What could be better than a family get-away to take a moment off from your hectic everyday schedule, and relax a little? If you are considering such a trip, Nepal probably outweighs all the other possible destinations for your family vacation. Visiting Nepal will provide you with an opportunity to spend some quality time with your loved ones, creating memories that you shall treasure forever.
Situated on the laps of the Himalayas, this beautiful country has so much to offer to the people of all age groups, from gardens and parks where young ones can run around to monasteries and temples where older ones can meditate or spend some spiritual time. Also, you can visit Nepal any time of the year, according to your suitability, however- late fall, early autumn, and spring are the best time. It is assumed that during your stay in Nepal, each member of your family will find something they enjoy doing. Listed below are some major places of attraction that you and your family will love visiting-
Charismatic Kathmandu Valley
The busy capital might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it has something exciting for each member of your family. To begin your sightseeing, you can start with Bhaktapur Durbar Square, which means visiting the Palace with 55 windows, the “Naytapola” temple and other monuments depicting elegant and fine artistic craftsmanship. While you are there, do not miss out on “Ju-Ju Dhau”- a famous sweet-tasting yogurt of Bhaktapur.
Similar to Bhaktapur Durbar Square, you can visit Patan Durbar Square, where you should try out some mouthwatering Newari cuisines and do some shopping in Mangal Bazaar. Another not to miss palace is the Narayanhiti Palace Museum, where the last ruling monarch resided. Now turned into a museum, the place is open for everyone to visit. The congested city might be too much to take in, especially for the kids and the older ones, so for a quiet day in the woods- you should visit the Godavari botanical garden, which is filled with beautiful flowers of many different species.
Alternatively, you can go for a hike in the Shivapuri National Park; it is suitable for all the members of your family. You can make your way up to a Buddhist monastery in between the woods, called Nagi Gompa from Budhanikantha. Spend some time relaxing with your close ones on top of the hills, have some snacks and start to ascend towards Sundarijal. On the way, you’ll pass a waterfall in between the dense woodland.
You can then spend a quiet evening strolling around Thamel, Basantapur or Bouddha shopping and trying different eateries, or just chilling inside the Garden of Dreams. Now, your Kathmandu visit shall remain incomplete if you do not visit the holy shrine of Pashupatinath and watch the evening “Aarati” or climb uphill to Swayambhunath.
Lively Pokhara City
200 meters to the west from Kathmandu lays Pokhara, a “must visit” place for anyone who visits Nepal. Different from Kathmandu, Pokhara is filled with lush fields and plenty of natural landscape, if you visit the city during mid-October to mid-November, you’ll see vast lands filled with blooming flowers of mustard giving an enchanting outlook. Famous for its serene lakes, you can walk around Phewa Lake in the evening or go boating and visit an island temple of Talbarahi. If your family is non-vegetarian, you should try the delicious fishes of Begnas Lake. If you are not, enjoy your calm evening there as the sun sets down.
Another attraction of Pokhara is that you can witness the magnificent view of majestic Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Machhapuchhre ranges. Watching the sunrise through these mountains early in the morning from Sarangkot is one of the most beautiful things you’ll ever witness.
Other than lakes and mountain ranges, Pokhara has some intriguing caves to offer too. One of them is the bat cave. Yes, a cave full of bats! But nothing to worry about, they are pretty harmless. Another one is the Gupteshwor cave. From the cave, you can see the waterfall called ‘David’s Fall”. Apart from all the natural attractions, the city has become a growing as a center for adventure sports. One gets to choose from bungee jumping from Hemja, or kayaking in Phewa Lake, or Zip lining or even Rafting in upper Seti.
Settled in a hill in Tanahu district, Bandipur is a small town suitable for spending weekends with your family. On entering the town, you’ll find a stone-paved path with houses designed in Newari architecture on each side decorated with Bougainville and other flowers all over the walls.
On these houses are lines of cafes and restaurants that you and your family will enjoy. Going further this path uphill, you’ll reach Tani Mai, named after a temple there. From the view- the point here, you’ll be able to gaze at the Marsayangdi Valley below and witness the horizon of Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Annapurna range ahead.
You can spend the day hiking to Siddha Cave, the largest cave of Nepal and the second-largest in Asia. The interior of the cave has a cathedral-like structure and is full of stalactites and stalagmites and bats chirping overhead. The best time to visit Bandipur would be October when orchids are blooming all over.
Mountain View Nagarkot
For the families that do not want to go farther away from the city yet wish to escape the bustling capital, Nagarkot provides a perfect runaway. With stunning mountains on the sight and green surrounding, Nagarkot helps you loosen up and provides an opportunity to bond with your loved ones. The sight of the sun rising on the Himalayas and the sun setting into them is a sight one should not miss if they are here.
Hiking up to the View tower would be the best place to witness that extravagant scene; also you’ll see 360 degrees of mountain ranges of Manaslu, some peaks of Everest, Langtang and Ganesh range. Other than breathtaking views on its lush green vegetation, Nagarkot offers short treks as well. For instance, you can trek from Nagarkot to Changunarayan temple or Dhulikhel along pine forest and villages. These treks are short and can be completed even by children.
Other place on the list is Chitwan situated on the Terai region of the country by the side of the Narayani River covered in lush forests. You and your family will enjoy the Jungle safari through Chitwan National Park, on jeep or elephant back. If you are lucky, you might as well see some endangered animal species. You can go to the elephant breeding center and feed some baby elephants as well when you are still around the jungle. You can also visit Lake Beeshazari or take an elephant bath.
After the day in the jungle, you can spend the evening by the banks of the Narayani River, enjoying the cool breeze as the sun sets down. Other than that, Chitwan is known for the indigenous Tharu tribe as well. They are the inhabitants of Chitwan and to protect their culture, they have done a tremendous amount of work- they have built a museum showcasing their culture and lifestyles. To learn more, you can visit the Tharu village as well.
Nepal is not just blessed with natural diversity, it has rich cultural diversity as well which is another reason why one should visit Nepal. The country is inhabited by people of 36 different races, and over 100 languages are spoken throughout. You and your family will be gifted with rich cultural experience as well.
All Nepalese, irrespective of their ethnic background, will welcome you in their country with a warm smile because all of them believe, “Atithi Devo Bhava”- guests are the form of god.