Accommodation & Meals:
We spend ten nights in standard hotels and two nights in basic guesthouses. All the lodgings on the trip are locally staffed, which has a positive effect on the economy. In particular, using remote guesthouses in the Himalayas is a great support for fairly isolated communities. Where provided, meals are made using locally sourced ingredients if possible. Lunches and dinners bring some wonderful opportunities to experience local cuisine and support independent cafes, restaurants and market stall owners. Be sure to try Nepalese Momos (steamed dumplings) and Dal Bhat (rice or lentil dish) with curry. In Tibet you may even find yourself buying a yak steak!
Local Craft and Culture:
This trip is packed with opportunities for cultural exploration as we visit a large range of colourful Buddhist and Hindu temples, monasteries, impressive palaces and bazaars. Through this we put clients in touch with authentic experiences of local cutlure, whilst also supporting preservation of important attractions with our entrance fees, donations and purchasing of souvenirs. Local craftsmanship is evident in the architecture all around us e.g. the wonderful painted wooden roof beams and typical gilded roofs of Samye monastery and Tashillunpo monastery. In Lhasa, there is the chance to purchase crafts and even see things being made. Around the Barkhor there are numerous stalls selling all sorts of handicrafts, brightly coloured boots and fur-lined hats, silver and turquoise jewellery, rosaries, prayer flags and charms, as well as beautiful Tibetan carpets and household wares.
After organising tours to the Himalayas for over 35 years, we have developed many long lasting partnerships with our operators, leaders as well as some of the local communities we visit. We seek ways to give something back and we usually help with small-scale practical projects that can help local communities and their environment, whilst giving the maximum possible long-term economic benefit. On top of providing fresh water, educational supplies and sustainable wood, we have introduced a number of larger projects. We have opened an orphanage in Kathmandu (Nava Kiran) and are now involved in funding education there. We have also installed 60 solar cookers across the Everest region and 28 smokeless stoves in Thulopatel Village. Smokeless stoves use less wood and protect those cooking from a range of health complaints caused by exposure to smoke.
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.