Nepal’s popularity as a tourist destination
has increased vastly over the last three decades. so have infrastructure
and the possibility of visiting the far-flung parts of this mountain
kingdom. Today tourism is the major foreign exchange earner for
the country and employs/engages a sizeable number of locals. Nepal
has now emerged a sizeable number of locals. Nepal has now emerged
as a destination that prides itself on offering the best of services
to traveler and tourist, suiting a whole range of budgets and offering
multiple possibilities to explore this land.
Adventure tourism here dates back to the early attempts to scale
the world’s highest peaks. It has come a long way since. While
trekking, mountaineering and game watching have long been popular,
an entire range of other possibilities have been explored in the
recent years-rafting, biking, fishing, rock climbing, paragliding,
ultra-light aircraft, hot air ballooning, maintain flight, boating,
pony teaks, jet scooter, boating and bungy jumping.
This varied landscape has some of the best sites for these activities,
ranging rivers to run, mountains to scale, clear blue skies, challenging
treks, fine lakes and rivers to boat, fish and raft down and a wild
terrain to ride. Come be part of this experience. Come get a hormonal
Hot air ballooning in Nepal is something that many travelers have
written home about. In the five years since its flight, the sport
has been very popular with tourists, for it affords the most spectacular
view the Himalayan ranges towering n the background. On a clear
day, it is a superb way to view the Himalayas (from over 6000 m
up), and the view of the valley is equally breathtaking.
The huge balloon comes to life in the morning light, “a sleeping
giant decorated with the all-seeing eyes of the Buddha”, as
it ripples stretches, expands and readies itself for its load of
passengers. The departure is gentle and one hardly feels the ascent.
The advantage of this ancient and romantic from of flight is that
there is no whirring or whining of engines, nor any airplane wings
to obscure the most magnificent of views. Like the agency puts it,
“Even if you do not climb Mt. Everest, from the perfect softly
and comfort of a wicker basket, you will feel that you have reached
the top of the world in effortless security.” Cool!
The best months for a hot air balloon flight are October-November
and March, although the season extends from October to april. The
flight take place daily during the season, and are dependent on
the wind for its direction (eastward or westward across the valley).
The landing could be anyplace mostly in the terraced paddies that
stretch out across the fringes of the valley, usually attracting
a large impromptu gathering of villagers checking to see what has
fallen out of the sky!
The balloon takes off from Thimi, near the historic town of Bhaktapur,
one of the three erstwhile principalities of the Katmandu valley
and in many ways the most medieval. From there, depending on which
way the wind blows, it takes you on a trip that gives you a bird’s
eyes view of Katmandu and the valley.
The cost of the hour-long ride—hotel transfers and breakfast
at a Thamel restaurant included is $195 per person. Each trip can
carry 12 passengers. The flights are manned by a team of much-decorated
Reservations for a balloon flight can be made over the phone or
through a travel agent in Katmandu ( or hotel concierge ). They
can be purchased by traveler’s cheque, credit card or cash.
Tickets must be purchased a minimum of three days before the flight,
and the company notified about your place of stay. On the day before
the scheduled flight, the company will inform you of the pick-up