Travelling in Nepal with kids
Bound by necessary routine, children can be conservative creatures - push the boundaries a bit and watch Nepal's magic take over.
People generally fall into two camps: those that would take their children to a third world country and those that wouldn’t. Parents should be aware that the country’s facilities and services will not be comparable to those in the western world and changing nappies is probably not much fun half way up a mountain either. Babies might be best left at home, but if your little ones are 6+, Nepal with kids is an adrenaline-filled playground with shorter hikes, mountain biking, rafting and wildlife all available for their amusement, not to mention Kathmandu’s bazaars, which are a fascinating assault on younger senses.
Activities for families in Nepal
Poon hill trek
Trekking isn’t all about massive feats of endurance. The Poon Hill Trek, a four-day route in the Annapurnas with a maximum elevation of 3,210m and therefore minimum risk of altitude sickness, is a brilliant introduction to the good old great outdoors for little explorers that can’t sit still.
Narayanhiti Royal PalaceIt’s the gaudy faded glamour of the Narayanhiti Palace, scene of a 2001 royal bloodbath that saw Crown Prince Dipendra wipe out his entire family, that makes it appealing for kids. Everything is big and brash enough to capture their imaginations and, although us adults know they’re nothing to be proud of, the stuffed heads of tigers and rhino that line the walls will doubtless please them too.
Kathmandu’s bazaarThe bazaar at Asan, a market square in Kathmandu renowned for its authenticity, is the convergence of six teeming streets that perpetually bustles attracting shoppers from all over to buy food, spices, textiles and electronics. It’s truly mesmerising and western kids take centre stage with the excitable, friendly vendors.
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Travelling in Nepal with kids
Keshav Karki from our supplier, Manakamana Treks shares his advice on things to do in Nepal with kids: “A visit to the Nepalese countryside to stay with a local family and experience traditional Nepali life is a wonderful and memorable experience for any western child. The Kavresthali village, situated about 10km north of Kathmandu, is a small very rural village surrounded by lush hills. The main occupation of the locals there is agriculture and they have a very simple way of life, which they are happy to share with visiting families. Children are children wherever they are in the world and have little idea of language or cultural barriers.”
Raj Gyawali from our supplier, Socialtours Nepal shares his thoughts on Nepal as a family destination: “There is no doubt that Nepal is becoming more of a family-friendly destination. Many trekking areas, the Annapurnas being a prime example, were marked early on as hard, very challenging trekking – even the simpler treks did not have much access or safety built in. Now, adventurers trek with mobile technology and the internet reaches everywhere, plus there are roads running up into the ranges, which many people consider a problem, but when you take into account the young, the elderly, or the disabled, these factors have become a safety net and a mark of accessibility, certainly for families with young children of five years and upwards. The country is not an endless playground for children – you can’t camp in the jungle unless you want to wake up with a rhino in your tent – but Nepal is an excellent opportunity for families that want to explore together whether that’s on foot in the mountains, by bike in the valleys, or spotting wildlife in the jungle.”
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