KATHMANDU, June 15 — From UNESCO-listed temples to the world’s highest summit, Nepal is blessed with many wondrous sites that draw devout pilgrims, mountain trekkers and other adventure seekers by the planeloads. For travellers who don’t necessarily want to visit a stupa or need that adrenaline rush, there are other authentic Nepali experiences to be had. Here are 10 of them:
Fly to Everest: You don’t have to break a sweat just to get up close to the breathtaking Himalaya mountain range. You just need to get up early and catch a Mount Everest Experience, or known simply as a Mountain Flight. For just under US$200per person, you get a window seat on board an ATR 72 that will encircle the range at sunrise while you get trigger happy with your camera, and every passenger gets a quick peek inside the cockpit. Three different airlines — Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines and Simrik Airlines — offer this unique activity out of Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan Airport. For better rates, sign up through local travel agents.
Eat as the locals do:
Indulge in Western comforts: Gourmet coffees, French pastries and full English breakfasts are obviously not part of Nepal’s original food scene but in tourist-savvy Thamel, they have become ubiquitous and are done very well. You can easily find Illy coffees at the cafes, or try local chain Himalayan Java Coffee which uses organic, Fair Trade beans that grow in the highlands. Quaint bakeries roll out oversized breads and pastries that make for cheap and filling meals, while breakfasts can get pretty fancy with greasy fry-ups that are usually paired with homemade yogurt and potatoes cooked in a variety of ways. Some cafes take liberty with the names though; a rosti is not always what it should be – sometimes, it’s really roast potatoes.
By Vivian Chong: www.themalaymailonline.com