Of the few who ever visit, most are drawn by the unique wild life. There are elephants, rhinoceros, crocodiles, oxen, peacocks, and even the elusive Bengal Tiger. But there are a “special” few who go for something a bit less traditional.
In the foot hills of the Himalayas exists a kind of hippie heaven. It’s a place where you live in a traditional straw hut, where fresh palm wine is served nightly and where marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms grow in abundance.
This Runaway Retreat is Bardia National Park in South West Nepal.
Although the huts are made from mud with thatched roofs, they do feature a western bed and a much needed mosquito net. There is also a proper western toilet. The best part is, the huts are only 300 Rupees or about 5$ a night.
While the room isn’t much to speak of, you’re not going to be spending too much time in it anyways. During the day you will wander across fields among wild peacocks and over countless small turquoise streams. The landscape is so pristine and mystical that if feels like a place where the Buddha might have achieved enlightenment. Check out, Bardia Kingfisher Resort for more info.
Since there are no shops for miles in all directions, you are forced to eat the hotel’s food. Fortunately, the hotel offers some pretty scrumptious local Nepalese dishes. They generally consists of a fresh egg based breakfasts and Oxen steak dinners. You will also be offered fresh palm wine.
The real draw of this retreat is the staff. Thapa or “Jack” as he goes by, is the main guide and organizer. His English is impeccable, he’s a great guy, and wants nothing more than to show you the beauty of his land.
Right before I arrived I ate some questionable chicken and got terribly sick. Jack did everything he could to help me get well again and served me traditional remedies. For his help I am forever grateful.
Things To Do
If you’re interested in exploring the jungle, Jack with take you to see Bengal Tigers, elephants, crocodiles, rhinoceros and even river dolphins. It is one of the most unique Safaris in the world and can only be experienced in this part of Nepal.
After your Safari Jack will also show you how to pick and dry wild Marijuana plants as well as magic mushrooms if you’re interested.
How To Get Here
Getting here is no easy endeavor, but it’s one of the reasons why this place is so special.
The first step is to fly to New Dheli, India. From North America, one way flights can generally be found for around 500$. At the moment you can piece together a flight on Norwegian by flying from NYC to Stockholm to Dubai and then an Indian Air Express or Saudi Air onward to New Dheli. But also be sure to check Etihad Air as they often offer specials.
From New Dheli, take a 10$ night bus to the border town of Sitarganj or Khatima. From there you need to take a 5$ taxi to the actual border. When you arrive, you have to walk one mile over a bridge before you enter Nepal.
Once in Nepal, you can get your visa for 100$ at the hut by the side of the road. The border guards consist of just four guys around a table play poker so be sure not to miss them. Then take a rickshaw into the town of Mahendranagar.
Next, you take a 5 hour bus for around 6$ to Bardia National Park. From the bus stop Jack will meet you and it’s just a half mile walk to the hotel.
Bardia National Park is a lesser known destination in Nepal but it’s one of the most unique. It’s a retreat for those who truly want to get off the beaten path. It’s a place to discover a range of wild life that you can’t even find in zoos. And it’s a place to relax, try free weed and enjoy good times with palm wine around a campfire.