In a country where the culture is to revere guests as gods, Nepal is an ideal family holiday destination. Nepal is synonymous with its mighty Himalaya, ever smiling hospitable and friendly people, family values, rich flora and fauna, unique culture and tradition. With the restoration of democracy and the end of Maoists insurgency, Nepal has once again become a safer place to travel. One can travel to every corners of Nepal expecting the same hospitality and people eager to go out their way to make tourists feel at home.
An affordable, safe and multi-faceted family holiday options are available in Nepal; trekking, hiking, rafting, canoing, boating, sightseeing, cultural tour, bird watching, mountain biking, jungle safari, helitrekking, helisightseeing, mountain flight and many such multi-activity are especially tailor-made for family. Family gets plenty of opportunity to participate, enjoy and indulge quality time with each other. Family holidays are devised keeping the children interest at heart without exhausting them and ensuring that family gets comfortable accommodations, relaxation and good meals. One can choose from 1 day to 20 day tour or more led by tour leader. All sorts of fun and entertaining holiday activities are available for kids; cycling along countryside, nature walk, canoing, elephant safari in Royal Chitwan National Park, cultural tour, boating on Phewa Lake in Pokhara, rafting along gentle rapids of rivers, trekking, educational tour and many more. Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan and Lumbini are the most popular destinations. In the recent time Annapurna region has also topped the family preference list.
Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is the wonderful choice to introduce youngsters and adults to the ancient history of Nepal, the urban lifestyle and cultural heritages. From hotels, guest houses to bed and breakfast, one can have the best child-friendly accommodations in Kathmandu very much suited for family. Sightseeing tour around Kathmandu can be very insightful for both parents and children; visits to Basantapur museum, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath stupa, Swayambhunath stupa, Patan and Bhaktapur provide a closer glimpse of Nepal’s unique arts, craftsmanship, culture, tradition and custom. Children will especially find the sights of mischievous monkeys very amusing and interesting in Pashupatinath temple and Swayambhunath stupa.
Nagarkot is another spectacular site which is just 35 km away from Kathmandu and is most popular for its sunset and sunrise views and beautiful resorts making it an absolute delight for family. Equally enchanting is Dhulikhel situated at a distance of 30 km from Kathmandu. While embarking on cultural exploration and nature tour around this place, family get to interact with local people and this can be very educational for both children and parents as they learn new culture and different perspectives.
Pokhara, 210 km away from Kathmandu, confines family to wider selections of activities and excursions that are not strenuous, physically easy and are very insightful with a right balance between adventure and comfort. Some of the most popular activities that can be enjoyed by children in Pokhara are:
– Boating on Phewa lake/ Rupa lake/Begnas lake
– Cycling down the Lakeside area
– Educational tour to museums and local villages
– Sightseeing tour around temples and cultural heritages
– Bird watching
– Mountain flight
– Nature walk
– Exploration of cave Mahendra Gupha
So welcoming is the atmosphere of Pokhara that both parents and children will feel instantly at home amidst the ambiance of surrounding Himalayan panorama. When it comes to trekking, the best, easy and safe way to begin a trek from Pokhara is foremost driving to Phedi and thereon following the route to Dhampus[1700m], Landruk[1550m], Ghandruk[1940m], Ghorapani[2775m], Birethanti[1050m] and Naya Pool[1340 m] on foot. En route, trekkers will encounter friendly, helpful and innocent people of Gurung village. Moreover, this trek also gives a chance to view Annapurnas, Dhaulagiri, Tukuche Peak and other Himalayan giants from the popular vantage point of Poon Hill at an altitude of 3193 meters.
A visit to Royal Chitwan National Park is a very worthwhile excursion, either directly from Kathmandu or as an extension to a trekking or rafting trip. Chitwan is situated in the tropical Terai region, close to the borders with India, and provides a total contrast to the environment of snow-capped Himalaya. Being the home to several rare species, in particular, one-horned rhinoceros, leopard, sloth bear, wild boar, deer, bison, Royal Bengal tiger and abundant flora, the park exudes a special charm and excitement in children to explore more. Visit to elephant breeding center is another childrens’ most sought after trip. So is a canoe along Narayani River that accommodates Gharial crocodile and Gangetic river dolphin. A day long jungle safari on an elephant concludes superbly with a cultural programme performed by local villages, followed by a hearty dinner. This can give family a fun and interactive insight into life in Chitwan.
Further 303 km from Kathmandu is Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha. This place is the most sacred place for Buddhists for it is regarded as the place from where Buddhism originated. A tour around the monasteries and temples of Lumbini stimulates both child and adults alike. This fun adventure evokes a sense of exploration and discovery.
Family can experience the exotism of Himalayas on a child-friendly low altitude trek in the Annapurna foothills. In the most relaxed manner family get to tread along the easy trails that wend past alpine meadows, lush forests of oak and rhododendrons, river valley, stone staircases, rice paddies and pristine hamlets. Ample opportunity is there to interact with local people at the camp sites and learn more about local culture and custom.
Holidaying in Nepal is a rare blend of safety, comfort, relaxation, adventure, discovery, excitement, challenge, interest and fun for both children and parents. Whether it is rafting along the gentle rapids of Trisuli River or engaging in a multiple activity that involves trekking, jungle safari, nature walk, cultural tour etc, Nepal gives family a rare travel experience and a chance to gain a deeper understanding of people, culture and true essence of Nepal.