Update: India, Nepal, the Maldives and Oman

Update: India, Nepal, the Maldives and Oman

By |2016-11-23T06:14:08-05:00November 23rd, 2016|India, Maldives, Nepal, Oman|9 Comments

Mathiveri Island, Maldives
What a month and a half.

After leading my latest India tour in October, a friend and I went to Nepal in order to relax and catch up on work among the beautiful Himalayas. What we didn’t realize is that Kathmandu is the third most polluted city on the planet (who knew?) so our stay there knocked us down a bit, inhaling all that dusty, dirty air.

Luckily, we soon ventured up to Nagarkot, a hilltop village 30 kilometers from Kathmandu, with stunning mountain views (8 of the 13 Himalayan ranges are visible from this village), a quiet, extremely laid-back atmosphere and thankfully, fresh, clean air to breathe.

Five days here and we were back to feeling 100%.

This was the view from the balcony at the perfectly situated Hotel Himalayan Villa…

Nagarkot, Nepal - Himalayas

On to…the Maldives!!!!

From Nagarkot, we then moved on to a destination that I had always wanted to visit for many, many years.

Finally, I made it to the Maldives!

And it was out of this world. In fact, it was so out of this world that I’m going to dedicate 3 posts over the next couple of weeks to this one destination. The best part is that my visit was not some ultra-luxurious, ultra-expensive experience. It turns out that visiting the Maldives can absolutely be done on a budget.

Yes, surreal tropical islands, gorgeous white sand beaches, some of the best snorkeling I’ve ever seen anywhere, excursions to swim with manta rays and dolphins in the wild (where you’ll be the only people around), flavorful Maldivian food and so much more can be had for an absolute fraction of what you think it would cost. I really had no idea this was possible, but it is.

Check this out…a short Youtube video I made from the stunning white sand beach on Mathiveri Island (I’ve never seen clearer water!):

Pretty sweet I must say. Again, more posts coming real soon about visiting this paradise on a budget! 

Right now I’m in…Oman

Oman was one of the last Middle Eastern countries I’d yet to visit and with cheap flights from the Maldives to most destinations in this region, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I just arrived yesterday and while it’s a short four day stay, I’m curious to discover some of what this country is about.

So far, Muscat, the capital, is unlike any other city I’ve ever seen. A sprawling collection of neighborhoods spread out over the desert and leading right up to the sea. In a few minutes I’ll be heading out for dinner, tea and shisha at a local cafe along the water, near the old city. Let’s see how it goes!

And I will say this…every single person I’ve encountered since my arrival in Oman (airport staff, taxi drivers, waitstaff, people in the street and more) has been extremely kind and helpful. So much so that it really sticks out in my mind as a defining aspect of this visit so far.

Wandering Earl on Instagram

On a separate note, yes, I’m finally on Instagram (@WanderingEarl)! I’ve been posting random daily photos from wherever I happen to be in the world if you want to follow along. (Of course you do!) I’m actually about to post a photo of the impressive Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque here in Muscat.

Have a wonderful rest of your week!

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  1. Naman Kumar August 28, 2018 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Hey! I want to visit Nepal and was hoping to read more on it but nonetheless the video got me exciting and this place is on my bucket list!

  2. Will - monkeystealspeach March 12, 2017 at 5:06 am - Reply

    I was hoping to read more about Nepal too. I was there back in 2007 and got caught up in a Maoist siege on Kathmandu. They were blocking the roads in and out of the city, and cut the electricity etc. Luckily I left the day before and went onto Lumbini.

    I may visit the Maldives next winter…. so thanks for that… the video got me all excited!

  3. Elaine December 28, 2016 at 2:03 am - Reply

    Might take a shot over to Oman during my visit to the UAE later in 2017 … can’t wait to see your post on this country!

  4. Steve C December 3, 2016 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    Hey Earl / Derek,

    It’s been awhile since I’ve heard from you. I hope I’m still on your e-mail list as it looks like I’ve missed some of your posts. This is coming to you through WordPress.

    Sold my house in July and am now living in my truck camper and set to road trip around the US. However, I’m getting ready to take off to Vietnam, early February. I’m going to travel around S/E Asia for 6 months then return to Santa Rosa, CA in August for 6 months of road tripping again. We still gotta meet up, in the US or S/E Asia somewhere.

    I also was unaware that you could stay in the Maldives on a budget. My next beach visits will be Nha Trang and Phu Quoc.

    Stay in touch!

    • Derek December 4, 2016 at 1:05 am - Reply

      Hey Steve – I just checked and you’re still on the list so all of the most recent posts were sent out! Either way, it’s great to hear from you again and to know that you’re on another adventure. We definitely need to meet up…I’ll be back in India in February for another of of my tours and then not too sure where after that. So let’s keep tabs on our plans and hopefully make it happen!

  5. Rich November 29, 2016 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Derek, I went on a scuba diving trip to the Maldives, was the most amazing trip of my life. Enjoy your stay!

  6. Sugar Plam Fairy November 27, 2016 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Ahhh, I was waiting for this post for quite some time, but it’s kind of brief!

    While I can’t wait to read about the Maldives (on my bucket list too), I was more excited about an article on Nepal, but was disappointed with the short article. I have a feeling Nepal failed to impress you, no?

    I was supposed to visit Nepal (work related, lucky me!) for a World Conference on Human Development, but a family member’s health problem prevented me from attending in 2012. I had a ticket booked and all, but he needed an urgent surgery and I was the primary caregiver. Now all is well, so hopefully, we can make it to Kathmandu soon. Can you please at least post pictures?

    • Derek November 29, 2016 at 2:10 am - Reply

      Sorry for the disappointing post 🙂 It was actually my second visit to Nepal and when I visited several years ago, I traveled all over the country and it was wonderful. On this trip, I was feeling a bit tired and slightly ill after a month in India and when I got to Kathmandu, the pollution didn’t help at all and I felt even weaker. So that kind of set the tone for the trip. Once I felt slightly better, I went up to Nagarkot for the fresher air and mountain views but apart from resting and getting my energy back, there wasn’t much else I could do.

      And then the opportunity to visit Maldives came up and I went for it, choosing a tropical destination to really get me back to feeling 100% (and it worked!) instead of spending more time in the region that was knocking me down.

      I really do like Nepal but with the current pollution (which really is horrendous) and the infrastructure that is falling apart (the roads are incredibly bad), it’s become a tougher place to visit. The somewhat recent earthquake didn’t help either of course and it was a bit sad to see the country the way it is at the moment.

      I will put together a post of photos though, and will put that up after my next Maldives post!

  7. Aaron November 23, 2016 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    Cool video. It gave me an overwhelming desire to swim to that deserted island… keep us posted!

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