Responsible Peek into Nepal
11 days | Oct 2009
He booked this trip with us through ethicaltravelportal.com, our trip partner in Norway.
I travelled with Ansvarlig Turisme/ Ethical Travel Portal to The Gambia in 2008. Based on that trip my expectation for this trip to Nepal was enormous. Would this trip and experiences be at the same level as I had in The Gambia almost two years back??
We reached Kathmandu airport after twenty hours journey. Here representatives from socialtours were waiting for us with a warm welcome. After arrival, transfer to the hotel and information about the trip and responsible tourism program we enjoyed our welcome dinner in a traditional Nepalese restaurant. The next day we spent time at socialtours office and learned about their work and efforts in responsible tourism. Later our Heritage Trail started to the many of the UNESCO heritage sites in Kathmandu Valley. The culture difference from Europe is a paradise for a photographer!
A memory I will not forget is our three days trekking in Chepang Hill Trail. We stayed at two homestays where we got an insight in the real Nepalese way of living, the Chepang Hill Trail background, how the network of homestay is organised and the porters’ role in Nepal. An unforgettable experience! Even if the trek was a bit hard I really recommend it!
In Chitwan we saw tourism in a bigger scale. The elephant safari reminded about a station where groups of four people continuously went into the jungle on the elephant searching for wild animals. In Chitwan we also learned about responsible tourism initiatives like the elephant dung paper project, Bio Gas Village, community library and more. We also got to see the negative side of tourism, the impact it has had for some of the poorest in the area, in good and bad.
Back in Kathmandu we visited an orphanage where homeless children are taken care of. We got a good understanding how it is organised. It is great to see the efforts from the management and staff to make this a good place for the children to live.
I could have written a book about my experiences in Nepal – but in short I recommend traveling with Ethical Travel Portal if you search a different kind of experience. Their trips are really something extraordinary, with great travel company as well. This is the reason why I join travels organised by ETP time after time.