The Indigenous Peoples Trail – Everything you need to know!
Hope and Phil, couple from New Zealand who loves adventure and exploring the world went on a trek in Nepal in Oct, 2017. It was however not the usual/popular trekking route (that most tourists take) they took, but rather chose to trek on a lesser-known trails.
Hope Norris shares their experience from their trek at “The Indigenous Peoples Trail”. Hope you will also learn something about this forgotten trail of Nepal.
Written by Hope Norris.
Most people visit Nepal to go trekking, but we added the country to our bucket list purely for the Tihar Festival, a five-day Hindu celebration where animals are worshipped, the streets are decorated with lights, flowers, and flags, and people parade through the streets singing, dancing, and banging drums.
As Kiwis, everyone back home assumed we were going to Nepal to trek Everest Base Camp, but knee-high snow and alpine sickness is definitely not my idea of fun. The other popular option, Annapurna, didn’t sound overly appealing either.
We heard that there are so many people on the track that you don’t even need a guide. It’s impossible to get lost because you can’t walk more than a few hundred meters without bumping into a group of tourists. But when we read about the Indigenous Peoples (IP) Trail in the Air Asia in-flight magazine, I knew we couldn’t leave Nepal without doing this trek!
Walking from village to village through the most culturally diverse area of Nepal, staying with local people who speak little-to-no English, eating the most amazing food cooked on a fire, and soaking in the epic scenery without another tourist in sight. It was just as incredible as we thought it would be, and easily the highlight of our trip so far.
The IP Trail was created in 2011 by the Nepali government in an attempt to bring income to the indigenous communities living in remote villages of the Ramechhap district.
Unfortunately the trail never really took off, and the 2015 earthquake caused the light flow of trekkers to almost stop completely. Very few of the locals in Kathmandu know about the IP Trail, let alone the travellers. This made it a little difficult to find information on the trail, particularly how to get there.
But with the small amount of online information, a little help from a local travel agent, and a map we found at a local bookstore (which was as old as the trail itself) we managed to plan our route and find transportation.
Over seven days we walked 91km through 12 different villages, climbed a mountain, drunk tea with monks, ate our weight in Dhal Bhat (a traditional Nepalese dish of rice, lentil soup, and vegetables), enjoyed panoramic views of the Himalayas, and met the most beautiful people.
There are 4 videos
Although it wasn’t the most glamorous trip.
We showered with cold buckets of water and wore the same pants for four days. It was a hell of an adventure!
Anyone can go to another country, stay in a hotel or a hostel, and say they have experienced another culture. But how many people can say they have actually been off the beaten track, walking through the mountains, staying in tiny villages where the only English word the locals know is “coffee”.
That’s a true cultural experience, and one we think should be on every traveller’s bucket list!
This article was written and provided by Hope Norris and Phil, couple from New Zealand who loves adventure and exploring the world.
If you’re interested in doing this amazing trek, check out their blog post for everything you need to know.
One of the hosts that gifted us scarves
We want to inspire others to see the world, and show that travel doesn’t have to be expensive.