Discovery trekking in one of the hidden paradises of eastern Nepal

“Where travelers are part of the solution, not part of the problem!” With the Fair Trails® we want to make the world a little bit better. That is precisely why it is important to responsibly select those regions where we develop a Fair Trail and explore them with our Explorer Tours.

According to the beliefs of Tibetan Buddhism, beyuls are hidden valleys blessed as places of refuge. Here in Europe, these places became known as “Shangri La,” a synonym for “paradise on earth.” According to tradition, the Solu in eastern Nepal is one of these paradises and has retained this unspoiled character to this day. We are therefore developing a new Fair Trail in the Solu, which we want to put the finishing touches to with your help. The Buddhism Sanctuary Trail. As its name suggests, this Fair Trail offers fascinating insights into the world of buddhistic mountain monasteries and leads to very special spiritual places, called “Sanctuaries”. It follows a route that is as enchanting as it is spectacular, and which our trail scouts Matt and Kevin, after an initial exploration, described as one hiker’s dream. And that hiking dream will be the destination of this Explorer Tour that holds so much promise.

So what’s the point of a new Fair Trail in the Solu? It is not only our intention to set impulses with sustainable hiking tourism away from the bustling trekking destinations in Nepal, but also to support the mountain monasteries as centers of cultural life in the Solu.



Date I Duration:  
Land I Region: 
Type of travel:




26. October – 10. November 2022 I 16 days
Nepal I Solu Khumbu
Moderate to challenging high altitude trekking off the beaten track
Grandiose mountain panoramas, fascinating spiritual places and insights into the cultural life of the mountain monasteries
Supporting the mountain monesteries in the Solu Khumbu

01 — Your mission

Design a new Fair Trail together with us


Beyuls are legendary refuges in the Himalayas. In view of this alpine wonderland, one can guess why the Solu was chosen as such a place of refuge © Fair Trails®/Matthew Nelson

The Fair Trails® Explorer Tour on the Buddhism Sanctuary Trail is a scenic exploration trek through one of Nepal’s hidden paradises. We follow in the footsteps of our trail scouts Matt and Kevin, who explored the route in December 2021 and produced the stunning photographic footage presented here. Your mission during this Explorer Tour will be to work together with the Fair Trails® team, led by renowned conservation expert, book author and certified mountain hiking guide Josef Essl, to put the finishing touches to this new Fair Trail. With inspired teamwork and your creativity and expertise. For this we are looking for experienced trekking travelers with a spirit of discovery, tolerance, patience and a sense of humor, because of course not everything will work out perfectly on this exploration tour. In this way, we can succeed in making an important contribution to developing Solu towards a lighthouse for sustainable and responsible trekking tourism in Nepal.


Panoramaweg Südalpen Panorama am Hochplateau

© Fair Trails®/Matthew Nelson

The Buddhism Sanctuary Trail opens up a dream hike through mystical mountain forests as well as on scenic ridges. Mingma Sherpa and Kevin during their exploration tour in December 2021 © Fair Trails®/Matthew Nelson

02 — Your Explorer Tour

An exploratory journey across mountains rich in views to sacred lakes and mystical monasteries


Nepal Mönch Buddhismus

Insights: An audience with the Rinpoche of Selo Monastery, near Junbesi. The Buddhism Sanctuary Trail opens fascinating encounters with the world of Buddhist Lamaist monasteries in the Solu © Fair Trails®/Matthew Nelson

The Fair Trails® travel goal: Solu Khumbu

Most trekkers and mountaineers traveling to the Everest area today fly to Lukla, the famously adventurous airfield at the gates of Sagarmatha National Park. Quite a few of them will look down during the flight through the milky windows of the propeller planes on a fascinating landscape: one soars above the lofty foothills of the Himalayas, whose flanks are densely forested with pine and rhododendron forests. At their foot you can spy picturesque villages, populated by the legendary mountain people of the Sherpas. And if you look closely, you will also recognize many larger vermilion buildings. It is not by chance that so many Buddhist monasteries have been built here, since this region, called Solu, is considered a Beyul. As one of the legendary retreats for Buddhists. And to complete this image of a paradise on earth, in the north, like a protective wall, the ice-armored giants of the Numbur Himal rise into the sky.

You will explore and hike this wonderland in one big loop for the new Buddhism Sanctuary Trail: Starting from the breathtakingly located Chiwang Monastery, you’ll first climb the 4,070m Pikey Peak. Probably the only point in the world from which you can see seven (!) eight-thousanders. Then you will dive into the world of Buddhist monasteries around Junbesi, where Thupten Chulin with more than 500 monks and nuns is particularly impressive. Now you turn to the north to hike to Dudh Kunda, a fascinating glacial lake at 4,650m, which is sacred to Hindus and Buddhists alike. The last part of the trek will take you back to the south, through the fabulous “Hidden Valley” back to the starting point, Chiwang Monastery. A true dream journey through Nepal’s hidden paradise.

Panoramaweg Südalpen Panorama am Hochplateau

Views: The mountain panoramas on the Buddhism Sanctuary Trail are always breathtaking! At Pikey Peak, the view extends from Dhaulagiri to Kangchendzönga and therefore encompasses – including Mt. Everest, of course – seven eight-thousanders! © Fair Trails®/Matthew Nelson

Your Fair Trails® Experts & Explorers

Will be announced soon

The Buddhism Sanctuary Trail will be dedicated to the preservation of Buddhist monasteries as centers of cultural life in Solu. The Explorer Tour also aims, with the support of the Fair Trails® team, to establish contacts with the Buddhist community in order to assess the current needs and, based on this, to develop ideas for a concrete impact project and its implementation. Also to be able to guarantee in the future that the support can be used as effectively as possible.

Josef Essl,
Fair Trails® Explorer


The living nature encyclopedia

Being outside in nature or standing on a mountain top at any time of the year is his great passion. To treat nature with care, to give it a voice, to protect it, to observe it and to pass on natural history knowledge is his vocation. For 20 years he was active in the Austrian Alpine Association and CIPRA Austria (= International Commission for the Protection of the Alps) and as an expert for nature and environmental protection, alpine spatial planning, alpine convention, visitor guidance and leisure traffic he also developed sustainable tourism projects. As a Fair Trails® expert, he is now implementing this knowledge and experience in low-development regions around the world.

Biologist and forester, since 2014 state-certified mountain hiking guide. Since 2019, directs the Technical Competence Center of D. Swarovski Tourism Service GmbH over a 7.5 hectare garden and park. Author of numerous relevant publications as well as technical and alpine articles.

The program of the Fair Trails® Explorer Tour


Panoramaweg Südalpen Panorama am Hochplateau

A quiet moment at Serlo Monastery: Fair Trails® aims to support Buddhist monasteries in Solu as a vibrant center of cultural life with the Buddhism Sanctuary Trail © Fair Trails®/Matthew Nelson

1.Day   |  26.10.2022  |  Arrival in Kathmandu
2.Day   |  27.10.2022  |  Cultural tour through the valley of Kathmandu
3.Day   |  28.10.2022  |  Jeep transfer to Phablu
4.Day   |  29.10.2022  |  Trekking preparation and short hike to the Chiwang monastery; Overnight in the monastery
5.Day   |  30.10.2022  |  Trekking to the Yak Kharka camp; Overnight in tent
6.Day   |  31.10.2022  |  Trekking to Pikey Peak Base Camp; Overnight in Lodge
7.Day   |  01.11.2022  |  Summit traverse Pikey Peaks (4.070m); Trekking to Junbesi; Overnight in Lodge
8.Day   |  02.11.2022  |  Short hike to the Thupten Chulin monastery; Visit to the monasteries, hermit caves, etc.; Overnight in the monastery
9.Day   |  03.11.2022  |  Trekking to Danda (Ridge) Camp; Overnight in tent
10.Day  |  04.11.2022  |  Trekking to the saint lake of Dudh Kunda (4.640m); Overnight in tent
11.Tag  |  05.11.2022  |  Exploration tour aroung the saint lake and trekking to the „Hidden Valley“ Camp; Overnight in tent
12.Day  |  06.11.2022  |  Trekking to the village of Taksindo; Overnight in Lodge
13.Day  |  07.11.2022  |  Trekking to Phablu via the Chiwang monastery; Overnight in Lodge; Fare Well of the crew
14.Day  |  08.11.2022  |  Jeep transfer to Kathmandu
15.Day  |  09.11.2022  |  Sightseeing & shopping in Kathmandu; Explorer Tour feedback round
16.Day  |  10.11.2022  |  Return flight

Panoramaweg Südalpen Panorama am Hochplateau

This is where the new Buddhism Sanctuary Trail draws its circle: between the scenic Pikey Peak in the south and the sacred lake Dudh Kunda in the north of Solu, the hidden paradise of eastern Nepal © Google Maps


Hard Facts: Explorer Tour Buddhism Sanctuary Trail
Date: 26. October – 10. November 
Price: € 2.388,- 


This is an “Explorer Tour Nice Price” (cost price without commission); € 95,– per person will be donated to the project “Support of the mountain monasteries in the Solu Khumbu” of GHE.

Included services are:

  • Overnight stay in double room in selected hotels/lodges (where available) or in tent (during trekking)
  • Full board
  • All mobility services from Kathmandu airport
  • Qualified guiding
  • Luggage transport (max. 15kg/person) during trekking
  • Cultural tour through Kathmandu
  • Accompaniment of the explorer tour by a Budhism expert
  • All necessary permits
  • Impact fee for the support of the mountain monasteries in Solu Khumbu
  • CO2 flight compensation with our partner Atmosfair® (based on economy)
  • Expert advice during trip preparation
  • Accompaniment by Fair Trails® experts


Become an Explorer & create a Fair Trail with us


Transformative tourism: Travelers and crew grow together step by step on Fair Trails® Explorer Tours. By overcoming all challenges together, they learn to understand each other better and reward each other with a big smile. Our Fair Trails Crew at the Puja (prayer ceremony) at the saint lake Dudh Kunda © Fair Trails®/Matthew Nelson

What expects you as an Explorer?

We have developed the “Explorer Tours” travel format to explore new Fair Trails® (as with this one) or to test future Fair Trails® offerings. In most cases, the trip is also accompanied by an accompanying media production (photo, film, blog). Explorer tours are therefore very special exploratory trips that open up a unique experience with profound insights into the great myths and challenges of the region and invite you to actively participate. Your inspiration and creativity are needed for product development, the integration of impact projects, as well as for travel reports.

Especially for this Explorer Tour, experienced adventure travelers with a spirit of discovery, tolerance, patience and humor are needed, because exploration expeditions will always present you with new, exciting and unexpected challenges. Team spirit is very important to us! Because an inspired and cool team with great cohesion will be able to overcome all challenges together. And lay the foundation for something really great, a sustainable future for the local people.


How can I become an Explorer?

We have made you curious? You want to be part of the Fair Trails® community and participate in shaping the new way of traveling in the future? And you think that this Fair Trails® Explorer Tour is the right one for you? Then just send us your interest for this Explorer Tour!

We will then get in touch with you and together, we will tackle the further milestones for the Explorer Tour step by step. And we are already convinced: You have made the right decision and we will explore this new Fair Trail together. We look forward to hearing from you!

Become an Explorer now

or simply ask for more information without obligation.

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