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Family Trip To Nepal

Nepal is a magnificent destination. It is varied, fascinating and truly intoxicating. I have been here on multiple occasions, engaging in long treks, short treks, getting both off the beaten track and also experiencing the very much beaten one. I have visited national parks, volunteered and experienced many of Nepal’s key festivals, including Holi and Tihar. I have taken the somewhat terrifying flight into Lukla for the Everest Base Camp trek, spent hours on tourist buses and navigated rushing rivers. What I have taken away from all these experiences, in addition to the exceptional surroundings, is how incredible the people are and how much I always want to return. It is my spiritual home and I missed it during the 10 years I was raising my children. The next adventure was tackling this very different country with my three children, aged 9, 7 and 5 on a family trip to Nepal.

I’m not sure how seriously my husband took me when I first suggested a year ago that we should go back to Nepal in 2023. Our youngest was only just 4 at the time, and it was hard to imagine how she could possibly be ready for a Himalayan trek in a years’ time. Regardless, I powered forward with this slightly risky plan and put in a call to my Nepali tour contact based in Kathmandu.  After a bit of back and forth, and having confirmed the school Easter holiday dates for 2023, the finalised itinerary was agreed upon. It was a fabulous introduction to the country for the children, giving them the opportunity to go rafting, trekking, visit beautiful traditional villages and search for animals in the terai, as well as exploring fabulous Kathmandu. Below is an outline of our itinerary and evaluation of the activities, food, accommodation, and transport for families.


Day 01: Kathmandu

Day 02: Kathmandu Exploration Day

UNESCO cultural heritage tour includes:

Swoyambhunath - The oldest Buddhist Stupa in Kathmandu Valley, a beautiful abode for lots of monkeys thus also known as Monkey Temple, is also a perfect vantage point to see Kathmandu valley.

Boudhanath - the biggest Buddhist temple in the world; a site for Tibetan Buddhism.

Patan Durbar Square - A Medieval Royal Palace area, there are the finest example of metal and stone carvings dating back to the 14th century.

Day 03: Kathmandu – rafting and riverbank stay

3 hours drive to start white-water rafting on the Trishuli river. Rafting lasts about 3 hours. Stay at resort by the river.  

In the afternoon hike around the rural village area for about 1 hour. Evening BBQ with campfire. 

Day 04: Riverbank resort to Bandipur

A 3 hour drive takes you to the beautiful village of Bandipur, a traditional and unspoilt Newari village. It is enchanting to walk along the village streets and the view of the Annapurna, Manaslu and many other mountain ranges from Bandipur is spectacular.

Day 05:  Bandipur to Pokhara

A two and a half hour drive takes you to the amazingly beautiful city of Pokhara, 200 km west of Kathmandu. Options in Pokhara include the World Peace Pagoda, Shiva monument, boating on Phewa Lake and the International Mountaineering Museum.  

Day 06 to 09: Trek 

Drive two hours to the start of the trekking route. Walk through traditional villages including Nau Danda, Kande and Chandrakot. The trek offers Himalayan panorama views of Dhaulagiri 8140m, Annapurna South 7235m, Himchuli 6450m, Fishtail 6993m, and the entire Annapurna range. You'll pass through rhododendron forests teeming with exotic birds, as well as friendly Gurung villages like Tolka, and Bheri Kharka. Keep an eye out for a small lake and panoramic mountain views, especially of Annapurna South, as you get higher. The trail descends through more scattered forests and villages with traditional houses until you reach Landruk where you'll spend the rest of the day.

On day two the trail begins with a descent towards the Modi Khola (river) Valley for about two hours, followed by a gentle ascent of two hours through forest. Cross a long suspension bridge offering great views of the Himalayas enroute to Jhinu Danda. After lunch walk down to the natural hot spring bath at Jhinu.

Day three is the toughest day, with a three hour ascent to Ko Danda. After lunch follow the lovely path through rhododendron forests and local villages until you reach the Gurung Eco village of Ghandruk, very close to Annapurna South and fishtail mountain. Explore the beautiful village, one of the largest Gurung settlements in western Nepal.

On the final day, trek past small villages and picturesque rice fields to reach Kyiumi which takes about 2 hours and you'll meet your private bus transfer waiting to take you back to Pokhara.

Day 10:  Pokhara

A free day in Pokhara with the option for some extra actives or just relaxing after your trek.

Day 11 to 14: Chitwan National Park

Drive to Chitwan National Park, which was once the hunting ground of British and Nepali aristocrats. Today, the animals - elephant, rhinoceros, tiger, leopard and deer - are protected. The greatest thrill here is to scout for wildlife in this UNESCO Natural Heritage Site.

Activities in Chitwan National Park include: jungle walk, village visit, canoeing, visit to elephant breeding centre, bird-watching. A nature guide will lead you through all the activities offering insights about the wildlife, flora and fauna in the national park. On your second evening enjoy a Tharu cultural show. Tharus are aboriginal people of the area who have their own language, culture, and tradition.

Day 14: Chitwan - Kathmandu  

Fly back to Kathmandu and spend half a day in this great city.

Day 15: Departure Day



This family trip to Nepal was an activity-rich holiday, and the whole family loved every bit of it. The white-water rafting was a huge hit with the children. The entire experience felt very professional and safe with knowledgeable leaders, good safety equipment and a comprehensive briefing on how to safely manage ourselves in the raft. Going at this time of year, whilst there were some thrilling rapids and we got suitable soaked, nothing ever felt out of our league as long as we followed the leader’s instructions. The setting is also beautiful, and overall it was an excellent day.


Mountains and trekking is the reason that I love Nepal so much, and it was really special for me to take the children into the range that I visited on my first ever trip. All three children threw themselves into this adventure wholeheartedly. We had done practice walks to break in their hiking boots in the UK and they were really excited to finally get on the Himalayan trails. Kids can have their moments at home, on a beach holiday and even with friends, and of course they had their moments on the trek. It would be disingenuous to suggest otherwise. However it was rarely about the walking itself, but was the usual tired/hungry issues! They all absolutely smashed it on the third day, which was quite a gruelling ascent in direct sunlight. I was so proud of them when we were all standing at the high point of 2350m, and I definitely rewarded them with an extra Mars Bar! For me, the mountains had lost none of their charm, and whilst it wasn’t as peaceful and serene as my previous experiences, going at this different stage in my life and sharing it with my children was equally special.

I cannot talk about the trek without mentioning the fabulous support that we had. Our guide Namaraj was incredible. He was helpful, supportive and informative. The kids loved walking and talking with him, and he was great at encouraging them in those ‘moments’. In addition to Namaraj, we had two porters, Som and Robindra. Ordinarily you would only have one porter but we had an additional one in case our youngest needed carrying. This turned out to not be necessary, however having them there still enhanced the experience. In the evenings they would play card games with the whole family or just the children and it was amazing just to see how easily we all slotted in together.

Chitwan National Park

Chitwan is like another world compared to the hills, mountains and rivers in the north of the country. The terai is flat and hot, and teeming with wildlife and nature. The full day jeep safari allowed us to get further into the jungle and discover some amazing animals in their natural habitat. We saw rhinos, incredible peacocks, crocodiles, bisen and monkeys. It was a long, hot day and we all got a little grouchy but it was definitely worth taking the extra time not to rush around the park. Anyone who has seen my posts before will know that I don’t support elephants working in tourism due to the way they separated from their mothers at a young age and are ‘broken’ to be controlled. Therefore, whilst there is the option for elephant safaris here we didn’t do this. I talked through the reasons with my older two children before we arrived in Nepal, however when we were in Chitwan we went to the elephant breeding centre to try and give them all the information themselves. This was a really tough experience for me but they were both very sensible about it and came to their own conclusions about this practise.   


I was delighted that the children really enjoyed discovering the sights of Kathmandu, Pokhara and Bandipur. From experiencing Buddhist and Hindu temples, walking the beautiful museum-like streets of a traditional Newari town and saying 'namaste' to everyone as they got to know the streets of Thamel, they took a genuine interest in the different culture. Just wandering the city streets is an education in itself so it wasn't necessary to spend lots of time inside museums, which children can tire of. However we all loved the International Mountain Museum in Pokhara and I would highly recommend a visit here. 


The staple dish of ‘Daal Bhaat’, or dal and rice, is always tasty and you can’t go wrong with a Thali, which also adds in curry and pickles. On the treks it is all about eating to keep your energy up whilst walking at altitude, and you can get a variety of big dishes including vegetable rice or noodles, eggs and curries. In Kathmandu and Pokhara you can literally find any cuisine, from pizza to Indian, steak houses to cool cafes. Basically I was sorted! 

For the little ones it was a slightly different story. Children can be fussy at the best of times, and mine certainly aren’t exempt from this fussiness. Even the pizza, which was amazing, was rejected as it wasn’t quite like at home. However, this certainly shouldn’t be a reason to discount a family trip to Nepal. Fussy children will be fussy everywhere, and what they gain here far outweighs a couple of weeks of eating plain rice or pasta. Ironically, at the end of the trek the older two finally agreed to try ‘daal bhaat’ and loved it! Especially because they were able to eat with their hands like the locals. My son commented on how silly it was that he hadn’t tried it sooner and has said he’ll be more open to food that looks different on our next holiday, although the proof will be in the eating!   


There is a huge variety of accommodation in the main tourist areas of Nepal. In Kathmandu you will find anything from backpacker style accommodation with shared facilities, to 5 star wonders like Dwarikas, where we stayed on our honeymoon. For the most part on this trip we chose to stay in 3* accommodation, with clean basic ensuite rooms. We didn’t plan on staying in the rooms so didn’t need any more than that. Everywhere we stayed included breakfast, and on the trek and in Chitwan the packages included all meals.

The only deviation from this was our decision to upgrade to the fabulous Bar Peepal Resort in Pokhara after the trek as it has a pool and was a reward for the children’s hard work in the mountains. As well as having beautiful rooms, a great pool overlooking Pokhara and Phewa Lake, and outstanding food, the service here was impeccable.

The trek itself is slightly different and accommodation is in ‘teahouses’. You find these in all the villages along the way and they offer very basic rooms off an outside corridor. In two of the places we stayed we were given ensuite rooms as we were a family, and one night there were shared facilities. Staying in teahouses you get to meet fellow trekkers in the evening, and everyone sits around in the dining hall playing cards, chatting and eating before an early night to recharge for the next days walk.


Our original itinerary had us driving most of the trip, with just one flight from Chitwan to Kathmandu on the final day. However, after driving to the Trishuli River, Bandipur and Pokhara we bought flights from Pokhara to Chitwan to avoid a six hour drive, as the children were finding the car journeys tough. Being such a mountainous country roads are quite tricky and it has always been slow going, however they are currently upgrading their road system which is in the short term is making road travel even slower. Hopefully in the long run, once these improvements are complete it will be a much more pleasant experience to travel by car, and we would definitely give the roads a chance next time rather than flying.

Our experience of a family trip to Nepal was incredible, and I was delighted with how positive all three of the children were for the whole two weeks. We had a screen ban for the whole and trip and there was very little fighting as everything was new and exciting. My eldest already wants to go back, next time to the Everest region to trek to Everest Base Camp. Given my experience of EBC I believe he is already capable of successfully completing this trek and I look forwward to doing it with him. However, we will have to give it a couple more years to allow the little one to catch up and enjoy it! As the slogan goes, “Naturally Nepal once is not enough”, and this is certainly true for me and my family.

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