An interview with John: Walking in the mid hills of Nepal
John enjoying a meal with his guide Wangchuk
In 2015, Mountain Kingdoms General Manager, John, was the lucky member of the team to travel to Nepal to try out a brand new walking holiday in the lesser-visited mid hills region west of Kathmandu. To find out more we asked John to tell us all about his experience on our Mid Hills & Village Heartlands holiday
Can you briefly tell us about your itinerary, and the main focus of this new trip to Nepal?
The trip is 13 days London-London, Gentle/Moderate grade walking holiday, staying in really nice lodges in superb locations with a couple of nights in Kathmandu at the end.
What was your most memorable experience during your time in Nepal?
Walking through untouched villages far removed from any of the regular tourist routes and meeting ever friendly locals going about their daily lives.
Who would Mid Hills & Village Heartlands in Nepal be ideal for?
Anyone who wanted to see a slice of life of the real Nepal, off-the-beaten-path, staying in comfortable lodges, with some easy-paced walks balanced with plenty of down time to relax.
What is the accommodation like on this trip?
I was really impressed with the standard of the lodges and hotels that I stayed in. They all had really comfortable ensuite rooms, tasty food, good facilities (including a swimming pool in one of them) and great views of the surrounding valleys and mountains.
What makes this trip different to other Mountain Kingdoms holidays in Nepal?
Situated between Kathmandu and Pokhara, south of the high Himalayan peaks, the mid hills are not on any of the well-known trekking routes. The relatively low altitude (nothing above 2,300m), means that the walking is pretty easy going and gives a real insight into regular village life and the way that the majority of the Nepali people live. Hiking through the iconic terraces and paddy fields, with the back drop of the higher mountain ranges beyond, only adds to the beauty of the region.
What makes Nepal such a special place?
The big hearts and infectious spirit of the people of Nepal, combined with the most incredible landscapes, make it such an inspiring place to visit. If you’re a keen walker, there really is no better place in the world to explore.
How is Nepal recovering from the 2015 earthquake?
It’s doing amazingly well and I saw virtually no damage to the buildings or trails in the mid hills. Even in Kathmandu, there’s very little evidence of the devastation we all saw on our TV screens last year. After the FCO advice changed last October - removing the restriction of ‘all but essential travel’ to most of the country - our Operations Manager, Jim Davies, visited several of the main trekking areas. He was also impressed by how quickly Nepal had got back on its feet. You can read the account of his journey here.
One thing I do know, is that you are definitely assured of the warmest of welcomes from the local people who are delighted to see tourists returning to their country. Tourism is a lifeblood to the Nepali economy and visiting is the best way support the people of this remarkable country.
For departure dates, prices and a full itinerary take a look at our Mid Hills & Village Heartlands walking holiday.