Jul 11, 2019-

Soon, it’s going to get muggy and sticky. The rains are going to pelt down and nature is going to come alive–which means it’s time to escape the capital. And escaping the city’s hustle and bustle only takes a short run to the hills. Here are the Post’s top destinations. 

Kakani

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Sitting on the fringe of Shivapuri National Park, this little village is a perfect hilltop getaway during monsoon. The roads to this little north-western town are bound to be muddy, but it’s worth a couple of hours’ driving. However, if you are game for a hike, walking from Gurje Banjyang would be a suitable way to earn the trout and strawberries awaiting you in Kakani.

There’s so much more to the wee town than fish and berries though, and a little exploration is all it takes to find out. There are canyoning and hikes galore, but–once again–relaxation is the key to staying here. 

Markhu

Where do you go if you don’t want to go to Pokhara, but you still want to enjoy some time by a lake (albeit artificial)? Markhu is the answer, and it should only take two hours by bike or car to get there.  

It’s well worth the journey, and there are treats along the way–be sure to try kafal if you’re travelling at the right time of year. What greets you once you arrive in Markhu is a beautiful lake, and plenty more edible treats. There’s the local cuisine, plenty of cheese too, thanks to a French-style goat cheese maker, and fish from the lake. 

From here one can head to Chitlang, another 45 minutes’ drive, or just hike, bike or float around the lake and enjoy its splendour. 

Chhaimale

Looking over the entire Valley from the south, Chhaimale offers a getaway in under two hours. With short hikes through local villages and forest tracks, the south-western village only has one resort for visitors to stay. 

Because of the regular flow of weekenders, it’s best to book ahead of your trip. Chhaimale Resort can be expensive, but it’s up to travellers to decide what level of luxury they wish to experience. Otherwise, at a similar distance from Kathmandu, Lele is a nice getaway too. 

Balthali

The road during monsoon, from Khopasi to Balthali, is treacherous and muddy–probably not worth trying in a jeep, but taking to the trail by foot is well worth the time. What this means, however, is a short and scenic hike to the village of Balthali. Crossing three bridges, and diving up and down a couple of small valleys, the small village does not provide much in the form of intense entertainment. 

Rather, it proffers its own brand of relaxation. Its serenity is only ever interrupted by the insects and birds singing in the nearby forests. While it is a relaxation destination, itchy feet can find solace in a walk to Ladkheshwor Mahadev Temple in the valley below.

There are three different resorts to stay at in Balthali, as well as the quaint Balthali Homestay, which is looked after by a local woman. 

Bhotechaur

It has everything Nagarkot and Dhulikhel have, but it’s better–in terms of views, activities and relaxation. 

While it’s not the season for mountain views or sunrise treks, it’s a wonderfully natural area that offers tastes of places that seem thousands of miles away. Sitting just 40km from the Capital, the beauty and serenity on offer is largely thanks to Everest Tea Estate. 

While that’s not open to visitors at the moment, the lands around the estate are relaxing. Time is not really a concept here, and it’s easy to fall into the slower pace of life, which should be welcome following a few months stuck in the city.

Published: 12-07-2019 07:30

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