Spanning from Pakistan in the west to Bhutan in the east, the mighty Himalayan range includes the highest mountains in the world, diverse cultures, and otherworldly landscapes.
The Himalayan mountain range contains many of the highest mountains in the world, but aside from a handful of very popular trekking trails—including Nepal’s Everest Base Camp trek—they remain remote, hidden, and quite inaccessible. Spanning from Pakistan in the west to Bhutan in the east and stretching through parts of India, Nepal, and Tibet, the Himalayan chain encompasses sub-ranges such as the Karakoram and Zanskar ranges, themselves containing formidable mountains. Even more “accessible” and frequently visited parts of the Himalaya, such as Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh in India, or the aforementioned Everest region of Nepal, take quite some effort and time to reach from the major cities of their respective countries, let alone other parts of the world. The Himalaya is inhabited by Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and other minority religions of various cultures and traditions, and the landscapes aren’t anything near uniform, either: India’s Ladakh and Nepal’s Mustang are dry, barren, and windy, while the valleys of Bhutan and Kathmandu are lush and green, with high rainfall. One could spend a lifetime traveling just the Himalayas and still barely scratch the surface. But, if you don’t have that long, here are 12 of the most beautiful, otherworldly places in the Himalayan Mountains.