Tuesday, February 11, 2014

10 OFFBEAT experiences in #Kathmandu you probably did not know about!

Bored of the run of the mill offers in Kathmandu? Check out this top offbeat things to do, developed by socialtours. This list is not ranked, only because it cannot be!


Suburban Kathmandu is changing quite rapidly, and with this change comes a change in profession. The suburbs which had an agricultural mainstay are now full of factories, brick kilns, restaurants, schools etc. The people who live here have also moved with the times. This trip is a walk, that looks at just that. Combine that with doing it in the southern end of the valley, its a beautiful way to spend the day and immerse in the changing face of Kathmandu.

These experiences also take you to some of the less known factories and workplaces that nepalese work in. All in all, very informative and enhances your appreciation for the average Nepali.


Ever tried making your own souvenir? Guided by a master potter, you have a chance in Thimi to do just that - enjoy the walk around this famous pottery village and then sit with the master and craft your own pot, ashtray, vase or whatever you fancy (or whatever it comes to look like). This is then fired, glazed re-fired and given back to you in about a week or so. A great gift to yourself of your own making.

Combine this with lunch at an organic farm to make it a wonderful relaxed experiential day. This organic farm supplies most of the organic produce that is supplied in Nepal. It is also experimental and has already introduced Hollunda flower ice-cream in Nepal.


No trip in Nepal is complete without eating healthy portions of Mo:Mos and Dal Bhaat. Now take the effort to learn how to cook them, take the skill home, and prepare for the perfect Nepal day/evening.

This half day activity is full of fun, and the results are tasty and makes you real proud. Plus you get to down as many momos as you want.


Walk the pristine forests of Shivapuri to this nunnery situated overlooking the valley, bath in the beautiful sunshine while enjoying a simple lunch prepared by the nuns of Nagi Gompa. Later walk over to the highly reviewed Shivapuri Heights Cottage for a coffee, or a sun-downer if you are staying there overnight.

Rest assured. you will not regret your decision to either take the hike, and/or stay overnight at Shivapuri Heights Cottage.

Follow the process of NEPALESE COFFEE - crop to cup

Unknown to many, Nepalese coffee has a great demand in the international market. Make the effort to understand how the process works in Nepal from the crop at the farmer, right unto a locally, hand brewed cup of organic coffee.

Later we visit Karma Coffee, the only coffee boutique in Nepal, which recycles everything from coffee and some more to - hang on - massage oils, scrubs, soap, lamps, fertiliser, briquettes and more. 

HIKE up to the Peaks around Kathmandu

There are very few better ways to spend the day in Kathmandu than walking in the hills that surround the valley. If you decided to go towards the south of the valley, you might even be rewarded by stunning views of the mountain ranges, from Ganesh Himal all the way to Gauri Shankar.

If you decide to do this in the famous Elephant Forests south of Kathmandu, you can enjoy a meal or an overnight at Hattiban Resort.

Cycle the Magic Marijuana Loop

If you already did not know, marijuana grows as a weed in Kathmandu. A beautiful trail near Khokana was discovered by the lead man of a rock band in Nepal, and he called it the Magic Marijuana Loop. Run by LifeCycle Nepal, and at around 10 kilometres only, this is the perfect loop for beginners to serious riders for the afternoon, offering a little bit of everything.

If you are lucky, the rockstar himself might even lead your ride.

Eat a local NEWAR snack

The fine cuisine of the Newars of Kathmandu came from the fertility of the land, which allowed them enough time to experiment with food, and indulge in the crafts. The newer food culture is refined and interesting. One of the best way to enjoy this is by eating a snack, usually consisting of more than four different varieties of food, easily a full meal in the West!

It does go down well when accompanied with some local made alcohol.


Bhaktapur has been brilliantly restored. Period. One of the best ways to experience what it might have been like several centuries ago, is the wake up real early and watch the city waking up. People go about doing duties they have been doing for centuries.

In the daytime, of course, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations and a World Heritage Site. As the tourists flock in, you will be already gone, with lasting memories!


Everybody walks the local markets in Kathmandu, but rarely do travellers see anything, except tons of people, motorcycles, cars, cycles. Take a short guided tour to see specific markets for vegetables, spices, herbs, salts, utensils, beads, nepali garments, tibetan garments, chillies, trekking supplies all within a 2 km loop in the inner city.

Your understanding of Nepal grows tenfold.

socialtours is a company based out of Kathmandu focussing on offbeat experiences that spread the tourism dollar into the economy, while being socio-culturally and environmentally sensitive.

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