Doug

Balthali village trek via namo buddha and panauti, Nepal - Jan 7 - Jan 11, 2018

Traveler: Doug K. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

To be honest, we put a lot of trust in Kimkim as we weren't paying a great deal of attention to the finer details prior to heading OS. So in reality, it could have all gone very poorly!

Luckily for us our faith and confidence in the service was not misguided and we had a great time. Being unfamiliar with a place like Nepal can be very daunting when it comes to planning a hike / trek so we appreciated the insight and experience offered by kimkim. I would also recommend the specific hike we went on for beginners; it's low altitude and not too rough with regard to physical capability (climbing lots of steep stairs etc!). I imagine that experienced hikers could cover this distance and climb in around 2days if they were rushing it but the additional time was welcomed so we could enjoy each location and also have some rest.

We had opted for a more budget option with regard to accomodation and even then, the places we stayed were quite good. We had 4 nights in the below locations:
-Guest house in Dhulikhel; Amazing roof top view of the valley and mountains but the room was very cold and the shower cold. Beers were 600 NPR each.
-The Monastery was an overall highlight and had a superb hot shower! (it takes some working out as there are several taps which feed into the shower tap.. you'll work it out!. We had dinner and breakfast with the monks and they also had a little cafe for coffee, tea and other extras you might want. Surprisingly, there was secure and very good quality wifi throughout the location (cost 30NPR per day) no beers here of course!
-The Balthali Guest House was also very good. We had a relaxing afternoon with a few beers on the roof in the sun and then enjoyed getting amongst the local ladies to strip the dried corn for a couple of hours. The farm fresh and local food was excellent and we may have had a few too many local Rum's before bed.
-The homestay in Panauti was cool, we very much enjoyed the cooking class and the guided tour of the town. It was super cold here and the evening fire was very welcomed! The hot shower greatly appreciated before our long flights back top Australia.
All in all the trip was great fun, was well organised and our guide was great, thanks Ļāmā Ťãmãņğ Đāwâ !

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Doug, thanks for taking the time to provide such great detailed feedback! I am glad you liked all the guest houses, I think this is a wonderful little trek, where you have a chance to really get to know this part of Nepal if you stay in these places. Also happy to hear you enjoyed the extra time in each place, getting to really see a place and spend time with the people is such a big part of travel, I think, so awesome you enjoyed it! Great that Dawa and you got along and you had fun, thanks for traveling with us and we hope to see you back in Nepal soon. Cheers, Mads