Ken is our new Destination Manager for Asia. He's been there, seen it all and got the stories to match. We sat down and asked him about our new 11-day trip, Colours of Nepal. It's our way of showing you the best of Nepal without all the trekking. You'll even see Mt Everest from an incredible scenic flight!
What makes this trip so special?
Here at Peregrine we have one of the widest ranges of trekking trips in Nepal...but this is not one of them! We jokingly refer to this trip "the lazy man's Nepal" because we use private transport and scenic flights instead of trekking. If you want all the beauty without the hard work, then Colours of Nepal is the trip for you.
Talk us through some of the highlights people can expect?
Each traveller will be touched differently by the many highlights, however I would say experiencing Everest from the comfort of a scenic flight is the big one. Travellers will also fall in love with the charming countryside near Pokhara, the wildlife in subtropical Chitwan and all the cultural highlights of Kathmandu.
What sort of people will enjoy this trip?
This is a trip for those wishing to experience diversity and adventure without all the trekking normally associated with Nepal. Colours of Nepal sweeps you on a whirlwind journey, from snow capped Mt Everest to the lakes of Pokhara; the Temples of Kathmandu and Bhaktapur to village life in Nepal and finally a real wildlife safari.
What sort of fitness level is required?
Any reasonably healthy person can undertake this trip.
Any essential gear?
Comfortable walking shoes will be all that anyone needs.
Tell us about the accommodation.
The accommodations are very comfortable and clean. In Nepal we only use the best hotels and lodges. For example, in Kathmandu we stay at the Shangri La Resort, which is a 5 Star resort.
What is Nepalese food like?
Just like it’s people and climates, Nepalese cuisine is incredibly rich and diverse. Central Asian, Chinese, Northern Indian, Tibetan flavours can be found in the different cuisine styles. If there is one dish that could be considered the national dish, it’s Dal - a delicious soup made of lentils and spices.
In your own words, describe Mt Everest?
Mt. Everest, or Chomolungma as it was called long before Sir George Everest was born, is a different experience for every person. For some it’s the dream of a challenge to be conquered while for others it's a Holy Mountain. To me, Everest cannot be separated from the Himalayas, which I regard as one of nature’s greatest miracles - not just for their awe inspiring beauty, but because of their impact on the world.
From the creation of the Gobi Desert to having isolated the Indian subcontinent; from harsh landscape changing winds to Genghis Khan; to ten of Asia’s largest rivers that arise from the mountain chain and give life to almost 3billion people in Asia, amongst them the Ganges, Indus, Yangze, Mekong and Yellow River; and the entire Indian subcontinent and South East Asia’s climate. History is defined by the Himalayas, and Mt Everest to me is the epitome of these Holy Mountains.
Tell us a bit about Bandipur – what makes this place so special?
Bandipur is definitely on the road less travelled. Unspoilt by mass market tourism, it is a living history of Newari Culture and architecture. Here you can observe real village Nepalese village life and customs as they once were. It's perfectly in line with Peregrine's small group travel concept where we don’t affect this treasure that has been so well preserved.
What can people expect to see and do at Chitwan?
Chitwan is a world of fun! The subtropical climate of the park is host to a multitude of wildlife, including several IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red Listed Species, such as the great Indian rhinoceros, the clouded leopard, and the Indian python. We will embark on a true wildlife safari accompanied by the park’s knowledgeable guides.
What are some of the things people can do in Kathmandu?
Kathmandu has a plethora of things to do... walking along Thamel and just enjoying the vibe of people starting or ending an adventure. There's tons of easy sightseeing options like the Bodnath Stupa or the world famous Durbar Square with its enchanting monuments and temples.
Any final words?
Nepal, without exaggeration is one of those countries that will imprint itself on a traveller for long after the journey. It’s a mystical part of the world, a country inseparable from the Himalayas, which have shaped the culture and landscape so dramatically.
Check out our 11-day Colours of Nepal trip and find out how you can see Nepal without all the hard work!