To look up into the sky and see the towers of the Himalayas is awe-inspiring and certainly a valid and popular reason to come to Nepal. To walk among those mountains is more wonderful still. But to glide silently among them, this is perhaps the most thrilling of all. The adventure of hot air ballooning is now available in Kathmandu.
Once the balloon fills with enough hot air, it takes to the skies. From then on, it is the wind which decides where the balloon goes. Altitude is controlled by adding more or less hot air to the envelope and in this way, air currents can be ridden to reach a desired destination.
Usually flights begin shortly after dawn, when winds are their calmest. Once the balloon is full and all systems double checked, the lines are let loose and the passenger basket is carried up over the morning fog and into the sun-lit skies. The balloon will float at about 1,200 to 1,500 m above the Valley, which will bring passengers close to 3,000 mts! From this altitude, the entire Himalayan range will be in sight -360 degrees of visibility is what the balloon in the air offers, as well as fantastic downward views of the Kathmandu Valley itself.
After 15 minutes or so at this altitude, enough time for people to take their photos and convince their jaws to close again, the balloon will descend for a gentle flight over the sights of the Kathmandu Valley. By the time the basket sets down again, roughly one hour after take-off, the balloonists will have experienced Kathmandu and the mighty Himalaya from an entirely new perspective.