Our third trip of 2019 was a short one. We decided to head to Nepal for the Eid long weekend. It wasn't the first choice.. but it was the easiest one because of it's proximity to Dubai, cheap tickets and of course, no visa application. We were sold. *Whoop*!
Itinerary break down:
Day 1 - overnight drive to Pokhara from Kathmandu
Day 2 - Pokhara
Day 3 - Chitwan stay
Day 4 - Chitwan stay
Day 5 - Kathmandu, half day
Best time to visit
We went off season, as usual. It was sweltering hot and I was left with a terrible tan. If you are looking to trek, the season starts from September.... if you want to go during winter, head there between January to March.
Flights and Visa
We flew with Fly Dubai - a short 4 hour flight from Dubai.
No Visa required for Indians - just a straightforward exit after immigration.
Nepalese.. but people speak Hindi and English, to some extent.
Travel and Medical Insurance, Currency
Definitely recommend having medical insurance.. Nepali Rupees is the official currency but most places accept dollars or Indian Rupees.
Where we stayed
Pokhara - we stayed at the Glacier Hotel. I chose this hotel for it's great location and amazing restaurant options. Was not disappointed. Although the wi-fi was practically non-existent throughout our stay.
Chitwan - easily the highlight of our trip. The Barahi Jungle Resort is eco-friendly and in the middle of nowhere - allow enough time to get here and back since the roads are under construction. Right from the get go, we felt like royalty.
Cost and getting around
We anticipated crazy traffic and windy roads and decided to avoid driving ourselves. Taking the bus was the next cheap option but we didn't have the liberty of time. So we decided to hire a private car with a driver to take us around the country.
I got in touch with Puru from Above Himalayan Trekking. I was impressed with his quick response time and competitive pricing. I do recommend them - be sure to ask for a BIG car with air conditioning.
It was supposed to be flooding but we didn't see water anywhere.. the roads driving to and from Kathmandu can be risky, especially if you are driving at night - avoid it, if possible. People were warm and welcoming, no other issues with safety.
Plenty of vegetarian options - from Italian to Indian to Nepali food. Everything we tried was spot on and reasonably priced. Of course, we had momos at least once a day - the spicy chutney was SO GOOD. Don't miss it.
What to pack
If traveling in July and August:
Shorts. Light tees. Skirts. Wrap around dresses. Pack for HOT summer.
We landed at 12 30 am in Kathmandu. Our driver, Rosan, was waiting for us outside the airport. We headed straight to Pokhara.. after 6 hours and few stops, we arrived at our hotel at 6 30 a.m. Welcome to the MIDDLE of Nepal... and the trekkers paradise. Pokhara is renowned for being the starting for many amazing treks to Annapurna.
One power nap, a quick shower and a delicious brunch later - we set out to explore the city.
We stayed at a central location and everything was within walking distance... but the best part? Waking up to this view.. that's right, we were right in front of the Phewa Lake.