Prince Harry in Nepal

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“I have to come to Nepal to meet the people, to visit heritage sites, national parks and Himalaya. The people and the beauty of this country is hard to leave.” – Prince Harry

British Prince Henry Charles Albert David ‘Harry’, who came to Nepal on 19 March 2016 for a five-day long official visit to celebrate the 200 years of Nepal-Britain relationship, extended his stay by six more days after the conclusion of his official trip.

During his official visit, he visited the Patan Durbar Square (which is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites) and Bardiya National Park in mid-western Nepal. He also visited Gurkha and other communities in Lamjung, Gorkha and Kaski districts.

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He won the hearts of Nepalese people by staying as a guest for one night at the home of Mangali Gurung, an 86-year-old Gurkha widow living in a remote village in Lamjung and celebrating Holi festival with the locals at Gauda.

Prince Harry takes part in the festival of Holi

The prince, who had worked with Gurkha soldiers in Afghanistan, also visited the British Gurkha Camp in Pokhara.

“I hope that everyone back home who took an interest in the tour can see that Nepal is a country that you really have to come and visit,” he said in his speech at the British embassy in Kathmandu upon the conclusion of his five day official visit. “You have to come and see world heritage sites like Patan Durbar Square and be inspired by Nepal’s history. You have to come to see beautiful Bardia National Park. The work there is an example of how the conservation battle can be won. You have to come and walk in the foothills of the Himalayas – watching the sunrise there is something I’ll never forget.”

After the conclusion of his official visit, he spent 6 more days in Nepal, donating his help as a volunteer to rebuild a school hit by the earthquake at Lapu village of Gorkha.

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Nepal’s tourism industry, which has been facing a major restrain after the earthquake of April 2015, hopes that his visit has given out the message to the world that Nepal is safe to visit.

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Hiking with friends to Nagi Gumba

11th July 2015 – Saturday,  Shreejana, Shivendra, Binay and I (Shreya) packed up and headed towards Shivapuri  Nagarjun National Park for hiking.  Shivapuri  Nagarjun National Park  is the ninth national park which is located in the country’s mid-hills on the northern fringe of the Kathmandu valley, named after Shivapuri peak. Our goal for Saturday was an easy out, to reach Nagi Gumba (a Buddhist temple situated about 5 km above the entrance gate). However, the hardest part of the day was probably the last few stairs at the top of Gumba.

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It’s a pretty short hike to Nagi Gumba, under 6.2 miles and in the woods until the top. There was no steep stretches along this entire route, although there were significant amount of mud and stones. It was pretty rough shape hiking wise so I tried to hike as careful as possible not to injure myself.

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Nagi Gumba has one of the best view of Kathmandu valley. At one glance almost all Kathmandu valley could be seen. The whole scene was sort of ferocious, quite beauty. The sort of beauty that always hurt.  The environment around Gumba was really peaceful and soothing.  It was surrounded by beautiful and colorful flowers and green grasses. Looking at these scenery anyone would feel to come back at this place again and again.

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After spending half an hour at the top, four of us started to step back. It did not take us long to get back as the way seemed pretty familiar than before.  We talked, we laughed, we sang not to feel tired and stressed. We were about to reach the gate while suddenly one of our friend, Shreejana, sprained her leg. That particular moment was the only bad thing which happened that day otherwise everything went perfectly fine.

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Hence, it was a great day to get off a week long stress and have some spare time to appreciate the nature around us with some amazing people.  Enjoyed a lot!!!

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Tourism, It Will Fight Back

The devastating earthquake of April 25, April 26 and May 12 has left the country’s fragile infrastructure in ruins. It reduced a majority of the iconic world heritage sites into rubble. Damages has been caused to numerous historic buildings and archaeological locations, including six UNESCO World Heritage Site—Basantapur Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Temple, Changunarayan Temple, Boudhhanath inside the Kathmandu Valley. Also, the city’s landmark, the 61 meter high Bhimsen Tower collapsed and the historic towns of Bhaktapur and Patan, both crammed with crumbling red brick houses, have turned into scenes of destruction with people buried in the debris. The exciting and colorful old Bazaar Asan, which is also the major tourist hub to see the best of real Newari cultures, has been slightly affected.

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The most terrible damage was in towns and villages which were five- to seven-hour drive from the Kathmandu city. Therefore we decided to support helpless and psychologically depressed villagers after the earthquake, so that our volunteering activities will also be part of their daily life to encourage them to re-establish.

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We volunteered in supporting victim’s of Dolakha, Sindhupalchowk, Nuwakot, Chisapani and other communities around Kathmandu valley. But still many other remote areas are facing delay in receiving reliefs. Due to the mountainous region and unequipped vehicles and with the damage from the earthquake the road of Nepal is risky task to drive along. So, because of this destruction there has been delay in delivering the mandatory supplies and help to suffering people. International aid needs to be sent so that the correct form of transport will be used to get to remote and isolated communities.

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However, we are very optimistic about the future of Nepal’s tourism industry.  Things are going to get better in the days ahead. Even though three out of seven UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley, mainly the temples in Durbar squares of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur, have been damaged, popular tourist destinations like Pokhara and Chitwan have not been affected. So, we can encourage tourists to come to Nepal and support rebuilding works as tourism is one of the key for economic remedy. To bring things in the right direction, there is a need for massive promotional campaign both by the government and the private sector in the major source market.

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Bon Holidays visits the Barahi Jungle Lodge

The Barahi Jungle Lodge

As a traveler, I have seen much. I have been to the foot of the highest mountain, the lap of stunning valleys, the thick of the greenest jungles and the heart of the wildest rivers. I have walked through the chill of the snow and tested myself in the scorching heat of the plains.

This episode here is of my wonderful familiarization trip to the Barahi Jungle Lodge (BJL), Meghauli and this is how it went.

31st May 2014, a cool Saturday morning with clouds all over the sky, I headed out of my house, with my other half who never leaves me, “my bag” and headed towards Lainchaur, the assembly point for all the travel agents invited by BJL. Everyone arrived pretty much on time and boarded the Mountain Overland Bus ride to Meghauli where the resort is located.

To me, I was destined to have the time of my lifetime for sure because it was my birthday that day and only few people knew about it. The moment we crossed “Nagdhunga” the exit/entry point of Kathmandu from the west side, free flow of drinks started. Thanks to the wise thinking of Nischal Dai and Pradeep Dai for bringing in the portable ice box along, that beer was too good to chill myself out.

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The drive continued all the way to Riverside Spring Resort (RSR) for our Lunch with a couple of stopovers in between. I must say, RSR serves really good quality food as always and the ambiance is always happening with more people on the swimming pool than on the restaurants or garden. Again continued our journey and few friends started singing Folk melody with the sound of Madal (Traditional Nepalese Drum). Once we reached Narayanghat, I along with half the group went on a swimming costume shopping frenzy at the U.F.O clothing store. It was pretty quick and reached Bharatpur airport. Instead of going straight south once we crossed the airport, our driver took a right turn and continued driving east. Nischal dai had confirmed with the driver if he knew where we were going and the driver had said he did, right infront of my eyes, but after a 30 mins drive when we asked the driver where we were heading, he said he didn’t know. Crazy isn’t it?

Yet, it was a fun experience because then we took a totally dusty off road shortcut towards Meghauli through the plain farmlands and villages. Thanks to Sankar Dai and his Lichhi infested jokes that kept the moment going. We went deeper and deeper to the remote plains and at one moment when I felt that I was really far from my regular tech-controlled life full of noisy and pollution packed environment, There it was “Barahi Jungle Resort”

Everyone was in a hurry to jump out of the bus and see the resort. Welcomed by the warm hospitality of BJL it was quite surprising that Meghauli was not that hot as I had expected it to be. I felt really good when I saw a board as soon as we entered the resort which said, “It’s a Jungle out there and you’re going to have a wild time.”

We went in to the reception and took our keys, room no. 12 was the destiny and Binod Dai and I headed to find our room. To my surprise, although based on typical ethnical tharu house from outside, the interior of the room was spot on to the international standards, the private balcony watching over Chitwan National Park right across the Rapti river was quite some view you wouldn’t find every now and then. The whole room was themed to represent a “Typical Tharu Lifestyle” with the amenities that you find in any 4-5 star hotels globally.

It was almost 5 pm when we came to the restaurant and prepared for the “Boat Ride” at the Rapti River, the natural boundary of the Chitwan National Park.

The ride was quite good although we spotted only a glimpse of rhino and few species of birds like lesser adjutant stork to be specific and many other species of birds, because of the presence of Mr. Kedar and his poems that we were lucky to listen during this trip.

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We then walked all the way to vehicle that drove us to the Narayani River Bank for a Sun Downer program to experience the sun set with a snacks and drinks.

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I was pretty sweaty that time so wanted to cool myself down, so as soon as I went to the resort, took a quick shower and again we were invited to the BBQ program at the garden by the swimming pool where everyone got the opportunity to introduce oneself to everyone. The “Haas ko Choila” was mouth watering and so was the fish finger and Chicken BBQ. But my mind was somewhere else. That swimming pool was really tempting so I didn’t stop myself to take a plunge.

The water was so warm and kind to me. All the strain I had on my body after the long day was healed by the warmth of the water and a mug of beer. I kept swimming till almost 11 pm when most of the people were already asleep. When I came out, few of us went to the “Tiger’s Den” the in house bar by the pool side. We just chatted about many things and ended my day with a shot of Tequila, it was almost 1230 that time.

Day 2 started pretty early for me. We were supposed to get a wakeup call at 6 am in the morning but I woke up at 0430 when it was almost bright already. I could hear deer’s barking from the National Park and waves after waves of birds flying towards west, where I am sure was their natural breakfast waiting for them. At around 7 am, I and few other team members crossed the Rapti River to go for a Jeep Safari at the National Park. It started in a general manner where we drove through tall elephant grasses. Soon after we were inside the Jungle of the national park and about 5 mins in we were very lucky to spot a Monitor Lizard.

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After few moments, we came to an army post that was stationed there to protect the national park animals from poachers. It was really nice to see them protect our national property and pride. We then headed towards the Tiger Tops Resort, a living museum which closed operation 2 years ago also considered as a landmark till today. We stopped at the resort and Binod Dai, former team member of Tiger Tops group of companies shared his good memories and took us on a short sightseeing trip of the resort.

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We then headed further south west deep in to the jungle where we reached a water pool. Here we spotted a Rhino just across the pool and it was a huge one. It had one dysfunctional ear on the left and the right ear was also missing a chunk. I later found out after asking the guide that it was named “Kan Chiruwa” meaning “One with a sliced ears”. It had a reputation of charging river boats. Fortunately we were on land just across the pond.

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After that we headed towards the resort and had our breakfast at about 10 am. It was really hot that day and as I didn’t have anything to do till 4 pm (Elephant Safari), I again went into the swimming pool to cool me down. The incredible feature of the pool is that it’s very cold during day and very warm at night. I felt quite relaxed even during the scorching heat of the mid day sun.

At 4 pm we again as always after lunch assembled to go for the elephant safari. I have had couple of elephant ride experience in the community forest before as well but this one was an exceptional. We spotted lots of deer and birds as we went on top of the forest. Then we entered into the high grasslands to see nothing. Soon after we spotted 2 rhinos on the river bank that followed. Very big males. The Mahut told us that these rhinos were territorial and didn’t allow any other rhinos to enter other than females.

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The elephant drank water from the river and then we were heading back when our elephant caught smell of something. The elephant went of the odor and we found 2 carcasses of deers, 1 was all eaten and the other was a fresh kill. It was clearly a tiger kill for sure. If it was a leopard kill it would take the kill up to the trees to eat, but its tiger that hides its kill in the grasslands. All 4 elephants went after the search of tiger if it was still around but we could not find it. I felt so close to the tiger yet so far from this majestic creature. May be I will see one next time. We returned back to the Resort, but before it was time for a group photograph and everyone from our group assembled for it.

Once we were at resort at around 6 pm, I again wanted to swim. So I went to the changing room and when I came out it started to drizzle a little bit. I went into the pool and was joined by Rejina. We were competing who would reach the other side first, when all of a sudden there was a cloud burst that was followed by Lightening, Thunder and Storm. The rainfall was so heavy that when I tried to come out of the water, I could literally feel pain due to the water drops hitting me with quite some velocity. So me and Rejina decided to stay inside the pool and wait for the rain to pass by. Unfortunately, it was followed by a high speed wind which started creating waves in the pool itself. Then we decided to leave the pool and go the the shelter of the tiger’s den bar. After sometime it all stopped and we were invited to the presentation hall where a tharu cultural program was kept. The dance was based on the ethnic groups of Meghauli, “The Tharu”. The dance represented the daily life of the Tharu, their encounter with wild animals and how they defend themselves from these attacks with the help of sticks and the beating of drums.

Free flow of Liquors had got almost everyone in the mood and we decided to do a show of our own, where Kedar jee took the vocals and I took the percussion (Madal) and did a lok dohori show of our own. Most of the people danced and those who didn’t, participated by clapping their hands. The show was over soon after and it was time for dinner now. Me and Binod Dai, took the table and we were quick to finish when out of no where Nishal Dai came in to make an announcement with a cake in his hand. BJL had put a small program to celebrate my birthday. I was the star of the night. J It was very special to me as I was feeling low that I could not spend time with my family and close ones on my birthday but it all changed in minutes. I was smiling as if I had won a presidential election.

After the birthday ceremony, we again like the previous day went to the Tiger’s Den and started drinking all kind of liquids. It was already 2 am and we decided to end our drinking session and go to bed when I looked up to the sky and could see the whole universe. I could even see the Cosmo Cloud and the traces of the Milky Way. Went to the room and slept till 7am in the morning.

Day 3 started at 7 am for me and I was really feeling bad that it was time for me to leave. As per my experience, this trip is among the best I have experienced so far. I have to sincerely thank Nishal Dai for calling me into this trip and letting me experience this wonderful property of Barahi Jungle Lodge. I would also like to thank everyone participating on this trip for giving me such a great company and celebrating my birthday with me.

If I have to rate Barahi Jungle Lodge, It’s  “*****” if I could add more stars then I probably would. I wonder how it will be after 2 years when the botanical garden will be ready along with other amenities like Sauna, Massage etc. I still would suggest to put in some more recreational activity like a pool board etc. on the bar and wished that the tigers den was a little bigger than what it is now.

 

My name is Apurwa Rayamajhi, and as a traveler, I have seen much of the new but its never enough. See you again.

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I love what I do.

As a part of my job I get to travel a lot. Going to different places meeting different breed of people it’s all one would want from his /hers job. I’m in Chitwan one week and Pokhara or Bandipur the next. So as a part of Bon Holidays I love what I do.

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Whilst traveling I use many means of transportations, Mostly buses. I’ve had a very bad experience of long queue and traffic jam a week prior so I decided to go to Pokhara to meet my guests on my Apache RTR 160 hyper edge Motorbike.

People consider Motorbike bike rides on the highway as dangerous and hectic. And many people discouraged me not to go alone. But I am being as crazy as I am decided to take the 200km each way ride on my own.

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My journey started from Kathmandu, after driving about 25 kms through the twisting and turning down hill highway, first stop Naubise. After having a cup of coffee I started off again along the banks of the Trishuli river singing with the winds speeding through the Pritihivi Highway, next stop River Side Spring Resort. It was my first time there must say it’s a great place I had their special Framers breakfast.  After breakfast and resting for a bit the Journey started again passing through Muglin, Abhu Khairini the drive is very pleasant along the blue waters of Marshayndi river on one side and the rockey hills on the other. After driving for about another 85kms along the scenic highway finally reached Pokhara, Checked in to the hotel and made necessary arrangements for the group of 18 Americans that had their Pokhara sightseeing the next day.

We (me and our Local guide in Pokhara, Mr.Bhuwan K.C) picked up the Guests from hotel Middle Path and drove about 10 mins to Davis fall. A Swiss tourist who was just swimming in the Phewa Lake was swept away due to the unexpected overflow in the dam water and her husband was helpless. Thus, her body was never recovered and was vanished forever. Hence the name Davis fall. After Davis Fall we walked across the road to Gupteshwor cave. Gupteshwor cave is named after the shrine of Hindu God, Lord Shiva, Which is located inside the cave. We pass along the temple walk about 300 meters and reach the point where the Davis fall falls in to the cave and goes underground which is a really nice view. After seeing the cave we moved towards the Peace Pagoda.

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Leaving our van in the parking lot we had a climb of about 15 minutes uphill to reach Peace Pagoda. Some of  our guests were old so I walked up slowly chatting to them about the Nepalese Gurkhas and Sherpa’s. After looking around the Pagoda we moved up towards Raniban Resort for lunch. We had a very tasty continental lunch. After relaxing for about 45 minutes enjoying the views of the Annapurna Range, we headed down to the car park, got in the Van and that was the end of the day.

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That was job well done for me the guest were happy they even invited me for few drinks in the evening. It was a good night at a place called Busy Bee. The following morning I headed back to Kathmandu. A good trip over all.

In Bon Holidays, I do what I love doing, travelling, seeking new landscape, culture, nature and local experience.

By: Nivesh Devkota

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From Mr. Dave DeLuca

I’ve traveled all over the world and gone on many excursions across the globe and Bon Holidays was without a doubt one of the best tour companies I’ve ever dealt with. They were endorsed by Habitat for Humanity for good reason. The owner was extremely friendly, knowledgable and approachable, he went above and beyond to make sure our trip was extraordinary and the entire staff was just as dedicated to ensuring our safety and enjoyment. I highly recommend booking with them.

g with them.

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Trishuli- Lord Shiva’s River

Trishuli, derived from the weapon that Lord Shiva carries with him, is the most classic river for white water rafting in Nepal.

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This River is the most rafted river which has a little bit of everything for everyone of all age groups.

SONY DSCIf you are willing to spend quality time with your friends and family in a fair and reasonable price, with the best service in mind, Please feel free to contact us at +977-1-4414000, or 4422681. You can also directly contact us at our mobile number +977-9801050425 or write to us at info@bonholidays.com.np. We are also available on “FACEBOOK“.

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Ride to the Royal!!

 

Royal Beach Camp, a decent organic resort located near Katauti Khola, Charaudi of Dhading District is about 2 hours drive towards Prithvi Highway which is approximately 80 km from Kalanki, Kathmandu.

This resort is situated beside Trishuli River which is most rafted river of Nepal and a decent river for White water rafting, gives you peace of mind with nothing but the sound of the river and the leafs of the trees, softness of the sand and taste of the mouth watering organic food.

Based on the “Feel of Nature”, one can either sleep on the bamboo cottages stationed aside the river or tented camps by the beach of the river.

Very friendly and helpful staffs are very polite and gives the feeling of friendliness and being home itself.

My name is Apurwa Rayamajhi, and I am a traveller.

See you soon.

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Get Muddy for a Golden Yield

Ropain, rice plantation, nagarkot, homestay, tour, travel, camping, hiking, trekking

Ropain, rice plantation, nagarkot, homestay, tour, travel, camping, hiking, trekking

As a traveler, I have seen much. I have been to the foot of the highest mountain, the lap of stunning valleys, the thick of the greenest jungles and the heart of the wildest rivers. I have walked through the chill of the snow and tested myself in the scorching heat of the plains.

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So this episode I am relating here, feels too easy, a walk in the park. Or rather, a plunge in the mud. Literally. It is my travel tale onRopain, the first day of rice plantation, celebrated in Nepal. The day usually falls on a pre-monsoon season, allowing the planted saplings to take root before the big showers hit. Nepal is a true heaven on Earth. It has an agriculture based economy. Though younger generations are mostly involved in different professions now, by and large, agriculture still sustains the country’s economy.

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On 29th June 2013, or 15th Ashad 2070 as according to the Nepali Calendar, I woke up at 5 a.m. to the bark of Junge, my fierce little dog. It was a cloudy morning and I could hear the light drizzle of rain outside my window.

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My friends from Bastola Gaun, Nagarkot had invited me to join them for the big day today, the first day of rice plantation for the season. On this day, despite Nepal’s ethnic, geographic, cultural, religious and political diversities, the country comes together to celebrate Ropain.  People jump into the muddy fields and plant rice amidst a lot of singing, game playing and rejoicing. A feast follows thereafter.

 

Plowing the field

Plowing the field

Bastola Gaun comes 20 km ahead of the Nagarkot view tower, from Kathmandu. Developed as a homestay community, this village is buzzing with warm and highly energetic people. Tourists love coming to this place because the friendliness of the locals here is infectious.

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I reached Bastola Gaun at around 11:40 a.m. after a couple of stopovers at the fuel station and in Bhaktapur. I got a big hearty welcome. Somebody ran off to get me drinking water straight from the Dhunge Dhara, a stone carved water spout, which you can see at many traditional places in Nepal. The water felt cool and sweet as it ran down my throat, effectively quenching my thirst.

 

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Soon came the women of the village and they started preparing for the feast. Among other food items that people prepare for Ropain, it is an age-old tradition to eat Dahi Chiuraon this day, a mix of Yoghurt and Beaten Rice.

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Men started plowing the fields and I followed suit. Stepping bare feet into the mud felt as if I were reaffirming my connection with nature – with mother earth.  Women joined us with rice saplings and together, we started the Ropain.

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For me the experience on Ashad 15, 2070, was precious. It was highly enjoyable and I did manage to capture some of that in film, while we played in the mud, sang songs, planted rice and delighted in our food once the Ropain was done.

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My name is Apurwa Rayamajhi, and as a traveler, I have seen much of the new. But a few traditions paradoxically, serve to revitalize me in their very repetitions. To say the least, Ropain grounds me. And that arguably is the point from where a moment yields many beautiful journeys.

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So if you are travelling to Nepal, I assure you, just like me, you would want to feel the ground under your feet. Come experience Ropain.

 

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Special Thanks to www.nepalsutra.com for helping in editing my text and publishing it in the travel talk section on their website.

 

Yours Sincerely,

Apurwa Rayamajhi

Bon Holidays Pvt. Ltd.

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Yak Attack 2013 Experiences

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I am happy to be a part of the epic “Yak-Attack 2013″

“The Yak-Attack 2013″ has changed my understanding of life. From a filthy life of Kathmandu, I have known what the genuine world is outside the virtual world of a modern city. I have known the significance of Oxygen, the value of Black Tea, the importance of competition and the necessity of Friendship & Freedom. Yak Attack taught me the harsh reality of life. It has trained me to be an individual in a group and a group in an individual. It has educated me to share joys of life. I never thought I would be able to do the Thorong-la pass but I was wrong because I made it with everyone who was a part of the epic. I saw dead desert standing by the side of a huge mountain. I experienced lakes turning into a river (Gangapurna lake and Tilicho lake to Marshyangdi river) and river turn into a lake (Marshyandi Hydro Project Dam). I saw differences in unity and unity in differences. Yak Attack Simply Awesome changed me forever.

Apurwa Rayamajhi

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