For a sizable section of international tourists, Nepal is one of the top travel destinations. They come to enjoy views of the majestic Himalayas, the cultural diversity and adventure tourism that the country has to offer. However, the arrival of foreign tourists has come to a halt following the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, tourism is one of the hardest-hit sectors by the pandemic which has led to the cancellation of travel plans, shut down businesses and public services, bringing the sector to its knees.
However, with the accelerated vaccination campaigns being carried out across the country and restrictions being eased, tourism entrepreneurs are all set to welcome tourists. As the arrival of too many international tourists is not expected for a while, tourism entrepreneurs are looking for domestic tourists to contribute to the revival of the tourism industry. Here are some small budget holiday destinations for Nepali travelers planning to stretch their legs and fulfil their wanderlust this holiday season.
Located at a distance of just around 30 kilometers from Kathmandu in Makwanpur district, Markhu has become a hotspot for domestic travelers. The region holds destinations like Kulekhani, Chitlang and Bheda farm and serves as a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. The environment along with the greenery gives off a peaceful ambience for anyone looking for a spiritual break.
With homestays and hotels along the routes, one can simply experience the hospitality the local entrepreneurs offer to each of their guests. The choice of accommodation ranges from a traditional village home to reasonable hotels. One can simply enjoy a conversation with a local while drinking a hot cup of tea or simply take a boat ride in Kulekhani, an artificial lake used to produce electricity. Other activities include sightseeing in Chitlang and Bheda Farm which have their own unique attractions for tourists visiting the area. One can expect to make the most of the destination with a two- to three-day trip and a budget of Rs 5000 to 8000.
About a 4-hour drive from Kathmandu, Bandipur holds the history of one of the country’s major trading posts for the local inhabitants since as early as the 1800s. The small village surrounded by hills has become a major tourist hotspot in recent years, attracting domestic and international travelers to experience its beauty. The streets of Bandipur still hold the old architecture of the past which are now being used as cafes and hotels to serve the tourists.
One can simply enjoy the views of mountain ranges from the village while indulging in the peaceful ambience of the nature around. A short hike to the Siddha Cave, a safe haven for bats, can prove to be an adventure for any traveler. One can fully enjoy a two-day trip at Bandipur with a tight budget of Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000.
Known as a rest point for religious travelers visiting the Kalinchowk temple, Kuri has become a famous tourist hotspot in recent years. The unique geography and the scenery has been attracting many hundreds of domestic tourists to Kalinchowk. One can simply take a bus from Buspark to Dolakha and then take a jeep to Kuri village. Many domestic tourists throng Kuri to enjoy the snowfall and the journey. One can expect to enjoy a visit to Kuri village with a budget of Rs 5,000 to 10,000 depending on the nature and the duration of their stay.
A prime destination for wildlife lovers and bird watchers, Sauraha is a playground for Royal Bengal Tigers, Great One-horned Rhinoceros, elephants, birds and many other animals. Tourists can indulge in activities like canoe ride, bird watching, jungle safari, jeep safari etc. Sauraha is a four and half hours drive from Kathmandu. With a wide range of choices for hotels, a Nepali traveler can fully enjoy their holiday in the heart of mother nature. The cost of one’s stay can range according to their choice of hotels and activities they chose to take part in. One can enjoy the beauty and adventure of Sauraha with a budget of Rs 10,000.
Mardi Base Camp trek
Mardi offers an easy hike to the foot of the mountains within a short time. A quick break to the mountain side can provide a sense of healing for anyone willing to stretch their legs in the Annapurnas. One can easily complete the trek within a span of four days while enjoying the tranquility and panoramic views the mountains have to offer. One can easily take a bus from Kathmandu to Kande to start the trek. The minimum budget for the trek is expected to be Rs 15,000 to 20,000.