After a long and mighty trek up the Himalayas, you'll probably be in need of a well-deserved rest. Look no further than the cool and calm waters of Phewa Tal Lake in Pokhara. Your shoulders will loosen and you'll find yourself breathing deeper when you're here. Try renting a boat or hiring a captain to do the muscle work for you and cruise around the lake taking in the sights and just relaxing. If you're up for it, try rowing out to Barahi Mandir; it's a beautiful, Pagoda-style temple perched on a little island right in the middle of Phewa Lake. Visitors come for the spiritual connection, the awe-inspiring views of the Himalayas and the peacefulness of the surroundings.
Temples are ubiquitous in Nepal, but not every temple is Buddhist. Hinduism also has a strong foothold in this country and there are as many Hindu temples scattered throughout the country, as there are Buddhist ones. The most famous temple can be found in Durbar Square, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another UNESCO temple is Pashpatinath, the oldest Hindu temples in the capital. It is nestled along the banks of the Bagmati River and beyond the structure itself, has an incredible collection of gardens for guests to walk through. If you are looking to visit temples and cross sightseeing items off your list at the same time, head to the Monkey Temple, or Swayambhunath Stupa, where you'll catch incredible views of Kathmandu from above while surrounded by playful primates—hence the name of the temple.
Right alongside the Himalayas in a tiny hillside town called Namche Bazaar. It clings to the side of the mountain and acts as a bustling hub of activities for those travellers exploring the Everest region of Nepal. There are bakeries with sumptuous treats in their windows and pool houses for the world-weary to soak in. And, for those in need of a technological attachment or a quick reminder of home, there are wifi-accessible spots to check in on Facebook and access email.
If you and your travel companions are going to venture into Chitwan National Park, start your journey from Kathmandu. It is central to this national park that is well known as a fantastic reserve of Bengali tigers, crocodiles and even one-horned rhinos. In addition to the animals, Chitwan has an impressive array of bird species that you can search for through binoculars or with your bare eyes.
Yoga retreats have been popular for a while, and they remain so for good reason. As you wind your way through the traditional yoga poses you will be able to feel the stresses and strains of daily life begin to melt away from you—and what more can you ask for from a holiday? Retreats in Kathmandu, Lumbini and Pokhara all offer various types of yoga classes, meditation practices and even traditional herbal treatments for various ailments, should you need to take advantage of their services.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Faizan Jamal; cropped from original