February 26, 2016

Voluntourism: a vacation with a helping hand in Nepal.

Although the tourism sector is one of the most prominent source of national income, but the visitors who want to directly contribute in the development and the betterment of individuals or a community might find the concept of voluntourism quite attractive. This concept could be a vacation with a social and humanitarian agenda at the same time be a fruitful experience and a tinge of adventure. As the remote areas of Nepal is very much in a troubled situation with fields like health, education and basic infrastructure of development at the lowest of levels. For the promotion of such sectors there are many international as well as domestic organizations and many government programs which are already operating in the development of the lifestyle and comfort in living of the people residing in the remote areas.
Voluntourism has been quite popular in Nepal after the devastating earthquake that took place on 25th April 2015 which had had thousands of casualties and millions of shelter destroyed. The journey in voluntourism will not be exactly a  vacation but will also be a complete work program as the visit to remote places will provide for the adventure aspect and also make the visitors view the magnificent landscapes along with the prime objective to help those in need and support the program. The learning of the culture and the lifestyle of the regions and the communities could also be experienced as the warm and cohesive nature of the Nepalese people will make the visitor a part of their group.
Also the opportunity to contribute through many activities along with the local communities is also available like construction of temporary houses, schools, shed for the animals, barricades etc., the skills and knowledge could also be passed on to the people and children in remote areas for the their interdependency and competency in life and proper tips and knowledge in health related subjects and cleanliness as hygiene is the most sensitive issue in the remote areas. Training programs could also be organized along with the already operating programs and organization with permission from the authority for the above mentioned topics.

People travel to the similar region for the purpose of adventure and thrill, but volutourism gets you the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment of helping other who requires it. After all, the act of giving is the most prestigious of all. This visit to Nepal pack your bag pack along with the will to volunteer.

February 24, 2016

Manaslu trek: the best all-around trek in Nepal

Manaslu having been renowned for its non-tea-housing trek is now one of the best tea house trek of Nepal and arguably the best all-around trek of Nepal.  The trek takes you to an incredible height of 5,153 m above sea level through the Larkya La Pass, just behind the manaslu massif which neighbors the border of Tibet and Nepal. Along the adventurous trek the trekkers can also familiarize with some of the most beautiful and tall mountain ranges like: Manaslu massif, Annapurna, Himlung and the Ganesh Himal.
The trail passes through Annapurna conservation area and Manaslu conservation area both of which are quite beautiful and significant landmark of Nepal. Unlike most trails in the Himalayan range which offer less encounter of diverse vegetation and wildlife, the manaslu trekking through larke pass is a trek other than the ordinary. Culturally diverse habitation could also be found along the trek after reaching the Budhi Gandaki valley and Marsyangdi valley which host Indo-aryan and tibetean people. The diverse cultural experience and the lifestyles within such short distance are simply amazing. The trek holds some of the most beautiful landscapes of Nepal among which the manaslu massif is arguably the most alluring of them all. The trek itself gives encouragement and support to the trekker to push further through the beautiful imagery and the ancient monasteries that lie somewhere on the rocky surfaces and even on the hills which are truly a complement to the overall natural view. The prayer flags among the all-around nature oriented scenery never fail to provide a sense of divinity to the trekker whether following religious practices or not.
The ideal destination to complete the trek would be the trek to Larkya rest house. Although the whole journey has the sense of destination overruled, the trail to larkya passes through Mani walls which have inscriptions on them of well wished for progress over the pass is much recommended. The pleasant view of the larkya peak and Naike peak is also one of the important aspects of the trek having an utmost close encounter with huge snowy peaks and also the Syacha glacier. The rest house offers quite comfortable accommodation but it would be worth the while to have rented a tent and spend the night under the open sky which on a clear night is much more than a spectacle.
The trek overall is a mixture in taste of nature, culture and adventure whose experience along the advancement of the trail grows more beautiful, a lot more fun and probably leave an imprint of Nepal forever in the heart of the trekkers.

Some health tips, exercises and dietary plan for trekker in Nepal

Before pursuing a trek in Nepal, especially around the Himalaya range at high altitude, there are certain health related concerns which should be addressed by every trekker. The primary objective is to receive a clean sheet from the physician as an approval for pursuing the trek. In such medical checkup there are many health related aspects which needs to be examined. People with heart, lung and blood pressure abnormalities should necessarily get a medical opinion from a professional before setting off. Trekker above the age 50 and overweight for their age group should ideally consider the advice of the physician as the health issues for such condition are more prominent. However, there are no age barriers or any health issue that cannot be controlled which can prove as a red flag for the trek and with exercise and suitable diet, the dream of pursuing the trek can easily be made a reality. Asthma is another precautionary health issue which needs to be properly addressed and not a reason to be afraid of. With frequent cardio exercise trekker with asthma can pursue trekking but should bring proper medicinal support and inhalers along during the trek. Trekkers with diabetes need not worry about the trek but should ensure to bring along medication and keep a close monitoring of the glucose levels because heavy physical exertion will transform the carbohydrate and insulin level and so it is vital to keep blood sugar level well controlled. Other issues like heart attacks, blood pressure and epilepsy also needs be consulted with the physician if you have a history with such condition.
Exercise is an important factor before starting off the trek because the body needs to be well adapted before starting the trek. It is wise to start warming up for the trek, beforehand in order to build your strength and the level of fitness. Doing so will minimize the chance of fatigue and run out the chance of injury and soreness during the trek. In case of physical discomfort and soreness before the trek, seek the help of physiotherapist and always commence the trek when you are both physically and mentally prepared for it.

The dietary plan during the trek should involve a lot of carbohydrate, some reasonable amount of protein and fats because carbohydrates provide fast energy which required during the trek. Always pack calorie dense food which occupy less space and fewer pounds as it is easier to carry along.

Nepal In The list of Most visit Travel Destination

Sometimes considering the recommendations of experts before planning your next vacation may actually help you plan the perfect vacation that you have always had in your mind….
This year, Nepal is the most recommended site by most of the leading travel guides and magazines around the world.
Despite the devastation caused by the earthquake, one of the planet’s leading guidebooks ‘the Rough Guides’ has placed Nepal on the top of the list of a must-visit destination for the year 2016. Similarly, Nepal has also secured good ranks (if not the first place) in the list published by other travel and tourism publications: National Geographic Traveller magazine’s Cool List 2016, award winning travel webzine AFAR’s Top 10 Coolest Destinations for 2016, Forbes’ 14 Coolest places to visit in 2016, Travelers Today’s  5 Places You Need to see in 2016 are just to name a few.
This time interesting history, alluring landscape and exclusive culture are not the only reasons why Nepal is on the list of these travel guides. There is more to it…
 As per Forbes, visiting Nepal in the year 2016 presents travelers a chance to be a part of and witness country’s rebirth. Similarly, Fodor, the world’s largest publisher of English language travel guides, highlights the opportunity to combine community work and adventure.  AFAR claims, your dollars will  directly fund the relief efforts and the most recent, The Rough Guide, says, if the dollars are spent thoughtfully, that is, by choosing independent home-stays and grass roots tour companies, the money will end up in the pocket of local people, which will eventually help them to get back to their normal lives faster.

Since the economy of the country highly depends upon tourism, the declining state of tourism after the devastative earthquake, which rattled down the infrastructure along with the determination of the Nepalese people, massively deteriorated the economy and the lifestyles of the people. Despite these chain of events, Nepalese, with their resilience are already set to get back on track towards development. In such case, it would really be a boost if the tourism along with foreign volunteerism would flourish in Nepal.  let the next trip you plan have a hidden agenda, a one which would  help a country get back from its ruins.

What makes Nepal so special in tourism and what we know about it?

Many adventure seeker and travelers have set their must visit destinations but is this resolution only limited to such journey lovers? Any but all people who have the desire for thrill and adventure or even want to get in touch with their nature loving side should have Nepal as one of the must visit sites. While the conventional idea of Nepal as a country of mountain ranges still stands today, the transformation from this convention has already been seen in many specialized aspects in tourism. The focal point of Nepal tourism has shifted from mountain ranges and landscapes to adventure & thrill, cultural and religious practices/learning, safari and wildlife study, etc. which is understandable due to the diversity in the geographical, cultural, religious and biological aspect of the country.
While there is a common misconception that Nepal lacks in exotic and luxurious accommodation and sites which is also a prime source of attraction to many foreign as well as domestic tourists, people fail to realize that there are many quality accommodations and service industries which provides internationally standardized services if not better. The fact that only a minute fraction of the country’s total area has been developed and a large section of Nepal is still in its naturally preserved state, acts as a plus point for those interested in observing the natural habitat and unaltered environment.
Mount Everest being the world’s highest peak in the world is admired as well as desired by many pursuing the sport of mountain climbing. The fact that it is the world’s highest peak is enough to allure adventure seekers and the beauty of the landscape makes them irresistibly drawn to it. Nepal holds a record of residing the highest 10 mountains of the world beside mount K2 which makes Nepal a hub for climbers and trekkers. The diversity of flora and fauna has also contributed to the tourism, in fact the number of birdwatching, safari and wildlife study has rapidly been increasing since the late 90’s. Nepal is inhabited by some of the world’s rarest animals and birds like Bengal tiger, one horned rhinoceros, leopards, crocodiles, rocky pythons, grey elephants, spiny babbler, lophophorus and many more.
Nepal being culturally rich, people can find several destination where people follow various bipolar practices, fashion, ideologies and traditions. While destinations like Pokhara and Kathmandu is famous for the influence of western culture, in other regions the Nepalese culture and tradition are in practice. Pokhara and Kathmandu specializes in nightlife offering western music, opportunity to socialize etc. whereas other parts of the region are completely polar which consists of conservative ideologies and traditional practices unlike that in the above mentioned cities. You can participate in the traditions of Nepalese community as the Nepalese people are very friendly and can easily be familiar with the practices and the traditions that’s completely different to yours.
The experiences you gather could not only be diverse but also leave you with an imprint of Nepal which will last forever.

Some luxurious accommodations along the natural habitat in Nepal

The desire for many tourists while visiting Nepal is to have a one on one with the nature but without compromising the level and quality of facilities and comfort. This would not have been possible some decade before but after the implementation of the tourism development program that was run in Nepal which was focused on the well being and increasing the number of attraction of the tourists from around the world and within Nepal. This gave rise to construction of accommodations near wildlife reserves, conservation area and other areas which are prime focus for tourists.
Tiger tops Karnali Lodge is a unique blend of wildlife and exotic stay as the lodge itself provides a calming and soothing environment with services that borderlines to exquisite.
The hotel runs on solar energy and the products are all organic and fresh. There are many accommodations which serves the similar purpose like of the tiger tops that is to maintain the comfort level, safety and exotic vibe despite being surrounded by an unaltered and completely natural habitat. Similarly, green park Chitwan in Sauraha, which is a hub for wildlife seeking tourist is a luxury resort which lies in the centre of the dense rain forest and rare wildlife habitat. The comfort and qualitative services which the resort provides to their visitors absolutely complements the surrounding, creating a synergy between the natural habitat and the zone of accommodation.
Another widely famous tourist attraction is the mountain range trekking which require even more comfort and facilities due to the fact that such regions are prone  to difficulties and complication due to the geographical complexion and extreme climatic conditions that gives rise to fatigue and more need of comfort and recreation. Keeping in mind the provisions for the tourists for better accommodation and place for proper and exotic recreation, there’s been a lot of establishments which lies surrounded by the mystique Himalayan ranges but providing quality and standardized services to the visitors. Basic as well as advanced services are being offered which eliminate the sense of remoteness and discomfort for the visitors. Lodges like Everest summit lodge and Himalaya lodge which lie on the trail of Mount Everest and Ghandruk respectively are common examples of the above mentioned accommodations.
Similarly there are many exotic hotels and resorts which are meant for tourists and visitors offering wide ranges of qualitative services and accommodations without compromising the basic necessary requirements and necessities.

A trekker’s guide to adventurous trekking in Nepal

First and foremost, packing a rucksack is indeed the most important aspect of any trek as the objective is to be equipped with all the essential items in the trek but at the same time to achieve the lightest weight possible. Almost all trekking in Nepal occurs on the Himalayan stretch as trekkers find it challenging to hike along the rocky trails of Himalayas. However, the duration of the trek is decisive in the weight and in the prioritization of equipments. Short duration treks requires less equipments as well as effort to pack which makes it easier whereas long treks require consideration to the space, prioritizing equipments and the contingent nature of the trek which results in more time and effort. Some of the basic and mandatory requirements in packing a rucksack include- warm jacket, sleeping bag, trekking shoes, scissors, knife, rope, compass, tooth brush, tissue roll, torch, extra batteries, warm clothes, sanitizer, medical kit, water bottle, energy bars, juice (in form of powder) etc. 
However, the equipments to be included in a trek completely relies on the trail that is being pursued, so it is advised to research and enquire with experienced individuals to have precise and complete package before you advent on a trail.
Nepal is a haven for trekkers with numerous trekking routes and trails which pass along some of the most beautiful places in the world. The government of Nepal promotes trekking as one of the adventures activities along with mountain climbing, mountain biking among others. However, sections that are restricted or need permission to visit should be properly acknowledged by any potential trekkers who have desire to visit Nepal. Recently, the permit rates for many destinations have changed and also there are added permissions required from the local authority which should be properly revised by the trekkers in order to avoid confusion and interruption in the process. Communicated well you’re your trekking agency regarding the places you intend to trek. Trekking agencies not only help in hassle-free and timely availability of permits but can also save you some money as opposed to applying for the permits on your own.
The lifestyle of Nepalese people in the remote areas is quite simple and conservative. These hardworking people are very welcoming and hospitable towards visitors. However, some behaviors which are considered appropriate or acceptable in the urban areas could prove offensive to the people of remote Nepal. It is advisable to take some time to understand the culture and norms of the people there to avoid misunderstandings and unpleasant experiences. Prepare to get amazed and have the time of your life.

Trekking to the country beyond the mountains: Mustang

Mustang, the mythical land is popular for its landscapes and trek routes which most certainly is not unheard by trekkers all around the world. The trekking into the remote Trans-Himalayan mountain area is a 17 days trek which starts from the world’s deepest gorge Kaligandaki Region into the world’s highest regions of Lo-Mangthang Valley which passes through a desert like landscape, a rocky trail at high inclination and declination with views of the Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and many other mountain ranges with equally lustrous views. Along with barren land, opportunity to encounter passes, glaciers and alpine valley is also a given, in the spectacular trekking to upper mustang.
Mustang is an isolated region and has been in isolation for about thousands of years which has a well conserved architecture, heritages and culture dating back a long time. Some of the beautiful architectures of Mustang are the four storied palace in Lo-Manthang and Muktinath temple which is a common source of attraction. The Muktinath temple is a sacred shrine to Hindu followers and is the centre of attraction to many pilgrims. While trekking along the recommended trail is safe and prominent, the off beaten track offers more challenge to the trekkers. 
However, for even more adventurous trekkers, the upper Dolpo and She Gompa trek which is a trek of 28 days is recommended. However there are restrictions for mass tourism and can only be pursued with permission from the authority. Upper Dolpo, bordering with Tibet lies within the Shey Phoksundo National Park, west of the Kaligandaki valley. The trek to Upper Dolpo has highlights similar to the trek to upper Mustang which includes beautiful lakes, Buddhist monasteries and diverse wildlife. Lake Phoksundo is the main attraction in the region along with the 11th century Shey Phoksundo monastery. This region is also isolated from the rest of the country which has enabled them in preserving the monuments, culture and lifestyle.
Although trekking is an adventurous and fun activity, there are certain precautions and considerations to be taken before jumping into unknown land. Travelling along with a designated guide or trusted locals is advised to minimize the chance of getting lost or going off track. Also traveling with required documents and the permission of the authority in order to meet the legal obligations is strongly advised. The culture and tradition of the tribe in this region should be given due consideration and activities displayed at those regions should be done in harmony to their culture. 

Why is Nepal ‘the’ destination for foreigners?

Are you in a tangle in deciding ‘where you plan to go on your next vacation’? Tagged as one of the must visit countries, Nepal has a lot in store for tourists from all around the world. Although there are no tropical islands or fancy hotels, Nepal hold treasures that no luxury can compete against. Culturally and geographically diverse, the country of Himalayas not only holds extraordinarily beautiful landscapes but also rich cultural heritages which have great historical significance and tradition of the nation. The tourists are split between choices when it comes to the main purpose of the visit due to the fact that there are many sources of attraction which are quite independent to each other.
Geography of Nepal attracts tourists who are inclined towards adventures like trekking, hiking and off-road biking. However the landscapes are the main reason behind all the adventure with lustrous views and immense diversity of land confined within a tiny boundary, people find it hard to resist. Similarly, fair share of the tourists visit Nepal for adrenaline rushing sports like kayaking, bungee jump, rafting, paragliding and many more. These sports have truly been a boost in promoting the tourism in Nepal. Culturally rich Nepal although lacks behind in the developmental aspect but is still able to preserve the prehistoric architecture and traditions which is another main reason behind attraction of tourists. Areas like Patan durbar square, Basantapur durbar square, Bhaktapur durbar square and temples which are constructed through the architecture of the famous pagoda style and much appreciated by foreigners, is the center of attraction for culture seeking tourists.
Religion, in Nepal is a powerful and impactful aspect for the people. There are many temples and stupas which have become a symbol of belief to the religious followers. Regardless of the religion there are many tourists who visit Nepal for religious purpose and due to strong religious beliefs. Mountain climbing in Nepal is immensely popular as people find it challenging and also due to the fact that world’s highest peak, the Mount Everest lies in Nepal. Climbing mountains for many climbers, all around the world is a huge achievement and thrill and the fact that Nepal holds the top 10 tallest of mountains even makes Nepal more favorable for the climber to visit Nepal. Besides these, the flora and fauna is another attraction for tourist who enjoy watching and researching wildlife and plantations.

Although small in size, Nepal most certainly packs a punch when it comes to attractions for tourism.