#01 Trekking

The ultimate thing not to miss in Nepal: an unequalled scenic and cultural experience.

Things not to miss: trekking, Nepal, India.© Denis Belitsky/Shutterstock

#02 Bhaktapur

The exquisitely preserved Kathmandu Valley town of Bhaktapur is built in dark carved wood and glowing pink brick, and adorned with fine stone sculptures.

#02 Bhaktapur

#03 Boudha

Clustered round the great white stupa, with its all-knowing Buddha eyes, is a thriving Tibetan Buddhist community and pilgrimage centre.

#03 Boudha

#04 Elephant bathtime in Sauraha

Help wash down an elephant in the shallows of the great Rapti River.

Things not to miss: elephant bathing.© adrenalinrnb/Shutterstock 

#05 Momo

These steamed meat or vegetable dumplings, resembling plump ravioli, are an addictive snack. They’re served with a chilli sauce, and you can find them everywhere from street stalls to fancy restaurants.

#05 Momo

#06 Dasain

Dasain is the high point of the busy Nepali festival calendar. Masked dancers perform elaborate rituals in Bhaktapur and Kathmandu, people travel for days to be at home with their families, and children celebrate by playing on bamboo swings.

Tibetan dance in mask.© Jelena Yukka/Shutterstock

#07 The Himalayas

Even if you don’t trek, you cannot miss a hilltop view of the world’s greatest and most inspiring mountain range. Nagarkot is the classic viewpoint outside Kathmandu; Sarangkot outside Pokhara.

#07 The Himalayas

#08 Shiva raatri

This winter festival brings tens of thousands of Shiva devotees to Pashupatinath, the holiest of river gorges.

Things not to miss: brightly painted oxen for the Shivaratri holiday (Shiva's festival), Hampi, India.© Andreas Wolochow/Shutterstock 

 

#09 Janaki Mandir

Worshippers flock to Janakpur’s Mughal-style Janaki Mandir to pay homage to legendary lovers Ram and Sita.

#09 Janaki Mandir

#10 Jungle wildlife

You’ll get closer to a wild rhino than might seem advisable at Chitwan and Bardia national parks.

#10 Jungle wildlife

#11 Old Kathmandu

An intensely urban quarter of narrow alleys, noisy markets, fabulously carved temples and rowdy political rallies.

#11 Old Kathmandu

#12 Bus journeys

Chickens under the seats, sunbathers on the roof and spectacular hairpin bends: rides on a public bus may be uncomfortable, but they get you close to everyday life.

Things not to miss: road, bus in Leh-Ladakh, India.© nuchao/Shutterstock 

#13 Chiya

Leaving aside homebrew beer and raksi firewater, hot, sweet, milky, spicy chiya is Nepal’s national drink.

Nepali chiyaNepali chiya © Kondoruk/Shutterstock

 

#14 Rafting

Not just for adrenaline junkies, but a wonderful way to experience rural Nepal.

Rafting, Nepal.© C. Na Songkhla/Shutterstock

#15 Gorkha

The ancestral home of Nepal’s royal family is a quintessential hill town, albeit one with a fine ridge-top temple and palace compound.

Things not to miss: Gorkha Palace, Nepal, India.© Josephine Billeter/Shutterstock 

#16 Phewa Tal

Relax in a boat on Pokhara’s placid lake, soak up stunning views of the Annapurna range and perhaps have a swim.

pokhara lake nepal asia© danm12/Shutterstock

#17 Yoga and meditation

Kathmandu and Pokhara are spilling over with yoga classes, meditation sessions and retreats, inspired by both the Hindu and Buddhist traditions.

#17 Yoga and meditation

Top image © Jelena Yukka/Shutterstock

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