When it comes to traveling in Nepal, most people will go to a few favourite hot-spots. And while they’re great, I also recommend getting out into the lesser-known areas of Nepal, where you can see real rural Nepali life. Dhading is one of the 75 districts of Nepal. It is located in central Nepal, a four hour bus drive from Kathmandu. The district capital is Dhading Besi, which will be your starting point for any exploration.
Dhading is not a tourist place. When I visited in October 2017 I did not meet a single tourist. Dhading Besi is a typical mid-sized Nepalese city with all of its hustle and bustle. The town is not really exciting, but the main reason someone should travel there is to get to the tiny villages surrounding it. This is where you find the truly authentic, traditional Nepali life.
I stayed in four different villages in Dhading district: Sankosh, Simle, Nalang and Basaha.
The village people are really helpful and it is possible to communicate even if you do not speak Nepali. For very little money you can get a simple bed. I was served buffalo milk in the morning and the best dal bhat I’ve ever had. The people are not used to tourists at all and you will be very interesting to them.
October is one of the best times to visit as it is rice harvesting time. The mid hills are covered in stunning tones of yellow and green. The landscape is highly cultivated but nevertheless beautiful.
I especially fell in love with Basaha, a little village on the hillside. If the sky is clear you will have an amazing view of the Himalayas. There is a guy who works with bees who has a beautiful permaculture farm, and he’s happy to show visitors around. He has really delicious honey.
There are no official treks in Dhading, but I recommend starting from Dhading Besi and then making your way up. Your first stop could be Simle, and from there, follow the road through the hillside that connects most of the villages. You definitely need a four-wheel drive to drive up there if you’re not trekking.
If you are looking for adventures that do not follow the classic trails, Dhading is a excellent choice to explore lesser-known territories. That being said, you need to prepare well as there are only a few official maps. There is cellphone reception up in the mountains so it is possible to navigate with your smartphone, but I highly recommend double-checking with the information that the locals can give you.
Article by Lukas Steingässer