Nepal | Kathmandu

Living with locals

Nepal

Living with locals

Nepal
Trip Overview

This tour offers some of the very best of Nepal. Nepal is not only a destination for trekking in some of the world’s highest mountains. Here you can find a rich culture and history. As well as seeing some of the seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu and the Kathmandu Valley including Patan Durbar Square, Swayambhunath (aka the Monkey Temple) and Bhaktapur Durbar Square, you also get the chance to experience the essence of Nepal by living with the locals.

Our Homestays can be found in several places around the country. Spend a night at Nagarkot where pristine nature will calm your ever wandering mind and the colours of sunset and sunrise from Nagarkot are unforgettable.

You visit Chitwan where you are made very welcome by the Tharu people in Barauli, staying in their Community Homestay. Chitwan offers the chance to encounter diverse flora and fauna – Asian elephants, deer, rhinoceros, innumerable bird species and you might even see a tiger if you are lucky.

At all the Homestays, we are committed to providing the highest levels of comfort and security and are regularly checked to ensure that they maintain the highest levels of safety protocols.

Trip Highlights
  • Sightseeing UNESCO world heritage sites
  • Homestay experience at Nagarkot
  • Experience culture and lifestyle of local Tharu people with community homestay
  • Jeep Safari in Chitwan
  • Enjoy a close insight into how the local people live and directly experience the culture and life of the community.
Itinerary

International Airport Arrival transfer in Kathmandu.

Namaste & Welcome to Kathmandu, Nepal!!!Depending on your travel history, your first impression of arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport may be an experience in and of itself. The time it takes will depend on whether you need to queue for a Visa-on-Arrival as well as immigration and customs. Luggage tags will be checked on exit so have your luggage receipt handy (usually attached to your boarding pass). Luggage trolleys are available and free to use. As you walk down the tunnel to the arrival lounge you will find many people showing various placards and waving anxiously. Please walk slowly checking the placards and do not get anxious – our airport representative will be waiting to welcome you with your name written clearly on the placard. They will assist you to your correct vehicle. Depending upon the traffic the drive to your booked hotel can take up to 30 minutes or more.

Kathmandu is a diverse, historic city with amazing architecture, exquisite wood carvings and metal craft which showcase the skills of the Newar artisans of centuries ago. Hinduism and Buddhism have co-existed in Kathmandu Valley from time immemorial and residents make little distinction as they worship in both Hindu and Buddhist shrines. 

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Kathmandu

Sightseeing of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath and Bouddhanath.

Today is spent visiting some of the major World Heritage Sites of Kathmandu.

Pashupatinath is one of the holiest Hindu temples in the world dedicated to Lord Shiva. Pashupatinath, which means Lord of all animals, is one of the many names of Shiva. Built-in 400 AD, but later renovated by the Malla Kings around the 6th century, inside the temple there exists the statue of four-faced six-foot lingam, phallic object as a symbol of Shiva, resting in the middle of a rimmed, disc-shaped structure, phallic symbol of Shakti – a concept or personification of divine feminine creative power. Male and female phallic objects state the creation of all animals, and the four face statue has the meaning that the blessing of Shiva can be found in all four directions.

Next visit Boudhanath; one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world. The stupa is raised according to Tibetan philosophy, but before the construction of the 118-foot stupa, the site was a resting point for every Tibetan merchant passing through Nepal. Here they would rest and offer prayers to Lord Buddha for many centuries. This monument is a fine display of religious harmony in the country.

On a wooded hill to the west stands the incredible golden-topped stupa of Swayambhunath. The Valley’s holiest Hindu temple is equally alive with atmosphere and devotees – Pashupatinath is one of the most sacred shrines to Shiva on the entire subcontinent.

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Kathmandu

Transfer to Nagarkot Community Homestay with visit to Bhaktapur.

First stop today is Bhaktapur, an interesting and historical Newari town and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bhaktapur is a lavish illustration of Newari architectural skills, a city of pagoda roofs and harmonious blend of wood, mudbrick and copper.

Malla (wrestler/wrestling) became the hereditary title of Malla Dynasty heirs and Bhaktapur’s Durbar Square is wide and open to facilitate wrestling matches. Throughout the city beefy carved wrestlers remain the city’s trademark and are worshipped as the guardians of holy temples.

Climbing out of the Valley, the road to Nagarkot winds past terraced farms and areas of lush green forest. 

The Nagarkot Community Homestay Network includes 13 homestays, all run by members of the extended Bastola family. Homestays provide a personal, enjoyable and authentic alternative to the modern hotels of Nagarkot. You will have a private bedroom and western-style bathroom, whilst being within the home and part of the family.

A major highlight of Nagarkot is the view of the mountains and you can enjoy these directly from your homestay’s rooftop terrace.

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Nagarkot Community Homestay

Nagarkot to Kurintar transfer.

Taking an alternate route back to Kathmandu via Changu Narayan Temple we pass through the city and continue to Kurintar, a small village on the banks of the Trishuli River about 3 hours from Kathmandu.

The journey is stunning, and you will be able to relax and take in the incredible views of this diverse country from the car. You will see tiny settlements of various tribal groups including Chepang, Dorai, Magar as well as some Brahman and Chhetri people who eke out their subsistence from foraging in the forests, trapping the odd small animal or wildfowl, and cultivating wheat, rice, maize and vegetables. Typically animist, these people are the last of the hunter-gatherers who live in Nepal. Accommodation is in a village reached by hanging bridges.

Notes:
  • Driving Distance: 134 km Approx
  • Duration: 4hrs 30 minutes Approx
  • Accommodation: Kurintar

Kurintar to Chitwan (Barauli) transfer. Welcome program in Barauli.

Today, we will drive to Barauli, a small Tharu village amidst the vast jungle and very close to Chitwan National Park. Famous for its wildlife, the area is less known for its rich cultural value. The Tharu are traditionally a shy, agricultural-based people. At Barauli, you will be welcomed, and you can relax and enjoy the food and culture of the local Tharu community. Accommodation is in twelve cottages especially built. They are simply, but attractively furnished and offer you everything you need for a comfortable stay – each has a modern attached bathroom and comfortable beds. The village women live close by and ‘own’ the cottages, with their names on a board outside. They take care of their guests as if you were staying in their own homes. The purpose of Barauli Community Homestay is to provide a platform for locals to generate extra income yet protecting their culture and traditional values whilst offering guests a close-up glimpse of typical village life.

Notes:
  • Driving Distance: 86 km Approx
  • Duration: 2 hrs 30 minutes Approx.

Jungle Activities: Jeep Safari, Cycling, Tharu Cultural Stick Dance.

Jeep Safari: With Barauli located on the edge of Chitwan National Park, jungle safaris are one of the many highlights of our homestay. We have our own jeeps and excellent naturalists. There is no chance that you will miss anything there is to see on your jungle safari.

Cycling: We assure you that cycling via small Tharu villages and fish farms to the shore of the Narayani River is an experience you will recount often. We recommend cycling towards evening when the sunset looks like golden ball sinking into the Narayani River.

Cultural Dance: Tharu are proud of their culture, perhaps because they have one of the best cultures in Nepal. The famous Tharu stick dance; when women dance and sing, is simply amazing. The dancing takes place in front of our homestay, normally at night, to provide bit of recreation and relaxation from the days’ activities. If guests enjoy the dance, then they are more than welcome to join in.

Notes:
  • Accommodation: Chitwan (Barauli)

Chitwan(Barauli) to Kathmandu Transfer.

Return to Kathmandu with free time for souvenir shopping. Maybe visit Thamel, the major tourist hub of Kathmandu where you can shop, visit cafes and restaurants – maybe stock-up on trekking gear for a future trip.

Notes:
  • Driving Distance: 177 km Approx
  • Duration: 6 hrs 30 minutes Approx

International Airport departure transfer.

Check-in is 2.5 hours prior to departure, and it is best not to skim on time as queues can be long and slow. Your booked airport transfer will be at your hotel ready to take you to the airport in time, allowing approximately 30mins driving time depending on time of day. At the airport security will check your flight ticket – either hard copy or on your mobile – along with your passport before you are allowed to enter the departure hall.

Services Included
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu, Kurintar including breakfast.
  • Accommodation in Nagarkot with all meals included (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
  • Accommodation in Chitwan(Barauli) with Jungle activities and all meals included (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
  • Transfers in air-conditioned vehicles throughout the trip.
  • English Speaking Sightseeing Guide
  • English Speaking Local Nature Guide
  • Sightseeing tours with entrance and monumental fees
Services Excluded
  • Meals not mentioned on services includes.
  • Travel and medical insurance, and cancellation
  • Expenses of personal nature including bar bills, laundry, telephone calls
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Any item not specified as included
  • Expenses arising from unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of Royal Mountain Travel.
Impact Footprints
  • By staying at Community home stays, you directly benefit local communities.
  • Help local communities retain pride in their heritage and support business initiatives which allow them to maintain their traditions.

Excellent. Can highly recommend. Jamuna was a great guide, transport good and lunch with a local family really good.

Rodel
| Rodel