If you need a break or want to have an adventurous weekend, then camping around the valley might be exactly what you are looking for. There are a few spots really close by that you might want to head to for that. Himalayan Worldwide Treks and Expeditions have packages that are complete with guides, sherpas (porters) and a cook.
Madhav Kharel, manager of the company, says that although it is possible to go camping on your own, you may not know the safe areas or the areas with safe drinking water and that it is always a good idea to take a guide even if you want to pass on the Sherpa and the cook.
Bhesh Bahadur Rai, of Kala Patthar Trekking Store, informs us that along with the complete trekking gear, they will also teach people how to pitch a tent and other basic survival necessities if asked for at the store located in Thamel. The gears you require are a tent, sleeping bag, few basic utensils, and windproof warm clothes for the mornings and evenings.
Shivapuri is Kathmandu valley’s main water source and houses 177 species of birds and numerous rare orchids. As one of the last woodland area in the valley, it is said to be alive with not just monkeys but leopards and bears as well. While in the campsite, you can attempt to locate many different species of birds as you can, while enjoying a panoramic view of the Manaslu range. You can trek up to the top and pass by the Buddhist Monastery, Nagi Gompa as well where you have the option to have lunch with the monks. Try their salted tea while you are there. After setting up camp, you can go on to explore the ethinical villages that are around the campsite and get an insight on their lifestyle, culture, religion and history.
A popular hill station for the view of the Himalayan range, you can camp here to enjoy the sunrise and sunset like never before, right in the midst of nature. The people, the flora and fauna of Nagarkot and the rural lifestyle will help you forget all of your woes and it’s waiting for you just a few miles away from the city. On a clear night, you can set up a telescope or even just use your binoculars to identify the different constellations in the sky. If you have a longer holiday, you can use this campsite as the starting point to the Helambu-Langtang trekking. After having trekked to the campsite, if you still have enough energy and feel adventurous, you can also mountain bike around the local areas and explore the hilly surroundings.
Considered a paradise for nature lovers, you can often see the tops of mountains floating on their own after their bases have been covered with a bluish haze. The mountains seen from here stretch from Mount Annapurna in the west to Mount Karolung in the east. More than 20 mountain peaks can be seen from here, and the sunrise here is spectacular. Wake up at the crack of dawn and watch the sunrise color the mountains. After this you can walk to the Kali temple, if not to pray then to admire yet another breathtaking view. After this you can take a walk towards the southern end into the old town, where there is an assembly of old Newar styled houses that are still occupied by extended families that have been living here for generations.
A historically significant place, Namo Buddha is the place where a prince sacrificed his life in order to satiate the hunger of a sick tigress and her cubs. There is a slab there, telling the entire story of Namo Buddha. The trek to Namo Buddha starts from Dhulikhel and is a very short one. After setting camp, you can explore the area. Although most people only make a day out of being at Namo Buddha, camping out here is an extremely amazing experience. People who have been here from the agency have all responded that they felt at peace when they spent a night camping there, although some were reportedly scared about the ghost of the prince still wandering about. The villages around provide a window into the life of Nepalis living in rural areas. While camped here, make sure to visit the organic vegetable farming at Phulbari, where you can also see a white washed stupa and a prayer chapel at the end of a roadway.
Nestled at the foot of Phulchowki hill, on the southeastern part of the valley, Godavari is one of the greenest places inside the valley itself. Just a few kilometers away from the main road, you can enjoy a breath of fresh air without having to hike as much as you do for the other destinations. There are lots to do around Godavari, from exploring the Botanical garden to visiting the temple a Naudaha or going to the shrine of Bishanku Narayan temple. While on your way to Godavari, take a detour at Harrisiddhi and visit the pagoda-style Bal Kumari Mandir with a sinister myth. It is said that this place was a center of a child-sacrificing cult many years ago. While here, explore the country’s second oldest brewery “Himalayan Brewery” which was established in 1983. You can almost always find a local to guide you around the brewery.