The best thing about Tansen is getting out of it to explore the outlying hill country and Magar villages, where people still greet visitors with delighted smiles and the full palms-together namaste. The paths around Tansen all pass through farmland and are heavily used by villagers, so it’s fairly easy to find your way with just enough Nepali to ask directions. You may prefer to take a guide – ask your innkeeper – or the excellent maps provided by the GETUP Palpa information service. Numerous other hikes are possible from Tansen, including taking the old trading route to Butwal, which passes the ruins of the old Sen palace at Nuwakot in one long day’s walking (the path is not well maintained these days, though, so you’d need a guide). You can also follow the airy ridge-line east of Srinagar Hill through Bagnaskot to Arya Bhanjyang (11km; 2–3hr), on the Siddhartha Highway – where you can pick up transport back to town; on clear days you can see the Himalayas along the way.

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