Traveling is a wonderful experience and a good stay makes it worth remembering. Connecting to the local people and to their culture is the desire for most of the travelers.
People are more fascinated to see the differences than the similarities and are always looking for ways to witness it from near-at-hand.
People travel for many reasons. Traveling gives exposure to varied cultures, helps to expand the perspective, entices and indulge the taste buds with new delicacies, connects people with their stories and rejuvenates the traveler to a whole new level.
What could be the easiest way to connect to the local people and their lifestyle?
The obvious answer has to be staying in the ‘homestay’.
By spending time in homestay a guest can even follow the custom of ethnic locals by participating in the daily activities.
The history of homestay in Nepal goes back to the Sirubari, a Gurung village in Syangja district at an altitude of 1500 meter and approx six hours off road drive from Pokhara which settled tourists during the first national tourism campaign- ‘Visit Nepal Year 1998’.
There are mainly two types of homestays seen in the Nepali hospitality sector: a community homestay and a private homestay. Tourists and travelers prefer to stay in community homestay whereas students prefer to stay in private homestay.
Both the community and private homestays are growing in Nepal. The popular community homestays are Ghalegaon, Sikles, Aanpswara and such on. There are several community and private homestays in districts like Kathmandu, Kavrepalanchowk and Chitwan. Many other districts like Nawalparasi, Kailali, Gorkha, Palpa, Illam, Kalikot are preparing and registering for homestays.
The registration can be done through different offices like the Department of Tourism, District Cottage Industry Development Offices and Local units or wada karyalaya. The simple criteria for it to operate would be to include five or less rooms to it and can be operated privately or by remaining in the community.
Every community homestay has unique offerings to its visiting guest. Aanswara Community Homestay is a Dalit homestay which is located at 5 km of Damauli of Tanahun district. The new openings and increasing numbers has definitely increased the economic standards of operators of community as well as private homestays.
Homestay is more suitable for budget travelers, students, and researchers. They can spend less money and will be able to explore more. It also attracts backpackers who want to witness the unique local culture offered by community people from close.
It is very different from the hotels and are not alternatives to profit oriented lodges and one can find a great degree of unique and authentic experience from different homestays.
Tourists living in homestays always receive genuine and authentic information. Travelers can enjoy and experience the community’s cuisine, dance, music, social interaction and many other activities.
In recent years, the number of tourists coming, staying, connecting and flourishing it to the outside world has gone in numbers. So, it can be said the trend of homestays in Nepal is only going to grow and many will benefit from it.