Back to Nature, Elephants, Animals
Overpriced top-end resorts, unneccesary mediocrity at the lower end
A wonderful national park, that could be made even more attractive and better protected.
During my stay in Chitwan, my friend Dukhi took me out on a 4wd safari along a route called the 20,000 lakes, or 'Bishajari Tal' to the locals. Would be a lovely route to do on a bicycle i think.The route is mostly alongside man made irrigation canals, then a couple of large lakes, some vast wetlands, and then there are opportunities to leave the...more
While in Chitwan, you must go on an Elephant safari. I think most jungle camps and lodges would all arrange one of these for you anyway. Because the Elephants move quietly through the undergrowth, and the wildlife are relatively used to seeing them, you can get very very close to most of the animals without startling them too much. Some of the...more
I was convinced by the travel agency to go rafting on my way to Chitwan. As it was hot season I'm so glad that I did! The tourist bus dropped me off about half way to Chitwan where the rafting began. We rafted 30km down the river where we tackled 3+ level rapids (pretty good for a beginner like me!). It was a fantastic experience as there were...more
This family run restaurant serves authentic Nepali food (vegetarian and non-vegetarian). I enjoyed the delicious home-cooked meals here during my 2 nights stay at Travellers jungle camp and not forgetting the Gorkha beer. A pleasant place and reasonably priced. Friendly and helpful restaurant owner. Nepali meal served with curd, curry chicken and...more
The camp have a great restaurant there. Anyone can turn up and eat in the restaurant between about 12pm and 2.30pm for lunch.Not sure on the cost to be honest, as i was staying there for several days and so was eating there anyway.Food is a combination of all sorts of things from mainly local meals, then some Indian and Chinese style dishes, to...more
There is awhole range of restaurants and riverside pubs at Sauraha, and most of them are passable and better than that. Some restaruants in the Sauraha streets are connected to Kathmandu restaurants and feature the same concepts, but lacking somewhat in style. Sauraha is very laidback. Sauraha is so small that you can easily stroll around and make...more
I suppose this tip would depend somewhat on where you are actually staying in Chitwan, as if you are in one of the villages where it is a bit noisy, i doubt you will hear as much.I stayed at the Gaida wildlife camp which is really peaceful and quiet at night, so if you have an evening with not much to do, just sit and listen.The sounds of the...more
The place I enjoyed mostly was the area and services staked out on the beach by Holy Pub. Not very distinct from the other places here at the Sauraha beach part, but I took a liking to the no-nonsense service and good people at this place. They could read you well and know when to end a friendly conversation. Very funny drinks here, but as I am not...more
Sitting and taking farewell to the sinking sun over the Chitwan jungle and Rapti river over a glass of beer and snacks is the thing to do in a holiday mood in Sauraha part of Chitwan. So nice that it is worth getting here from the resorts around only for this. Dress for the mosquitos and for the locals: keep a modest style and keep the biting...more
Just wanted to say how good the drive was from Kathmandu down to Chitwan.I would recommend driving either into or out of Chitwan as the scenery along the way is great! I hired a car and driver, and the trip took us about 5 hours with a couple of stops for photo's and a coffee.You can get the tourist buses, but i'm not sure how comfortable they are...more
After my white water rafting I had to catch a local bus from the finishing point to Chitwan. This was an experience! We were crushed onto the bus in the searing heat, but that somehow made it all the better! People were riding on top of the bus and it felt like I was finally experiencing the real Nepal.more
I caught a tourist bus to and from Kathmandu for the 6 hour bus ride to Chitwan. Although it's not airconditioned, the windows open fully and you're not melting away for the whole trip. You stop once during the trip at a rest stop with toilets and shops as well as a cool place to sit down. It's not too bad an experience and the passing views are...more
My friend Om and his wife Chunna run this shop. They're an amazing team and put so much effort into deciding what to put in their shops. Om has fluent English. I think their best products include crafts from a local woman's group, and the honey that they make themselves, and that you can try for free. There are different flavours depending on what...more
There isn't much in terms of souvenirs to be bought in Chitwan's resorts , but slightly more of interest in Sauraha's backpackers' streets. There are some local crafts and arts stuff here, but rather indistinguishable from that of Thamel og Lake Side. Very little that hints back to Tharu culture.One unique thing I found, bought and brought home was...more
Tharus are the main local people of Chitwan. Migrants from the hills have gradually been pushing the Tharus out of their traditional livelihoods and many live as destitutes. It is a fascinating people with a vibrant culture well worth looking into before going to Chitwan. There is no one comprehensive book or source of quality info on the Tharus. The most convenient option for travellers will be to buy the book by late Dor Bahadur Bista: Peoples of Nepal. Buy it in Kathmandu or Pokhara as it may not be available in Chitwan. There is a good chapter on the Tharus in this book that is well worth reading for an overview.
If you are on a visit to the Elephant breeding centre, be a little bit careful around the young elephants. The young ones are allowed to roam freely, so you are quite likely to come into direct contact with them as the fences around the stables are broken in several places. Yes, they are adorable, and it's great to get up close to them as they are...more
While in Chitwan i got a couple of leeches on my legs. I was there in winter so there were not many around, but still one or two around the rivers.Do not pull them off, use a bit of salt on them. They will soon drop off you if you sprinkle a bit of that on there back. I got the camp i was staying at to put a bit inside some folded up paper for me...more
1) Forest fires are a seasonal hazard - don't get caught in grasslands/dry forests when a fire is raging nearby.2) Malaria, dengue and kala-azaar: mosquito and sand-fly borne diseases that are really unpleasant. Take care to be dressed and oiled for the occasion.3) Bears: There are two bear types in Chitwan, of which the sloth bear is by far the...more
Entire Sauraha is more or less a tourist trap. There are few local shops and rustic local stuff - most of the outfits in Sauraha is thoroughly tourism-propelled. The quality of goods and services might be so-so, so don't jump on the first offer of service and goods for purchase.
The full-service resorts are over priced, but oh-so-nice.
Unique Suggestions: Just face it, that this is no genuine Sauraha Tharu town, but a miniature tourism machine. As it still remain small scale and friendly and liberal, it works out ok. It serves as a break from tension and stress on the road, and there is mo 5-star outfit that distances visitors to that extent from the locals.
Fun Alternatives: Try to find a local peoples tea and daal bhat eatery. It will be fun, and locals will appreciate it. Ask for locally made crafts.
I find it very useful to keep critters and dust and people out of my backpack by putting my entire backpack into a protective sack. In Chitwan, keeping odd critters out is a good idea, in fact. I use a Backpacker Pro-tective bag (lockable) for my large luggage. A smaller day pack cover keeps water and dust away from today's things for the road....more
Day pack with room for camera, guide book, binocs.Hip pack for little thingies, pen light and valuables that come handy while out and about in Sauraha and around the resort. Works well while on elephant back, too. Shoe wear that keeps thorns and grit out. Sturdy trainers and light weight hiking shoes would do.Ankle-length trousers to cover up...more
We had no idea what it was when they mentioned to us to have this elephant bath. However, it turned out to be one of our fondest memories of Chitwan NP. Not in every season it is available. Some seasons there are too many crocodiles to swim in the shallow river.First you ride on the back of an elepant (two persons maximum), the guards lead the...more
Early morning elephant rides in the heart of Royal Chitwan national park. Located at the "Terai" region (low lands) of Nepal, this place is home to the endangered one-horned rhinos and bengal tigers. Another alternative to elephant rides is to take a jeep ride. The elephant ride was a better choice since we get to roam freely with our dear elephant...more
The world elephant polo championship is held at Tiger Tops in Chitwan every year. Just a few nations make it to the finals - no wonder. This sport is beyond me and I suggest that you make use of upper-class-minded tourist brochures and internet resources to find out more....
I visited Chitwan in december, which is the winter time. I had a great stay and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my time there. However, while staying there i was told by a couple of the local guides that the best time to visit Chitwan is february/march in the spring time.The weather, although very pleasant while i was there, is just a little...more
I was told the tharu tribes living in this area have developed malaria resistance, being among the very few people with the particularly interesting feature. But with the eradication of malaria in whole Terai, population numbers have steadily increased, with people heading here from other parts of Nepal to take advantage of the mild climate and...more
If going to Chitwan independently, the book "Royal Chitwan National Park in Nepal" by Prakash A: Raj, Nabeen Publications 1995, is a good choice of companion. 65 pages of guidebook style info on places, sights and things to do in Chitwan, it's a good general guide, and is a good intro to Chitwan. It's not a souvenir or coffee table book - buy that...more