Many Norwegians have over the years had unforgettable experiences of scenic beauty as tourists in Nepal and felt the generousity and friendliness of the Nepali people. An alternative guidebook to Nepal´s natural beauty, social and cultural traditions was recently launched at Litteraturhuset in Oslo. The guidebook with the title Adventures in Nepal. Discovering the country and the people, is published in the series Himalayan Travel Guides, written by Marit Bakke and Olav Myrholt, published by the Norway-Nepal Association and Himalayan Map House, with the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kathmandu.
Since there are already many guidebooks to Nepal available, the question is: Do we need still another?
- The purpose of this book is to introduce alternatives to the most popular trekking routes, and thereby contribute to spread tourism and income generation to more remote areas, the authors explained during the launch. The book contains a lot of options that the tourist does not usually think of or know about. The book should also contribute to more realistic and ´healthy´ expectations than is usually the case with tourists. Therefore the book has a thorough introduction to social, economic, political conditions as well as cultural and religios traditions. Focus on environment and sustainability is important in view of Nepal´s extreme vulnerability. The authors also said that tourists to Nepal are conscious and seek something else than the ordinary tourist packages and that the book seeks to support this trend.
This book has its obvious justification. The book contains a lot of trekking options depending on the visitor´s interest and physical fitness, as well as advices from the experienced authors on how to prepare for visiting Nepal and thereby lay the foundation for realistic expectations and a successful experience.
The number of people at the launch was an unmistakable expression of the interest for and interchange between Norwegians and Nepalis that has taken place over a long period of time. The hope is that this alternative guidebook may contribute to further strenghten the collaboration between Norway and Nepal.
Pictures and text by: Evelyn G. Hoen, freelance journalist