NEPAL TOUR – MAOIST HEARTLANDS (February 16th-23rd 2018)
We are delighted to announce our new Nepal tour for 2018. In keeping with our philosophy at Global Village Tours, this is Nepal like you have not seen it before. From 1996 to 2006, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) fought a ten-year People’s War against the King and parliamentary parties. Using Chairman Mao’s theories as a guide, they created communist base areas and used the strategy of surrounding the cities from the countryside.
When the war ended, the Maoists came above ground and won the elections. King Gyanendra was forced to vacate the palace, making Nepal the first country to depose the monarchy and become a republic since Iran in 1979.
On this tour, we will take you deep into the Maoist heartlands of Rolpa and Rukum. We will see the communes, Maoist offices and the ruins of police outposts destroyed during the war. We will even hear stories first-hand by speaking to Maoist ex-soldiers and commanders about their experiences during and after the war.
Of course, we will also explore Nepal’s two main cities, Kathmandu and Pokhara, sampling the local food and drink as we go. This Nepal tour is not for the faint-hearted, expect an experience of rural Nepal far off the beaten path on an intense and immersive adventure into 21st century Maoism. And while you’re ‘in the neighborhood’ be sure to check out our bespoke tours of Tibet
Highlights of this Nepal group tour:
- Spending time in the incredibly remote village of Thawang, the Maoist capital during the People’s War
- Speaking with Maoist former soldiers and commanders about their experience of the war
- Visiting the Narayanhity Palace, where the King and many other royal members were massacred in 2001. It was vacated in 2007 as Nepal became a republic and is now a ‘People’s Palace.’
- All transport in Nepal
- Accommodation in mainly twin sharing rooms (3* in cities, local homes in the countryside)
- All entrance fees, guide fees and permits
- Breakfasts and lunches (and dinners when we’re in the countryside)
- Flights to/from Kathmandu
- Nepal Tour Visa
- Dinners (except when we’re in the countryside)
- Insurance and personal expenses
- Tips for the local guide
|At a glance:
||Kathmandu-Liwang-Thawang-Musikot-Butwal-Pokhara-Kathmandu 8 Days/7 Nights
ITINERARY > NEPAL TOUR MAOIST HEARTLANDS
- Arrive in Kathmandu and meet your guide and fellow travellers for a day of exploration.
- Unfortunately, Kathmandu’s main Durbar Square was almost completely destroyed during the 2015 earthquake, but we will travel across the river to Patan – or Lalitpur – to check out the Durbar Square there. Many buildings were also destroyed during the earthquake, but a lot are still standing, making it the perfect spot to wander around the temples, pillars and stupas of old Nepal.
- Traditional Nepalese lunch.
- Visit the Narayanhity Palace in the early afternoon. This palace was the home of the Nepalese royal family until 2007 when the Maoist leader and new Prime Minister Prachanda gave King Gyanendra 15 days to leave. It was converted into a ‘People’s Palace’ and is now a museum where we can view the throne room, banquet halls and bedrooms of the old royal members, and of course the tragic place where most of the royal family were massacred by Prince Dipendra in 2001. A particular highlight is looking for the photos of the royal family with Tito and Ceausescu.
- Enjoy dinner and drinks in Thamel, one of Kathmandu’s most vibrant areas.
- Stay overnight in Kathmandu.
Saturday 17th February
- After a quick breakfast, we will leave early for the drive from Kathmandu to Liwang, the district headquarters of Rolpa District, and Nepali Maoism’s Yan’an!
- This journey takes around 10 hours but we will stop for numerous rest breaks. We will have an excellent view of the Kathmandu Valley before we start to ascend Nepal’s mid-range mountains into the old Maoist heartland of Rolpa. The town of Liwang lies in a valley that we can see as we cross the mountain range above it, an iconic outpost of 21st century Maoism.
- Arrive early in the evening, eat dinner and relax with raksi, the local Nepalese spirit, distilled from rice or millet.
- Stay overnight in Liwang.
Sunday 18th February
- After breakfast, we will explore Liwang, including the Maoist party headquarters and the newly created Maoist school.
- Lunch of dal bhat, the traditional rice and lentil dhal eaten in this region.
- Depending on the road situation, we will either continue in our bus or change to a private jeep as we journey deep into the Maoist heartland, heading to Thawang via Gharti Gaon. Thawang is the spiritual home and original ‘base area’ of the Maoist People’s War and the place where we will truly immerse ourselves in Maoism.
- We’ll visit various Maoist bunkers and destroyed police outposts, relics of the People’s War.
- We’ll meet former soldiers from the Maoist People’s Army and section commanders to talk to them about their experiences of the People’s War.
- Eat dinner and stay overnight in Thawang.
Monday 19th February
- After breakfast, we will start a day of exploration in Thawang.
- Visit Rachibang Commune, one of the four original communes developed specifically to reject ‘capitalist individualism’. These communes were originally developed to house people who had lost relatives during the People’s War and evolved over time.
- Eat lunch in the commune.
- Travel by jeep to Mahat to explore the Maoist bunker.
- Continue to Rukumkot, a famous fort which was the site of one of the main battles between the Maoist and government forces.
- Drive to Musikot, the district headquarters of Rukum District, entering truly rural Nepal where there are not even proper roads – our jeep takes us on an off-road route!
- Eat dinner and stay overnight in Musikot.
Tuesday 20th February
- After breakfast we will traverse Musikot, visit the Maoist offices and talk to more Maoist former soldiers about their experiences and the post-war situation.
- Lunch in Musikot
- Bus to Butwal (6 hours), a major road junction joining the Mahendra and Siddhartha highways.
- Stop off at the Jitgadhi Fortress, a key location in the Anglo-Nepalese War. The British failed to colonise Nepal but they gained ceded territory, and the post-war war treaty granted the British the right to recruit Gurkha soldiers into their army.
- Visit Butwal Hill Park, a spiritual home for the ethnic Gurung population.
- Dinner and overnight in Butwal.
Wednesday 21st February
- Rise early, eat a quick breakfast and board the bus to Pokhar (6 hours), one of the most beautiful cities in Nepal.
- After lunch, we’ll visit the Gurkha Museum, featuring an extensive history of the Gurkhas.
- Climb Sarangkot hill for a breath-taking view of the city, Phewa Lake, and the Himalayas in the background.
- After dinner, we’ll stroll around the Bindhyabasini Temple area. Local beers and more raksi will help us enjoy the evening!
- Overnight in Pokhara
Thursday 22nd February
- Breakfast and free morning in Pokhara to do a bit of shopping in the local markets, enjoy more of the scenery or have a well-deserved lie-in!
- Bus to Kathmandu (6 hours).
- For the last night of the tour, we’ll celebrate Kathmandu style with dinner and then a pub crawl through Thamel, almost definitely going Cuban style and sampling the local Khukri Rum.
- Overnight in Kathmandu.
Friday 23rd February
- End of Nepal tour! Airport transport can be arranged.