KATHMANDU, July 1: Many young ones dream of crossing the Pacific and landing on the land of opportunities aka United States for education and job opportunities.
Some just dream of traveling around Nepal and admire the beauty that it holds. Youth today are definitely traveling a lot, and not just abroad but inside Nepal too.
“Traveling is so much fun and you get to see many new things. I don’t think many people consider traveling within Nepal as an option, but it’s beautiful out there and it doesn’t even cost much,” shares Sasee Chamling , 21, currently studying Development Studies in Kathmandu.
She says that she has travelled to places inside Nepal mostly on field from her college but insists that she would travel around if given the choice.
“I just went to Bakanjey in Solukhumbhu. I, along with my two other girl friends, trekked for almost a week with a porter cum guide and it was absolutely fantastic,” she says, also mentioning that it’s safe for women to travel around too. However, traveling alone without a guide is not suggested.
Money is also perhaps the other element that is attracting a lot of young people to travel around the country and see where they come from.
Dinesh Timilsina, 26, a recent graduate who is helping out in his family business now, is planning to visit the Khasa Market near the Nepal-China border area with a bunch of friends.
“I also want to go for a trek from there but I have no idea where. I’m currently enquiring for available trekking routes from there on,” he shares.
When asked why he wants to trek, he replies, “Why not trek? I’ve been to Ghandruk and it was an amazing experience. I want to be able to see the mountains again and the sereneness of it and get away from this hustling city.”
Igroom Dolma Lama, currently studying in Kathmandu University, also speaks in the same line. 23-year-old Lama hails from Humla but she came to Kathmandu for her education and rarely gets a chance to spend time in her village in Humla.
“Ever since I remember, I’ve been in Kathmandu and anywhere in the world, if you live too long, it gets you. I would love to travel around and see where I actually come from,” she shares.
Finding the roots, financial viability, interest and the urge to get out of the city are the four things that are attracting the young ones to travel within Nepal which will eventually also help the local businesses during the off seasons as the number of local tourists decrease.
Tika Ram Rai, a guide who guided Sasee and her friends in her recent trip informs that there has been an increase in local tourists.
When asked if the trekking routes are being over taken by the local tourists, he nods and says, “I see a lot of local people traveling these days which is very good for us and for the local hotels, restaurants and small shops. Not just adults but many young people travel too.”
However, since Nepali citizens don’t need a permit to trek in Nepal, there is no official data to support what Rai says.
“Most of the locals go to Pokhara and then go on treks from there. Also, because they don’t need permits, it’s difficult to say how many locals are traveling or have travelled till date,” says Santosh Gautam of Acme Holiday Tours.
With wide availability of local travel agents willing to offer their best prices to go around the country, it has become even easier for the Generation Next to go around, see new places, widen their horizons and have some fun at the same time.
If you’re ready to get out of the city, to admire the natural beauty that Nepal holds, here are few exciting places to visit.
Chisapani: One of the closest hiking places near Kathmandu with unspoiled forests and gorgeous mountain views, Chisapani is a popular hiking spot with close view of the Everest and Langtang ranges.
Dhampus: A two day hike to Dhampus might be short but is quite rewarding. A few hours of walk from Pokhara, and you will reach a small ethnic Gurung village boasting some magical mountain views.
Ghandruk: Another Gurung village is what you will find in Ghandruk and this is an ideal trek for those who wish to do a two day trek. The trail is comfortable and the scenery is jaw dropping and a good way to get the feel of a trek around the Annapurna Base Camp. Perfect for first time trekkers!
Ghorepani: The breathtaking mountain scenery and the beautiful ethnic villages justify the popularity of this trekking spot. The trek is not difficult and is perfect for those who want to spend some time with nature as the route passes through lush green forests.
Langtang Valley: If you’re opting for a longer trek, located only 90 km north of Kathmandu and close to the border of Tibet is the Langtang Lirung, the highest peak in the area. The place is apt for beginners taking long trekking routes.