I was unprepared for the beauty and mysticism within the Kingdom of Nepal. Once thought of as a back-packers paradise and the destination to begin the summit of Everest; Nepal is truly a destination for foodies, yoga, nature, mysticism and many types of explorations.. I was lucky enough to be invited to explore Nepal by one of our global travel partners, and I am anxious to return again to spend time among the Nepali people.
My first Morning in Kathmandu... Good Morning from Dwarika's Resort.... happiness!
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu's Durbar Square held the palaces of the Malla and Shah kings who ruled over the city. Along with these palaces, the square surrounds quadrangles, revealing courtyards and temples. It is known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, a name derived from a statue of Hanuman, the monkey devotee of Lord Ram, at the entrance of the palace.
Annapurna Mountain Range
As a “soft” adventure girl, I thoroughly loved my time hiking in the Annapurna range, with incredible views of the mountains all around. The night sky features stars for miles and the beauty of sunrise is simply not to be missed. The hikes throughout the region always wound by small villages, where children are seen hiking to their schools, people are working their fields and sweeping their front steps.
Cold, Crisp Morning in the Annapurna Range! I woke up and watched the sun rise over the mountains... Spiritual...
Hiking with our Lodge manager who had scaled Everest SIX times!
The Villagers all wanted to say hello!
Not as easy as it looks!
Mother's Trust Luncheon
It was an honor to spend time with these incredible ladies! One special day the mothers trust group invited us to a lunch prepared in their village. How that simple kitchen created such a delicious lunch, I will never know!
The Most amazing Shirin Sherpa of Yeti Airlines. Our most humble host
Little Known Fact
Did you know it costs more to ride on TOP of the bus?
That climb was not easy!
Flavors of Nepal
The food in every part of Nepal was so delicious and incredibly fresh at every meal. This is true farm to table, and the flavors of the mo mo dumplings, curries, stir fry, and dinner presentations where so so good! Such a wonderful surprise!
The lush and vibrant Jungle of Nepal is where one can find rare Bengal Tigers, Leopards, Rhino, Crocodiles and so much more. There are multiple Jungle Safaris, some on elephant back, and my personal favorite the jeep safari. Kasara Resort’s safari jeeps made the ride incredibly comfortable with hot water bottles for our early starts, blankets and even a jacket if needed. It was the perfect adventure!
Nothing Better than A Baby Rhino Bottom:)
One of my favorite experiences there was a ride in a jungle dugout canoe in crocodile infested waters. It was thrilling and so beautiful as the sun set in spectacular fashion!
Our Hostess with the Mostest... Rebecca Slater of Rebecca Recommends..
Follow her portfolio!
After a full day exploring the jungle, Kasara Resort welcomed us back with a delicious and fresh meal around a fire, a narrated dance performance from a local village school and afterwards we danced the night away with these incredible girls!
Kathmandu & the Stupa
Kathmandu is the entrance and exit to Beautiful Nepal and there is so much to do and experience. Not to be missed is the famous Stupa at Bodhnath, where people are found chanting and mediating with their prayer beads while walking clockwise around the base, which is ringed in golden prayer wheels. In addition many Nepali can be found in a line handing brick after brick to rebuild their prayer monument to its full glory after the destruction of the earthquake.
Brick by brick.. they will rebuild
Bhaktapur, founded in the 9th century and is known for their medieval art and architecture; with temples that abound and stone carvings. Pottery square and the Village Art School teaching the ancient craft of Mandala should be explored and enjoyed!
The Kingdom of Mustang
The required helicopter transport to access Mustang takes you through valleys and gorges where the landscape changes from mountains to farmland to desert, it is jaw-dropping for sure! One of the sights I must return to see are the flying Caves of Mustang, which may be the Himalaya’s most fabulous secret. These multi room caves were carved thousands of years ago and can be found 155ft up into the walls of giant gorges that that can dwarf the Grand Canyon. You truly feel as if you would need wings to enter the “front door”.
The highlight of my adventure was the spiritual experience of Mustang (pronounced Moooostung ). This safe haven sheltered the Dali Lama while he was in exile for 20 years, and access to visiting is extremely limited. It truly was a privilege to step foot on such hallowed ground where the culture is purely Tibetan. The simple beauty of the prayer flags floating in the wind, the winding paths of the people who live within the peaceful rustic village and the perfectly preserved monasteries with beautiful Buddhas found within created a magical day. We were at high altitude, however our short time spent on the ground made it very doable!
Magical Moment of Meditation
My favorite moment was meditating in a monastery with a young Buddhist monk and I will never forget the feeling of energy and focus found in that ancient building- and being told that perhaps I was a Buddhist in a previous life was not too bad either!
One Night spent at the Lodge at Thasang Village that is close to Mustang. We hiked, Meditated and explored the village..
Brunch with Mount Everest
When you are invited to brunch on the top of the world with your new BFF Mount Everest... The ONLY answer is YES!!! One morning we boarded the helicopter that whisked us to Kongde Lodge, which has the perfect overlook of Everest in its Glory! The view is incredible, brunch delicious, and champagne at the top of the world was Simply Unforgettable! If you have never been, it is time to go to explore Nepal!
Giving Back... As many are aware the Earthquake that destroyed many of Nepal's beautiful monuments also destroyed many families homes and displaced a large amount of villages. We were lucky enough to spend time at Camp Hope, a tented village that was established by the Dwarika Foundation for three villages that were destroyed by the Earthquake that hit Nepal last year. Within the camp there are families of different caste levels, abilities and backgrounds and they share a common thread. In order to live at Camp Hope, you must forget the old ways of the caste system, the “untouchables” will eat, cook, wash and live among those even with the highest level and so on and it is working! The children must learn English and treasure simple gifts of books, paper and pencils and the adults are learning new trades and have access to medical care. It was inspiring and delightful to spend time with the children while taking their lessons and practicing English. They are sending students to college and their excitement for learning is contagious. I am looking forward to returning with more supplies.
Nepal should be on YOUR travel list!
6 Tips for when you GO!
Be prepared to be without cell service
Even the smallest lodges have wifi
The locals love to look at the images of themselves on camera..
Bring stickers for the children you meet underway- small and easy to carry!
Try the Nepali Curry... Its delicious!
Must do in Nepal
Hike in the Annapurna Range
Meditate with a Monk
Walk the Stupa
Bring your hiking shoes
Buy a Mandala