Nepal is a hub of culture, history and adventure. Our volunteer programs are based in the Kathmandu Valley, amidst jaw-dropping scenery and landscapes, and are just south of the Himalayas. Apart from the incredible location you'll get to volunteer in, we wanted to share with you the top three reasons you should choose to volunteer in Nepal!
Within the Kathmandu Valley itself, there are 6 world heritage sites! The valley is home to seven monument zones which are the Durbar squares or urban centres with their palaces, temples and public spaces of the three cities of Kathmandu (Hanuman Dhoka), Patan and Bhaktapur, and the religious ensembles of Swayambhu, Bauddhanath, Pashupati and Changu Narayan.
Nepal is a cultural melting pot of Buddhism and Hinduism, which makes it so extremely interesting to see these two religions prosper in the area. The protection of these areas as UNESCO World Heritage sites has recognised the importance and uniqueness of the amalgamation of cultures. It is an exceptional experience to visit this area and see it for yourself!
To truly experience the wonders of Nepal's culture, you can take a short trip south and stay at the guesthouse at the sacred stupa at Namobuddha. It is a sacred monastery and one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites. The story goes that this site is where a young prince encountered a tigress close to starvation and unable to feed her own cubs. Overcome with compassion, the prince allowed the tigress to consume him and thereby feed her cubs. At this site, you can take a look into Buddhist and Nepalese culture, which has interwoven elements of Tibetan culture, too. This is a prime demonstration of the multi-culturalism that exists within Nepal.
The town where you'll do you volunteering with us, Dhulikhel, offers exceptional views of the Himalayas. It is one of the most frequented areas to get a glimpse at these mountains. Whether you are into outdoors or not, seeing the Himalayas and experiencing their grandeur is a bucket list tick! Unlike other areas which are popular with tourists to get a glimpse of the mountain range, Dhulikhel is a thriving town which is less tourist-y. It also offers the opportunity to experience the true culture of the Newari people, whilst also experiencing the Himalayas.
Dhulikhel makes the most of its surroundings – offering walks, bike rides, treks and the like. It is the perfect spot for those who want to be outdoors. One of the most popular activities is the mountain bike trip from Dhulikhel to Namobuddha. It takes about three hours, but it covers a vast array of Nepalese culture and landscape which is remarkable. It passes through the Kali Temple, then through the villages of Kavre and Faskot, and finally through a Tibetan monastery on the hilltop, below which one will find Namobuddha.
You can also choose to opt for our Challenges Abroad run extension trip and go on the Poon Hill Trek. Here, you can get one of the best views of the Himalayas and Mount Everest!
Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal. It is busy, loud, bustling and jampacked, but that’s exactly the appeal! It is a real step outside of what we are used to in Australia to experience something different – after all, isn’t that why you are going on this adventure?
Kathmandu offers an array of sites. Experience the culture and visit Kumari Bahal. This building is home to the Kumari, the girl who is selected to be the town’s living goddess and a living symbol of devi. This is the Hindu concept of female spiritual energy. You can go inside the building to see the magnificent three-storey courtyard which has been labelled as the most beautiful courtyard in Nepal. Whilst you cannot take photos of the Kumari when she comes out, you are most welcome to take photos of the incredible courtyard.
Other sites include the Old Town, Swayambhunath Stupa and the Garden of Dreams, plus more! Unfortunately, the earthquake in 2015 destroyed many precious monuments in Kathmandu. Nonetheless, it is still full of fun and adventure! There is still a wide range of activities to partake in and places to visit. After all, it is still the city with the highest concentration of world heritage sites!
You can sign yourself up for our Community Challenge, Health Promotion Challenge, Sustainability Challenge – or if you’re just about to finish school, why not join our Schoolies with Impact Challenge?
Nepal is robust with options. It is an extremely popular and bustling challenge hub, and our volunteers never return disappointed – just like one of our past volunteers, Henry Zhang.
“Nepal is probably one of the most beautiful countries. The mountains will just leave you in awe, every single time. Every day on the way to school and at the school, you could see the Himalayas in the background, just simply majestic. If you go on the extension trip, you will personally hike one of the treks that will let you witness the World’s tallest peaks in person”.
They are some of the most welcoming and hospitable people, Henry says.
“They really appreciate what they have and the genuine smile on their faces is such a memory to cherish. Breaking out of that ‘first world problem’ bubble and for once, really see what the other side of the world is like. See how hard these people work for much little pay and how happy they are with their life. It really does change your perspective on the world and yourself.”