Tony and Maureen Wheeler first visited Nepal in 1972 as part of their legendary overland trip which led to the original Lonely Planet guidebook, Across Asia on the Cheap. The country has remained dear to their hearts ever since.
They returned in 1976 to meet Prakash Raj who wrote the first Lonely Planet Nepal guide, ably assisted by Tony, who took all the photographs and drew all the maps. 27 years on, Nepal is in its 6th edition (and its 11th incarnation – it was previously named Kathmandu & the Kingdom of Nepal).
Tony no longer contributes to the guide but he and Maureen continue to visit as often as they can and despite having both travelled the world, Nepal remains their favourite destination. Living proof of this great affection is their daughter, Tashi, whose name means ‘a blessing’ in Nepalese.
Nepal has changed immensely since the first Lonely Planet guide but it still remains the No.1 destination for those seeking trekking adventures. The recent 50 year anniversary of Sir Edmund Hilary’s Mt Everest climb has seen a revived interest from those who wish to pit their skills against the mountains of the Himalaya.
Lonely Planet’s new guide has an excellent chapter on responsible tourism. Advice as simple as ‘carry your own refillable water bottle’ can go a long way to minimising the amount of waste plastic that accumulates. Details on responsible trekking, fair trade and ethical shopping are included plus a list of volunteer organisations and helpful tips on how to deal with beggars.
Lonely Planet’s enthusiasm for Nepal is clearly evident in this latest update. Flick through the stunning colour photographs and dip into the comprehensive coverage and you’ll want to be there – now! Travellers who are not inspired by Himalayan Peaks and physical adventure are bound to be enlightened by Kathmandu’s fabulous food, the traditional architecture of Durbar Square and the warmth and openness of the Nepalese people.
Lonely Planet’s Nepal contains helpful information on trekking but travellers who are intent on making this a major component of their visit are advised to also buy Lonely Planet’s guide to Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya.
Nepal, Bradley Mayhew et al
6th ed, ISBN 1 74059 422 3
384 pp, 24 pp colour, 53 maps,
US 21.99, UK 14.99, AUS 36.30