Common misconceptions about Nepal

Common misconceptions about Nepal

Nepal is a low-budget backpack destination. Nepal is not suitable for a trip with children. Right? Nothing could be further from the truth. These prejudices disappear by listing all the facts.

In this blog 7 misconceptions for travelling to Nepal are described and refuted. Curious? Be sure to read on. Finally. You can travel again. The children are a bit older and you are looking for an authentic travel experience. You want something different from mainstream Thailand. Stop. Look no further.

In the next few minutes your doubts and prejudices about the beautiful Nepal will disappear.

1. Nepal is a backpack destination

Backpacking is a form of, generally, low-budget travel. The travellers are independent and often dependent on themselves. Think of travelling by bus and trekking without a guide or porter. Did you know that more than 1 million of the Nepalese population depends on tourism?

It can also be different. An unforgettable quality experience for an average price, where the population can get the most out of tourism. More about this below.

The entire amount spent on an organized tour with Nepal Inside Out stays within Nepal. We work with local partners who receive a fair amount of money for their services. Guides and porters are properly paid and insured. During your trip we will always be present in the background in case something should happen. Your well-being is our priority.

The guesthouses, lodges and homestays deliver quality and often offer fun activities for children. For example, the lodge in Chitwan has its own elephants that walk around the grounds chain-free. In the guesthouse in Begnas you will learn up close how the coffee of the surrounding farmers is roasted.

Not to mention the advantages of travelling with a private car. Think of the flexibility and possibility to travel to less travelled parts. Or the possibility to create a bond with the driver in order to get to know Nepal in a different way. Or you can make an extra stop if one of the children is a bit car sick. Take a look at our family trips for an impression of the possibilities.

2. In Nepal there are only mountains

The country is very diverse and offers so many opportunities for an unforgettable family trip. Think of a fascinating mix of culture, nature, festivals and the population. A small enumeration shows that Nepal is so much more than just the Himalayan mountains.

Besides the Himalaya Mountains, the country has several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Nepal is the ideal destination to experience culture. Below an enumeration of these locations.

With the exception of Lumbini, all locations can be visited during a day excursion.
Durbar Square: Place Royale and Palace in Kathmandu Bhaktapur: the second royal city with its potters
Boudhanath: the largest stupa in Asia
Pashupatinath: the large Hindu temple complex with the sadhus and ritual cremations along the river.
Changu Narayan: the oldest temple in Nepal Lumbini: a park in honour of Buddha with more than 30 temples
Swayambunath: the temple complex with the monkeys, from where you have a view of the whole city.

The country has a handful of national parks where both nature and indigenous wildlife can be admired. Options are endless. Safaris by jeep, on foot or by canoe, spending the night near the jungle and much more. Feel free to take a look at our trip in the South of Nepal for inspiration.

The Nepalese people are known worldwide as a friendly and incredibly hospitable people. Especially if you travel with children, you will have fantastic experiences with the locals! A trip in Nepal offers you as a family a moment to reflect on life. Together you absorb the authenticity of the Nepalese culture. Every year the country counts more than 1000 festivals, one bigger and more colourful than the other.

In short, diversity in abundance. Be sure to let us know if you want to combine your trip with a festival and we will see what is possible!

3. Nepal is not suitable for a trip with children

Anything but. As you could read above, Nepal is so much more than just the Himalayan Mountains. The mix of culture, nature and one of the friendliest populations in the world provides endless opportunities for young and old.

Below are some examples of activities / sights suitable for children.

Monkey watching at the Swayambhu temple in Kathmandu
One of the capital’s tourist attractions. Because of the many monkeys around the Swayambhunath temple it is also known as the ‘monkey temple’. For both Indian and Nepalese Buddhists this is the most sacred place. Here you can watch the monks of the monastery and you also have a beautiful view over the city. Walk down the back, then turn right and you will come to the beautiful Amideva Buddha park. Here 3 large gold layered statues of incarnations of Buddha shine in the sun! Afterwards you can walk along the prayer wheels at the foot of the hill again to the front.

Phewa, Rupa & Begnas lake
These lakes are situated in the green Pokhara valley. Along the lakes you can go for lovely walks. With a rented boat you can row and spend time on the water, even with kayaks! On the shores of Lake Phewa you can also follow an Ayaarti ceremony in the evening, where the Brahmins pay homage to the Gods with fire. From Pokhara there are several nice places to visit! The Rupa and Begnas lake, on the other hand, are less well known and less touristy. These are lovely if you want to plan some rest!

The jungles of Chitwan or Bardia National Park
During your stay near Chitwan or Bardia you can do various activities in and around the park. You will travel by jeep, in a boat or on foot into the jungle. Of course there will always be a park ranger and a guide! Did you know that Nepal is one of the only countries in the world where you can do a safari in the jungle on foot? Rhinos, tigers, leopards, bears, crocodiles are just a few of the many wild animals you can spot along the way!

Family interacting with the localsInteractions with locals 
During fun workshops/activities such as cooking or pottery in, for example, Bhaktapur you will get to know real life and the population in an interactive way. Or do you prefer to carve a piece of wood, make a kite or a small prayer wheel… the possibilities are endless.

A unique tailor-made family trekking
As the only one in Nepal, we have worked out a number of themed treks. These treks are even more captivating for your kids or teenagers than an ordinary trekking because they contain some playful elements, such as a special treasure hunt. These family treks are made along three trails that we find very suitable for families!

Of course, this is just a small tip of the veil. We specialize in tailor-made trips for families, so we are happy to find the most suitable activities for you!

4. In Nepal it is always cold

A big misunderstanding. The snowy peaks of the Himalayas are also known as ‘the roof of the world’. The mountain range plays a major role in the climate. The snowy peaks do not mean that it is always cold in Nepal. Certainly not. The country has the same seasons as Europe with an additional rainy season (monsoon) in summer. Nepal is accessible for tourism all year round. Of course there are popular and less popular periods. Facts. Below are the average minimum and maximum temperatures during the year. On average always above freezing.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max.  18 19 24 27 29 28 28 28 28 26 23 19
Min. 1 3 7 11 19 19 19 19 18 13 7 2

Nepal is not a sun, sea, beach destination. By the way, there is no sea in Nepal!

Depending on the activity you are going to do, a less warm temperature is sometimes more suitable! On a hot summer day the animals may seek shade to cool off, during the safari they are more difficult to spot. With a cooler temperature, you will enjoy an active city excursion all the more.

Due to the many differences in altitude and landscape, the temperature varies in certain parts of the country. The Himalaya Mountains block the cold air supply in the winter months. This ensures that in winter it is quite warm in the south. By the way, did you know that it doesn’t normally freeze in Kathmandu and the south of Nepal?

The south of Nepal 
The lower part (Sub)tropical with hot and humid summers up to 40 degrees Celsius. Knows mild and dry winters with an average temperature of 10 to 17 degrees Celsius.

Middle part
The mountains and valleys have a temperate climate. Here the hot summers make way for cool winters. In summer it can reach 24 degrees Celsius with a pleasant evening temperature. In winter the average temperature during the day is 10 degrees Celsius and in the evening it cools down considerably.

High mountains
In the mountains it can be very cold with temperatures above 4000 meters constantly below freezing. You will only go here if you plan a longer trekking at higher altitudes. Take a look at our blogpost ‘Best travel time for Nepal’ where you can find more information about the different seasons in Nepal.

5. Nepal is dangerous

Is Nepal safe? Can the children go on holiday with us? Unfortunately, an ‘unsafe’ image has developed around Nepal. Sin. First of all, the earthquakes in 2015. A terrible event it certainly was. Fact. Large earthquakes are unusual and often occur only once every 50 years. Secondly, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes also occur elsewhere in the world.

Extreme crime in limited numbers. Street crime is also rare in tourist regions. However, it is advisable to be extra vigilant in large crowds and on public transport, as is the case all over the world. Never leave your backpack lying around unguarded. In Kathmandu, on the other hand, it is inadvisable for a woman to walk the streets alone at night.

The tourist police. Indeed, the government has set up a special police unit to guarantee safety and a pleasant stay. During your stay you can always contact the tourist police for advice or help.

Top 100 most dangerous countries in 2020

Egypt 28
Philippines 30
United States 36
Thailand 47
Nepal 87
Greece 97
Italy 123
Spain 130
Netherlands 145
(Based on a total of 23 factors)

Friendly Nepalese people

As you can see from the list above, Nepal is number 87. Only ten places away from Greece. You read it well, Greece. A destination that many do not for a second associate with insecurity. And a lot safer than the United States! Rather referred to as a ‘mainstream’ destination, Thailand is still 40 places higher on the list.

Friendliness. A quality that charms the Nepalese people. Nepal got the 4th place as the friendliest country in the world.

Safety comes first. Always. Under management of a European – Nepalese couple, Nepal Inside Out also guarantees Western standards and values and we understand the importance of safety. Car seats for the kids, trained employees, local knowledge, quality connections and so much more. So in answer to the above questions, yes. Nepal is safe. The children can go on holiday with you to Nepal and they are going to love it!

6. Nobody speaks English

Fable. English is spoken in Nepal. There is a difference in English as we, Westerners, know it and Nepalese English. Most Nepali speak English with a strong accent.  Worldwide the use of the English language has increased. This is also the case in Nepal. In total 35.8% of the population speaks English. For 20,000 inhabitants it is the first and for 876,720 the second language.

In addition, English is the language of instruction in private schools. Interaction with the local youth and with the children’s peers is no problem for this reason. Of course it is also nice to learn a few words of Nepalese yourself before you go on a trip to Nepal. The locals appreciate this enormously and immediately accept you as part of the family when you make this effort!

7. In the monsoon Nepal is not accessible

Incorrect. Monsoon, or the rainy season. This does not mean that it rains all day, often there are heavy showers later in the afternoon or in the eve. Nor does it mean that it rains every day. It is simply during this period that most rain falls.

Nepal during monsoonDuring this time of the year Nepal is in bloom and it is nice and green. A trekking is certainly possible, for example on the easily passable paths in the Annapurna region. A roundtrip is also definitely doable. Together with the family you can enjoy Nepal all year round. This period is especially suitable if you like to experience the rich nature, culture and friendly people. After all, it is less crowded in Nepal, which makes your trip a lot more authentic!

The families who travelled with us during the monsoon period were unanimous: an unforgettable experience, and the fact that you see the mountains suddenly appear between the clouds makes it just that little bit more magical. So overboard with the prejudices about Nepal. Open up and experience diversity, authenticity and a journey that brings you as a family closer together than ever before. Experience the real Nepal for as long as you can.

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