Ok so when we think Nepal we often have one thing on our mind, trekking, trekking, trekking. I am here to tell you, there are life changing experiences to be had, some simple, some just simply unforgettable.
Did you know you can swim with and wash Elephants in Nepal? In Chitwan, just outside the National Park, most hotels surrounding the area have their own Elephants, and at a particular time each day the female Elephants are taken to the river for bath time and you can enjoy a swim with these gentle giants. Surrounded by swaying gray bodies and their keepers, it is an experience I would highly recommended to any adventurer that has a soft spot for these amazing animals.
It seems a little more natural to me splashing around with Elephants unsaddled and free from chains, scrubbing them with rough river rocks (a favourite for them) and being thrown from their high backs into the river below as they cheekily soak you with water from their trunks, than strapping myself into a wooden frame fixed onto her back with several other people. Although to her we are light as feathers, and a stroll through the jungle is much better than being chained to a concrete slab, so I do not knock this activity, as it does allow the Elephants a change of scene and chance to stretch the legs. Better to arrange this through a reputable company that offer both activities and source out well cared for Elephants, demand better conditions and spare no expense to pay keepers proper wages to go towards the upkeep of these beautiful animals, hoping to set a standard for all keepers to look to.
White Water, I have touched on this before in some of my articles, but I can’t say it enough. Nepal has some of the best White Water in the world, so get over there and do it!! The range of rivers suits anyone and everyone, from the very nervous first time rafter to the very experienced kayaker looking for a challenge! Why not try Canyoning, Bungy Jumping and Paragliding in Nepal. If you are the adventurous type, why aren’t you coming to Nepal to check out these activities? The added incentive that these things can be done with a Himalayan backdrop should be enough. Again better arrange these activities through a company that is certified in this area and can offer the best safety equipment and skilled guides.
Chilling out, no it’s not all trekking and action. Nepal is the best place to chill out also. It offers a range of retreats, yoga and meditation clinics. It also has a lazy lakeside town called Pokhara that is just made for cruising around, trinket shopping, great restaurants, with laid back gardens and delicious food. It offers relaxed open bars with talented live music for evening entertainment. A huge range of accommodations, from cute affordable hotel rooms to five star hotels. You don’t have to cut on comfort to enjoy a nice place to sleep here though, so make sure you do your research and don’t go for the first thing offered, have a wonder around and choose a location and hotel that suits you. Some of the hotels that are only a block away from the main road are worth the extra five minutes’ walk, so give them a go too, it’s generally quieter.
Last but definitely not least, Nepal is loaded with stunning architecture and history. So even if you’re not interested in all of the above, if you love your buildings, your quirky allies, monasteries, palaces and temples, then you will never be bored here. It is a maze of historical designs, a mixing pot of cultures and artistry. And I am just scratching the surface, so go discovering! Remember if you want to get more out of your holiday make sure you at least start with a tour, this way you will be shown things you will most probably miss travelling on your own, and be taken to places you simply can’t get to without a tour.