Wake up in Bhaktapur: On the outskirts of Kathmandu, the 17th century town of Bhaktapur paints stories of the past with its red brick buildings, lattice windows, pointed pagoda-like temples of the Malla kings, and a pottery square that makes terracotta artefacts. Early in the morning, devotees line up outside these temples and Bhatkapur rises with the tintinnabulation of bells, recreating an era that once was.
Taste Europe in Bandipur: The beautifully restored 18th-century Newari town of Bandipur transports you straight to Europe. The town is set against a backdrop of magical sunsets that paint the peaks crimson-gold. With no vehicles allowed in town, the cobbled walkway on the main street has been virtually taken over by café tables. Lining the street are restored Newari homes, which double as shops and guesthouses.
Live in the traditional homes of Patan: Patan is high on travellers’ list for its well-preserved architecture and history. The town lets you experience its heritage with some fine offerings.
Dine by the lakeside in Pokhra: Running along the length of the Fewa lake is the Mall dotted with a good number of eateries, which transcends into a dreamy setting every evening. Dim lights, the soft glow of candles and the strains of music from these cafés make it impossible to go to your hotel and order in. Try the Moondance Restaurant, which offers fresh trout and great ambience
Live the farm life in Nuwakot: Nuwakot is a small village about a three hours from Kathmandu, with serene mountain views and a slice of the quiet life.
Float past rhinos in Chitwan: The Chitwan National Park one-ups the other sanctuaries by offering several unique experiences. Among them is the boat safari on the Rapti river, which takes you thrillingly close to swimming rhinos, gharial and migratory birds.
Fly with the best in Sarangkot: It’s criminal to not sample any outdoor fun at all while in Nepal, and so paraglide you must. Take your experience a notch higher by flying with Lakpa Tashi Tsheri and Sano Babu Sunuwar, the duo that won a coveted adventure award for climbing up and paragliding off Mount Everest! Their adventure school in Sirkot offers several courses. But if it’s just a joyride you want, head to the beautiful Sarangkot and fly parallel to the Macchapuchare.
Volunteering and rafting on the Trisuli: For some aqua fun, hit Nepal’s meandering Trisuli river. Parents can enrol their children with the Trisuli Young Leaders’ Club (80km off Kathmandu) to expose them to community living and teach them to interact with and help local societies, while honing their rafting skills. Those short on time can simply opt for rafting expeditions or day-long rafting activities.