Updated: Mar 19, 2020
It was almost Norway, but I feel I've written a lot already. While I have visited New Zealand briefly, it was over twenty years ago! Time for a return visit (wink). Has anyone traveled to Namibia, Nauru, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria and North Korea? Please do get in touch, I would love to hear about your travels. So it's Nepal this month. What a great country it is too with so much diversity from the Himalayan Mountain Range to the jungle and everything in-between. Here's what not to miss!
Monkey Temple ©MDHarding
A - Z Travel Blog - Nepal
I have been lucky enough to have visited Nepal twice, both trips were lots of fun and what an adventure!
Reaching Nepal From The U.K
You can fly from a number of UK airports with either one or more connections. The first time I flew from Edinburgh connecting in Doha, Qatar with Qatar Airlines and returning the same route. On the second visit I traveled overland via taxi, crossing the India-Nepal border. That was really interesting!
You may be asking why? I was covering a story called "In The Footsteps of Buddha".
Kathmandu is a hive of activity and a really historical area with ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambhunath Stupa, Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square. During my first trip with Rickshaw Travels there were transfers included but if you would like to travel to these historic sites independently, Uber is now available in Nepal.
Don't have much time? My first solo trip to Nepal was less than a week! - Two Days, Three Nights In Kathmandu, Nepal.
A visit to Nepal would not be the same without visiting one of it’s most spectacular sites – Durbar Square. See the stupas and architecture in Patan dating back to the late Malla period between the 16th – 18th centuries. Once a fiercely independent state, the fortified town was founded in 745 AD by the most prominent king – Vanraj Chavda.
The name comes from the meaning of craft and today you can still see the many skilled crafts taking place such as pottery, metalwork, art and woodwork.
©MDHarding Pottery Square, Patan, Nepal
Bhakapur (meaning Place of Devotees) the Newari city or also known as the 99 city is made up of three squares which are filled with shrines, temples and are a hive of activity. Known as the 99 city as it has 99 water spouts, the palace of 99 court yards (although with the damage of the earthquake in 1934 only 6 courtyards remain) and now 99 hotels.
©MDHarding Historical Bhaktapur
I love meaningful and responsible travel. In Panauti I had the most wonderful homestay meeting lovely people and learning a new skill - making chapati's. The enterprise is run by the women in the community for the women.
©MDHarding Views across Panauti
The second largest city in Nepal - Pokhara is well worth a visit. Take a boat ride across Lake Phewa, watch sunrise from the Peace Pagoda and visit Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave as well as much more!
Did you know Pokhara is also the starting point for hiking the Annapurna trail?
©MDHarding Machhapuchare/Fishtail Mountain from Pokhara, Nepal
Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park can be reached with either an internal flight or by bus. I decided on the bus, what an adventure! It is of course one of the best places to see the largest of the Rhinoceros family - The Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros. I couldn't wait to see it in its natural habitat. There is lots more to see and do here, including boat and walking trips, as well as cultural events.
©MDHarding Great One Horned Rhino, Chitwan National Park, Nepal
There is a variety of accommodation available for all budgets throughout Nepal. I booked with Booking.com for additional nights in Kathmandu and stayed at both the Summit Hotel with it's beautiful gardens and the budget - Trekkers Home. There are pros and cons for both of these. Depending on what your looking for, If peace and tranquility the Summit Hotel or if you would like to be in the heart of things with cafes, restaurants and shops - Trekkers Home.
I hope you have enjoyed reading and inspired to visit Nepal, the land of unity in diversity. If you did, please share. Sharing is caring! As always, I would love to hear your comments and answer any questions you have. You can reach me via email: enquiries@MDHardingTravelPhotography.com
Until next time....Happy Travels:) x