The country that invented the quotient of Gross National Happiness wants you to experience its beguiling charms, but only on its terms. Closed off from the world for decades, Bhutan has only allowed tourism since 1974. Those willing to go the extra mile to come here are rewarded with a traditional Buddhist society that has also embraced modern conveniences. Visit the Taktsang Goemba (Tiger’s Nest Monastery), perched on a perilous cliff, or the Jigme Dorji National Park to see the Takin, Bhutan’s national animal, which resembles a goat crossed with a horse. Only two airlines are allowed to fly here, so the country remains difficult to reach, although that exclusivity is part of its allure. Completely independent travel to Bhutan is not allowed. You must have a guide and go on a government-approved itinerary. There’s also a minimum cost of $200 to $250 per day if you stay in the country’s most basic three-star hotels. Happily, this price includes your guide, meals, and transportation (except flights). Spring and fall are optimum times to visit for lush greenery and popular regional festivals.
Nepal plans to distribute free SIM cards to trekkers visiting remote areas alone, officials said on Thursday, after several foreign hikers were attacked or went missing in recent years.
Home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains including Mount Everest, Nepal hosts thousands of foreign climbers and trekkers every year. But the killing or disappearance of solo trekkers have raised concerns about the safety of tourists.
“When a trekker is lost, it becomes easy to find out the location by tracking the SIM card,” said Sharad Pradhan, a senior Nepal Tourism Board official, told Reuters.
“Trekkers in distress can also call us on some specified numbers for help or rescue.”
Mountain climbers and group trekkers are accompanied by local helpers. But thousands who trek alone to remote Himalayan foothills or national parks make emergency rescue or help difficult when they are in distress, authorities said.
Free SIM cards will benefit about 30,000 independent trekkers who go to the remote areas every year. The cards will be handed over to them with their permits.
Nearly 14 percent of 800,000 tourists to Nepal last year came for hiking or climbing. Tourism contributes four percent to the gross domestic product and employs half a million people in the desperately poor country.
Assaults on or disappearances of individual travelers in remote areas have tarnished Nepal’s image in Western tourism markets.
The peak climbing and hiking season in Nepal begins in March and continues until May or early June, when the annual monsoon rains make walking along the Himalayas risky.
source: Reuters Canada, 27 Mar 2014
The country mostly identified with the Himalayas is Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 10 highest peaks, including Everest (8,848m). Himalayas dominated by Mount Everest is a majestic landscape of mountains, deep valleys and glaciers. Himalaya region is home to some spectacular high-altitude trekking routes that enrich diverse cultural experiences. Himalaya is also the dream destination for those world travelers who are in search of a trip of a lifetime.
A traveler primarily dreams to go for mountain trekking in the Himalaya region with the hope of viewing spectacular fresco of world’s tallest mountain range. Whether it is Everest region or Annapurna region or other remote Himalayan regions, all are spectacular. Some Himalaya regions are popular for trekking and some are recognized for enjoying off-the-beaten travel experiences. The moment a trekker reaches at the close proximity of the numerous mountain peaks he or she remains stunned looking at the beauty of the Himalayas. To be precise, the impressive beauty of Himalayas makes a trekker speechless.
Trekking in the Himalayas means stepping into the world of road-less, industry-less and a pollution free environment. Travelers from the industrialized, highly populated, and developed regions generally find the Himalayan environment a paradise for them. Once a trekker makes a step in the Himalayan area, he or she will start to breathe fresh air in the pristine environment. It is a paradise in the sense that the regions where people are trekking are in isolation with no access to modern means of transportation, urbanization, and industrialization.
Out of tremendous options, a trekker in the Himalayas can delve into the world of adventure. Whether it is the joy of adventure trekking in Himalayan regions or tasting the experience of sky dive or going for peak climbing trek or even going for mountain expedition, all will be full of breathtaking experiences. For the most, Himalaya region is basically world famous for adventure trekking purposes, whether it is within short span of time or long duration of time. The joy of adventure trekking specifically in the Himalayas remains throughout a trekker’s life as a trip of a lifetime.
Making a trip in the Himalaya region leads to mental calmness. If a traveler is in search of a world where life runs in natural pace free from the madness of civilization and material quest then the Himalaya region is suitable for them. Humans have made tremendous progress by destroying themselves and reached in a state of insomnia. Hence, this is a kind of disease which needs a place where man can no longer run after material happiness. So, Himalaya region is suitable place for hearing the call of nature and thereby attaining the state of spiritual happiness.
Modern human progresses have made human life much more complicated deviating from nature. People live in skyscrapers, fly in the sky, and live very much complex life. Basically, the modern means of science and technology have made life to live in a mediated world where nature has nothing to do with the life. The simplicity of nature seems that it is something exotic. But there are still some places on this planet where life goes in a simple way with the nature side by side. Being close to this simplicity is the reward of trekking in the Himalayas. Once a trekker goes in the remote regions of the Himalayas, he or she can know what this simplicity of life means.
The Himalayas (2,400 kilometers) begin in Pakistan, stretching across India, Bhutan and Nepal until reaching China in the east. The Himalayas have profoundly shaped the cultures of South Asia. Many Himalayan peaks are sacred in both Buddhism and Hinduism. Three of the world’s major rivers, the Indus, the Ganges and the Tsangpo-Brahmaputra, all rise near Mount Kailash and cross and encircle the Himalayas. Thus, a trekker in the Himalayas can see a wide range of cultural diversity. India and Nepal are culturally incredible where as Bhutan and Tibet are culturally something unique. Besides the cultural diversity, travelers can also see the colors of the festival in this untouched land.
Trekking in the Himalaya region is itself a tremendous opportunity to be acquainted with a massive diversity of alpine flora and fauna. The Himalayan regions have large numbers of nature and wildlife conservation centers. Those conservation areas play a significant role to protect the endangered as well as rare species of wild lives in the Himalaya region. Wherever a trekker trek (Indian Himalayan region or Nepal or Bhutan or Tibet) he or she remains bewilder looking at the wide variety Himalayan flora and fauna. For the most, Bhutan is the top Himalayan kingdom where one can see the vividness of wildlife in their natural habitat.
Traveling in the Himalayas apart from capturing the chance of viewing sights of spectacular Himalayan peaks creates the opportunity to meet with global human diversity. Himalaya is one of the top dream destinations for world travelers. Hence, people from the entire planet travel in the region carrying their unique cultural background and history. In this respect, Himalaya is a meeting point of the world travelers to exchange their ideas, experiences and cultures. In the Himalaya a traveler from one continent can share his experience of trekking to the trekker from other parts of the world and thereby can develop a friendship.
Living in the present world is very much routined, ordered, and manipulated. It means life is absolutely monotonous running after money, artificiality, and falsity. These situations condition human life to live in a passive way. But, life is colorful, creative, and imaginative. So, a person who travels in the proximity of Himalayan region lives life in full bloom. He knows what nature is and what is hidden in the beauty of the Himalayas. Once a traveler goes for trekking in the Himalaya region he can listen what the nature calls him. Feeling the mysterious beauty brings a kind of change in the life a traveler in the Himalaya region. Thus, going for trekking in the pristine Himalaya region brings the new beginning in the life of a traveler.
No travel experience is unique than the trekking experience attained in the Himalayas. The trekking experience in the Himalayas is associated with the cultural experience to wildlife encounter, homestay tour to mental calmness, and the adventure wanderlust to capturing enchanting views of snow covered Himalayan vistas.
Nepal Tourism Board along with 14 Nepalese tourism companies and Nepal Airlines participated in 37th MATTA Fair, Malaysia’s leading and premier consumer tourism show from 14-16 March 2014 at Putra World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur. The tourism show, organized by Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents ( WISM MATTA) and inaugurated by the Malaysian Tourism and Culture Minister, Dato Seri Mohamad Nazri bin Abdul Aziz, succeed to attract the footfalls of around 90 thousands visitors in the three day fair.
Nepal’s stand sprawled in 72 square meter space was exquisitely decorated with all the natural, cultural and adventure sports attractions. Throughout the fair, Nepal was highlighted as an exotic Himalayan destination with soft trekking in the foothills of the Himalayas and with a blend of pristine nature and culture for Malaysian travelers. During the tourism fair, Nepal stall received queries on Hinduism and Buddhism pilgrimage sites from the keen Hindu and Buddhist Malaysian travelers and also on the other tourism activities in Nepal.
With the strong air connectivity between Kuala Lumpur and Kathmandu by Malaysian Airlines, Air Asia and Nepal Airlines, Malaysia is emerging as a promising and potential tourism market for Nepalese tourism industry.
source: NTB, 21 Mar 2014
Those mountain trekkers who are in search of top getaways to Himalayas can go into different Himalaya regions of South Asia. Beyond the spectacular Himalayan scenery, the following getaways to Himalayas are fully laden with cultural encounter, adventurous trekking, insight into Himalayan flora and fauna, and the traditional way of people.
Annapurna Circuit Trek
The Annapurna Circuit trek is one of the most popular getaways in the Himalayas. The circuit trek takes the mountain lovers around the entire Annapurna massif reaching the Zenith at Thorong La Pass (5,416m). The entire trip helps trekkers to map out the world’s deepest Kali Gandaki Gorge, Annapurna I (8,09m), and Dhaulagiri (8,167m) peak. Adding to this, it will also be the getaways for encircling Manang, Muktinath, and the fabulous mountain views from the summit of Poon Hill (3,210m). The trek also lets to experience cultural and natural diversity at the foothills of the Annapurna Himalaya range.
The Dhaulagiri trek, another top getaway to Himalayas, passes through cultivated fields, and high Himalayan passes to reach the Dhaulagiri Himalayan range. The awesome trek walking through the Himalayan glaciers enjoying the company of spectacular views of Dhaulagiri, Thorong peak, Annapurna and Kali Gandaki River gorge helps the trekkers to encounter with semi-wild yak herds, mountain sheep, and ethnic diversity of the remote valleys of the region.
The Manaslu trek walking in the mountain trails of Nepal Himalayas brings a traveler in the beautiful Manaslu region. The getaways to Himalayas rewards the chance of enjoying the magnificent views of Mt. Manaslu (8163m), the eight tallest mountains in the world, coupled with a chance to witness the rich local heritage and biological diversity of the region. While trekking forth, the trip reaches the ‘Larkya La Pass’ which is widely believed to be one of the most dramatic Himalayan passes.
Everest Base Camp Trek
The Everest Base Camp trek is the grandest walk in the land of the Himalayas. Trekking through the Everest region offers astounding mountain views, and opportunities to get a glimpse into the life of world famous climbers (the Sherpas). The trek further offers the opportunities to go sightseeing around the Sagarmatha National Park, a world heritage site that is home to a variety of Himalayan floras and faunas, to get a closer look at the highest Buddhist monasteries in the world, and, of course, the most gratifying of them all, the trip to Everest Base Camp itself.
The Helambu trek passes through thick mountain forests with great Himalayan views near Kathmandu valley. The Helambu region remains relatively un-spoilt. Besides the Hyolmo culture of high mountain people, the company of green rhododendron and bamboo forests, majestic waterfalls, and snow-capped Himalayas make the trek one of most diverse treks in Nepal. At the end of the trip, trekkers also trek through some beautiful rice terraces and a number of splendid Buddhist monasteries.
Jomsom Muktinath Trek
The Jomsom Muktinath trek explores the hundreds of years old monastery, caves, local tribes and scenic beauties of the different landscapes in the Annapurna region of Nepal. The trek through the Annapurna region ascends through rice terraces and villages inhabited by the indigenous people, mostly the Gurungs. The trek gets interesting in Tatopani where trekkers will have the opportunity to relax in natural hot springs! Then the mountain journey passes through Jomsom and Kagbeni, the entry point of the Upper Mustang Region to arrive at the holy Hindu pilgrimage site of Muktinath (3800m). At the most, it will be a top getaway for watching the panoramic views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and several other peaks in the region.
Upper Mustang Trek
The Upper Mustang trek is such a lovely trek that offers a spectacular trekking into the remote Trans-Himalayan mountain area with Tibetan cultural influence. The trek is also categorized as a top getaway to Himalaya due to its coverage of exploring the thousand years of an old monastery, caves, local tribes and scenic beauties of the different landscapes of Annapurna region. Apart from witnessing the culture of Lo-Mangthang Valley, the trek also offers the chance of seeing an almost treeless barren landscape and panoramic views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and several other peaks.
Lower Dolpo Trek
The Lower Dolpo trek passes through Shey-Phoksundo National Park with spectacular mountain scenery, Buddhist monasteries and yak caravans in the Dolpa region of the Nepal Himalayas. This remote mountain trek is suitable for real adventurers wishing for an off-the-beaten-path experience. The Dolpa region lies further north from the Dhaulagiri Range in the rain shadow of the Himalayas – reflected in the colorful barren slopes of the mountains where the play of light and shadow is a perpetual fascinating spectacle. Because of the trek’s remoteness and cultural attraction of the region, it becomes ever a fascinating getaway to the Himalaya.
Explore Lhasa Trip
The Explore Lhasa trip, the top getaway to Himalayas, covers the most popular landmarks of Lhasa such as the Dalai Lama’s Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, the Tibet Museum and Barkhor Bazaar. Besides this, the trip also visits a number of impressive Tibetan monasteries in Lhasa like Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery and Jokhang Temple. They are all amazing monasteries with a history and religious relevance of their own. This trip also takes the travelers further to the outskirts of Lhasa where they visit the 15th century Ganden Monastery and explore the Drayerpa Cave.
The Bhutan tour provides a chance to get acquainted with Bhutan’s rich culture and landscape. In doing so, the tour discovers major Bhutanese townships of Paro, Thimpu, Punakha and explore its beautiful cultural landmarks. Of course, it will too be a Himalayan getaway as the travelers constantly get the company of the amazing Bhutanese landscapes.
Stretching in a 2500km-long arc across Asia from Kashmir to Nepal, Tibet to Ladakh, the Himalayan range is a big place. The Himalaya range is an incredible place for mountain lovers from around the world. The whole range is full of the apex of nature’s grandeur, skylines of snow-capped glaciated peaks, vistas of Trans-Himalayan landscapes, and the sites of sparkling high-altitude mountain lakes, Himalayan river valleys, and glaciers.
There are various ways to immerse into the forest of rhododendron to alpine wilderness, and ancient trading route to the epic trails of the Himalayas. The best ways to immerse into the grandness of Himalayas include: viewing mountain scenery, witnessing cultural diversity, passing through a wealth of flora and fauna, and exploring pagoda style ancient temples and Buddhist Gompas. Adding to this, a traveler, even can engage in discovering virgin territories, enjoying warmest hospitalities, and stepping into the world of adventurous activities in the remote mountains of Himalayas.
Viewing the spectacular mountain scenery sets one of the best ways to enjoy Himalayas. Whether a traveler is going for a mountain trekking or peak climbing or mountain expedition specifically in Nepal gets the best chance to know about why Nepal is famous among adventure travelers in the world. When a traveler reaches at the base camps or the top of the peaks of large numbers of the Himalayas in Nepal he or she gets overwhelming experience that can not be expressed thorough human language.
The same will be the situation once a traveler walks through the streets of medieval Kathmandu or the ancient city of Lhasa. In strolling around the centuries old historical monuments, religious shrines, and spiritual centers of India, Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan a visitor in this region unquestionably goes with the spirit of the Himalayas.
Similarly, witnessing the cultural diversities of Himalaya region make one helpless to explore the unfathomable depth of cultural vividness of South Asia. Studying the varieties of cultures thrived in this region and immersing into different aspects of those cultures undoubtedly become another best means of enjoying Himalayas.
Likewise, travelling through the trails that are encircled by Himalayan flora and fauna helps a traveler to capture the sites of the world of endangered animal species as well as rare plants. Whether a visitor travels in the National parks of India or alpine region of Nepal or enormous Bhutan he or she can get a chance to observe nature’s treasures.
Along with culture and mountain, there are tremendous places in the Himalayas, which are still to be explored. Reaching at the virgin territories of the Himalayas leaves one off-the-beaten path experience in terms of experiencing the natural beauty and exploring the remote cultures that are still to be influenced by modern means of development.
The foremost idea to immerse into the beauty of Himalayas is to plunge into the world of adventure trekking. There are seas of options to experience the Himalayas in a perfect way. Whether a traveler makes a cultural tour or goes for an adventure trekking or spends a couple of nights with family in remote villages or wants to climb a mountain peak all give parallel delights.
There is another option for those travelers who are in search of peace of mind in the Himalayas that is, he or she can go for spiritual trip. Generally, spiritual tours in the Himalayas are designed to cater a different experience. This kind of trip is suitable for those people who are on the verge of ruining due to material quest. Hence, it will be a better idea to enjoy mountains just plunging into the world of spirituality.
The ideal ways to immerse into the depths of the Himalayas come when a traveler makes a trip to Ladakh – India’s little Tibet, or explores Tibet – the roof of the world, or treks in Nepal – a trekker’s paradise or passes through the natural beauty of Bhutan – the last Shangri-la. Himalaya offers boundless opportunities to immerse in its natural beauty.