Day Trips & Environs
so much to immerse yourself in
Views of the Himalayas surround your holiday villa built in the local Limbu style in 2020 and painted in traditional green, orange and terracotta. With wrap-around balconies on three sides, you can gaze out at Kangchenjunga whilst lounging in a rocking chair with a glass of ice-cold Everest beer in your hand…. or dine al fresco. The balconies are lined with flowerpots and a giant Chau Gong stands at the entrance for visitors to announce their arrival…often with milk, local bananas or vegetables as gifts. There is a large box-bench to store your bags whilst living here.
From your rocker, you can plan an itinerary of trips out and lazy times in. There is so much to see and do. A stroll around the village and you will meet smiling people to call out Namaste to. They thank you when you take photos and want to see the result. Limbus, Hindus, Buddhists, Sherpas, Gurungs and more tribes, all with their traditional costumes and jewellery. Ploughing with bulls, reaping with scythes, threshing with giant sieves…. beehives made from tree trunks and charcoal-making huts. The green or golden paddy fields fill in the space between the white-topped mountains and the river below. With luck, you will visit a wedding and dance the day away. You may plan a trek up the local mountain Pathibhara to visit the famous Hindu Temple with views that you will want to put on Instagram. Or have a taste of Tibet and a Buddhist temple at Suketar. Get ready to experience the peace of another time and become accustomed to the calls of birds.
At some point, you will want to head into Taplejung, the district town. There is a long and windy bazaar with everything on offer, and coloured flags flying high. If you are looking for local raw silks in Limbu patterns, or brass or copper beaten souvenirs…. you will have plenty of choice. This is an area for semi-precious stones: take a look at the jewellers and marvel at the size of nose rings. The local stores look like a set for a film in the 1930s – expect to take your time as nuts, rice and flour are measured into bags – and the fruit and vegetable stores tempt with an abundance of colour. An ever-popular outing is to play Pool or Snooker followed by a meal of Momas or a Thali. You may want to call a jeep or tuk tuk for the return trip – hold on to a handle as you swing round corners and over pot-holes!
Local Days Out
The following are suggested itineraries you can enjoy whilst staying with us:
A walk round the village.
Apart from the newly widened foot-path to Taplejung, which is now a jeep track, walking is done along tops of paddy fields and through people’s homesteads. You can zig-zag along the mountain sides and see what local life is like. Photograph colourful flags flying over Buddhist houses, see how bees are kept, look out for wildlife and wildflowers and trees. Take tea in traditional Limbu houses and peek into the kitchen to see the kettle warming on a real fire. Learn a few words to greet people in their languages.
Chandeshor Dham is along the path from Hangdewa. It is a temple to the god Shiva and a relatively easy walk up paved paths with prayer flags.
Take a walk down the Kangchenjunga trail to the river below.
Visit the local Hindu temple. Cross over the river on a (metal) rope bridge along with the goats (or are they sheep?) Further along the river, you can see where the hydro dam is being built by Chinese workers. When we went with a Chinese visitor to the Villa, we were invited for lunch…. but it might be worth taking a packed lunch or relying on snacks from villagers unless your Mandarin is up to scratch.
TREK TO NEPAL’S 2ND LONGEST SUSPENSION BRIDGE.
At the bridge, you can bravely cross to admire the view over the River Hangdewa below. This was built in 2077/2020 after women, crossing with their washing, were swept away in the monsoon. It is a wonderful and not too difficult walk through the jungle past a variety of homes and trees and a bar on the way back. The suspension bridge is 357 M long and almost as high.
Walk along the track to Taplejung
Walk along the track to Taplejung, passing an ancient burial site. See how nature restores landscapes after a landslide. Look back as you near the town and see Kangchenjunga View standing proud on its hillside. Walk along the prayer-flag-strewn road into the Bazaar. Decide on your bartering technique…worth at least 10% discount. Find brass and copper jugs, thombas, bowls and plates, choose some raw silks woven in Limbu designs, visit a tailor to have clothes made for a few rupees, head into a jewellers for semi-precious local stones and fine workmanship, look out for fresh pomegranites, clementines and bananas…..or enjoy a game of pool/snooker and a meal of momas and a thali….with an Everest beer or a lassi. If you have practised your skills at the carrom board at your Villa, challenge some locals to a match or watch them playing in the streets. You can walk back or experience the jeep taxi service.
Take a jeep beyond Taplejung to Suketar
Take a jeep beyond Taplejung to Suketar, near the airport. Have a traditional Tibetan meal in one of the tea houses served by Tibetan immigrants. Visit the local Buddhist temple (make sure you see the Gompa wheel). Take a walk up beyond the airport with some kites to fly (available at the Villa). There are magnificent views.
Take a jeep beyond Taplejung and Suketar airport to the trail up Pathibhara
When the weather is set fair, take a jeep beyond Taplejung and Suketar airport to the trail up Pathibhara (3794ms although Taplejung is already at 1824ms). Start mid-morning and take your time, stopping for teas and lunch before you get to your wooden tea house where you dine and sleep. It will be cold, so wear gloves and a hat. Food is delicious and cooked to order. You will appreciate the breakfast served early for you to get going. Arrive at the Hindu Temple and watch as worshippers arrive, ring some bells and push some prayer wheels (clockwise). Gaze at the high mountains around you. There is no food or drink served up high, but your guide will magic up some tea if you are lucky! Return for lunch at your tea house and back down to your jeep with souvenirs of sacred bracelets, bells or prayer flags. Marvel at the fact that the Himalayan Guides International Pathibhara Marathon (one of the toughest in the world) has a best time of a mere 4 hours and 5 minutes to run from Taplejung along the Limbu cultural trail up Pathibhara and back (49 kms).
Take local jeep rides to cultural centres
There are local jeep rides to cultural centres for Limbus and Gurungs, the famous Phung phunge waterfall and Rhododendron Valley (this is the area that is set to be declared the capital of Red Rhododendrons). It is also known as one of the largest farmland of natural herbs. Other various attractions of this place include wide varieties of wildlife.
Spend a celebratory day at one of the schools
You can pick from a list of help needed from listening to children reading in English, or teaching some art and craft skills/ practical science experiments, or playing chess, or setting up an IT project …. to testing children’s eye-sight with appropriate props. The children will be the keenest-to-learn children you will ever meet and all lessons are in English. Engage with the smallest children in singing and games and watch older children perform traditional dances.
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