The verdant rolling hills, cows grazing in the valleys and the plate overflowing with Emmental cheese at your homestay would lead you to believe you’re vacationing somewhere in the Swiss Alps. But this is a common scene here in Bumthang, Bhutan. It is the perfect place for farming, and the
When we arrived at our homestay in Patan, our host-mom greeted us with a smile and a gentle handshake as we said “Namaste.” We protested against her helping us with our bags, but she just smiled and said, “Nepali women are strong!” I laughed as she led us through her
Alcoholic drinks have long been incorporated into ceremonies and celebrations throughout Nepal. The best and strongest alcohols are often homemade, and Nepal has plenty to offer. In mountain regions, raksi warms cold nights while chhyang marks harvest seasons within Newari communities. With festival season approaching, alcohol will be poured freely.
The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan is a world unto itself, and the food from the country is a strong part of that world. Though Bhutan serves a variety of cuisines–such as Indian, Tibetan, Nepali and Chinese–for travelers seeking somewhat familiar tastes, the country’s own food is as delicious as it
Aside from seeing diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife and learning about vibrant local culture and traditions, there is another reason to head to the far-western Nepali highlands. That is to enjoy locally-grown apples and apple products direct from the source, while walking through sloping apple orchards, picking fresh apples, or
What makes a vacation authentic to the destination? There are many ways of answering that question. When you are in Nepal and want to live like a local Nepali, you need to cook like a Nepali, eat like a Nepali, sing and dance like a Nepali, and smile like a
The excitement of visiting developing countries has a major downside: the potential for food poisoning. Let’s face it, it’s much more fun to explore local markets or drink in mountain vistas than being doubled over the toilet! I am all too familiar with the latter scenario due to a very
Nepal is a tea drinker’s paradise, and a good cup of chiya – sweet milk tea – is hard to resist. Enter a Nepali home and before you can say ‘namaste’ and take off your coat, a steaming cup of chiya will have already been placed in front of you.
During one of my visits to Nepal, I stayed in Bhaktapur, at the home of a Newari family. Newar are the historical inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley and nearby areas. They have their own language, culture and cuisine. Not only did I enjoy their heartfelt hospitality, but also daily feasts
I’m a sucker for a scooter ride, and when I heard about Vespa Valley’s vintage Vespa tours of Kathmandu, I had to check it out. My guide, Surendera, picked me up near my house on a cherry-red ’80s model. He gave me a helmet and we cruised off into the