On the other side of the world and shrouded in mystery, Nepal seems more like a dream than reality to most Americans. However, if you’re willing to brave the long plane ride, you’ll find a welcoming country filled with awe-inspiring scenery and plenty of opportunities for adventure. Here are 5 reasons to get a Nepali visa and go:
The Annapurna circuit is 128 miles of rugged but spectacular terrain: a parade of rivers, mountains, small friendly villages and remote Buddhist monasteries. Backpacker Magazine calls it “the world’s best trek.” If it’s on your bucket list, I’d recommend hiking it in the next year-a road is set to fill more of the circuit with Jeeps in 2012, according to the New York Times.
The Great Himalayan Trail
Eventually, if the dream behind the Great Himalayan Trail is realized, you’ll be able to walk all the way from Nanga Parbat mountain in Pakistan to Namche Barwa in Tibet, but so far, only the Nepal portion is complete. Expeditions start this February. The entire Nepal section of the trail would take 157 days to finish, so you may want to consider just doing a small portion. This trail is more remote than Annapurna and, if you walk the whole thing, you’ll get to see all of Nepal’s 8,000m peaks.
Most people don’t have what it takes to climb Mount Everest, but getting to base camp is doable and is definitely a worthwhile experience.
Wildlife at Chitwan National Park
Nepal’s oldest national park, Chitwan’s name means “heart of the jungle.” The park is a great place for safaris to see rare animals like rhinos, tigers, leopards, antelopes, crocodiles, monkeys and more.
The birthplace of the Buddha, Lumbini is a popular place for Buddhist pilgrimages. The Maya Devi Temple is said to mark the exact spot where he was born. The temple is surrounded by colorful prayer flags and many different monasteries.
To get to Nepal, you’ll need your passport and a Nepali visa. You can apply for your visa on arrival, but if you’d prefer to have it ahead of time you can apply at a Nepali embassy before leaving the US.
To find out more, see Nepali Visa Requirements for Tourists.
Apply for your Nepali visa today!