Being a solo traveller, I always love to customise the trip according my wishes, interests and convenience. I rather prefer somewhat unplanned trip, a little unorganised, so, that the surprise elements is never missed. But traveling to an unknown country is challenging at times. You got to read a lot, see images, plan the itinerary without being 100% sure. What is if you get ground experts who know every single detail of the country and travel experiences in that country. I wasn’t looking for just a travel agent or a concrete itinerary as I wanted to experience offbeat paths too, I manage to get in touch with Vistas Himalaya, who make tailor-made itineraries, exclusively customised according to your wishes and budget, and not only that, the support would be through-out and the best part is they are very flexible. No matter how much time you take to ask queries, take advices, change the proposal, they would do that selflessly without taking a single penny. Only once the trip is confirmed, you pay.
So, after a dozen of calls and emails, I got what I wanted, a 10 days trip to Nepal, filled with adventure, trekking, nature, and witnessing raw and pristine culture.
Photo of Experience with Vistas Himalaya, Nepal! 1/10 by Vistas Himalaya
3 night in Kathmandu – Post landing at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, I was greeted by Vistas Himalaya’s representative. After helping me with all the check-in formalities in the hotel, he explained the itinerary in detail. Some very important key points were well noted. We also talked about the cuisine, the culture, the people, the recovery period of Nepalis after the horrible natural calamity hit nepal few years ago.
In Nepal, there is a half day tour (around 4 hours) and a full day tour (around 8 hours). During this time, the driver with car and the guide was at my disposal. It is always better to talk to the guide for 10-15 minutes initially to plan the day. Though there are some amazing must visit places in Kathmandu, you can surely skip few and see other things according to your preferences and liking. The guide was very flexible and planned according to my wishes. I wished to visit a schools and my need was welcomed graciously. Vistas Himalaya also support various NGOs and schools at Nallu Village, Lalitpur Dhotar School, Sindhupalchowk and the villages. and the representative asked me if I was interested in Volunteering for a day in school. I was thrilled and we planned it for the last day.
I did sightseeing for half a day and tried awesome Nepali thali.
The whole 8 hours were packed with amazing sightseeing, culture, history, religion and architecture.
Photo of Experience with Vistas Himalaya, Nepal! 2/10 by Vistas Himalaya
Swayambhunath stupa, Kathmandu
Photo of Experience with Vistas Himalaya, Nepal! 3/10 by Vistas Himalaya
The representative accompanied me to volunteer in the school and it was a blissful experience.
Photo of Experience with Vistas Himalaya, Nepal! 4/10 by Vistas Himalaya
Flight to Pokhara. Another representative met me at the airport to take me to the hotel. I relaxed on that day. I stayed in hotel lakeside pokhara, the stay was pleasing and satisfying. The staff was very friendly yet professional. The cleanliness was topnotch. It was very near to the Pokhara main market and I loved walking around the vibrant ambience, the youth, the most happening place in Nepal.
Photo of Experience with Vistas Himalaya, Nepal! 5/10 by Vistas Himalaya
Day Hike to Australian Camp. I was so excited to take one more step closer to the gigantic Himalayan mountains but not even in my wildest dream I imagined them to be so perfect and breathtaking. The driver and the guide were waiting for me at the lobby. The drive took an hour or so to reach to the hiking point from where we would start the day’s hike. There are so many circuits of trekking that one could cover like Annapurna Base Camp trek, Ghandruk Trek, Mardi Himal Trek etc, but they need a week or two minimum. So, depending upon the days you have, you could choose and book. In my case, it was well taken care of by Vistas Himalaya.
Photo of Experience with Vistas Himalaya, Nepal! 6/10 by Vistas Himalaya
View from Australian Camp
After 3 hours of relaxing and enjoyable hike, we reached Australian Camp. The view from the place was to die for. I wanted to stay there for as long as I could. I woke up at 5 to click the sunrise, saw some breathtaking mountains from the place. It’s a must for everyone.
Photo of Experience with Vistas Himalaya, Nepal! 7/10 by Vistas Himalaya
Photo of Experience with Vistas Himalaya, Nepal! 8/10 by Vistas Himalaya
Relax at Dhampus. Dhampus was 1 and half hours walk away from Australian Camp. A small village with amazing lodges and infinite landscape. Seeing little kids going to school in the morning was so pleasing. Basanta Lodge, a very high-end property where I stayed had vintage touch to the architecture and very professional staff. They offered set menu for all breakfast, lunch and dinner and it was very satisfying. Walking around the place, feeling the peace inside and staring at the snow capped mountain, that’s what I did whole day. It couldn’t be better.
Photo of Experience with Vistas Himalaya, Nepal! 9/10 by Vistas Himalaya
Half day hike to Sarangkot, We walked amidst the narrow passage, beautiful landscape, took a local bus ride, tasting local food and reached Sarangkot, around 30 kms from Pokhara. It is the hub for paragliding. The hotel was beautiful and panoramic view of Annapurna range was mesmerising. You could see the whole Pokhara city and its phew lake from Sarangkot. I had delicious lunch, again Nepali thali, at Himalayan Front Lodge, Sarangkot. It’s a high-end property with spectacular view of Annapurna ranges.
After breakfast while gazing the snow-capped mountain, we head to the paragliding point. It was 20 minutes of sheer peace. The view of Pokhara city and Phew lake, the small houses, the proud mountains, all together made the 20 minute of flying experience worthwhile.
Rest of the day went in chilling near the lakeside, at Lakeview Resort, which was a a beautiful with heritage-like vintage feel to it, and witnessing the hustle-bustle of the main market.
Photo of Experience with Vistas Himalaya, Nepal! 10/10 by Vistas Himalaya
I wished to experience local transportation in Nepal. So, I asked the representative to book a bus instead of flight. I knew it wouldn’t be very comfortable but I was up for it. The wish was well taken care by Vistas Himalaya and moreover, one of their representative accompanied me till Kathmandu too. Though, the A/C tourist bus goes to Kathmandu from Pokhara, but it wasn’t available, so, I traveled by Mini Van. Mini vans are very common in Nepal reach to all cities from Kathmandu and vice versa. I had a chance to experience it. Met some really warm and honest people. The journey was little exhausting but I enjoyed the feel of it.
In Kathmandu I wanted to stay near the Thamel market on the last day. While Vistas Himalaya only give selective options of hotels which they have tested before hand from low to high range, they took care of my demand and found a beautiful hotel-cum-hostel named Yakety Yak in the heart of Thamel market. I fell in love with the interior and cleanliness. The property was newly built and neatly designed.
With all the beautiful memories running in my head and amazing experiences I walked around Thamel for a while before Vistas Himalaya representative reached the hotel to pick me up.