Surely you must have been excited to see the slogan, “Welcome to Nepal, Land of Adventure,” in some travel brochure or the other, and surely that must have nudged you towards visiting Nepal. Well, let me assure that you made a good decision. Plenty of high adventure stuff to do around here—trekking, hiking, rafting, paragliding, abseiling, canyoning, ultra flight, bungee jumping, high altitude marathons, et al.
As if that wasn’t enough, you also get adventure at every twist and turn of the bustling cities and sleepy villages all over the country. Adventures of exploration and discovery, of knowing that there’s a completely different kind of life that’s as good in its own way as is those of cities back home, with the added attraction of a lot more humanity here. You probably have forgotten how it was in the old days, when you could walk to a variety of grocery and general stores at a leisurely pace, get a doctor at your convenience, and pretty cheaply, be trusting of others, enjoy nature indoors with the windows wide open to receive natural air and sunlight, be cold in winter and sweat in summer even when indoors, pay a lot less tax, work under less undue stress, enjoy what you have and make do with what you don’t, etc. etc. You get the drift.
For all this, you’ll have to spend more than just a week or two, because imbibing such a lifestyle entails that you are here for at least a month or two. Me, I never go anywhere relatively far planning to return soon. That’s because I want to be a part of things, and not just a spectator. This is what makes travel such an adventure. And if you believe that you are an adventurer (actually, who doesn’t?), then plan for a long stay when in Nepal. It’s one of the most economical destinations in the world. Just the fact that a dollar gets you more than a hundred Nepali rupees should make this clear.
What’s more, you get all sorts of rebates and discounts at most hotels if you’re staying for a longer period of time. A dollar goes a long way, let me tell you. What to say about the pound? On the lower side, lunch at plenty of local places can be had for a dollar and a half, so too dinner. Breakfast, in many hotels, is complimentary, as is a trip to and from the airport, which isn’t far off anyway. Add to this the fact that local transportation is actually, in one way, pretty good. Stand on the curb anywhere on the streets of a place like Kathmandu, and a three wheeler, microbus, minibus, or a bus, will within a few seconds, stop right beside you asking you where you want to go to. Fares are cheap; 15 rupees will get you almost anywhere in the city. Of course, you’ll have to make allowance for the fact that the vehicle may be a bit on the crowded side, but that’s okay, isn’t it, since distances anywhere are quite short, hardly a few kilometers, if that.
Local transportation is really a wonder of a city like Kathmandu. So many choices without having to wait long. If you are a bit more fastidious, you can get a taxi anytime, anywhere. You might have heard some unsavory stuff about taxi drivers ripping tourists off with exorbitant fares; well, take it from me, all Nepalis are a very honest lot, and if the driver is asking for something extra, most probably that’s because he thinks he’s entitled to, seeing as to how he had to stay the whole night at the petrol pump to fill up. Other times, too, give some leeway if he’s taking it as an opportunity to earn a little extra, you can regard the extra as the tip that you would have to give anyway, back in your own country.
Well, the long and short of all this is to try and convince you to stay longer when in Nepal, so that you really go back sated with adventure, exploration, and discovery; thus asking your long trip, your time, and your money, well worth it.