Best Overnight Escapes Around the Kathmandu Valley

Best Overnight Escapes Around the Kathmandu Valley

Kathmandu can be a hectic place, but fortunately you don’t need to go far from the center of the city to enjoy some fresh air, peace and quiet, beautiful views, and chilled-out ambience. These places — which are either on the edge of the Kathmandu Valley or just outside of it — are the perfect antidote to Nepal’s capital city. Read my article on Kimkim to find out more about the following beautiful properties, or click through to other blog posts that I’ve written about them: Shivapuri Heights Cottages Gokarna Forest Resort Dwarika’s Resort Dhulikhel Namo Buddha Resort Neydo Hotel, Pharping Himalayan Height Resort, Hattiban Herb Nepal

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The Impact of Tourism in Panauti, Nepal

The Impact of Tourism in Panauti, Nepal

Although it’s hard not to enjoy staying in a beautiful, luxurious hotel while travelling, the reality is that most budget hotels—and some mid-range ones, too—simply end up being a place to rest your head. For travellers who want much more from their accommodation, the Community Homestay project in Nepal offers just that. As well as providing guests an opportunity to experience authentic Nepali life, get to know small-town locals and participate in non-touristy activities, there is a serious social benefit to the host communities. The Community Homestay project, run by Kathmandu-based Royal Mountain Travel, has been operating their flagship collection of homestays in Panauti since 2013. The Panauti Community Homestay project has recently partnered with Planeterra as one of the new projects for the 50 in 5 Campaign. Initially, 13 homes were involved. Now, 26 beds in 17 homes are open to visitors in Panauti. Read the rest of my article, The Impact of Tourism on Panauti, Nepal on the Planeterra Foundation website.

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The Rabbit Resort Pattaya: A Touch of Class in an Unclassy Town

The Rabbit Resort Pattaya: A Touch of Class in an Unclassy Town

Things have been a bit quiet around here, and on the writing front in general, as I’ve been on leave the past few weeks. I’m in Thailand, and while it’s not entirely a leisure trip, I made a little time for R&R in Pattaya. Why Pattaya? It’s a city about two hours’ drive from Bangkok (where I’ve been staying) that’s known as a hub of sex tourism. Ugh. Why would I head here when Thailand is famous for its many superior beaches? Essentially, because I needed a beach break that was close to Bangkok. Travelling with a newborn baby meant that the bus was out of the question, so accessibility by taxi from Bangkok was important. Fortunately, I found out about the Rabbit Resort Pattaya. In a city full of damn ugly high-rise hotels and condos, the Rabbit Resort is a delightful breath of clean air. The four acre oceanfront property on Dongtan Beach, Jomtien, south of Pattaya, is made up of 49 rooms, all housed in traditional style Thai buildings. Think Jim Thompson’s House. It’s covered in lush palms and tropical flowering trees, has two gorgeous swimming pools (one for kids and families and the other for adults), and is utterly peaceful. The beach is just metres from the Chef’s Company restaurant. While Dongtan Beach isn’t the most spectacular beach in the world–the water isn’t very clear, and the high rises of Pattaya city spread out along the coastline–after living in a landlocked country, it was still a bit…

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A Weekend at the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu

A Weekend at the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu

A couple of weekends ago I got the chance to stay at the lovely Hyatt Regency Kathmandu, a five-star hotel in the Boudhanath neighbourhood. Aside from the luxury, I was happy to explore Boudha a little bit more, as it’s a part of the city that I haven’t spent much time in. I wrote about the weekend on Inside Himalayas. You can read the full article on the site, or an extract below. You can also read my review of the Club Oasis Spa here. “Although most visitors to Kathmandu opt to stay in Thamel—the central neighbourhood full of travel companies, hotels, souvenir shops and restaurants—a calmer alternative is Boudhanath, or Boudha for short. The area is known especially as a Tibetan enclave. The Boudhanath stupa is the holiest Tibetan Buddhist site outside of Tibet itself, and has been a pilgrimage site for centuries. Although the golden pinnacle was damaged in the 2015 earthquake, swift fundraising within the local and international Tibetan community meant that restoration was complete by the end of 2016. In November 2016, a grand re-consecration ceremony was held, which was an important day for Tibetan and Nepali Buddhists. While there are accommodation options in Boudha to suit all budgets, a stay at the Hyatt Regency Hotel is a real treat, and worth the 5-star price tag. A great thing about this luxury hotel is that its range of facilities provide a full experience, rather than just a comfortable night’s sleep. As well as the 280 elegant,…

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Million Dollar Views at Rupakot Resort

Million Dollar Views at Rupakot

The Pokhara region of Nepal is known (among other things) for the beautiful Fewa Lake. But lesser known is the fact that Fewa Lake is not the only lake in the area. About forty-five minutes before you reach Pokhara is the turnoff to the lovely Lakes Begnas and Rupa. There is a sign at the highway that reads ‘Begnas Tal: 3.5 kms’, but it doesn’t seem that many tourists go there. There are just some small villages scattered around the lakes. I stayed at the Rupakot Resort, which is a very bumpy, dusty drive up the hill overlooking the lakes. The location is absolutely perfect, especially when the weather is clear, as it was in the first week of December when I visited. December isn’t a busy season for tourists in Nepal, but I think it should be. The weather is fine, if a little cold overnight, and the mountains are out in all their glory. This was my third visit to the Pokhara area, but the first time that the full range of the Annapurna Himalayas were out for the whole time (I had previously been in October and April). Sunsets were especially gorgeous from Rupakot Resort, as the white snow of the Himalayas was drenched pink. I spent two nights at the resort, and while I wouldn’t actually recommend staying there, I recommend making a day trip. You can make a detour on your way to or from Pokhara and spend the day at the resort, having lunch,…

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