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Earthbound Expeditions unveils new trek route from India to China, promoting off-season tourism in Nepal

Preeti Pantha
Preeti Pantha January 30, 2024, 1:03 pm
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KATHMANDU: Celebrating 25 years, Earthbound Expeditions, an award-winning trekking company, explored a new trek route from the India border to the China border.

At a press meet organised at Thamel Eco Resort in Kathmandu on Monday, the company informed about the exploration of the route with the title, 'Nepal-Border to Border Thru Hike'. 

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In the USA and Europe, thru-hikes are a popular way of exploring countries. Nepal, with its diverse landscape, offers a similar experience. There are multiple trek routes, including the Great Himalayan Trails, which runs east to west in the high pass and Himalayan region. However, there is no trek route available from south to north during the off-season from December to February.

Earthbound Expeditions is known for innovation in tourism, whether it's starting a yoga trek in Nepal, promoting spiritual wellness tourism, or exploring a new route. The trekking company has introduced this route to promote off-season tourism and to connect all historical, spiritual, and pilgrimage routes for economic benefits.

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At the event, it was revealed that the concept for the Nepal Border to Border Thru Hike - India to Tibet, China was sparked by the diaries of Magic Mike, their friend from Northern California, who had accomplished over 12,000 kilometres of thru-hikes in recent years. Earthbound Expeditions designed a trek akin to those in the USA, reaching the borders of adjacent countries, Mexico and Canada. This was done with Nepal's Himalayan Trail in mind, which runs East-West and is deemed demanding due to its high altitudes and the dedication of time and resources it necessitates.

They realised that travelling from South to North through Nepal would be reasonable and exciting. It takes one through all the layers of Nepal's geography, history, culture, and spirituality, all while watching the Himalayas get nearer and larger each day of the trek. They felt this could be best done when tourists are most needed in Nepal, from December to February.

After two years of mapping the trek, and with Magic Mike's encouragement, they discovered the best path would include stops in Nepal's destinations like Tansen, Bandipur, Gorkha, and Ruby Valley. With two of Earthbound’s team members, Kaji Sherpa and Chetan Rai, they made the first attempt on January 4, touching the India border around 4:00 pm, and on January 22 at 10:40 am, 440 kilometres later, they arrived at the Tibet, China border.

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The thru-hike route included places like Khunuwa - Taulihawa - Kapilvastu, Kudan, Jagdishpur Taal, Butawal, Masayam Hatiya, Tansen, Aryabhanjyang- Keladi Ghat - Ghiring - Rising - Damauli - Bandipur - Gorkha - Borlang, Taari Bensi - Katunje, Meghang - Salme - Gonga - Singla pass, Pangsang pass. Somdang - Chilime - and the Nepal China border of Rasuwagadhi close to Kyirong. It covers a total of nine districts in three Provinces — Lumbini, Gandaki and Bagmati. The trek was completed in 17 days, a total of 440km, 634,635 steps, and 139 hours.

This trek is not to compete with any other trek but rather offer an experience of Nepal's nature, culture, history, and pilgrimage significance to the visitor, the company asserted. The best way to see a country is to walk through it. Earthbound Expedition expressed hope that this new route will increase the number of trekkers during the off-season for the economic benefit of the country. The whole trek can be done in about 20 to 25 days depending on the pace. The trekkers can complete the entire stretch at once or can break the journey and do it in parts.

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