It’s raining in Kathmandu. The city is getting drenched by the monsoon. And you can’t see the mountains because of the clouds. Boohoo? Not so fast.

One of the joys of living in Nepal is the diversity of climates you can experience by travelling a short distance. The environment is so varied because of the altitude that you could be having breakfast in a sweltering jungle one moment and arrive at an alpine desert in time for lunch.

This time of the year is best for visiting the mystical valleys “behind” the Himalaya. The rain-carrying clouds that rumble in from the south can’t reach here because of the high mountains. And the weather is just perfect, not too hot, not too cold.

This is when adventure seekers head for Mustang to contemplate the magic of its walled capital city and enigmatic monasteries. Lying to the north of the Himalaya, Mustang is reminiscent of the high desert landscape of the Tibetan plateau.

Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar in Tibet, across the border from Nepal’s northwest corner, are sacred pilgrimages particularly for Hindus and Buddhists. Trekking in this wonderland may bring you instant karma. Read all about it in this issue.

And Kathmandu itself, when it stops raining, wears a very fresh and green look. Washed of dust and other pollutants, the air is cool and scented of flowers. It’s a great time to take a relaxing stroll amidst the city’s ancient temples. Watch out for the puddles though.