Eastern Nepal, lesser known to the world outside, is a treat to the travelers who visit here. The community homestays in the eastern side of Nepal adorned with vibrant culture, scenic tea gardens, rich biodiversity, and awe-inspiring views of the eastern Himalayas, including Mt. Kanchenjunga (the third-highest mountain in the world). Famous for its tea, eastern Nepal is rich in flavorful tea production from the sub-tropical part of it to the hilly areas. The warmth and hospitality of the people here will leave you speechless and want you to visit here again and again.
One of the best ways to experience eastern Nepal is through community homestays. Locals who offer travelers a chance to stay in their homes and explore some of the less touristy parts of eastern Nepal run these homestays. They also allow visitors to interact with local people, take part in activities such as farming, and try local cuisine. While community homestays provide an immersive cultural experience, it also provides an opportunity for travelers to support local communities by contributing directly to their livelihoods. Here are list of different community homestays you can stay in while visiting eastern Nepal.
You could also explore various communities of eastern Nepal by adding to the Eastern Nepal Road Trip to make your holidays even more memorable and adventurous.
1. Mai Pokhari Community Homestay, Ilam
At Mai Pokhari, Ilam, you will be able to explore the beauty of far-eastern Nepal. Far from the usual touristic crowd, here you can try unique local food and explore beautiful hiking routes while surrounded by green tea gardens, forests and mountains. You can also stroll around the equally beautiful star-shaped lake known by the same name as the community Mai Pokhari or visit a local cheese factory nearby.
Along with the beautiful surroundings, staying at Mai Pokhari Community Homestay will offer you the authentic rural experience in Ilam. At Mai Pokhari Community Homestay, you can enjoy foods like Wachipa and Chop achar, which are beyond famous Nepalese food like Dal Bhat Tarkari. Wachipa, a standout local dish, features chicken fried rice infused with the essence of burnt chicken feathers. Additionally, Chop Achar, a dry and spicy condiment, is crafted from oily seeds, adding a unique flavor to the culinary experience.
Along with delicious food prepared by the hosts, the community homestay awaits you to offer warm hospitality. Accommodation at the Mai Pokhari Community Homestay is simple yet will meet your basic requirements. The hosts at the community homestay will go above and beyond to make your stay comfortable. You can spend some quality time with your host family while enjoying the evening campfire.
2. Shree Antu Community Homestay, Ilam
A melting pot of culture, the people living in Shree Antu are diverse and belong to different ethnicities like Rai, Limbu, Tamang, Magar, Brahmin and Lepcha. A small village of Ilam, Shree Antu is not just blessed with cultural diversity but also rich in scenic beauty. Staying at a community homestay surrounded by tea fields, beautiful gardens and the third-highest mountain in the world, the Kanchenjunga (8586 meters) is a great option to enjoy Nepal’s diverse culture and natural beauty. To soak in what the community offers, staying with the local family can make your travel more immersive than the hotels at Shree Antu. With the warm hospitality and good accommodation facilities, you would not have to compromise on your comfort.
Most of Shree Antu Community Homestay hosts are primarily engaged in the tea business. If you are there in the right season, you will get to experience tea harvesting and follow the pluckings to the tea factory, where you can learn about the production process. You can also take a horse ride, visit beautiful Antu Pokhari Lake, explore the Gufa Patal cave viewpoint or relax in your homestay and learn about their way of life while sipping a freshly brewed local tea.
3. Namje Community Homestay, Dhankuta
Namje Community Homestay is situated near one of the famous towns of eastern Nepal, Dharan. Although near the town, it is away from the hustle and bustle of the city area. Here you can experience and enjoy a rich Magar culture. Witness and enjoy the traditional Magar folk songs and dances and do not hold yourself from enjoying the cultural performance; even try dancing yourself! The hosts at Namje Community Homestay are mostly of Magar ethnicity and are proud and happy to showcase their culture to travelers.
They think these performances also allow them to preserve their culture while passing it down to younger generations. With 13 homes coming together to build the homely environment via community homestay, they are ensuring they maintain it with modern amenities to make your stay comfortable.
4. Shree Mechi Community Homestay, Jhapa
One of our new additions to the network, Shree Mechi Community Homestay, represents eastern Nepal’s rich geographical diversity. The enthusiastic group of hosts try their best and make sure that you will have a comfortable stay while you observe and enjoy their way of living. The hosts at the community homestay are engaged primarily in agricultural activities. With English speakers in the community, it would not be difficult to explore the town.
The community homestay is ideally situated between the agricultural fields, tea plantations and forest. Here you can explore various activities, from wild elephant spotting to celebrating local festivals and tea harvesting while you are here. This sub-tropical part of the country is best to visit during the fall season. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, the best time to spot wild elephants is between May and September. However, it is very hot, humid, and rainy this season, so be prepared if you plan to visit.
5. Dobato Community Homestay, Ilam
The Dobato Community Homestay in Ilam is the ultimate off-the-beaten-path destination that takes you to the habitat of the much-loved, yet endangered Red Panda. Doabato can be reached with a short flight from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur in the southern lowlands, followed by a scenic drive up to Ilam Bazar and a final off-road ride to Dobato.
At Dobato Community Homestay, you can experience the lifestyles of rural Nepal and join your host in their daily activities and agriculture with plenty of opportunities to try the delicious local food and drink! During your stay in Dobato you can go bird watching in the lush, protected forests, or also join a naturalist in a wildlife tracking trip for the chance to spot a Red Panda and other rare wildlife, including the endangered Chinese Pangolin and Himalayan Black Bear. You can also arrange a trek up to Sandakpur at 3,636 meters (11,930 feet), for sweeping views of the Himalayas and Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak!
6. Koldanda Community Homestay, Taplejung
The Koldanda Community Homestay in Maiwakhola serves as a lovely base while trekking around the Kanchenjunga region or visiting the Pathivara temple. Koldanda is a small remote village and takes about 5 hours off road drive from Taplejung Bazar. The warm hospitality, laidback lifestyles and lush green hills are sure to give you a wonderful experience at Maiwakhola.
Surrounded by farms and forest, when at Maiwakhola, you can take a hike around the village to observe the locals tending to their field or even give a hand at working alongside them. At Maiwakhola, you can also observe how the locals make traditional Lokta paper while learning the detailed process of converting the wood pulp to sheets of paper in a traditional way.
7. Shree Jamuna Engla Community Homestay, Ilam
Shree Jamuna Engla Community Homestay provides a wonderful cultural experience with the local community while indulging in solitude among the lap of the mighty Kanchenjunga. Located in Sandakpur at the eastern region of Nepal, Shree Jamuna Engla Community Homestay, is home to various distinct cultures, you can witness the lifestyles of Sherpas, Magars and Chettries coexisting in harmony.
Located near the border, while at Sandakpur, you can traverse in between Nepal-India border to take a glimpse of Darjeeling, walk in between Singalila National Park, and see all three countries Nepal, India and Bhutan. If you want first-hand experience of agricultural life with local people you can choose to visit during the rainy season. The azure sky, green forests, and the massive snow capped Himalayan peaks make the place a photographer’s paradise and a nature lover’s dream destination.
8. Shree Gorkhey Community Homestay, Ilam
Surrounded by the serene environment, Shree Gorkhe Community Homestay is a melting pot of Sherpa, Chettri and Brahmin culture. Close to nature and farm, you can enjoy spending time with the hosts in cooking and agricultural activities. Situated in the rural village of Ilam in the municipality of Suryadhaya, Gorkhe is far from the hustle and bustle of the city. A world away from the cities, here you can enjoy its serenity, hills and forests. Do not miss the opportunity to live an authentic Nepali experience. We highly encourage you to add this beautiful destination to your bucket list!!
9. Gumba Danda Community Homestay, Taplejung
Perched on a hillside, Gumba Danda is surrounded by forest, agricultural land, and nearby villages, and is also graced with views of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world! The community here is Gurung, one of Nepal’s many ethnic groups. With nature and agricultural land on all sides, there are plenty of hiking options around Gumba Danda, including a trip up to the well-known Pathibhara Temple, with its sweeping views of the Himalayas.
Sitting at the gateway to the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, a stay at Gumba Dada Community Homestay can also be your starting off point before you head off on the famous Kanchenjunga trek. While Gumba Danda is located all the way up in Nepal’s most northeast district of Taplejung, it is relatively accessible by either road or air.
10. Phalelung Community Homestay, Panchthar
Phalelung Community Homestay in a rural hillside village is surrounded by forest, terraced agricultural lands, and sweeping views of the Himalayas in the distance. The remote village of Phalelung is located in Panchthar, one of the far-eastern districts of Nepal, right alongside the Indian border. There are also many nice spots to hike to and explore around the villages, including a visit to a nearby waterfall, the Mahadev Gufa Cave, one of the local monasteries, or a large tea plantation just outside the village.
11. Jaskelo Community Homestay, Ilam
Jaskelo means a small window. The Jaskelo Community Homestay is located in Rong rural municipality of Salakpur. This small hilly village of Terai serves as a perfect place to enjoy the tranquility and calming green landscape. The Jaskelo community homestay has charming sukuls (geometric carpets woven from plant stems) made from Cardamom stems. It is all prepared alongside big round tables and piping hot tea.