered by the region. It is a short 4-5 day trek, perfect for those pressed on time. From the hill you can see the sunset or sunrise an the 10 different peaks. The trip ends back in Pokhara where you have plenty of options to relax or enjoy after the tiresome trekking.
The Jungles in Chitwan (1 and 1/2 Days)
On the 10th day, catch an early flight to Chitwan National Park. You could take a bus or hire a tourist bus to Chitwan from Pokhara too.
Chitwan is known for its rich wildlife and their habitat. Jungle safari is a popular activity in Chitwan. Watch the wild animals in their natural habitat as the Elephant strolls through the dense forest.
Discover more of the wildlife in breeding centers and enjoy canoeing and bird watching on the peaceful Narayani river. Dance along during the Tharu Cultural Program during the evening. And if it is December, you might just get to watch the popular World Elephant Polo game.
Lumbini, The Birthplace of Gautam Buddha (2 Days)
Lumbini is a few hours drive from Chitwan. Lumbini is the birthplace of Gautam Buddha and it is one of the famous World Heritage Sites in Nepal.
On the twelfth day of the Nepal trip, you can go for Lumbini Tour. There are amazing Vihars constructed by different nations. The design of the building itself and the intricate paintings on the walls inside are fascinating. Visit the half and full excavated site that marks the life story of Lord Buddha.
Back to Kathmandu (1 day)
Back to the old Kathmandu! Take a break. Just sleep in your hotel or stroll around. Buy souvenirs. Thamel is a good place to buy souvenirs. There are many souvenir shops in Durbar areas as well.
The best way to end this wonderful trip in Nepal is with a mountain flight. Book Everest Mountain Flight that gives you a good one hour round trip for a spectacular and up-close view of the snow clad peaks including the Might Mount Everest. It costs less than $200. Nepal is known for the Himalayas. So, this is the best way to have eyeful closeup views of the Himalayas in a short period of time.
Nepal has so much more to offer than these activities incorporated in two weeks. You will not be able to completely explore Nepal in two weeks. But, you will definitely have a great experience by following the two week travel plan and will surely wish to visit Nepal again. Because trips to Nepal, once is never enough.
Featured image via Flickr weiinqueensland