Riverside Adventures

Posted Feb 9th, 2009 under Food & Accommodation, Tourism News, Travel Guide,

Riverside Splash – Royal beach Camp

If you are a river junkie and love the thrill and excitement of riverside adventures  then your next stop should be the Royal Beach Camp.

Royal beach camp is an eco-adventure beach camp on the Trisuli River. The camp has the perfect location as it lies at the centre of three main tourist destinations:  Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan. This makes it easy to fit a stop at RBC into any itinerary whenever you move between these three major tourist hubs.

The camp is located on a stretch of white sandy beach on the riverbank and has a charming outdoor atmosphere. Accommodation at the camp consists of bamboo huts, built using eco-friendly materials like bamboo, rattan and thatch. There are simple conveniences like outdoor shower, and clean wc.

There is a cosy lounge and bar. The food at the camp is prepared by a professional chef using local produce and vegetables. On camp activities include kayaking, beach volleyball, river surfing, skysurfing (fixing a harness and going down on a zip line to land in the water with a splash). The camp also runs kayak courses and rafting , canyoning and multi sport adventure trips.

For info email: info@royalbeachnepal.com


Hotel Marshyangdi

Posted Jan 26th, 2009 under Food & Accommodation,

Hotel Marshyangdi, established in 1990 is a family owned enterprise. Managed and operated by a family from Manang, Hotel Marshyangdi provides a friendly and warm ambience and comfortable accommodation, that is on par with the best hotels in the world.

This deluxe hotel, situated in the heart of Thamel, the tourist hub of Kathmandu, has 50 Deluxe, 5 mini suite rooms with air condition and 40 standard rooms. The hotel’s deluxe and mini suit rooms have phones, attached bathrooms with bathtubs running 24 hrs hot & cold showers, air conditioning and cable television. 24-hour room service is available.

The hotel’s restaurant ‘Palace Restaurant’ serves Chinese, Continental, Indian and Nepalese cuisine. The hotel also has a cafe ‘Lumbini Cafe’ which is opened round the clock and a bar ‘Khukuri Bar’.

The hotel has a large hall that is ideal for conferences and seminars. The Potala Conference Hall can accommodate up to 120 people for conferences and up to 300 people for cocktail dinners. The ornate hall is decorated with Tibetan motifs.

The hotel has a cozy garden tucked in a corner of its premises and a shopping arcade which sells souvenir or gift items.The hotel accepts all international and major credit cards.

For more info contact: Info@hotelmarshyangdi.com,

Tel: (+977-1) 4700105, 4700022

[Photo Credit: Valery Yarkal]

Nepalese Cuisine – In Brief

Posted Jan 21st, 2009 under Food & Accommodation, Travel Guide,

A casual greeting in Nepalese goes “Khana khanu bhayo?” (Have you taken your meal?). This gives us an idea about the important role that food plays in Nepalese daily life. The staple fare in Nepal is dal, bhat and tarkari (rice, lentils and curry). Dal is a soup made with lentils, while bhat is boiled rice and tarkari is vegetable curry. This is accompanied by achar or pickles and sometimes masu or meat curry. Though dishes vary in range and type according to the region, dal-bhat gets the vote for the national dish as every Nepali kitchen prepares it. But the ethnic cuisines are worth trying, and well, if you want to dip into Nepalese culture one needs to be more adventurous with ones taste buds.

The following text gives you a brief description on ‘what’s cooking’ in different Nepalese kitchens.

Kathmandu: Kathmandu is the home of Newars, a community famous for their elaborate feasts (bhoj). Momocha ( steamed or fried dumplings), choyila (buff cubes fried with spices and greens), palula (spicy buff with ginger sauce) ,kachila (a paté of minced raw buff, mixed with ginger and mustard oil), chatamari (a sort of pancake or pizza made with rice flour),woh or bara(fried lentil-flour patties), kwati (a soup made with several varieties of sprouted beans), musya palu (a dry mix of roasted soya beans and ginger) , bhuti (boiled soya beans with spices and herbs), pancha kol (a curry made with five vegetables) , alu – tamaa ( potato with bamboo shoot), all find a place in the Newari platter. Usually mustard oil is used for cooking and for seasoning, spices such as fenugreek , cumin, sesame seeds, turmeric, garlic, ginger , bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, chili, mustard seeds, etc. are used. Newars prepare some of the dishes only during festivals and certain time of the year. For instance, yomari a sticky rice cake stuffed with a mixture of jaggery and sesame seed is prepared during the Yomari Punhi, a full moon festival celebrated during December.

[Newari Dish – popular cuisine in Kathmandu – consisting of Bara, Chewra, Choiyla, & Achar]

[Yomari ]

Jomsom & Mustang: Along the trekking trails of Jomsom and Mustang one may come across Thakkali tea- houses and lodges with neat and tidy kitchens that serves tasty Thakkali fare. It is believed no one can beat the Thakkalis when it comes to serving the best dal-bhat and tarkari. Like true connoisseurs, the Thakkalis pay close attention to the presentation and visual appeal while serving food. Thakkali cooks give a distinct flavour to their preparation by using unique Himalayan spices like Timur (a sort of pepper with a fiery taste , commonly used in marinades and achars) and Jimbu (Himalayan herb, used fresh or dry),

In the Hills: Among the highland Bhotias the staple is tsampa or ground roasted barley flour. It requires no cooking and is taken with tea and yak cheese. In Khumbu, the Sherpa homeland, they reap a good potato havest. Boiled potatoes are peeled and eaten with salt and pounded chilies and garlic. Rigi kur is a delicious crispy potato pancake served with a lump of yak butter.Thukpa, or noodle and vegetable and meat broth is also quite popular.

Saelroti: Saelroti, a spongy rice doughnut prepared from well-mixed fermented rice batter, is a food item that is uniquely Nepali in character. Important festivals like Dassein and Tihar are incomplete without the preparation of saelroti.

[Photo Credit: Reshma Shrestha]

Hotel Yak & Yeti

Posted Jan 5th, 2009 under Food & Accommodation,

Kathmandu’s impressive Yak & Yeti Hotel is built on the grounds of a 100 year old Rana Palace. A brainchild of Boris Lisanevitch, a pioneer of the Nepalese tourism industry, the idea to build Yak & Yeti was conceived in the seventies, after Boris’ restaurant “The Chimney” was a huge success.

Hotel Yak & Yeti was completed in the year 1977. With 120-rooms and 5 star amenities it became one of the premiere hotels in Kathmandu. After a successful run of 12 years, the need was felt to enhance the hotel’s size and facilities. An extension of 150 deluxe rooms and suites have been built to supplement the existing accommodation, bringing the total number of rooms available in the hotel to 270 rooms.

The hotel has a shopping arcade, an atrium, swimming pool and two tennis courts, and restaurants. The hotel has an exclusive fitness center, Club Nirvana Fitness Center complete with state-of-the-art gymnasium and spa. Hotel Yak & Yeti has a comprehensive Business Centre and is the first hotel in Kathmandu offering a much sought after exclusive Executive floor and Club Shangri-La. Facilities on this floor include 24-hour butler service, a private lounge for breakfast and cocktails, a boardroom, and in-room outlets for fax machines and computers, which can be rented.

A centerpiece of the hotel, is the meticulously restored, Lal Durbar (or Red Palace) which now houses the hotel’s two historic restaurants, banquet rooms, a grand ballroom and casino. Although it is an ultra modern hotel, the traditional Nepali architectural features have been preserved. It captures the old world charm of Kathmandu, while providing the international quality standards of accommodation and dining facilities. With the historic character of the hotel and the new and upgraded facilities, Yak & Yeti continues to be one of the city’s leading luxury business and leisure hotels.

Some of the luminaries who have chosen the hospitality of Yak & Yeti are: the Imperial Highness Prince Akihito and Princess Kiko of Japan , HRH Princess Christina of Spain, Richard Gere (Actor), Keanu Reeves (Actor), Oliver Stone (Director) , Donna Karan (Fashion Designer), Alanis Morissette (singer), Pandit Ravishankar (Sitar Maestro), Goldie Hawn (Actress).

Yak & Yeti Kathmandu

For further details, you can surf www.yakandyeti.com or for reservations reservation@yakandyeti.com.np

Tel: +977 1 4248999

Fax: +977 1 4227782

[Photos: www.yakandyeti.com]

Hotel Vajra

Posted Nov 23rd, 2008 under Food & Accommodation,

Hotel Vajra – Heritage of wooden carved architecture

Hotel Vajra, built in Nepalese architecture of pagoda style, is situated on the foothills of the Swayambhunath Stupa bordering with the Bijeswori Temple complex and its age old pilgrim road for two of the holy places of the Kathmandu Valley. It is ideally located for a quiet stay yet at the same time a short walk will bring you to Thamel and the old city center of the valley.

The hotel known as cultural heritage is surrounded by trees and flower trail gardens, creating a place of serenity and beauty, overlooking the entire Kathmandu Valley up to the snow peaks of the Himalayas. This is the junction of the pilgrims – Nepali, Tibetan, Bhutanese, in-fact, Buddhists from any part of the world on their ascent to the great 2000 years old Swayambhunath Stupa.

According to Hotel Vajra, Phil Hawes, its chief architect was associated with Frank Lloyd Wright and taught graduate architecture with Bruce Goff, the two great promoters of organic architecture. While building the Hotel Vajra, Hawes synergized the traditions of the pagoda style roofing of Nepalese greatest architect Arniko and the use of local materials with the most modern earthquake resistant techniques.

The mastery of Nepal’s highly skilled artisans’ community reflects in its doors and windows. The ceiling frescos of the Great Pagoda Room and pagoda bar are full of Tibetan paintings. Wall frescos in the restaurant are painted by Nepalese painter. A complete menu of Nepali, Indian, Tibetan and Continental dishes are served in pleasant environment.

Among the heritage hotels in Kathmandu Valley, Hotel Vajra is known to be one of the most reasonably priced, offering rooms for all budgets. It has 51 rooms – 3 suites, 18 deluxe rooms, 23 rooms with attached shower and 7 rooms with sink, and conference hall – located in three different buildings surrounded by the inner gardens. The rooftop gardens of the wooden carved hotel give a magnificent morning and sunset panorama looking the Kathmandu Valley including directly on the Pagodas of Durbar Square (center of the medieval Kathmandu) and the 2000 year old Swayambhunath Stupa. Panoramic snow capped peaks can be viewed from the hotel.

The hotel has various offers for the guest who can enjoy an art gallery, a classical dance studio with weekly performances, an East-West library, an Ayurvedic massage room, several roof tops, the Pagoda Bar, the Pagoda Hall for meditation or yoga, the Naga Theater with yearly drama performances by Studio 7 and a cluster of flower trailed gardens and wireless internet connection.

Nepal Accomodation - Hotel Vajra

For further details, you can surf www.hotelvajra.com or contact details:  vajra@mos.com.np

Phone: +977-1-4271545. Fax: +977-1-4271695.

[Photo Credit: Nadia Neupokoeva]

Happy Explorers

The airport and hotel transfers were excellent, as was our itinerary. The our guide in Tibet was excellent in the monasteries and towns. The driver and the condition of the vehicle was excellent.

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