The Last Resort Might Be The Best...

Charlotte Ledger By Charlotte Ledger, 10th Sep 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/18jqws8q/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Asia>Nepal>Kathmandu & Around

An adrenaline rush - Nepali style! A guide to the exhilarating possibilities, breathtaking beauty and outstanding value of Nepal's leading adventure resort.

Why take the plunge?

I took a deep breath, stretched out my arms, and jumped. For a brief second I was flying! In half that brief second, I was plummeting to what I was sure would be certain death. The air whooshed past me as I dropped 100 metres into the impressive gorge of the Bhote Khosi River.

At 160 metres Nepal’s bungy is the tallest of its kind in Asia and the second highest commercial jump in the world. Costing 85 Euros, including lunch and return transport from Kathmandu, it is also the best value bungy available. Indeed, it is far cheaper than its shorter and less impressive Antipodean rivals.

The jump is found at the disconcertingly named The Last Resort, 12km from the Tibetan border. Yet don’t let the name put you off. It is a beautifully situated resort complete with safari-style luxury tents and exotic gardens bordering the jungle. Perched atop a high cliff, it can only be reached by the suspension bridge that the more fool-hardy among us choose to throw ourselves off. Accommodation consists of 4-person or 2-person tents with electric lighting, comfy beds, towels, clothes racks and decorative orchids. You won’t find a sleeping bag here! There is a bathroom block with hot showers ensured everyday by solar panels. The inclusive buffet is delicious with choices ranging from the traditional Nepali dal bhat to burgers and salads, while the bar serves alcohol, soft drinks and tasty smoothies.

Alongside the bungy, The Last Resort team run their infamous Canyon Swing. This offers the same thrills but without the rather daunting prospect of diving off head first. Harnessed around the middle, the ‘swinger’ jumps off the platform and after an impressive 6 second freefall is flung backwards and forwards at speeds reaching an exhilarating 150km/h.

Other adventure sports are on offer if you prefer keeping your feet on firmer ground. Canyoning is an exciting combination of climbing, abseiling and sliding down waterfalls. Not only will you glide down 60 metre abseils and bathe in private mountain streams, but it is also worth just marvelling at your guides, whose antics, including running head first down a slippery waterfall, wouldn’t look out of place on the set of a James Bond film.

Additionally, you can exploit perfect rafting conditions offered by the wild Himalayan-fed river next to the resort, along with opportunities for mountain biking and hiking.

Despite its reputation for high-octane adventure, the resort also seeks to promote itself as a peaceful retreat; perfect for tired hikers back from treks or those wishing to escape the hubbub of Kathmandu. I thoroughly recommend treating yourself to a massage or facial offered by the resident Himalayan Healers Project. The project is not only known for its quality beauty treatments, but also for training members of Nepal’s lowest caste, the Untouchables, and providing them with credible work opportunities.

The Last Resort offers excellent outdoor adventure sports for an exceptionally reasonable price compared to elsewhere in the world. For an overnight stay, including the bungee or swing and a day’s canyoning, the resort charges 115 Euros. What’s more, it is a fine example of responsible travel, since a set amount of the fee is spent on supporting the local community and re-investing in the third poorest country in the world.

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