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Tuesday, 4 December 2018

My Nepal Trip: Part 1 (Nagarkot - The Himalayan Views, Sunset & Sunrise)


Why Nepal?
Finally I was in Nepal, a country where some of my friends wouldn't even think of setting foot on. "Why visit a third world country which is dirty, dusty and diarrhea prone?" was among the common response heard when I talked about Nepal. This destination used to be popular among Malaysians but it is apparently not so nowadays. Other than ground arrangement, hardly any local Malaysian travel agent offers group departures to Nepal anymore. When I walked into the Nepal embassy in Kuala Lumpur to make my visa (which costs RM100) I was 'the only' visitor and when I returned the following day to collect it, I was also 'the only' visitor. Its unpopularity was in a way good for me as I'd spent minimal time to get this important task done. 

Coming back to the question, "Why Nepal?". It is a country I've been wanting to visit for many years now. Being one of the 6 countries traversed by The Himalayan Range, I believe it offers very panoramic mountain scenery with snow capped peaks that would surely enchant me. The highest mountain on earth, Mount Everest which is located in Nepal (and also shared by China), is not only every mountain climber's dream but it is something I'd like to admire and gawk at from a visible distance. Even though I don't belong to the category of avid trekkers or mountain climbers, I was hoping to snap some unforgettable photos with the Himalayas and Mount Everest as a backdrop. I was also looking forward to exploring some of Nepal's heritage sites, its food culture and to experience its unique lifestyle. These I think, are reasons enough for me to visit Nepal.

For this travel, I have selected 4 destinations namely Nagarkot, Bhaktapur, Pokkhara and Kathmandu to get a good overview of what I've set out to achieve. Having made the trip, I can say, Nepal offers much more than I'd imagined. I am writing a series of posts on my experience travelling around and my heartfelt impressions of it. Do follow my stories.

About Nagarkot
Nagarkot was my first destination in Nepal. Though it is just 28 km from the airport it took more than two hours to get there.  The road condition around the airport area was satisfactory but half way into the journey we were practically travelling on unpaved road which got us rocked and rattled all the way to our hotel. Despite the horrendous road condition, we were made to pay toll which is charged by the number of heads instead of the number of vehicles entering the municipality. The rate is NPR 339 or approx RM13 per person. This exorbitant amount collected should have been used to maintain the road but the effort to do so appeared nil.

Nagarkot is neither a city nor a town. It is just laid back village which has a reputation for being a great venue to enjoy Himalayan views. There are several trekking routes which will bring you closer to the mountains to savour the beautiful vistas of the peaks but even if you do not go trekking, there are many good spots to do so. Nagarkot is also a place where you can capture  a superb sunrise and sunset.

1. The Himalayan Views
I stayed in Club Himalaya because this is one of the few hotels which offers a 360० view of its surrounding. It stands on a hill where you can view both the sunrise as well as the sunset from the hotel ground. I have also trekked 1.5km into the village in search of hilly spots where I could savour more great views. Below are some of the photos I took.









Though Mount Everest couldn't be sighted, the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas are a beauty. They look like white clouds drifting in the clear blue sky.
The Himalayas is the longest range of mountains in Asia, stretching approximately 2400 km across 6 countries. There are 14 mountains over 8000 meters tall and among these are some of the highest peaks in the world.






Sunset At Nagarkot Hill
One of the most popular places to view sunrise or sunset in Nagarkot is the View Tower on Nagarkot Hill. Located at the highest southern point of a ridge, this view tower which is nothing more than a tiny platform with a vertical metal ladder offers a 360० view of its surround. It is located about 5km from the hub of Nagarkot Village and visitors are required to pay another round of toll, chargeable by per head to visit the tower. (Toll rate is NPR 300 which is approx RM11 pp).
From the parking area, there are about 100 steps to climb before reaching the little view tower.
 The climb up the view tower is a little scary as there is not much grip on the steel ladder.
The sunset is quite captivating but would have been better if there are totally no obstructions like tall trees around the area.

Sunrise At Club Himalaya
As mentioned earlier on, I chose to stay in Club Himalaya as both sunset and sunrise can be viewed from the hotel ground. The sunrise photos below are taken from the terrace of this hotel.



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Note: This is a self planned travel where I led a group of 5 and acted as a tour leader for 6 out of the 7 days of the travel. I put in tonnes of effort into the planning so that we could visit all the attractions without wasting too much time while minimizing the cost as employing a local tour guide would mean paying for his allowance and lodging as well. The hotels were carefully selected and booked ahead of the travel. I also got a local Nepal agent to arrange our transportation for 7 days and employed an English speaking guide only on our last day in Kathmandu. 

Local Nepal Agent: Yog Travels & Tours - P Ltd 
                               Mr Nabin Ngurung
                               Tel: +977 984 3725505
Reliability of  the agent: Excellent

Related Posts: Click To View
1. Nagarkot -The Himalayan Views, Sunset And Sunrise
2. Nagarkot - The Village
3  Nagarkot - Staying In Club Himalaya


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