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Trek to Darchula and the Api Nampa Conservation Area
07 Jun 2018

Trek to Darchula and the Api Nampa Conservation Area

There I stood, on paths previously trod by the famed Limi salt traders, who ventured further north into Tibet, while staring a the riverbanks of the most western flank of Nepal, into what was once the territory of the Gurkha Kingdom.  Alone in this remote district of Nepal, I stared

Inside Himalayas 1
Guide to the Hemis Monastery Festival, Ladakh, 23-24 June 2018
04 Jun 2018

Guide to the Hemis Monastery Festival, Ladakh, 23-24 June 2018

The Hemis Monastery, 43 kilometres from Leh, is one of the richest and most important monasteries in Ladakh. It is also one of the few monasteries to hold its annual festival in the summer. Therefore, it’s very popular with tourists. If you’re lucky enough to be in Ladakh in June/July,

Elen Turner 0
An Introduction to Bhutanese Food
31 May 2018

An Introduction to Bhutanese Food

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

Inside Himalayas 1
Chortens at Swayambhunath. Photo credit: chripell / Flickr
27 May 2018

Nepal’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Pictures

Nepal is home to four UNESCO World Heritage sites. But, this number is actually misleading because one of these sites (the Kathmandu Valley) includes seven monument zones. Here are some images that reflect why these sites are considered so culturally and naturally important, not just to Nepal, but to the

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Mangal Dhun, the Music of Nepal
16 May 2018

Mangal Dhun, the Music of Nepal

Once, I received a curious query from someone I knew in America; he wanted to know about the origin of the mangal dhun, one of the most familiar tunes in Nepal. The name means “auspicious tune”, and is played during festive and celebratory occasions. It is the tune that announces

Inside Himalayas 2
Tips for an Unforgettable Stay in Chitwan
13 May 2018

Tips for an Unforgettable Stay in Chitwan

When I first traveled to Chitwan, I thought I had fallen into a horrendous tourist trap. It was hot, I didn’t see any animals, and I endured a really, really long and bumpy bus ride to get there. Fast-forward a few years and at the urging of friends, I decided

Michelle Welsch 0
The Nepali Man's Traditional Dress Explained
09 May 2018

The Nepali Man’s Traditional Dress Explained

Although Nepal is made up of many different cultures, there are a couple of items that most men across the country will wear at some time or another, perhaps even every day. Daura Suruwal Once the national dress, young men now only wear it on occasions such as weddings. But,

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Cho Oyu expedition. Photo: Dirk Groeger / Flickr
06 May 2018

On Mountain Climbing and the Himalayan Database

I spoke to Billi Bierling, German climber and major contributor to the Himalayan Database. The Database thoroughly chronicles those who have summited the Himalayan peaks from 1905-2018, utilizing details gathered from over 15,000 individual interviews. The creator of the database was the legendary Elizabeth Hawley, a close friend of Billi’s,

Erin Green 0
On the Nepali Flag
03 May 2018

On the Nepali Flag

On August 23, 2014, almost 40,000 people congregated at the Tundikhel ground in Kathmandu to participate in a unique event. They were there at the call of an organization that hoped to create a new world record of sorts—making the largest national flag. Around 30,000 people in nearby Lahore, Pakistan

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Photo credit: Malmaison Hotels / Flickr
29 Apr 2018

The Top Spas in Kathmandu

After some extremely serious research over the past few years, I’ve compiled a list of the top contenders for the best massages, therapies and other treatments to keep the body and soul aglow through the ‘fairy dust’ that Kathmandu casts on her residents and visitors. Check ’em out! For a

Erin Green 1
Help Clean Up Nepal: Take Out Your Trash
25 Apr 2018

Help Clean Up Nepal: Take Out Your Trash

As a child I often saw my mother pick up trash. It was a quiet action that showed me the importance of leaving a place better than I found it. I have picked up trash on beaches, mountains, and in cities for years, so I wasn’t surprised to see trash

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Snake ornamentation in a water tank. Photo: 
Peretz Partensky/Flickr
22 Apr 2018

Nag Panchami, When the Snakes Have Their Day

Nag Panchami (August 19) is a Hindu festival that worships Nag, the serpent king. Pictures of Nag are posted in doorways, and milk is the prime offering of the day. If you have a keen eye, you must have noticed that snakes are quite prevalent in many wood, metal, and

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The Rato Matsyendranath chariot. Photo: Elen Turner
18 Apr 2018

Patan’s Furious Sage: The Rato Matsyendranath Festival

There’s a festival held in Patan that goes on and on for one entire month–the Rato Mtsyendranath Festival. This year it will be held from May-June. It’s also a festival that has been the foreteller of some tragic events in the country’s history. The focal point of the festival is

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Dashain swing. Photo: socialtours nepal/Flickr
15 Apr 2018

Dashain, Nepal’s Biggest Festival

Dashain is the most important festival in Nepal. It is a celebration of good prevailing over evil. Families offer goats, ducks, chickens, eggs and coconuts to the goddess Durga. People return to their home villages to spend some or all of the fifteen-day festival with their families. Large swings are

Marianne 0
Photo: R4vi/Flickr
11 Apr 2018

The Janai Purnima Festival, or Rakshya Bandhan

The Hindu, Buddhist and Jain festival of Janai Purnima (also known as Rakhsya Bandhan) takes place on the full moon day of Shrawan. Janai refers to a sacred thread worn by men as they come of age, and purnima means the full moon. During this festival, Buddhists bathe in sacred

Marianne 1
Photo: socialtours nepal/Flickr
08 Apr 2018

The Story of the Gai Jatra Festival

Going by just the name, you might think that Gai Jatra (or the festival of the cows) it’s something like the ‘running of the bulls’ festival in Pamplona. Well, that is really far from the mark. Gai Jatra, held on August 27 this year, is actually an occasion to commemorate

Inside Himalayas 1
Around Dingboche. Photo: Paul/Flickr
05 Apr 2018

Living as an Honorary Sherpa in the Solukhumbu Region

Twenty years ago, my father made one last great trip before becoming a stay-at-home dad. I was then four years old and I don’t recall his absence. This final adventure was a hike to Gokyo Ri in the Everest region. Despite his determination, he got caught in a snow storm.

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Photo: Matt Zimmerman/Flickr
02 Apr 2018

Where to Take the Best Photos, Film & Selfies in Pokhara

The world is no stranger to Nepal’s natural beauty. Yet beyond stunning mountaintops and sweeping landscapes, Nepal’s urban centers bustle with markets, restaurants, music, and more. Perfect for idyllic photos and film backdrops. Once a quiet trekking town, Pokhara is now full of luxury hotels and trendy nightspots. Beyond the

Michelle Welsch 0

Culture & Tradition

Exploring Kohima, the Capital of Nagaland
14 Dec 2018

Exploring Kohima, the Capital of Nagaland

Through the large bay windows ahead of me, I see emerald peaks peer over a blanket of fog. It’s almost 9 AM in this town and the only noise I can hear is the static-y hum of the radio playing inside my room. The peaks are an extension of the

Inside Himalayas 1
The way to Lukla as seen by air. Photo: Guillaume Baviere / Flickr
30 Nov 2018

Trekking the Solukhumbu Cultural Trail

The area below Lukla and Namche Bazar is fascinating, beautiful, and somewhat neglected. Lukla Airport was built in 1964, offering many travellers the option to catapult themselves directly into the main action, and allowing many hikers the opportunity to tick off the region’s most famous highlights in just a few

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The Beauty of Muktinath, One of Nepal's Holiest Temples
05 Nov 2018

The Beauty of Muktinath, One of Nepal’s Holiest Temples

Though I have visited Muktinath twice–once crossing from the Thorong La and another walking from Beni–I did not fully grasp the significance of this place until a friend proudly posted photos of himself there: “A life dream,” he had written. I knew I needed to learn more. Muktinath (3,710 meters)

Michelle Welsch 1

Lifestyle

Nature

cho-oyo
31 Oct 2016

A Conversation with Billi Bierling, Who Ascended Cho Oyo Without Oxygen

Billi Bierling tried to ascend Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world, in 1995. Heartbreakingly, after reaching Camp 2 at 7300m, her guide concluded that high altitude mountaineering just wasn’t for her. She thought so too, and turned around. Four years later, she summited Everest. Up until her

Erin Green 2
Nilgiri and Rhododendrons
13 Oct 2016

Trek Among Blooming Rhododendrons in Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan

Rhododendron in Nepal is known as Gurans; it is indigenous to the High Himalayas, and is also the national flower of Nepal. Indo-Burma and South Central China are considered biodiversity hotspots—that is, areas of high animal and plant diversity, but with high rates of habitat destruction. One group of plants

Elizabeth Georgian 3
Bhaktapur
31 Aug 2016

Nepal Tours: The Top Five

Nepal Tours – Beauty Comes in Simplicity. Though many people head straight to the towering Himalayas and mountain trekking circuits the moment they touch down, Nepal is a lot more than simply altitudes and conquered peaks. So, if you want to see as much of this mountain kingdom as possible during

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