Towering ice-topped mountains sparkle with the colorful prayer flags, while the fanatical streets of Kathmandu are a ceaseless delirium of honking motorbikes, additionally the historical and religiously important 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites scattered in different corners of Kathmandu: Nepal is thoroughly a vibrant slice of Asia.
If there is a trekkers’ paradise, then beyond doubt Nepal is the first pick. Trials to the base of Himalayas in Nepal offer top-notch trekking terrain – from verdant Annapurna to eminent Everest – sprinkled with rural mountain hamlets, and hundreds of rolling trails that have been trodden upon for centuries.
But divinely and naturally blessed Nepal is indeed not only for mountaineers who set off to clamber the higher elevation; from the lime-green grasslands of Chitwan National Park rustling with the dark grey flash of One-horned rhino, to the eclectic cafés and unconventional vibe of Lake-side Pokhara, Nepal is truly an interesting and convivial destination for all.
As a part of company CSR, six Explore Himalayans toured and trekked around few prominent destinations of Nepal which included Chitwan, Pokhara and Poonhill Trek. The FAM trip involved more fun and of course little bit of work. Field work obviously was focused on visiting our service partners so that we could improve the level of our services offered to the clients. Fun part definitely boosted our work efficiency while on work table . Have a look at a photo essay which highlights the prime attractions of the trip.
Day 1: Drive to Chitwan and transfer to Tigerland Safari Resort
166 km South East of Kathmandu lies the first Wildlife Park of Nepal, Chitwan National Park
One of the biggest Ethnical tribes of Terai Lowlands of Nepal, Tharus have unique history and culture. The tharu stick dance at the resort is an insightful opportunity to peep into rich Tharu culture and history.
Day 2: Bird watching tour at the bank of Rapti River, Elephant wildlife Safari at Chitwan National Park and transfer to Hotel Water Front in Pokhara
Boating or Canoeing in Rapti River inside the Park is wonderful chance to spot different species of birds. Chitwan National Park is the home to 543 species of birds including 160 species of migratory birds.
The total area of 932 sq. km, Chitwan National park offers one of the best Wildlife Safaris in the world on the back of giant Asian Elephant. The Park comprises diverse species of floras in the form of wide grasslands and dense deciduous moist forest.
Birds like peacock and Braminhy Duck are easy spotting in the park whereas endangered bird species like Gould’s sunburn and Slaty-breasted Rail among others can also be spotted here which depends on traveler’s luck.
Chitwan National Park is the home to 43 species of mammals which includes one-horned rhino and Royal Bengal Tiger. Varieties of species of reptiles, insects and amphibians also share the wild habitat.
After the safari and lunch with wonderful hospitality at Tigerland Safari Resort, we drive 146km North West of Chitwan and arrive to TripAdvisors’ ranked hotel of Pokhara, Water Front Resort.
Day 3: Drive to Nayapool in a private vehicle, drive to Kimche in a public vehicle and then trek to Tadapani
Initial view of stunning Mt. Fishtail from Pokhara. The view changes as we climb higher.
One and half hour drive to Naya Pool from Pokhara followed by 1 hour drive brings us to our trek starting point Kimche. The massif of Mt. Fishtail at the backdrop.
Two hours long steep uphill climb on the stone staircases from Kimche brings us to wonderful Gurung hamlet, Ghandruk. The first glimpse of rural lifestyle at Ghandruk.
Almost 4 and half hours of ascending climb followed by the final part of the pleasant walk along the rhododendron and bamboo woods takes us to the major stopover point in the region Tadapani. Places to stop for tea and snacks between Ghandruk and Tadapani- Sitkyu and Bhaisi Kharka
Day 4: Trek to Ghorepani via Deurali
The morning view from Tadapani- From right to left- Fishtail, Gangapurna, Hinchuli and Annapurna South
Three hours of walk on the slippery, icy and rolling trial via Banthati brought us to Deurali 3105m. The view of Gurung Hill from Deurali. Gurung Hill is almost 150m steep uphill climb from Deurali.
One hour up and down from Deurali to Gurung Hill rewards with striking view of Dhaulagiri, Tilicho Peak and Dhampus Peak
One hour walk from Deurali and just before the final descend to Ghorepani the mountains open up even more. The view from the ridge of a hill between Deurali and Ghorepani. Ghorepani is just 45 minutes walk from this point.
Day 4: Early Morning Trek to Poonhill for the sunrise view, trek back to Ghorepani, and trek to Hille via, Nangethati, Banthati, Ulleri and Thirkedunga. Drive to Nayapool and drive back to Lakeside Retreat in Pokhara.
Colorful Nature- Dark Hills, silvern Himalayas, aureate sky and nigrescent cloud during the emerging new sun somewhere in the horizon- a striking view from Poonhill
Color changes in a flash at Poonhill. Wide Himalayan range sprawls right before the eyes.
The section of hills swarming to the wide Range of Dhaulagiri Himalayan Range, yet another contrast view from Poonhill- Anyone would call this place a paradise
Dhaulagiri witnesses the expression of love! Where else in the world people can find such a romantic place?
Day 6: Boating at Fewa Lake in Pokhara
A sacred Hindu shrine, Taal Barahi Temple in the middle of Fewa Lake
Tranquil Fewa Lake, colorful boats and sacred small island- A place to enjoy serenity in Pokhara
Flying to face the beautiful Fishtail- Pokhara is also an adventurous flying hub of Nepal
Day 7: Drive back to Kathmandu
Explore Himalayans during the FAM Trip with their guide/porter Mr. Phool Man Kafle
A far-flung hamlet on the Nepalese mid-hills on the Langtang Trial
A traditional way of farming in Nepal. Oxen plough the fields and farmers sow the seeds
Expression of nature itself- Pokhara, a paradise on Earth
Sacred land- Lumbini where Gautam Buddha was born
Celebrating Indra Jatra to please the “God of Rain Indra” at Kathmandu Durbar Square
A wonderful ridge to summit- Tsergo Ri- Langtang Region, Nepal
Tyangboche Monastery aginst the back drop of Mt. Ama Dablam- Everest Region, Nepal
Sherpa women harvesting their staple food in the Himalayan Region of Nepal
View ubiquitously available while trekking in Nepal
During India’s largest Travel Show TTF, nine Travel Companies of Nepal accompanied NTB. The Travel Trade Fair was held from January 3 to 5. According to NTB visitors at TTF, made inquiries about Nepal´s prime touristic highlights as well as the pilgrimage destinations like Pasupatinath, Muktinath and Manakamana among others.
The statement of NTB says “Visitors also inquired about pilgrimage tour to Kailash Mansarovar via Nepal. The soft adventure holidays like trekking and rafting, leisure tour of Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan, and entertainment segments are also found popular among young travelers of India”, NTB statement adds.
Nepal silently booms as a prime attraction for travelers in the region. A south Asian landlocked country tucked at the base of the Himalayas, Nepal lies between two Asian giants, China and India. The nation, geographically and culturally diverse is well known for the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, and Lumbini, birth place of Buddha.
The nation also offers a bevy of religious, spiritual and cultural experiences. Nepal tops many travelers lists of must visit place on earth. Popular travel guides have ranked Nepal very highly on their lists of must visit travel destinations around the world.
Traveler’s Choice of lonely planet rated Nepal sixteenth top travel destination of the world and in the list of adventurous destinations of the site Nepal was in the third position. Similarly, USA Today ranks Everest top seven in the list of Top Tourist Destinations in Asia whereas CNN Unseen Asia ranks Garden of Dreams of Thamel fifth in its list of Most attractive overlooked sites in Asia.
Similarly, on the trekking side lonely planet and Exodus UK rank Everest Base Camp Trek 4th and 3rd respectively in their lists of most wonderful treks in the world. One of the most popular trekking trials in the world Annapurna Circuit is ranked first and third respectively by Travel Channel and BootsnAll in their lists of Best Treks in the World.
Argentine national, Emilio Scotto is a sheer adventurer, enthusiastic photojournalist and a noteworthy travel writer. He has been holding the Guinness World Records since 2009 for his achievement of 10 years Motorcycle ride-which is the longest journey in a motorbike taking him to 279 nations covering 735000 kilometers. His ride around the world was his beautiful Black Princess- 1980 Honda Gold Wing GL1100 . Scotto was in Nepal in the beginning of the Monsoon of 2013 with other fifteen associate riders. Explore Himalaya was overwhelmed to have an opportunity to be a part of Mr. Scotto and his team’s Nepal Tour. These Argentine travelers took a short rest from riding and traveled on a private vehicle to the three most delightful cities of Nepal- Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan. After the completion of the trip Explore Himalaya had a small interview with Mr. Emilio Scotto. Mr. Scotto married in India. To live his dream of a traveler he and his wife sacrificed with not having a child. Actually, we are humbled to have an opportunity to host a person like Mr. Emilio Scotto who has acquired such heights. Personally, I pride on myself for having interviewed this traveling icon.
An interview view with the well known traveler- Emilio Scotto
Here we have Mr. Scotto’s comments on the behalf of his entire team regarding the tour to Nepal.
EH: How was your trip to Nepal?
When I was kid, the names of Nepalese cities were in my dreams. So, I came to Nepal in 1990, and now I am here again after 23 years, I won’t be surprise to see enormous changes in Nepal. Whatsoever, Nepal is as beautiful as it was then in 1990. Actually, last time in 1990 I came on a bike. I returned to Nepal again because I am in love with Nepal. All my friends traveling with me liked Nepal. They loved Pokhara and they wished to stay a few more days there. They also wished for a day more at Chitwan.
EH: So, far in the cultural aspect, Kathmandu valley holds seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Which one do you appreciate the most?
See it’s pretty hard to pick one from the choices, as all of them are equally amazing. However, we visited Boudhanth before we traveled to Pokhara and Chitwan and once we have returned back to Kathmandu, my fellow members wanted to spend some more time at Boudhanath. They were amazed to see such an serene place which is so sacred and tranquil.
EH: How was your experience in Pokhara?
Pokhara is very nice place. Boating in Fewa Lake was exceedingly pleasurable, Davis Fall (pause for a while), it is just out of the world. The caves were not that interesting as my team had expected. The hotels were very nice and services provided by the hotels were great. My team wished to stay a few more days in Pokhara, so they could explore more in this enchanting city. We were lucky enough to see the panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges including the unique Fishtail on the last day at Pokhara and even that, just for a while. The view was awesome.
EH: Did you enjoy the wildlife experience in Chitwan National Park?
Chitwan National Park is a beautiful place for the wildlife adventure. Everyone in my team loved the place. It is probably the best destination for the Wildlife Safari in entire Asia. We had great fun during the Safari. As we began the journey from Pokhara to Chitwan it was raining. Upon arriving at Chitwan the rain stopped. So, we began our Safari. As the Safari was on the verge to an end, we experienced the heaviest rainfall riding on the back of an elephant for the last ten minutes. It was probably the best experience for all of us at Chitwan National Park. We loved photographing in the rain. However, the next time I would go for a two person ride on an elephant instead of four as we Argentines are little bigger in size (laughs). It was total fun at Chitwan and we expected to spend more time there.
Emilio Scotto with the Explore Himalaya family
EH: Since the day you arrived to Nepal the heavy rainfall has created an adverse scene in properly exploring Nepal, Were you affected by the rain?
Yes. Though we didn’t have problems in exploring the cities but we also had planned for the Helicopter ride to the Himalayas and I must admit rain did spoil it. As we didn’t want to risk the significant amounts chargeable for the helicopter ride and get nothing. Or, else everything was perfect.
EH: How would you describe Nepal in one word?
I am sorry, but I may not be the right guy to describe Nepal in a word. Nepal is synonymous to so many beautiful sides of nature and culture.
EH: Can we be hopeful that some day we will entertain more visitors to Nepal from Argentina who are especially recommended by you?
Yes, next year I am planning for the two groups. First in April, adding the Himalayas view tour to this tour we had this year. Next one, I am planning a Motorbike Tour in Nepal during the month of June.
EH: How were the services of our staffs during the entire tour?
All of them were very good. You know Argentines are not easy to handle (laughs). However, every guide was patience, informative and desperate in explaining. Guide in Chitwan was very good; similarly the guide in Pokhara was equally great. The guide in Kathmandu spoke Spanish so it was easy for me and all others to know better about Kathmandu. Even the bus driver was extremely good and had good explaining quality.
EH: Finally, is there anything you do not like during the tour?
Yes, overcrowded traffics in Kathmandu (laughs).
EH: Okay, Mr. Scotto it was nice talking to you and we wish for the exciting safe Motorbike journey in China.
Thank you so much.
Meals were ok considering the location. No one got sick, so quality was ok. The service at each lodge was good.
We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.