While the Himalayas don’t immediately call cycling to mind, Bangkok-based SpiceRoads Cycle Tours has launched an 11-day tour in Nepal that avoids strenuous cycling up hills by heading south of the mountains to the Terai lowlands and riding to Chitwan National Park, the birthplace of the Buddha at Lumbini, the Newari city of Tansen and the lakes of Pokhara.
The Wonders of Southern Nepal tour is for cyclists seeking a leisurely ride through rural Nepal while exploring the natural wonders of Chitwan and the religious heritage of Buddhism and Hinduism. The tour starts in Kathmandu and heads out of the valley and down to the tropical lowlands where the fertile rice fields are still attended to using traditional farming methods. The tour spends a day at Chitwan National Park looking for the endangered one-horned Indian rhino on elephant back. The park is teeming with wildlife and birds and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. The riding continues on the periphery of the park to the birthplace of the Buddha at Lumbini, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
The tour next heads to the Tansen, a hill station that has retained its Newari architectural style. The last stop is Pokhara, also known as the “city of seven lakes.” Here cyclists can hike and take a bike ride with the white peaks of the Annapurna range as a backdrop. The tour returns to Kathmandu by plane. On this tour, cyclists will see remote temples, medieval towns, hillside villages and protected wildlife and all are framed by the backdrop of the snow-capped peaks of the highest mountains in the world.
The Wonders of Southern Nepal tour covers 185 miles by bicycle in seven cycling days. The daily distances are not strenuous and there are many down hills. Upcoming 2012 departure dates are Oct. 20, Nov. 10 and Dec. 22. The price is $1,995 with an additional $150 for bike rental. Included is accommodation, most meals, drinks and snacks while riding. For more information, call 011 66 2-712-5305 or email email@example.com
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