Southern Settlements day hike
There are few day hiking opportunities in Nepal that can quite match the splendor and culture of the Southern Settlements day hike. This beautiful hike takes you to a variety of villages and towns, through carefully cultivated countryside and past a few scattered settlements. Along the way you will find out more about a number of traditional crafts and you will meet and see interesting people as they go about their daily activities. The hike takes quite a long time but includes a picnic lunch and is so entertaining that the day is over before you realize it.
The Southern Settlements Day Hike usually starts by car. Hikers are taken to their starting point in Kirtipur by means of a short drive on a few dusty roads. Kirtipur is a very old town with a long history and it is a great place to explore. From Kirtipur, you will set out across the beautiful countryside to find a few settlements before crossing the Bagmati River on a suspension footbridge. Many find the footbridge to be quite intimidating and if you are afraid of heights and don’t even think you could make it across with your eyes closed you might want to consider giving this day hike a skip. However, if you are confident that you can conquer your fears you will never look back because the hike is really only beginning at this point. Not far down the road are the towns of Khokana and Bungamati. These two towns, which have a strong medieval feel, are referred to as being sister towns and each is renowned locally for a particular trade. Khokana is known for producing excellent mustard oil in traditional presses while Bungamati is known for its inspirational woodcarvings. It is here that the group of hikers will stop for a short break and a delightful picnic lunch before continuing with the hike.
After lunch hikers can continue up to the ridgeline and then on to the villages of Brahmin and Chhetri before heading on to Chapagaon. They will pass plenty of cultivated farmlands along the way and will probably see quite a few smiling faces too. This is where the day hike ends and transport back to Kathmandu will have you arrive back at your accommodation during the early evening. A lot of people enjoy this hike because it offers them the opportunity to see rural life in Nepal as it truly is. It is also a great opportunity to make contact with the local people and learn more about trade skills that have been employed in this country for centuries. So give the Southern Settlements day hike a try and discover a whole new part of Nepal.