Advice on places to visit in Nepal...
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Dec 16, 2012 8:00 AM Last Post By: scoodly
Dec 12, 2012 3:31 AM
Advice on places to visit in Nepal...Hi,
I'm heading off to Nepal next week and would very much appreciate some extra info on some of the places I should visit.
From Kathmandu I intend to head to Pokhara, where from what I've read so far, there's plentiful of places to visit.
Begnas Tal and Rupa Tal - is this place worth a visit? Should I also make time for Sarangkot?
I wish to do a short trek and a trek up to Poon Hill seems highly recommended. How long would it take? And how much should I budget for? Is the trek good at this time of the year? Do I need to prepare much for this trek, eg like sleeping bag, down jacket (will it get that cold?)?
Anyone as any recommendation on guesthouse at Pokhara?
I have read that Chitwan National Park is highly recommended. But it seems the main thrill is the elephant ride and elephant bath. Is it really worth the trip up (especially during this time of the year) or perhaps I should allocate more days to visit Kathmandu Valley or elsewhere. Same goes with Lumbini. I tried googl-ing about it but it seems there are only mainly ruins left.
Anyone has any info on Daman? Is it worth travelling all the way there, especially this time of the year...?
And anyone who has been to Kirtipur, is the place interesting? What about Nagarkot?
Lastly, anyone tried 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking before? How are their service?
Sorry to ask so many questions... wish to firm up on places I should visit...
Many thanks in advance!!!
Dec 12, 2012 3:55 PM
I'm not sure how much time you have in Nepal ao I'll start with the Poon Hill trek:
It could take as little as 2 days for an up-and-down trek: start at Naya Pul overnight at Ghorepani, ascend PH early morning and return to NP. This option might be for the fitter and more determined trekkers but it's possible, More common itineraries are loops from NP (4 days) and Phedi (near Dhampus (4/5 days). See this map and maybe search online for itineraries and blogs.
The lodges on this trek will probably supply blankets so a sleeping bag might not be essential. Having said that, you might want to take a sleeping bag to make sure you will be warm enough. These can be hired for less than $1 per day in Pokhara as can down jackets which will be useful in the evenings and the (typically) very early morning ascent of PH while waiting for the sunrise.
Enjoy the trip.
Dec 12, 2012 11:41 PM
Dec 13, 2012 6:32 PM
I'm not in a rush, have about 20 days in Nepal. Cos of bad knees I think I can only manage a short trek, hence decided on Poon Hill. And deciding to take it slow, that is 4/5 days so that I can also get to enjoy the trek, and not just trying to complete it.
If I'm bringing my own winter jacket, can I assume it will be good enough?
Am thinking of after arriving in Kathmandu, head off to Pokhara, arrange for the Poon Hill trek, then stayed in Pokhara to cover the areas there like Phewal Tal, Saragkot or perhaps Begnas Tal? And of course cover the areas in KTM and the valley as well...
So am wondering if it's worth travelling out to Chitwan and Lumbini or perhaps it better to spend time at Nagarkot, Kirtipur.
Dec 14, 2012 2:22 AM
Dec 14, 2012 11:53 AM
20 days is time enough to see the main places in Nepal.
The PH trek has a lot of stone steps between Ghorepani and Naya Pul and given your bad knees it's worth thinking about which way to do the trek. When I had bad knees going down steep or long sections was less painful.
On the whole I think it is worth including Lumbini and Chitwan. Doing the trek early in the trip makes sense so you will know how much time there is for the rest and the trip can be finished in KTM (so you do not have travel back there immediately before the flight out). If getting to Pokhara by road consider breaking up the journey and visiting Manakamana, Gorkha and Bandipur.
Once in Pokhara, most of the hotels and restaurants are on Lakeside where you can take a boat trip to the temple in the middle of the lake. Other things to see and do include the World Peace Pagoda, visit the Tibetan settlement, short hikes, the bazaar and the mountaineering museum. Sarangkot is alos worth a visit for the mountain voews but it is not as good a view as on the trek so maybe decide after trekking (the same goes for Nagarkot too in my opinion). I haven't visited Begnas Tal but I'm sure it will be closer to pristine than Phewa Tal - more relaxing too.
From Pokhara, think about taking a bus to Tansen/Palpa, a traditional hill top town ) (more interesting than Daman probablybefore continuing to Lumbini; it's worth a stay if you are interested in Buddhism - there are a lot of new monasteries and some people like the atmosphere of the place some people think it's a theme park (take your pick). I understand Chitwan Chitwan is good to visit at this time of year - little grass cover for the animals and few visitors but I don't have any experience - it will be warmer than Pokhara and KTM which might be anbother attraction.
There are plenty of options to get back to KTM but if you haven't ridden a local bus yet, it's an experience in itself. KTM has lots to offer if you like temples, old archtecture and people watching ('culture' I guess). The most popular sites are the 7 World Heritage places:
KTM Durbar Square and Swayambunath, the monkey temple, are close to Thamel where the hotels etc are concentrated so are good places to start if you didn;lt see them on arrival. Pashupatinath (Hindu temple complex and cremation ghats) and Boudhanath (Buddhidt stupa with nearby monasteries) are close together east of the city. I suggest visiting P in the morning (more cremations and B in the afternoon when monks and nuns walk round the stupa and butter lamp offerings are lit.
Further out is Bhaktapur might be worth an overnight stay - if only to make the most of the most expensive entry fee in the valley. A 2 hour or so walk from there is Changu Narayan; a Hindu temple comples.
The last WH place is Patan Durbar Square which is a taxi ride south of KTM and is a good place to buy metal Buddha statues. Patan could combine this with Kirtipur, a small town overlooking the valley which I think is worth visiting.
There are other places...
Dec 15, 2012 5:37 PM
6Thanks Scoodly very much!!!
I think in Pokhara alone (inclusive of the Poon Hill trek) I could easily spend more than a week there, especially if going to places like Bandipur, Tansen and Sarangkot. I am hoping to spend some time to walk around, do a few day hike here and there... like to visit the World Peace Pagoda, etc.
I understand that as a foreigner I need to pay for entrance fee at all the Durbar squares. Besides Bhaktapur, where I read I will need to make sure my passport number is written behind the ticket by the 'officer', is it still in practice? And do I require that to be the same for other squares if I wanna re-visit them... I read for Kathmandu Durbar Sq I need my passport and a photo to get visitor pass? Please advice...
Dec 16, 2012 8:00 AM
Yes,the three Durbar Squares charge an entrance fee which is daily unless you get the ticket endorsed - you do need your passport and a passport photo. This is the case for KTM and Bhaktapur - I don't know about Patan but assume it would be the same.
I don't think there is anything but daily tickets for other sites such as Boudhanath.
Good luck and enjoy the trip.
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