6/7/13 3:51 AM
One of the benefits of traveling is the chance to explore the local culture in a way you wouldn’t be able to if you stayed home. Through Ropain: The Rice Planting Festival, travelers can experience a rural festival as the locals do. On June 29, head out to the fields for a traditional rice planting festival with socialtours, a five time Responsible Award nominated company.
You’ll work alongside residents of Lalitpur, home to the indigenous community of Newars, as they stand knee-deep in mud to plant the bright green rice stalks. Rice plantation is no easy feat; people do not work alone, but rather with other community members to take on the daunting task of growing one of the most important commodities in Nepal. Come prepared to work like a farmer. Socialtours will provide traditional Newari snacks and a meal to bring strength back to your body.
The price for Ropain, meaning plantation in Nepali, is Rs. 1750 for adults, Rs 1000 for children below 10 years old, and free for those below 4 years old. In addition to the local food, the price covers your pick up and drop off as well as chance to try local rice beer and play in the mud.
The package also includes the priceless benefits of challenging your body, connecting with the locals, toiling in the fields with fresh air, and understanding what it takes to feed a country that has reserved for rice a central culinary role.
Only 50 spots are reserved for this experience. To make a reservation, visit http://ropain-efbevent.eventbrite.com/#.
Source: Facebook - Socialtours; eventbrite.com
Image source: eventbrite.com
6/6/13 11:37 PM
In Buddhism and Hinduism, a kora is the circumambulation of a religious structure such as a temple or stupa. The Kathmandu Kora Cycling Challenge will pay homage to Nepal’s kora tradition with a 50 kilometer cycling challenge around the Kathmandu valley on July 20.
The challenge will take cyclists on dirt trails in the outskirts of the capital, where mud homes, lime green paddies, and brightly clothed locals are as much a part of the landscape as the well-known mountains are. Because there is no requirement to complete the 50 kilometers and the trails are relatively easy to traverse, the challenge accommodates both novice and expert cyclists.
While registration is free, riders are highly encouraged to raise Rs. 100 (less than US $2) for each kilometer they cycle. Funds raised from the event will go toward building an eco-designed birthing facility in far western Nepal, one of the remotest parts of the country. In 2012, close to 300 Nepalese and foreigners participated in the challenge, securing nearly Rs. 1 million for a birthing facility in another area of Nepal.
Register, sponsor a rider, or donate at http://kathmandukora.eventbrite.com.
Source: eventbrite.com; Facebook - Kathmandu Kora Cycling Challenge
Image source: Facebook - Kathmandu Kora Cycling Challenge
5/23/13 2:22 AM
Known as Kathmandu's tourist hub, Thamel is just as popular with the locals for its unique blend of restaurants, bars, shops, music venues, tour and travel offices, and activity centers. While you can spend quite a few days exploring every nook and cranny of this densely packed neighborhood, don't forget to step outside and experience Kathmandu's other attractions. Here is Parakhi's recommendation of places to go near Thamel:
Garden of Dreams
Listed in Time Magazine's 24 of the World's Best-Kept Secrets, The Garden of Dreams, a neo classical historical garden, is located in the midst of Kathmandu, Nepal. You will notice the tall white structure walls that surround the Garden of Dreams when you enter Thamel from Darbarmarg. Within the Garden walls, late Field Marshal Kaiser Sumsher created an exquisite ensemble of pavillions, fountains, decorative garden furnitures and European inspired features such as varandas, pergolas, blustrades, urns and birdhouses. Garden of Dreams is a place of peaceful oasis full of unique architecture and varieties of flowers and fauna brought from different countries. It also hosts Kaiser Cafe, a restaurant and coffee shop known for its quality dishes and Austrian cuisine. For more information on the Garden of Dreams, visit their website here.
Darbarmarg, or commonly known as King’s Way, is a hot attraction for tourists and locals alike. Darbarmarg boasts luxury hotels, Sherpa Mall, restaurants, designer stores, travel agencies and airline offices. Hotel Annapurna and Hotel Yak & Yeti are situated in the middle of Darbarmarg, giving their guests a close access to Kathmandu’s shopping center. If you're in the mood to gamble, Yak & Yeti's Casino Royale is the place to be. One of the cleanest and most well-maintained areas in the city, Darbarmarg is just a 5-10 minute walk from Thamel.
Lazimpat has designer shops, hotels, embassies and plenty of restaurants. Some of the hotels that are located in Lazimpat are Hotel Radisson, Hotel Shangri-La, The Shanker Hotel, and Hotel Ambassador. In Lazimpat, you can go from shopping for luxury ayurvedic products at Laavanya to grabbing Newari food at Votoo. Lazimpat Gallery Cafe, a popular spot for local volunteers, hosts film screenings. A stroll to Lazimpat from Thamel takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
Source: Wikipedia: Lonely Planet
Image source: Garden of Dreams
5/14/13 8:19 AM
If you’re a bit overwhelmed by rows after rows of restaurants in Thamel, the hangout spot for both locals and foreigners, don’t fret! Read Parakhi’s description of 5 diverse restaurants and pick a place to satisfy that grumbling tummy of yours.
Going on a trek soon? Work out your legs and lungs by taking the stairs up to the 7th floor rooftop. While the restaurant has seating on the floors below, being momentarily out of breath after the climb is worth the panoramic view of the mountains peeking out behind the sprawling city. Go ahead, order Helena’s mouth watering chocolate cake. You deserve it after that climb.
This Israeli run restaurant is a must for lovers of vegetarian food or those who want to give their tongue a break from spice-laden Nepali cuisine. Tucked away in an alley and up the stairs on the side of a main street, OR2K offers large heaps of colorful vegetables that will leave you feeling healthier, rejuvenated, and relaxed. Being able to stretch out your legs, thanks to the abundance of floor seating, doesn’t hurt either. Try the vegetarian sizzler or combination platter.
Fire and Ice
While many restaurants in Nepal sell pizza, very few make the real deal like Fire and Ice does. The smell of pizza cooking in the pippin’ hot oven will have your nose buds on high alert and your mouth watering. Thankfully, the torture lasts only a few minutes; with exceptionally fast service, expect to find a perfect balance of cheese, dough, and sauce on your table in no time.
Not located anywhere near Thamel’s main entrance, Anatolia is a bit hard to find. But it’s worth the search. The halal restaurant serves Indian and Turkish cuisine, as well as Chinese and Nepali—food not ordinarily associated with being halal. Stick to the Indian and Turkish fares if you want what the restaurant does best. To find out what which items to get, take advantage of the repeat customers’ knowledge by seeing what these locals are eating. Most likely they’ll be munching away on succulent kebabs and on finger lickin’ good chicken tikka masala or butter gravy.
Those who are too busy shopping for trinkets, clothes and outdoor gears to sit down for lunch, check out Sandwich Point. Its one narrow, tiny room has a counter on one side and a bench (no tables) that can accommodate less than 10 people on the other. The hole-in-the-wall is popular due to its long list of choices of delicious sandwiches. Pick a small, medium, or large sandwich and pack it with one or several of the fillings: ham, vegetables, egg, cheese, bacon, chicken, and tuna.
Image source: nepalitimes.com
5/7/13 2:29 AM
Cruise through Nepal as the country celebrates the peace ambassador Buddha’s birthday this month. The three day cycle tour, which begins on May 23, will have cyclists reach Buddha’s birthplace on his birthday on the 25th. The 275 + kilometer route starts in Kathmandu and makes it way through Kuringhat and Bardaghat before ending in Lumbini.
For more information on Tour de' Lumbini and to join the hundred people expected to partcipate, please visit http://on.fb.me/10DGkhT.
Source: Facebook - Tour de’ Lumbini Event Page
Image source: Facebook - Tour de’ Lumbini Event Page
4/17/13 11:02 PM
The Seto Machhindranath festival begins around 4pm today. The organizing committee is coordinating with the police, Scouts and Red Cross personnel to manage security during the festival. The four-day chariot procession will begin from Teen Dhara Pathsala, Jamal. The chariot procession will then travel along the narrow alleys of Ason, Indrachowk and other areas surrounding the Basantapur Durbar Square. The chariot will stay in one location for a night.
The image of Seto Machhindranath is painted white and taken up to the chariot before the procession begins. After the completion of the festival, the image of Seto Machhindranath is then returned to Machhendra Bahal temple in Basantapur. President Ram Baran Yadav will be the chief guest during the closing of the festival. The festival is celebrated by the Newar community to make the end of winter and welcome the spring season.
3/27/13 11:46 PM
Kathmandu valley residents and those residing in hilly districts celebrated the Holi, or fagu purnima, festival on March 26, 2013. People living in the Terai region celebrate the festival on March 27, 2013. People in the valley gathered in their neighborhood and smeared colored powders and water-filled balloons.
The police had tightened security this year to prevent hooliganism and other unwanted incidents.
Holi begins on the eighth day of the new moon and ends with the burning of ‘Chir’ on the full moon day. According to Hindu mythology, the demon king Hiranta Kashyapu ordered his sister Holika to kill his own son Pralhad, who was a devout follower of Lord Vishnu. Holika sat on a fire with Pralhad. Holika perished in the fire whereas Pralhad came out of the fire unharmed.
image source: myrepublica.com
news source: Republica