Friday, May 9, 2008

Village Tourism & Eco Tourism in Nepal

Village tourism has been emerged as a very new concept in the Nepalese tourism industry. Nepal is normally popular in the world for the adventure travel, white water rafting and great jungle safari, staying at the specially built resorts or the self pitched tents. A brand new concept of village tourism where the guests - YOU would be taken to the carefully picked up village where you would be given the chances to know the local people, their culture by allowing them to stay on one of the house as a family member. A few guest room and kitchen are developed without disturbing the village environment. Villages continue their daily normal works and guests enjoy participating in the village activities. As you would be staying as a family member with your host family, you can participate in all activities of their daily choirs.

The friendly and hearty behaviors of the family members gives you a different experience that you have never enjoyed before. You have the chance to eat the traditional local food prepared in the neat and clean kitchen, which are delicious and are hygienic.
Village / Rural Tourism

The tour gives you the chances to explore the real villages unlike having spent short time in different villages on trek. Your accommodation is in an actual home, allowing you to feel the cross-cultural exchange in the more authentic way unlike staying at the local lodge filled with other backpackers. You will be observing the real Nepalese cultural tradition from the closest quarter and intermingle with the locals. Besides, any expenses made at that level directly contribute to the welfare of the local community, which ultimately gives you the high sense of satisfaction.

Village Tours are normally conducted in Sirubari, Bandipur, Kakani and Gorkha and Villages like Ghalegaun Village, Gorkha Village, Dhading Village, Lumbini Village, Balnthali Village are well known for village tourism in Nepal.

Eco / Agro Tourism:
First Environmental Trekking has always given importance to Agro Tourism with the aim of showcasing new areas and promoting and developing the life style and economy of indigenous people residing in rural area. Nepal is known as an agricultural country and more than eighteen percent of its people are involved in farming. The fact is to be considered that they toil hard but are not able to get expected benefit in lack of modern technology and techniques. Our company believes that agro tourism allows you to be in close contact with the inhabitants of small rural villages being involved in traditional way of agriculture in this century. You can find out how food grains are harvested, sorted and preserved, how vegetables can be grown organically, how freshly picked fruits are turned into delicious marmalades, how goats are milked, cheeses are made, and so on.

Nepal has plenty of natural resources, which makes agro-tourism more popular and fascinating among tourists. During the summer season you will be exhilarated to see the farmers being involved in rice plantation. The techniques they follow for plantation and harvesting differs from one region to another. The laborious farmers turn their field into an opera theatre where they sing local songs and exchange funny remarks to avoid the sluggishness and sense of hard work. In winter season fields are adorned when wheat plant starts sprouting across the land. Not limited to this, every season is rich in its agricultural product and provides the tourists a life time experience.

Rice, wheat and maize are the major crops of Nepal. Farming systems and crop production in Nepal vary across the agricultural zones. Physically, the country is divided into four ecological strata: the southern terai plain; the southern mountain ranges; the central hill complex; the northern great Himalayas. Rice-based cropping systems, with wheat or maize as a secondary crop, are predominant in the terai and middle hills, whereas in the high mountains maize, millet, barley and buckwheat are cultivated. Tea, cardamom, ginger and coffee are the important cash crops of the middle hills. Likewise, wide ranges of temperate fruits in the high mountains; citrus in the middle hills; tropical/subtropical fruits are also grown in the terai and middle hill valleys. Vegetable-growing in kitchen gardens is practiced at all elevations. In addition to this Livestock is an important component of the Nepalese farming system providing food for humans, manure for plants, and draft power for farms and cash income for farm families. Cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goat, pigs and poultry are the livestock species reared across different agricultural zones.

Agro tourism has various different economic and socio cultural aims. The basis of the program is the revitalization of the countryside and reversal of urban trend. It brings tourists to the countryside instead of over populating cities. You can meet lovely and hard working people of rural area, share a meal with them, stay at their houses as family guests, taste their local drink and see them carry on with life graciously. In addition, to the heartwarming hospitality, you will also witness some of the most spectacular views of the mountain landscapes or heritage sites along the way.

Nepal is a predominantly rural society, and its rich culture and ethnic diversity are best experienced in its villages. A growing number of program’s enable visitors to stay overnight in private homes in traditional villages far from the tourist trails.

Tourism and its economic benefits are far too concentrated in a few areas of Nepal, so village tourism is seen as a promising way to disperse visitors and spread the wealth. Under the best program's, local people get to keep 50 percent of the proceeds - that's big money, given the high rates charged by operators - and since all food and services are locally produced, virtually all of the money stays in the community. However, if village tourism catches on, get-rich-quick operators can be expected to dive in with cut-price packages that give locals a much smaller portion of the cut, so if you're considering a village stay, question prospective operators closely about where the money's going.

So if you're an individual or couple you should contact the companies well in advance and adjust your schedule to coordinate with already-scheduled departures.
A few language institutes and other organizations in Kathmandu also organize informal home stays with individual families in and around the valley. Most of these are intended specifically to provide Nepali language immersion, but at least one programme is set up for tourists just wanting to spend a weekend with a Nepali family.

Please note: If in case you want to experience of Nepalese culture and society staying with a Nepalese family for few days, I can arrange such host family to welcome you to stay with them.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Moutaineering & Trekking in Nepal

Everest Expedition (8848 m)

Even though Sir E. Hillary & Tenzing Norgay has conquered the highest mountain in the world many times ever since its first conquest in 1953. Everest is still as mysterious, beguiling and magnificent as ever. Standing incredibly tall silhouetted against the shared sky of Nepal and Tibet , this mountain has many names Chomolungma, Sagarmatha, Qomolungma or Mt. Everest . Whichever name one chooses, its mystery still lives on...

Perhaps the most colorful story about the early attempts on Everest is the one involving Captain J. Noel and his native companions. He disguised himself as a Mohammaden and made a journey from Darjeeling through Northwest Sikkim and round the north of Kanchenjunga in an attempt to reach Everest. Unfortunately, he had to retreat back short of just sixty-five kms from Everest when a posse of Tibetan soldiers forced them to turn back.

Kanchanjunga Expedition (8586m)
Mt Kanchajunga (8,586m / 28,170ft) Located on the Sikkim ( India )- Nepal border as part of the Himalayan mountain range at longitude 27º42' North and 88º08' East, Kangchanjunga 8,586m / 28.170ft.) is the third highest mountain in the world.

The other name of Kangchenjunga is Kangche Dzo-nga, Kachedzonga, and Kangchanfanga means "The Five Treasures of the Snow" in the local dialect referring its five summits all over 8000 meters. Kangchenjunga has 5 peaks, of which the true Summit is 8,586 meters /28,169 feet.

Dhaulagiri Expedition (8167m.)
The Dhaulagiri Himal lies south of the Tibet/Nepal border and the culminating high point at its eastern end is Dhaulagiri l, the seventh highest mountain in the world, which towers in solitary splendor. This magnificent peak rises as a giant shoulder of shining ice and snow. It got its name from the Sanskrit word "Dhavala" which means 'white' and ‘giri', which means mountain.

This mountain was first sighted by the British surveyors in India in the early 1800s but remained virtually unknown until a Swiss aerial survey in 1949. This White Mountain was first climbed in 1960 by the Swiss following the Northeast ridge. Five ridges buttress Dhaulagiri one and even up until the early 1980's only the Northeast ridge had been successfully climbed. Dhaulagiri is considered the most interesting peak among the eight thousands Mountains.

Manaslu Expedition (8463m)

Mt. Manaslu (8,163m / 26,781ft) Located 28.32.58 longitude and 83.33.43 latitude Manaslu is situated in the central region of Nepal in the Gorkha massif is the eighth highest mountain in the world. The name Manaslu was derived from the Sanskrit word "Maanas" meaning "soul" or "intellect". Japanese were the first to climb Manslu Mountain in 1956, therefore it is still considered as Japanese peak by many people. Though there are many routes to Manslu mountaineering , as the long ridge Manaslu base camp and valley glacier offer feasibility to approach from different directions, but South Face is considered to be the most difficult.

Annapurna Expedition (8091m)

Annapurna is also known as the store of the rise, located in Himalayan ranges of Nepal . The best climbing seasons is on April, May (pre-monsoon) and late September, October (post monsoon). Gokyo Treks & expedition has catered the needs of mountaineers climbing Annapurna Expedition/Mountaineering in a professional and committed manner. Annapurna 8091m was first climbed by a French expedition in 1950. There are four summits called Annapurna, the entire massif forms a barrier on the northern side of the pokhara Valley . The main summit of the Annapurna sanctuary/Annapurna base camp , Annapurna II is above Chame, about 24km to the east. Fewer climbers have reached the summit of Annapurna than any other 8000m peak in Nepal .

Ama Dablam Expedition (6812m)

Ama Dablam has long been considered the prettiest mountain in the world. High on her Southwest face hangs a glacier resembling a 'Dablam' - the sacred ornament box worn by the ladies in Sherpa community. It was this spectacular feature that got her the name "Ama Dablam". She lies alongside Everest in the heart of the Khumbu valley offering a superb climb up a spectacular ridge.

The route we follow begins at Lukla (2850m) and the initial days of the trek pass through the legendary Sherpa country up the spectacular high valley of the Khumbu. Much of the route on the actual climbing is fixed with no icefall or glacier to negotiate, and most of it is concentrated on the crest of a ridge. The climb is relatively safe though exposed and steep and not really a mountain for debutantes.

Pumori Expedition (8463m)

Pumori Ascend – More information
The ascent starts at 5,300m. In a beautiful base camp aside a small lake (water source, take water filters or barrels - where you can pack your equipment- and to clarificate the water -let sand to drop all night-). From base camp you have the most wonderful sight of Mt. Everest you can imagine, just above is Kalapattar Rock hill at 5545m.

After a 3 hrs walk (loaded) trough an easy hike terrain you will reach camp 1 or advanced base camp 5700m. To let your equipment and supply nearby. After this you will face a 500m. Elevation difference trough a 40 to 65 degrees slopes, 100m. Horizontal traverse, steep and expose to wind narrow ridges, some 5m. Ice wall, one tunnel climb. Pumori has many rock and mixed climb (not to need rock pitons but take some in case for the fixed rope) and spring might be more rock falling. If you have good Sherpa, Could be good for spring season.

Camp 2- 6200m. Is located on a narrow ridge at the end of the section described before. Expose to wind and far from avalanches (but people say it has happened before that avalanches reach camp 2) the next 400m. Is an ice climb with 35-65 degrees, more 5m. Ice walls, many crevasses, and the bigger avalanche danger from big seracs hanging from the shoulder 6500m.

The shoulder can be camp 3, but is too windy and not much gain. From here you cans see Tibet. After this it is presume that the rest is a wide ridge that takes you to a not hidden summit, but like I told you, You still need rope here because of many crevasses, Ice walls.

Finally, at 6,850m, there is an enormous crevasse 200m large, 40m. Deep, 10-20m wide. Try to walk towards Tibet side where the crevasses ended just before a great cliff, but in the other side the snow two-layer difference for avalanche danger. You can try Nepal side and you can reach the beautiful famous Pumori cliff and crossed the crevasse. After this the walk to the summit is only walk & you can summit Pumori 7145m.

Normal route: This is the easiest route to climb this peak and most of the expedition climbed this peak so far have used this route. As you know Pumori is not easy as like other mountains, there are technical parts in this route as well. We suggest you, you have take climbing Sherpa and who will take to Summit. We can arrange for you summiter Sherpas for the Pumori, if you have required.

You need to have at least 3 camps after base camp to reach the summit. The base camp is just above Gorekshep at the altitude of 5300m. After base camp, you can set up first camp at the altitude of 5,650m. Around the phase of Pumori.
We set second camp at the ridge after the phase at the altitude of 6,000m. The most technical part for this peak is around camp 1 and 2. We set camp third at the altitude of 6,480m. Around the corner after the ridge. you can summit from the third camp to the top. This route has been used by former expedition to Pumori in every year.

South-West ridge: Only few climbers tried this route, as this is one of the most difficult routes. This route follows directly from the top of Kalapatar and goes straight over the ridge nearly 75 Degree. As this route has lots of technical difficulties, I recommend you to use the normal route for the Pumori and you & your group will reach the Top.

I will update more information soon........

Jungle Safari in Nepal

A huge diversity of land exposes Nepal's fascinating diversity with the highest crystal mountains, terraced middle hills and flat plains from north to south. The dense foliage of the southern lowlands offers an exciting jungle safari tour with its rich habitat and population of wildlife a massif wild family. Certain areas of the southern flatlands have been declared as National Parks and wildlife reserves, here let us inform you about some of the greatest jungle safari parks in Nepal.

Royal Chitwan National Park:
In southern Nepal, Chitwan is the richest wildlife reserve in Asia with an area of 932 sq,km. Easy access in 5-6 hours by bus riding or 35 minute short flight from Kathmandu or Pokhara. The home of the indigenous people, the Tharu, and the home of the unique one- horned rhino, majestic Royal Bengal Tiger, Many species of deer, and the largest number of zoological species of local and migrated birds more than 450, Crocodile family with the rare species of Marshmugger, Gharial and numerous flora & Fauna to be discovered. Elephant riding and walking through the woods makes the unique experience of a safari interesting.

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve:
A recently promoted safari park lies in eastern Nepal. The reserve provides the best opportunity to spot hundreds of rare species of birds and fresh water Dolphins. This reserve is of course, the least explored but also can be combined to the trip to India, which enhances the journey and allows you to enjoy nature.

There are other National parks in Nepal as well. Information will be added soon..

Paragliding in Nepal

You'll get memories to last a lifetime in 30 to 45 minute flight. For those who want to find out what paragliding is all about but cannot commit to 2 days of instruction, we offer tandem flights. During the flight pilot will explain what he/she is doing and allow you some hands-on control of the glider.

The best way to view Nepal and its Himalayan panorama is by a short flight from Sarankot. Observing glory of Annapurna range and beautiful landscape around Pokhara valley, virgin Mt; Fishtail (Machhapuchhre), Lamjung Himal, Annapaurna Himal, Himchuli, Fewa Lake, Rice field, Rivers and settlements are below gives you thrills with a great photographic opportunity. Fly once in Pokhara to make your dream come true.

In the morning, after breakfast drive to Sarankot (1592m) Paragliding spot.
After arrival on the spot, briefing about flying by expert& professional pilot and fly.About an hour of exiting flight, during the flight you have breathe taking panorama views of Annapurna Range, beautiful Mt. Fish Tail, Annapurna South, Himchuli, Annapurna II, III, IV, Lamjung Himal, Mt. Manashlu and great Mt. Dhaulagiri togethere with landscape panorama and Fewa Lake.

This exiting short flight trip can be done after or before the trekking when you have rest day in Pokhara.

Mountain Flight in Nepal

" I can't climb Mt. Everest ………… But I want to touch it with my heart " Don't worry, you have a nice option to see Mt. Everest from the sky. For the traveler who is unable to make a trekking trip to the mountains either because of lack of time or physical fitness, or due to sheer want of the adventure streak, there are mountain flights to simulate the experience.

The one-hour flight takes you within camera range of some of the highest peaks in the world, and cruising this close to the awe-inspiring massifs of rock and ice, is an out-of-this earth experience. The aircraft takes off and heads eastward and almost immediately, the peaks come into view. The first peak that appears on your horizon is the majestic Gosaithan, standing 8,013m tall to its (6966m), looking like a massive figure of 8, lying prone and covered in snow. Next to the right Phurbi Chyachu, which looms over the Kathmandu Valley. Next on your vision is Choba Bhamare, rather small in this company at 5,993m, but singularly stubborn, as it remains unconquered to this day. Then comes Mt. Gaurishanker (7,134m), standing out sharp and conspicuous-Hindus believe that Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati protect this mountain.

As the flight moves toward the eastern Himalaya, a succession of majestic mountains follows. Melungtse, with a plateau-like top stands at 7,023m; Chugimago is at 6,297m, and still remains to be scaled. Mt. Number stands at 6,511m, and Cho-Oyu, the sixth highest in the world at 8,021m.

The last and most exciting stretch of the journey takes you close to the 7,952m-tall Gyachungkang, which is considered an extremely tough climb. To its right is Pumori at 7,161m and Nuptse at 7,855m. Finally, there is Mt. Everest itself (8,848m), called Sagarmatha by the Nepalese and Chomolungma by the Tibetans. It is an altogether different feeling as one comes face to face with the world's tallest and most enigmatic of mountain.The spectacular mountain flights are offered by the various Domestic airlines.

Visiting Places around Nepal

Museums in Kathmandu

One of Nepal's delights is the variety of Museums found in the Kathmandu Valley. As rich as Nepal's unique culture and landscape, these museums provide a fascinating look into Nepal's art, people, history and architecture. They also serve as an enjoyable serene alternative to the vigorous of walking and trekking in the countryside.

Changunarayan Temple

This temple is situated on a scenic hill top 20km from Kathmandi and 7 km from Bhaktapur. King Hari dutta verma built this temple. The temple is decorated with magnificent art works made of metal and woodcarvings. This is the finest example of Nepalese pagoda architecture.The inscription at Changunarayan is the oldest recorded in history, dating to the 4th century. Its history dates back to the Lichhavi period when the Lichhavi king Manadeva installed pillars in 464 AD. The temple is worth visiting to see the architectural and iconography combination.


Nagarkot is a popular place to see the mountain ranges and sunrise. It lies at an altitude of 2175m and it is 32 km north east of Kathmandu. It is the nearest place to see the panoramic views from Kathmandu valley. Close up mountains are from Nagarkot Ganesh Himal, Langtang, Dorje lakpa, Sishapangma, Gauri shanker and more.When the sun begins to rise from behind the Himalayas. It looks spectacular as the mountains change color. Many tourists go to Nagarkot and stay over night to enjoy the scenic beauty of the country side and from Nagarkot one can hike to Changunarayan, Banepa and to Sankhu Vajrayogini too.


Dhulikhel is an ancient small town situated 30km away from Kathmandu. The drive from Kathmandu to Dhalikhel is very scenic and beautiful rice terraces on both sides of the road are spectacular. It is a popular panoramic Himalayan viewpoint, which is also a good starting place for short treks where visitors can stretch their legs before starting for a longer one.

The small village of Daman is an interesting place to see mountains. One can see whole mountain range of 400km from Dhaulagiri to Mt.Everest.Daman lies 2323m above the sea level. It is 85km away south West from Kathmandu and It also one of the most spectacular mountain-bike routes in the world.


Lumbini is situated about 250km South West of Kathmandu. This place famous for Buddhist pilgrimage because Lord Buddha was born here in 560 BC. The birth of Buddha at Lumbini has been recorded in the pillar inscription 'The Light of Asia' although there is not much to see but the peaceful environment provides you with inner sense of tranquility. In some ways, Tilaurakot, the site of Kapilavastu, the fortress-palace where Buddha was raised as a prince of the royal family is more evocative.


Tansen lies 1310m above sea level, at the southern slope of Mahabharat range. It lies on the way from Pokhara to Sunauli and is known as the Siddhartha highway. Tansen city itself is very colorful with its old houses and slopes landscapes. There are different types of people-Magar, Brahmin,Chhetri, Newar, have been living in the city.It is popular for its metal crafts and Dhaka cloth,shawls and caps. Place to visit in Tansen- Shrinagar hill Amarnarayan temple and Tansen Durbar etc.


Pokhara is the second major tourist destination in Nepal. It is 200km west of Kathmandu. Standing at 884m above the sea level, Pokhara offers a mild climate. It is famous for the natural beauty of its lakeside location and its proximity to the mountains. Especially stunning views of Machapuchhare 6997m (also known as the Fishtail mountain). There are many places to visit in this beautiful city such as the panoramic mountain views, Phewa Lake and the Varahi Temple on its island, David's fall, Mahendra Cave, etc. Activities such as boating, fishing and canoeing can be organized on the Phewa Lake.

Recommended Books about Nepal

There are many Travel Books about Nepal available in the major book Stores all over the world. Following Books are worth valuable to read to know more about Nepal.

1. Lonely Planet Nepali Phrasebook
- Writer Mary Jo O'Rourke
2. Lonely Planet Trekking in the Nepal
- Writer Stan Armington
3. Mountain Madness
- Writer Robert Birkby
4. The Soul of the Rhino
- Writer Hemanta Mishra
5. Left for Dead
- Writer Beck Weathers
6. Into Thin Air
- Writer Jon Krakauer