Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chitwan National Park, Nepal 18 – 20 Sept 2012

We left with the 7:30am Tourist bus to Chitwan. The direct bus will take us 6 hrs to arrive but due to the rain, the road condition was bad. Our bus was not full so the bus driver took the opportunity to pick up locals along the way. By the time we reached Chitwan, it was already 2pm. We were picked up by the hotel staff.

Tharu House
Chitwan National Park is the first national park in Nepal. It was established in 1973 and granted the status of a World Heritage Site in 1984. It covers an area of 932 km2. It is a great place for nature lovers. The most famous wildlife in Chitwan is the single-horned Asian rhinoceros. A few decades ago, their number had fallen to less than 100, but recent count puts them at 400.

We stayed at Jungle Sunset Camp, a hotel by the river side with great view of sunset over the park and Rapti River. We were the only guest in the hotel. A dedicated guide brought us for a walk to the village and briefs us about the local Tharu culture. Even though the tourism industry has changed the little village into a small town with hotels, resorts and restaurant, we can still see mud and daub huts and houses.

Sunset over Chitwan National Park

At night we went to watch the local Tharu cultural show. It’s at a small hall that looks like a church with wooden chairs and stage. It was a 1 hour show with just group of boys dancing. At the end the tourist were asked to join on the stage to dance as well. I asked the guide why there were no ladies, he said that the ladies are normally busy with house work and they are not allowed to spend too much time outside.

Canoe in Rapti River
On the 2nd day, we went for canoing in Rapti River. The canoe is long and narrow, made by wooden tree trunk, we just need to sit and enjoy the life around the river bank. It is advisable not to move too much in the canoe because it is very unstable. We flow down river with the current, along the river bank we spotted crocodiles, kingfishers, peacock and monkeys. The canoe then drop us on the park side of the bank where we went for a 2 hours jungle trekking, the path was muddy and bushy. We only saw 2 types of deer. They were too shy and kept a distance away from us.

We then visited the Elephant breeding center, there were about 10 to 15 elephants chained up under a covered roof. All of them are female and babies. They look pitiful. :-( 

Back to the hotel, it was elephant bathing time, basically you get to sit on the elephant with her trainer that will brings you into the river bank, the elephant will shower you with his truck and then dunk you into the river. :-) We chose just to watch. The elephant usually get a scrub from the trainer once a day.

In the afternoon, we went for the elephant back safari. It was my first time riding on an elephant. Each elephant can take up to 4 passengers on her back. As she walk, we were rocking from left to right front to back banging into each other’s back. 

We first crossed the Rapti River which was about 2m deep. I was holding on so tight afraid that the elephant will trip and fall into the river. :-( Then she has to climb up the 1m high river bank, oh gosh I was afraid that the rack that we sat on will fall off. We spent 1.5 hour on the elephant back crushing thru some open path in the forest. We spotted some wild boars, deers and monkeys. We didn't see any rhino. They said it is because of the rain, they can find water in the jungle so they don't need to come to the river bank. Not so lucky! That ends our day of activities.

Elephant back Safari

On the 3rd day, we packed up to return to Kathmandu. Generally I didn’t find the trip amazing. I could see the same and more back home unless if I see a rhino.

Jungle Sunset Camp (


3D2N package @ Jungle Sunset Camp - US$72.5
Includes :-

  • All transportation from Hotel to bus terminal, from Pokhara to Chitwan and Chitwan to Kathmandu
  • 2 lunch, 2 dinner and 2 breakfast
  • All activities-canoeing, cultural show, jungle trek, elephant safari, visit elephant breeding center and elephant bathing
  • Local guide

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