It is pretty normal that we plan our vacation according to the weather. In the summer we are happy to go further north or to the mountains to run away from the heat. In the winter we need to warm up our bodies, so we decide to go to the warm countries and lie by the beach. They say Asia is only for the winter.
But not if you’re a stubborn student like me, who *apparently* has too much money to spend, too much free time during the summer and is thirsty for adventure. But you gotta give me some credit. I am sure that each one of you who ever planned a trip to south-eastern Asia googled that magic phrase: ‘when to go to south-eastern Asia’. No one will blame you, I did that. And I got scared by Google and literally all my friends and family. They already knew everything about my trip, that I won’t see anything, as there will be a river falling off the sky constantly, the mosquitos will eat me alive, leeches will suck all my blood out, and I’ll basically come back sad, disappointed and miserable. Well, I will surprise you. I did not.
That is why I decided to dedicate my whole post to the advantages and disadvantages of travelling to Nepal in Monsoon season.
DISADVANTAGES (I know you can’t wait to find out what possible advantages could I find so I will keep you waiting slightly longer)
- It rains a lot. Yes, I won’t show up here and tell you the sun is up all the time and everything is dry. It is called a monsoon season for a reason. It does rain and the sky is very often overcasted, but I wouldn’t say the river will be falling down on your head all the time. You may just need a rain jacket.
- Overcasted sky. That is the one I was crying over the most. Nepal is the country of the landscapes, country of the big mountains which haunt me in my dreams, and unfortunately, there was just one single day I was able to see them (but I did see, yay!). The longer your trip is, the bigger chance you’ll catch some weather windows. But most of the time you gotta be ready for a lot of plan changes, lots of cancelled trips and very sad sunsets. One of the bigger disappointments of my trip was when we booked a morning trip to Sarangot in Pokhara, to see a sunrise. We got up at 4 am, super tired but also super excited, got ready, got down to our hotel lounge just to find out the trip was cancelled due to a heavy rain.
- Leeches and floods. As my trip was mostly an urban adventure, I didn’t meet a single leach and didn’t get flooded. Even roads to the higher villages around Kathmandu like Nagarkot weren’t bad. Yes, they were wet and muddy, but the buses didn’t seem to care. But it may definitely be a problem if you’re planning to go to Nepal for hiking or trekking.
ADVANTAGES (here we go!!)
- Everything is beautiful and colourful. The rain is not only the miserable, wet and cold curse of the world. The rain is a blessing, rain wakes up life. It makes the tea fields green, the fruit and flowers colourful. It adds the colours and life to all of Nepal.
- Fewer tourists. Gods bless no tourists. To see a white person in Kathmandu, Pokhara (even Delhi and Agra) was really rare. Which made it kinda more personal, I’d say. Just you and the culture. And millions of Asians. India and Nepal are overpopulated. There is already a LOT of people there. Buses were already full, so people were riding on the roof and on each other knees already when I was there, I can’t imagine what a mob it all may be during the peak season.
- Better smell. Let’s be honest here. No matter how beautiful the country is, the cities are filled with trash, rests of food, human and animal urine and who knows what else. And now imagine how it smells. And now add to it the incredible heat and no rain in a while. I think we both get the picture. True, Kathmandu doesn’t smell like roses during the summer either, but the rain kinda refreshes it.
- Smog. Yes, that is a huge issue down there. Lots of people In India and Nepal die from lung issues. It was bad when we were there, smog and dirt were flying in the air, making it really hard to breath whenever it wasn’t raining for a while, so we were welcoming the rain with relief. I can’t imagine how bad it must be when it is not raining for weeks there.
- Lower prices. As there is not that many tourists around that time, tours and often bus/plane/train tickets are getting cheaper. Which won’t stop anybody from trying to rip you off during the shopping so beware (if you wanna find out more about haggling in India and Nepal, visit ‘Haggling my way through India’).
I know I did not include mosquitos on that list. It is because I do not want to play an expert. Personally, I didn’t get bitten by a mosquito A SINGLE time, neither in Nepal nor India, when in both England and Poland there always will be assholes who’ll find me and steal my blood. But as we all know mosquitos are a big issue in south-eastern Asia, so if you’re going, definitely prepare for mosquitos. There’s lot of people saying MUGGA is the best anti-bug spray, you can get them for pretty cheap in Decathlon or online.
And for the end, couple more pics to convince you (if you’re not already) that Nepal is a beautiful country:
Hope you enjoyed it.