What better way to get insight in local life and really experience a country as by helping a few days on a local farm. This is one of the activities I personally like the most. It gives you the best possibility to have a peak into somebody’s daily life and really makes you part of their family.
Recently I spoke to Dipak, the owner of an organic tea farm. Dipak runs a very small-scale organic tea farm located in a little village in the Ilam district close to the border of Darjeeling, India. He lives there with his parents, his wife and his son. They have a tea plantation, cardamom fields, vegetable plots and some land for cereals. They also spend time on beekeeping. Besides their daily work as farmers they offer travelers the possibility to stay at their farm for a few days. Dipak: “We really enjoy meeting people from around the globe and show them around while sharing and exchanging our skills, knowledge, experiences, culture, language and food. I can teach everything about tea gardening, sustainable and ecological farming practices and methods. While staying with us they will have the opportunity to learn more about our rural Nepalese way of living.” Dipak’s farm is a perfect hideaway if you want to relax and enjoy Nepal’s countryside.
The Ilam district
The farm of Dipak is located in the Ilam district. The area of Ilam is well known for its tea production and its special Ilam tea of which you probably have heard of. It boosts of scenic tea gardens that surround you when driving though this district. There are lots of things to explore and experience in and around Ilam. You can see one of the oldest tea plantations in Nepal, visit a tea factory to taste freshly produced tea or have a bite in a piece of typical cheese of this region in one of the cheese factories. It’s also a perfect place for trekking and it offers many hiking trails.
Dipak recommends one place specifically “I really like a place called Sandakpur. It lies in the northern edge of the Ilam District and it’s Ilam’s highest point, 3636 meters. It gives you an amazing view of the eastern Himalayas from Bhutan to the Everest. But what really takes my breath away is the fantastic view of Kanchenjuga, which is the third highest mountain in the world. It’s a lovely and very serene place.”
Interested in having a real local experience and join Dipak on his farm? Check out Ilam organic tea farm.