After a couple of weeks hiking in the Himalayas all day, every day, it’s a welcome treat to just lounge around a bit. The Garden of Dreams satisfies this need, and then some. Hidden away from the dusty and loud streets in Kathmandu, this private park has it all. Mats for resting in the grass, hidden nooks of benches & chairs, fountains, and even wifi. yes, wifi.
While there is a modest entrance fee, it’s well worth paying the few rupees in exchange for a few hours here. There doesn’t appear to be a policy against outside food and drink so load up on some snacks and beer before you go in and your visit will turn into a picnic.
2. Yak Steak & Beer
As you get to higher altitude, especially in the Everest Region, meat and beer become impractical due to both the financial, physical, and human toll. When you see young – sometimes too young – porters struggle with cases of beer on their back, you’ll have little interest in drinking. If that wasn’t enough, it’s expensive and you’ve got a lot of hiking in front of you.
When you get down, reward yourself by finding a place for a yak steak and a Gorkha. That sizzling plate is the sound of success!
3. Paragliding in Pokhara
After a few days or a couple weeks in the Himalayas, the moment you you’ve descended you’ll quickly begin to miss the grand vistas & quiet moments that nature provides. Despite the charms of the city, you will miss that altitude and the open space.
A little adrenaline ride at one of the paragliding companies in Pokhara is a great way to capture that again. Find one that looks professional and matches your budget and get out and enjoy the view!
4. The Hotel Splurge
You’ve been staying in teahouses constructed out of plywood and sleeping on boxes covered with a light cushion. It was cold at night and in the morning too. You’ve mastered the pit toilet and don’t remember the last time you showered.
Now that you’re done, put yourself up in a hotel, for at least one night, that costs four times what you’d typically budget for a hotel. Enjoy the (more) comfortable bed, the (more) clean bathrooms, and the (more) comfortable atmosphere, You earned it.
For a splurge of good karma, consider donating your used trekking gear to the Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP). They run a Clothing Bank that rents out gear to the porters who bring supplies up the mountains. Many of these porters do not have the appropriate gear to keep them safe while doing their very difficult jobs. This gives them an affordable way to stay safe while they earn an income. Boots, hats, gloves, pants, jackets, etc are really helpful to keeping these people safe and employed. It will come back to you, we promise.