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Sailung trek – the Indigenous People Trail - 12 Days

The Sailung trek, following the Indigenous People Trail, takes you through the pristine Dolakha region located six hours drive from Kathmandu. This beautiful district lies at the foot of the Himalayas. You will see hardworking farmers, terraced rice fields, picturesque villages, clear rivers and beautiful views of the eastern peaks of the Himalayas.

During your hike you will get a unique, lively view into one of the most diverse cultural areas of Nepal. You will get to know at least six indigenous communities in this region: Sherpa, Newar, Thami, Tamang, Yolmo and Majhis. The Thami and the Majhis can only be found in this region of Nepal.

There is little tourism in this region. So you hardly meet any other hikers. You usually spend the night in fairly simple homestays or community lodges.

During the Sailung trek the landscape is hilly. But the paths are easy to walk. Moreover, you don’t ascend to great heights. This is an ideal trek for beginners or families. Also for anyone who is strongly interested in the local culture and still wants to see the Himalayas up close.

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  • Gorgeous view of the Himalayas from Sailung: from the Makalu to the Dhaulagiri
  • In clear weather you have a view of Mount Everest and the Terai lowlands in the South
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  • Unique view in the daily life of at least 6 indigenous people and their culture
  • Interesting mix of Hinduism and Buddhism, so that in every village there is a Lama and a Shaman
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  • You’ll hardly meet any other trekkers, which makes it a very intense and unforgettable trekking.
Day 1
Arrival in Kathmandu

Namaste and welcome to Nepal!

At the airport you will be welcomed by one of our employees. He has a sign with our logo. This way you can easily find each other when you leave the airport.

After a warm welcome you will be brought by car to your hotel in Kathmandu. Our staff will accompany you and help you with the check-in at your accommodation.

Arrive early in the day, explore the old part of Kathmandu (streets of Asan) and visit the beautiful Basantapur Durbar Square (Place Royale).

Today you will also meet Maaike and/or Chuda for a short `meet & greet`. We’ll give you tips and answer all your questions with pleasure! The guide for the next few days will also visit you and give a briefing for your trekking.

You will stay in a standard hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 2
Drive with private car to Dhunge (approx. 4.5 hrs) / Trek to Khola Kharka (2948m) - approx. 3 hours

After breakfast you will leave with your guide and porter with a private jeep to the starting point of your trekking, Dhunge. You drive there via Dhulikhel and then the village of Mude. The ride takes about 4,5 hours in total.

This is a short walking day. In Dhunge you start a short climb in the direction of Thulo Sailung.

You then follow the path down to the Sherpa village of Khola Kharka, where you will spend the night today.

You will spend the night in a community lodge in Khola Kharka.

Day 3
Trek to Sailung (3146m) - ca. 4 to 5 hours

Today you walk to reach the top of Thulo Sailung. At an altitude of approx. 3300 meters Sailung offers impressive views over Kalinchowk to the Annapurna, Langtang, Ganesh Himal, Rolwaling, Everest and Kanchenjunga, to the south you can see the Mahabharata hills and the Sun Koshi River and more down you can even see the lowlands of the Terai!

Thulo Sailung is considered by the indigenous Tamangs (the largest population group in this region) as the residence of the God of the region, the Sailung Phoi Sibda Karpo. The chörten on the hill of Sailung is the home of this divine protector and the Tamang community are regarded as the ‘keepers of the land’.

This is a very important – and for you fascinating – place for the indigenous people. Just below the top of Thulo Sailung is Gaurighat cave, considered a source of fertility and health.

You will spend the night in a community lodge in Thulo Sailung.

Day 4
Trek to Surke - ca. 4 hours

In clear weather you can enjoy a breathtaking sunrise over the Eastern Himalayas!

After breakfast you follow the path downhill via rhododendrons to the Tashi Namgyal Choeling Monastery in Raj Veer, which was built in 1972 by the Bhutanese Drukpa Kagyu school. Unfortunately this monastery was severely damaged by the earthquake of 2015.

From Raj Veer Monastery the path continues downhill. You no longer walk through woods, but through green terraced fields. Along the way you’ll pass a Sherpa village and a Tamang village.

The path continues downhill until you reach the spectacular ‘Thinghare’ waterfall: the water from the 12-metre high waterfall crashes onto the rocks below. After another short climb you’ll reach the settlement of Surke, surrounded by beautiful terraced fields.

You’ll spend the rest of the day in the village. You can walk to the viewpoint of Gaurigaun or visit the Thami community. This indigenous community likes to show you their culture. There are only 30,000 more of them, and the survival of their Tibetan – Burmese community is threatened.

You will spend the night in a homestay in Surke.

Day 5
Trek to Doramba - ca. 3 hours

You walk through the Thami settlement before crossing the Doramba Valley. The path leads you over a wooded ridge to the terraced fields of Doramba.

Doramba is one of the largest Tamang settlements in Nepal. Did you know that many of the Thangka artists you see at work in Boudha come from this village? The Tamang are very hospitable and also have their own language. Be sure to try a few sentences!

You will spend the night in a homestay in Doramba.

Day 6
Trek to Khandadevi - ca. 3 hours

You leave the Doramba Valley and walk up to the top of Agleshwari Danda. Here you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Himalayas and the rolling Mahabhata hills below. On this hilltop there is also a secret Hindu sanctuary!

You will descend through a slate mine, then through pine forests until you reach Galpa Bazaar. This village is situated on a pass between two valleys and a perfect place for lunch!

Khandadevi is situated on top of a hill at an altitude of 1977 meters. The village lies around a fascinating Hindustani temple complex and is surrounded by old stone walls. The Hindu temple is dedicated to the Goddess Khada Devi.

The surroundings are picturesque! From the rolling lush green Maharabharat Mountains, to the snowy peaks of Numburchuili and Gaurishankar in the north and view to the plains of the Terai in the south.

You will spend the night in a homestay in Khandadevi.

Day 7
Trek to Sunapati - ca. 3 to 4 hours

On leaving Khandadevi follow the path along a long ridge with a view on one side of the subtropical plains of the Terai and on the other side of the snowy Himalayan peaks. The Nepalese diversity at its best!

The path goes up and down through dense alpine forests before you enter another valley. Before you arrive in Dhonghme, you pass an enormous rock in the middle of the forest on which a temple to the God Shiva has been made. Dhongme is an old Yolmo settlement, where many Lamas live. The local Lama likes to show you his extensive collection of Buddhist writings.

In the evening you can climb to the top of the Sunapati. The sunset here is spectacular. Because you are here between Buddhist Chörtens and Hindu temples, the experience is magical.

You’ll spend the night in a homestay in Sunapati.

Day 8
Trek to Lubughat - ca. 3 to 4 hours

You enjoy a beautiful sunrise early in the morning.

After breakfast you descend today to the village of Lubughat on the famous Sun Koshi River. Here you will meet the Majhi community, known for their expertise in fishing. You will see the men, women and children in the river. They repeatedly throw nets into the water hoping to catch the passing fish.

You will spend the night in a homestay in Lubughat.

Day 10
Trek to Thulo Parsel - ca. 4 hours

Today is the last day of your draw. Walk through fields from Lubughat to Thulo Parsel.

Thulo Parsel is a vast village, overlooking the mountains and the river below. It is home to several communities, the majority of which are Tamang, Brahman and Chhetri’s.

This is also the native village of Chuda and some of our guides and porters!

You will spend the night in a homestay in Thulo Parsel

Day 11
Drive to Kathmandu - ca. 5 to 6 hours

After breakfast you leave with a private jeep back to Kathmandu. The first part is an adventurous ride, passing villages and overlooking the river.

On arrival in Kathmandu you will have some free time to explore this fascinating city further.

In Kathmandu there are many sustainable and social businesses: many of their articles are wonderful souvenirs. In this article you will find a selection.

If you want to relax your stiff muscles, go for a massage to Seeing Hands, a social enterprise where blind people are trained to become masseurs and then employed.

If you need a quiet spot, go and have a look at the Garden of Dreams. This neoclassical historical garden is a green oasis in the middle of Kathmandu city.

You will stay in a standard hotel in Kathmandu.

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Day 12
Free day in Kathmandu

Today you have all the time you need to explore lively Kathmandu. The bustling city has several unique World Heritage sites that are well worth a visit!

On the western side of Kathmandu lies the beautiful temple complex of Swayambunath on a green hill. Climb up under the watchful eye of a colony of monkeys and discover the fascinating sites of this complex. Then go down the back and walk to Amideva Buddha Park with its 3 gold plated statues.

The next step is the Tibetan Buddhist heart of Kathmandu: Boudhanath. This is on the other side of the city. Pilgrims from all over the world walk and pray around the gigantic white stupa. A lunch with a view of the stupa is undoubtedly an experience that will stay with you for a long time!

Finally, walk to Pashupatinath. This is the sanctuary of the Hindus, situated along the Bagmati River. Besides following a ritual cremation, you can also find the Saddhu’s here. These coloured holy men live around the temple.

You stay in a standard hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 13
Departure day

The end of the journey has come. We hope you had a fantastic journey and will bring home a lot of beautiful memories.

If you fly later in the day, you can stroll around Thamel or Asan.

About 3 hours before your international flight, the private car will pick you up and take you to the airport.

What's included?

  • Welcoming at the airport & transfer by private car to your hotel.
  • Meet & greet with Chuda and/or Maaike
  • Briefing with your trekking guide
  • 3 nights in standard hotel in Kathmandu, with breakfast
  • Ride from Kathmandu to Dhunge by private jeep
  • 8 nights in community lodges or homestays during the trekking, 8x breakfast, 8x dinner and 8x lunch included (drinks excl. )
  • English speaking guide during the trekking (his salary, meals, insurance and overnight stay)
  • 1 carrier for your luggage during the trekking (his salary, meals, insurance and overnight stay) - max. 18 kg
  • Transfer from Thulo Parsel to Kathmandu by private car
  • Airport transfer for departure flight

What's not included?

  • Visa fee of approx. 30 USD per person for 15 days: this is available upon arrival at the airport in Kathmandu or in advance via the Nepalese Consulate or the Nepalese Embassy
  • Fees when visiting monasteries or places of interest during your free days
  • International flight tickets Nepal: We deliberately do not include this in our price. It is easier and cheaper to book this yourself. Keep in mind about € 600 - € 800 per person.
  • Tips for drivers, guide, porter etc.: In Nepal it is customary to give a tip. For this trip it is about € 60 per person.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Sailung trek – the Indigenous People Trail

Trip Facts

  • October - May
  • 8
  • 3146m - Sailung
  • Easy to moderate
  • Dhunge / Thulo Parsel
  • Basic lodges & homestays / standard hotel in Kathmandu
  • Private transportation
Nepal Inside Out op TripAdvisor