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  • 5 crazy ways rice is used in Nepal – A Nepali love story

    5 crazy ways rice is used in Nepal – A Nepali love story

    Rice has an important role in Nepal not just for being a food staple, but also for an array of other auspicious events. If you have ever been to Nepal, or have heard about the country, you may have a good idea about the role rice plays in the Himalayan country. Even though in many western countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, rice is not eaten as much, the majority of Nepali people still feast on the white grain everyday – and usually twice a day at that!

    To give you insight on just how important rice is culturally in Nepal, I have come up with five different ways rice is a must have staple for Nepali heritage! Without wasting any more time, let’s dive into Nepal’s Love story with rice!

    There are three different words to describe rice in Nepal:

    In the English language, we have one word for rice and it’s ‘rice’. It doesn’t matter which form it is in. From the plant, to being processed, and all the way to it being cooked, we know the white grain as being rice!

    However, that is not the case in Nepal. Whereas, in Nepali – which is the national language of Nepal – they have three different words to describe rice in its various forms. The three stand alone words are:

    importance of rice in nepal rice plant

    Dhan – Dhan is when the rice is still in plant form, or when it is still in its unprocessed state – i.e. after being thrassed and taken off the plant.

    importance of rice in nepal rice grains

    Chammal – Chammal is rice in the uncooked form. Another way to put it, is if you have ran out of extra rice at home, you would go buy fresh uncooked rice, or in Nepali, you would buy Chammal.

    importance of rice in nepal bhat

    Bhat – Anyone that has traveled to Nepal, or has had the famous Nepali dish ‘Dhal Bhat’ knows all too well about what bhat is. Bhat is the cooked or fully edible version of rice. And is what the majority of Nepali people eat at least once a day. Dhal Bhat power 24 hours!

    These are the three different words used to describe rice that is in grain form. However, the vocabulary for different types of rice, or rice in different forms has even more than just the three listed above! I told you, Nepal loves its rice!

    Rice Planting Festival / Paddy Day:

    importance of rice in nepal rice planting festival

    Rice is not only something to eat in Nepal, but something to celebrate. The rice planting festival in Nepal, has evolved from an important day for subsistence farmers, to something that attracts foreigners and tourists alike. National Paddy Day in Nepal, or राष्ट्रीय धानरोपाई दिवस, Rastriya Dhanropai Diwas, in Nepali, is a national festival that signifies the beginning of the rice planting season in the Himalayan country. 

    With the start of monsoon in Nepal each year, the country celebrates National Paddy Day, on Asar 15 – during the end of June or beginning of July. With Paddy day becoming a national holiday in Nepal in 2005, people all over the country celebrated by planting the rice seedlings in their fields that have been prepared to be rice paddies.

    Rice planting has become a significant tourist attraction in Pokhara as it allows for foreigners to get down and dirty to plant rice. What usually begins as a cultural experience, learning about how and where rice is grown, quickly turns into a mud fight. With the rice paddies full of water and fresh mud, everything quickly turns into a big mud fight with mud balls the size of snowballs getting hurled around.

    Of course, no festival in Nepal is ever complete without some food. National Paddy day in Nepal is also celebrated by feasting on ‘Dahi Chirua’ – a combination of curd and beaten rice – while everyone is covered in mud. Additionally, the day is marked with singing and dancing, as any good celebration is!

    Rice Pudding in Nepal:

    Rice Pudding, or Kheer in Nepali, is an auspicious dish that is essential for many festivals and celebrations in Nepal. From marriage ceremonies, parties, funerals, or even more specific events like Vijaya Dashami or Mata Tirtha Aunshi (Mother’s Day). Additionally, and perhaps the most famous is  during Kheer Khane Din – which literally means Rice Pudding Day – and is celebrated on Shawan 15 (end of July, early August). And as you may have guessed, the day is celebrated by eating rice pudding!

    importance of rice in nepal rice pudding

    Rice pudding day is celebrated to celebrate Shrawan which typically marks the end of the rice harvesting season. With rice freshly harvested and people’s livelihoods for the year set, they offer up rice pudding as a holy offering to the deities as well as save a little to enjoy themselves.

    Khir is also regarded as a pure food in Nepal, as it is rice cooked in milk and is usually consumed as a dessert or side dish with puri or sel roti. If you are looking to make some Rice pudding for an upcoming event, and just to enjoy yourself, here is a recipe you can follow! 

    How to make Nepali Kheer / Nepali Rice Pudding

    Here is how to make the easy and delicious dessert of Kheer! The Ingredients to make 1 cup or 240 ml of Nepali Rice Pudding are:

    Rice Pudding Ingredients:

    • Rice – 1 cup
    • Milk – 2 cups
    • Ghee – 1 tablespoon
    • Sugar – Half cup
    • Cardamom – 1 Tablespoon
    • Cashew Nuts – add to taste preference
    • Raisins – add to taste preference
    • Big Cardamom (Eliechi) – add to taste preference

    Want to learn more about some of the spices in Nepal listed above? Check out our round up of the most famous spices used while cooking in Nepal!

    Rice Pudding Cooking Directions

    Here are 9 steps to learning how to cook Nepali Rice Pudding:

    1. Soak the rice for one hour before doing anything
    2. In a heavy bottomed pot, melt and heat the ghee
    3. Fry the nuts like cashew, etc. in the ghee and put them aside
    4. In the same pot, boil the milk and add sugar to it
    5. Crush the cardamom and add it also to the milk
    6. When the milk has come to a boil and reduced a little, drain the soaked rice and add it to the pot
    7. Stir every once in a while, so the kheer doesn’t stick to the pot
    8. Cook the rice for another 25-30 minutes, until thick and creamy.
    9. Garnish with chopped nuts and serve hot or cold

    Nepali Rice Wine:

    Staying on the theme of rice inspired food, next up in Nepal’s love affair with rice is Rice Wine. Which is commonly known as Raksi or Chhyang in Nepali!

    As you may know Nepal has an array of exotic tastes and cultural foods, which blends together different types of drinks and foods, for an amazing feast! Chhayang or raksi, are a great example of this, as the alcohols are both home brews that utilize fermented rice to intoxicate their consumers. 

    importance of rice in nepal nepali rice wine, chyang
    PC: The Kathmandu Post

    These home brews are passed on from generation to generation with no hard fast recipe. Whereas the person brewing the milky white liquid has the freedom to make it a little bit stronger, or more mild depending on the occasion and who it’s for. Chhyang is an alcoholic beverage in Nepal that has taken over the world of liquor from both locals to tourists alike. With its unique aroma and color, many people are mesmerized by the experience as they digest the home brewed alcohol.

    Chhayang is not only something to have on a night out, but also during ceremonial functions as well. A relatively easy drink to brew, lots of people in Kathmandu, as well as the villages brew the drink for various occasions.

    Looking to find out more about the exotic flavors in Nepal? Check out our weirdest foods in Nepal blog, to find out if you have the stomach to eat something new! Or you can try something a little more mild with our list of best street food in Nepal!

    How to make Chyang:

    Looking to try your hand at brewing some of Nepal’s most delicious rice wine? Check out the common ingredients and recipe below:

    Rice Wine Ingredients

    The three ingredients needed to brew Chyang include:

    1. Five cups white rice (any white rice is okay except basmati, which would not work very well).
    2. The normal amount of water you would use to cook your rice.
    3. One full tablespoon of yeast mold mixture (marcha/mannapu)

    Rice Wine Brewing Directions:

    Brewing Chyang is relatively easy to do as it does not require too many steps. However, getting that perfect taste is much more difficult. Below are the seven steps to brewing Chyang at home:

    1. First you will need to soak the rice for a few hours (2-3) and then steam it (the rice should be semi-cooked).
    2. Spread the semi-cooked rice grains on a clean flat surface for some of its moisture to dry. While waiting for the rice to dry, you should break apart some of the clumps and balls of rice. Once the rice is cool to the touch, you can use your hands to make sure the rice is loose and broken apart.
    3. Grind enough marcha (yeast) to fill one full tablespoon to a fine powder.
    4. You want to cool the rice down so that there is just a little bit of warmth left. If the rice is too hot when you add the yeast, you will get sour chhyang. If the rice is too cold, it will take longer to ferment, which is okay, if you have time.
    5. Sprinkle the ground up marcha over the rice, then mix it in very well with your hands (clean hands!).
    6. Pour the rice mixture in your prepared container.
    7. Next make sure to seal the container and store it for 2-3 days until a sweet aroma is evident. 
    8. The last step is to make sure the mixture is stirred once or twice a day for about two to three weeks.

    Nepal Rice Feeding Ceremony / Nepali rice feeding ceremony

    The final rice related fact for Nepal we will highlight in this article is the Rice Feeding Ceremony or Pasni in Nepali, that babies go through. The weaning ceremony is a tradition that has been happening for centuries in Nepal, where the baby’s maternal grandfather feeds the child rice for the first time.

    The rice feeding ceremony is conducted after five months for girls, and six months for boys. Moreover, the particular date for when the event is supposed to occur is chosen by a Hindu astrologer that chooses an auspicious date based on the stars and the planets. This is typically the first big event in the young child’s life, and all of their closest relatives are invited to witness the event and celebrate with the family.

    importance of rice in nepal rice feeding ceremony
    PC: Kate Buckley

    Rice is considered an easily digestible food, and thus is one reason why the white grain is chosen. However, the other reason, as you have read about thus far, is that rice plays an important role in Nepali culture and heritage. 

    The ceremony is practiced by almost all ethnic groups in Nepal, but slightly differs depending on the religion and caste of the family. Whereas, if the baby is Gurung, Magar, Brahmin or Kshatris, they will more than likely be consuming Khir (rice pudding) as their first meal. On the other hand, if the baby’s family is Newar, the baby will have one main rice dish presented to them, as well as 84 other smaller dishes served around the main dish!

    The rice feeding ceremony has grown into a lavish event for the family. Whereas, historically, the Pasni was very traditional and smaller in size. It has not become an event where friends and colleagues can also pay their respects to the family, and shower the child with gifts, toys and new clothes. 

    However, no matter the size of the party, the Pasni is an auspicious day for the baby and the mother, as after breast feeding the child for the previous six months, the mother is now asking the gods to bless her child as they enter into the world  of solid food.

    Nepal and Rice – An evolving love story

    Nepal has a deep connection with rice, both in terms of culture and heritage. As you have seen in the five examples above, rice is used for almost everything, and represents important events in someone’s life. As time goes by and Nepal’s culture continues to evolve, we may see the emergence of different uses of rice in the country. For example, even though Paddy day in Nepal has been an important event in the country for centuries, we are now seeing it being commercialized for tourists.

    There are many other unique uses of rice in Nepal, and they will continue to grow! If you know of any other amazing or exciting ways rice is used in Nepal, let us know in the comments below! 

  • 5 of Nepal’s Best Resorts – Relax at a Luxury Hotel

    5 of Nepal’s Best Resorts – Relax at a Luxury Hotel

    There used to be a time when five star hotels in Kathmandu were considered as the only luxury resorts in Nepal. However, over the years of development and increase in tourism throughout the country, luxurious resorts have been established all over Nepal. Now, tourists no longer needs to worry about finding the the best accommodation outside of the Kathmandu valley, in places like Bhairahawa, Chitwan and even in the Forbidden Kingdom – Mustang! Nepal’s best resorts are not limited to providing only a luxury room service or food.

    Now a days, these hotels promote local activities and curate experiences to give guests the perfect lifetime experience in the Himalayan country. Moreover, as a tourist from an English speaking country, you can feel comfortable at these hotels as their Nepali staff has no issues with speaking English.

    Luxury is defined as the state of extravagant living and utmost comfort. It comes in all forms, shapes and sizes and can be experienced everywhere, especially in resorts. Whether you’re dreaming of traveling to a once-in-a-lifetime destination or looking for inspiration for an event, listed below are Nepal’s best resorts that speak of class, luxury and exclusive services. 

    1. Tiger Palace Resort, Bhairahawa

    • Tiger Palace Swimming Pool Cabana Avenue
    • Tiger Palace Deluxe Twin view 4
    • Luxury resorts in Nepal - Tiger Palace Cabana Avenue
    • Tiger Palace Villa
    • Tiger Palace Junior Suite Bathroom
    • Luxury resorts in Nepal - Tiger Palace Casino Main Floor

    Located in Bhairahawa, Tiger Palace Resort is just a 30 -minute drive from Lumbini, the birth place of Buddha. Additionally, the resort is easily accessible from Kathmandu or India, offering guests a premium and sophisticated getaway. The premises is surrounded by palm trees and truly welcomes you in an international fashion. The resort is designed by a New Zealand based architect, the resort has luxurious accommodation, leisure facilities and offers a lavish fine-dining experience, making it one of Nepal’s best resorts. 

    The resort offers diversity in regards to different accommodation options with their deluxe rooms, suites and villas. They currently have 100 luxurious rooms and two extravagant villas. This is a perfect retreat for those seeking a luxury escape from the ordinary monotonous work life! I especially like the villas, though the price tag might be too much for a few. The villas are basically like your home and are truly the “pinnacle of opulence” as the resort states. With two bedrooms, a living room, a spacious balcony and private pool access, the property has style and luxury to match every taste.

    As luxurious as it can get, you can keep up with your workout in their fitness center, relax and rejuvenate in their wellness center, get your medi and pedi done at their beauty hub or take a dip in their 25m long pool accompanied by a snack and cocktail bar at your service. 

    The resort also prepares different cuisines from around the world and also has a local restaurant dedicated to Nepali cuisine. After all, being one of the best resorts in Nepal, a traditional restaurant is probably a must at every resort. For special occasions like weddings, birthdays, or events you can book one of their main in-event spaces and mark the occasion with style and class. And of course, don’t forget to check your luck at their casino. The casino runs all games in security and complies to all the strict international standards and makes sure that every guest has a fair deal and fun night! And what better way to while away your spare time than to try your luck at the resort’s casino! If you want luxury in far away Bhairahawa, then Tiger Palace Resort is the place to be.

    2. The Pavilions Himalayas, Pokhara

    • Luxury resorts in Nepal - pavilions lake view living room
    • Nepal's best resorts - the pavilions lakeview, pokhara
    • the pavilions the farm room view, pokhara
    • Luxury resorts in Nepal - the pavilions lake view room view, pokhara
    • the pavilions the farm bed, pokhara
    • the pavilions the farm pool, pokhara
    • Luxury resorts in Nepal - the pavilions lake view villa 3, pokhara
    • Nepal's best resorts - the pavilions lakeview bath tub, pokhara
    • the pavilions the farm restaurant, pokhara
    • the pavilions the farm room 1, pokhara
    • Nepal's best resorts - the pavilions lake view villa 1, pokhara

    One-of-a-kind experience in the Himalayas, The Pavilions is nestled in a valley close to Phewa Lake and is one of the most luxurious resorts. It offers a luxurious experience in the country’s most sought after destination – Pokhara, with views of the majestic Annapurna range. 

    The resort is surrounded by verdant farmland, lush forest hills and mountains which makes you feel closer to nature. It is an eco-friendly resort, and the property was built with the call to reduce human footprint on the environment. Spread over two hectares of land and tucked beneath the hills, the resort truly exceeds your expectations with luxury and sustainability. The eco-sensitive luxury boutique resort, the resort has 14 eco-friendly luxury villas and three bedroom family cottages that were built to showcase the traditional Nepali design in a rustic ambiance put together with modern day comfort. Their “farm to table” approach lets you enjoy the fresh produce grown on their site. 

    If you’re not sure how to spend your day in the city, the resort will also help to curate your journey. They will provide you with a list of activities to do around the area, such as: farm tour, bird watching tours, cooking class and mountain biking tours. This is a great way to immerse in the city’s life and to experience new things. You can get in touch with the concierge and get everything you need with their help. 

    After a busy day in the city, you can relax and soothe your mind in their spa – Spa Svastha. They have Ayurvedic therapists and custom made signature spa products. If that’s not enough, you can stretch your body and release stress and activate your inner chakras by practicing yoga in their Himalayan Yoga Studio. Also, if you don’t want to do any of those activities and just want to chill out, you can head to their pool with phenomenal mountain views. Or head to their resort, The Pavilions Himalayas Lake View for an unforgettable experience in Pokhara. They eight tented villas that offer mesmerizing views of the landscape and lake where guests can enjoy their vacation in style. 

    Listed as one of Nepal’s Top 5 Responsible Boutique Hotels by CNN Travels, The Pavilions Himalayas is a true blend of luxury and sustainability. For a luxurious back-to-nature experience, look no further than The Pavilions Himalayas, for it is truly Nepal’s best resort.

    3. Dwarika’s Resort, Dhulikhel, Ktm

    • Dwarika's Resort Dhulikhel lobby
    • Nepal's best resorts - dwarikas-resort seating with a view
    • Luxury resorts in Nepal - Dwarika's Resort Dhulikhel
    • dwarikas resort outer seating
    • Nepal's best resorts - dwarikas resort pool dhulikhel

    Synonymous with luxury and high-end hospitality, Dwarika Hotel has already established itself as one of the best hotels in Nepal, and has attracted several Hollywood celebrities and renowned diplomats. Built to showcase Nepali architecture, guests are attracted to the authentic feel which is hard to find in many high-end hotels. Then, the Dwarika’s Group went to open one of the most sought after resorts, Dwarika’s Resort in Dhulikhel.

    With the addition of the resort in the outskirts of the Kathmandu city, Dwarika’s resort gives their clients the opportunity to escape the dust and enjoy a tranquil ambiance accompanied by the views of the majestic mountains. Let’s not forget about the hospitality that makes extensive use of Nepali traditions, culture and heritage. The resort is built on a strategic hillside with the panoramic view of the Himalayas and an ideal place to let go of time.

    You can select from their 40 residential suites that are designed for absolute comfort. The suites are inspired by the natural splendor of the Nepali heritages, and offer unprecedented beauty of Dhulikhel. All the suites are furnished with natural and local fabrics and each attention to detail gives unique personality to each of their suites. With the philosophy of living close to nature, each suite has an indoor and outdoor space. With wide windows built in all suites, wake up to the view of the Himalayas and hums of the bird and sleep under the starry sky.

    Dwarika’s Resort offers various packages, most famously their “Prakriti Bhavin” a 2 Nights-3 Days bundle at a reasonable price. Using the teachings from Vedic and Buddhist Philosophy of wellbeing, invigorate your mind, body and soul at their Pancha Kosha Himalayan Spa complete with an Ayurvedic doctor in attendance, naturopathy expert, astrology masters, Hindu priest and visiting monk. Don’t miss out on practicing yoga or meditation!

    The resort is also known for their use of organic ingredients from their farm. To experience the taste of local food, the resort offers you a walk through their farms picking your own choice of ingredients for a delicious, healthy dish of your choice, made according to your choice. They also have multi-cuisine restaurants that offer healthy, all natural meals! Enjoy a drink while you take in a 360 degree view of the valley and the Himalayan range from their Gol Lok Dham Lounge.

    Lunch and Dinner service is not exclusive to in-house guests, so walk-in clients and locals are also welcomed, provided they make prior enquiries to ensure a table is available for them. Their mission statement is to “Make a Difference through Respect, Care and Dignity”. And that’s what makes Dwarika’s Resort stand out as one of Nepal’s best resorts.

    4. Kasara Jungle Resort, Chitwan

    • Kasara deluxe villa room
    • kasara family room view
    • kasara family room
    • Kasara private pool

    A blend of nature and luxury accompanied with the wilderness of Chitwan, Kasara Jungle Resort offers luxury in the natural setting of Nepal’s prominent Chitwan National Park. The guests can connect with nature with a seamless blend of indoor and outdoor space. The resort has used natural wood, subtle shades and chic interior that adds to the unique architecture of the resort. 

    An oasis of serenity, the resort is situated on the borders of Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO Natural Heritage site. The resort offers an unprecedented experience for luxury nestled between the jungles of Chitwan. Keeping the lush and luxury in mind, Kasara’s rooms are minimalistic and exude contemporary styles that incorporate local materials and architectural heritage to create a rich experience for the guests. The resort has 35 deluxe rooms and two family rooms with a private infinity plunge pool for each room, making it a great hotel while traveling Nepal with your family

    Chitwan is full of adventure for which the resort curates experience to ensure that you have the best time while visiting the city. You can choose from a wide range of exciting activities and programs that include a trip to the Crocodile Breeding Center, jeep safari, cycling, elephant bathing, bird watching and more.

    To top it off, end the night with a magnificent dance performance by a troupe from the local Tharu community. After the day ends, guests are offered a taste of locally sourced ingredients which are cooked into exquisite cuisines to exceed your expectations. Enjoy the light breeze and peaceful atmosphere of the Park as you sit back and enjoy your drink. 

    If you think that all the drinking and activities in the open may have left a mark on your body, you need not worry! Kasara offers special treatments in their in-house spa so that you can refresh, re-energize, detox, de-stress and relax in their luxurious therapies. With ample space available, Kasara Resort can host a variety of private events and cater to the needs of their customers. From their luxurious rooms to their well guided tours, Kasara Jungle Resort sees to it that the guests enjoy every moment of their stay and feel pampered.

    5. Moksha Mustang, Mustang

    • moksha mustang bathroom
    • moksha mustang bedroom 7
    • moksha mustang lobby
    • moksha mustang room 6 view
    • Nepal's best resorts - moksha mustang spa retreat
    • Nepal's best resorts - moksha mustang spa

    Definitely a magical retreat in the heart of the Forbidden Kingdom, Mustang, Moksha is the perfect place to start your adventure in Mustang. Tucked beneath the Himalayas, the resort provides an ideal base for trekking in the surrounding area, exploring Buddhist culture or just letting go of time and admiring some of the highest peaks in the world. 

    Moksha Mustang blends perfectly into the ambience of the Forbidden Kingdom and has two options for accommodation. They have deluxe rooms with an adjoining bathroom and offer ample privacy and peace in one of the most inspiring natural landscapes in the world. All rooms are environment friendly and are designed with local sourced natural fabrics. 

    Moksha, one of Nepal’s best resorts, will also assist you to curate an experience that is unforgettable and a one-in-a-lifetime adventure in Mustang. You can enjoy the local culture and be mesmerized by the landscape offered by Mustang through different activities like horse riding, cycling, rock climbing, hiking, trekking, archery and yoga.

    The resort has a signature resort that is dedicated to Jomson, known as Dzongsam or New Fort. They say that the cafe’s name is a homage to the administrative and commercial center of Mustang district. The cafe provides organic and healthy dishes which are integrated with local produce and international flavors to also serve meaningful dishes. Their bar, Fossil Bar, provides ample space and offers a direct view of the 8,000 meter peaks! They also have a spa so you can unwind and rejuvenate after a long trek. 

    Moksha Mustang is the perfect getaway, literally in the lap of the Himalayas that offers cozy rooms, a multi-cuisine restaurant, a bar, a conference room and a library! What an ideal place to unwind and forget all your worries in Nepal’a best resort!

  • Spices in Nepal – 11 Himalayan Spices you will love!

    Spices in Nepal – 11 Himalayan Spices you will love!

    Nepal is not only rich in culture and diversity, it is also quite rich when it comes to food and spices. The cuisine in Nepal is famous for its unique and intense flavors that sneak up and kick you right in the mouth. From sizzling spicy, to being so sour that your whole face puckers, food in Nepal has it all. Of course, if you have ever traveled to Nepal and tried some of the food, or seen various food online, you may be wondering from afar, what are the main spices in Nepal they use to get these intense flavors?

    The spices from Nepal may surprise you, or they might be seasonings that you already use in your kitchen. No matter what the case is, you are probably trying to replicate that mouth watering taste that makes you go in for another bite every time you have something with some spices from Nepal. 

    To help cooks from all over the world replicate the delicious food available in Nepal, I am going to provide you with some of my favorite seasoning from my Nepali spices list! So grab your measuring cups, and get out your cutting boards, because it’s time to get cooking!

    History of Spices in Nepal:

    Not too long ago, Nepal was a fragmented country that had different isolated cities and communities, due to a lack of transportation access. With these different isolated regions throughout the country, different cuisines, and culturally specific dishes popped up all around the country. This meant that different communities had to utilize, and cook with the various spices that were available to them. 

    With different flavors relying on the availability of herbs because of transportation, or even seasonality related availability, we saw some unique dishes popping up. Take for example, some of the dishes we featured on our weirdest things to eat in Nepal blog, where we talked about eating snails, buffalo stomach lining and bone marrow, as well as lungs filled with different mixtures of flour and herbs. 

    As you may know, Nepalis are extremely resourceful and resilient and will use whatever is available to them. This helped them create some of the most intense and unique flavors all over the country. While These condiments are now widely available across the country, many cooks and restaurants are still looking to experiment and bring new flavors to the table! You can see this by checking out Nepali Chef Santosh Shah who was a finalist on Master Chef!  

    The condiments used in yesteryear and currently, are not only for developing finger licking good flavors, but also for their nutritional, textural, freshness, and health benefits they offer. In this blog I plan on providing all this information and more, so you can make the most out of all of these flavors in your kitchen!

    Without further ado, here are 11 of the most common spices from Nepal!

    1. Salt – noon – नुन

    Spices in Nepal - Salt

    Salt might be the most used seasoning in Nepal. In almost every dish you will eat, there will be some amount of salt in it. It is used so often in food, that some tourists find the food to be too salty a lot of the time in Nepal. However, when used in moderation at restaurants, you can find some of the most delicious and salty food available.

    Needless to say you will find salt in your dhal bhat, chowmein, and mo-mos, as well as other common and famous Nepali street food options. However, some of the less known dishes that have an appetizing kick of salt in them are: Laphing, chatpate, and pani puri!

    Health benefits of Salt – Noon – नुन

    Salt’s health benefits are tricky to discuss as there is a fine line between having a healthy intake of salt, and going overboard and having too much. Whereas, excessive salt intake is responsible for a rise in several non-communicable diseases including high blood pressure and cardiovascular conditions. Moreover, a recent study by WHO, Unicef and the Government of Nepal found that the most commonly used salt in the country has 50 ppm of iodine per kilo of salt, which is higher than the recommended dosage of 15 to 40 parts per million (ppm).

    That being said, if taken in moderation, salt can help with controlling blood sugar as it improves insulin sensitivity in the body. Additionally, it can help stabilize irregular heartbeats, regulate the body’s blood pressure, and prevent muscle cramps. Finally, the spice can also support thyroid functionality by reducing the circulation of stress hormones in the body, which can help the body’s kidneys pass excess acidity into the urine.

    2. Sichuan Pepper – Timmur – कालो मरिच

    Spices of Nepal Timmur

    Sichuan pepper, also called Timmur, is a unique Nepali spice that has a very unique aroma and a sharp taste. It is often mistaken as a black pepper, and comes from an entirely different family. Timmur is often used to make achaars or pickles due to its distinct flavor. However, the spice should be used in moderation so that it doesn’t overpower the dish. The pepper can either be crushed or the whole seed can be used while cooking. 

    Timmur is also used in thukpa, soups, chowmein and other meat dishes which helps to enhance the flavor with a touch of pepper and slight lemony overtones. Store the pepper in the tightly sealed container for long lasting flavor.

    Health benefits of Sichuan Pepper

    Did you know that Timmur plant’s bark, roots, leaves, fruit and seeds are also used for various purposes. The fruits, seeds and barks are exclusively used in indigenous systems of medicine. 

    Timmur provides numerous health benefits such as stimulating circulation, reducing pain, improves immunity, aids in appetites, eliminates inflammation, and maintains blood pressure. 

    3. Ginger Powder – Adhuwa ko dhulo – अधुवाको धुलो 

    Himalayan Spices from Nepal, ginger powder

    Ginger is well known worldwide, but has a special place in Nepali kitchens. With Nepal being the fourth largest ginger producer in the world in 2020, Nepal knows how to cook with the spice. It is commonly used in food, drinks as well as medicine in the country. 

    The unique and fragrant root herb, or its powdered spice version, are commonly used to make Nepali dishes more robust and tasteful. Moreover, the root herb can be ground into powder, dried, pickled and even preserved to change and enhance its flavor. In many Nepali dishes, ginger adds a lovely woody taste and aroma. However, for medicinal purposes such as when it is  in drinks like ginger tea, or when it’s fried and chewed on for sore throats, it packs significant heat and comes off as hot!

    Ginger is typically used while preparing curries, cooking vegetables, as well as while cooking meats like buffalo, chicken and even duck.

    Health benefits of Ginger Powder

    Ginger powder has a long shelf life and is easy to store. Besides being one of the common spices of Nepal, ginger powder has many benefits for your health. Majority of the Ayurvedic medicines that you find in the market will also have a hint of ginger powder in it. For many centuries, ayurveda has caused ginger root for many reasons such as digestive problems, headaches, motion sickness, relieves flu and cold. Additionally, ginger also has beauty benefits. Due to its antibacterial properties, it helps to unclog pores and kill acne-causing bacteria.

    Dried ginger powder is commonly used as spices in different curries and stews, which also helps to prevent gas in the stomach. A cup of masala tea with a mix of all the spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger powder helps to relieve common cold and sore throat.

    4. Dried Cumin Seed – Jeera ko geda – जीराको गेडा

    Nepal Spices - Dried Cumin Seeds

    Dried cumin seed is one of the most popular spices in Nepal due to its pungent yet warm fragrance. The seed is aromatic and comes with a unique bitter taste to it. Cumin seeds are finely ground and used in many curries and dishes. Whole cumin is also fused in hot oil to enhance the overall taste of the dish. Cumin seeds are packed with flavor when lightly roasted over a dry pan. Cumin is an essential part of the spice blend i.e. the garam masala. Garam masala is a common homemade spice with loads of aroma and flavor. It consists of cumin, coriander, cinnamon , cardamom, cloves and nutmeg either ground or whole. 

    Whole cumin seeds sprinkled on curries heightens the taste and is truly delicious. You can try adding cumin powder in squash, carrots or in lentils. In fact, cumin powder is like a universal powder and can be added to any traditional dish you want. It also works wonders when mixed with other spices!

    Health benefits of Dried Cumin Seed

    There have been several claimed benefits of cumin that are related to digestion, circulation and immune system. Cumin seeds contain antioxidants which help to keep your healthy cells from being attacked. Additionally, antioxidants do wonders for your skin.

    Active ingredients like anti-inflammatory properties are found in cumin and using its essential oil can reduce pain and inflammation. Cumin also helps to lower cholesterol, aid in weight loss, and boosts memory.

    5. Cinnamon Quills – Dalchini – दालचिनी

    Nepali Spices - Dalchini

    Cinnamon quills or Dalchini in Nepali is one of the oldest and most aromatic spices. The bark of the cinnamon is reddish brown and has a sharp, pungent taste of it. Cinnamon quills have more flavor as compared to ground cinnamon. Cinnamon is used either ground or whole to flavor sauces, rice, syrups, desserts and also sometimes brewed with Nepali Masala Tea. 

    Cinnamon is one of the components of the Nepali spice blend i.e. the garam masala. In Nepal, a small stick of cinnamon is chewed with cloves and cardamom after a heavy spiced meal to help freshen the palate and breath. Many cinnamon products are available in the market such as cinnamon tea and oil which are great options for baking and cooking!

    Health benefits of Cinnamon Quills

    Cinnamon has a long history both as a medicine and spice. It is not only a delicious spice of Nepal but also helps to improve the body’s health. Cinnamon works as a natural remedy for weight loss, diabetes, blood cancer, lowering cholesterol, treating heart infections, migraine allergies and more without any side effects!

    Cinnamon also contains antibacterial properties that preserves food naturally and is a great source of nutrients such as manganese, iron, fiber and calcium. To add cinnamon to your diet you can use them in savory and sweet dishes. Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon over oatmeals to replace sugar, add it to your cookies, cakes and bread for a low sugar treat yet healthy dish! 

    6. Dried coriander seeds – Sukeko dhaniya geda – सुकेको धनिया गेडा

    Spices in Nepal - Dried coriander seeds

    Just like the Timmur, coriander seeds are sweet, floral, and have a subtle hint of citrus. Coriander seeds is one of the main spices in Nepal for cooking and makes it an essential part of the garam masala. You can add coriander seeds to broths and soups to enhance the flavor. Coriander is one of the many spice blends that many Nepali homes consider as one of their main ingredients for cooking. 

    Finely ground coriander releases even more flavor and aroma. Coriander powder is used to cook curries, pickles and other dishes. If you want to enhance your dish with coriander, before grinding the seeds, soak them in cold water for a few minutes to release more aroma. Additionally, you can also toast them to release a nutty and floral flavor. You can enjoy coriander leaves pickle by crushing a few fresh coriander leaves and adding lemon and salt for flavor and making a dip for your chips! 

    Coriander leaves can also be used to garnish soups, pasta, lentils, or noodle dishes. You can also make a purée blended with peanuts, garlic, lemon juices and coconut milk to make a paste for salsa, burritos or marinades! Yum!

    Health benefits of dried coriander seeds

    Coriander is a source of dietary fiber, iron and magnesium. Their leaves are rich in Vitamin C, K and protein. Coriander has health benefits such as, lowers bad cholesterol, promotes liver functions and gut health, and also safe for diabetic patients for consumption. It also consists of anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants which helps to prevent cellular damage and fights infections. 

    The health benefits of coriander doesn’t just end there, as the coriander spice has many culinary uses as well. You can easily add coriander seeds or leaves to your diet. Whereas, it is also rich in antioxidants and promotes good health for your body and is an excellent addition to your diet!

    7. Carom seeds – Jwano –  ज्वानो

    Himalayan Spices - Carom seeds

    Carom seeds or Jwano (ju-wa-no) is a seed fruit often used cooking as a part of spice mixture. It is highly fragrant and has bitter tones to it. Also, known as bishops weed, they can be eaten raw or cooked before adding to a dish. Jwano has been used in cooking since ancient times as well as medicinal purposes and is also a part of Indian, Middle Eastern and African cooking.

    Due to its dominant flavor, jwano is used in small quantities and always booked. In Nepali and Indian cooking, the spice is a part of tempering a dish. It is a cooking process in which clarified butter is heated hot and whole spices are added and fried to create a flavorsome mixture to garnish a dish. The butter and spice mixture is then topped into lentil dishes or added as a garnish to a dish!

    If you’re cooking a dish high in fat, then adding raw or cooked jwano at the end of the recipe will work as a counterpart to the richness of the ingredients. Putting the spice ahead will mellow out the flavor and bring out a more star anise taste. If you want to use powdered carom to your recipe, then roast the seeds first, cool them out and then ground into a find powder.

    Health benefits of Carom seeds – Jwano –  ज्वानो 

    Carom seeds not only provide an amazing tasty kick to any dish they have been added to, but they are also extremely nutritious as well. Whereas, they are rich in fiber, antioxidants, as well as other essential vitamins and minerals. 

    With their great nutritional value, the Carom spice has been linked with a few different health benefits and even is used in some more traditional medicines in Nepal and India. A few of the health benefits the Carom seed has are: they help fight bacteria and fungus; they improve cholesterol levels in the body; and can even combat peptic ulcers in the stomach and relieve indigestion.

    8. Cardamom pods – Elaichi – इलैची

    Nepali Spice - Cardamom pods

    Cardamom is one of the most expensive spices in Nepal. Their aromatic sweet and spicy flavor enhances any sweet and savory dishes. Cardamom in Nepal is used to cook especially chicken curries or any meat dishes and is an important spice used in Masala Tea. 

    Each cardamom pod contains a cluster of seeds which is where it gets its distinct fragrance from. Cardamom is also used in desserts like Khee (rice pudding) which adds a unique flavor to the dish. To make the most of its aroma, it is recommended that the pods need to be separated from the seeds before starting the cooking process. This will help to increase the flavor of the dish and also will have an aromatic smell when blended with all the spices. However, after cooking the shell can be discarded. 

    Health benefits of Cardamom pods

    The seeds, oils and any extract of cardamom are thought to have excellent medicinal properties and have been used in traditional medicine practices for centuries. 

    Like any other spices, cardamom also has antioxidant and diuretic properties which helps to lower blood pressure. It also contains anti-inflammatory effects that protects the body from chronic diseases. Cardamom also helps with digestive problems, prevents bad breath and cavities, treats infections and lowers body sugar levels. Adding cardamom to your cooking is one of the safe and effective ways to improve your health. You can also take a cardamom supplement which may provide benefits however only under the supervision of a doctor.

    9. Bay leaves – Tejpatta – तेजपत्ता

    Spices from Nepal - Bay leaves

    Bay leaves are also one of the staple spices of Nepali cooking. It is an aromatic leaf and can be used in a fresh, dried or ground form. Bay leaves are used to cook in many curries and helps to balance the overpowering flavor of the dish. The pleasant smell of the leaves also enhances the palate and makes the dish rich and delicious!

    The leaves are usually used in slow-cooking recipes such as soups, stews, and sauces. They are also slightly sautéed for all kinds of meat and fish curries, savory rice dishes, lentils and vegetables. They are usually removed before serving the dish. Bay leaves are also one of the important spice ingredients of the garam masala.

    Health benefits of Bay leaves

    Bay leaf is a commonly used spice to flavor meat dishes and soups due to its herbal and light flavor. A humble pack of bay leaves actually is packed with a lot of health benefits. Bay leaves help to increase the amount of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants in a dish. 

    Bay leaves are a good source of vitamins like A, B6 and C and are known to support a healthy immune system. They also help to ease an upset stomach and the aromatic bay leaf tea also helps to relieve stuffy noses and treat migraines. 

    10. Cloves – Lwang – ल्वांग

    Spices in Nepal - Cloves

    In Sanskrit, cloves are called “deva kusuma” meaning “the flower of the gods” or an “auspicious bud.” Clove is a flower that looks like a bud which is dried and highly aromatic. It is a sweet-smelling spice that is used in many cuisines in Nepal as well as blended with many other spices, i.e. the garam masala. Cloves are one of the most important Nepali spices used both for culinary and medicinal purposes. 

    Whole cloves can be added when cooking meat, stews, curries or for even making mulled wine and dessert (but rarely in Nepali cuisine). When gently sautéed, the spice swells and releases a pleasant fragrance. Aside from cooking, cloves are also used as a mouth freshner. 

    This multipurpose spice can not only be used for cooking curries, but also for seasoning pot roasts, adding flavor to hot beverages and even bringing a spicy warmth to cakes and cookies!

    Health benefits of Cloves

    Cloves are sweet and aromatic but also have medicinal value. They contain fiber, vitamins and minerals that provide important nutrients to the body. Additionally, they are high in antioxidants, antibacterial properties and improve liver health. They also promote healthier bones, reduce stomach ulcers, and may help to regular blood sugar.

    Cloves have many health benefits including keeping blood sugar in check and blocking the growth of bacteria. You can incorporate a few servings of cloves into your meals. Finely ground clove powder can be used into many dishes as they welcome warm, distinctive flavors to your food. Additionally, you can also make a soothing cup of clove tea once a while!

    11. Dried chilies – Sukeko khursani – सुकेको खुर्सानी

    Himalayan Spices - Dried chilies

    Dried chilies are one of the important spices that is very popular in Nepali home cooking. The dried chilies are either used by frying them up quickly to add spices to the dish, or are used to make pickles. These dried chilies are also finely ground to make a chili powder or chili flakes that can be used in different dishes. 

    Dried chilies have a distinct spiciness to it and despite the hot flavor it adds a subtle spicy yet rich flavor to the dish. Variety of ground chilies can be found in the market and are used in a wide range of pickles, chutneys, sauces and pastes. 

    Nepali people love spicy food and like to experiment more than just bland food. No offense to all the exotic and mouth-watering cuisines out there! Chilies are mainly used as spice and can be dried, cooked or eaten just like that. Chilies don’t have a specific recipe, so you can incorporate it and experience its spiciness however you like. They are rich in minerals and vitamins and since it’s eaten in less quantity, it helps to balance out your nutrient intake. 

    Health benefits of dried chilies

    Dried chilies contain Vitamin C, B6 and provitamin A beta-carotene. However, that doesn’t mean to consume large quantities of chilies, as the amount of Vitamin C is significantly present. It may sound unbelievable but chilies have a lot of health benefits. It helps to keep your digestive system healthy, minimizes cholesterol, has cardiovascular benefits, improves your metabolism, fights with cold and flu. Also, they have anti-inflammatory properties which helps to fight inflammation and acts as natural pain relief.

    All that being said, try incorporating a bit of spiciness to your meal. As you can see a little burn on your tongue can go a long way for your health! 

    Spices in Nepal – The complete dish

    If you have ever visited Nepal, or have been to a Nepali restaurant where you live, you know about the bouquet of spices Nepali food has. With flavors darting across your tongue, you may find yourself craving more and more of the cuisine from the Himalayan country. With a diverse and rich heritage, Nepali food has evolved into a unique and tasty experience.

    The 11 famous spices in Nepal listed above, are widely available in the country, as well as abroad in places like the United States, the United Kingdom, and of course Asia. Although you can find countless videos online to learn how to make some of Nepal’s best food dishes, nothing can beat the authentic taste of the dishes cooked by Nepalis themselves. If you get the chance to visit Nepal to treat your mouth to a tantalizing experience, make sure to check out our other resources covering traditional foods in Nepal

  • 3 Best Hiking Boots for Women with Flat Feet

    3 Best Hiking Boots for Women with Flat Feet

    If you’re into hiking you know it’s a great way to exercise and enjoy all the beauty that nature has to offer. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner there’s one very important gear that should be your number one priority. And this important gear that needs to be in your checklist is your hiking boots. Since your mode of transportation is your own two feet, you need to get the best hiking boots that will protect and support your feet at all times. 

    Hiking boots are very crucial when planning a hike as it’s what supports and safeguards your feet. They even offer additional support when you carry heavy loads. As such it’s very important to invest in the best hiking boots as the weight of your body rests on your soles. To make it easier for you, I’ve come up with a list of the best hiking boots for women so that you can enjoy your hiking adventure without any worries.

    If you’re looking to buy hiking shoes for your partner too, head on to Best Flat Feet Hiking Boots for Men and find his ideal pair!

    Best Flat Feet Hiking Boots: Quick facts 

    The table below summarizes some quick facts about each of my three top boots for the adventure girl in you!

    Hiking BootPriceCategoryWeightUpper Material
    Merrell Moab II Mid Waterproof Hiking BootUSD $145Lightweight boot1.96 lbsLeather / Mesh
    Keen Women’s Voyageur Hiking ShoeUSD $145Lightweight Support – Trail Hiking Shoe1 lbsLeather/ Performance mesh
    Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus WaterproofUSD $89Lightweight Hiking shoe1.75 lbsLeather/ Suede/ Mesh

    Best hiking boots for Women with Flat Feet

    1. Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

    • merrell moab 2 mid WP women's boots
    • merrell moab 2 WP women's hiking bootback sole
    • merrell moab 2 women's hiking boot sole

    Merrell’s Moab 2 has been one the best hiking boots of the brand and this version of the women’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof is no exception. However, they seem to not be as durable as some other hiking boots but they are fit for moderate day hikes. The Moab 2 Mid WP is simple, supportive and has a comfortable design. I like how they give extra room around the toe box that increases comfort especially for people with wider feet. The Vibram sole gives decent traction, but the boot falls short when it comes to water resistance and durability.

    These boots are well-padded and provide a lot of comfort while remaining light weight on the foot. Like the tongue padding that offers tremendous comfort for the ankle and top of the foot. The footbed and ultra-cushioned midsole design also helps to increase the comfort of the boots while walking on uneven terrain. 

    Though the upper mesh material offers waterproof technology, I feel that it could be better. However, despite the low ankle height they still managed to keep my feet dry. Adding more to the mesh design of the boot, durability is another factor of the boot’s design that is worth questioning. The sides of the box where the toe box is located has the most mesh and can be prone to being blown out. Also, the lacing systems use mesh and fabric instead of leather, which detracts from durability. 

    They offer well-padded comfort for the ankle, heels and the foot and would foot a wide range of foot shapes. The boots are easily breathable and have sufficient grip for different types of terrain. There is nothing special about these boots however their simple design and consistency makes them a strong choice.

    A few notable features, as well as pros and cons for the Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot are as follow:

    FeaturesProsConsPrice (USD)
    M Select DRY: Seals out water and allows moisture to escape so that your feet stays feet when you’re one the move

    VIBRAM: Has high-performance rubber sole with unparalleled durability, stability and slip resistance offering confidence on your feetAir

    – Cushion: Targeted heel cushioning improves overall comfort by reducing stress on your foot with each step
    – Waterproof membrane seals our waters and lets moisture escape
    – Protective toe cap
    Breathable mesh lining
    – Kinetic Fit ADVANCED removable contoured sole
    – Air cushions in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability
    – Lightweight EVA foam midsole for comfort and stability
    – Works well for both beginners and experienced hikers
    – Lacing system is not the most durable 
    – Though it is said waterproof, there are some instances where water can enter through the boots after prolonged use
    – Not sufficient underfoot support who require additional stability
    – Due to lack of flexibility, adds a lot of pressure in the heel area
    – Sizes running a little big
    USD $145

    Weight & Dimensions:

    • Weight: 1.96 lbs. (size 7.5)
    • Width options: Regular, Wide

    Colors Available:

    • Granite
    • Brindle
    • Boulder/ Blush
    • Bungee Cord

    Should You Buy the Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof?

    Looking at this overall performance, the Merrell Moab 2 Mid is actually a great hiking boot. Although these boots have its downsides, they are simple, comfortable and offer lots of room for people with wider feet. They also provide substantial support in the underfoot, heel, and ankle as they have supportive, air-cushioned, contoured and EVA sole. However, I found them to be slightly heavier and less durable than boots of similar weight. 

    The boots sole support also seemed to be slightly weak and felt like that I needed to constantly be aware of my steps. Having said that, the Moab 2 Mid does have a lightweight feel to it and is an affordable option for those that want to stick to a limited budget. This boot is an amazing option for people that are new to hiking or want to avoid all the additional process of boot-purchasing. The design of the boots keep particles at bay and the breathable lining protects against odors. The sole also comes with an anti microbial solution feature! Pretty good for an agreeable price!

    2. KEEN Women’s Voyageur Hiking Shoe

    • KEEN voyageur womens hiking boot
    • KEEN voyageur womens hiking boot sideview
    • KEEN voyageur womens hiking boot sole

    Are you looking for a hiking shoe that is perfect for hot, dry weather? Well, KEEN Voyageur is the shoe for you. They have breathable mesh construction and are lightweight, however, they don’t have sufficient cushioning or support as compared to other hiking boots. The Keen Voyageur has water resistant leather and upper material is mesh, a dual density EVA midsole, and non-marking rubber sole with 4mm lugs. 

    The Voyageur is a classic hiking boot and offers great traction. KEEN’s footwear has a reputation for having a wide cut on the side and stayed true to their style. This fits ideal for women with wide feet, but can be an issue for women with narrow feet. I have smaller feet and wasn’t comfortable with the extra space for my feet, but what is not comfortable for me could actually be a best fit for someone else! However, I found the cushion under the forefoot was not enough and that was a problem by the end of a four-mile hike. I could feel every pebble and stones and wished there was an extra cushion underfoot. Also, my feet kept sliding around due to the wider cut in the front.

    This shoe is ideal for light day hikes but for heavier backpacks I would prefer to get a stiffer sole and provide an overall support for my feet. The lugs on the soles offer great traction on moderate terrain, however, they aren’t the shoes with the best grip but they work pretty well for loose dirt trails and low angle scrambling.

    Overall, the KEEN Voyageur is a sturdy and durable hiking boots. I love the extra rubber on the tie that makes the boot functional and holds up to as much toe-stubbing. 

    However, a few great features, as well as pros and cons for the KEEN’s Voyageur Hiking Boot are as follows:

    FeaturesProsConsPrice (USD)
    – Cleansport NXT for natural odor control4mm multi-dimensional lugs
    Contoured heel lockTorsion stability ESS shank
    Metatomical Footbed Design: This internal support mechanism is anatomically engineered to provide arch support and cradle the natural contours of the foot
    – Water resistant leather and mesh upper

    – Non-marking rubber outsole
    – Dual density compression molded EVA midsole
    – Mesh lining
    – Removable metatomical dual density EVA footbed
    – Proficient ventilation
    – Not waterproof
    – The traction is not sticky enough for difficult terrain
    – Arch may not provide enough support for some
    – EVA foam on the sole is more susceptible to wear-and-tear than the rubber
    $145

    Weight & Dimensions:

    • Weight: 1 lb (size 7)
    • Width options: Normal/ Wide

    Colors Available:

    • Brindle/ Alaskan Blue

    Should You Buy the Keen Voyageur Hiking Shoe?

    Overall, if you’re looking for hiking shoes rather than hiking boots then Keen Voyageur is your shoe. The mesh and leather shoe makes the shoe very comfortable and breathable and sufficient stability for uneasy terrain. However, their water-resistant upper materials aren’t fully proof, which means it’s okay to walk around in light rain and dewy grass. But once the shoe is submerged in water, you have less than a minute until the shoe is completely soaked inside. This was a deal-breaker for me as I hiked in the Himalayas and had to cross wet paths a lot. However, if you’re hiking in dry climates then a non-waterproof shoes is a great option. They tend to be more breathable compared to a shoe with a waterproof lining. 

    The shoe definitely didn’t work out for me but that doesn’t mean it won’t work out for you. It still has great applications like better ventilation, wide toe room, and good foot bed design. And in fact, if you live around drier regions and have wide feet, these just might be the shoe for you. As the saying goes, if the shoes fit then wear it!

    3. Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped

    • Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Amped Hiking Boot
    • Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Amped Hiking Boot back view
    • Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Amped Hiking Boot sole

    Out of all the boots, Columbia Newton Ridge ticked all the boxes for comfort, water resistance and weight. Whether you’re wearing these boots for shorter hikes or long outings, these boots are super comfy. The boot outshines all the other boots when it comes to comfort. Though the design makes it look a bit tough and stiff with all the leather, these are the one of the most comfortable boots I have worn. A lot of people complained that on longer hikes, the Newton Ridge did not perform as well, but it was good for me. 

    Regarding the support, the Newton Ridge is decent but not phenomenal. When I bent the boot, it did not hold its shape which means the boot is flexible and thus less supportive, however, it has a decent amount of flexibility in the forefoot. 

    The Omni-Grip rubber soles provide great traction on moderate rocky trailers e but don’t perform well on technical hikes. Since these boots are designed for moderate hikes, they are slightly slippery on granite slabs. Despite all the small missed details, the boot’s upper seams surprised me. Though the upper part is entirely one piece of leather, the boots were 100% waterproof and seam-sealed. These shoes are perfect for rainy hikes and puddles and keeps your feet dry, however, water will start to leak if fully submerged in water. 

    Overall, the leather of the upper part of the shoes are durable. Out of the two hiking boots mentioned above, the Newton Ridge are the ones I’ve worn the most. The boot also showed very less sign of wear and tear, none of the seams have come off and soles are intact. These boots are perfect for normal to moderate hikes!

    Here are a few great features, as well as pros and cons for the Newton Ridge Plus Boot:

    FeaturesProsConsPrice (USD)
    – Advanced Technology: Features lightweight, durable midsole for long lasting comfort, superior cushioning, and high energy return as well as an advanced traction rubber sole for slip-free movement on rough ground.
    – Handy Features: Waterproof full-grain leather and mesh bootie construction and its durable mesh tongue for breathability.
    – Adjustable Features: Features a lace-up closure for an adjustable, secure fit.
    – Feminine Style: Delivers style and durability with its contrasting color combinations and soft mesh exterior.
    – Omni-Grip: This multi-terrain traction system matches specially formulated compounds and treads to specific environments. A dual-zone winter tread pattern ensures solid footing on surfaces such as ice and snow.
    – Comfortable sole
    – Good for plantar fasciitis, even on very long hikes
    – Good looking and lightweight
    – Good support for the arch and ankle ventilation
    – Lightweight
    – Super comfortable
    – They require a break-in period
    – Laces are short
    – Not a lot of traction on the heavy-duty trails
    – Lacks support underfoot
    $89

    Weight & Dimensions:

    • Weight: 1.75 lbs (size 7.5)
    • Width options: Regular/ Wide

    Colors Available:

    • Elk/ River Blue
    • Quarry/ Cool Wave
    • Light Brown/ Cyber Purple
    • Black/ Poppy Red
    • Cordovan/ Crown Jewel
    • Charcoal/ Scorched Coral

    Should You Buy the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Amped?

    Honestly, i think the price is hard to beat for an ankle-high, waterproof leather hiking boot. They are not only comfortable but has a stylish look as well. These classic boot is perfect for all the ladies out there who love a little bit of adventure. These boots are lightweight and extremely durable. These waterproof boots are also constructed with a lightweight cushioned middle and non-marking traction rubber that offers sufficient support on different levels of terrains.

    The reason why I chose the Newton Ridge is because along with properly ventilated and water proof seals they have a high-performance boost and advanced traction that make stability and grip great while hiking. The rubber outsole makes an excellent choice for cushioned ankle support, which makes it a perfect fit for both beginners and advanced hikers. The adjustable lacing hardware also offers a custom fit! And hey these boots are equally suited for cut walks and gyms! So, go get them now!

    If you’re still struggling you select the ideal pair of boots, read the How to Choose Hiking Boots and find the perfect pair for your feet!

  • 9 Famous Temples in Nepal – Experience the Powerful Culture

    9 Famous Temples in Nepal – Experience the Powerful Culture

    Nepal is rich in heritage and culture, with temples, shrines and monasteries doting the country. From the Terai in the south to the Himalayas in the north, you can find a temple around every corner. Take for example, Kathmandu, which is rightfully known as the ‘City of Temples’. Many of the locals joke that you can’t travel more than 100 meters without passing a temple or shrine! With so many important temples throughout the country, how will you ever know which ones are the most famous temples in Nepal?

    As a tourist, you may not understand all the intricacies of Hinduism and Buddhism. However, I know that is not going to stop you from wanting to visit some of the most awe inspiring temples in South Asia. With temples dating back centuries, the architecture and design of these temples opens a window to the past. Built out of stone, metal, brick and wood, the temples scattered across the country are a testament to the creativeness of Nepalis.

    This article will look at 9 of the most famous temples in Nepal, and discuss their importance and history. The 9 temples that are the most well known in Nepal are:

    1. Pashupatinath Temple – Famous Temples in Nepal:

    Pashupatinath - Historic Hindu temple

    Pashupatinath Temple (in Nepali: श्री पशुपतिनाथ मन्दिर) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Pashupati, and is located in Kathmandu, Nepal. Pashupati is a Hindu deity and an incarnation of the Hindu god Shiva as the “lord of the animals”. Moreover, the Hindu deity Pashupati, is mainly worshiped in Nepal and India, and is the national deity of Nepal.

    Pashupatinath temple’s exact construction date is unknown but the current form was constructed in 1692 CE. Current form is also an intricate and extensive collection of ever sprawling temples, ashrams, images and inscriptions that have been erected over the centuries. Additionally, the extensive Hindu temple precinct that encompasses the area was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, making it one of the seven monument groups in UNESCO’s designation of the Kathmandu Valley.

    Pashupatinath temple, one of the most famous temples in Nepal, resides along the sacred Bagmati river, in Kathmandu. Although the main temple is closed off to non-Hindus, visitors and tourists alike can venture around the premises and take in the rest of the temples in the area. To enter the premises, a ticket is needed which costs NPR 1,000. 

    A main attraction that attracts a significant number of both locals and tourists, is the Aarati. The Aarati, or the daily ritual worship and offering of prayers by the priests at the temple, draws in a crowd every night. Whereas, the evening rituals are by far the most popular and are performed by priests and accompanied by a band singing hymns in praise of god, music being played on classical instruments, the chanting of Vedic mantras, ringing of bells, burning of incense, and the lighting of oil lamps.

    2. Mayadevi Temple:

    Mayadevi - Famous Temples in Nepal

    The Mayadevi Temple is at the heart of Lumbini in Rupandehi, and is the main attraction in the Sacred Garden and the overall Lumbini Development Trust compound. Mayadevi Temple, named after Lord Sakyamuni Buddha’s mother, is where she gave birth to the Buddha over 2,500 years ago! The temple, which is one of the most famous temples in Nepal, welcomes tens of thousands visitors each year, who enter the grounds to see the birth spot of the Buddha. 

    Buddha’s birth spot is marked by the marker stone which is visible to all religious visitors and tourists alike. Additionally, the temple houses the Nativity Sculpture and the structural ruins of past Mayadevi Temples which date back to as early as the Asoka period. Whereas, when Emperor Ashoka visited Lumbini in 249 century BC, he built a platform using burnt bricks to safeguard the Marker Stone and the Nativity Tree under which Mayadevi gave birth to Prince Siddhartha. 

    Over the centuries, various temples have been erected to protect and pay respect to the Buddha. Although an important aspect of Buddhist culture, the memory began to fade away, and it wasn’t until 1896 when the temple was rediscovered by General Khadga Shamsher and Dr. Anton Fuhrer. With reference to the Ashoka pillar, the two were able to confirm that the area was indeed the birthplace of Buddha, and in 1939 Keshar Shumsher excavated the mound of early Mayadevi Temple and reconstructed the famous temple. The present day Mayadevi Temple was rebuilt in 2003 by Lumbini Development Trust.

    The structural ruins inside Mayadevi Temple date back to the 6th century BC and all the way up to the 15th century AD. The ruins of the past temples consist of 5 rows running east to west and 3 rows running north to south, making up 15 total box chambers. Moreover, the inner structure was surrounded by an outer wall.

    Finally, during a recent archaeological excavation from 2010 to 2013 AD, uncovered a timber shrine dating back to 6th century BC. Furthermore, they unearthed a pre-Mauryan brick structure suggesting that the first Mayadevi Temple was built immediately after the Mahaparinirvana of Lord Sakyamuni Buddha in Lumbini.

    3. Manakamana Temple

    Manakamana - Famous Temples in Nepal

    Manakamana Temple is another auspicious and famous temple in Nepal which is located in Gorkha district, about 140 km west of Kathmandu. Perched on the hilltop about 1,300 meters above sea level, the historic temple can be reached by a 10 minute cable car ride (first of three cable cars in Nepal, with the latest cable car being built in Pokhara). Or you can decide to hike to the top to see Manakamana Temple, which will take about four hours.

    The temple is the sacred place of the Hindu Goddess Bhagwati, who is an incarnation of Parvati. One reason the temple is so famous is because of the belief that if a visitor makes a wish at the temple, it will be fulfilled. This belief can even be seen in the temple’s name: Manakamana, which can be broken down into two Nepali words. Whereas, ‘Mana’ or ‘Maan’ means heart, and ‘Kamana’ means wish. In order for your wish to be grated you should pay your respect to the Goddess of the famous temple. One of the following should be provided amongst the offerings:

    1. Abiir (vermillion)
    2. Kesar badam (pure saffron and almond )
    3. Flowers and leaves
    4. Dhup (incense)
    5. Diyo (oil lamp)
    6. Bastra (Cloth, usually in red as it is considered auspicious)
    7. Fruit and foods such as coconuts and sweet desserts
    8. Bell
    9. Betel nut and jannai (sacred thread)
    10. Anna, grain (rice)
    11. saubhagya (red cloth, Chura, pota, etc.)

    As for the famous temple, the beautiful architecture attracts Hindus and non-Hindus alike. The temple is constructed in a four storied traditional Nepalese pagoda style, and features an ambulatory (or covered walkway) around the outside of the temple. Moreover, the entire Manakamana temple ground spans over 7,659 ropani, or 3.8930 sq. km of land. The temple has been reconstructed a few times due to earthquakes, and is currently made out of limestone, surkhi, bricks and wood, and the roof, the door, the finial, and windows are all gold-plated with 14 kilograms of gold.

    Just remember, after visiting the temple, and making your wish, once it has been granted, you must return to Manakamana and display your gratitude to the Goddess Devi. However, make sure to note that if you are a non-Hindu, you won’t be able to enter the temple to worship the Devi, and will have to enjoy the temple and it’s greatness from the outside.

    4. Muktinath – Famous Temples in Nepal

    Muktinath - Famous temples in Nepal

    Nepal has plenty of famous temples, and Muktinath Temple is definitely one of them. Located in the Muktinath Valley at the foothills of the snow-covered Thorong La mountain pass in Mustang, Nepal. At an elevation of 3,710 meters above sea level, the pagoda style temple is one of the world’s highest temples. 

    Muktinath, is a temple for Vishnu, and is sacred among both Hindus and Buddhists. Moreover, it is one of the 24 tantric places on earth, according to Tibetan Buddhist culture, the temple is regarded as one of the most sacred areas in Nepal. Additionally, due to its significance, the temple is famous for having extreme importance for ‘Dakinis’ or the goddesses known as Sky Dancers. 

    Muktinath temple is also home to one of the most holy shrines, known as Svayam Vyakta Ksetras, and houses an idol made from gold. Puja, or worship in English, is paid to the Vishnu idol who has been reincarnated as Shri Mukti Narayana, which  stands as tall as a human. Moreover, the puja is  conducted in the presence of a Buddhist monk and with pilgrims paying their respects by making a religious offering to the deity. Additionally, with the Buddhist Monk present, and the heavily ingrained Tibetan culture in the area, the Muktinath temple area is a great place to learn about the ancient traditions and culture of Tibet and Nepal.

    Finally, the temple is famous for its 108 bull head shaped stone faucets in the rear of the temple. These bull heads are situated at a height of seven feet and approximately one foot apart. These heads serve as water spouts where the frigid ice water is diverted from the Kali Gandaki River below allowing for pilgrims and devotees to cleanse and rise themselves beneath them.

    5. Swayambhunath

    • Swayambhunath Full - Famous Temples in Nepal
    • Swayambhunath - Famous Temples in Nepal

    Swayambhunath, or commonly known as Monkey Temple amongst tourists, is not only famous for Nepal, but also for Buddhism in general. One of the top two famous Buddhist temples in Kathmandu – other being Boudhanath – is an ancient religious complex that is adorned with the main stupa as well as smaller shrines, temples, stupas and even a Buddhist monastery. 

    The famous stupa is believed to be built in the Lichchavi period and was founded by the great-grandfather of King Mānadeva (464-505 CE), King Vṛsadeva, about the beginning of the 5th century CE. Moreover, the current Swayambhunath premises is a collection of additions and renovations over the centuries, with the most recent renovations taking place in May 2010. Which was the first major renovation in almost 100 years. 

    For the architecture of the main stupa, it consists of a large white dome – which represents the entire world – with a cubical structure sitting on top of it. The cubical structure has the famous Buddha face painted on all four sides – representing that when a person finally awakes, and is able to reach enlightenment, they will finally have their eyes open. This representation of enlightenment embodied in the famous stupa is further carried forward with the thirteen pinnacles resting on top of the cubical structure. Which represents that we have to go through thirteen stages of spiritual realizations to be able to reach enlightenment.

    6. Boudha

    Boudhanth - Famous Temples in Nepal

    Boudhanath is one of the most revered Buddhist temples in Nepal as well as Asia. As it is one of the biggest stupas in the region, it stands at an impressive 36 meters and is in the shape of a mandala. Buddhist devotees come to visit the masterpiece and pay their respects in the form of prayers, as well as by circumnavigating it.

    Standing in the middle of a chaotic Kathmandu, the stupa sits on an ancient trade route between Tibet and India. Moreover, the stupa has been a significant religious attraction for centuries as it was built in the 600 AD time period. It has also gone through renovations, with one occurring in the 8th century by the Lichchavi rulers. Furthermore, the stupa was significantly damaged in the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, resulting in the entire top half of it needing to be rebuilt.

    The white washed dome of the stupa and its surrounding areas have been home to Tibetans merchants since the area was important for trade purposes. Moreover, a great deal of Tibetan refugees have also settled in the area. Therefore, when one visits the temple, they will be welcomed by a mix of Nepali and Tibetan culture all tied together by Buddhism. It is one of the most peaceful areas in Kathmandu, and one can enjoy the monasteries in the area, as well as some delicious Tibetan food, like butter tea, laphing and shapaley.

    7. Changu Narayan Temple – Famous Temple in Nepal

    Changu Narayan - Famous Temple in Nepal

    Not only is this temple famous but it is also the oldest temple in Nepal. With carvings dating back more than 1,500 years. Whereas, on the western entrance gate, you can find Sanskrit inscriptions that were erected during the Lichchavi kingdom, by King Manadeva in 464 AD, which are considered to be the oldest inscriptions in all of Nepal.

    The Changu Narayan Temple is famous for its vast history, collection of sculptures, carvings, and metal work, as well as its unique architecture. With nods to the pagoda style of architecture, the temple is said to be slightly different and has been coined as a traditional Nepali temple. The temple has a vast number of sculptures surrounding it that pay tribute to Lord Vishnu, as well as other gods like: Lord Shiva, Ashta Matrika, Chhinnamasta, Kileshwor and Krishna. 

    Changu Narayan Temple in Bhaktapur has four entrances to it with large gates that are guarded by giant stone carvings of animals such as lions, sarabhas, griffins and elephants, who are all considered guardians in Hindu culture. Finally, possibly the most famous aspect of the temple is the Narasingha (half lion and half man) statue.

    If you find yourself visiting the temple, make sure to check out one of the many museums of the area, to find out more about the historical past and culture of the area. A couple of the museums you can visit are the Changu Museum – which has a collection of ancient coins, tools, arts, and architecture. Additionally, the museum has a vast collection of ancient, historical, artistic, religious, archaeological, and cultural rare artifacts. The other museum you can visit is the ethnographic museum – which displays the artistic and cultural traditions of the various cultural groups within the four primary regions of Nepal.

    8. Budhanilkantha Temple:

    Budanilkantha - Nepal's Famous Temple

    The Budhanilkantha is not only a famous temple in Nepal but in all of South Asia. This is because it has the largest stone sculpture of Lord Vishnu, sleeping on a bed of serpents. Lord Vishnu is one of the significant deities in Hindu culture and is part of the triple deity of supreme divinity. The 5 meter long Lord Vishnu statue sleeps in the middle of a small man made lake, which represents the cosmic sea. Moreover, the sleeping Vishnu has been revered by Hindus for centuries. Whereas the carving, made out of a single block of basalt stone, dates back to the 5th century.

    The temple’s compound is situated below Shivapuri hills, and has an array of other small temples and shrines. The auspicious area is visited by hundreds of devotees everyday to pay their respects to the famous Sleeping Vishnu. Vishnu holds the Sudarshana Chakra, a Club, a Conch Shell and a gem in his four hands. Moreover, the statue is well adorned with a crown engraved with multiple Kirtimukha images which can often be seen being overlapped by a silver crown.

    Legend has it that the Nepali monarchs were forbidden to set eyes on the sleeping Vishnu due to a prophetic vision that King Pratap Malla had in the 17th century. Whereas, the kings of Nepal were considered to be the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, and thus, could never set eyes on the sleeping deity in Budhanilkantha. However, it is rumored that Prince Dipendra, once visited the sleeping Vishnu statue, and may have fulfilled the prophecy for the Royal Family of Nepal.

    9. Bindhyabasini Temple:

    Bindhyabasini Full- Famous Temples in Nepal

    The Bindhyabasini Temple (Nepali: बिन्ध्यबासिनी मन्दिर) is the oldest temple in Pokhara. Visited by a large number of local and foreign tourists, it is a famous temple in Nepal. Bindhyabasini is devoted to the goddess Bindhyabasini, who is the incarnation of the God Kali. Around the temple there are also various smaller temples and shrines dedicated to other goddesses and gods like: Saraswati, Shiva, Hanuman, and Ganesh.

    As legend has it, the temple was built by happenstance. The king of Kaski, Sidddhi Narayan Shah, in a dream, was instructed to build a temple for the goddess Bindhyabasini. When he sent his servants to bring a statue from India of the goddess, they placed the statue down in the current location of the temple and rested for the night. The following morning, they were unable to lift the statue. After informing the King, he informed them to construct the temple where the statue sat. 

    True or not, the story of the beginning of the temple is a famous legend in the area. The temple was first built around 1760. However, the temple has foregone multiple reconstructions and the original design is unknown. The current temple is built in the Shikhara style; considered to be older than the famous pagoda architecture which is prevalent in Nepal. 

    The temple gates are guarded by two golden lions, which protect the deity inside. The outside of the temple is covered with copper plating and allows for pilgrims to circumnavigate. Finally, the temple stands at about 3,000 feet above sea level, but the entire compound comprises a much larger area. There is a park at the base of the stairs leading up to the main complex which has a seating area with ample shade as well as a large Shiva Linga and fountain.

  • 5 Best hiking boots for under 100 dollars – 2022

    5 Best hiking boots for under 100 dollars – 2022

    Having proper footwear to go hiking may seem like a difficult and expensive task to accomplish. With a million different options from hiking boots to hiking shoes, from low-, mid- and high cut boots to having waterproof and breathable boots. Additionally, with the die hard hiking gurus, telling you about their new and greatest boot costing a couple hundred dollars, you may think it difficult to find a budget hiking boot let alone the best hiking boots for under 100.

    However, my friend, what if I told you you can get boots on a budget that will be durable and be able to handle any type of trail you throw at it. Well you can rest assured that there are options out there for budget hiking boots and shoes! This article will give you five of the best hiking boots for under 100 dollars!

    No matter if you are a new hiker, or a seasoned vet, these boots will cover you. Unlike many of the other articles, I plan on giving you the five best hiking boots under 100 – short and sweet, no need to make it more difficult with a million options! 

    Need help knowing how to choose the best hiking boot for your style? Check out our how to choose a hiking boot you will love blog!

    Without further ado, here are the 5 best hiking boots for under 100:

    Quick Facts of the five best hiking boots for 100 dollars:

    From personal experience and countless hours of research online, examining reviews and feedback from hikers who have worn these boots, I have shortlisted the 5 best hiking boots under 100 dollars. To dispel any confusion or overwhelm you with a paradox of choices, I wanted to give you the five best hiking boots for any type of trail, from the Pacific Crest Trail in the United States, to treks like the Tsho Rolpa Trek, these five hiking footwear have you covered. 

    The table below summarizes some quick facts about each of my five top boots with the best price entry point of below 100 dollars.

    Hiking BootPriceCategory WeightUpper Material
    Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking BootUSD $90Lightweight boot2 lbs. 4 oz. (men’s size 9)Leather/Mesh
    Men’s Moab Speed Mid GORE-TEXUSD $80Lightweight Trail runner / Hiking shoe1 lbs 6 oz. (men’s size 9)Synthetic/Mesh
    Columbia Men’s Redmond III Mid Waterproof Hiking ShoeUSD $80Lightweight Hiking shoe1 lbs .5 oz (Size 9, 1/2 pair)Leather/Mesh
    Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II WaterproofUSD $90Midweight Hiking boot1 lbs / 452g (Size 9, 1/2 pair)Leather/Mesh
    Hi-Tec Men’s Bandera Mid Waterproof Hiking BootUSD $70Midweight Hiking boot3 lbs (men’s size 9)Leather/Mesh

    Best hiking boots for under 100 – Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

    Hiking boots are an essential piece of gear for any outdoor enthusiast. Whether you’re looking for rugged protection or lightweight comfort, the Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot has you covered. With a great entry price point at about USD $90, these hiking boots provide a durable, long lasting and comfortable boot for 100 dollars.

    Merrell is a solid brand when it comes to hiking equipment and clothing, and this boot doesn’t disappoint. It is a sturdy boot that protects the foot, and comes equipped with a toe cap for extra toe protection. Moreover, the padding around the boot’s tongue as well as colar is extremely thick, making it feel soft and comfortable even when tightened down.

    The Moab 2 Mid is a hiking boot that feels great out of the box and can be worn immediately. It has a flexible feel to it, and has great arch support making it trail ready for almost any type of hiker. However, it is important to note that one thing against this boot is that it is relatively heavy for having a lower colar. It also may feel a little bulky to some hikers because of the weight.

    Even though the weight may be on the heavier side, the boot provides a great bang for its buck. It is comfortable and provides ample cushioning to protect the ankles as well as the foot altogether.

    A few notable features, as well as pros and cons for the Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot are as follow:

    FeaturesProsConsPrice (USD)
    – 100% Leather
    – Waterproof membrane
    – Bellows tongue keeps out debris
    – Protective toe cap
    – Breathable mesh lining
    – Merrell Air Cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability
    – Lightweight EVA foam midsole for stability and comfort
    – Comfortable out of the box
    – Great traction and stability
    – Versatile boot, feels athletic when hiking
    – Not as waterproof (actually water resistant
    – Breathability is restricted – not recommended for hikers that have extremely hot feet
    USD $90

    Weight & Dimensions:

    • Weight: 2 lbs. 4 oz. (men’s size 9)
    • Collar Height: Ankle height (about 3.5 in / 8.89 cm)

    Colors Available:

    • 15 different color combinations
    • A few of my favorite: Earth; Gold; Olive/orange

    Why I like the Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot:

    When I look to recommend a high-quality budget hiking boot to a friend, the Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot is one of my go to. I have found that these boots are up to the task of keeping my feet comfortable on longer hikes and treks with its lightweight body. Even though these boots are lighter, they still provide a great deal of support and cushion along the soles of my feet. 

    The Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot provides a comfortable and athletic feel, as well as great traction and stability – all at a great price point of USD $90. I enjoy these boots for more moderate hikes that have more incline as they have an accommodating fit with ample length to avoid toe bang in the front of the boot, as well as sufficient room in the toe box to allow toe wiggle.Moreover, the collar also provides ample ankle support for a walking boot. The boot has a well sculpted insole that helps prevent any heel slippage during longer descents.

    Best hiking boots for under 100 – Men’s Moab Speed Mid GORE-TEX

    The Men’s Moab Speed Mid GORE-TEX is a great lightweight hiking shoe that allows the hiker to feel nimble and free. With their sports shoe design, with a durable and strong body, these hiking shoes allow you to bounce around the trail easily. Moreover, with the padded collar and body, as well as its protective toe cap, you can feel confident that you will be able to protect your feet from rocks and other debri that might be on the trail.

    The Men’s Moab Speed Mid GORE-TEX is an environmental show that utilizes recycled material, as well as is a vegan friendly hiking shoe. The eco-friendly hiking shoe has 4mm Vibram Traction Lugs for advanced traction and grip while on or off the trail. Additionally, the hiking footwear has an EVA foam midsole as well as built-in rockplate for underfoot protection and security.

    If you are looking for the best hiking shoe out there that allows you to traverse maintained trails, or even get into trail running, these will be a great choice for you. Moreover, even though these are lightweight trail runners like hiking shoes, they have a durable upper that allows you to go all out on the trail.

    A few notable features, as well as pros and cons for the Men’s Moab Speed Mid GORE-TEX hiking shoes are as follow:

    FeaturesProsConsPrice (USD)
    – GORE-TEX® waterproof membrane
    – Mesh upper100% recycled laces
    – Padded collar
    – Protective toe cap
    – 100% recycled mesh lining
    – EVA foam insole with 50% recycled top sheet
    – Rock plate for protection
    – FloatPro Foam™ midsole for a lightweight ride that lasts
    – New Vibram Traction Lug outsole design for added traction and stability
    – Lug: 4mm
    – Lightweight and flexible
    – Resembles a trail runners
    – Good stability and support for your soles and feet
    – Uses recycled materials
    – Not enough flexibility for running comfortably
    – Durability can be an issue when the boot is pushed to the limit
    USD 81$

    Weight & Dimensions:

    • Weight: 1 lbs 6 oz (men’s size 9)
    • Collar Height: Under Ankle height  (about 3 in / 7.62 cm)

    Colors Available:

    • Lichen (orange and Green) – Personal Favorite!
    • Navy
    • Black
    • Black/Asphalt

    Why I like the Men’s Moab Speed Mid GORE-TEX shoes:

    If you are looking for a stylish, durable, and eco friendly boot (features recycled laces, lining and footbed), the Moab Speed Mid Gore-tex should be your go to. It is a high quality boot at a great price entry point. I have found these to be extremely comfortable and long-lasting. I love how lightweight these are and how they resemble a trail running shoe or a normal walking shoe. They allow you to feel athletic, and free while trekking and hiking. 

    The only thing I would be careful with is the waterproofing. Since they ride lower on the ankle, there is a chance they allow water to flow over the top collar of the boot. That being said they have proven to be quite water resistant and able to repel water with ease. These are my go to hiking shoes for dry, summer medium difficulty hikes!

    Best hiking boots for under 100 – Columbia Men’s Redmond III Mid Waterproof Hiking Shoe

    The Columbia Men’s Redmond III Mid Waterproof Hiking Shoe is a great budget hiking shoe that offers a durable and long lasting hiking shoe. With Columbia’s Omni-Grip technology, these lightweight hiking shoes allow for you to be explosive on the trail and move around freely. Moreover, Columbia goes a step further with the boot’s sole by wrapping it around the toe and heel for added protection.

    As for the hiking boot’s cushioning, the heel section of the shoe is thicker and has great shock absorbing ability. Additionally, the hiking shoe has a removable foot bed that allows you to use your own insoles and orthotics to customize the comfort and cushion to your liking. The customization ensures that every step you take is going to be comfortable! The added features to allow you to include your own orthotics is a nice touch as well, as it can allow you to include and wear extra foot support to protect your foot throughout your backpacking journeys.

    In terms of breathability and waterproofing, the shoe does a good job standing up against rain and moisture – just make sure to not fully submerge the boot in water for a long period of time as they can become damp. That being said the breathability of the shoe does help to dry out the boot if it gets wet during  your excursions 

    FeaturesProsConsPrice (USD)
    – 50% Leather, 50% Mesh
    – Omni-Tech membrane bootie with seam-sealed construction
    – Mid-cut boot that is a versatile hiker delivering all-day support and protection
    – Has omni-grip, non-marking traction rubber outsole providing sure-footed grip
    – Synthetic leather overlays provide protection through a mesh and suede upper
    – Reinforced toe and heel barriers with an extended outsole and added toe overwrap for durability and stability in the boot
    – Lightweight midsole and provides long-lasting comfort
    – Boot sole is cushiony, great for new hikers
    – Great value for price
    – Durable and long lasting for price entry point
    – Boot can run on the warm side
    – Sizing can be off for some hikers
    – The heel is on the narrow and rounded side
    – Stability can be an issue for some hikers. 
    USD $80

    Weight & Dimensions:

    • Weight 1 lbs .5 oz (Size 9, 1/2 pair)
    • Collar Height: Ankle height (about 3.5 in / 8.89 cm)

    Colors Available:

    • Graphite, Black (Light gray, black, and light blue highlights)
    • Cordovan, Elk (Light and dark brown)
    • Nori, Red Jasper (Dark gray/blue, green, and red highlights)

    Why I think the Columbia Men’s Redmond III Mid Waterproof Hiking Shoe is one of the best budget boots:

    The Columbia Men’s Redmond III Mid Waterproof Hiking Shoe is a great hiking boot under 100 dollars as it gives an athletic look and feel to the hiker. With its slim body, it looks sleek and stylish while out on the trail. Moreover, while wearing these hiking shoes on my hike in Pokhara along the Shiva Statue hike, it felt solid and comfortable hiking both up and down hill. The hiking boot was a fit well while also having ample toe wiggle room in the toe box which meant for a comfortable downhill hike.

    All those features are great and make for the Redmond III being one of the best shoes for under $100. However, one of the best things about these shoes is that they felt great and performed well with my flat feet. During my time wearing these, I have had less issues with my feet hurting or feeling cramped in the shoe. The durable and strong hiking shoe does a great job protecting my feet. 

    If you have wide flat feet like I do, you may want to consider checking out our 3 best hiking boots for flat feet. These hiking boots are tried and tested and are built for a flat, wide foot, ensuring comfort throughout the trek and hike!

    Best hiking boots for under 100 – Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof

    The Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof makes the best boots for under $100 list as it is a lightweight boot that focuses on being comfortable and protective. With a great feel right out of the box, these boots are great for hikers that want to hit the trail immediately and feel confident on almost any trail type during their day hikes.

    The mid cut boot features Columbia’s Omni-Grip technology, which provides superior traction on the trail with its cross patterned, multi directional lugs. Moreover, the lugs and traction also provide pretty solid traction even on icy and snowy trails. The rubber sole wraps all the way around the shoe, and upward onto the front of the toe section for added protection.

    The Newton Ridge Plus II is great for dry hikes with not as much moisture or water on them. Whereas, even though the hiking boots are stated to be waterproof, we, as well as other fellow hikers, have found that the waterproofing is ineffective a lot of the time. If you are going to be hiking in a place with more moisture, like Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, you may want to consider checking out one of the other four options! 

    FeaturesProsConsPrice (USD)
    – Leather / Suede / Mesh
    – Lightweight, durable midsole for long lasting comfort, superior cushioning, and high energy return
    – Waterproof full-grain leather and mesh bootie construction with a durable mesh tongue for breathability
    – Lace-up closure for an adjustable, secure fit
    – A dual-zone winter tread pattern for solid footing on icy and snowy surfaces
    – Durable, lightweight hiking boot
    – Techlite midsole for superior cushioning.
    – Great fit right out of the box
    – Lightweight boot that is comfortable and athletic feeling
    – Durability can be an issue when the boot is pushed to the limit
    – Ineffective waterproofing in sustained moisture
    USD $90

    Weight & Dimensions:

    • Weight: 1 lbs / 452g (Size 9, 1/2 pair) 
    • Collar Height: Above Ankle Cut (4.5 in / 11.43 cm)

    Colors Available:

    • Graphite/ royal
    • Nori/dark banana
    • Collegiate navy/rusty
    • Black
    • Silver sage/ dark banana
    • Mud/ sanguine
    • Cordovan/ squash

    Why the Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof is a great budget boot:

    The Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II is great for day hikes and lightweight backpacking hikes. The hiking shoe is a comfortable shoe that you can keep on your feet all day. Moreover, with its traction you can feel confident traversing different elements along the trail as well as uneven terrain, while feeling good doing it. 

    I do like this boot for day hikes and getting out on more groomed, dry trails. However, I do tend to shy away from it if I think there is going to be some moisture, or it will be a wet hike. That being said, overall I do enjoy this boot, and for its price point of USD $90, I am happy with its overall performance and durability! 

    Best hiking boots for under 100 – Hi-Tec Men’s Bandera Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

    The Hi-Tec Men’s Bandera Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot rounds up the list of five hiking boots under 100 dollars. Due to their extremely low price point, these boots are a great cheap option for beginner hikers. The boot is all around pretty good, providing great traction, as well as comfort on well groomed hiking trails. Moreover, they do include a durable shank along the boot that provides added stability while hiking some more rough terrain.

    The hiking boot offers good protection against moisture and will do well to keep your feet dry during your backpacking trips. Moreover, with the breathable tongue, they also dry out relatively quickly, if you end up getting your feet wet while crossing a stream along the trail.

    It is important to note that these boots do run on the heavier side (about 3 lbs) and can make longer hikes more tiring if you are not used to the weight. Additionally, hikers should be aware that these are not going to be very durable if you are hiking along more technical trails and paths. These boots should be used for more straight forward trails that are well maintained.

    FeaturesProsConsPrice (USD)
    – 100% Leather and textile
    – Lace-up hiking boot featuring suede overlays, striped nylon straps, and logo on tongue/heel
    – Removable molded insole
    – Traction rubber cupsole
    – Steel shank for support and stability
    – Great value for price point
    – Waterproofing does well (think more like water resistant)
    – Comfortable with a good amount of padding 
    – Design of boot makes them look bulky
    – Durability may be a problem long term (but for price point it is a great value)
    – Run on the heavy side for larger sizes
    – Not suitable for harder hiking
    USD $70

    Weight & Dimensions:

    • Weight 3 lbs (men’s size 9)
    • Collar Height: about 3 in / 7.62 cm

    Colors Available:

    • Brown/Olive/Snow
    • Camo
    • Taupe/Gold
    • Bone/Brown/Mustard

    Why the Hi-Tec Men’s Bandera Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots are one of the best hiking boots for under 100 dollars:

    The Hi-Tec Men’s Bandera Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots are a great beginner hiking boot that allows you to get up and get on the trail pretty quickly. They are sturdy and provide good stability to hikers while not sacrificing comfort. Moreover, with the solid lugs on the bottom of the boot, there is plenty of traction and stability for new lightweight backpackers that find it difficult at times to stay on balance while traversing rocky terrain.

    Personally, I like this boot as an introductory boot for friends and family, as it has a very low price point and allows people to get into hiking without needing to invest too much money from the start. Of course, with the lower entry point, you will run into some durability issues and that is no different with the Bandera Mid. Therefore, if you are looking to get more technical on the trail or do more off trail hiking I would recommend one of the other four boots. These hiking boots are best for people looking to get out and enjoy a day hike on a well groomed trail!

  • How to choose a hiking boot – Hike with the best!

    How to choose a hiking boot – Hike with the best!

    How to choose a hiking boot is a common question amongst hikers. The value in the question lies in understanding exactly what is needed to be successful on the trail. Whereas, with the wrong boot, you can end up being uncomfortable, or causing unwarranted injuries to yourself. For hikers, how to pick a hiking boot relies on knowing what type of hiking, trekking or climbing they plan on doing, and where they plan on doing it at.

    First thing is first, we need to know the basics. The three most important things to consider when choosing a hiking boot is:

    • Type: This is where knowing the type of trail you are going to be hiking comes in handy. Whereas, you can find all sorts of hiking boots and hiking shoes. From trail runners, to lightweight hiking boots, all the way up to burley mountaineering boots!
    • Components: Having a basic knowledge about the design of the boot and what it offers is important. The design and materials of the uppers, lowers, midsoles, outsoles and other parts of the boot, all play an important role on the trail.
    • Fit: Choosing a boot that doesn’t fit right can result in blisters, aching feet, and jammed toes. Moreover, for people with wide feet, or flat feet, will have an even more difficult time if they don’t pick a hiking boot that fits properly

    Do you have flat feet and are struggling to pick a hiking boot for them? Check out our 3 best hiking boots for men with flat feet, and best hiking boots for women with flat feet.

    How to choose a Hiking Boot – Consider the hiking trail and terrain:

    When we think about the different types of hiking trails, there are generally, three types of hiking terrains that we can consider:

    Easy trails:

    For easier hiking trails, you will find yourself hiking in well groomed trails in valleys, in prairies or other large open spaces. Moreover, the hiking route will usually be a stable and even path that has few inclines or declines.

    For easy trails as described above, you can hike them in almost any type of hiking boot or hiking shoe. Moreover, this type of trail is great for trail runners, as they are lightweight and easy to walk in, all while providing you enough cushion and protection from shock while walking.

    Uneven trails:

    Uneven trails, are slightly more technical than easy trails, and will be found on hillsides and mountains. Whereas, the hiker will need to traverse terrain that has steeper inclines and declines that will demand better traction. Additionally, there will be more rocks, roots and mud throughout the trail meaning, you will need better padding and support in the midsole area of your boot.

    With this type of terrain, and more technical elements on the walking path, you will need better support for your ankles as well. Therefore, you may want to consider moving up to a more sturdy hiking boot, or a hiking shoe that has a higher collar cut. Mid cut shoes and boots will keep your ankle more stable while walking down sustained decent.

    An example of this type of trail is the Shiva Statue Hike in Pokhara Nepal. Where we had to hike almost 2,000 feet up in elevation, on different trail types.

    Off-trail:

    Off trail hikes are considered to be the most difficult as they feature more hiking elements and difficult terrain. For example, as a hiker, you will often encounter unstable paths that have loose rocks of footing throughout. Moreover, these trails will usually not be marked and you will need to find your own way.

    These trails are usually reserved for the more skilled and physically fit hikers as they are considerably more demanding. Off trail hikes will call for continued concentration as you will need to be sure footed throughout the trek as you will be crossing various obstacles, rivers and may need to use your hands during certain portions of the hike.

    Trail type summary – What type of hiking boot is best?

    Walking down a steep hill after picking a hiking boot

    For easy trails and more relaxed hikes, you will probably want to go with a more flexible shoe. Whereas, as mentioned trail runners are lightweight and allow for your feet and legs to enjoy natural movement. Moreover, these lightweight hiking shoes will also be more comfortable to wear and reduce fatigue as they are the most like regular walking shoes. If you are looking for a lightweight hiking shoe/ trail runner, have a look at the Moab Speed Mid GORE-TEX.

    If you are looking to hike on uneven trails, or even off trail, you will want to go for a boot that can handle the technical terrain. For this you will want footwear that has a stiffer outsole so you can enjoy better stability while on the hike. Moreover, you may also want to consider a boot that has a higher cut, which will help protect against rolling your ankle.

    Hiking boots that are made for these more difficult hiking paths, will come with better and more reinforced outsoles – rubber toe, heel protector, side and instep protection – which also increases the overall durability of the boots. If you are looking for a more stable and durable boot, consider taking a look at the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX Hiking Boots.

    How to Choose a Hiking Boot – Knowing the different types:

    From hiking boots, to trail runners, to trekking and mountaineering boots, there are an array of different types of boots. It is important to understand the various uses of each, and how they can fit into your hiking style. Remember, picking the correct type of boot will save you a lot of hassle on your next excursion out into the wild.

    Let’s get into the different types of hiking boots and shoes, starting with the trail runners and light shoes, building our way up to the most burley boots, with mountaineering:

    How to choose a hiking boots - Hiking Shoes

    Hiking Shoes:

    Hiking shoes, or trail runners are footwear that will be most like your everyday tennis shoes. They are lightweight, and have a low-cut collar, allowing for the most flexibility. Moreover, they will feel the most athletic and easy to navigate trails in. These can be used for easy trails and hikes, and even with lighter backpack journeys.

    How to pick a hiking boot - Day hiking boot

    Day Hiking Boots:

    These are going to be a little heavier than your trailrunners, but they are going to be more durable and protective. By trading in for a slightly heavier shoe, you can feel comfortable traversing a more difficult route that may have more rocks, or roots – think a little more off road and rugged trail. Additionally, the day hiking boot will be a good choice when going on a backpacking hike as it will provide the cushion and support your foot needs to stay safe. The day hiking boots will help prevent soreness and reduce injuries like ankle rollovers, as they will have a mid- to high-cut collar.

    These types of boots are great for day hikes, like our hiking experience up to the Shiva Statue in Pokhara Nepal

    How to choose hiking boots - Backpacking boots

    Backpacking boots:

    This type of boot is going to provide the most protection and support to your feet while out on the trail. Of course, this means they will be a little heavier than the other two. The added weight ensures a more durable boot, as well as extending the design to cover the entire ankle. The high-cut collar design helps prevent ankle twists, and adds stability to your legs and feet while traversing difficult terrain. Moreover, the boots will be more stiff out of the box, reducing the flexibility in the midsoles. However, this is by design, to allow for hikers and trekkers to get more rugged and go off-trail whenever needed.

    These types of boots are great for multiple day hikes with more extreme terrain, like our hiking experience climbing Mardi Himal.

    How to pick hiking boots - Mountaineering boots

    Mountaineering Boots:

    Mountaineering boots are not for the average hiker, and are usually reserved for people going trekking high into the mountains where there is a great deal of snow and ice. This type of boot will have the highest collar cut as well as stiffness out of all boots, to ensure the best stability while climbing steep terrain. Moreover, the design of these boots allow for the use of crampons for ice and snow climbs. And, these boots also focus on warmth, to prevent frostbite in extreme conditions.

    Mountaineering boots are great for summit pushes while climbing mountains like Everest, or any of the eight of the 10 tallest mountains residing in Nepal.

    How to pick hiking boots –  Knowing Boot Components:

    How to choose hiking boots - Hiking boot anatomy
    Illustration: Ryan Hines

    The next thing to be aware of while wondering about how to pick a hiking boot, is the various components of the boot. Whereas, we will focus on discussing five different components of boots including: the uppers, lowers, midsoles, outsoles, and crampon compatibility. These five components are important when choosing a hiking boot or hiking shoe, as it will help determine the type of trail or trek you are most suited for.

    Hiking Boot Uppers:

    The main thing to consider when deciding which type of boot upper you should buy is the material used. Whereas, the material will have a direct impact on the weight, breathability, durability and level of water resistance. Once again, this is where having an idea of where and when you will be hiking or trekking will play a role into what material of footwear you will choose to buy.

    Full-grain leather:

    A full-grain leather boot will provide the durability and abrasion resistance needed to prolong the life of your boots. Moreover, a hiking boot that uses full-grain leather for its upper will be more resistant to water. However, this does mean that the boot will not be as light or as breathable compared to other materials like nylon/split-grain leather. Therefore, for added protection and water resistance, you will have to sacrifice a few features including the need for comfort out of the box. You will need more time to break the boot in as they tend to be less flexible. The stiffness and durability however, make this type of beet great for longer backpacking trips and extended more rugged trails.

    Split-grain leather:

    This is the more lightweight choice compared to full-grain leather. However, going for the lightweight choice means you will have to sacrifice the boots ability to resist abrasion and water. The boot will be more breathable, and many of the shoes will come with a waterproof liner to help keep your feet dry while hiking in the rainy season.

    Synthetics: 

    Many modern boot manufactures are turning to polyester, nylon and other synthetic leather options. These boots will bring together all the positives of full- and split-grain leather like: being lightweight, dry faster, are more breathable, break in more quickly and have a lower price point. However, for these benefits you will have to sacrifice some durability and longevity of the boot.

    Waterproof membranes:

    As mentioned some boots and shoes also have a built in waterproof membrane like Gore-Tex or eVent. By adding the membrane the hiking shoes will have better waterproofing, but will have a reduction in breathability. Less breathability may result in sweatier feet during the summer as the hiking shoes and boots tend to become warmer.

    Insulation:

    Insulation for boots usually only matters when discussing mountaineering boots. Whereas, due to the extreme cold conditions the trekkers or climbing in, they require a boot that is insulated from the freezing temperatures and can keep their feet warm and safe.

    Hiking Boot Midsoles:

    The midsole of hiking boots and shoes play a role in providing cushion to your feet, buffering your foot against shock and sharp objects, and determining the stiffness of the footwear. Don’t be fooled by the word stiffness, as even though it may sound like a negative attribute, it has lots of benefits. Whereas, a stiffer boot will provide better comfort and stability while hiking on rocky and uneven terrain as well as on extended hikes. The two main types of midsole materials for boots are ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and polyurethane.

    EVA:

    Ethylene vinyl acetate or EVA midsoles will provide more cushion, be more lightweight and be less expensive compared to polyurethane. Moreover, the EVA midsole comes in different densities to allow the hiker to choose the level of support around the foot and especially the forefoot when needed.

    Polyurethane:

    The polyurethane midsole is more firm compared to the ethylene vinyl acetate midsole, and therefore better for longer backpacking excursions, extended treks and mountaineering trips.

    Hiking boot internal support:

    The internal support portion of the boot adds support and protection to the sole of the foot. Depending on which element is included, you will have a different level of safety for the bottom of your foot. Moreover, these elements are found sandwiched between the midsole and outsole of the boot.

    Shanks:

    Shanks are typically between 3-5mm thick and are included to add load-bearing stiffness to the midsole of the show. The shanks can vary in length, where they can either cover the entire midsole, or just focus on covering and protecting only half of the boot.

    Plates:

    Plates are inserts that go underneath the shanks (if included in the shoe). They are thin and semiflexible inserts that will protect the bottom of your foot from getting bruised or injured from roots and rocks on the trail.

    Hiking Boot Outsoles:

    All outsoles are made from rubber, and some companies even include carbon in the rubber of backpacking and mountaineering boots to make the outsoles stronger and more hard. By increasing the hardness and rigidness of the outsole, the boot will become more durable and long lasting. However, this can result in the boot losing some of its grip and feeling slippery to some hikers when they go off trail. Two things to consider while choosing an outsole are:

    Lug pattern (tread pattern):

    The lug pattern is where the traction comes from. It is most commonly known as the tread on the bottom of shoes. Whereas, for hiking boots and mountaineering boots, the lugs are usually deeper and more widely spread. This provides better traction and grip as well as allows for the boot to shed mud off more easily in difficult terrain.

    Heel brake:

    The heel brake portion of the outsoles provides better traction and grip, helping reduce the chance of sliding and slipping during sustained steep descents.

    Crampon Compatibility: 

    Crampons will come in handy when you are trekking and hiking in snowy and icy conditions. One such place may be during your Everest Base Camp Trek. Whereas, being able to connect crampons to your hiking or mountaineering boots will increase your ability to stay safe and avoid slips and falls on ice. However, depending on where you will be doing your hiking, this may not be a feature you will need. For example if you want to tackle the Triple Crown in the United States (The Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail) there will be no need for crampon compatibility.

    How to Choose a Hiking Boot – Hiking Boot Fit:

    How to pick hiking shoes - hiking shoes that fit
    PC: Lachlan Gardiner

    I believe this to be the most important component of picking hiking boots. Whereas, if the boot fits properly and securely, you will be able to go hiking and trekking comfortably. The boot should be snug along your entire foot, but not too tight in any place. Moreover, there should be some wiggle room in the toe box, to allow your toes and foot to slightly shift during downhill hiking.

    Here are a few things to keep in mind while trying on boots to see if they fit properly:

    1. Know your shoe size:

    In many outdoor and hiking stores, like REI, you can get your foot measured by a professional. They will inform you about the length, width and arch length of your foot. These measurements will help you make a more informed decision while deciding which boot to choose.

    2. Do you have wide or flat feet?

    If yes, you will want to choose a more comfortable boot for your foot. This may mean choosing the wide option for the particular boot. Additionally, if you do have flat feet like me, you will want to check out my 3 best hiking boots for flat feet review, it will keep your feet comfortable and happy!

    3. Do you wear ankle braces or other orthotics?

    If you end up buying boots from a physical store, make sure to bring along all of your orthotics or braces you wear. This way you can try on the boots with everything you will be wearing when you actually go hiking.

    4. Wear your normal socks and hiking gear:

    Just as you should bring your orthotics with you, you should also wear the socks or other clothing that you will go hiking in when you try boots on. This is because often, we are wearing socks that are thinner compared to what we will actually wear when we go hiking. Therefore, bring your thick or warm socks that you typically wear while hiking, this way you can get a true fit while you are picking out your hiking boots.

    5. Walk around in your boots:

    Before you buy your boots, or before you go hiking and trekking in them, make sure to walk around in them. You will want to know exactly how they feel and react to your feet. Whereas, nothing is worse than getting out to the trail and walking the first mile or so to realize that they don’t fit right, or something is wrong with them. Always test the boots out to understand their true fit.

  • 3 Best Hiking Boots For Flat Feet and Happy feet!

    3 Best Hiking Boots For Flat Feet and Happy feet!

    As a proud owner of two flat feet, I understand how painful it is to go hiking without the proper boots. Hiking boots that don’t provide enough support for your flat feet, can end up causing a painful trip. The best hiking boots for flat feet should be a high-quality and flexible shoe. Moreover, the shoe needs to have enough cushion to provide the heel of the foot with stability and support in the insole, midsole, and outsole.

    Finding the right hiking boots can be a difficult and long task, as it is important to get the right pair of boots. Whereas, the right boots for hiking for people with flat feet or fallen arches will either make for a comfortable journey to new heights, or a trip where the sole of your foot constantly hurts. 

    With a flat foot each step you take matters, as over the course of an entire hike, they all add up and take their toll. Therefore, as someone that owns two flat feet, but still loves to go hiking, I have worked to compile a list of the three best hiking boots for flat feet.

    Quick Facts of the three best hiking boots for flat feet:

    There is no reason to overwhelm you with a million types of boots for hiking. Therefore, I have compiled my three favorites out of all the options. Additionally, all three of these boots have great reviews from around the world for hikers with flat feet and arch support. The table provides quick facts about the three chosen. Further below you can find a more in depth account of each of the hiking boots.

    Hiking BootPriceCategory WeightUpper Material
    KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking BootUSD $165Mid-weight hiking boot2.175 / 986.6 g (Size 9 full pair)Leather/Mesh
    Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Boots and ShoesUSD $110Lightweight Hiking shoe1 lb 15 oz / 879 g (Size 9 full pair)Leather/Mesh
    Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX Hiking BootsUSD $165Mid-weight hiking boot2 lbs. 1.5 oz. (full pair men’s size 9)Leather/Mesh

    KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot – USD $165

    Keen’s Targhee Hiking boot offers a great mid-cut boot with a high color height for good ankle support. These boots are great for any walking surface, and terrain as the boot is designed to support flat feet as well as any degree of arch. The boots have an upper made out of leather and performance mesh, with all-terrain rubber outsole for improved traction and grip on any terrain and surface no matter the weather.

    Additionally, the Keen hiking boot has the EVA midsole that ensures the boots are lightweight but comfy, with ample cushion for longer hikes and walks. Moreover, the Keen boots are breathable, but their lining provides protection from rain and wet hikes with their KEEN.DRY waterproof feature. The lining protects the foot and keeps it dry as well as offers quick drying for active hikers with sweaty feet.

    Finally, the boots sole is durable and has 4mm lugs that provide substantial grip, resulting in great traction, no matter if the surfaces are wet and slick, muddy, or full of rocks and roots. The sole and its high quality traction allows for the hiker’s foot to bite comfortably into the trail.

    To summarize, the KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot is rugged but lightweight and made for all different types of trails. It is a waterproof boot for hikers that will be walking in rainy and wet conditions. However, it allows for feet to breathe and wick away sweat. You can feel comfortable and safe with great mid-cut ankle support in these boots knowing they will reduce foot pain during all of your outdoor adventures!

    Boot FeaturesProsConsPrice (USD)
    – Leather and performance mesh upper

    – KEEN ALL-TERRAIN rubber outsole for higher-traction grip

    – EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning

    – Quick-dry lining for active useRemovable PU insole for long-lasting comfort
    – Extremely breathable boots

    – lightweight with great cushioning

    – Quick-dry lining for active use

    – Available for wide feet
    – Some of the boots have issues with the toe sections coming apart

    – Issues with the top lace hook being sewn too low on the boot and tongue slipping out
    $165

    Weight & Dimensions

    • Weight: 2.175 / 986.6 g (Size 9 full pair)
    • Collar Height: 6.0 in / 15.2 cm

    Colors Available:

    • Black Olive/Yellow
    • Shitake/Brindle
    • Canteen/Dark Olive

    Why I think the KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot are the Best Hiking Boots For Flat Feet:

    I love these boots, and how versatile and lightweight they are. They have great support and cushion, allowing for you to feel comfortable no matter how the hike is. Additionally, the cushion is great for people with flat feet, as it supports the sole and protects it throughout the walk. 

    Finally, if you have a wide foot, you can choose to get the wide boot option to allow for enough room for your foot to sit comfortably in the boot. I recommend this boot for people with flat feet as the Keen Targhee II provides a great fit, outstanding comfort, and all around traction for trails, while being at a great price point (USD $165) that doesn’t break the bank!

    Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Boots and Shoes – USD $110

    Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Boots is a durable boot that offers great comfort for people with flat feet. Right out of the box this footwear has a cushioned collar and tongue, is flexible and provides a supportive footbed that will keep your flat feet comfortable no matter the trail. For flat feet the insole as well as the molded heel cup provides noticeable comfort for any type of foot while also helping reduce heel pain during rough terrain. Merrell did a great job with the Moab 2 to reinforce the padding in the heels of these boots to allow for any type of foot, flat or or with little arch support, to have a sustained journey and hike.

    Not only do these boots help with protecting the sole of the foot but also the ankle as well. With the wider sole plate on the bottom of the boot, it allows for better surface to surface connection preventing unwanted ankle and foot twists. The boot is quite flexible in the underfoot and collar region of the boot, ensuring comfort. However, it is important to note that because of the focus on flexibility and cushion, the boot is not as good for hikers and trekkers that plan on carrying a heavy load, or that will be facing sustained steep climbs.

    The Moab 2 Vent Hiking Boot has an outsole that has good tread, and a good tread pattern on it that provides traction on almost any surface. Moreover, the outsole is durable and long lasting, meaning you can feel comfortable buying this shoe and getting a long life out of the boot. The only thing to be aware of is that the tread can get caked with mud at times because of the circles, open channels, and narrow and thick lugs on it. That being said, I have not had too many issues with the tread on these boots while hiking in Nepal.

    These boots are durable and comfortable and for their price point of USD $110 they come in cheaper than the other two options featured on this round up. Additionally, Merril has done a good job with these boots to reinforce the sole and make them more comfortable, and for this reason, I recommend them for hikers with flat feet.

    Boot FeaturesProsConsPrice (USD)
    – Pig suede leather and breathable mesh upper

    – Protective and abrasion resistant toe cap

    – Kinetic Fit™ ADVANCED removable contoured footbed with reinforced heel cushioning for medium support for people with flat feet

    – Molded nylon arch shank

    -Lightweight EVA foam midsole for stability and comfort

    – Lug: 5mm
    – Comfortable and fit true to size and width even for people with flatter feet

    – Shoes are strong and durable, long lasting

    – Have great traction and can grip any surface well

    – Sole is long lasting and specially made for the Merrell Moab 2 hiking shoes by Vibram 
    – Reports of being unstable during hiking

    – Issues with the rubber on the soles peeling away
    $110

    Weight & Dimensions:

    • Weight 1 lb 15 oz / 879 g (Size 9 full pair)
    • Collar Height: about 3 in / 7.62 cm

    Colors Available:

    • Walnut (Light Brown, Black, and Orange Highlights)
    • Black Night (Black and Dark Gray)
    • Castle / Wing (Blueish and Gray)

    Why I think the Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Boots are the best hiking boots for Flat Feet:

    With my flat feet, hiking has always been more difficult due to boots not fitting properly. However with the Merrell Moab 2 Vent hiking boots, I have found that they are up to the task of keeping my feet comfortable on longer hikes and treks. These boots provide ample support and cushion to my flat feet, and have been tried and tested on my hikes in Nepal. Additionally, the lightweight nature of these with their wide base also improves stability and reduces ankle rollovers. 

    Their comfortable nature, good traction and stability, as well as price point, make these a great boot for people with flat feet that want to have a decent boot. For moderate hikers, this boot will do the job just fine, however, if you are looking to go a little more extreme on hikes or treks to the mountains, one of the other two options may be a better choice.

    Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX Hiking Boots – USD $165

    The Salomon’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX  hiking boots are superior when compared to other shoes for people with flat feet. Salomon does a great job with this boot finding a way to balance comfort, with durability without skipping a step on either. Additionally, the traction has withstood the tests of our hikes in Nepal. While hiking to the Shiva Statue in Pokhara, we had a mix of rocky terrain, muddy slopes and everything in between. 

    These boots withstood everything we threw at them during the hike. Additionally, with its lightweight design we had no issue feeling athletic while climbing over 2,000 feet in elevation in little over an hour.

    Usually, you will have to sacrifice durability and comfort for a lighter boot, however that was not the case with the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX, as it supported my flat feet throughout the trail. Additionally, the midsole is padded well enough to provide protection from any jaggedy rocks or other debri on the trail that may poke through the boots. 

    The Salomon X ultra 3 mid rides lower on the foot and comes just above the ankle. Even though the boot is a little lower, it still provides great support to the ankles, and helps prevent ankle turnovers. The boots can also be tightened up pretty securely around your flat feet and ankles, as there is plenty of cushion in the tongue sole and tongue. Meaning you don’t need to sacrifice any comfort for stability.

    In terms of weight, we weighed the footwear to see that the Salomon boot is just over two pounds (2 pounds 1.5 ounces). We found that this weight makes the boot seem very agile and athletic, making it easy to traverse different obstacles along the hiking trail. The lightweight nature of the boots as well as the tread makes this boot a well rounded selection for almost any type of hiker with flat feet. With many hikers, as well as ourselves being able to handle rocky hills, fresh snow, and even trekking through mud and rocks with ease. The lugs on the tread are deep yet don’t cake up with small rocks or mud very easily. 

    Finally, the X Ultra 3 Mid hiking boot comes in both waterproof and non-waterproof options. The waterproof version stood up well against the snow and wet terrain while trekking up to Mardi Himal in Nepal. The snow had almost no effect on the boots – the deeper snow did pour over the top of the boot. However, if you are mindful of this, as well as careful while traversing waterways, you should have no issues with wet flat feet. If the boots do end up getting wet, you don’t need to worry as the boots are relatively quick drying.

    The Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid is a solid choice for people with flat feet hiking and backpacking on trails. However, for trekkers that may be going off trail more often, a more burley and steady boot might be the best way to go. The rubber sole and tread provide great protection as well as traction to your flat feet. It protects at the front, as well as along the length of the foot. It is a durable boot that can withstand almost any trail and terrain, while carrying backpack loads up to around 30-35 lbs.

    Boot FeaturesProsConsPrice (USD)
    – Gore-Tex® waterproof bootie liners let your feet breathe

    – Sculpted to hold your flat feet in place and prevent slippage on sustained descents

    – Advanced chassis are surrounded by foam cushioning for comfort

    – Mid-cut profile adds ankle support and protection, reducing ankle rollovers

    – Injection-molded EVA midsoles provide excellent cushioning underfoot

    – Specifically placed lines on the outsoles increase the shoes’ flexibility, helping decrease foot fatigue
    – Great traction on any surface both, wet and dry

    – Waterproofing performs well

    – Comfortable out of the box and provide great support and stability

    – Quick drying even after getting wet and waterlogged
    – Issues with rubber soles coming off

    – Even though shoes are available in a wide size, some people have had issues with width and the toe box in the front of the boot

    – Lower collar can allow water in the boot while crossing streams
    $165

    Weight & Dimensions

    • Weight 2 lbs. 1.5 oz. (full pair men’s size 9)
    • Collar Height: about 3.5 in / 8.89 cm

    Colors Available:

    • Castor Gray / Black / Green Sulphur
    • Black / India Ink / Monument

    Why I think the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX are the best Hiking Boots for Flat Footed hikers:

    Salomon’s line of footwear have always been my personal preference when it comes to getting boots and shoes for my flat feet. From hiking, to playing disc golf, the Solomon footwear has been durable and long lasting. Moreover, I love the flexibility of these boots, as well as the support and cushion it gives my wide flat feet. I have found it able to withstand any type of terrain while hiking and trekking in Nepal. Whereas, snow, muddy terrain, rocky trails and even on trails with a thousand stairs, these boots have been able to tackle it all. 

    Finally, for the price point of USD $165, these boots are great for everyday hikers that go on smaller backpacking trips. I would recommend these for anyone with flat feet that finds themselves as mid-level hikers as no matter your foot shape they will fit great! However, as mentioned above, if you are planning on going on more technical trails, a stronger burlier boot may be the best – but for anything else, these Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX Hiking Boots are the way to go!

    Things to know before choosing the Best Hiking Boots for Flat Feet:

    Below are a few things that you should consider before buying hiking boots. Every hiker and trekker are different, and so are the trails they traverse. Therefore, make sure you make a well informed decision that matches your style and hiking needs.

    Hiking Shoes or Hiking Boots?

    Both hiking boots and trail runners will get you out on the trail and hiking. The question that you need to ask is: Where and when will I be hiking? Depending on your answer, a hiking boot or hiking shoe will be better. If you are planning on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail on the West Coast of the United States, then you’ll be fine with a hiking shoe. However, if you plan on trying to climb one of the tallest mountains in Nepal, like the Annapurna Base Camp trek, you may want to lean towards getting yourself some hiking boots instead.

    Looking for a little more information on choosing between hiking boots and trail runners? Then check out our in-depth guide on knowing which type of shoe is best for you, your trail and overall walking mechanics!

    Know the Components of hiking boots:

    Knowing about the different components of the boots will help you make a more informed decision before buying. Each component has its own unique feature which all add up to protect your feet and provide comfort. A few of the components to know about include:

    1. Hiking Boot Uppers: The uppers and the materials they are made out of impact the boot’s weight, its breathability, durability and water resistance. Depending on the hiking you plan on doing, you will want different materials.
    2. Hiking Boot Midsoles: The midsole section of your boot provides the cushion for the soles of your feet. Moreover, it helps buffer against shock as well as rocky and uneven terrain. Choosing between stiff boots, or ones that are a little softer, will change the way your shoe reacts to the ground.
    3. Hiking Boot Internal Support: The first internal support to consider are the Shanks. They are extremely thin inserts that add load-bearing stiffness to the midsole. The second support feature for the boots are the plates. These thin, semi-flexible inserts protect the feet from getting bruised by roots or uneven rocks.
    4. Hiking Boot Outsoles: The rubber outsoles are important for traction. Depending on the type of trail and terrain, as well as if you plan on going hiking or trekking. As each will call for a different type of traction.
    5. Crampon Compatibility: Finally, if you plan on going trekking in Nepal, or mountaineering in a different country, you will want to make sure that you have boots that are crampon compatible, to ensure traction and your safety.

    How to choose the best hiking boots for flat feet?

    Choosing the right hiking boots depends on the type of hiking you plan on doing as well as where you plan on hiking at. 

    For example, do you plan on hiking during the winter time, rainy season, or summer? Depending on what the weather looks like, you will want a boot that is waterproof. Or maybe you need a boot that has stiff midsoles in it to protect your feet because the hiking trail has a lot of rocks and roots sticking out.

    Additionally, you will need to ensure that your boots meet three specifications: 

    1. Type of Boot: Choose the type of boot that fits your needs. Depending on if you are hiking or trekking, you may either require an ultralight trail shoe or perhaps a heavy duty, waterproof mountaineering boot.
    2. Boot Components: To choose the best boot for hiking, you will need to understand how the different components of the boot work, including: Hiking boot uppers, lowers,  midsoles, and outsoles as well as hiking boots that are crampon compatible!
    3. The Boot Fit: To ensure that you keep your feet safe, especially your flat feet, from blisters you need to get a pair of boots that fit correctly. Remember, it is important to leave a little toe wiggle room in the front of the shoe, for when you are hiking downhill with a heavy backpack.

    For more information about check out our comprehensive guide: How to choose a hiking boot you will love!

  • Weirdest Food in Nepal – Give your Tastebuds a Surprise

    Weirdest Food in Nepal – Give your Tastebuds a Surprise

    You are a foodie visiting Nepal and you have already eaten everything on our Best Street Food in Kathmandu round up. But, you’re not quite satisfied yet, you still feel a little hungry, and adventurous. So now what’s next on the menu you ask? How about you take a bite out of the weirdest food in Nepal?

    The five foods we are going to talk about may seem weird to you, however, they all have cultural significance, and are actually quite tasty – once you get over the thought of them. The only thing about this list is that all five items are non-vegetarian – sorry veggies – and are made from water buffalo, goat and snails! The five weird food dishes in Nepal that we will be covering in this blog are:

    1. Sapu Mhicha – Buffalo stomach and bone marrow! Yummmmm right?
    2. Phokso – Goats lungs stuffed with a flour, egg and water mixture! Two plates please!
    3. Ghonghi – Fried snail, a Tharu Delicacy! Fried goodness!
    4. Pukala – Variety of boiled and fried meats of the water buffalo! Just in case you didn’t get enough water buffalo meat earlier!
    5. Cow Urine – Religious tradition amongst Hindus to drink cow urine. Thirsty anyone?

    1. What is Sapu Mhichā?

    Sapu mhicha weirdest foods in Nepal

    The Newar community of the Valley uses all parts of the buffalo in their cuisine, and this dish of bone marrow and leaf tripe for some might be the most delicious or not too appetizing. It is a specialty dish of the indigenous community and is often said to serve a visiting son-in-law and also during Newari festivals.

    How is Sapu Mhichā made?

    To make Sapu Mhicha, layers of buffalo tripe are separated from one another and cut into small pieces, which are formed into small bags into which cubes of bone marrow are filled. Then the opening is tied with a piece of thread to close it. Then, the bags are boiled and fried.

    Buffalo leaf tripe is cut into small pieces and the layers are separated to form bags. Diced bone marrow is stuffed into the bags and the opening is closed by tying it with a piece of thread. The bags are then boiled and then fried.

    To eat Sapu Mhicha, you have hold the tied-off end and put the whole thing in your mouth. As you take a crispy bite, the outer layer releases the rich and velvet smooth melted bone marrow. Many people really enjoy this unique cuisine, however it was a pass for me. But it definitely is worth trying once, and hey who knows, who might even like it!

    Where can you eat Sapu Mhichā?

    To eat this delicacy, you can three main Newari restaurant that dominate the Patan area: Nandini’s Food Court (located in Swotha), Kwacha (Belachhen road) and Honacha (behind Krishna Mandir).

    2. What is Phokso Fry?

    Phokso Weirdest food in Nepal

    Just like any another unique and traditional delicacy of the Newars, Phokso Fry which means Fried Lungs and is available in Newari restaurants. It can sound slightly intimidating but is is fluffy and tastes delicious!

    How is (lungs) made?

    The lungs must fresh and cleaned properly. Then a full set of lungs are filled with a batter of flour, eggs, turmeric, coriander, cumin, chili powder, salt, garlic and ginger. Then the trachea is sealed with a small piece of potato and tied with a kitchen string. The lungs are then boiled, sliced and then deep fried until crispy and golden brown. Before serving, the lungs are topped with salt and chili powder and served hot!

    Where can you eat Phokso?

    Phokso is available in many restaurants, however, you can go to any Newari restaurant to enjoy the authentic traditional taste.

    3. What is Ghonghi:

    Ghonghi Nepal's weirdest food

    It is natural that some food such as Sapu Mhicha, Phokso makes many of heads turn away, but Ghonghi is one of the most liked delicacy by the Tharu community of the Terai. It is similar to the French escargot, where it is served without having to snuck the snail out of the shell, but in Terai the whole snail is cooked and served with ground linseed soup. However, they cut the tail which makes it easier to suck the meat out of the shell after it’s cooked.

    How is Ghonghi made?

    The best time for Ghonghi is during paddy season, where women and children are seen busy collecting snails from nearest water sources. Then, the tail of the snails are cut before cooking so that it is easier to suck the meat out of the shell when it is cooked. The snails are boiled and cooked like any other regular curry. But the most important part their cooking is adding the ground linseed which helps to give consistency to the gravy and enhances the taste. Ghonghi is served with rice and this combination has been a staple food for the Tharu community for ages.

    Where can you eat Ghonghi?

    Ghonghi is quite difficult to find in the city, but if you visit Lumbini or any other cities in the Terai, there is plenty of places to try them out. It is a unique delicacy and we encourage you to try them out!

    4. What is Pukala?

    Weirdest food in Nepal pukala

    Pukala is a traditional dish of the Newar community and is combination of variety of boiled and fried meats of the water buffalo. This cuisine is mainly enjoyed during wedding and festivals and served after the main course but before dessert. Pukala is a mandatory item during festivals as food is an important aspect of any Newari rituals and traditions, and specific food preparations are necessary for feasts.

    How is Pukala made?

    Pukala is made by boiling variety of parts of the water buffalo. These meats are small intestine, liver, kidney, tripe, pancreas and spleen. The meat is sliced into one-inch pieces and fan fried and served with beaten rice and achaar.

    Where can you eat Pukala?

    Pukala is available in any Newari restaurant, however, I would suggest checking the hygiene of the place before heading to eat. Since these are different parts of the water buffalo, it is important to ensure that the meat is clean.

    5. What is Cow Urine?

    Cow urine Nepal's weirdest food

    Probably never heard of and the most common weird food culture that exists in the country. Drinking cow urine is a common practice within the Brahmin community, and otherwise, too. It is a weird religious tradition that exists among the Hindus. There’s a belief that only two things are pure in the universe i.e. one is holy water of the Ganges River, and the other being cow urine. Additionally, the urine must be collected before sunrise and the cow whose urine is to be drunk must not have delivered a calf. Holyyyyyyy Cowwwwwww!

    Sources claim that cow urine can be used for medicinal purposes and is an important component for Ayurvedic medicines in Nepal and India. As weird or gross it might sound, it used to be widely in demand in certain parts of the country. It sounds really bizarre but drinking cow urine is extremely popular from a medicinal and religious perspective.

    Weirdest Food in Nepal Takeaways

    Did you get to try all the weird food while traveling in Nepal? Or could you not stomach some of the food?

    No matter if you tried them or not, just remember that these foods are special and important to the people eating them. No matter how gross or weird you may think the food is, the dishes are still culturally, and traditionally important! And let’s face it, no country is safe from not having a weird dish or two!

    Take a look at these ‘weird dishes’ and give one a shot! You may not like the taste, but you will love the memory! Plus its fun for your friends, family and Nepalis around you to laugh as your face contorts because of the unique tastes!

    If you are looking for some other dishes that are more your speed, have a look at our Traditional Nepali Foods you Must Try blog! Or if you are on the go and need a snack while traveling through Kathmandu, try one of the dishes we highlighted in our Best Street Food in Kathmandu – Fall in Love with the Taste article!

  • Best Street Food in Kathmandu – Fall in Love with the Taste

    Best Street Food in Kathmandu – Fall in Love with the Taste

    We all travel to eat right? To try new cuisines, experience the different flavors and aromas, and eat till our heart’s content. Nepal might not be the first place you think of when you are trying to decide which country has the best food and street food in Asia. But actually, the street food in Kathmandu is rich in flavors and spices, which bring together a mix of modern and traditional dishes for the enjoyment of your taste buds!

    Are you looking to sizzle your taste buds off with some spice?  – No Problem.

    Or maybe you are looking to find something sweet that will help overcome your sweet tooth? – That’s easy to find!

    Where to find these delicacies you ask – Street Food in Kathmandu? 

    Nepalis and locals alike, say that you can find the best street food in Kathmandu! With its rich heritage in old towns around the city, or special cuisines of different ethnic groups living in the Kathmandu valley, you can find street food that you will love, and some food that you might think people are crazy for eating! 

    Want to know about some of the weirdest food in Kathmandu? Check out our other blog Weirdest Food in Nepal article and see if you can handle the food! Also if you are still hungry after all this food, you can check out our Traditional Nepali Dishes you Have to Try blog.

    Without further ado, let’s get into the best street food in Kathmandu!

    Street Food in Kathmandu and Nepal – You have been warned!

    Before I list out our choices of best street food in Nepal, it is important to note that not all street food is hygienic and clean. In this round up I do my best to highlight only places that offer clean food and that I have actually eaten. 

    There are certain regions of the Kathmandu Valley that are very dusty and dirty. These are the typical places that you will want to avoid street food from. With a lack of cleanliness, there is a chance that you end up getting gastrointestinal problems. Rarely are these gastrointestinal problems serious, however, they do typically cause diarrhea and end up putting a big damper on your travel in Nepal. 

    Some tourists and travelers that plan on staying in Nepal for a longer period of time talk about biting the bullet and just getting the problem over with as soon as possible, in the hopes to train your stomach to handle the food here. 

    I have been living in Nepal for over five years now, and personally I think there is some merit to this. Additionally, I have also gotten better at choosing places to eat and watching out for certain signs that might indicate the street food vendor is not a good place to eat. 

    Ultimately, it will be up to you to be smart about what you eat, and to make the decision to eat something. To help you make some better informed decisions about eating street food, let’s have a look at a few things to watch out for while eating street food in Nepal.

    Best Practices – Eating Street Food in Kathmandu: 

    1. First thing is to have a look at the street food cart or stand. Are they being clean and hygienic? Is the food covered and protected against flies and dust? What about the person serving the food? What are they doing with their hands – are they sneezing, or wiping their hands on things? Are they using water to clean things?
    2. If there are other people or a group of people eating there, there is a better chance that it is a trusted source of street food. Look for food stands that have people eating at them, and avoid ones that are completely empty.
    3. Take notice of the location of the food stand. If it is in a busy area that has lots of dust, traffic and trash, it is probably best to avoid eating there.
    4. Avoiding places that serve meat is usually best, unless you can watch them cook it in front of you, and you are sure that it has been cooked properly.
    5. Finally, if you are looking to buy anything that is made with fresh fruit, you will want to check for two things. One, did they wash all the fruit properly before using it? And two, are there flies on the fruit at all? An older practice (not used as much anymore – I rarely ever see it now) wasto use pesticides or cleaners on fruit to keep the flys and bugs away, and thus, giving off the idea of the fruit being clean. Check around, are there flies on everything but the fruit? This may be a sign that some sort of chemical was used on the fruit. 

    Best Street Food in Kathmandu:

    I have came up with a list of some of the best street food items in Kathmandu. They consist of all flavors, aromas, textures and every other sense invoking characteristics you could think of! Additionally, the list contains vegetarian and non vegetarian street food options.

    1. Buff Keema Noodles in Boudha:

    buff keema noodles, boudha

    Not your average noodle! Buff Keema Noodles is everyone’s guilty pleasure. The noodles are not like chowmein rather served without mixing all the ingredients. On a plate they first pour a mix of soy sauce, sichuan pepper, garlic, ginger, and mustard oil. Then noodles are placed on top the mix and topped with cooked minced buff and bak choi on the side. And well it’s your job to do the mixing! They also serve a chilli sauce on the side so that you can add more.

    Khawa karpo tasty noodle factory in Boudha is the best place to get your noodles. Their noodles are prepared in their in-house factory and the noodles on your plate are served fresh!

    2. Dahi Puri in front of People’s Plaza:

    Street Food in Kathmandu dahi puri

    You’ve probably heard of Pani Puri and Dahi Puri is just a version where they replace the water with dahi. Dahi means ”yogurt” and puri is deep fried crispy dough balls. The ball is filled with special mixture of mashed potatoes, onions, chickpeas, green chillies, different spices and topped with yogurt.

    The yogurt blends with the tanginess of the crispy filled balls and gives a sweet and sour flavor to your tastebuds. I’m not a big fan of Pani Puri however I do love the Dahi Puri. I love yogurt and Dahi Puri makes a perfect quick summer snack!

    The best place to eat Dahi Puri is Om Panipuri Chat Center, located in front on People’s Plaza in New Road, Khichhapokhari.

    3. Sekuwa in Basantapur:

    Street Food in Kathmandu Sekuwa
    Photo: Micheal Grills

    There are many places that serves sekuwa with a slice of lemon and sautéed vegetables on the side, but nothing beats the taste of local sekuwa. It is traditional barbecued-style meat (chicken, buff, pork, or mutton) and is marinated in spices. It is roasted directly over fire on skewers and adds a smoky flavor to the meat. It’s easy to get, cheap and tasty as well. It is one of the most street foods in Kathmandu and you can find it around Patan and Basantapur. For Rs.40-50 you’ll get 7/8 pieces with puffed rice and lemon.

    4. Lassi in Indrachowk:

    Kathmandu street food Lassi

    Lassi is a popular thick yogurt sweet drink. It is made from sweetened curd and topped with khuwa (condensed milk), raisins, cashews and almonds. They are available in almost every part of the city but the best ones located at Indra Chowk. The Lassi shop next to the temple and across the street sell the best Lassi!

    5. Malpuwa:

    Street Food in Kathmandu malpuwa

    Popular breakfast of Nepalese, Malpuwa is a sweet deep fried pancake. it can be either as a snack or a dessert. They have crispy edges and soft juicy center that you will make you wanting more. If you’re in Patan in the morning, grab yourself a malpuwa and tea and enjoy as the day starts in the city. You will them anywhere from thick and fluffy to thin and crispy either served plain or dunked in sugar syrup.

    6. Gwaramari:

    Gwarmari street food Kathmandu

    Gwaramari is a traditional Newari round bread balls. In Newari, “Gwara” means ”round” and ”Mari” means ”bread”. These balls are crunchy on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. Gwaramari tastes better when eaten warm and lose their taste if eaten cold. Gwaramari is made early morning and sold fresh! They are super light and less sugar which makes a great breakfast to enjoy it with your tea!

    7. Laphing:

    Laphing street food in Kathmandu Nepal

    A dish that brought new flavors to the streets of Kathmandu. Laphing are cold noodles, that is flat, jelly-like texture that is served on a mixture of vinegar, dried chillies and soy sauce. It has a peculiar taste, slippery texture and the spices explode in your mouth. The noodles however does not have any flavor of its own but mixed together with the soup makes an interesting combination on the palate. Definitely worth trying.

    The best place to eat Laphing is Boudha, Swayambhu and Patan. You can easily find shops specifically selling Lahping in these streets.

    8. Samosa:

    Samosa street food Kathmandu Nepal

    Samosas are triangular shaped deep fried savory pastry filled with mashed potatoes, chickpeas, onions and spices. Samosas can be served as a veg or with meat. The samosa is served with achaar or sweet and sour tamarind chutney. They make a hearty and delicious snack in the streets of KTM!

    9. Samosa Chaat:

    Street Food in Kathmandu samosa

    I love Chaats! There are many different chaats available but Samosa Chaat made our list. For the samosa chaat, the samosa is crushed and mixed with pea spice mix, chili, onions, and topped with chole (chickpea curry), sweet yoghurt, bhujiya (crispy potato snack) and sweet and sour tamarind condiment. This Samosa Chaat is bursting with flavor, texture, tangy and spicy.

    Best place to eat Samosa Chaat is Tip Tip Sweets and Angan, New Road.