6 days in Nepal: Looking for local food markets, and outdoors sports like rafting and kayaking

  Group of 3 visited Nepal in July 2016

“We would like to do as much as possible with our time. We would love to interact with elephants but only if they are handled responsibly. Also, we would like to get to know the city of Katmandu, local food markets, outdoors sports (like rafting and kayaking...). We are open to almost anything as long as it is safe.”


Raj Gyawali, a local specialist from Nepal, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary based on Highlights of Kathmandu and Pokhara - 7 Days.

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Trip planning highlights

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Travelers completed their trip! Read traveler review

Trip planning conversation

Michelle

Hi - it is nice to meet you over chat, my name is Michelle and I am stepping in for our Nepal experts who are currently offline. We can definitely help you plan your trip!

I'm going to send a note to one of our experts who will get back to you once they are online. You will receive an email once they send a message to you here.

Traveler

Ok, thank you

Raj

hi there, my name is Raj and I am one of the Nepal experts. Thanks Michelle for stepping in and covering for me...

In a weeks time, you can either do a very packed all that is possible trip, or relax a bit and not rush it. A lot depends on what sort of travelers are you.

Regardless of the issues surrounding elephant tourism, July is far to hot and muggy to go to the jungles so I would not recommend that.

I would instead spend time in Kathmandu, and probably go as far as Pokhara in the six days. There are a lot of activities possible in your line of interest - touring local markets, hiking the trails around Kathmandu, mountain biking the outskirts of Kathmandu. Checking out the city of Bhaktapur at dawn, lunching with nuns, walking with monks, etc...

And in Pokhara, you can go visit a coffee farm, or hike the Peace Stupa...

Based on some of these suggestions, would you want me to build you a tentative itinerary of how it might look like, using my recommendations for that period of the year?

Traveler

Hi Raj, thank you very much for your response.

Traveler

Yes, could you please suggest an itinerary for that date... something to give us an idea of the places we could visit and the activities we could do.

Traveler

Regarding the elephants, if it's too hot to go to the jungles, does that mean that there is no other way of seeing them? or going to Chitwan National Park?

Traveler

Again, thank you very much for your help!

Raj

Sure, so here we go... This is all tentative, so if you do not like something, this could change quite easily.

Day 1: Arrival into Kathmandu. Pick up from airport, taken to hotel for some rest (you will have to give me a budget or your comfort levels of hotels so I can pick one for you later). Time permitting, a sunset walk to Soyambhunath Temple (monkey temple), and a traditional welcome dinner at a restored ancient palace building. A great way to say, I have arrived!

Day 2: SIGHTS & SOUNDS: There are multiple trips ideas that are possible to showcase the sights and sounds of Kathmandu. If your interest is in culture, the HINDUISM AND BUDDHISM tour that takes places in Pashupatinath and Boudhanath will showcase the depth of relationship between Hinduism and Buddhism in this country and the tangibles and intangibles (practices, belief systems) that support that. This is a day tour. back to the hotel in the evening.

DAY 3: ACTIVE: you can choose to hike or to bike. If you hike, we will get you on the LUNCH with NUNS hike to a nunnery inside a forest, as a day trip, and if you choose biking, the MAGICAL MARIJUANA LOOP in the south of the valley is a two - three hour showcase of everything that MTB and Nepal has to offer - culture, singletracks, some downhill, some uphill etc. this will be custom tailored to the riders capabilities. back to hotel in the evening.

Day 4: Drive / fly to Pokhara. Chill by LakeSide, the bustling tourist area, which at this time of the year, should be relatively empty, leaving a choice of restaurants, and the place without the craziness of too many tourists. Calm and peaceful.

Day 5: An understanding of rural agrarian culture. We drive to Begnas Lake, which is relatively undeveloped, and walk to a coffee farm for lunch. This is not the season for harvest, but the farmer will explain the processes, and explain why Permaculture is important for the future of this country, while we repay his knowledge by eating a delicious local meal at his house. A day trip which returns eventually to Pokhara. Optional stay at a campsite above the farm called TaraKuti

Day 6: CHILL - left to your own devices. Optional hike to Peace Stupa, or read a book, or weather permitting, go Paragliding. We could also rent kayaks and put that into the lake, or stand up Paddles (thats a ton of fun)

Day 7: Drive back or fly back to Kathmandu. Go straight to Bhaktapur for an overnight stay. Bhaktapur is an ancient restored city and has an incredible vibe. We stay at the Peacock Guest House.

Day 8: DAWN at Bhaktapur is a tour that is beautiful and happens all before breakfast. Later we visit the famous Yogurt maker family in Bhaktapur in our Humans of Bhaktapur series of products that go close and personal with locals. We then zip to Patan for lunch and then to Karma Coffee, a coffee boutique that works on upward and downward linkages to understand how fair trade works in Nepal. later Farewell dinner at a Bhutanese restaurant in town. Overnight in Kathmandu.

Day 9: Free till you get dropped to the airport for your onward journey.

Does this sound allright? if you like it, I could cost it out for you after the weekend, and we are ready to go!

have a great weekend!

Traveler

Hi Raj, I hope you are well.
I talked about the trip with the other two travelers this weekend. We really liked some of your suggestions but we are wondering if there are some modifications we can make to the itinerary.
I’ll try to be as clear as possible, please let me know if I’m confusing you.
I will write in capital letters so that it stands out to you.

Day 1: WE ARE OK WITH IT, HOWEVER, WE WILL ALL BE GETTING THERE SEPARATELY. REGARDING THE HOTEL, MY COUSIN WANTS TO BOOK THE NIRVANA GARDEN HOTEL AND SHE IS WONDERING IF IT IS POSSIBLE FOR HER TO BOOK IT SEPARATELY.
Arrival into Kathmandu. Pick up from airport, taken to hotel for some rest (you will have to give me a budget or your comfort levels of hotels so I can pick one for you later). Time permitting, a sunset walk to Soyambhunath Temple (monkey temple), and a traditional welcome dinner at a restored ancient palace building. A great way to say, I have arrived!

Day 2: SIGHTS & SOUNDS: WE LOVE THE SOUND OF THIS TOUR.
There are multiple trips ideas that are possible to showcase the sights and sounds of Kathmandu. If your interest is in culture, the HINDUISM AND BUDDHISM tour that takes places in Pashupatinath and Boudhanath will showcase the depth of relationship between Hinduism and Buddhism in this country and the tangibles and intangibles (practices, belief systems) that support that. This is a day tour. back to the hotel in the evening.

DAY 3: ACTIVE: WE WOULD LIKE TO BIKE AROUND THE MAGICAL MARIJUANA LOOP. WE WANT TO ASK YOU, IF WE DO THIS EARLY IN THE MORNING, IS IT POSSIBLE TO LEAVE FOR POKHARA LATER THIS DAY? SO WE HAVE MORE TIME.
IF IT IS POSSIBLE THEN WE WOULD FLY/DRIVE TO POKHARA TODAY. WHICH ONE WOULD YOU RECOMMEND? TO FLY OR DRIVE, TAKING PRICES, TIMES AND SAFETY INTO CONSIDERATION.

Day 4: ONCE IN POKHARA WE WOULD LIKE TO CHILL BY LAKESIDE, BUT ALSO GO TO PHEWA TAL - WORLD PEACE PAGODA.
SEE The bustling tourist area, which at this time of the year, should be relatively empty, leaving a choice of restaurants, and the place without the craziness of too many tourists. Calm and peaceful.

DAY 5: WE DIDN’T LIKE THIS DAY… WE RESEARCHED AND WE WANTED TO ASK YOU IF WE COULD GO TO SARANGKOT IN THE MORNING, GO TO Jangchub Choeling Gompa, SEE THE BISHMEN TEMPLE, OLD POKHARA VILLAGE… WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE?

DAY 6: MOVE WHAT WE HAVE FOR DAY 7 HERE.
Drive back or fly back to Kathmandu. Go straight to Bhaktapur for an overnight stay. Bhaktapur is an ancient restored city and has an incredible vibe. We stay at the Peacock Guest House.

DAY 7: MOVE WHAT WE HAVE FOR DAY 8 HERE.
DAWN at Bhaktapur is a tour that is beautiful and happens all before breakfast. WE WERE WONDERING IF WE COULD VISIT THE TEMPLESE HERE AND ALSO THE NATIONAL ART GALLERY, (IF IT’S WORTH IT)
Later we visit the famous Yogurt maker family in Bhaktapur in our Humans of Bhaktapur series of products that go close and personal with locals. We then zip to Patan for lunch and then to Karma Coffee, a coffee boutique that works on upward and downward linkages to understand how fair trade works in Nepal. later Farewell dinner at a Bhutanese restaurant in town. Overnight in Kathmandu.

DAY 8: WE WANT TO ASK IF IT IS POSSIBLE AT ALL TO VISIT CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK. WE UNDERSTAND THE DISTANCES MIGHT BE TOO MUCH TO TRAVEL IN JUST A DAY BUT WE WOULD LOVE TO SEE THE PARK AND THE ANIMALS. NO ELEPHANT RIDDING AS WE ARE NOT SURE IT IS FAIR TO THE ANIMALS.
PLEASE LET US KNOW IF THERE IS ANYWAY TO SQUEEZE THIS INTO OUR ITINERARY.

DAY 9: BACK TO KATHMANDU, Free till you get dropped to the airport for your onward journey.

Again, I hope this makes sense. Obviously we understand that you are the expert and we value your advice so if something is not possible, we will adjust.

Thank you very much for your time. I hope to hear back from you soon.

Raj

Most of it is totally fine, except the going to Chitwan part is something that just does not fit in here... Its just not worth it to go for a day on a six hour drive... the flights are only 15 minutes, but price wise It would not make sense for a one nighter...

The rest is possible.

Booking Nirvana Garden Hotel on your own is totally fine... if you want... though check back with us. we might be getting better rates.. sometimes we do. The rest I can move around totally... even including the morning sarankot sunrise (if you are lucky can be spectacular) and the other visits are totally possible.

Temples possible in Baktapur in the morning. The National Art Gallery we have to see if its open... if so, totally, if not might have to skip it.

We could do the marijuana loop in the morning and FLY to Pokhara afternoon... the drive will be too much after the ride... well, its about five hours of driving...

So I would do the drive only one way...

Raj

Traveler

Sounds good. Let me ask the others and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!!

Traveler

Thank you :)

Traveler

Hi Raj, I hope you are well.
I’ve talked to the others and they wanted me to ask you some things:
--If we don’t go to Chitwan, then we have an extra day. What would you recommend for us to do? Where do you think it is best to stay another day?
--If the itinerary stays the way we have planned it so far, how much would it cost? I understand they might be some changes later, but if you could give us an estimate that would be great!

Again, thank you very much for all your help! We appreciate it!

Raj

if you wanted to splurge just a little bit to reward yourself, I would go and stay at Hattiban Resort, or at Brigands Bend or take a break at Bandipur on the way back to Kathmandu. Check out these places and let me know.

If you wanted to do something low key but fun, you can also go to Farm House in Nagarkot, or to NamaBoudha Resort... totally worth it..

I would recommend that after a trip like this, you would want to factor in a chill day.

Will be sending you an estimate in a bit based on the itinerary that as already there... hang on!

Raj

Traveler

Hi Raj, I hope you are well. We were finally able to talk things through and decide on things. This is an idea of a final itinerary with the hotels we liked. Since you might be able to get better rates we would prefer if you book them, please!
Let me know if there is anymore information you need from us. And please send us and estimated budget.
Again, thank you for everything. We are very excited about the trip!!!

Day 1:
Arrival into Kathmandu. Pick up from airport, taken to hotel for some rest (you will have to give me a budget or your comfort levels of hotels so I can pick one for you later). Time permitting, a sunset walk to Soyambhunath Temple (monkey temple), and a traditional welcome dinner at a restored ancient palace building. A great way to say, I have arrived!
HOTEL NIRVANA GARDEN OR KANTIPUR TEMPLE

Day 2: SIGHTS & SOUNDS
There are multiple trips ideas that are possible to showcase the sights and sounds of Kathmandu. If your interest is in culture, the HINDUISM AND BUDDHISM tour that takes places in Pashupatinath and Boudhanath will showcase the depth of relationship between Hinduism and Buddhism in this country and the tangibles and intangibles (practices, belief systems) that support that. This is a day tour. back to the hotel in the evening.
HOTEL NIRVANA GARDEN OR KANTIPUR TEMPLE

DAY 3: ACTIVE:
The marijuana loop in the morning and FLY to Pokhara afternoon
HOTEL THE COAST OR TEMPLE TREE RESORT OR LANDMARK HOTEL

Day 4:
Go to Sarangkot int the morning Jangchub Choeling Gompa, See the Bishmen Temple, Old Pokhara Village…
HOTEL THE COAST OR TEMPLE TREE RESORT OR LANDMARK HOTEL

DAY 5:
Chille by the LakeSide, go to Phewa Tal - World Peace Pagofa.
SEE The bustling tourist area, which at this time of the year, should be relatively empty, leaving a choice of restaurants, and the place without the craziness of too many tourists. Calm and peaceful.
HOTEL THE COAST OR TEMPLE TREE RESORT OR LANDMARK HOTEL

DAY 6:
Drive back or fly back to Kathmandu. Go straight to Bhaktapur for an overnight stay. Bhaktapur is an ancient restored city and has an incredible vibe.
HOTEL PEACOCK GUEST HOUSE

DAY 7:
DAWN at Bhaktapur is a tour that is beautiful and happens all before breakfast. Visit the Temples and also the National Art Gallery if possible.
Later we visit the famous Yogurt maker family in Bhaktapur in our Humans of Bhaktapur series of products that go close and personal with locals. We then zip to Patan for lunch and then to Karma Coffee, a coffee boutique that works on upward and downward linkages to understand how fair trade works in Nepal.
HOTEL PEACOCK GUEST HOUSE

DAY 8:
We loved the look of the NamaBoudha Resort.
HOTEL NAMABOUDHA RESORT

DAY 9: BACK TO KATHMANDU, Free till you get dropped to the airport for your onward journey.

Raj

This is pretty clear now... I am sorry I was unable to work during the weekend (Was at an MTB Race outside the valley) on the estimate, but will have this for you by tomorrow... complete with the hotels etc.

With three adults travelling... there is a chance I will have to put in a single supplement charge for one person, or since you are all family, I might give you a full total rate, and then you can just split it... Works right?

Talk soon!

Raj

Traveler

Hi Raj,
Yes, that works fine. Obviously we would like to stay in the same room so we don’t mind sharing a bed or whatever works best. Also, we are ok with splitting the cost.
Thank you very much, enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Raj

The price for your trip will be USD 1640 per person (if you use Kantipur Temple House in Kathmandu, and Temple Tree in Pokhara, Peacock Guest House and Namaboudha Resort)

The price will be USD 1350 per person (if you use Hotel Nirvana in Kathmandu and The Coast in Pokhara, Peacock Guest House and Namaboudha Resort)

An attaching a file to show the itinerary and costs and inclusions.

If you are happy with this, the next process will be to make the payments with KimKim, and then we will send you a confirmation from our system. I will also need the names and passport details of all people travelling, so I can put that into my system. A passport sized photographs (even a selfie) will be excellent to keep in our records.

Traveler

Hi Michelle,
We would like to pay separately, if that's ok. Could you please send us the payment form per person?

Thank you!

Traveler

Hi Michelle
I'm sorry we're taking so long. We are happy with the trip, the itinerary and the price. I am just waiting to hear back from my boss who has to approve my holiday days. I just started working so when we were planning the trip I didn't think I would need this.
That's the only thing holding us back but I am expecting to hear from them today (a positive response), so we'll be paying and sending everything tomorrow or Wednesday at the latest.

Thank you!

Traveler

Hi Raj and Michelle,
First of all I'd like to apologise for taking so long. We had some complications with our trip and the dates which we were trying to sort out.
We still love our itinerary, unfortunately we have to cut our trip short (due to circumstances out of our control). We want to ask you if it is possible to keep the first five days as they are and on day 6 (after we fly back to Kathmandu) cancel the rest.
Again, I apologise for wasting your time!!!
Once we have the new estimate we will pay THAT SAME DAY! promise!

Thank you very much for all your help

Raj

thats totally fine. These decisions does take some time to make... and thats ok. I will have a re-estimate done for you tomorrow if thats ok. Am back at home today already so unable to do it.

Raj

Traveler

Thank you Raj!
Tomorrow is fine :)

Raj

Just to confirm... once you come back from Pokhara by flight, you would not need to stay anywhere, or you have that sorted out yourself. If you do need a drop to the airport (if you fly out the same day), we can sort that out as well, or if you let us know where to drop you from the airport.

What will also help is to find out exactly what time you arrive into Kathmandu, so we can zero in better on the program.

Thanks

Traveler

Hi Raj,
Good morning. Once we arrive from Pokhara we will be picked up by the people from the volunteer program my cousin is going to, so we don't need to arrange anything else.
About the time we need to get back to Katmandu, I think anytime before noon would be fine.

Raj

great... got that

Raj

ON the above, the more luxury Hotel Option will cost a total of USD 1295
And the one with the standard Hotel Option will cost a total of USD 985

These prices are per person and include the flights Kathmandu - Pokhara - Kathmandu.

IF we do both journeys to Pokhara and back by Bus, the price will come down by USD 200 per person. And if we do one of the journeys by Bus and the other by flight (since you want to only come back afternoon), the price goes down by USD 100 per person.

Hope that is not confusing you... :-) Just wanted to let you know the options as well.

Traveler

Hi Raj, this is great.
I've asked and we decided we'd like to stay in the standard hotel option. Take a bus to Pokhara and then the flight back.

Can you let us know what to do next, please? (pay, send the pictures, etc...)
Thank you!!!

Raj

Sorry was out in the mountains leading a mountain biking group over the weekend.

Raj

Once the payment is though will send you details of the hotel bookings, and other travel information...

We shall start making preparations for this trip now.

See you soon in Nepal

Raj

I hear the payment has started... If you can send me for each of the members on this trip

1. Passport details
2. Picture (taken from a phone is fine)
3. Insurance details
4. Email address

I can put you all into our system... and confirm the trip, and start making preparations...

Look forward to seeing you soon!

Michelle

Hi, just checking in here as we've received your payment (thank you!) but have not received payment from your cousin and sister yet. In order to confirm your trip details, do you know when they will be paying? Thanks again.

Traveler

Hi Michelle, my sister and I have paid. I've just written to my cousin to remind her... Hopefully she'll do it latter today.
Raj, about the passport details, pictures and such shall we send them thru here or an email address?

Raj

Ujani from my office will be writing to you about the passport scans, the photos and the arrival and departure details she needs in order to prepare for your trip.

Raj

yup. We have started making all the arrangements here in Nepal, and it would be great to get her final confirmation and payment to confirm all the arrangements we have already made tentatively! Thanks, and have a great weekend

Traveler

ok! many thank, we'll be in touch :)

Traveler

Hi Raj, thank you SO MUCH FOR THIS!!!
We are really excited about the trip (sad my cousin can't make it) but looking forward to all of it. You'll have all our information today :)

Traveler

I've sent my details...
I have some questions for you, do we need to apply for a Visa before hand? Also, as I first arrive to Delhi, do I need a Visa for that?
Lastly do we need to get any vaccinations or medical treatments before getting there? (from what I know, there's no need but I wanted to make sure).

Raj

We got the information and thanks a ton. The others also need to send that to me. I believe that was not included.

You do not need to apply for the visa before hand, as you can get visa on arrival in Nepal. Details and even a form is here - http://online.nepalimmigration.gov.np

You do not need a visa for Delhi, as you will only be airside. Just check that on the way back too, you are only via Delhi... as if there is a hop over to Mumbai or something, then you do need a visa in India... Where you bought your ticket should be able to advise that for you.

Are both of you on the same flight?

There are recommended vaccinations for Nepal - but generally nothing too serious that you need to worry about. Japanese Encephalitis is one that is quite highly recommended, and there is a list here should you need a reference and feel a bit uncomfortable - http://ciwec-clinic.com/health-information/immunizations-recommended-for-travel-in-nepal/

Raj

Raj

fantastic... look forward to meeting you soon in Nepal!

Traveler

Hi, I just sent the information :)

Traveler

I would like to know if you recommend we take cash and exchange it, or if it is better to use a credit card? Because I have read that you can´t take Nepalese Rupees out of the country when you leave, so if we take money it should be almost the exact amount we would use

Raj

This is what I would recommend..... Take some cash (Dollars, Euros or GBP is all fine) as emergency and use your ATM card or credit card where possible. This way the cash comes handy if an ATM card does not work or the credit card is not accepted.

Regarding Nepalese currency - its pointless to take the currency out, as it cannot be used anywhere in the world.

Raj

See you all soon in Nepal. Pity you are not coming a week earlier, we are doing a massive Rice Planting Festival here where we go plant rice, play with some mud and have a grand feast later. You can follow that on facebook, if you search for Ropain. Just to get you in the mood for Nepal!

Michelle

Hello, I see you're leaving for Nepal soon! We hope you and your family have a great trip and I will check in after you return. Safe travels and have fun!

Michelle

Hello, welcome back! We hope you had a great time in Nepal and would love to hear any feedback you have. If you can please take a few minutes to fill out this review, it would be helpful for us in order to make kimkim a better site for future travelers. And keep us in mind for the next time you're planning a trip!

Please leave a review here: [link removed]

Traveler

Hi Michelle, good morning.
I've tried writing my review but the link you sent me takes me to kimkim's home page and I can't leave any comments.
Could you please send it again?

Meanwhile I would like to tell you we are extremely happy with all your services. The trip was amazing and every tour guide we met was incredibly helpful, nice and just fantastic!! :)

Traveler

done!
Thank you so much!

Raj

Thanks for the wonderful review, truly appreciate it... Sorry was busy when you were here, but was following every day and keeping tabs on how the trip was progressing.. and was happy each day it went well... Glad it was a good trip! Hope to see you in Nepal again, and meet you someday!

Traveler

Michelle, I added some pictures but some were uploaded twice, so now they are duplicated and I don't know how to erase them. Sorry!! Also, I don't know how to add a profile picture...

Raj, thank you so much for everything. We understand you were busy but we know you were checking up on us constantly! We got calls everyday from SocialTours to make sure everything was going well which we felt was amazing and very thoughtful! (I should add that to my review!!)

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Traveler Review

Namaste to all at Social Tours,
Thank you very much for all doing your best on this very special trip. My cousins and I are leaving Nepal with the highest opinion of its people due to your infallible attentions, flexibility and enthusiasm.
All of our tour guides were extremely nice and helpful.

We will do our best to recommend your services and hope to be back in the future

Raj was amazing.
We didn't get to meet him while we were there but we was incredibly helpful throughout the whole planning process and left us in very good hands!