- Founder and CEO
Gokarna Singh Thapa
I was born in a small village in the Himalayas. As a youth, I would see tourists visiting our area, and I was always curious to know where they came from. When they showed me a world map, I understood that they had travelled many kilometers just to get here. This amazed me. For years, I treasured a dream of someday working in tourism where I could introduce my country to the world, and in turn, I could discover the world.
In creating the travel agency Alaya Holidays, I realized my dream of offering to our visitors an exploration of my culture, spontaneous encounters, excursions to our sacred sites, and walks among our prestigious mountains. I also realized that, aside from being a trekker, there are infinite discoveries to be unveiled in Nepal. This understanding was very revealing for me, and opened my eyes on what I can now propose to those who come to meet us.
My studies included courses in French at the Alliance Française, and training in international cuisine at the Chef Association of Nepal. Two years were spent in France, specifically in Normandy and Chamonix, where I was involved in the restaurant business. Presently, I alternate working as a cook in Canada, with accompanying travellers who wish to visit Nepal. With my passion for cooking, I take them to savour our Nepalese cuisine, or I prepare the specialities myself! Being close to people, sharing time with them, seeing them happy and open to discovery, is for me a trip’s cocktail of success.
- Managing Director
Raj Singh Thapa
At the Tribhuvan University of Katmandu, I studied finance and management to acquire the skills to operate a business. Extracurricularly, I trained as a trekking guide. This two-fold education lead me to balance the administration of our travel agency, and to cultivate customer relations. There is such pleasure in travelling with our visitors, to see them happy and surprised by what they have accomplished during their stay. Unforgettable bonds of affection and confidence get established between us.
My French classes at the Alliance Française in Katmandu revealed the cultural differences in our ways of thinking, acting and reacting. This learning allowed me to integrate several levels of understanding, without forgetting who I am, where I come from, and who I am addressing. A stay in France helped me to appreciate this even more.
At Alaya, we combine happiness and work, with an attention to each of our team members and to our travellers. With an open mind, we work enthusiastically to promote both our country and other countries too. The world reveals itself to us, and in kind, we reveal ourselves to the world.
- Director & Coordinator
Travel is an art of living for me. It allows a vulnerabilty [deepens empathy] wherein the exchange of oneself towards another grants understanding and wisdom.
For near two decades now, I have traversed many regions in the world. A curiosity for people, cultures, territories, and beliefs, inspired me to become a documentary filmmaker, after my studies in Paris. To give voice to those who courageously revealed aspects of themselves forged my confidence, and honed greater insight into humanity. Humbled by what I have witnessed, my work continues to evolve into an aesthetic of life, respect and wonder.
My quest initially led me to Québec, to the indigenous First Nations and Inuit people. Their truths expanded my view as I then deepened my exploration into different countries, different continents. In Nepal, my stay was extended as I filmed a documentary on Himalayan mountain women. There, the idea grew to guide groups through Nepal’s glorious valleys and mountains.
People from Europe, Quebec and Canada have joined me in discoverying this fascinating country where history seems to stand still, so as to offer the tranquility of mind needed to find balance in oneself.
From filmmaker to accompanying guide, each of my steps takes me to the essence of a culture, because travel, above all, is about people who reach out their hand to tell us who they are. And the journeys home continues…