Top 10 List: Nepal

24 May

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The Top 10 Things to Know About Nepal (in no particular order):

10. Kathmandu traffic. It’s nearly as crazy as the traffic experienced in India though I would say slightly less honking.

9. Sizzlers. A sizzler is found on nearly every menu in Nepal and is served sizzling in a hot metal dish. Anytime a sizzler is served other people in the restaurant go “OOOOOO!”

8. The claiming of ‘hot’ showers along the Annapurna Circuit. The higher you get, the less likely that is to be true. Trek prepared with baby wipes. Believe me bathing with baby wipes is better than hypothermia.

7. Pokhara. It offers a number of bars and restaurants, sunset boat rides, bookstores with a fairly extensive English selection, gyms, yoga studios and many clean, budget hotels. It is also a hub for a number of activities like motorcycling, white water rafting, paragliding and 1 – 4 day treks (if your time in Nepal is limited or if you’re up for additional treks after finishing a larger one).

6. The food. If you’re there and you eat meat, try yak, it’s delicious. I also highly recommend momos (little dumplings filled with vegetables, chicken or beef), banana crepes and the chocolate pancakes.

5. RayBans. Kathmandu is the capital of fake RayBans. Nearly every other store features an in-your-face display with shades of every shape, size and colour – and you know how much I like my faux RB’s on this trip. (I made the mistake of waiting until after the trek to purchase my latest pair however the strike in Kathmandu meant all of the stores were closed. Will have to keep my eyes peeled in Malaysia.)

4. The feeling of crossing the world’s biggest pass. Many times over on the trek I learned the value of repeating the the saying ‘mind over matter’. That and the yoga breathing techniques I learned in India were what got me to the top.

3. The friends we met along the way. Such an amazingly eclectic group of people, each one offering a different perspective. I can truly say I’m better off and have a greater understanding of the world for having met each one of them.

2. The landscape. The Annapurna Circuit is a progression through a number of micro-climates ranging from low-altitude farms, terraces and jungle to high-altitude sub-zero snow-covered mountain tops. All amazing, all beautiful, all will humble you.

1. Nepali people. They are the kindest, most helpful, happy and most genuine people you will ever meet. Everyone from owners of the tea houses and hotels to guides and porters we met along the Annapurna Circuit to restaurant servers to locals we met randomly everywhere in between.

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