Slow Trekking in Nepal in Everest, Annapurna and Langtang region for peoples of all ages. Facebook




CULTURAL SAFARI DECEMBER 2017This is our sixth Cultural Safari and it just keeps getting better.  You will see lots of places in Nepal that trekkers never visit.  We will start with a few days at the beginning to see the best of Kathmandu; from the ancient monuments and religious shrines to the back lanes of the old bazaars and some small local projects.  We will travel out from Kathmandu in our own transport (mini-bus/jeep/car depending on the size of the group) and travel down to the Chitwan National Park and the luxury of the Jungle Villa Resort. (OK, the road is a bit rough in places).  A plan of action will have been tailored to our needs – jungle safari on the back of an elephant, open-top jeep ride, canoe ride down the Rapti River spotting crocs and birds, a jungle-walk, an information seminar, an elephant briefing (right up close and personal with JVR’s own lovingly-cared-for elephants), a cultural show of Tharu singing and dancing and great food in beautiful surroundings. Sound good so far?

Leaving Chitwan we drive to the West, arriving in Lumbini in time for an evening stroll through the old bazaar. In the morning, we will see the birthplace of Lord Buddha the beautiful monasteries built in his honour by many different countries.  The German is my personal favourite.  Rickshaw is the best way to get around this morning.  After lunch, we will drive up into the hills to Thansen Palpa.  A large town of Newari people, little-visited by tourists.  The views of the Himalayas can be stunning.

A scenic drive of about five hours takes us to Pokhara.   Super hotel, right on the lakewith private balconies and a restaurant with a proper coffee machine. Take a stroll about the laid-back Lakeside district, a staging-post on the Hippy Trail for decades.  Eat outside tonight; at only 600 metres above sea level the weather is warm even in December.  We will stay in Pokhara tomorrow and there is a half-day trek for the more adventurous.  There is para-gliding (costs about $120) for the insane!  For the less adventurous, the shopping here is great and quite cheap if you know how to bargain.

After a sunrise visit to Sarankot, just half an hour’s drive and half an hour’s walk above Pokhara, we head off again, this time to Bandipur.  8 km off the highway this little village is also Newari and boasts some lovely old architecture.  Our lodge is not fancy but has views from the balconies to turn your knees to jelly.  We will spend tomorrow here, just wandering about in the village and surrounding countryside and trying some local delicacies for lunch. Cameras at the ready as the Himalayas turn gold, then pink, in the setting sun.

From Bandipur we will drive back to Kathmandu, skirting the city and ending up on the far Eastern side of the valley at Bhaktapur.  Those who wish can get a head start on the vehicle and trek the 8 km, downhill, to the highway.   In the morning, we plan to drive up to the rim of the valley for yet another look at the Himalayan range and then trek, most of the day, to Changu Narayan and then back to Bhaktapur.  The trekking is optional.  Transport and a day spent in Bhaktapur can also be arranged, though our hotel is only a20- minute walk  from of the city centre.

Starting the next day with a visit, on foot, to the old city of Bhaktapur is a treat.  There was quite a lot of earthquake damage here in 2015 but enough remains to delight and inform, including the most important pagodas in Nepal.  After lunch, it is just an hour’s drive back to our hotel in Kathmandu.   We will probably walk into Bouda for dinner, it is less than half an hour away.

We now have a couple of nights back in Kathmandu.  Shopping is often a big priority but other activities can be arranged including transport to visit more out-of-the-way destinations or a guide to our local monasteries or perhaps to look at some local small-scale projects like Bright Future or the Leprosy people making beautiful paper from Daphne. A mix of all these?

Here is the proposed itinerary.  It is not written in stone.  In a developing country like Nepal one must be flexible.  Sometimes, it is the detours that produce your most memorable highlights. Whatever your personal interests we will try to get you there. We hope to show you more than the usual tourist sites with a glimpse into the lives of some of our Nepali friends and their families.

Accommodation and meals are all of a very good standard in twin-share rooms with attached bathrooms, heating/cooling, wi-fi, tv. etc.   The ‘drives’ are all extremely scenic.  Cost will be $2650 for 15 nights, including EVERYTHING.  I will be accompanying the group personally. For more information and pictures and reports of past trips go to My email is or  At home in Melbourne till March 12 on 0426 113 697.  Happy to chat.


Sunday December 3:

Arrive in Kathmandu. We will meet you and transfer to the hotel. A rest/shower then out for dinner to Boudanath in the evening.

Monday December 4:

Sightseeing in Kathmandu. Swayambunath Temple, Thamel Tourist District, Old Bazaars of Indra Chowk and Assan Thole, Durbar Square and the Kumari Palace.

Tuesday December 5:

More sightseeing, possibly locally at Kapan, then Pathan Durbar Square and Palace Museum and the nearby Golden Temple.

Wed. December 6:

Off early in our own transport to Chitwan. Arrive late afternoon.

Thursday December 7:

Full programme organised by Jungle Villa Resort (see above).

Friday December 8: Morning programme at Jungle Villa then drive to Lumbini.
Saturday December 9: Early morning visit to Buddha's birthplace and surrounding temples. After lunch drive to Thansen Palpa.
Sunday December 10:

Walk down through Thansen then drive to Pokhara. Evening stroll and outdoor dinner.

Monday December 11:

Across the lake in a small boat (with an oarsman) and a one-hour climb up to the Peace Stupa (optional). Lunch in a nice restaurant. Afternoon visit Tibetan Refugee Camp. Evening eat out and shop.

Tuesday December 12: Early transport to sunrise at Sarankot (climb higher/or not). After lunch drive to Bandipur. Check out the village, admire the view.
Wed.December 13: Trek 9 km down to the highway or take our transport. After picking up the trekkers we will drive across Kathmandu to Bhaktapur.
Thursday December 14:

Early start again, driving up to the rim of the Kathmandu Valley. Coffee with a view and then trek all day (or not) to Changu Narayan. Possibly trek from there all the way back to Bhaktapur? (Pick up available for the less energetic).

Friday December 15:

Walk into Bhaktapur (4 km) (or not). Sightseeing amongst ancient pagodas, the Potters Square, Temples, shady alleys and beautiful open plazas. After lunch, it is a one-hour drive 'home' to Kathmandu.

Saturday December 16: Your last whole day in Kathmandu perhaps. Shopping in Thamel? Visit some of my favourite shops? Missed anything or want to go back? Visit friends? We will help you get organised. (If you had to be back home early, you could book a flight for today). Dinner at Boudanath, the best, most holy place to end your visit.
Sunday December 17:

GO HOME! We will get everyone to the airport at an appropriate time or help organise the day up until departure.



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