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Village Homestay and the Kathmandu Valley
Your journey begins in the Kathmandu Valley, where you will explore the fascinating sites of Bhaktapur, Pashupatinanth and Bhoudananth. You’ll also have time to wander Kathmandu’s Thamel district and soak up its lively atmosphere. Then you will travel to the village of Chandani were you meet your host family and immerse yourself in their culture and way of life. This is a great opportunity to understand how people in Nepal live, and to create lasting friendships. Your days will be spent simply playing with the kids, helping out in the fields, hanging out with the locals and exploring the immediate area. There is no set itinerary and the days simply flow.
Please note that the village was almost completely destroyed in the 2015 earthquake, therefore the accommodations are very rustic, and likely to be the makeshift shacks the villagers have been living in since the disaster. We can provide tents for those who need privacy.
If you wish to extend your time in Nepal, we can arrange a spectacular Himalayan trek or a safari.
ARRIVE IN KATHMANDU, NEPAL
Arrive in Kathmandu. You will be picked up at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Enjoy a wonderful breakfast at your hotel. Just afterwards your guide will take you to the famous medieval walled city of Bhaktapur, beautifully preserved in time. The entire town is a World Heritage Site and not to be missed; even though the 2015 earthquake caused considerable damage there is still much to see and experience. The city is famous for its carved wooden windows, pottery, art and markets. It’s a great place to purchase thankas (religious paintings). Enjoy lunch in Bhaktapur to maximize your time spent in this amazing place. The next stop is the Monkey Temple, which offers fantastic views of the city from its perch high on a hill. You can choose to walk back to Thamel or get a ride and relax in your hotel before going out for dinner.
KATHMANDU - BOUDANATH & PASHUPATINATH
Morning free to explore the Thamel district on your own. After lunch your guide will take you to the most important religious sites in the city: Boudhanath and Pashupatinath.
Boudhanath, one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Kathmandu, lies on the old trade Tibetan trade route and many merchants stopped here to rest and pray. Today the stupa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a wonderful place to relax and walk with the faithful as they circumambulate the enormous stupa in a clockwise fashion, spinning the prayer wheels as they go.
Next is a visit to Pashupatinath, one of the most sacred Hindu temples of Lord Shiva in the world. Nepalese Hindus are cremated here and their ashes released into the Bagmati River. Here it is possible to meet the Sadhus - sacred holy men who have relinquished all material possessions.
After your visit to Pashupatinanth you will be brought back to your hotel; after you've had a chance to rest and change, your guide will pick you up for a traditional dinner and dance. Enjoy a traditional Nepali food while being entertained by dancers and musicians which represent 5 different ethnic groups from around the country. The ambiance is wonderful as you sit at low tables on cushions, sip on wine and enjoy the show. Transport back to your hotel after the show.
After breakfast you will meet your guide from our partner organization KEEP for a 2-hour introduction to the village and the work of KEEP. You will have lunch with your guide and then head by local bus to the village of Chandeni in an area known as Kavre-East of Kathmandu. It will take about 4 hours to get there even though it’s only 60 K M. We have been working in this village for the past 8 years and have refurbished the old elementary building, constructed the new lower and upper secondary classrooms and completed a water project and toilets. Our latest project was to build a milk transfer station which has been completed in late 2016. The community has been such a wonderful place to work over the years that we have made it possible to simply visit the place and enjoy experiencing what it’s like to live in Nepali village. Your guide has been to the village many times and will introduce you to your host family where you will get settled in. You will be given a tour of the village, meet your host families, have time to explore the village and get to know everyone. Dinner will be made by your host families you will be served Dhal Bhat which is lentils, rice and veggies - you will eat this in the mornings as well.
During these days you will simply live the life of a Nepali. The Nepalese start there morning early, milking their cows, going out into the field cutting grass for their livestock, getting breakfast ready and the kids off the school. You are more than welcome to wake up and help them with any of these activities; you also can help them with their plant or harvest their crops this is the time to ask and get hands on so you can really get a first hand experience into the life of a Nepali. Your first meal will be served around 9:00 am and dinner will be around 6pm it will be dhal bhat and most of the time vegetrian but delicious. The home will not have running water and may have electricity for a few hours a day so you can charge your camera. You may be sharing a room with other family members and privacy is at a minimum. Bathroom facilities will be outside squatter toilets and bathing will be done in a local stream bucket style. Bring a sleeping bag even though they will likely provide a bed. Conditions are rustic as the entire village was flattened in the earthquake of 2015. In the afternoon of the 7th day you will return to Kathmandu to enjoy your hotel’s hot shower and relax.
During these days you will simply live the life of a Nepali. The Nepalese start there morning early, milking their cows, going out into the field cutting grass for their livestock, getting breakfast ready and the kids off the school. You are more than welcome to wake up and help them with any of these activities; you also can help them with their plant or harvest their crops this is the time to ask and get hands on so you can really get a first hand experience into the life of a Nepali. Your first meal will be serves around 9:00 am and dinner will be around 6pm it will be dhal bhat and most of the time vegetrian but delicious. The home will not have running water and may have electricity for a few hours a day so you can charge your camera. You may be sharing a room with other family members and privacy is at a minimum. Bathroom facilities will be outside squatter toilets and bathing will be done in a local stream or spring bucket style. Bring a sleeping bag and sleeping pad even though they will likely provide a bed living will be simple but comfortable.
Today is your last morning in the village,spend time with your host families and say your goodbyes. We will depart for Kathmandu in the afternoon. Rest of the day will be free to relax, get a hot shower and catch up on any personal stuff.
7D / 6N
Kathmandu - Chandani - Kathmandu
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