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The Monastery Circuit of Tibet
04 Jun 2017

What to Expect When Travelling to Tibet

Travelling to Tibet is different. Even the most confident solo traveller will have to accept that independent travel here is not possible. The Chinese Government—which rules Tibet—restricts where tourists can travel, and how they can do it. But as a long-time independent traveller (oftentimes solo), I must admit it was

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Try the Newest Sport in Town: Bouldering in Manali
01 Jun 2017

Try the Newest Sport in Town: Bouldering in Manali

The five members of the Delhi family I was travelling with wore rented one-piece snowsuits that they had picked up in Manali. We wouldn’t encounter any snow for at least another thirty minutes on our drive up the road toward the Hampta Pass, but that did not stop them. Nor

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IMG_0796 copy
28 May 2017

Reasons to Visit Nepal in the ‘Off-season’

Many travellers will only visit a place in the ‘peak season’, which usually correspond with when weather is good and/or reliable. And while most experienced travellers will have at least one cautionary tale of a place that just shouldn’t be visited in the ‘off-season’ (mine is the Salzkammergut Lake District

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Photo: anoldent/Flickr
23 May 2017

How to Train for Trekking

I pause several thousand stairs up for a drink of water.  Ahead of me, the steps continue to spread upward. My thighs burn. My breath is hard and fast, but as I sip my water it quickly slows. I’m ready to go again. Many people worry that they are not

Inside Himalayas 3
To Trek with a Group or Solo in the Himalayas?
18 May 2017

To Trek with a Group or Solo in the Himalayas?

My trekking group’s youngest member, a rugby player from Wales, bounced back down the uneven stone stairs to the other group members as we leaned hard on our trekking poles. “Guys, there’s a whole group of monkeys up here! Come on!” Guide Ramesh was fast on his heels, eager to

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9 Family Holiday Ideas for Nepal
14 May 2017

9 Family Holiday Ideas for Nepal

Children of all ages, from babies to teenagers, will love the sights and activities of Nepal. It can be a chaotic and challenging country to travel around in some respects (the busy cities, the traffic, the long travel distances), but with good planning, you can have a fun family holiday

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Sunset at Barauli Community Homestay
10 May 2017

6 Nepal Holidays that Don’t Involve Climbing a Mountain

The Himalayan nation of Nepal—home to eight of the ten tallest mountains in the world—is rightly known as the ultimate destination for adventure seekers. However, you don’t have to be a mountain climber or a super-fit long-distance trekker to explore the country and see some of its best sights. Travellers

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A Senior Traveller's Guide to Tibet
07 May 2017

A Senior Traveller’s Guide to Tibet

“You want to go where?!” “I want to go to Tibet.” “How old are you?” “I am seventy years old.” I had such conversations often before travelling to Tibet. Everyone has heard of Tibet, but few know much about this gem of a destination. A trip to Tibet requires time,

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FAQs About Traveling in the Mountains of Pakistan
04 May 2017

FAQs About Traveling in the Mountains of Pakistan

North Pakistan–home to the Himalayas, HinduKush and Karakoram Mountain Ranges–is breathtaking, literally and visually. It will never stop luring visitors, including many mountaineers, and understandably so. The three months my partner and I spent there were not enough to see and experience it all. The first question that comes up

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Travelling to Tibet by Train
02 May 2017

Travelling to Tibet by Train

Altitude sickness is not fun and can be very dangerous. Visitors to Tibet need to be concerned about the changes in altitude they will encounter. One of the easiest ways to adjust to the higher altitude is to arrive in Tibet by train. Not only do you reduce your chances

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5 Must-Do Experiences in the Pakistan Himalayas
30 Apr 2017

5 Must-Do Experiences in the Pakistan Himalayas

When a Pakistani friend warned me that the Pakistani Himalayas would put a gripping spell on me, I thought he was exaggerating. I had no clue what lay in store for me. However, when my partner and I travelled up the Karakoram Highway, we drove into a breathtaking wilderness of

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Shopping for Thangkas in Bhutan and Nepal
27 Apr 2017

Shopping for Thangkas in Bhutan and Nepal

In her native Tibetan language, Her Eminence Jetsun Kushok Chimey Luding guided us to become the goddess at the ‘Uncommon White Tara Initiation’ taking place at the Ewan Choden Buddhist Center in California. With Lama Jay Goldberg translating for us, I envisioned the White Tara thangka painting I had acquired

Inside Himalayas 1
Must-Do Treks Around McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh
25 Apr 2017

Must-Do Treks Around McLeod Ganj

McLeod Ganj, in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, may be a destination for Buddhists the world over, but for those with an affinity for nature and a passion for walking, it is merely a gateway. The hikes/treks accessible range from short, hour-long walks to gushing waterfalls, to overnight trips

Inside Himalayas 0
Lo Manthang
23 Apr 2017

Exploring Lo Manthang, the Capital of Upper Mustang

It’s eight o’clock in the morning in Lo Manthang. The monks are still asleep, just like the five Tibetan mastiffs guarding the courtyard of the monastery. We peek inside the temple door, where a young monk looks back at us, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He jumps up from

Inside Himalayas 1
Chiya Khayo? Traditional Nepali Tea and Snacks
20 Apr 2017

Chiya Khayo? Traditional Nepali Tea and Snacks

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.

Inside Himalayas 2
Beas River
18 Apr 2017

Pushing Through Pain While Cycling in Himachal Pradesh

“It’s time to let the brakes off, but hold onto them tightly,” instructed my local guide as we neared the top of the 3,200 metre Jalori Pass. I was confused by the paradoxical instruction. It sounded as if I was about to perform a Mission Impossible-esque stunt. His words echoed

Inside Himalayas 0
Mustang
16 Apr 2017

9 Reasons to Travel to Lower Mustang this Season

The Mustang region of Nepal was once an isolated and independent Tibetan kingdom. Now part of Nepal, it nevertheless retains a rugged and mystical reputation. Divided into Lower and Upper, these different parts of Mustang are connected yet also quite different. They offer different attractions for the visitor, in terms

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Looking for somewhere to stay in Tansen? Check out the Palpa Community Homestay.
13 Apr 2017

Exploring Tansen and Around

Tansen, in Palpa District, is situated atop a crest in the Lesser Himalayas, on the highway connecting Lumbini and Pokhara. You may choose to stop for a while in Tansen if you want to better understand different regions of Nepal. This way you experience a gradual transition between the subtropical

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Culture & Tradition

Mustang's Colourful Tiji Festival
30 Mar 2018

Mustang’s Colourful Tiji Festival

The Tiji Festival is the most auspicious festival in the Upper Mustang region of Nepal. Ancient mythology relates how the Tiji Festival was celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil. It is believed that what is now the Mustang region was in trouble, and was being destroyed by

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Photo: Vrindavan Lila/Flickr
28 Mar 2018

Celebrating Krishna, Most Flamboyant of the Gods

If you are here on September 2nd this year, you must visit Patan Durbar Square, for that is where you will see long lines of both young and old devotees queuing up in front of the Krishna Temple to wish Lord Krishna a very happy birthday. Actually, there are two

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Local Lore of the Ghode Jatra Festival Part 2
19 Mar 2018

Local Lore of the Ghode Jatra Festival Part 2

We told you the first part of the Ghode Jatra festival story the other day, in Part 1. Are you ready for the second half? This terrifying demon was the legendary Gurumapa, whose stories were often told by elders to their children all over the valley. Scared, Kesh Chandra remained

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