A Dive Into Nature and Culture

22, Jan 2020 | nepaltraveller.com

Experience the rich rural culture and lifestyle of the local people and reconnect with nature in the hills of Balthali, at Balthali Eco Hill Resort for the perfect weekend getaway

Kathmandu city in all its busy chaotic scene is an attraction for all who come from far off lands to get immersed into the local culture. However, the bustling city can sometimes get a little taxing and a break from the city life is badly needed.

A stay at Balthali Eco Hill Resort was that saviour for the weekend, the respite from the monotonous city life and a thrilling dive into nature and culture. A trip to Balthali is a decision to go off the beaten track. I’d recommend three different options to reach Balthali, each providing you with three drastically different experiences. The first option would be to contact Balthali Eco Hill Resort Pvt. Ltd. reservation office at Thamel and hop on a hired four-wheel drive vehicle for a 2 hours drive to the Resort. The second option is to catch a local bus to Khopasi (36 km from Kathmandu) and then hike for 30 to 45 minutes to reach Balthali Eco Hill Resort. The trail goes through terraced fields and forested ridges. And the last option and the most daring would be to ride your mountain bike or motorcycle. I can tell you from experience that it will be one hell of a ride!

Different from what the word ‘resort’ has been associated with, this humble establishment at the top of the hill at Balthali is more catered towards providing guests with a local vibe rather than luxury. This 3-star resort is the brainchild of Hari Kaji Tamang. With over 20 years of experience in the hospitality business under his belt and an aspiration of creating a haven for tourists, Tamang turned back to his hometown of Balthali to work on his dream.

Balthali Eco Hill Resort started its operation on January 31, 2015. When asked why he chose to make his resort eco-friendly, Tamang replied that since this place is a natural reserve and being able to experience nature is a strong point of this location. He did not want to disturb the ecology by constructing a massive building and other facilities. Working along this philosophy, the resort has small cottages made using the traditional local techniques with all the amenities of a 3-star establishment inside. This modest resort on the hill-top is dotted with vibrantly village cottages made from mud and stones with the panoramic view the mountains as the backdrop. There are seven cottages with two rooms along with attached bathrooms in each. Another type of accommodation available in the resort are fixed tents. There are six fixed tents available which have 2-3 single beds in each tent. In total, Balthali Eco Hill Resort can accommodate around 40 people.

The resort serves a hearty Nepali breakfast with a perfect blend between western and local delights but if anything, lunch and dinner are even more special. The cuisine at the hotel can be considered as local cuisine and use of fresh produce is the secret to the amazing dishes. All the dishes are delicious, but the superb Khana Set stands out. The resort staff will build a campfire, if the guests are interested in it. And arrangements for barbeque can also be requested. 

According to Tamang, guests usually prefer a 3-days and 2-nights stay. The resort organises village tours and jungle walk for the guests as Balthali is the ideal place to relax and enjoy some hiking amid rice terraces and thatched farmhouses. The nearby three tamang villages; sano, thulo and dada gaun provides for an excellent opportunity to experience the rich rural culture.

Boasting an epic view of Langtang Himal, Ganesh Himal range, Manaslu, Dorje Lakpa, Gaurishankar, and Everest on the northern horizon, the resort premises in the perfect place to wake up early and see the rising sun. Not only the morning sky but also the night sky is equally beautiful. Take a dive into nature and culture to Balthali and enjoy your weekend away at Balthali Eco Hill Resort.

Photo Credit: Prajay Man Kansakar

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