I got the opportunity to meet lots of solo travellers in Nepal from different countries during their time in Nepal. This article is for those people who want to read the experience of foreigners in this country of Mount Everest.
I have not done overnight solo travelling because of fear of safety and loneliness. There are lots of people who do solo travelling and trekking. It is inspiring to learn the experience of female solo travellers in Nepal and their guts. Everybody tells me the same thing that once you started travelling solo, you don’t want to travel in a group.
In this article, I have collected the traveller’s experience in Nepal. I have met lots of travellers in Nepal who are travelling solo, and I have also shared the experience of a girl who was on her first trip with friends.
Nastia – Russia
What I liked about Nepal:
- People. The most welcoming nation I’ve met, the values of the culture are so different from Europe. I was petrified by the attitude the Nepalese have to death/birth matters, and it’s definitely all deep-rooted in the religion.
- Buddhist monasteries. They merely mesmerise me, I may sit for hours listening to pray. The atmosphere is very much opposed to the Orthodox Church, where one is expected to follow a number of rituals, and if not, they may be blamed out loud for the ignorance. In Nepal it was different – yes, I’m a foreigner, yes, I do not know all the rules, but I am not hushed at for that.
- Mountains. Being in Nepal, and not seeing at least Nagarkot will leave one with a longing feeling to come back asap.
What I didn’t like about Nepal:
I would say – nothing because things I find different and not committing to my usual habitat are not something I don’t like, but what I’m curious about. For me, Nepal is not a place I’d love to move, but the place I want to keep on discovering.
The most memorable experience:
- Visiting Pashupatinath Temple, thanks to Prashant I would never manage it on myself, to be honest. He took me to the place and literally explained what’s going on.
- Visiting Nagarkot, but this is very subjective, and yes, the trek around the villages is memorable – highly recommended for travellers in Nepal.
Valentin – Switzerland
What I liked about Nepal:
- Nepal is the perfect country to travel with a backpack. You can go anywhere by public transport. In Winter it’s very easy to find somewhere to sleep, to eat. Nepal is not expensive for a European person. You have a lot of places you can easily discover. Most of the time, people are friendly and give good advice.
- Food is wonderful, very fresh, and tasty.
- It was hard sometimes to sleep in the cold (3 degrees at night sometimes), to don’t have a hot shower all the time like in Europe (I had my first 3 weeks without hot water), and to don’t have seating toilets. But it was a very nice experience for me because I had to go out of my comfort zone and to realise that a lot of people are living in those conditions without complaint.
- A lot of people are very friendly and easy in contact. It’s easy to meet other travellers in lodges or hotels.
- I really liked Newari architecture, that is very artisanal, ancestral and specific. Woodworkers are very talented.
- Something new for me was the cohabitation between Hinduism and Buddhism. Temples are built together, and people are meeting each other without conflict. That is making really beautiful places, stupa and temples that are mind-blowing.
- The diversity of ethnic groups in Nepal is very interesting. Each people have their own traditions, food, etc…
- Everything seems easy for a tourist in Nepal, you can go anywhere, doing so much interesting things, eating such good food, meet so many people! Kathmandu is a huge city, noisy, full of people, sometimes dirty. It’s hard the first time, but I really finished with loving this city. Really chaotic!
- Public transport is sometimes exhausting with so many people in it, but it’s a good experience for someone that never live that kind of things.
What I didn’t like about Nepal:
- I’ve been scammed in Bandipur for going to Sauraha. And I heard other travellers that have been scammed too in Bandipur. They ask me too much money for the travel (NRS 3k), got aggressive on me at 3 people because I refused to pay so much, and one man tries to steal my backpack that was on the roof. I had to run after him to get it back.
- The prices of some places (Pashupatinath for example or other) are very high compared to the cost of living. It wouldn’t be a problem to pay Rs 1k in each place if it was really clean. Around Pashupatinath, we can see monkeys eating in plastic bags. Where does this money go? Because a lot of places isn’t clean or well preserved.
- Sometimes, mostly in Thamel, sellers in the road insist so much to buy something. They are not aggressive, but you can meet the same guy every day, he’ll continue to ask you to buy something. But it’s not really the main problem.
- I didn’t like to see all the trashes on the floor or in nature. Nepal is a beautiful country and deserved to be respected. Human pollution isn’t a good thing for this gorgeous nature.
- I was shocked by the Chapaudi tradition and all the violence towards women. Women’s rights are not respected, and a lot of them are suffering, mostly in the countryside.
- There’s a lot of violence with elephants too, especially in Terai. I saw really shocking scenes, of men beating baby elephants for nothing.
What I would like to see:
I would like to see clean streets and clean nature, with fewer junks on the floor. I would like to see more respects towards women and towards elephants. To sum up, I just love Nepal and Nepali people. I really want to come back again, one day! My experience is graved deeply in my mind, and I think about it every day. The culture is beautiful, as the people and the landscapes. Food is awesome, and I miss it.
The chaos of Kathmandu is unforgettable, I learned so much with this city and this country. Doing a motorbike trip was so fun and interesting! Going in very little villages that are not touristic is very nice because you see another face of Nepal.
Yvonne – Hong Kong
What I liked about Nepal:
- Learning about Nepalese culture and history was the best part. The country has a rich, diverse and long history. Some of my favourite places were Bhaktapur or Panauti.
- Every person that has been to Nepal always mentions the warmth, kindness and friendliness of Nepalese people, and it’s really true! I think people enjoy going there because of the hospitality and openness of all.
- The mountains and nature of course: you can see valleys, hills, mountains, etc.
- Food! Great dhal bhat, masala chiya(tea), and vegetarian food in general.
What can be improved:
- Some facilities for tourists and visitors can definitely be improved. Especially since the government was promoting “Visit Nepal 2020”. For example, in Pokhara, a busy tourist town, I thought there would be more facilities/amenities.
- Improvement in transportation and roads.
I also got the chance to talk with lots of native women travellers in Nepal and their perspective of travelling solo. In our society travelling is for the luxury experience, but actually, it is an excellent opportunity to learn new things and be more grateful about life.
To make more relevant, I asked the girl who had travelled to Pokhara with her friends for the first time and Mustang with her parents. We Nepalese travel with a group of friends and parents but very few do solo travelling.
Travelling with parents give us the most secure environment, but there will be less freedom. In my mustang trip back in 2015, we met the family on the bus. Their son was almost our age, but he wasn’t entirely comfortable. I bet that if he were not with his parents, it would be a different situation.
Travelling with friends is always the most exciting journey. We have no rules, make plans together and enjoy together. Travelling with close friends is the most beautiful experience which any person can relate. At the same time, most of the global travellers in Nepal suggest that in our life we should do at least 1 solo travel. It helps to know ourselves and teach lots of life lessons.
Bishmita – Nepal
It was great to hear her travel experience, and I also asked her a few questions related to travelling. Her way of travelling and perspective is different than foreign female travellers. It also represents a Nepali way of travelling.
Like always in our student life, it will be hard to get permission from our parents. It will be much harder for women, especially in this part of the world. Our society is still conservative, but the great thing is her father loves travelling.
Parents are more concern to give permission to travel
When she first told her parents about Pokhara trip, her mother at first was like, she shouldn’t travel only with girls and so on, but her father supported her saying you should experience new things. Her parent’s response wasn’t as negative as she had thought it would be, and eventually, they gave her money just before the day of the trip saying she must be careful while travelling.
Break the Comfort zone
It was her first time travelling long distance without her family even though she had been to a few places with her college friends. It was her first time planning to travel a long distance just with 3 of her close friends.
They weren’t confident enough that their plan would be a success, but fortune favours the brave, one of her friends was going to Ghorepani with her family. She encouraged them to come to Pokhara saying her family will be there and they don’t have to worry about anything else.
She asked her parents for permission and told them about their planned trip and also the presence of her friend’s parents to guide them. Finally, she convinced her mother by telling there will be guardian to guide them, and that’s how she finally went to Pokhara with her girlfriends.
Even though it seems pretty straightforward, in our society, our parents are very concern about these things. And they have the right to be more protective because in the news we especially hear lots of negative information.
My first long trip was also Pokhara after high school, and it was harder for me to convince my parents. I am sure that it is much harder for a female to persuade her parents at least for the first trip.
Travelling in new places allows us to experience new things and the environment. Pokhara is a kind of city, especially the Lakeside area. The street will have fewer people in day time and filled with lots of people at night. Strolling on the street late at night was her new experience.
I met more female foreigner than men who were travelling solo in Nepal. Nepal is also a great destination because of cheap but high-quality service as well as safe.
International travellers in Nepal love local people. We are very different from them in culture. If we also travel to any other country the most common answer about what we like will be the local people.
I am sure that we Nepalese will also travel more as travellers rather than tourists. I am sure that sooner or later we will see growth in female as well as male Nepali solo travellers in Nepal.