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My name is Stefano Lattante and I got the opportunity to meet the team of Tourism Times Nepal in Thamel, Kathmandu where they encouraged me to write about my travel experiences while travelling around Nepal. During the days that I spent in Pokhara, I met the Pørneki’s, Danish family that, altogether, decided to come visit this wonderful country. In this interview, I collected their experience under a family’s point of view.
On holiday with the Pørneki’s
Holiday is that time of the year where all the worries and concerns are meant to be set aside. All the work problems, all the exams and assignments are left behind at home, because now it is time to discover, have fun and relax. Who deserve to get some time off from the everyday stress more than anyone else are, with no doubts, families. Indeed, especially within families, with all the stress accumulated from work, school and any other kind of activity, finding some time to spend together can turn into a real mission. What is better than getting a holiday altogether then? I had the opportunity to spend some time with the Pørneki and kids while they were travelling around Nepal. The Pørneki is a lovely Danish family composed by Jens, 48, and Ann, 49, parents of two sons, Esben, 17, and Jacob, 15, and one daughter Eline, 12. At the end of their fifteen days trip around Nepal, the Pørneki’s and I spent some time together when they treated me as a member of the family and shared their experiences and thoughts about their holiday with me, telling me how travelling in Nepal is from the personal point of view of a family.
First of all, where have you been so far?
We decided, under suggestion of one of our relatives, to plan our trip before coming here. So, we visited Kathmandu first, where we arrived, then Chitwan and, as last stop of our journey, Pokhara.
What kind of activities have you done during your holiday?
As soon as we arrived, we have immediately noticed how Nepal is full of activities that can suit everyone’s taste. The best experiences that we had so far were definitely the safari in Chitwan and paragliding in Pokhara. We spent three days in Chitwan doing safari, which was an amazing experience for us and the kids. The safari consisted on walking, going around on a jeep and paddling on a canoe. Luckily, we saw lots of different animals, among all, white rhinos, tigers, crocodiles and many colourful birds. The guides were really professional and they gave us many tips and explanation. Pokhara, on the other hand, was a great place for the family because the atmosphere was really relaxed and incredibly beautiful. There, it is where we went paragliding. It was an incredible and unique experience. While paragliding, apart from the amazing landscapes, there were eagles flying around us which made this experience even better, if it was possible.
Have you had any problems, as a family, to get around Nepal?
Our suggestion to the families that want to come here in Nepal is to hire a driver, mainly for two reasons: first of all, it would make handier and quicker going from a place to another, secondly because it allowed us to admire the incredible sceneries that the roads in Nepal give. Personally, we got pretty lucky, because our driver Pokras was really good and helped us getting around very easily.
How did you find the infrastructures in Nepal in terms of costs, cleanliness etc.?
We can’t complain at all. Everything was really affordable, making this holiday not too expensive even for a family. The only thing that we were worried about before coming here was for the food, especially for our kids. But, everywhere we went, we always found restaurants that would have given us the possibility to choose between local and western food, satisfying all the requests that our kids might have had throughout all the time we spent in Nepal.
Do you think Nepal is a place to visit also for families?
After our experience, we highly recommend families to come visiting Nepal. It is really easy to get around, during all the activities we were always followed by serious and professional guides that made us feeling safe in any occasion, even in presence of rhinos! There are also good and affordable clinics around Nepal, which, even though we haven’t needed them, it’s a relieve just knowing that in case of any possible inconvenience we wouldn’t have had to worry too much.
Why did you decide to come in Nepal?
We had relatives who came here before, so, we had a rough idea about how it would have been but mainly to show our kids another culture. Indeed, we thought that it was important for our kids to get out of Europe and experience another culture and reality. It is important that kids of their age get to know another side of the world that, otherwise, would be completely unknown for them.
Final question, would you come back in Nepal and, if you would, why?
We’d definitely love to come back one day, mainly because we had a really good experience and we have found the local people really friendly and helpful. Next time we would focus more on trekking, thing that we didn’t want to do a lot just for the age of our kids. We recommend people to come in the months of September, October and November where the sky will be clearer and to try to visit different places because, although Nepal isn’t a very big country, it has wide range of different places and environments worth visiting.
The Pørneki and their experience is a great example of how Nepal is a destination for everyone, not only for youngsters or pro- trekkers. Indeed, the ease of travelling around and planning makes Nepal the perfect place for a holiday with all the family. If the Pørneki’s experience wasn’t enough, Nepal has also recently been listed as one of the top 20 low-budget destinations in the world by Lonely Planet (see http://www.tourismnewsnepal.com/2017/04/07/lonely-planets-best-value-destinations-2017-nepal-holds-first-position/) making Nepal a great opportunity for all the family to have an unforgettable holiday.