Haute Street CONTRIBUTOR: Rachael Peeters (aka @Rachy_Van_Amsterdam) shares the ultimate insider guide from where to stay & what to see while on her memorable adventure through NEPAL.
"Nepal is one of the most magical places that I have ever been! The air smells like curry and incense, the people are warm and friendly and amidst the chaos of Kathmandu, is a melting pot of people from mountaineers and hippies alongside the Nepali’s that play music from their shops. Perhaps what I liked most about Nepal was the sheer gratitude and warmth of the people, always offering a piece of advice or a helping hand."
- Wander around Kathmandu’s Thamel district at night to see the city illuminated sometimes only by motorcycles and lights strung between the buildings—Nepal has scheduled power outages for a few hours every morning and evening.
- Get lost in the streets around Bhaktapur and Patan, two UNESCO world heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley.
- Explore the many Tibetan Buddhist temples around Bodhnath Stupa then hike up to Kopan Monastery for a view of the valley. If you have a few weeks, join one of Kopan’s month-long meditation retreats.
- Escape to lakeside hippie retreat, Pokhara, for a week of meditation classes, camel and yak sightings and yoga classes. Twice daily classes at Himalayan Yogini for only $4.
- Rent a boat in Pokhara and float on Phewa Lake. Get a boat in the morning to catch a crisp reflection of the Himalayas.
- The monkeys swinging around the temples and shrines of Swayambhunath—which is conveniently referred to as ‘Monkey Temple.’
- Walk around (and on) the amazing Bodhnath Stupa and witness the Buddha’s ‘all seeing eyes’ up close.
- The view of the Himalayas from a Buddha Air flight headed towards Pokhara (only a 20-minute ride and mountain views the entire way!).
- Explore Pokhara by bike, first pedaling up through Old Pokhara and ending at the Tibetan settlement way up in the hills. Then enjoy the downhill cruising back to town.
- Relax on one of the many temples in Kathmandu’s famous Durbar Square as the sun sets (yes you can watch all over these beautiful buildings!).
- Delicious Nepalese dumplings called ‘momos’ everywhere you can possibly find them.
- Find Pokhara’s Madhushala restaurant for the best butter chicken and garlic naan I’ve ever had.
- Try yet another Nepali dish ‘chicken chilly’—have a Gorkha beer handy as this chicken, pepper and onion stir-fry can be insanely spicy.
- Drink Everest beer at one of Thamel’s many happy hour hippie hangouts in Kathmandu.
- Sip on ginger or mint tea at Pokhara’s Jiwa Café and Spa’s lush lakeside garden.