Nepal has always been known for its rustic charm and great hiking and trekking trails. Tourists often come here for thrilling and scenic hikes and treks that lead to some glorious places. However, there are some less popular routes and places in Nepal that don’t get a lot of footfall but still have quite a lot to offer. These places are worth discovering. Here are four such hidden treasures.
Ghyangphedi is a major homestay destination in Nuwakot district these days. Hundreds of tourists visit this village to experience the culture of Nepal in its raw form. But the village has still not garnered much mainstream attention. “You should visit the place before it reaches that point because it’s only a matter of time that people will be swarming in here like every other popular travel destination in Nepal,” says Karmajit Tamang, chairman of Gyangphedi Community Homestay, explaining that the village has shown great potential as a place that could turn into a popular tourist destination.
It is a beautiful village surrounded by hills from where the natural beauty of Nepal seems almost mesmerizing. Although you can just visit the village to simply enjoy the homestay experience here, you could also incorporate it as a stop while on your way to Gosaikunda or Helambu. What’s more is that the income the village generates through tourism has aided its development greatly. “If you had been to this village a few years earlier, you would’ve had a completely different experience,” says Tamang reminiscing of the time when the village was known as a red zone area because all young females from this place were being sold off to traffickers.
Tamang found out about this issue through a news broadcast and started thinking of ways to change the income source of the villagers from selling off their daughters to tourism. He figured out that Red Pandas could actually be seen very frequently from the village and started promoting the place that way. Sometime later an organization started bringing in tourists and after being impressed by everything the village had to offer, they started developing it as a homestay destination. Since then, Ghyangphedi has been building up a reputation for possibly being the best destination for homestay in Nepal. It’s very accessible through road and every paisa the tourists spend at the village improves the economic standards of the villagers and helps in its holistic development.
Even though Jumla is famous for its natural beauty, not a lot of people know about the village of Muhari. “Everyone who visits Jumla only ever goes to Rara and Mugu but they’re really missing out by not entering Muhari,” says Jiwan Rana Magar, director of Five14 Nepal – a company that is involved in the travel industry in many forms. He states that because people consider Jumla a geographically challenging destination to travel to, a lot of them opt not to travel here but everyone who travels to Muhari immediately falls in love with the place.
It takes about two days to get to Muhari from Kathmandu if you want to drive to the place. You could reach there in a few hours if you opt to travel by air. Rana Magar also claims that even though traveling to Muhari and staying there can be a costly affair, the experience you get at the place is totally worth it. The village offers a panoramic view of nearby mountains and also has good homestay facilities. It’s a neat little place to escape the chaos of the city and get some much-needed peace and quiet.
Chepang Gaun, Surkhet
Chepang Gaun in Surkhet district is a destination the Five14 team recently scouted out as a place with high potential as a future tourist hotspot. It’s a small rural village from where Bardia National Park is easily accessible and it has a traditional charm that a lot of modernized places in Nepal have lost. The village is an ideal destination – especially for those who enjoy fishing as it’s known for being a fishing hotspot.
Rana Magar mentions that since the village isn’t very developed, it might not be ideal for someone looking to travel luxuriously. He states the Five14 team has plans to develop the village and aid the villagers so that they can make the area more suitable for those who seek to travel comfortably. But you can still go there and camp out if you’re interested in traveling to the village right now. It’s just going to be a rustic experience, and you have to prepared to leave some comforts behind.
Bhotang and Mohra, Sindhupalchowk
Like Chepang Gaun, Bhotang and Mohra are two villages that were recently spotted by the Five14 team as future tourist hotspots. Both of them are in Sindhupalchowk district and are located very close to each other. And even though they are in close proximity to Ghyangphedi, there isn’t a direct way to reach these villages from Nuwakot. Traveling onwards from Melamchi is the only way you’ll reach these villages. If you trek onwards for a few hours from both of these villages, you can clearly see the Sagarmatha’s peak and also get a good view of the other mountains that surround the area.
Again, like Chepang Gaun, the Five14 team is working to develop these villages into big tourist destinations that will help bring in enough income for the villagers to make a good living. The village already offers homestay facilities and has a lively environment and inhabitants who are very welcoming of visitors.