Nepal on my Mind: 4 Reasons to Visit
Let me be honest: I've never ever thought of travelling to Nepal.
But life always throws curve balls, right? This year, out of the blue, I had to travel for work into Nepal. Twice!
|Feeding the pigeons at one of the shrines near our office.|
(Photo by Angeli C. Alba)
On the one hand, I was eager to be deployed so I can help with our disaster response efforts (click here to donate) after the earthquake that rocked Nepal. But on the other, I have to admit that there was a fair bit of trepidation when I learned of the news. All of I knew of Nepal was that it is a landlocked country next to India, that the weather was hot and dry, that they use a different script and have a different language that I know absolutely nothing about (does 'Jai Ho' count?).
So, what to do?
I screwed up my courage, booked my tickets, had somebody from our office in Nepal to reserve a hotel room, packed my bags, and flew. And got blown away by the sheer beauty of the country.
Reason 1: Hiking Adventures
Nepal sits in a very mountainous region, with Everest being the most famous of its peaks. I've never gone anywhere near the Himalayan range, although in one instance I saw its outline from afar on a particularly clear day after monsoon rains washed off the usual dust that permeated the air after the earthquake.
The whole of Nepal is a hiker's paradise, with different locations of varying terrains. I hiked in some places in the district of Kavre, about an hour and a half outside of Kathmandu. The soil there is very red, which they say is a good indication that a place is very warm in summer. There are huge trees that I have never seen in the Philippines. there are deep ravines and steep cliffs. There are crows almost everywhere. there are also rumors of tigers, but I've never see one myself.
Reason 2: Lassi +++
Okay. I am not a big fan of curry or strong spices on my food--which was most of what local Nepalese food was like. That certainly became a bit of a challenge for me, plus the fact that they have huge servings in the country (I'm pretty sure I gained 10 pounds trying to not waste the food on my plate).
There was one thing that I became quite fond of: lassi. It's a blend of yogurt, fresh milk, some spices and banana. It is heavenly. My favorite one is served in a hillside cafe in the district in Kavre.
Another one that I've heard recommended so much are the Nepali momo, which is like a dumpling thta usually comes with chicken or vegetables.
Reason 3: Vibrant Clothes
|Trying on a saree at a store.|
(Photo by Sameer Bhattarai)
So, news flash. I'm a girly girl who loves to dress up. And Nepal has some awesome selection of vibrant, glittery clothes that are just exquisite.
Reason 4: Beautiful People
|Some of the lovely people I met during my trips to Nepal.|
(Photos by Habitat for Humanity Nepal/Sameer Bhattarai)
What can I say--everywhere I went, I always found Nepali people who have so much beauty and wisdom and generosity.
Monsoon mud. O. M. G.
|Some of the roads turn so muddy after a bit of rain that it was easy to get stuck in it.|
(Photo by Angeli C. Alba)
Looking forward to returning to Nepal for work,