Kinship Destinations: Nepal Travel Guide
A nation blessed with extreme natural beauty nestling in the lap of mighty Himalayan mountains. The Nepalese tribes seeking to survive the unforgiving conditions of the Himalayas have been weaving blankets, throws and rugs — made from everything from yak wool to cashmere to cotton — for centuries, which of course makes it one of our favorite destinations. In fact, ancient writings from travelers along trade routes from China to the West describe the beauty and quality of Nepalese woolen blankets. On top of that, glistening clusters of peaks in the mountains, green forests, rolling hills, whitewaters and blossoming valleys makes for a unique adventure with focus on natural beauty and tradition. Here is our bucketlist of traveling The Land of Truth in a sustainable way.
A trip to Nepal is not complete without some trekking. The Annapurna circuit reaches diverse beauty of terraced farmland, river valleys, pine and juniper forests, a desert, and a rainforest. Depending on where you start and end the Annapurna Circuit, it can take anywhere from 9 to 25 days. This is a traditional “teahouse” trek, which means that you’ll find food and lodging along the trail. As tourists, we are responsible for upholding the natural beauty of the area and encourage conservation practices. We can minimize our impact by utilizing these designated trekking trails and staying in local tea houses instead of wild camping. Also, you'll support the local economy and be sure to make interesting connections with locals and fellow travelers.
Crazy, loud, historic, spiritual, enticing and vibrant, yet, a welcoming beautiful melting pot of Buddhist and Hindu religion, ethnicity and history is the country's capital. Visit one of the many vibrant markets filled with traditional textile products. One of Nepal’s best known and most widely produced types of fabric is pashmina, a long soft shawl made from the hair of a breed of goat found in the Himalayas. Dyes are an essential part of weaving, and in Nepal, they are extracted from natural herbs, minerals and plants like rhubarb, indigo, walnut and sorrel. There is no wonder we found Women Weave here, the organisation that weaves our blankets and throws, focusing on preserving traditional craft in Nepal and income creation for women. Also, go for a temple tour to the two temple-packed towns of Patan and Baktapur. Stay at Dwarika's Hotel, where you'll sleep in former traditional heritage Nepali houses formed around a courtyard, just like stepping back in time.
Pokhara is the perfect place to relax after days of adventure in the mountains and hustle and bustle of Kathmandu. The area is stretched along the shores of Phewa lake, a true place of tranquility. Watch the sunrise from Sarangkot viewpoint while drinking a freshly brewed chai. Find a local yoga center to really get into that zen mode and pamper yourself with a massage at Seeing Hands, a social enterprise providing training and employment in massage therapy for visually impaired people. Enjoy some of the best locally sourced food at the many vegetarian restaurants. Approximately 90% of the Nepali population practices Hinduism or Buddhism. This means Nepal is a great country for vegetarian and vegan travelers thanks to its variety of sustainable culinary options. If you're not on a vegetarian diet (yet!) this is the perfect opportunity to try it out and get inspired!
For our collection of cashmere blankets from Nepal, we partnered with Women weave. The cashmere comes from Chyangra goats. Since, they are animals of cold regions, every summer they are sheared because it is also good for them to adapt with the climate. The best of sustainable and ethical production with the luxury of one of our planet’s finest natural textiles.
As always- explore responsibly, tread lightly.
The journey is the reward!
The journey is the reward!