The monsoon is here, winding down early with heavy rain and humidity. And if you think it's madness to travel in monsoon, you are very badly mistaken. So, here are some perfect places to enjoy the monsoons:
1. Perfect in Pokhara
Pokhara is an urban town full of exciting possibilities and adrenaline rushing activities, luxurious accommodation and food and fun. It’s an upbeat world with a ready list of things to do - paragliding, zipline, ultralight flights, visiting places like the famous Devi’s fall, World Peace Pagoda, Barahi Temple and Bindyabashini Temple and of course all the lakes that celebrate the monsoon.
Enjoy this lakeside town and catch up with friends by the lake or just enjoy the drizzle at a pub by the lakeside. Rain here is not a bother, rather an opportunity to enjoy the simple things in life.
2. Journey to Jomsom
Though the wind can sweep you off your feet, Jomsom is still a very popular tourist hub for trekkers and pilgrims travelling to Muktinath and Upper Mustang. Jomsom, in Mustang serving as the district headquarters and covers both the banks of the Kali Gandaki River.
Jomsom is also the junction that connects you to the awesome trekking routes of Nepal like Marpha in the south, Kagbeni and Muktinath in the northeast. You can fly to Jomsom directly and make this your starting point to trek into the various landscapes of Nepal. Being a rain shadow area, it can be trekked anytime of the year. Kagbeni is at the confluence of the Muktinath and Kaligandaki River. It is from where you will start tracing the Tibetan culture. One of the places that you must take time out to visit is the Red Monastery built in 1429; you can also take a detour to Lhungfu cave, which is popular among Buddhist pilgrims. Further up, in the high mountain take a holy bath under the 108 taps in Muktinath, the temple significant for liberation for both Hindus and Buddhist.
3. March to Upper Mustang
North from Kagbeni, the forbidden Kingdom of the past, Mustang is an extraordinary trekking destination popular for its Tibetan Buddhist Heritage. Originally, Upper Mustang used to be a part of the Tibetan empire. The place is usually windy and dusty throughout the year. Traverse this rugged terrain to discover the ancient caves and the Tibetan chorten, whitewashed houses, ruins and monasteries like Thugchen Gompa. Whilst walking on this trail you can also enjoy the panoramic views of Nilgiri, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.
4. Backpack to Bandipur
To enjoy a cultural experience away from bustling Kathmandu you can visit Bandipur, the living museum of Newari culture. Step back in time with this ancient village above the highway stand of Dumre which once used to be a part of the Magar Kingdom of Tanahun until the conquest of the valley by Prithvi Narayan Shah, after which Newari traders settled to the region.
If you want to enjoy the monsoon, Bandipur can be that perfect place to sit back and enjoy the rain and the quiet cultural elegance that almost stands still as time races on.
5. Delightful Dharan
For a simple getaway travel to Dharan, a hill town situated in the eastern side of Nepal. Monsoon here is an experience as the place is so clean and fresh. Enjoy shopping and street food in the main bazaar of Dharan, hike to Namche to relish a breath-taking view from above the hill and visit the famous temples such as Dantakali and Budha Subba here. Take a break from monsoon showers by just sitting at roadside eateries with coffee and local snacks. And then you could always enjoy the sizzling pork barbeque while it pours outside.