Best time for traveling Nepal
I usually do my trips during semester break. This time I decided to explore Nepal for four weeks. You should visit Nepal either between March and April or Oktover/November. These are the best seasons especially for hiking. What is beautiful about going in March and April is that the huge Rhododendron forests in the mountains are blooming which gives you amazing landcapes impressions. And also the touristic season is not as high as in October/November. I went there in March.
When you go to Nepal you usually want to go hiking in the mountains and explore the Himalayas. So before going I made sure to get some really good hiking shoes.
My travel route
My flight was from Germany to Kathmandu both way. Besides that I haven´t planned anything. I usually just take my stuff, go and see what I feel like doing when Im there. My travel route eventually happend to be Kathmandu-Shyabru (LangTang)-Kathmandu-Pokhara-Chitwan-Bandipur-Bhaktapur-Kathmandu. I took the bus for traveling in Nepal. I like seeing the landscapes passing by. This is quite rough on most of the routes in Nepal because streets are not very well constructed. After a few days in Kathmandu, participating in yoga and meditation classes in the morning and exploring the city a little bit I went to Lang Tang Nationalpark.
How to plan activities in Nepal
Whats important to know about Nepal is that you actually can organize trips to the nationalparks on your own. If you go to local travel agencies of course it makes it very easy but they charge a lot and I like to do things on my own. Besides that as a student Im quite on a budget. For the risky areas and for adventurous hikers of course I would recommend doing it with local guides but I just wanted to go to the common, main areas. After two days of asking many other tourists and trying to get everything clear I understood how it worked. I just went to the Ministry of tourism in Kathmandu, registered my trip and got the permits. This costs around 55 Euros in total. I booked the bus tickets for about 10 Euros and just went there on my own. I did the same later in Pokhara. You can get permits there as well.
Hiking in Nepal
In the nationalpark there are different routes you can take and the common ways are easy to find and follow. On the way you will pass by some guest houses where you can have some food or stay the night. These houses are quite simple which means there is no hot water, no heater (only a little fireplace) and western toilets are rare as well. Most of the tourists I met just didnt shower because at night it gets super cold and since they are no heaters and you usually dont have fresh clothes anyways it doesnt really matter. At least I didnt shower for the whole week and it was also part of the adventure for me.
Other activites in Nepal
Nepal offers a rich cultural heritage. There are many little villages worth seeing. Two places I really loved were the cute little village of Bandipur and Bhaktapur which is close to Kathmandu.
I have always been interested in Buddhism, Yoga and Spirituality. There are many monestaries in Nepal where they offer free Dharma talks and meditation or yoga classes. I also went to a Dharma talk which was really inspiring and I did some yoga classes in the morning.
The south of Nepal contains the Chitwan Nationalpark where wild tigers, rhinos, bisons, crocodiles and many other animals live. Its quite expensive to do a trip there though and the chance to actually see a wild tiger is rare. I only went there because it was raining a few days and in the south the weather was supposed to be better. I booked a private safari trip for 180 Dollars the day with a jeep and a guide. It was really exciting and beautiful nature views. There are also a lot of elephants and tourists get the chance to ride elephants there. I went to see the elephants but it was heartbreaking to see these beautiful creatures in chains so I would never want to support activities like that.