Me and my friends had an awesome two weeks volunteering and traveling in Nepal. When we weren’t busy volunteering we filled our time with typical tourist activities in Kathmandu. We did a few trips to Thamel which is only a short cab ride away from our accommodation. Finding a cab is never a challenge as it would always find you first. We really enjoyed our trips to Thamel. The hectic maze of street side stalls never ceased to entertain us. Our highlight of Thamel was the restaurant or2k on Mandala street, the wide range of food was always delicious. In short breaks, we would often go to Boudhanath – the famous Buddhist stupa which was only a 10 minute walk from our accommodation. The stupa is such an incredible sight and is surrounded by a great variety of shops and cafes. We tried a few cafes there and found Ariya, a modern café to be our favourite with good food, reliable wi-fi and comfy couches. With so many great shops around the stupa, we were tempted to buy things but resisted as we could often find the same things but cheaper away from the main tourist attractions.
We also visited Pashupatinath which is the holy Hindu pilgrimage and was in walking distance from our hostel in Kathmandu. The monkey temple also known as Swayambhunath by the Nepalese people was also a highlight of our trip. We also visited Kathmandu Durbar Square. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the eight year old goddess, Kumari. The living goddess – Kumari, she lives in the Kumari house at Basantapur also known as the Durbar Square of Kathmandu. We even caught a rickshaw from the square to Thamel which was a fun thing to do.
Volunteer travel in Nepal
Half way through our volunteer travel, we took a 5 day trip to Pokhara. It was about an eight hour bus ride through beautiful scenery, so with such amazing sights the trip really didn’t seem that long. We stayed at Tulsi hotel which is just off the main street, lakeside Pokhara. The hotel was right next to all the shops and restaurants. Pokhara was quite different to Kathmandu, the bustling streets seemed to slow, it was a very peaceful place. We did a walk to the world peace pagoda, it is an incredible walk through luscious green forests up a hill. We did get a bit lost so it is important to make sure you don’t attempt the walk alone but the view from the pagoda is incredible. We spent an hour just soaking everything in when we got to the top.
We also did a bike ride to Davis Falls which is a waterfall located at Pokhara city with bikes only 80 rupee an hour to hire and mild traffic it is a great way to get around. The boat trip on the Phewa lake was nice too. We finished our trip in Pokhara by going Paragliding which we would recommend. Flying above the Pokhara city is an incredible experience and a great way to get the best view of all of Pokhara and the lakes and the mountains. If you want to escape the busy streets of Kathmandu, go to Pokhara. It should be on top of the list if someone is traveling Nepal. On our last full day in Nepal our host took us on a trip to Kirtipur which is other town in Kathmandu then we went to his family home to make Momo. It was a really great experience to see his home and meet his family. A great finish to an incredible two weeks in Nepal.