Nepal is not a destination for traditional luxury. You won't find five-star accommodation, nor opulence. Nepal is a country of unrivaled adventure, where luxury is provided by the most magnificent surroundings on earth. Expect solitude as you trek into regions where few Westerners venture. Explore by bike or helicopter, into landscapes as cut off from the modern world as anywhere. Walk alongside rhinos, skydive next to Everest, fly to base camps, and discover ancient cultures recovering after earthquake. Nepal epitomises a feeling of luxury created by where you are and what you do, not the place you stay or the vehicle you drive in.
Every valley is different in the land of the high Himalayas. Some are stark and barren, others flush with snow. Welcome to the world’s highest mountains. As you trek you'll be among mountains rising above 7000 meters, along with those in the 8000-meter club. Everest is here of course and Everest Base Camp is the most famous trek. But this entire mountain range represents the best place in the world to do serious high-alpine trekking. You don't need too much experience, but you absolutely need experienced guides and a route that's tailored to your ability.
For Westerners, the Khumbu was one of the world’s most inaccessible and unknown regions. It’s home to Everest and half the world’s tallest ten mountains. Yet people have always traveled here. Tibetan traders walked down with their yak caravans, while Nepalese lowlanders walked up with their donkeys, everyone meeting on Saturdays to barter and exchange in Namche Bazaar. Since the 20th century Khumbu has become better known to the Western world, particularly after Hillary and Norgay successfully climbed Everest. Yet the mystique remains, personified by the beautifully carved Mani stones, spiritual messages in white font that wish a safe journey for those walking up or down.
And the Everest region is just one place you can trek. Annapurna is the other popular destination, but there are regions only just opening to tourism as well, such as Langtang, Manaslu and the Upper Dolpo.
Nepal is not high on high-end accommodation. A Nepalese five-star establishment may only get three stars anywhere else. This isn't the country to visit if you demand the absolute highest standards for accommodation. Other than a few upscale resorts, like Dwarika, the best accommodation you can find is quaint and comfortable. Don't expect luxury, for the luxury in Nepal is provided by everything that surrounds your accommodation. Accommodation is not an experience here, but a place to rest and recover so you can get back out into the wilderness.
Nepal was brought to its knees by earthquake. Yet from the ashes the cultures rise once more. The country is home to some of the oldest and most traditional cultures in Asia, including practices you can experience like Aarti and Shamanism. Here are some cultural ideas you can add to what to do in Nepal.
Nepal is famous for hiking but there are many different ways to explore. You can kayak and mountain bike the Himalayas, then canoe past rhinos in search of tigers. Abseil down waterfalls, paraglide through the mountains and find an expression of adventure tailored to your spirit.