Tourism is by no means a new concept in Nepal, but visitors are principally drawn to Kathmandu and the Himalayas, thus neglecting the rest of the country. The area chosen for Village Ways’ first privately guided walking holiday in Nepal
, in the Sailung region east of Kathmandu, is typical of these ‘forgotten’ parts: those people who remain in the villages survive on subsistence farming, growing all manner of crops, from oranges to buckwheat, and from rice to sugar cane. Considerable numbers have emigrated to work in the coal mines of India, or as hired help in the Middle East, returning only every two or three years to see their families. Given all this, the idea of bringing tourism to the area was greeted with great enthusiasm. As in India, any villager could put themselves forward to be trained as a housekeeper, cook, guide or porter, and they now work on a rota basis to ensure that the work is shared fairly between everyone involved.