Besides viewing those wondrous mountains and shopping to my heart’s content, I’d say a definite must-do is to have a meal in the home of a Nepali family! What you will learn is that Nepali people are the most hospitable people you can imagine. They will serve you special food they rarely eat themselves, and most probably invite you to sleep over.
Temples and holy sites are rampant in Kathmandu and date back to some of the oldest Buddhist and Hindu temples in the world. No matter how “templed-out” you might be when you land in Kathmandu, you simply have to visit each of these four major sites – all different and all intriguing.
If you come by air you’ll want to stay around the Kathmandu Valley. You can do several permit-free trekking routes, the Valley Rim Route will take you through many lovely little villages and to some incredible views of the Himalayas. You’ll walk through a forest and can catch views of Mt. Everest along the way. You can see Bhaktapur ($15 admission) Changunarayan ($3 admission) Nagarkot (free), Panauti (?) Dhulikel (free) and Nama Buddha (?). You can do this in 2-4 days. You’ll experience the ‘real’ Nepal and see exceptional views.
Nepalese also enjoy a popular digestive chew prepared from green betel leaves, locally known as paan. The leaves are neatly rolled and folded into a triangular pouch that is filled with different combinations of ingredients, such as betel nuts, cardamom seeds, cloves, dried fruits, fennel seeds, and coconut chips. The combination is usually chewed slowly to refresh the palate.
What we had not expected was how difficult the descent from the pass would be. We thought the hard part would be getting up to the top, but going down was equally hard, as the first two hours was on loose scree, and the first hour of that on icy loose scree! From the pass we could see the path winding and zig-zagging through the snow – but there was nothing in this view to give perspective, and it felt a very long way on tired legs.
For the record, we were dying to answer this question too. When we hiked the Annapurna Circuit in May, we met a couple people who had just completed the Everest Base Camp trek prior to Annapurna. Knowing that the Everest trek would likely be our next big hike in Nepal, we enjoyed hearing their thoughts on the pluses and minuses of both.
When you trek in Nepal, there are going to be hills and steps to climb (no surprises there), so make sure your training isn’t all on flat ground. Find bush trails with steep sections and steps to climb, then do those steps over and over. If you haven’t got any rocky mountain paths near home, jump on a stair-master at the gym or turn your office stairwell into your training ground.
The surprising truth is, that you can, in fact, get a damn good blueberry cheesecake at 4500m’s.
Nepali is written using the Devanagari Script and features 12 Vowels and 36 Consonants. The consonants are mixed with vowels to create additional sounds. The sounds are approximate only, real sounds may differ.There are a total 12 vowels in the Nepali Language, but usually only 10 vowels are used commonly.Devanagari has no Capital Letters and is written left to right horizontally, like the Latin Script.