Most Awaited WPDeveloper Retreat 2022: Exploring The Beauty Of Nepal

2022 has been quite an eventful year for team WPDeveloper. And one of the most exciting and memorable parts was our most recent WPDeveloper retreat in Nepal: the beautiful homeland of the Himalayas! 

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After such a struggling time of travel restrictions, this retreat to Nepal was a healer for everyone in the team. Let’s have a throwback to the beautiful Nepal days; days full of enjoyment, adventure, surprises, and new experiences.

WPDeveloper Goes Beyond Borders – Our First Foreign Retreat In Nepal

Originally, this trip was planned back in February of 2020, when we were making preparations for our first annual foreign trip to Thailand. 

Everything was ready and we were all set to go. But then the COVID-19 pandemic happened, and as the entire world slowed down, all our plans had to be on hold. 

After two years, with travel restrictions finally being lifted, at WPDeveloper we wanted to kick things off with a trip to remember. After months of careful planning, we were thrilled to announce our first annual retreat to a foreign country

Together with the entire team on board, we traveled to Nepal, the beautiful homeland of Mt. Everest. Although team WPDeveloper regularly gets together for an annual retreat each year (with the exception of the times when travel restrictions were in place), this was the first time that we went beyond borders to explore a new country as a team!

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Pulling off this epic retreat for the full team was a challenge, but it was one that we took on with excitement and eagerness. Let’s take a moment to look back on the wonderful memories we made together in the beautiful country of Nepal this year. 

Taking Off For Nepal & Overcoming All Challenges Together

As excited as we were for our full team retreat to Nepal, we knew there would be certain challenges when organizing such a big trip for more than 70 people. However, at WPDeveloper, we believe that any obstacle can be overcome if we work together collaboratively, and that’s exactly what we did!

In fact, for many of our team members, this was their first trip to a foreign country, as well as their first plane journey. So we did our best to support each and every team member in preparing for the trip–starting with what procedures they should be expected to follow at the airport and even advising on how to prepare for the cooler weather in Nepal.

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That’s not all, we wanted to make sure that everyone could enjoy the trip together as a team while still having time to do personal shopping, sightseeing, and exploring the beautiful streets of Kathmandu and Pokhara on their own. 

To pull that off, we carefully planned the perfect itinerary that would allow the entire team to bond with shared experiences while still giving everyone the freedom to go out and explore a new country on their own. 

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The end result was everything we could have hoped for: to see the entire team coming together and making happy memories together was the main goal of this trip. Like the old saying goes, we believe that a team that travels together, sticks together!

Exploring The Magical Streets Of Nepal 🇳🇵

Streets can tell you the history, culture, and ambiance to make your experience the best in whatever country you may belong to. Nepal – the country of the Himalayas, is one of the oldest, culturally enriched countries in the world. You can enjoy every moment with every step through the magical, peaceful streets of Nepal. Check out what we explored during our Nepal trip below:

🏯 A Walk Through The Historical Durbar Square 

We visited the Basantapur Durbar Square in Nepal, which is treasured by both the Buddist and Hindu religions and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This location is renowned for royal festivities, kingly coronations, and sacred rites. We visited this architectural marvel on our very first day in Kathmandu and were mesmerized by its majesty. 

The whole place was full of temples, and royal palaces, dating back to the 12th century. While walking down the streets of Basantapur our team learned the history of these magnificent places from our guides. While we were roaming the square, the Kumari Ghar, Gaddi Baithak, and Kasthamandap caught our attention the most.

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🛕 Climbing All 365 Steps To Reach The Top Of Swayambhunath 

Probably one of the most incredible moments for our entire WPDeveloper team was the climb to the top of Swayambhu Temple. Built at the very top of a hill in Kathmandu Valley, the Swayambhu Temple is an ancient temple that is renowned for its incredible architectural beauty, and the breathtaking sights of the city of Kathmandu from the top of the hill…and the steep climb up three hundred and sixty-five steps!

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That’s right. To get to the top of this beautiful, ancient temple, you would need to climb 365 stairs–which is definitely not an easy task. But as we cheered each other on throughout the whole climb, even this difficult task felt like a fun adventure for us.

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🥟 Visiting Random Stupa & Enjoying Nepali Street Food Along The Way 

Nepal is a city of temples. If you roam around in random alleys, you will come across so many ancient and beautiful stupas. Due to the election, we had a day without any activities, so we made sure we utilized it to the fullest. From a team of 70, we decided to explore random stupas located in different parts of the city of Thamel in Kathmandu. This was a beautiful experience that helped us gain a deeper understanding of Nepali culture and beauty. 

During this impromptu day of exploration, we also enjoyed the sights of the Garden of Dreams, small roadside shops and bookstores wedged between towering, ancient buildings, and much more.

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🚌 En Route To Pokhara: A Fun 7 Hour Road Trip With The Team

After staying 2 days in Thamel, we started our most exciting journey by bus towards Pokhara. Which you can call the place of natural beauty Phewa Lake. The time we entered the snaking route of Pokhara, we saw the beautiful hills and mountains that seemed to nearly touch the sky. 

The bus ride was almost like a roller coaster ride with amazing natural beauty. We stopped the bus on the Trishuli river with a hanging bridge, enjoyed food with hills, sang together, had a competition, watched people rafting amidst the rivers that flowed between the mountains, and enjoyed the changing scenery. Then finally we had a grand entry with a welcome drink in Hotel Landmark which was situated right beside Phewa lake.

🗻 Day 1 In Pokhara: A Serene Morning Boat Ride At Phewa Lake 

Starting the next day, the entire team of WPDeveloper headed out to take in the scenic beauty of the Phewa Lake (or, Phewa Tal) – the freshwater lake that adorns southern Pokhara valley. 

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To make the experience even more unforgettable, our management team arranged several boats for all 70 of us to roam around the lake. We divided up into small groups of four in different boats and traveled along the lakeside. And then, for an hour, we soaked in the natural beauty of the serene blue waters lined on all sides with mountains, a cloudy sky above, and the Tal Barahi Temple right in the center. 

This is also where WPDeveloper retreat in Nepal took our first group photo at Pokhara, capturing the memorable moment forever.

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🏞 Enjoying The Massive Waterfalls At Davis Falls

After the morning boat ride, the next destination on our itinerary was Davis Falls. This enormous waterfall has its own set of myths that the team got to know while roaming around the area. We went there at the peak hour and saw how beautifully water ripped through the rocky slopes and disappeared down the tunnels. The roaring sound of the fall drowned the sound of our crew and left us mesmerized the whole time.

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🏔️ Learning History: A Visit To International Mountain Museum 

Our visit to the International Mountain Museum was fascinating. This place is packed with various Nepali cultural artifacts, authentic textiles, scale models of Himalayan peaks, significant photographs, and a ton of other items. Even a facsimile of a Yeti can be found there, which is likely to bring back memories of the mountain giant tales you have read. 

We even watched a documentary on the Sherpas and climbing Mount Everest. The entire area serves as a reminder of the experienced mountain climbers who must endure reaching the summit of Mount Everest.

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🔱 Exploring The Depths Of Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave 

Pokhara is not only a place of scenic beauty. It has so many sacred places that have numerous enchanting mythical stories. One of them was Gupteshwor Mahadev cave. The cave was 2950 meters long, and the water from Davis Falls passed right through the cavern halls. As a team, we were able to experience the mesmerizing beauty of the cave and the experience was unforgettable.

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💒 A Visit To One Of The Oldest Temples In Pokhara

Bindhyabasini temple is one of the oldest temples in Pokhara city which is also called the marriage temple. It was pouring heavily the day we set out to visit this shrine. After the rain, the sky cleared, and the Himalayan wind helped us appreciate the beauty of this historic temple. 

Our group went barefoot around the entire temple and all of its smaller temples while we explored it. The temple’s greatest draw was its golden Mandapa. Our team learned from the locals that if someone prayed to the goddess of this marriage temple, their wish was eventually granted. While visiting this temple, we developed a closer connection to Nepali tradition and beliefs.

☮️ Shanti Stupa Almost Heaven In The Earth 

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A few of us made the decision to go to one of the most stunning Buddhist temples, Shanti Stupa, also known as the Peace Temple. This temple is situated in the Pokhara Valley right next to the Phewa Lake, standing above the clouds. Our trekkers had to climb above the top for approximately two hours, but the entire scenario was worthwhile. 

When our team members eventually made it to the top of the beautiful, white-domed Buddhist monument, they had literally climbed above the clouds. The sights from the temple were surreal as the clouds were beneath them. They could see the whole beauty of the Pokhara valley standing from there. Our teammates loved the structural and natural beauty of Shanti stupa which was breathtaking to them. 

🍛 Discovering Exotic Nepali Cuisine & Street Food

It is said that ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’. Just like this quote, the team of WPDeveloper wholeheartedly embraced Nepali culinary tastes almost instantly. 

We experienced the finest of their cuisine in every meal, throughout the entire tour. Nepali food is often heart-healthy, low in fat, and vegetarian for the most part. And because of this, our whole team had fun trying different food and was able to explore to the fullest. 

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In Nepal, our team experienced a wide array of exquisite and delicate Nepali cuisine. Our feast often comprised a variety of regional daals or lentils, papads, roti, several kinds of rice, Chola, delicious chicken curries, etc. 

It is often said that good food brings people closer together in their hearts. Being a team of passionate foodies who go for monthly restaurant outings as a team, we definitely enjoyed our hearty meals together at some of the best restaurants in Nepal.

Of course, our entire team also indulged in Nepali street foods. We broke off into smaller groups every evening and began our search quests for street delights. The eating experience in Nepal was further spiced up by the abundance of local street cuisine including momos or dumplings, fried dishes, sweets, and kachori.

🛍️ The Most Pleasant Shopping Experience In The Streets Of Thamel & Pokhara

As we stayed three days in Thamel and another three days in Pokhara, our entire team was able to do our personal shopping from both cities. We faced different shopping experiences in both areas we visited. But the best thing about the shopping experience in Nepal was the kindness, sincerity, and compassion of the Nepali locals that truly amazed us.  

The friendliness of the shopkeepers in Nepal helped us a lot to get the best products in Thamel and Pokhara. From finding beautiful pashmina shawls, elegant Nepali jewelry made of beads and unique stones, handcrafted bags, key rings, and the traditional Nepali caps (which, ironically, the locals call ‘Dhakaiya tupi’), there were tons of shopping to do in Nepal!

Indulging In The Adrenaline Rush: Fun Activities In Nepal

Asif Rahman, the founder of WPDeveloper, wrote on social media about how proud he was of the team’s overall display of courage while taking part in exciting, fun activities in Pokhara. More than 60 team members enthusiastically pushed themselves and participated in numerous once-in-a-lifetime sports, whether it was paragliding through the air or bungee jumping off of a cliff.

🪂 Paragliding In The Skies Of Pokhara Over Phewa Lake

Surprising as it might seem, when the management team announced we had an entire day to ourselves towards the end of our stay, 40+ members of our team decided to paraglide in the skies of Nepal. As we were in Pokhara at the time, the paragliding experience would carry us over Phewa Lake, one of the most scenic Nepali natural beauties. 

To do this extreme sport, we rode to the heights of Sarangkot early in the morning of the 16th of May, which is the paragliding destination in Pokhara from where the flight takes off. And one by one, we all took the leap of faith and jumped off the cliff with our trainers fastened to our massive parachutes. No matter who you ask from the team, everyone will tell you the same flying over the natural lake we were ecstatic to glide in the air like a bird and enjoy seeing the amazing views from the sky.

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Surprising as it might seem, when the management team announced we had an entire day to ourselves towards the end of our stay, 40+ members of our team decided to paraglide in the skies of Nepal. 

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As we were in Pokhara at the time, the paragliding experience would carry us over Phewa Lake, one of the most scenic Nepali natural beauties. 

To do this extreme sport, we rode to the heights of Sarangkot early in the morning of the 16th of May, which is the paragliding destination in Pokhara from where the flight takes off. And one by one, we all took the leap of faith and jumped off the cliff with our trainers fastened to our massive parachutes. No matter who you ask from the team, everyone will tell you the same flying over the natural lake we were ecstatic to glide in the air like a bird and enjoy seeing the amazing views from the sky.

🤾‍♀️ Experiencing Freefall In An Extreme Sport: Bungee Jumping

When Nepal was decided as the destination of our yearly retreat, some of our team members instantly made plans to go bungee jumping, as you won’t find many locations for this extreme sport. To prepare, some of us started reading blogs and watching YouTube videos while others decided to jump on the spot. The WPDeveloper management team arranged for us to jump in Pokhara, working with the High Ground Adventure agency

On the day of the activity, we started for the destination early in the morning and excitedly waited for our turn after reaching the location. The thought of freefall from an 80-meter height made some of us speechless from nerves while others were incredibly eager to experience the thrill. However, the jump masters talked us into ease, with inspiring tales and assurances of all the safety measures.

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One by one we went up the queue and the jump masters counted down as we stood on the edge of the cliff. On three, we’re supposed to jump but some of us froze at the last minute, gazing below. But our super supportive teammates, along with the jump masters, motivated us and gave us the confidence we needed to take the leap of faith. 

Here’s what one of our teammates had to say:

“For the first 5 seconds, it felt like I could not sense anything other than an adrenaline rush but then it felt as if I was flying!”

The whole thing happened within just a few seconds, but whoever participated in bungee jumping felt alive at the moment and was overjoyed by the whole experience. You can feel the thrill and joy that come with this extreme sport only if you attempt this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. 

🚣 Winning The White Water Rafting Race In Heavy Rain

As we all know, our country is highly popular for its boats and rivers, though we don’t have any exciting streams that allow extreme sports. That’s why our white water rafting experience was a unique and adventurous one. We enjoyed it so much that we inadvertently ended up in an informal competition with other tourists to win the race!  

As mentioned earlier, we had a solo day without any official itinerary to experience extreme sports activities during our Nepal retreat. To experience wildness in the water, six of our teammates decided to go white water rafting in one of the most popular rafting points, the Upper Seti River. Coincidentally, it was raining quite heavily that day, which made the activity terrifying and yet exciting at the same time!

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Rafting is an extreme sport that you can’t do alone, you need a strong understanding. And guess what! We were THAT team. Our entire team was so in sync that we were first to win the race! We rowed around for 2.5 hours and covered 8/9 km. 

🤩 Swinging Off A Mountain Cliff In Pokhara 

For those of us who wanted the adrenaline rush but also wanted to enjoy the views of the mountain tops of Pokhara, the giant swing (also known as The Skyscreamer) was one unforgettable experience.

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Strapped to a swing that could hold up to three people, The Skyscreamer is a great swing that drops the participants into a free fall from a height of approximately 50 meters! To give you a clearer idea of the height: 50 meters is approximately 164 feet, which is nearly the height of a 16-story building!

Despite the daunting height, our team members quite enjoyed the thrilling experience of the giant swing, especially when–after the initial shock and fear wore off–we were able to enjoy the scenic views of the cliff and its valleys spreading out underneath the swing. What started off as a terrifying experience soon slowed into a wonderful experience of swinging off a cliff while enjoying the beautiful mountain view of Pokhara. 

🗺️ Want To Be A Part Of This Exciting Team?

Our total duration of retreat in Nepal was of 6 days with lots of unforgettable memories. It’s not possible to share our exclusive experiences in one word. We explored beautiful places, tried new things, and bonded more strongly as a team. Not only did we get the opportunity to create beautiful memories together, but our experience with pulling off this trip is definitely going to help us plan another retreat abroad next year! 

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If our Nepal retreat experience has thrilled you, you can also be a part of the upcoming tour by joining our team. Keep an eye on our job openings and you are always welcome to be a part of our Facebook community. Also, subscribe to our blog to find our where our next adventure will take us!

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