Nepali Times
Life Times
Escape the excess

Day three of Dasain: you are exhausted from the house hopping, the children are getting cranky, and the masu, bhat, raksi overload is starting to take its toll. Or maybe you feel like ditching your obnoxious relatives and the 'eat, drink, gamble' schedule all together.

It's the longest paid holiday of the year, the monsoon has subsided, and the countryside is lush green, there just couldn't be a better time to see Nepal. So dust off those cycles in your backyard, pack your bags, and get ready to recharge your batteries. To help you decide where to escape to, Nepali Times brings you a list of excellent destinations, some very close to home and others a few hours' drive away:

(315km Kathmandu to Pokhara to Besisahar)


Ever wondered what it is like living with someone else's family? Gurung families in Ghalegaun, Ghanpokhara, Bhujung, Pasgaun, and other VDCs in Lamjung district have opened up their doors and hearts to guests as part of a home stay program and you are cordially invited. Many of these villages are untouched by modernity and most of the traditional architecture and lifestyle are still intact.The route known as 'Gurung Heritage Trail' starts at Besisahar and ends in Thumsikot and is helping Lamjung residents make a living through hospitality.

Located at an altitude of 2,070m Ghalegaun offers breath-taking views of the Manaslu range in the east, Lamjung Himal and Annapurna II in the north, and Machapuchhare in the west. Relish traditional Gurung food and hear grannies and grandpas reminisce about a bygone era. With a satisfied tummy, venture out into the bazar. In the evenings, watch women perform song and dance routines depicting Ghantu (celebrating Lord Buddha's birthday), Sorathi, and Krishna Charitra.

Contact the Tourism Management Sub Committee (TMsC) which manages all the home stays in the region for more information.

Bandipur (143km)

Situated on a mountain ridge, Bandipur used to be a major trading route until a few hundred years ago, but years of neglect turned it into a ghost town. Through the restoration efforts of the Bandipur Development Committee and locals, the town is slowly regaining its former glory and the tourists are flocking. The old houses and temples with their traditional Newari windows and low-ceilings all recreate the charm of the old days and you are bound to be transported to 18th century Nepal as you take a stroll through the cobblestone streets (where no vehicles are allowed). Watch as the artisans make clay pots or shop for trinkets and handicraft in one of the many family-owned businesses.

Hetauda (132km)


Adventure enthusiasts take your bikes to the nearest shop for repairs and then drive down to Lifecycle Farm in Hetauda where there is something for everyone to enjoy whether you are an amateur cyclist or a seasoned pro. Whizz past quiet sal forests and lush rice fields on your two-wheeler or cycle along the banks of the Rapti River while enjoying the gentle breeze. The dare devils can try out the more challenging off-road tracks as well.

Not a cyclist? Not a problem. The farm also offers running and hiking trails, a fresh water swimming pool and other outdoor activities. So sit back, relax and enjoy the comfortable accommodations and fresh home cooked meals.


Nuwakot (73km)

The Famous Farm is a traditional Nepali farm on the terraced hillsides of Nuwakot. The property was converted into a family-oriented hotel with 11 bedrooms with traditional windows, low beds, and low-ceilinged bedrooms. It also has a barn and a garden where children can help pick fruits and vegetables. The view of the mountain ranges is spectacular and the town is in close proximity if you want to shop or mingle with the locals. There is even a quaint temple 15 minutes walk from the farm. This is the place to be especially if you have young children. You can let them play and run around the farm as you lounge lazily and sip on hot tea.


Pharping (18km)


What better way to detox your body (and soul) than through yoga and meditation? Pranayam Yoga is offering classes at the Neydo Monastery Resort in Pharping: two before the festivities from 15 to 17 October and 22 to 24 October and one right after Dasain from 29 to 31 October. Gurus Shannon Rose Chmelar (Sati) and Lisa Alessandra (Yogatara) will combine relaxation techniques, Buddhist teachings along with a healthy diet to increase your energy levels and leave you refreshed. The premises of the Monastery which is home to around 200 monks is an ideal setting for the three day getaway and your accommodation fees will help support the monks' education.

While in Pharping, travel around the neighbourhood and see how the community has been uniquely shaped by both Hindu and Buddhist influences. There are two main Shiva caves in the area which are worth exploring and also numerous Buddhist monasteries and centres that you can visit.

9851002920 (Sam Voolstra)

Chisapani (16km)


For those desperately seeking some well-deserved downtime close to home, Pataleban Vineyard Resort is the ideal getaway. A half an hour drive from central Kathmandu, you can make a short day trip to the resort or spend the remainder of your holidays here. Take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful vineyards or just sit back, enjoy a glass or two of Pataleban wine and revel in the jaw-dropping views of Ganesh Himal and Manaslu Himal. If you want to recover from the Dasain food coma, join other holiday-makers on a half-day hike to Indradaha or explore the surrounding villages with a local guide. At 1,600m the resort fuses tradition, simplicity, and modern comfort with ease and promises to leave you rejuvenated just in time for Tihar.

4316377 or 9841679364

1. tara
Thank you NT for a great selection of destinations. Now i am really tempted to ditch my annoying relatives and go detox myself. the home stays look really fabulous, maybe i will get a couple of the gals to go with me. 

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)