Frequently Asked Questions
Will it change my life?
Read some of the quotes from visitors and volunteers on our website. It has certainly made a huge impact for good on many people and may be just what you need to kick-start a new direction for you.
How do I get there?
You can arrive by air or road from Kathmandu or road from Darjeeling. If you do not fly direct to Taplejung, most people fly to Bagdogra in nearby India or Bodrapur in SE Nepal and take a taxi from there, staying in the tea plantation town of Ilam en route. We are happy to discuss with you the merits of each.
When decided on how to travel, we suggest you contact: www.Himalayanecstasynepal.com
Or email Sujan Bhattarai, who is in charge of admin and bookings, firstname.lastname@example.org
We have partnered with Himalayan Ecstasy for over a decade and Moti Bhattarai is our ‘Schools’ Inspiration’. They will arrange all travel and will hold your hand on
How easy is internal travel?
It is not very easy.
We recommend that you allow extra time for delays, cancellations or changes.
Do not book your onward flight from Kathmandu (either to or from an internal destination in Nepal) on the same day that you expect to arrive – allow an extra day. Flying from Kathmandu to Taplejung will take you along the Himalayas for 235kms. Any bad weather in the mountains will cause delay or cancellation of flights.
Roads are often being mended. An 80kms journey from Kathmandu to Chitwan, when the road was being re-made, took us 10 hours in 2018 (it is now complete). So check before starting out.
Himalayan Ecstasy is adept at finding alternative routes if one fails. You will get where you want to….possibly a little later than planned. www.himalayanecstasynepal.com
What time of year should I visit?
Every month has its own character, but most visitors avoid the monsoon season (May-September). Prices in Nepal are generally higher in October/November at the start of the season, when the serious trekkers and climbers prefer to visit to give them the longest possible window. The shoulder season of December to February are our favourite time of year as it is generally pleasantly sunny with clear skies.
For weather visit https://weather.com and search for Taplejung.
Is there running water, electricity and Wifi?
We have clean water in the Villa and at the schools. This is privately owned and comes straight from a water source in the mountains. None-the-less, we advise that when in Nepal it is a good idea to drink bottled or boiled water.
There is running water in the kitchen and bathroom. There is a shower with hot water and a flush toilet.
We have electricity supplied to the Villa provided by hydro-electricity from the river below. We also have solar power lighting for when the electricity connection is lost. As long as there is mains electricity. Calor gas heats the shower water and the cooking hobs.
The Wifi is usually excellent as we have fibre-optic cabling. However, after a major storm, the electricity may rely on solar power at the Villa, which only runs lights.
What do we do for food?
You can buy biscuits, sweets and possibly bottled water in the village. Otherwise, all food shopping will need to be done in Taplejung, where there will be an Aladdin’s cave of all sorts to buy. It is likely that neighbours will pop in with milk, vegetables and fruit – whatever is in season.
However, as Taplejung is a 90 minute walk away or 30 minute taxi ride, we provide a housekeeper for the week to obtain food, cook and clean.
We recognise that everyone likes different types of food. You can discuss your needs in advance to make sure you get what you like on your holiday. Your housekeeper will endeavour to cook local dishes or ‘international’ to suit you. Some foods are easy to obtain – some difficult:
Easy: beer; vegan foods ie fruits, spices, nuts and vegetables/fruits of all sorts; milk, yoghurt and eggs; honey, jam, biscuits and bread; noodles, pasta, rice, potatoes, packets of crisps; Nescafé, black and green tea. More difficult/often not available: chicken, pork, goat, cake. Very difficult/usually not available: wine, fish, lamb and buffalo. Impossible: beef.
There are many restaurants in Taplejung serving local foods.
Can I help at the Schools?
Please discuss what you would like to help with. We welcome all visitors. Specialist help, such as IT or practical science is always useful….but so is listening to children read or teaching them a song in English.
Because of safeguarding, staff will always accompany you – and so be there to assist as necessary.
Will there be a guide to lead my treks?
We strongly recommend you consider the itineraries above and discuss your needs in advance with us and book a guide for your stay, even if you mostly intend to sit, read books and look at the view. Your guide will make all travel arrangements, including any necessary changes. He will know of appropriate treks and what to take on the hike. Moreover, he will be local and know the local people and so you will get invited in for drinks, snacks and to experience the local way of life. The Taplejung bazaar can be a confusing place to shop, so a little help will be useful there too.
Is the village suitable for children?
Yes. Most little children wander about together and with older children. There are swings in the playground next door to the Villa and plenty of children to play football etc. There is a padlock on the outside Villa gate.
For older children, there is the ever-popular Carrom Board (a fast paced game where coins are flicked competitively across a board), as well as several international board games such as Monopoly…..and pool or snooker available in Taplejung. The Wifi usually works. If you take a trip up to Suketar, take the kites to fly with the Himalayas as a backdrop. Have a go at star gazing with our superb telescope.
What is the local shopping like?
This area is known for semi-precious stones….and therefore jewellery; raw silk cloth woven into unique Limbu patterns; angora wool; rugs brought down from the high mountains or Tibet; and brass work – and there are shops to barter in all along Taplejung bazaar.
At least window-shop the pomegranates, kiwi fruits, oranges, bananas etc along with an array of brightly coloured spices….as well as look in the grocer shops which still sell loose goods poured into bags.
Most visitors have clothes made by the many tailors. You can buy material there….including local Limbu or Hindu designs. You can be measured or have items copied.
Do people mind if I take photos?
Generally, people are delighted and you may find a queue forming. If so, they will enjoy seeing what you have taken. They may also ask to take a selfie with you. Of course, you should ask if they mind first and, very occasionally, they may refuse. Generally, a bit of rapport built and they will agree. Many have no photos of themselves and so, if you can later give them a print (available cheaply in Taplejung), they will be very grateful.
What should I take with me?
See our recommended Packing List by clicking here.
How can I stay involved?
Should you wish to, you could:
- Sponsor one of the poorest children through their education at the schools from as little as £20 per month
- Provide a bursary for a child to continue their education
- Help a teacher improve their English and/or IT skills
- Mentor a child as they move away from the village
- Sign up for Q. Learning Nepal’s newsletter – please contact us at enquiries@kangchenjungaview,com
- Send us your best holiday photos, with permission for us to use them.
Is there a discount for longer stays or in the monsoon season?
Yes. Please contact us to discuss your thoughts. We often visit Nepal in the monsoon season – mostly it will rain at some point each day but not stop a good trek or a read on the balcony.