Maine Tourism

Maine is truly a scenic wonder and a place for all seasons. The overall weather conditions are a priceless advantage to Maine's year-round vacation travel industry. Maine is nicknamed "The Pine Tree State." It is attributable to the extensive pine forests covering the state. The state is noted for its wildlife, gardens, waterfalls, caves, cliffs and estuaries. Tourists can relax at one of the sandy beaches or travel around and explore the coast, mountains and woods. Or they can even board a boat and go whale and puffin watching. Maine's inland lakes and ponds make available exciting boating opportunities.

The state parks at Maine are a perennial attraction where visitors can indulge in crystal clear lakes surrounded by lush green forests. Baxter State Park, the largest of Maine's state parks, is also home to Mt. Katahdin, the highest peak in the state. Mountain climbing and hiking opportunities flourish around the park. Many of the state parks provide added amenities such as grills, picnic tables, playgrounds, restrooms, snack bars, campsites and nature trails, making them just the perfect place for a complete family outing. Maine even boasts a state park on an island that can be reached only by private boat.

The striking lighthouses and quaint fishing villages with countless bays, harbors and islands contribute to the natural splendor of the coastline. Magnificent homes which belong to the 19th century sea captains mark the seaside towns. The numerous festivals of Maine celebrate the state's rich cultural heritage. Maine has more survival reserves than any other state. Historic homes such as those of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Lucy Farnsworth are maintained as museums.

Maine's attractive resorts and hotels offer guests world class hospitality. Several seafood restaurants dot the coastline, and lobsters underline the menus in many Maine restaurants. American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, and United Airlines provide non-stop air service to and from Maine to major US cities such as Boston, Albany, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Detroit, Chicago, and Minneapolis among many others. International car rental agencies like Avis, Budget, Hertz and National offer tourists exceptional service while in Maine.



Source by Kevin Stith

Last Minute European Travel

Europe is a preferred tour destination among tourists because of its varied cultures, word famous rail journeys, the coffee and other wonderful adventures. In Europe, coffee was referred to as Satan's drink, when it was first introduced in 1615. The support of doctors led to the growth coffee houses in and around Europe.

A traveler who is new to Europe will not have difficulty in navigating roads, as it is the easy to find locations. Compared to the United States, Europe is not that vast, but the number of attractions, lure tourists to this fascinating place, each year. Europe is complete with exotic locations and amazing accommodations to make any holiday, last minute or otherwise, enjoyable and exciting.

For last minute holidays, the cost of accommodation and traveling differs. Germany is expensive compared to Spain, but cheaper in terms of accommodation. Tourists do get good discount rates for hotels and flight reservations, online.

People come to here to see and marvel at the wonders of the world. In Paris, it is the Eiffel Tower that stands 300m high. It stands out in a number of movies, educational channels, magazines, portraits and songs.

Roundtrip fares typically cost lower than normal fares. There are many low cost packages too. In the US, airfares start from $ 599 from Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco to Prague, Paris, Nice, Madrid and Barcelona. For less than $ 699 flights fly from the US to Milan, Turin, Venice, Naples and Rome. Trips to London cost less than $ 389 from the US. Due to attractive discounted schemes, they can be made cheaper. A little research on the Internet, results in the tourist grabbing very attractive offers. Auctions are also held, to lower the prices. As the Dollar is a world recognized currency, it is can easily convertible.



Source by Eddie Tobey

Tourists Flock To Discover The Amazing Sights Of Prague

After the split of Czechoslovakia in 1993, Prague was named the capital of the new Czech Republic. The city grew to be an important cultural center of Europe and is now the sixth most visited city in Europe after London, Rome, Paris, Madrid and Berlin. The city suffered significantly less damage during World War II than many other major cities in the region, allowing most of its historic architecture to stay true to form, one of the main reasons why thousands of people visit Prague every year.

Visitors to Prague have a whole host of historic attractions to take in and enjoy. Perhaps the most scenic of all is the Charles Bridge that crosses the Vltava River, connecting Prague's Old Town to the Lesser Quarter, one of Prague's oldest boroughs, with a continuous alley of 30 baroque statues lining the bridge. At night the bridge offers quiet solitude, allowing visitors to take in the beautiful view of the Vltava and the areas either side of it – a direct contrast to the hustle and bustle of the bridge during the day, as kiosk owners, street artists and musicians compete for the attentions of tourists and residents crossing the bridge.

The Old Town also features an array of stunning attractions. The original place of settlement of Prague, it was separated from the outside by a semi-circular moat and wall before the expansion of the city in the 14th century. The moat and wall were dismantled soon after and are now covered by streets. Records dating back to 1100 estimate that the Old Town Square was the site of a market every Saturday and also large military gatherings.

Visitors to the area can enjoy the sights of the medieval Astronomical Clock. The clock features an astronomical dial representing the position of the sun and the moon in the sky as well as "The Walk of the Apostles", a clockwork hourly show of figures of the Apostles and other moving sculptures. Many very reasonably priced bars, restaurants and shops can also be found in the Old Town, making it a popular destination for those who make the journey to Prague.

Perhaps the most awe inspiring sight Prague offers is Prague Castle, where Czech kings, Holy Roman emperors and the presidents of the Czech Republic have all had their offices, with the crown jewels of the Bohemia Kingdom also kept there. More impressive than the Castle itself is St. Louis Vitus Cathedral, which is contained within the Castle walls. One of, if not the most impressive examples of gothic architecture in the world, the cathedral was founded in the 14th century when the Prague bishopric was raised to archbishopric. St. Vitus Cathedral has many fascinating places for tourists to visit. From St. Wenceslas Chapel – where the relics of the saint are kept – to the tombs of many Bohemian Kings underneath the cathedral, this attraction is a treat for any history or architecture enthusiasts.

The Czech Republic has re-invented itself since since the days of Communist rule, with the country embracing tourists and much of Western culture as evidenced by the shops, restaurants and luxury hotels in Prague . Despite these changes, however, the most endearing aspect of Prague remains its history, illustrated by the stunning architecture and natural beauty of the city.



Source by Paul Mcindoe

The Baltic Gem: The Ultimate Guide for Tourists Visiting Estonia

The fascinating beaches and vineyards in France, the party-centric islands in Spain, the ancient ruins breathing the rich history of Italy, the Great Wall and Forbidden City in China are compelling attractions that distracts tourists from hidden gems like Estonia. Of course, we cannot blame people’s choices, which mostly depend on their curiosities and preferences. Furthermore, when you get the chance to explore places overseas, you want to capture as much as possible in a small time-frame so you inevitably opt for popular destinations that provide numerous possibilities. Well, since not many people know the treasures hidden in this beautiful country located in northeastern Europe, this article has the purpose to inform tourists regarding the most appealing spots in Estonia as well as provide some traveling tips in order to make the journey stress-free. Contrary to popular belief, there is more to this country than just Tallinn. Even though we completely understand tourists interest in this major city, they should also add on the list exploring the country’s wilderness.

Explore Estonia on a shoestring budget is more than possible

Estonia has numerous islands, eye-catching architecture, craft beer and delicious black bread, imposing towers, formidable walls and traditional buildings. It might sound surprising, but if you plan a trip for the weekend, you might not have enough time to cover all the wonderful places of this country so we suggest you to spend at least five days. This means that you will have to pack and carry big-sized luggage during your travel. If this situation is not to your liking, you also have the possibility to choose parcel to Estonia by contacting a reliable international shipping company.

If you benefit from a limited budget, you should rejoice because you can engage in exciting activities and get around without spending more money than initially allocated. Even more, you will see that Estonia provides low-cost eats and affordable accommodation. The main idea is that you can spend a memorable week in Estonia to explore all the hidden gems, take photos and have fun without breaking the bank. Can you ask for more? If you worry about the country not having enough attractions for a thirsty or curious tourist like you, continue reading the article to get a taste of the main ideal Estonian spots.

Strikingly beautiful spots that you cannot miss in Estonia

Since we already talked about Tallinn, we cannot overlook the Old Town, part of the UNESCO World Heritage. The old brickwork buildings, cobblestone streets and imposing churches will fascinate you within the first second. The unique architecture admired here will stay in your memory forever. However, just like we mentioned at the beginning fop the article, you have to leave the town and explore the wilderness of the country. With the bus and the ferry, getting to the biggest island in Estonia could not be easier. You can choose to spend the night there and even go on a hiking adventure. You will see castles and windmills, not to mention about acquiring information concerning the rich history behind all the constructions.



Source by John Bertnam

3 Popular Costa Rica Tourist Attractions

Costa Rica is 19,652 square miles of pure beauty and the perfect place for nature lovers to vacation. With 20 natural parks, eight biological reservoirs and protected areas, 25% of this country's land is protected. This is more than any other country in the world. Whether you enjoy water, air or land activities, or a little of each, Costa Rica will certainly not disappoint.

Water Activities

Costa Rica straddles Central America and has coastlines on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans with both black and white sand beaches that sunbathers enjoy. More active water activities you can pursue on your vacation to Costa Rica include snorkeling, deep sea diving, surfing, parasailing, kayaking, windsurfing and more.

About 300 miles off the shore of Puntarenas is Coco Island where snorkelers and deep sea divers can see colorful coral reefs, whale shark and white finned shark, as well as an abundance of other marine life. The Pacific coast locales of Esterillos, Hermosa and Marino Ballena National Park are especially popular with surfers, while swimmers prefer La Punta. The Puntarenas Estuary is excellent for water skiing, bird watching and even touring the mangrove swamps by boat.

Air Activities

No trip to Costa Rica would be complete without a canopy tour. Take an aerial tram 100 feet above the forest floor and see tree frogs, vine snakes, hundreds of bird species and even three-toed sloth. If you would rather experience the canopy face-to-face, travel tree-to-tree via zip lines. Monteverde is known for its especially beautiful canopy tours. One tourist company even has a tree-top hotel room in the canopy for those wanting to experience the jungle at night. Be sure to try out the Superman cable at Turu Ba Ri Tropical Park. This is a 3280 foot long zip line that takes tourists zooming over the canopy at 55 miles per hour.

The super adventurous can try the 200 foot free-fall bungee jump at the old Colorado River Bridge. This jump is said to have exceptional scenic views. Hot air balloon tours are available at San Carlos, which is about 20 miles East of Arenal.

Land Activities

Corcovado National Park is home to tapir, big cats and all four of Costa Rica's monkey species: the White-headed Capuchin, Mantled Howler, Geoffroy's Spider Monkey and the Central American Squirrel Monkey. This area is known for the abundance of wildlife. You are sure to see many of these animals as you hike the miles and miles of mountain trails. In the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve you will see more than 800 different species of bird, over 100 species of mammals and 2000 plant species, including orchids, as you climb the mountains and hike the trails. In addition, you can go spelunking in the caves at Venado or horseback riding or bird watching at many other protected areas in Costa Rica.

Boredom is not an option when taking a trip to Costa Rica. With so much to see and do, you will find yourself wishing you could stay longer and start making plans to return to this tropical paradise even before you board the plane to go home.



Source by Gina M Buss

Kerala Tourism – Unlimited Attractions

Kerala – God's Own Country – is recently included among the 50 top preferred destinations as ranked by National Geographic Traveler. Sandwiched between the turquoise blue Lakshadweep Sea and the state of Tamil Nadu, this green land of exotic beauty and charm has mesmerized tourists since time immemorial. Literally, 'Kerala' means – the land of 'Kera' (coconut). People believe that it was a gift of Lord Parasurama (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu).

Kerala tourism is best enjoyed with lush vegetation , serene backwaters, tranquil beaches, stunning mountains, picturesque hill stations and enchanting wildlife. Ancient forts and palaces, highly revered pilgrim centers, and colorful festivals add some extra beauty to the place. The best part about Kerala is that the naturalist branch of medicine – Ayurveda – is followed extensively here.

Prominent Attractions

Forts & Palaces The rich ancient heritage of Kerala is still preserved surgically in the beautiful forts & palaces here. Built in typical Dravidian architectural style, these monuments tell the stories of Kerala's brave hearts. Bolghatty Palace, Chendamangalam Fort, Koyikkal Palace, Mattancherry Palace and Padmanabhapuram Palace are the most frequented of all.

Backwaters When it comes to the most pleasing attraction, the serene backwaters of Kerala (formed by a huge network of 44 rivers, their territories, lakes, lagoons & canals) draw the maximum number of tourists. These are the most wonderful place to relax in God's own country. Cities like Alleppey, Cochin, Trivandrum, Kottayam, Kollam and Kumarakom are blessed with most beautiful backwaters. They take you to a journey of picturesque countryside and enchanting wildlife sanctuaries. These also form the venue for the thrilling Snake boat races.

Beaches Stretched over 580 km , the beautiful coastline of Kerala offers some of the most exotic and mesmerizing beaches in India. Dotted with lush green coconut groves, these rejuvenating beaches are the key attractions of Kerala vacations. Alleppey, Bekal Fort, Beypore, Chithari, Kovalam, Thirumullavaram and Varkala are the prominent beaches in Kerala, which offer wonderful opportunities for water sports as well.

Hill Stations Wish to experience the true bliss? Visit the lush green hills of Kerala covered with misty clouds. Most of these are known for aromatic tea and spice plants. The hill slopes here provide ample opportunity for adventure sports / activities like trekking, mountain climbing paragliding etc. Devikulam, Ponmudi, Vagamon, Idukki, Munnar, Thekkady and Wayanad are the favorite hill stations of the tourists.

Kerala Houseboats (traditional Kettuvalloms) in Kerala, measuring measuring up to 70 feet in length, are ideal to relax and rejuvenate your senses. These offer you a unique opportunity of living on waters. These are well equipped with all the modern amenities like bedrooms, attached bathrooms, carpeted flooring, kitchen, living area etc. They take you from one island to the other to let you explore the rich bio-diversity and lifestyle of the local people.

If this is not enough, you can visit the unique temples and museums of the state. Keralites are addicted to festivals and most of their fairs / festivals are organized in Hindu temples. Various art forms and dances are performed on these occasions as offers to the Gods. This way, Kerala still retains its age old glory and rich heritage. A Kerala tour is simply like a trip to a fairyland.



Source by Sanjog KR

Things to See on Your Holidays to the Virgin Islands

The Unites States Virgin Islands are the group of small islands in the Caribbean that come under the territory of United States. Basically, the islands are the geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles. The United States Virgin Islands mainly consists of three major islands. Saint Croix, Saint John and Saint Thomas and surrounded by the mirror islands. The total cover area of ​​the island is 346.36 square kilometers.

The United States Virgin Islands is a place where you can enjoy your holidays at fullest. There are several tourist destinations that you can explore and have larger than life holidaying experience. One of the top ranked places of the island is the St.. Thomas Island. This place offers many tourist attractions like Fort Christian. It is the oldest place standing structure in the Virgin Islands. This fort was built in 1671 by Danish. Now, this building is used as a government building along with a church and court house. Till 1983 this fort was used as a jail.

To come across with another historical place of the island, you can visit the Blackbeard's Castle. It is another oldest standing building of the island. Today, this place is famous restaurant and hotel. It severs great hospitality and pleasure to the visitors. To experience the beautiful scenery of St. Louis Thomas you can enjoy the Sky Ride. This is just a few hundred yards away from the cruise ship terminal. It gives you a chance to witness the best natural sight seeing from 700 feet elevated viewpoint over looking Charlotte Amalie harbor. Additionally, you can also take help of the Trail walks that allow you to have more closure look and a personal interaction with the natural beauty of the island.

For all those visitors who love shopping and like to explore different shopping paradises of the world then this place is the best for them. St. Thomas is a commercial capital of the United States Virgin Islands. To make this place a complete shopping paradise, the government has declared it a duty free zone. This means from finest jewelery to branded cloths. You will get every thing in a competitive price. It is advisable that you should carry an extra carry bag along with your as you can not stop yourself from purchasing several things.

The Unites States Virgin Islands are also famous for its amazing water sports. This place has crystal clear water, breath taking coral reefs, thousands of colorful tropical fish and the best water sports activities. If you are a fan of under water diving then this is the perfect place for you. You can get a life time experience of scuba diving here.

You can also visit the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve. This is the home of thousands of mango trees, coral reef and a submarine canyon that are surrounded by the sea.



Source by Andy Gibson

Things to Do on Holiday in Ireland

Ireland is becoming hugely popular with families looking to stay in holiday cottages and farmhouses rentals. Families come to Ireland for the world famous Guinness and the Irish people are renowned for their friendliness.

Many tourists return to Ireland year after year and use these holiday homes as a base to explore Ireland and are enchanted by some of the coastal villages and rolling hills. The Emerald Isle, Dublin, Cork and Belfast are just a few of the popular locations families come to and stay in one of the many holiday homes.

Dublin is an extremely popular capital city; tourists come here on vacation or for long weekend breaks. Many couples come here on a romantic break and choose to say in a holiday cottage or self catering apartment which is available to rent direct from the holiday home owner. Cork is another popular holiday home destination, families return to Cork year after year to stay in one of its charming country cottages.

When visiting Belfast, you must also visit Donegall Square and see City Hall. Ulster Museum has remnants from the Armada shipwreck, the Early Ireland Gallery and Irish antiquities. There is an Irish collection of about 20,000 volumes in the Linen Hall Library. Tourist can stay in large country farm house or beautiful holiday cottage and sample some of the local pubs. Crown Liquor Saloon is the most popular pub in Belfast.

There are several musical programs in the Grand Opera House. There are tropical plants like banana, sugar and coffee in the Palm House. There is a high walkway in the Tropical Ravine. The architecture of the Queen’s University is well worth a glance. Beautiful mosaics can be seen in St. Anne’s Cathedral. This is an Anglican church. Near to all of these attractions are beautiful holiday homes and self catering apartments available to rent.

There are pubs, entertainment venues, galleries and restaurants in the Golden Mile. Several murals are painted on buildings in Culturlann Macadam O’Fiaich. Murals also exist in the Fernhill house. These are regarding the Protestants who live in the Shankill district. There are forty endangered species in the Belfast Zoo. The Belfast Castle offers a comprehensive view of the city.

Another reason why families come to Ireland and stay in a rented holiday cottage or apartment is the golf. Ireland is home to more than four hundred golf courses. Players of any skill level can adjust themselves to these. These courses offer scenery, challenge, design and a unique location. In Ireland, golfing is the biggest single sport holiday enticement. Many courses are pay and play ones.

This island is a paradise for keen fishermen. The coastline extends over 3,000 miles. The riverbank is 7,000 miles. In the countryside, there are hundreds of bogs and lakes. Fishing has become an interesting activity due to low levels of pollution and moderate climate. There is a high yearly rainfall to maintain the levels of the streams, rivers, lakes and inland bogs. You can find sea trout, lake or brown, there are also fresh water fish and pike. The marine environment in Ireland is warmed by the Atlantic drift. So, it supports warm and cold water species. For sea fishing, there are more than eighty species of salt water fish. For coarse fishing, there are tench, eel, perch, rudd, roach, bream and pike. For game fishing, there are sea trout, trout and salmon. The fishermen can stay in a country cottage or farmhouse whilst on vacation in Ireland.



Source by Andy Gibson

Marmaris Holidays – Turkey

Turkey has a long Mediterranean coastline and there are many tourist resorts along the coastline. Marmalis is one of the popular ones among them. Pine clad hills provide backdrop to clear waters of Marmaris beaches, whose medley of green and blue tones is fascinating. It has a charm of exceptionally beautiful natural location. The sea is warm, crystal clear and perfect for swimming. The beaches at Marmaris are mostly crowded with sunbeds and umbrellas but there are some fabulous beaches within half an hours drive. Icmeler Beach which is a wider and a quieter beach is just 15 minutes away. Cleopatra Island is only a 20-minute boat ride; it is said that the soft white sand here was bought all the way from Egypt for Anthony and Cleopatra's honeymoon pleasures.

Marmaris is a hub from which you could have many tours to many historic sites. You can take a trip to Ephesus, about 240 km. away from Marmaris. This is probably one of the best preserved remnants of the Roman Empire; when you walk through the streets of this old city, the way people lived and the houses and buildings in which they lived and worked in the Roman Empire almost come alive. Many people find that even the likes of the Pyramids or the ruins of Pompeii will pale to insignificance beside the brilliance of Ephesus.

Go and see Parnukkale. You will never come across a unique sight like that of the so-called "Cotton Castle" at Pamukkale. The ever-flowing natural spring waters, which are so very rich in calcium, cascade down the hill; and as calcium reacts with carbon dioxide in atmosphere, it turns in chalk. These forms the famous travertines of different colors and shapes, in terrace-like forms, with pools and overhanging fascinating stalactite shapes. The ruined city of Hierapolis which dates back to 2000 BC lies buried here. The water here is good for many allergies, skin diseases, blood pressure, etc.

There are many other sites to visit such as Rhodes Island, the Ancient City of Hieropolis and the Marmaris Castle.

Marmaris is one of the most popular resorts in Turkey. It is blamed for its unending nightlife in numerous clubs and bars stretching along the coast. There are many night beach parties you could join, or there are many Turkish Belly dancer parties organized that you may fancy. There is so much you could find to enjoy in this popular and famous tourist destination you will not know how time flies.

Marmaris Palace Hotel, barely 40 km. from the Dalaman airport, is a very popular hotel. It consist of a main block of over 150 rooms and over 200 small bungalows. This hotel is set on a pine forested hillside and enjoys a private beach area next to the Turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea. All rooms have modern amenities like air-conditioning, TV, telephones, etc. The hotel has a large main swimming pool, a smaller quieter pool, a children's pool and a water slide pool with four water slides. There is also an indoor swimming pool which can be heated. Days can be sent relaxing, taking boat trips around the bay or exploring Marmaris. It has good sports facilities such as billiards, mini golf, tennis, table tennis etc .; it also has beauty center, sauna, Turkish bath, fitness center, etc on the concessions.



Source by Stuart Harris

Nepal – Travel & Food For Thought

Russian born, when I first came to Nepal, I wasn’t going to see the temples nor mountains that seem to capture the imagination of every traveler, and no, I wasn’t going for the food either. In fact, I was dragged here. You see, the first time Nepal caught me, was at the age of six, so the usual tourist highlights didn’t yet interest me. Frankly, Nepal didn’t interest me either. My mother and at the time her boyfriend were going to Nepal on vacation and to visit my aunt (mother’s sister) who had married a Nepali studying in Russia at the time. Though I do have a memory of the Nepal I saw in the 80s, it certainly didn’t leave on me as lasting an impression as the FOOD; for the little that I do remember, for the most part, had little to do with the Himalayas and Pagodas. My mother and I would later immigrate to the U.S. and I wouldn’t get a real taste of Nepali food, other than the occasional taste of achhar (a spicy Nepali pickle) or a rather “not the same” substitute Indian food, until I was 24 years old when the Nepali food, once again excited my memories and taste buds.

When I came to Nepal, this time in 2007, little had changed. My families view has been, that there was now more traffic, the cites were now more congested, but the core of Nepal remained the same. I loved it, but what did draw my attention were the tourists. Nepal certainly is more popular today, than it was then, and the flourishing tourist industry has sadly, in an effort to accommodate the Western tourist’s fear of trying anything new has obscured in my view the true taste of Nepal by making it too easy to abstain from Nepali food.

Not unlike the thousands of others that now come to Nepal to experience trekking in the Himalayas, I too ventured out to do the same. Granted, the area I was traveling through, the Annapurna Conservation Area, was the most developed trekking route in Nepal, but I was slightly put off by what I saw. The villagers that once only served traditional Nepali dishes were now offering pizza and Cesar salad among other typical Western items to accommodate the new age trekker tastes.

Maybe my views are different from most, but when I come to a country I wish to experience as much as that country has to offer. The people, sights and culture and certainly those that manage to achieve the above get a great deal of what is Nepal, yet at the same time, they are leaving just as much (pardon the pun) on the table.

I must say, that what to me is really close to fingernails on a chalk board, is the fearful tourist. I frankly fail to understand how people traveling thousands of miles to come to Nepal arrive with such fear of a bit of travelers diarrhea, which they will probably get anyway (treatable with simple over the counter medication and or over the counter antibiotics available in Nepal), that they dare not venture outside the Hyatt for a meal, all to miss out greatly. As diverse as Nepal is culturally, it is also just as diverse culinary. I think my aunt put it best, “the chances are, that the diarrhea that travelers get comes NOT from the Nepali food, but from the tourists asking a Nepali villager to prepare for them mushroom, sausage and olive pizza.”

I don’t know about you, but I trust a Nepali villager a lot more preparing what they know best and eat daily, much more than with trying to recreate Western food with intermittent refrigeration and ingredients “unnatural” to Nepal. Sadly, not everyone thinks alike, as I found myself, trekking along many dumbfounded travelers, who while on their trek, were questioning how they got the runs, after digesting a burger made from imported meat (beef or rather cows, are sacred in Nepal), swiss cheese and lettuce that got to their dining table along the same 5 day trekking route that they had just traversed. The moral of the story is, think with your brain, not just your stomach.

The issue alone, with not eating ethnic food native to an area would be of little importance had the problems associated with it been confined to frequent bathroom breaks for a passing traveler. Nepal is proud of it’s cultural heritage, terrain and scenery and especially its food but it’s the same “Eco-tourist” that comes to Nepal with notions of preserving all that is Nepal and “helping” the Nepali people (a questionable proposition as is), that is often the one seen eating the French Fires & Chicken Cesar salad for a meal totally unaware of how this affects the immediate (still largely trade based) local economy and the environment.

The extra preparation methods required in the preparation of these items certainly consumes more fuel, in an area where natural gas is often unavailable. If there is an increased demand for fossil fuels and uncommon food items, those materials have to be gathered or brought in from where available, increasing costs which eventually permeate through the whole economy.

Certainly those are not the only reasons to try Nepali food. The mere fact that it’s delicious, has a lot to do with that. With so much to try, it’s a puzzle in of itself as to why so many shy away.

Nepal sandwiched between China (Tibet) in the north and India to the south, has for thousands of years been the stopping point for travelers from both regions. With these travelers, came the food and the mixture of foreign influences along with local cuisine has created the Nepali menu but it doesn’t stop there.

If one was to visit a website dedicated to travel in Nepal, they would without doubt find there a bit on how culturally diverse Nepal is as a country, having dozens of ethnic groups, many with their own special food items.

There is the Newari, “sukuti” which is a delicious before dinner snack to have with drinks, featuring shredded dry meat (jerky), ginger, garlic, onion, tomato, salt, oil and some crushed green or red chillies for heat. Spooned out by bit into one’s hand, the dish is eaten like one would eat peanuts, or chips.

Of course, it seems that every country has it’s version of the dumpling. Called “mo-mo” in Nepal, it’s a juicy, traditionally round shaped steamed dumpling stuffed with an number of things from chicken, goat (mutton), buffalo to vegetables and potatoes. Served with a spicy side sauce the dish is a favorite among Nepalis and travelers alike and is offered at what seems to be almost every food spot.

When traveling near and around rivers, you are almost certain to run into another delicacy that if found out in the west, would give the fish and chips fierce competition. This scrumptious snack, is the “tareko matza” (bam) an eel fish, usually no larger than 25cm (though other dishes use much larger specimens) battered in spices, deep fried and eaten whole. Truthfully scary looking at first, they are irresistible after the first bite after a dip into a side sauce. The fish is such, that there are no inedible bones and the smaller specimens can be eaten as is. The larger, can be easily rid of the backbone by simply pulling apart the flaky & crunchy fish once cooked.

Served with almost all traditional Nepali meals, is the Nepali staple of Dal Bhat Tarkari. A lentil soupy broth is poured over rice and served with any number of vegetables and or in some instances some meat. Usually vegetarian in nature, the dish, high in protein (lentils), carbs and vitamins is an important source of nutrition in Nepal. The usual meal in Nepal is either Dal Bhat and any number of side dishes to spice up the meal.

Nepal, like any other country, is not short on street food, the most popular of which in this case is either samossa or panipuri. Samosa, is a pyramid shaped pastry stuffed with a spiced potato filling and deep fried. Panipuris are golf ball sized crunchy, flower based, shells that are stuffed with the same potato filling that after being dipped into a flavorful sauce are consumed whole. Those in love with corn can at any time find husks being roasted on the open fire, turning the corn exterior a sort of chard, and crunchy consistency with a softer interior within the kernels, they are rubbed with salt and crushed chillies if desired. There also “chatpate” is the mixture of beans, corn, and any number of other ingredients that are mixed with spices and lime juice and eaten from a cone shaped paper cup.

Whatever the meal, they all have something in common. Spice! Nepali cooks are fond of spices, which are more often then not just that, spicy rather than hot. Of course hot is never off the options list. The Asan colorful market in Kathmandu, is popular with tourists and photographers for the wide range of spices for sale there. From curry, fungreek, ginger powder, garlic, cumin, the precious saffron and whatever you hearts desire.

Food carries with it a lot of the answers of what a culture is like. Nepali food is no different. Within it’s tastes, textures and smells it carries history, reasons behind the Nepali daily life and many other answers if one was to simply look. There are religious festivals celebrated to welcome the monsoon season and it’s no wonder when you consider rice farming and the fact that rice is the Nepali staple. Life revolves around food, and cultures are shaped by it. If you come to Nepal, immerse yourself don’t be afraid to step out of your shell. Try the food it’s good.



Source by Demitry Majors