The ultimate thing not to miss in Nepal: an unequalled scenic and cultural experience.
The exquisitely preserved Kathmandu Valley town of Bhaktapur is built in dark carved wood and glowing pink brick, and adorned with fine stone sculptures.
Clustered round the great white stupa, with its all-knowing Buddha eyes, is a thriving Tibetan Buddhist community and pilgrimage centre.
#04 Elephant bathtime in Sauraha
Help wash down an elephant in the shallows of the great Rapti River.
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.
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.
#07 The Himalayas
#08 Shiva raatri
This winter festival brings tens of thousands of Shiva devotees to Pashupatinath, the holiest of river gorges.
#09 Janaki Mandir
Worshippers flock to Janakpur’s Mughal-style Janaki Mandir to pay homage to legendary lovers Ram and Sita.
#10 Jungle wildlife
#11 Old Kathmandu
An intensely urban quarter of narrow alleys, noisy markets, fabulously carved temples and rowdy political rallies.
#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.
Leaving aside homebrew beer and raksi firewater, hot, sweet, milky, spicy chiya is Nepal’s national drink.
Not just for adrenaline junkies, but a wonderful way to experience rural Nepal.
The ancestral home of Nepal’s royal family is a quintessential hill town, albeit one with a fine ridge-top temple and palace compound.