The Non-Trekkers’ Travel Guide in Nepal: Infinite Ways Non-Trekkers Can Enjoy Nepal.
Trekking to the mighty Himalayas is often the most obvious reason why visitors come to Nepal. But Nepal is not just all about hiking or going on adventure trips like Everest Base Camp Trek.
The small country has some very interesting things to offer, from the historical and cultural sights of Durbars and Stupas around Kathmandu; the scenic and laid back experiences in Pokhara to experiencing a full-fledged local Nepalese life in Nepal’s small villages.
Nepal, after all, is a incredible paradise for every type of traveler.
Table of Contents
- Find out What to do in Nepal if not trekking.
Find out What to do in Nepal if not trekking.
Begin with Exploring Kathmandu
Kathmandu thrives with life, day in and day out. It’s in the middle of all points of interests in Nepal – temples, souvenir shops, hotels and even the touch base point for trekkers. If you’re not interested in trekking in Nepal, it’s worth exploring Nepal’s historical and cultural side which is teeming with artistry and colorful stories.
Or, if you’d like to jump start your stay and adventure in Nepal in an epic way, take a scenic flight to Mount Everest on board a small aircraft that will take you over Mt. Everest and other Himalayan ranges. You don’t have to get to the Everest Base Camp to get glimpse of the mighty Everest.
Cultural and Heritage Destinations In and Around Kathmandu
Pashupatinath temple is the most important for Hindu followers. Also called the holy temple of Lord Shiva, the temple showcases a gold-plated roof, silver-plated doors and intricate wood carvings reflecting the famous pagoda architecture.
The Pashupatinath sits at the bank of the Bagmati River where Hindus perform their cremations. There’s a separate entrance for non-Hindus since the interiors are limited to Hindus only. Please note that taking pictures at certain areas and activities inside the temple is prohibited.
The Boudhanath is the most important stupa for the Tibetan Buddhists in Nepal.
It used to be a resting place in the ancient trade route where Tibetan merchants took their rest and prayed for numerous centuries. From here, what is known as the “Little Tibet” of Nepal came to life.
Apart from observing Tibetan monks live and pray, Boudhanath is also a good place to see and buy carpets, gold pieces of jewelry and other trinkets. It is surrounded by shops and restaurants, smaller stupas and monasteries.
The Swyambhunath is another important temple in Nepal. Swyambhunath means “self-existent” but it is also popularly known as the “Monkey Temple”.
Devotees and tourists climb the eastern steps of the temple where mini stupas, monasteries as well as monkeys greet them.
Atop, you’ll see the outstanding view of Kathmandu. If you opt to witness monks performing their rituals, be sure to get there before 9 am.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Just 10 kilometers away from Kathmandu is Bhaktapur, an independent city-state complete with its own Durbar Square. The square is home to numerous shrines, temples, and monasteries, as well as architectural masterpieces.
Located inside Bhaktapur is the Royal Palace which guests enter through the Golden Gate, as well as the National Art Gallery. Bhaktapur is a friendly little piece of Nepal with a warm population rich with history, art, and culture.
Dhulikhel is a good getaway when looking for quiet spaces in Nepal where you can just bask in the beauty of nature.
Located 32 km away from Kathmandu, Dhulikhel provides different uphill sites like the Kali Temple, Gosainthan Hill and the Dhulikel View Tower that affords a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the towns and villages below.
Close to Dhulikel is another village called Nagarkot. Although Nagarkot is well known for its trekking trails, you can enjoy the quiet views of the Himalayas from here during sunrise and sunset.
It is a rustic little village with a more laid-back lifestyle, perfect for tourists who are not in a rush and would want to bask in the scenery of the Himalayan ranges.
Namo Buddha Monastery
The Nam Buddha Monastery is considered as one of the most important and holiest sites in the world.
It is believed that a stupa was erected in honor of a prince which in some accounts, also referred as the Buddha himself, who gave up his own life in order to save a starving tigress and her cubs.
It’s a popular place for many Buddhist who make their pilgrimage in February and March.
Chitwan National Park
Chitwan means the “heart of the jungle” and rightly so herein located in the Chitwan National Park.
This is a good place to explore Nepal’s rich and diverse flora and fauna – ranging from the numerous species of birds to the rare Bengal Tigers and endangered Asian Rhinos.
There’s also a good count of other animals like elephant, crocodiles, monkeys, wild cats and dogs, boars and sloth bears.
Lumbini – the birth place of Lord Buddha
Lumbini is the famous site of Lord Buddha’s birthplace.
Buddhists make a pilgrimage to the Lumbini all year round, while barren women Maya Devi, the Buddha’s mother, for fertility.
Lumbini offers the perfect insight into Lord Buddha’s life and devotion, which is today known as Buddhism.
Nepal’s Famous Sites for Adventures and Immersion with the Local Life
If you’d rather partake in the local adventures that Nepal has to offer, you must head to Pokhara, Sarangkot, Bandipur and Palpa.
Take a swim or paddle a boat on Lake Phewa where a number of hotels and restaurants are also located nearby.
If you want some adrenaline rush, there are also a number of adventures and extreme sports operating in Pokhara offering paragliding, hot air ballooning, white water rafting in Nepal, mountain biking, and rock climbing.
Or, immerse yourself to local Nepalese life where a family host in Sarangkot can adopt you and teach you their ways. This is a great way to appreciate and understand the life in Nepal on a more intimate level.
You will also see numerous religious sites in Palpa, but its bronze craft and hand-loom industry might also interest you. The Karuwa or bronze jar is a well-known souvenir item in Palpa.
Lastly, Bandipur offers a number of activities for those who do not want to trek.
You might pick Tundikhel as your vantage point in witnessing the Himalayas or opt to explore the interior of the Siddha cave.
Bring your picnic gear and spend some quiet time in Thanimai and see the orchids in bloom west of the Bandipur Bazaar.
Indeed, there’s more to do in Nepal than trekking. You will definitely not run out with things to do and see and that’s what makes Nepal an even more appealing destination.
Ready for an exciting tour in Nepal? Remember, trekking is not the only ultimate way to discover the beauty of Nepal. Contact us for organized trips to your places of interest with your preferred tour activities!
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Madhav started working as a porter in 2001 and then moved on to work as a trekking guide. After working in the trekking and tourism industry for eight years, he co-founded Mosaic Adventure in 2009.
Madhav has trekked to most of the trekking destinations in Nepal, including Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Poon Hill Trek, Jomsom Muktinath Trek, Indigenous Peoples Trek, Langtang Valley Trek, Mardi Himal Trek, and all of the day hikes around Kathmandu.
He has also extensively traveled to other countries such as Australia, the USA, the UK, France, Hong Kong, Japan, China, the Philippines, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Thailand, Turkey, and India. Madhav is the one who answers most of your questions about trekking and tours and helps to plan your trip by giving a personal touch.