Nepal Travel Guide Part Two : Manaslu Trekking

Keeping track to find the dream destination of trekkers is not a facile task. Manaslu trekking locates you towards the journey of the isolated zone in the land of the Himalayas at the height of 5106 meters at Larke La pass. If you are in search of a hidden gem within nature, then this trail is obviously for you. Around the unspoiled culture of the local mortgage, the pathway of the Manaslu region has the heart of innocent lives living there.

Larke La Pass -- Manaslu Trekking
Larke La Pass — Manaslu Trekking

During the marching period, you get to outlook various ranges of the Himalayas within nature. The footsteps of the shinning Himalayas grant you a chance to witness Mt. Manaslu, Ganesh Himal ranges, Mt. Hiunchuli, Mt. Himlung, Mt. Nemjung, and Cheo Himal ranges. Manaslu mountain is also known as the mountains of souls. However, the path of the gorgeous region leads the pathway of Budhi Gandaki, the longest gorge in the world.

MANASLU TREKKING OVERVIEW

The trail during Manaslu Trekking begins from Soti Khola after driving for eight straight hours from Kathmandu. It starts from the border of Gorkha and the Dhading district. The spot is admirable with the name of Aarughat. Moving forward, the rich culture of the Jagat, Deng, Namgrung, Samagaun, Samdo, Dobhan, Tilje, Larke La Base camp uplifts the beauty of local lives and their norms through the journey. However, the trail ends on the 14th day of the trip at Besishar, where you must get going for Kathmandu.

The countless beauty of unspoiled cultural regions grants the Brahim, Chhetri, and Mongolian community people. Manaslu valley informally binds you with the traditional culture of Sherpa and Tibetan. Moreover, the jungle trail of the valley pathway creates a closer interpretation of flora and fauna.

Peregrine treks and tours offer the most rejoicing tramping sites in the valley of Manaslu. With the witness of over 8000 meters high mountains including Mt. Hinuchuli, Ganesh Himal, Mt. Himlung, Cheo Himal, and others, the journey gives a new taste of life to an individual. Hence, you require a TIMS permit with ACAP and MCAP permits along with at least two trekkers with you. All these facilities are accessible with the help of Peregrine treks and tours agency.

Trip Facts:

Country: Nepal

Area: Mansiri Himal Range

Duration: 15 Days

Group Size: 2-30

Grade: Moderate

Activity: Walking

Maximum Altitude: 5106 m (Larke La Pass)

Minimum Altitude: 1400 m (Kathmandu)

Average Walking Hours: 7-8 hours per day

A number of Walking Days: 11

Accommodation: Three-star hotels in Kathmandu; Teahouse during trekking

Start point: Kathmandu

Ending Point: Kathmandu

Trip Highlights:

  • Visit the highest trekking point at Larke La Pass of 5,160 meters.
  • Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Hiunchuli, Himlung, Nemjung, and Cheo Himal ranges have the prominence key of the journey.
  • Driving from Kathmandu to Soti Khola and ends at Beshisahar to Kathmandu.
  • Observe Tibetan and Nepalese culture with Brahim, Chhetri, and Mongolian lifestyles.
  • Following the path of the longest river gorge in the world, Budhi Gandaki.
  • Experience the off-beaten trekking with the doubtfully physically fit people
  • Outlook the varieties of Flora and Fauna during the journey

ABOUT MANASLU TREKKING

The magnificent beauty of nature lies in the eyes of the viewer. Likewise, this journey formulates the way of living life once you exploit the inner cultural lifestyle of innocent lives. Manaslu Trekking is all about interacting with nature gear with the source to uplift your memories with flora and fauna. The track towards an unknown gem begins following the path of Budhi Gandaki from Soti Khola via Arughat. Furthermore, this expedition lets you witness the passage of 5167 meters, the highest plot of the trek at Larke La Pass. Within 15 days during the classic packages, you can shorten or strengthen the period of travel of the trip according to your desire. Mountain goats, Blue Sheep, Snow Leopard, and Musk Deer are vital observances of the trekking conservational area.

Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival at Kathmandu

Starting the trip with you receive on Tribhuvan International Airport of Kathmandu, our representative is available there for your welcome. After a warm greeting, you get shifted towards the hotel in Thamel through a private car.

Tribhuvan International Airport Kathmandu
Tribhuvan International Airport Kathmandu

Once you get a check-in inside the hotel, you get access to a twin sharing bedroom. In favour of greeting, our team provides a welcome dinner for you and your group inside the hotel. You get access to the internet and electricity facilities along with the grant of a private bathroom.

In the case of the private bedroom, you can contact our agency team at the period of booking. However, you must pay an extra USD200 per person for a private room facility.

Day 2: Sightseeing around Kathmandu Valley

It is the second day of your trip to Manaslu Valley. Although the trek has not begun yet, there is so much for the offerings by our team already. On this day, you get to sightsee around the Kathmandu valley. The day begins with breakfast inside the hotel, and you head towards the expeditions of the day. However, you must take care of your lunch and dinner with personal expenses for the day.

You can observe the world heritage sites listed by UNESCO. They are Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath, Swyambhunath, Kathmandu Durbar square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, and Patan Durbar Square. Moreover, you can also suggest the representative for your desired places you want to visit inside Kathmandu Valley.

Once you finish sightseeing, you can spend yo leisure period roaming around the well-admired street of Thamel market. You can purchase your required trekking equipment for Manaslu Valley Trekking. During the night before sleeping, you can discuss the plan of the expedition with your guide and prepare accordingly.

Day 3: Drive to Soti Khola through Arughat

With the early morning breakfast inside the hotel, you must head towards the destination of the day, Soti Khola. At first, get on a private car drive for 3 – 4 hours to reach Dhading through the paved pathway. Once you finish your lunch there, you must head towards Arughart with two more hours of the drive. Then you stick out across the suspension bridge of Arughat market to drive through the local jeep to reach Soti Khola.

The path of the junction leads you to the gorgeous waterfall with hilly mountains, following the fields of paddy, rivers, and streams. On the local lodge of Soti Khola, take your overnight there. They serve you dinner with the choice of local Nepali dish or continental dish. If you have a specific diet plan, do not forget to direct them with your style of preparing it.

Day 4: Trekking to Maccha Khola:

As the days get added on the trip, this day begins with the walking trail. The moderate journey full of challenging pathways comes here. Once you cross across the suspension bridge, the bank of Budhi Gandaki river drives you along Sal forest to reach Khursane. The steep hills around waterfalls make the trail slippery and towards the cliff.

After a period, you reach the fields full of rice where the Gurung village of Lapubesi waits for your arrival. Walking to climb the bridge of Budhi Gandaki makes you also pass through the sandy river via its bank side. Once again, you get to cross across the suspension bridge and then reach Macha Khola. Here is the destination of your night.

The teahouses or local lodges wait for your arrival in Maccha Khola. Serve yourself with the delicious supper and makes sure to take proper rest.

Day 5: Trek to Jagat:

Through the narrow pathways of the track, your journey of trekking begins with an early morning breakfast. You get to follow across the Khorlabei through Tharo Khola. After a walk, you also reach the spot of a small hot spring residing at Tatopani. The next station is at Dobhan by crossing the suspension bridge of Budhi Gandaki river. On the way, get interaction with Yaru Khola leading towards the path of the staircase of stones. The station is known as Thado Barang. After hours of walking, you reach Jagat, the blot, your night stay of the fifth day.

Once you get full of dinner, you can roam around the nearby destination to capture the beauty of nature. Discuss the trip plan and how the day went well. You can rejoice in isolating yourself by reading books or playing indoor games. Do not forget to get ready for the trails waiting for your arrival in the coming days.

Day 6: Trek to Deng

On the sixth day of the trip, get going ahead with breakfast from Jagat to reach Deng. The walking head takes you to climb up to Salleri. Then, the descending trail sets up towards Sirdibas to extend the suspension bridge of Ghatta Khola. After hours of marching, you hit the stop of climbing a stone-made staircase of 45 minutes to reach Gurung village at Philim.

Suspension Bridge - On and around Manaslu Circuit Trek
Suspension Bridge – On and around Manaslu Circuit Trek

On the way, Ekle Bhatti grants you lunch. With full of energy, walk forward to meet up the widened pathways through the bamboo bushes and the flora around the off-beaten hills. Cross over Deng Khola and reach the small hometown of Deng, the place for the night over.

Explore the exotic lifestyle of the people living in Deng after enough supper. The cost of three times meals during the journey is the responsibility of our trekking team.

Day 7: Trek to Namrung

The trekking trail on the day has a fresh offering for you. As you proceed towards Namrung from Deng, you get to cross the Budhi Gandaki river. With an hour of march, you reach Rana to have a short station. Furthermore, the journey takes you towards the west valley, passing you through waterfalls to outlook the Tibetan village via Mani walls. The dense forest is full of rhododendrons. When you reach Namrung, you feel like you got a victory, full of splendor ranges of Himalayas. The hillside of Namrung offers stunning views of Ganesh Himal ranges with Himchuli and Mt. Shirung.

However, once you reach Manryung, you can get facile access to the communicating service with the security of police around the area. Get going your leisure period to view around the village of Namrung among the Mongolian and Tibetan people.

Day 8: Trek to Samagaun

After the tiring journey of the past few days, on this day, we head towards the alternative resting station. However, with an early breakfast, you will proceed towards Lihi village, circling the lush forest full of contrasting rhododendrons. The small town has the settlement of early Tibetan mortgages full of norms and cultural exploitation. However, the barley fields accompany you with stunning views of the Simnang Himal ranges.

Sunrise View over Samagaon Manaslu Circuit Trekking
Sunrise View over Samagaon

Furthermore, you get to interact with a few more Tibetan communities in the nearby places where you get to outlook the panoramic view of Simnang Himal and Ganesh Himal. Once you reach around the village of Simagaun, you get to overlook the precious gems of Manaslu and Himchuli in each direction.

The station is admirable for the settlement of Tibetan migrates who moved years ago. However, few of the trekkers like to take the rest of this day for acclimatization. If the group condition is okay, we proceed future for Samdo.

Day 9: Trek to Samdo

As the day adds, the steps become more challenging for humans to walk across the up and down trails. However, on this day, you will walk towards Samdo village. If you are fit enough to march, you must walk towards Manaslu Base camp flowing Samdo village. However, you must follow the right direction of the path to reach Larkya La Pass. Once you get into the interaction of the juniper forestry zone, you must cross the bridge above the Budhi Gandaki river, made of woods. With a marching forward and upwards, you must reach the Samdo territory where you are going to overstay for the night.

Day 10: Acclimatization in Samdo

Finally, here comes the perfect day for your resting and the day where you do not have to wake early during breakfast. With the motive of acclimatization to avoid altitude sickness, you must take a rest in Samdo on this day. Enough sleep in till the late morning lets you have a proper rest. However, in the daytime, you must go out to learn the climb at a higher altitude as instructed by the rules of AMS. Once the task completes, you have the whole day for leisure time. Hence, you can outlook the village of Samdo and learn the tropical lifestyle of local Tibetan people.

Day 11: Trek to Larke La Base camp

Here comes the day on which you get to elevate on the highest spot of the Manaslu trekking, Larke La base camp, 5106 meters. Once again, you cross the wooden bridge over Budhi Gandaki gorge. The track leads you with the altitude towards Larke La base camp coursing through juniper lush forest. Climbing for 3 – 4 hours points out your dream destination. Dharmsala provides you the service of a night’s stay.

To avoid the risk of altitude sickness during the night, you can outlook for the climb or walk around the outdoor after your lunch in the new lodges. Without any problem for your body, you can have a sound sleep during the nighttime.

Day 12: Trek to Bhimtang through Samdo

As the altitude gets higher, the climate gets colder and more frozen. To avoid the risk, you must wake up with the call of a guide in the early morning to have breakfast. Once done with the breakfast by 4 am, you must proceed to get going. With the support of a flashlight, lead your path to avoid the grains on the sight and cold winds. However, after a few climbs, you get to observe the lakes and glaciers of Larke around your side.

Larke La Pass Summit
To the Larke La Summit

Here comes the challenging part. Larkya La top is tough to climb smoothing. Once you get there, you get to outlook the ranges of Himlung. Mt. Manaslu, Mt. Kanguru with Annapurna II towards the west side.

Once you finish climbing the elevation of Larkya La pass, you can spend a few periods capturing the scenic beauty of the Himalayan ranges around you. Now, you must get going downwards towards Bhimtang to see the farmer doing their duty, especially during the summer season.

Day 13: Tilje

Leaving the stunning peaks behind you, you must get ahead towards Karache, advancing through the dense forest of Rhododendron. The region is admirable as the most cultivated land of Nepal. However, the journey makes a passage towards Gho village, where you can stop for some lunch or snacks. However, your destination is Tilje for the last night’s stay of Manaslu trekking.

Day 14: Trek to Bagarchap and drive to Besisahar to Kathmandu

As this is the last of marching, you must only walk for 2 hours to reach Bagarchap. The farmland lets you observe the tropical forestry in the zone. However, with the support of a local jeep, you must drive towards Besisahara and leave for Kathmandu by private car.

Day 15: Departure

The farewell day of your Manaslu trekking is here. On the 15th day, one of your representatives drops you off at the Tribhuvan international airport with a breakfast inside the hotel.

Farewell from Kathmandu Airport
Farewell from Kathmandu Airport

The overall journey of the Manaslu region captures the best memories of your entire life. However, the team of Peregrine treks always adds beauty and value to the trip of the trekkers. With so much patience and effort, you get successive in completing the mission of finding the hidden gem of nature.

 

Manaslu Trekking includes:

  • Airport pickups and drops in a private vehicle
  • A three-star hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast
  • Room in the best available lodge and all meals (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner) during trekking
  • All ground transportation in private vehicle as per itinerary
  • Kathmandu Valley guided sightseeing in a private car
  • All entrance fees during sightseeing
  • An experienced English or other Language speaking guide and one assistance guide for more than five trekkers
  • One porter for two trekkers
  • Guide, porter, and necessary staff salaries, insurance, accommodation, and food
  • Trekking bag/duffel bag, t-shirt, achievement certificate, and trekking map are yours to take
  • Manaslu Trek Permits: Special Permit of Manaslu Area, ACAP, MCAP, and TIMS Card
  • First Aid Medical Kit or essential medicine
  • Seasonal fruits during the trek
  • Farewell Dinner
  • All applicable government and local taxes

Manaslu Trekking excludes:

  • Nepal visa fee and international airfares
  • Hotel accommodation, Lunch, and Dinner in Kathmandu because of an early arrival in Nepal or late departure from Nepal, prior return from the mountain because of any reason other than the scheduled itinerary.
  • Travel and rescue insurance
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, soft or hard beverages, recharge the battery, bottled/boiled water, extra porters, hot shower, a pot of tea, etc.) during trekking
  • Tips and gratuities for guide(s), porter(s) and driver(s)

 

ACCOMMODATION

With the responsibility of explaining the accessibility, you get access to a twin sharing bedroom at Thamel, Kathmandu. Possibly, Samsara hotel or Hotel of Art waits, a 3-star hotel, for your check-in. You can inform our agency team to access your private or single bedroom for you. But for that, you must pay an extra USD 200.

During the period of Manaslu Trekking, you must reside around local lodges or tea houses. However, there also you must share your bedroom with one other company. To find the solo during trekking is always not possible, especially around higher elevation areas.

There is access to a private washroom and hot bathing water inside the Hotel of Kathmandu. Likewise, during the period of trekking, the lodges grant you private bathrooms as well. Sometimes, due to countable lodge and bathrooms, you may have to share with other people. Most of the time, you must pay extra for hot bathing water during the period of marching region.

Once you get inside the hotel, you get access to the internet and electricity facilities without any problem. Likewise, while trekking, you get access to get communication during Manaslu trekking. However, sometimes due to the higher elevation area or the remote path, it is not possible to reach for internet or electricity facilities. But, few of the lodges or tea houses can still access you to the internet or electricity with personal payment for the service.

MEALS

Once you set your step out of your home, it is apparent for you do not always trust the outside food. But, we, the team of Peregrine trek, understand your needs. For that, your expedition coverage grants 14 breakfasts with three times meals during the march. However, for your snacks or drinking water, you must pay with personal expenses.

Meals of Nepal
A taste of Nepal

To make you feel at home, you can try continental dishes of your choice. However, do not forget to try Nepalese dishes like Dhhat Bhat. During the marching, it is not always possible to find the correct taste of your food. But you can explain to the chef of your lodge or tea houses the process of preparing your meal.

 

Essential Information for Manaslu Trekking:

Visa Details:

As per the government, the passport must have validation of over six months at the time of entry. You can apply for a tourist visa with at least one empty page in the passport.

For entry and exit, you need currency US$ 5000; no pure uncorked gold up to 50 grams of gold jewellery, or 500 grams of silver. For 15 days visa, it costs U $25 that allows you multiple entries within a certain period. The visa extension fee within a valid visa period is US$3 per day. Visa extension with multiple entrances costs an additional US$25. In the case of a visa extension, after it expires, the late fee is US$5 per day. You can also apply for a visa online by going to the official Nepali immigrant site of the country.

Safety measures during the trek regarding COVID:

As per the safety measure conducted by the government, a trekker must do a PCR test within 72 hours before the flight. For entry inside the country, a trekker must possess a negative result against COVID -19. In case of a positive outcome, a trekker must remain under quarantine until he/she receives a negative PCR. That is how the government of Nepal has regulated the new updates for the safety measure against CORONA.

Altitude Sickness and Proper Acclimatization:

When you climb up to a higher altitude, it is apparent for you to suffer from altitude sickness. It is because your body needs an adequate period to adapt to the climatic temperature. However, to prevent yourself from such illness, our team agency set the suitable way of acclimatization while traveling in the elevation. It is by letting your body rest. Here is the reason that you must not walk over a distance in a day during the Manaslu trek. You must spend your overnight in the tea houses and lodges after walking 6 – 7 hours on average per day.

Travel Insurance:

When you plan to set out on an adventurous vacation, then it is wise of you to add travel insurance. There are many travel agencies in Nepal that provide you with trekking services. But there are least of them that grant you travel insurance. However, our team of Peregrine treks and tours allows your travel insurance. It is beneficial in case of sudden incidents like losses of baggage and passport, the requirement of a rescue team or first aid kits while trekking, etc.

Internet and electricity Facilities:

During the 15 days trip to Manaslu trek, you will have access to the internet and electricity while you are inside the hotel in Kathmandu. However, when you set out for marching from Soti Khola, it is wholly uncertain to always access you with WIFI and electricity. Due to diversity in topography, it is hard to find a network in most places.

Although, our team makes sure to reserve your accommodation in the lodges or tea houses with internet and electricity facilities. But sometimes, if you get into a remote town, then it is not accessible. Fewer of the times, you must charge the lodges or tea houses with personal expenses to use internet and electricity facility at the period of marching as well.

Responsible Traveler:

Trekking is fine when he/she cares about the feelings of local people. Yes, it is prominent in the land of cultural diversity for a guest to respect the cultural norms of those people. When you set out for the trek, it becomes your all the time responsibility to act as a responsible traveler. Always make sure that you do not harm cultural feelings.

Booking Process:

After you plan to mark up your mindset out on marching vacation around Nepal, Peregrine treks and tours are always there for your service. To make a booking for you or with your team, you can visit our booking page from our website. With the facility of online booking, we accept visa cards, bank transfers, Master Card, American Express cards, and discover networks. Once you make the payment, make sure to send us the screenshot of the booking confirmation.

Booking Cancellation Process:

You are always free to cancel your booking, but there are certain charges you will have to bear as follows:

  1. Confirm your reservation with US$ 99, 60 days before the departure.
  2. If you reserve later than 60 days of departure, you must pay 25% of your tour’s price.

Here the reservation amount is nonrefundable as our team has already spent it on your travel expenses of accommodation and ticket.

Permits & regulations:

A total of three different special permits issued by the Government of Nepal, Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Immigration at Kalikasthan, Dillibazar, Kathmandu are required for Manaslu Trek permits. There are three different special permits available, each with a Fee.

1. Manaslu Restricted Permit Fee:
From December to August (Winter, Spring, and Summer), a Manaslu trek permit will cost USD 50 for the first seven days and USD 7 for each additional day.

2. Permit Fee for Manaslu Conservation Area: [Revised]
SAARC MCAP Entry Fee: NRs.1000 per person
Other nationals’ MCAP entry Fee: NRs.3000 per person.

3. Permit Fee for Annapurna Conservation Area (ACAP): [Revised]
SAARC ACAP Entry Fee: NRs. 1000 per person
Other nationals’ ACAP entry Fee: NRs.3000 per person.

If you choose Tsum Valley as a side trip, you will need to purchase an additional permit – Tsum Valley permit. For one week, it will cost USD 35 per person.

You can also continue on the Annapurna Circuit Trek or the Annapurna Base Camp route. You must apply for a TIMS card. It will cost USD 10 per person.

 

Why book Manaslu Trekking with Peregrine Treks?

Offering you the massive chances to visit the land of the Himalayas is normal, but the Manaslu trek is something more than that. Peregrine treks and tours never fail to impress their trekkers with full safety and the ways of rejoicing the journey of 15 days. Whenever you require any arrangement, Peregrine treks always stand in your support to make a way to welcome you back in the future. At an affordable price, make a reasoning trip with us and experience the glory of the Manaslu region trekking.

Relevant Manaslu Trekking

Tsum Valley Trekking: https://peregrinetreks.com/tsum-valley-trekking/

Nar Phu Valley Trek: https://peregrinetreks.com/nar-phu-valley-trek/

Useful to know

Do’s

  • Say Namaste and greet with a smile.
  • Do walk in a group
  • Consult a guide for any information you require.
  • Inform your guide if you experience discomfort or extreme fatigue.
  • Capture the once-in-a-lifetime moments with your camera.

Don’ts

  • Do not belittle other cultures or religions.
  • Take no photographs of locals without their permission.
  • Try not to be shocked and surprised if people stare at you; they’re just wondering about you.
  • Don’t bring any lethal weapons with you.
  • Avoid harming plants, birds, and wild animals.
  • Don’t be afraid to politely decline vendors’ offers

Best Time for Manaslu Trekking

Mount Manaslu’s remoteness and adventure draw visitors from all over the world every year. The best seasons for a Mount Manaslu expedition are in the spring and autumn. During this time, the temperature is also moderate, and the scenarios are well visible.

Furthermore, marching through the Winter and Mansoon seasons is entirely risky. Trekking and expeditions become complex and difficult as a result of the continuous heavy rain showers. The trails are slippery and muddy, with the possibility of landslides and floods. Around mid-December, the people of Samdo village relocate to lower areas to escape the cold. As a result, many teahouses are closed, with only a few remaining to look after the town. The months of March to May provide sufficient opportunity to celebrate with nature. The trails are full of colorful flowers and greenery, as well as stunning views of the mountains. During this month, the routes are not particularly overcrowded. Hence, the best and busiest months are late September to early December. The weather is pleasant, and the view of the magnificent mountains is spectacular. Throughout the trials, you are surrounded by breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks.

Manaslu Trekking Region Climate

Temperatures differ depending on the climatic zone. Summer temperatures in the subtropical region range from 31 to 34 °C/ 88-93 °F and winter temperatures range from 8 to 13 °C/ 46-55 °F.

Similarly, in the temperate zone, summer temperatures range from 22 to 25 °C/72-77 °F and winter temperatures range from -2 to -6 °C/28-43 °F. Snow and frost are possible from this point.

The annual temperature in the sub-alpine region ranges from 6 to 10 °C/43- 50 °F. This zone receives snowfall from December to May. Because the arctic region is located in the permanent snow line zone, the temperature is always below freezing.

Essential Equipment for Manaslu Trekking

Upper Body – Head / Ears / Eyes

  • Sun Hat
  • Woolen Hat
  • Neckwarmer
  • Scarf
  • Sunglasses with UV Protection
  • Head Torch

Hand

  • Inner Gloves
  • Windproof Gloves
  • Hand Warmer

Body

  • Down Jacket (Feather Jacket)
  • Waterproof Jackets
  • Hiking Trousers
  • Thermal Layers
  • Trekking Shirts

Leg

  • Trekking Boots
  • Socks
  • Leg Warmer

Medicines And First Aid Kits

Please keep in mind that the first-aid kit bag will be carried by Peregrine’s team during the Round Annapurna Trek. However, we still suggest that you bring your personal first-aid kit with you.

  • Extra Strength Excedrin for altitude related headaches
  • Ibuprofen for general aches and pains
  • Immodium or Pepto Bismol capsules for upset stomach or diarrhoea
  • Diamox (commonly prescribed as Acetazolamide) 125 or 250mg tablets for altitude sickness
  • Anti-infection ointments
  • Band-aids
  • Lip balm (At least SPF 20)
  • Sunscreen (SPF 40)

Miscellaneous, but Important!

  • Passport and extra passport photos (3 copies)
  • Airline tickets
  • Durable wallet/pouch for travel documents, money & passport
  • Rain Coats and Bag Cover
  • Water bottle
  • Water purification Iodine tablets
  • Toiletry kit (Be sure to include toilet paper stored in a plastic bag, hand wipes, and liquid hand sanitizer, towel, soap, etc.)

Optional

  • Adjustable trekking poles
  • Favorite snack foods (No more than 2 pounds)
  • Paperback, cards, mp3 player, headphones
  • Binoculars
  • Power Bank
  • Cameras (Memory cards, chargers, and also batteries)
  • Pee bottle for men and pee funnel for women

Please note that this is just a guide.

 

FAQs

Where is Manaslu Base Camp located?

Manaslu Base Camp trek locates in 5106 meters at Larke La pass.

How long is this trek?

Peregrine offers the classic trek of 15 days towards Manaslu Base camp. In this, you must trek for 12 days.

Which is the best time for Manaslu Trekking?

Spring is the best time to do this trek, as clear weather ensures better mountain views. However, the trial can also be done in autumn and even during the monsoon.

How fit do I need to be for Manaslu Trek?

You must be actively strong and even sometimes, it is difficult for immensely fit people.

How long do I need to walk per day?

You will need to walk 6 – 7 hours a day on average.

What is the highest altitude of this trek?

Larkya La Pass (5106 m) is the highest point of this trek.

How is the accommodation?

There are good teahouses in the Manaslu Region with warm and comfortable rooms.

Do I get Internet facilities during the Manaslu trek?

Yes, you get Internet facilities in most of the places on the trek. But lodges often charge separately for Internet browsing.

Do I need to hire a guide/agency for the Manaslu trek?

No, you must have two or more trekkers to trek around the Manaslu region. However, along with a team, we advise you to take along a guide or porter as there is difficultly in topography and unpredictable weather. Hiring an agency is best for you as it will take care of every arrangement.

Tsum Valley Trek Diary – An untouched sacred trek of Nepal

The trek to Tsum Valley took place from April 26 through May 13, 2021. When the journey concluded in Machha Khola, Gaon. The journey encounters a region that has only recently opened to foreigners and therefore, visitors are still a novelty to the people of the region. This Tsum Valley Trek diary records the daily adventures and experiences of the author as he encountered the people of this incredible region.

 

Monday, April 26 (Kathmandu to Soti Khola – First day in Tsum Valley Trek)

Sotikhola Khola, Nepal – They say a journey begins with a single step, but on this trek to Tsum Valley, it started with two car rides to reach our starting point. The journey began early in the morning in Kathmandu when my guide Pheri arrived at my hotel room in Thamel.

The morning opens with the bright sun rising over the mountains that ring the Kathmandu valley. I was up and ready when Pheri knocked on my door at 5:45 am. It was time to depart.

The trip was a mission to explore a new open region for trekkers – the Tsum Valley Trek. In terms of distance, it is not that far away from Kathmandu. But in terms of culture it might as well be another planet. Tsum Valley Trek, only leaves what is traditionally Nepali and enters into an ancient culture that is probably not even found today in Tibet. The people, the culture, the language, and the religions are Tibetan Buddhism. But even with those links, it has developed its own distinct culture.

Here no one eats any meat. The wild animals have no fear of man as they are not hunted. The Tibetan language has taken its dialect in this remote valley. The high snow-capped mountains that ring the valley have kept it separated for centuries from the rest of the world.

The Lamas have also done their share to keep it separated. They have convinced the monarchy to keep Tsum Valley in limits to all foreigners to preserve their culture. It was not until the end of the monarchy in 2008 and the rise of the Nepal Republic that the region became open to foreigners that year.

Extreme Tsum Valley

The push to open the valley came above through local efforts. The people knew that they needed to interact with the outside world. Their children were already being sent to school in Kathmandu, and some things of the modern world were returning home. You can slow change but you cannot stop it.

 

But what would I find? Very little has been written about the place which borders north of the Ganesh Himal mountains. A trekking map has been published, but beyond that, nothing more. My work would produce the first guidebook to the region.

 

Pradip Karki, my sponsor and owner of Peregrine Treks and Expedition, would accompany us the partway as we wanted to visit his family in his home village of Dhading. We would also be joined by Ram, who would soon become my chief guide when Phery would leave back for Kathmandu. Afterwards, we choose to leave early to avoid the traffic jam on the road out of Kathmandu. Futhermore, we had a Toyota 4×4 which we would need once we got onto the dusty mountain road towards Arughat Bazar.

 

Traffic is always heavy going in and out of Kathmandu. The road is only two lanes and there are usually several old trucks broken down on the road, creating all kinds of slow down. The earlier one can leave, the faster the crossing. We left early enough to avoid the usual problems associated with travel in and out of the valley.

 

Our first goal was the district city of Dhading Beshi. It is the largest city in Dhading District, which takes in the entire Ganesh Himal region. While we would be trekking in the Gorkha district, one man here would play a significant role in the return part of the journey. Silas Tamang is the executive secretary of HIMS Nepal. Silas is the founder of this Christian NGO. which is working to improve the lives of the people of the Ganesh Himal region. Born and raised in the place, he has dedicated his life to working to raise the people he grew up with.

 

Pradip had never met him, and I wanted two to meet. Shilas and I have begun working together, and over the next weeks, he would be a lifesaver for me. I would end up getting sick when I came back through the Ganesh Himal Region, and he gave me much help.

Two wise man in Tsum Valley
Two wise men in Tsum Valley Trek

We take the main road until the junction where we turn north on a paved road to Dhading Beshi. Once we leave Dhading Beshi, we will be leaving behind much of civilization. The road turns to dust beyond the city as we head towards Arughat Bazar.

 

In Nepal, there are two basic seasons: dust and mud. The monsoon rains begin in June and run through mid-September and everything turns to mud. Once the rains cease, the clay soil turns back to powder which creates cold behind every vehicle, coating all that it can. Even walking raises small dust clouds which cover your feet and legs in a brownish powder. It penetrates your trekking shoes and shocks.

 

We encountered several marriage celebrations along the way from Dhading to Arughat. In the local culture, there is a brass instrument used for music. It is a cross between a trump and a sousaphone which has no valves but has a homemade mouthpiece of the brass. Moreover, it can play only your notes, but the musician can make it sing.

 

I wanted to try playing one. Pradip and Phery told me I couldn’t blow a note as it is very difficult. I finally got my chance and was able to play a couple of notes on it. I played trumps in high school. So, I had an idea of how to blow into the mouthpiece.

 

The owner of the instrument played some songs for us. Then pulled out a smaller instrument, like a clarinet, but one would be used for charming snakes in India. It featured a homemade double reed system which was created with an unusual sound.

 

We have an audience gathering around us, so at an appropriate time, the musician indicated that we ought to pay some money. I pull out Rs. 10, he pulls out Rs. 100. I feign shock, and he continues to play in hopes of getting more money. He plays but doesn’t get any more. We travelled up and down the foothills of the region on the road in our Toyota until we finally came to Arughat Bazar.

Budhi Gandaki

Arughat Bazar straddles both sides of the Budhi Gandaki Nadi, the main river which flows from Tsum Valley southward. Here it is a good size river moving with little speed southward. The streets are all dust, but there is a significant business district. It will be the last major city of any size we would see until I return to Dhading Beshi.

 

We leave our Toyota and drive here; then we will be taking local transportation to our destination to Soti Khola. Afterwards, we also passed our first check-point for trekking. We check-in, and then pick up a local vehicle.

 

The road becomes narrower and rougher. I can see why our first driver didn’t want to go any further. It is a good road to wreck a vehicle on. The rocks and holes alone will destroy much of a car.

 

The road ends at Soti Khola, a village on the Budhi Gandaki Nadi. The Soti river (Khola) joins the Budhi Gandaki here, and the Soti river ends. Soti River ends the vehicle traffic. The only bridge across the river is a suspension bridge for foot and donkey traffic.

Donkey
Donkeys are used for transportation in this region.

The donkey trains the service the upper region ends here. The goods they bring are unloaded and wait for a truck that will take them to Kathmandu. They will reload with supplies for the mountains. Things like tobacco, whisky, coca-cola, rice, and some other supplies will be loaded on the donkeys for the return trip.

 

Donkeys have been used for a hundred years to carry goods in and out of the mountains. They are the trucks of the mountains. Several owners will go together trains of more than 40 pack animals loaded with an average of 65 kgs of goods per animal.

 

The owners are also the bankers of the mountains. They carry the money down to the market, make the purchases and bring goods back. There is a lot of cash that goes with these caravans along with goods. Everything is recorded to ensure honesty, and they carry a Khukuri knife for protection.

 

We stayed at a guest house across the Soti River in Soti Khola for the night. Tomorrow I will start walking.

 

Tuesday, April 27 — The second day of Tsum Valley Trek

Hotel Laligurans, Lubumbashi Nepal — The sun rose on the village of Soti Khola as the 3 of us began our trek. We left Pradip with his sister yesterday as he was taking some time to visit family. We would begin our move northward on the main trail.

 

There are short ways. We encounter only occasional motorcycle traffic, which is the only motorised vehicle that can cross the narrow suspension bridge at the Soti Khola. We are walking.

Bridge

The terrain is up and down, with plenty of Nepali dust. The elevation here is much lower than in Kathmandu, and the temperature is higher. It will reach around 33 degrees celsius. Pheri is complaining about the heat as it’s too hot for him. He’s a Sherpa from the Mount Everest Region, which is much cooler. I walk in Bangladesh, so this is very pleasant compared to the heat where I had experienced it just a week before.

 

I am an extremely slow walker. What takes a local person one hour to do, I take two. While I had warned Pheri about my slowness: he was alarmed at my slowness.

 

Some of my slowness comes from having surgery on one knee last year. At 56 years of age, Arthritis has taken hold of some of the joints, creating much pain early morning. It takes me about an hour before the endorphins take over and the pain ceases to be noticed. I am also not here to set any marathon records. I am here to write a guidebook, and I enjoy moving at a slower pace so I can take in more of what I am seeing.

 

Of course, starting a day off with an attack of diarrhoea does not help the situation. I am easily prone to search for things. Yesterday, I learned that we did not bring water purification on the trip. We would have to rely on boiled water when we can get it.

 

There are many small Nepali farms we pass along the way. The route is dotted with small farms and villages where people have carved out space on the mountainside. The road we were on becomes a trail, and the trail features stone steps in places to help us go up and down with a little more ease.

 

The steps have been developed by the local village development committee. They were mostly developed for the mules that walk these trails. They leave their markings along the way, especially on the stone steps.

 

The steps are not evenly matched. One step might be three and the other 15 inches. The purchase area of the step may be barely toe-hold, usually big enough for a donkey’s hoof. For me, going up is easier than going down as I know cautiously over the steps. I don’t want to slip and fall and break a leg. Also, falling can be quite fatal as one side is usually a drop-off. Old big guys make big splashes in reverse when we fall. I wished not to make a demonstration.

 

We arrived around 1:30 in the village of Lapu Beshi. It is typical of most villages that we will encounter along this trail. It is built along the trail, surrounded by terraced fields which have been carved into the mountain. The village hangs on the side of the mountain, and no side roads are leading to additional houses.

 

The village has three guesthouses, but there are no other types of business. Everything is compact, based on the shortage of buildable land.

 

We stop for lunch at the hotel Laligurans in Lapu Beshi and Pheri decides it’s where we will spend the night. Our goal has been Machha Khola Gaon, but he decides on this place instead. I don’t object; it’s the first day of trekking and I don’t want to overdo it.

 

The hotel has individual rooms, although all consist of simply a bed. They do have a place to take a bath, so I wash off several layers of dust. The restaurant is on the riverside, offering a great view of the Budhi Gandaki River.

The rains move in with a nice thunderstorm, but it passes. As I would learn, we would often have an afternoon storm while in this valley. The moisture can not rise high enough to clean the mountain. So, it lets loose in the form of rain. This keeps this valley well water.

 

The menu is limited to Dal Bhat and spaghetti. I ordered spaghetti, which is pretty good. They make their strange-looking sauce which is more of a paste. I grab a bottle of ketchup and mix it with the sauce, which now tastes more like spaghetti sauce. Furthermore, I have learned in the mountains you have to be creative in your approach to food.

 

I met a Nepali photographer at the hotel who works in Dubai and just returned from Tsum Valley Trek. He had hit it right for the weather as the skies were crystal clear every morning. He had gone to the big festival there and showed me some really beautiful pictures he had taken while on the trip.

 

I am encouraged by his comments and pictures on the trip to the Tsum Valley. The wind is growing strong tonight. Keeping the temperature comfortable. We are 880 meters above sea level. Which is lower than Kathmandu.

 

Wednesday, April 28 — The third day of Tsum Valley Trek

Guest House, Tatopani, Nepal – We have trekked today to the village of Tatopani. The name “Tatopani” means hot water in Nepal. I had been looking forward to stopping here and soaking some sore muscles, But what a disappointment this village is. The pool to soak in has been filled with firewood.

 

The village is small and rather quaint in its own way. It has only one guest house, which is very poor. It consists of a single room with rickety beds that feel like they will collapse at any moment.

 

The menu is equally poor, with the choice being dal/baht or noodle soup. The village has no electricity, which is unusual along this trail. Most of the villages have limited power supplied by local hydro systems that will serve a few villages with a few hours of power each night. This place has not quite joined the 20th century.

 

The street through the town is paved with large flat stones. At the south end of the village is the hot springs. Two stone spigots constantly release hot water onto a stone area where people bathe and wash dishes.

 

We strip down to our undershorts and take a bath. It’s really more of a sponge bath. One of the spigots is hotter than the other, almost too hot to allow it to run over your body.

 

The day started out bright and sunny as we left early and moved north. We walk up and down the trail, the elevation rising as we work our way upstream. The trail is fairly easy.

On and around Tsum Valley

We arrive at lunchtime in Machha Khola Gaon, which is a larger village on the trail. It is built into the steep mountainside. There are several trails in the village, which lead to different parts. On the north side is the Machha Khola (river) which comes down in a beautiful waterfall before breaking into several smaller streams that tumble to the Budhi Gandaki Nadi. The river has a number of grist mills operating. However, like Tatopani, there is no electricity. I am not sure why they have not harnessed the river with a small local hydro plant.

 

We stopped at the Hotel Tsum Valley Lodge and Restaurant, which has two floors of rooms, plus a restaurant that serves up some excellent food. I ordered yak cheese momo, which was wonderful.

 

This place had been our goal for yesterday, but we fell short due to my slow speed. However, we could have. made it here last night.

 

This will be my stop when I return from Tsum Valley Trek as the bridge over the river leads to the Ganesh Himal region. I will leave my guide here and take a local guide into that region. I look across the river at the formable mountain which we will need to climb in order to reach the pass. It looks like it will not be an easy climb.

 

We finish our lunch, and then it’s back on the trail. On a clear day, you can see the mountains of the Ganesh Himal, but the skies were not so cooperative today.

 

We trek north to the picturesque village of Khorla Besi. It is a wonderful little village that has embraced tourism. There are two guest houses here. The first one grows their own coffee beans, which they advertise as serving locally grown coffee. I insisted we stop so I could sample the coffee. It was unfortunately weak, but I got to see the coffee beans on the trees.

Local settlement of Tusm Valley
Local settlement of Tusm Valley

We continue on, pushing to Tatopani. As I wrote above, the town was such a disappointment. I thought about how we could have stayed at some nice guest houses in Khorla Besi and eaten some decent food. Here, the situation was disappointing. The village has yet to embrace tourism, most likely the last hold out on the trail. We encounter a little rain here in Tatopani as we settle in for the night.

 

Thrusday, APRIL 29

BUDHIGANDAKI GUEST HOUSE, SALLERI, NEPAL – Today has been a miserable, rainy day on the trek. The rains came early. and we trekked through the rains as we are on a time schedule.

 

Tsum Valley Trek requires a special permit to enter, and the dates allowed are noted on your permit. We have much to accomplish, and a short time to do it in.

 

Fortunately, I have a raincoat which I put on. It tends to be a bit warm, as the material is designed to protect you from rain and not porous by any means.

 

We leave Tatopani behind. It had rained most of the night and the rains let up temporarily. Just north of the village is a suspension bridge where we now cross to the east side of the Budhi Gandaki Nadi. We will follow the east side for much of the way until we come to another suspension bridge to take us to the west side again.

 

The trail is rising. Tatopani’s elevation is 990 meters; Salleri’s elevation is at 1360 meters. definitely climbing.

 

We pass through the villages of Dobhan with its own suspension bridge over the Dobhan River that lends a pretty view of the town. Beyond this are a number of very small settlements, often consisting of no more than a single house. We stopped in one village to eat, but the goats and sheep had defecated all over the floor of the restaurant and no one was bothering to clean it up. The flies were buzzing with excitement, having a smorgasbord of visitor’s food and sheep manure. I refused to eat there on account of the sanitation.

 

I can handle a lot, but this place was ridiculous. They didn’t care about the health of their visitors, so why patronize the place?

 

We went about a half hour further down the trail and ate at another place. It was here that Pheri and I discussed the need of having both a guide and porter on this trek. The discussion would eventually lead to his leaving the next morning so he could get back to Kathmandu.

Tsum Valley

The weather had been sunny in the morning but quickly started to turn against us. We arrived at the fishing village of Yuru Khola, which is built on the rocks next to the Budhi Gandaki Nadi. It consists of several makeshift buildings along the lower trail. The upper trail skirts the village, which is necessary during monsoon season when the lower trail is underwater.

 

The lower trail is not as easy as at the end, there is a wooden ladder to climb in order to reach the upper trail that will now travel next to the river. It’s a makeshift ladder with rungs unevenly spaced and far apart. I don’t much like climbing ladders, much less with a pack on my back, but 1 made it up the ladder.

 

The weather is spitting rain at us as we cross the river again and this time we come to a stone trail that will lead to the village of Jagat. The trail here has been paved with large flat stones, making for easy walking.

 

Jagat is a major village, and where we have to check in at the checkpoint. Both the Tsum Valley Trek and the Manaslu region are restricted conservation areas with a limited number of visitors allowed in order to maintain the environment and culture. The village is made of stone and has several Buddhist Chhortens. This village offers several guest houses, but we choose to continue on.

 

Jagat is just south of the Bhatu Khola which forms waterfalls and rapids on its way to the Budhi Gandaki Nadi. We cross the river and follow a local path, which takes me through parts of the river that I have to wade through. The water is cold, glacier-fed. While temperatures have been pleasant, my cold wet shoes send a shiver through me.

 

We stopped at the only guest house in Salleri, just north of Jagat, for the night. Pheri and I discuss his leaving the next day. Ram, the porter who is also a guide for Peregrine Treks and Tours will stay on as we will explore the Tsum Valley together. Pheri has been to Tsum Valley Trek several times and will return to Kathmandu. He is complaining about his own physical pain, which may be the result of the trek he just returned from.

 

The rain continues into the night. There are individual rooms, but very little in the form of privacy. There is no way of locking the door from the inside, so I lean my backpack against the door for some limited security. Outside the entrance to the second floor, a bat finds plenty of insects to eat while circling the light. There is no door to keep the bat out, but it chooses to stay outside by its food source.

 

Friday, April 30

TSUM HOTEL GUEST HOUSE, LOKPA, NEPAL – Pheri left for Kathmandu early as the rain slowed down. It had rained all night in Chum Valley (not to be confused with Tsum Valley). It would be faster and easier for us to move as two people rather than with three. The days to come would prove that true.

 

Pheri’s departure also opened the way for Ram and me to get better acquainted. As a porter, he was the low man on the totem pole, but now it was the two of us. We would have a chance to talk at length. Ram turned out to be an ideal guide who exhibited great patience with my slowness. There is no joy in arthritis.

Rice field of Tsum Valley

It was a while before we realized we had a problem – Pheri had left with all of our money for the trip! I had around Rs 7000 on me, which would not be enough to complete the Tsum Valley Trek. But neither of us wanted to turn back. We decided to continue to Philim where we could get a phone to call Pradip and ask for help.

 

There are no banks up here. The last place to even have funds wired is Machhakholagaon, but how they would be able to pay is beyond me. The economy here consists of hard currency and barter. Beyond that, there is nothing else.

 

The rain slowed down to a light mist by the time we left Salleri. We walked north on the trail, past the ghost town of Paimo. No one lives there anymore, a victim of a major rock slide that wiped out the town.

 

The rock slides occur during the monsoon season when the ground has become so saturated that the rocks simply let go. Once they start to roll, they take out most everything in its path. Entire villages can be wiped out, with a great loss of life as well as livestock. An entire village can be destroyed in a matter of seconds. It reminds you of the frailty of life here in the Himalayas. The people who live here are survivors, who carve out an existence in the midst of great adversity.

 

The trail rises abruptly as we pass over the Mani walls, so named for the Buddhist mantra carved on them. We come down and dip around Sirdibas where there are a number of small streams upon which several grist mills operate.

 

Just beyond Sirdibas is a long suspension bridge that we crossed the Budhi Gandaki for the last time. Had we continued north on the trail, we would come to Mt. Manaslu. However, our destination is Tsum Valley Trek, so we cross to the east side and up the trail to the town of Philim.

 

Philim would be the last village of any size we would encounter. It has a school, three hotels, several stores, a telephone and some really good food. We call Pradip and tell him of our dilemma. He says if we have enough money to make it to Lamagaon, we can see his friend there at the hotel who will lend us money. We have enough to make it if we watch our money closely.

 

We sit down and enjoy lunch, which consists of vegetable mo-mo mixed with yak cheese and dipped in ketchup. My palate has developed a taste for ketchup. It may be the potassium in it, but it seems to be something I crave. Unfortunately, this would be one of the last places I would see ketchup.

 

We pass the checkpoint and register. From there we continue on northward. The trail hugs the side of the mountain as it weaves up and down. Small rivers create spectacular waterfalls as they tumble down the sides of the mountains and into the Budhi Gandaki Nadi that continues to get farther and farther below us. Above us eagles rise on thermals, lazily soaring to new heights as they look over the valley for food. The clouds have vanished and the skies are sunny and blue.

 

There are two small villages along the eastern side of the river. One is Eklebote and it offers a beautiful view of the river. The other is Chisapani, where cold water flows through community taps for the residence’s use. Neither village is very large, and each has the start of a guest house.

 

Civilization comes to an end after Eklebote. The houses become non-existent as we move northwards. We see butterflies of various vivid colors flying about, but as for people, we are pretty much alone most of the time.

 

We reach the place where the Chhilung Khola flows into the Budhi Gandaki Nadi. The Budhi Gandaki Nadi has become a much smaller river, foaming as it runs its course over rocks and boulders. It is here where we see a sign welcoming us to Tsum Valley Trek. We have made it to the entrance.

 

Actually, we are not really Tsum Valley, as we have to pass through a narrow gorge to reach the lower valley. This is probably the tip of the VDC and it is here that the trail divides. Go to the left and you will come to the Manaslu Trail, crossing the Budhi Gandaki Nadi on a short steel bridge. Keep to the right and you are on the only route into Tsum Valley Trek.

 

The trek to Tsum Valley was definitely gaining in elevation. We could look down on the trail to Manaslu as we continued to rise. Our goal was the village of Lokpa, which is 805 meters in elevation above Sirdibas.

 

The climb was steep. In some places we had steps; other times simply loose rock to transit over. It was already late afternoon and the skies were changing for the worse. It began to rain, and it continued to rain steadily all the way to Lokpa.

On the way to Tsum Valley

What we couldn’t see through the trees and rain was that we would leave the Budhi Gandaki Nadi behind. It draws its waters from the melting glaciers of Manaslu. The first major tributary it encounters is Syar Khola, the main river of Tsum Valley. This river would form a narrow gorge that we would have to pass through in order to reach the lower valley.

 

The village of Lokpa is beyond the confluence but before the gorge. It consists of a single guest house with a general store and a few houses that surround it. There isn’t much to the town but we really didn’t care. We were tired, cold and hungry.

 

We arrived at dusk, and I walked into the kitchen to be near the fire to thaw out. Temperatures had dropped to around 12°C. Our elevation was now at 2240 meters, and we were feeling the coolness of the higher elevations. I was glad to zip the removable pant legs back onto my pants as I drank hot tea by the fire.

 

The New Tsum Hotel is operated by Lobsang Furgang who is a widower, and the father of seven children. He has added the guest house, which has several small cells upstairs to sleep. Most sleep two people with just enough room between the beds to walk. Two of the rooms are “single” rooms, which are the size of a closet. They are just big enough to lie down in and that’s it. To sleep in one of those rooms, you have to crawl into it.

 

We are the only guests tonight. I ordered macaroni with yak cheese and lots of ketchup. I toured the well-stocked store which features almost everything from China. Here, people get their supplies primarily from Tibet where they can cross the border freely with yak trains.

 

The first thing I noticed was the Lhasa Beer in cans, which sold for a lot less than beer back toward Arughat Bazar. They also had a barley wine in a can from China that was unusual in taste, but very, very good. He also featured a big assortment of one color sneakers from China that sold for Rs 860. I huddled under the comforter that is in the room upstairs and soon found myself asleep.

 

SATURDAY MAY 1

TSUM VALLEY HIMAL HOTEL, CHUMLING, NEPAL – The sun shone early as the rooster crowed, knowing full well that no matter how much he irritated us, we could not eat him. The Buddhists here don’t eat any meat or kill any living creature for that matter. This rooster was smart, knowing that he was safe from being eaten for dinner.

I come down for breakfast in the common dining room. Today is going to be a long day as we hike through the canyon to reach the lower valley. It is cold, but the warmth of the rising sun gives promise to the day.

I look about Lokpa, which isn’t much to see. However, Mt. Manaslu appears in shining whiteness to the west, breaking through the blue sky with majesty. It is a pretty setting as we realize our new elevation. We get our things together as Ram and I set off on our entry into this forbidden valley.

For a place that was closed to the outside world a few years ago, the people here have done remarkably well in preparing for tourism. Guesthouses and homestays have sprung up in almost every town. Even two of the Buddhist monasteries, which had fought the invasion of tourists, now rent out rooms to tourists.

The land is Tibetan Buddhist. There is a Lama in almost every town, as well as a gomba. Most of these don’t have any monks except at festival time. Only the larger gombas will have resident monks; the others simply are maintained by the village lama who comes to meditate here.

We have hiked to the top of the trail here at Lokpa, but now the trail starts its decline. There is activity at the first river where there is a new suspension bridge being built. It replaces an old rickety wooden bridge that is farther below.

Building a suspension bridge is no easy task in the Himalayas. While they are made only for foot traffic as well as donkey trains, everything must be hauled in on someone’s back. The cable, the metal roadbeds, the concrete all have arrived either by donkey or man.

The Nepali has learned to carry heavy loads by using a sling that wraps around the forehead. They can pick up 100 kilos using a sling wrapped around their foreheads and carry the load up and down the mountains.

At the site of the bridge, plastic tents have been erected for entire families to live. They will live here until the bridge is complete and then disassemble their camps. Some families will return to farming in their local villages while others will move on to the next construction site.

There are no power tools to be had. Everything is done by hand. It is painstakingly slow, but there is no other option here.

Another suspension bridge has been built further down the trail, but we seek out the old wooden one because here the Lungwa Khola makes a series of pretty waterfalls. I stop for pictures as we can hear the rush of the Syar Khola behind us.

The trail down is steep and not always easy. Our goal is to reach the Sardi Gorge, where the Syar River flows through a narrow channel. This is the entrance to Tsum Valley Trek.

The land coming here has been lush with thick green plants and plenty of water. This was one of the attractions of the valley when Tibetan Buddhists settled here over 1000 years ago. It was also a place where they could escape their enemies as the place was difficult to enter. This isolation allowed them to maintain a lifestyle unaffected by the outside world.

The trail is on the south side of the Syar River and passes a few feet above it on steep banks. The trail is narrow as it winds down. This would be the narrowest point and the lowest point in Tsum Valley Trek. Once we pass through the gorge with its high stone walls that shoot straight up, we would begin climbing again.

We meet no foreigners on the trail but do encounter residents of Tsum Valley who greeted us warmly. with “Namaste!”. While in other parts of Nepal, the presence of a foreigner doesn’t require a second look, the people here are still amazed to see us. While more visitors are coming to Tsum Valley Trek, they are still a small number.

The people of Tsum Valley have an attitude of non-violence. Hospitality is very important to them, and they greet any stranger like long lost relatives. We would be offered eggs to eat, Roxy to drink and other items just out of kindness.

What we notice right away is that there are no houses along the trail. This is not a place where people live, but simply the trail to get them through the gorge and into the valley. Unfortunately, we see little evidence of water after we get through the gorge for the remainder of the trip. My water bottle is getting low, as the humidity is around 20% and I need water.

There is only one “village” on the map, and it is called Gumkhola, where the Gum Khola River tumbles down the mountain on its way to Syar Khola. The village consists of a single house which is a tea house run by a man and his four-year-old nephew. His nephew is a cute little boy who greets you with “Namaste” and takes your money for any purchase. We arrive in mid-afternoon, where I order first tea, and then realizing it’s a tea house (store, lodging and food), order a Coca-Cola which has been chilled by the waters of the Gum Khola.

The man and his nephew are friendly and accommodating. Ram has an opportunity to converse with them while I inspect the newborn calf that is in the shed looking at us.

Just beyond Gumkhola is a fork in the trail. Go right and you will end up at the village of Ripche, go left and you come to the principal village of this VDC and our destination; Chumling.

Preparing food at local lodge

Our trail would take us across a suspension bridge over the Syar Khola and then up the north side while we gain in elevation. The trail becomes a series of switchbacks as Gumkhola becomes smaller and smaller below us.

The trail finally starts to level and we pass under a kani, which marks the entrance to villages in Tsum Valley. A kani is typical Tibetan, which delineates the division between the ritually secured boundaries of the village and the wilderness outside.

The Kanis are usually made of stone and often have brilliant paintings of Buddhist gods and protectors of the village. They can also serve as places to offer shelter from the rain. Fortunately, we had no need for that in our arrival in Chumling. The skies were sunny.

Chumling is the major village of the Chumling VDC. There are two guest houses here plus a very old gomba which is in the process of being rebuilt due to the toll weather had taken on it over the centuries.

We stay at the Tsum Valley Himal Hotel which offers one large, clean room with thick comforters and a number of beds. It also has free filtered water. The restaurant is open on one side, and we order dinner there. Again a limited menu, but a nice place to stay.

THE MEN OF THE DONKEY TRAINS

Staying at the hotel were several men who had passed us on the donkey trains. Most of them were young, and out for an adventure. It turns out that this is a good way for someone to make money up in the mountains.

The work is hard, as they walk with the donkeys keeping them in line. They work 12 months of the year, earning an average of Rs 18,000 or more a month in their work. This is good money in the mountains, but one with its share of hazards. Each donkey carries around 60 – 65 kilos of goods, ranging from oil to cigarettes, whiskey to soft drinks.

Doney

Sometimes the donkeys carry propane tanks, which is the only way of getting gas cylinders into the mountain regions. Some in this group work the route from the Tibetan border to Chhoking on the Manaslu circuit. They walk in snow, rain and through all kinds of weather in order to keep the donkeys moving. The donkeys can be stubborn at times. They wake up at 3 am each day, get the goods on the donkeys and start the drive.

The owner of the donkeys was Puina Bahadur Gurung, who is 30 years of age. He started when he was 17 as a donkey trainer and was able to save up enough money to buy his first donkeys.

Donkeys are not cheap, costing an average of Rs 70,000 to Rs 90,000 each. One donkey, he explains, will give about 16 years of work, even longer if taken care of. He is married and lives in Soti Khola and he will make four trips a month from the Tibetan border to Soti Khola. Also, he owns eight donkeys.

Usually, the owners will travel in groups as there is. safety in numbers. These men also carry money from the mountains to buy goods from the people and then bring back money from what has been sold. They are not only the only source of transportation in the mountains but also the bankers.

One hazard is donkeys falling off the mountain trails. While surefooted creatures, there is great danger in donkey trains meeting and having to pass. Occasionally, one falls off the mountain, which is a loss for everyone. One fall and usually there is no hope for that donkey. Monsoon season brings its own dangers, which include rock slides that can wipe out an entire train in minutes.

Still, there is camaraderie amongst its men, and they seem to have a good time working the trails. It is also a good way to make good money in the mountains, where actual jobs are scarce.

 

SUNDAY, MAY 2

CHUMCHET, NEPAL – Chumling and Chumchet are very close on the map, but for me, it was a day’s journey as we walked up 800 meters on a steep and narrow trail.

Chumling is located in the valley while Chumchet is near the top of this ridge. Chumling can be described as a bit more “urban” while Chumchet is much more traditional Tsum Valley.

Now to describe Chumling as “urban” is certainly a stretch. It is only a collection of a few houses, two guest houses and an ancient Gomba. But it is situated on the main trail leading to the upper valley. Chumchet sees fewer visitors. Here the people rarely wash. Faces black with soot, clothing that has not been washed, is more typical of Chumchet. Also, many here do not speak Nepali, but only their local dialect of Tibetan. Many here have no education, and there are not many opportunities unless they walk long distances to government schools which may or may not be open, depending upon the teachers.

Children Running, Chumling
Children Running, Chumling

Chumling has much more flat agricultural land while Chumchet is more dependent upon terraced land that is clung to the steep sides of the mountains. The terraces might be wide enough for maybe two rows of corn before it has to drop to the next terrace.

Chumchet also has a shortage of water, while Chumling has a number of springs to draw water from. So the differences between the two are significant.

In fairness to the people of Tsum Valley, there are some good reasons for not bathing often. One is simply the lack of water that is not already coming down from the glacier. Washing in glacier-fed waters is at best described as “invigorating” while the first touch of water on your bare skin can produce a string of obscenities as your body recovers from the shock.

There is no such thing as a hot shower; you take your bath in public. Who wants to strip down to their underwear when the wind is blowing cold and the water is freezing?

Houses are not heated, except for a Chinese iron stove in the kitchen where most people cluster around. Originally, it was an open wood fire, but metal stoves from China have become common, as they come by way of neighbouring Tibet. Most of the time, these stoves were not vented, allowing the extra heat to permeate the room. Of course, with the heat came soot and smoke. After a while, the residents just got used to the smoke and soot which covered everything with a black film.

The Tibetan people are most resilient to the cold. They can and do walk barefoot in the snow, suffering no ill effects of frostbite. The mothers coat the babies in yak butter to protect them from evil spirits but also help to insulate the body from cold. Their skin becomes like leather, especially their feet, which can easily walk barefoot over sharp rocks and climb like a mountain goat.

The people we met in Chumling were more inclined to bathe and display some hygiene that is more in keeping with other parts of the world. Chumchet was different and definitely worth seeing.

We set off that morning toward Chumchet, with the first goal to visit the monastery (Gomba) of our Chumling Paykup, which is more than 600 years old. It is one of the oldest monasteries in the valley. Today, the building is in poor shape, but we were told that the construction of a new building was to begin the next day. The ravages of the High Himalayan weather had finally taken its toll on the old building.

Inside were statues of Buddha and local gods. There was a large prayer wheel that extended from floor to ceiling. There is no form of heat in the building where lamas and faithful will come to pray and meditate.

What are priceless in these gombas are not the statues, but the scrolls which record in Tibetan their sacred scriptures. There are many scrolls which the lamas study. These scrolls contain writings and sayings of the Buddha which they will study and meditate on. These gombas become the repository of sacred texts.

There are various types of Tibetan Buddhism practiced in Tsum Valley. While basically similar, there are some differences. At this gomba, the lama will not marry. But at Chumchet, the lama there is married and has children. There are five major sects of Tibetan Buddhism practiced in northern Nepal: Nyingmapa, kagyupa, Sakyapa, Gelugpa and Bön. I was never able to learn the differences on this trip between the groups, except that I did learn that Nyingmapa lamas do not marry. This may be the case for this gomba.

This gomba is situated on a low hill that overlooks the farms around it. The day was sunny and the mountains were especially beautiful with their snow-covered peaks shining in the morning sun.

We followed the pathways through the farms after we left the gomba. The trail was level and narrow between stone walls that marked the dividing lines between properties. The level trail soon ran out as we began our climb up the mountain.

The people we met were definitely native. They smiled white smiles that contrasted with their sooty faces. We were offered eggs that they pulled out of their pockets. At another place, they were drinking Roxy and offered us a sip from their dirty soda bottles. We declined the offers but enjoyed the fellowship with them.

The trail is steep and starts to pass through the pine forest. The forest eventually gives way to thinner and thinner clusters of trees until there are no more trees. Suddenly, we enter what smells like a cedar forest. There is water flowing part of the year. Monsoon season and occasional heavy rains form temporary rivers here and give the place extra moisture. There are also numerous small caves in the rocks, There are also many Buddhist Chhortens at various promontories on the trail. They are built by the Buddhists to honor the dead, and to incur goodwill for their deeds that will follow them in the afterlife, helping in their rebirth. Composed of rock, they all bear stones with inscriptions of the chant “Ommanipadme hum“. The symbols are in Tibetan, but obvious enough to anyone who has encountered these before.

Chhortens also provide resting places for the travelers. Ram finds a nice grassy area where he lays down for a noon nap. I soon catch up to him and join him for a nap in the noon sunshine.

There are no houses or stores along the way to Chumchet. Most of the places are too steep to even farm in terraces, so the land is pretty much left in its natural state. We had no food for lunch, so it was a day of starvation until we could arrive in Chumchet.

We finally arrived late afternoon at the lower part of the village, which is just a collection of houses. The people greeted us with smiles and were at first shy around the camera until they saw a picture of themselves. At that point, they started posing for pictures, grabbing anything they could find for props to pose with.

Camera with child

Was this their first encounter with a digital camera? Maybe. This is not a place that sees much of the outside world, and the outside world was pretty much kept from them until 2008.

We concluded our photo op event and moved to the upper village in search of the lama to see if we could stay there. The upper village was not friendly, with people refusing to even acknowledge our knocks on their doors. It was quite a contrast to those we met from the lower village.

We did find the lamas house. Lama Buchimallama has been the village lama for 10 years. His gomba is between 15 minutes to one hour above the village. It was getting dark and we sadly had to turn down the invitation to visit his gomba.

He and his family operate a homestay. They ushered us into their home and seated us on the floor in the small room that served as a home chapel. It is here we would spend the night.

They brought out blankets and put some mats down on the cold floor for us. There were no chairs in sight. The outside temperatures were already at 10°C by 5 pm and continued to drop with the setting sun. There was no stove or fire in this room, so I pulled a blanket around me. I was glad that I brought long underwear, which I would put on at a more appropriate time.

The children kept their distance, peeking into the windows of the room to look at us like specimens at the zoo. The lama went out into the kitchen and brought back a steaming pot of butter tea.

Butter tea is a Tibetan speciality. It is a tea that uses yak butter as part of its ingredients. It tasted good but leaves a strange aftertaste that takes a bit to get used to.

Adding butter to tea may seem like a lot of fat, but in their diet, they need all the fat they can get to survive the cold. Their diet consists of corn, wheat, barley and rice along with potatoes. There is no meat eaten in this area. Butter tea is one of the few sources of fat for their diet.

Ram makes some bread for dinner and they keep bringing out the butter tea. Eventually, the lama changes over to Roxy, the fermented drink from barley that the people drink for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is a clear liquid. Some of it is pretty strong; others taste a bit like water. I drank some of the Roxy with our host. It does give a warm feeling and doesn’t leave the bitter aftertaste like butter tea.

The sunset and the only light in the room came from butter lamps on the altar and a single light bulb, which was solar-powered. The children were sleeping on the porch outside of the room. There was no glass in those windows, simply fresh cold mountain air that circulated into the house. I snuggle down into my sleeping bag and throw a blanket over me. I fell asleep quite easily.

MONDAY, MAY 3

TUMJE, NEPAL – Ram and I woke to the first light of the morning sun as it poked its way into the house. It was starting out as a pretty day which would sadly turn into rain by mid-afternoon.

The children were up and looking at us, while the lama came with hot butter tea. I sip the warm liquid while Ram goes into the kitchen to make some bread for breakfast.

The children get a little braver but keep their distance as they barely come into the room. Finally, the cat comes over and sits in my lap. The children conclude that I must be alright – I didn’t eat the cat. They are still leery of me but move a little closer.

Chumchet is at 3200 meters, and we would be dropping down to Tumje which is at 2440 meters. It would be a drop of 760 meters over the course of the day.

Yesterday, we encountered tiny little blue, yellow and white flowers that dotted the sides of the trail. That would not be the case today. Except for a couple of small rivers, we would not see much vegetation along this mountain trail.

The mountain is dry, and the farther you travel. toward Tumje, the drier it appears to be. Finding water for my water bottle would be difficult for much of the trip. The trail was pretty barren, encountering very few people, although we did see a jackal above us.

Chumchet has a population according to the lama of around 40. There are about 70 houses, no guest houses, a gomba and a primary school that is usually closed, according to our host. His home appears to be the only place to stay, which is pleasant and he and his wife go out of their way to make you feel welcomed.

Chumchet
Chumchet, Tsum Valley Trek

The downhill climb begins almost immediately. We pass through only one village on the trail down the mountain. I learned that its name is Khar, and consists of a few houses. The men were all out, and we encountered a few women working. I was hoping to find a little store that had Coca-Cola. No luck. This town had no store at all.

Ram would usually go on ahead of me as he can walk faster. I liked that because it gave me a chance to enjoy the scenery without someone on my heels. I am conscious of my slowness and know how difficult it is for the guides and porters who are native to the area and know how to walk quickly on the rock.

We continue to drop as the clouds obscure the mountains. I listen to the growing sound of thunder. The temperatures were dropping. The wind picked up and the rain began to fall at a steady pace.

I was wishing that I had brought a light pair of gloves. I use two walking sticks to move through the mountains, and my hands are freezing. Furthermore, I have an extra gumpsa (oversize handkerchief) and wrap one hand to keep it warm. The other hand screams in a frozen protest.

Down… down… down the mountain I go, sliding on rock as I maneuver through the switchbacks. There is no sight of Ram. Finally, I do see him. He has been taking shelter in a small cave in the rain.

I stand out in my yellow raincoat. The other day, I found it to be too warm; today I find the lack of porousness to be a real blessing from the raw Himalayan wind that assails me.

The village of Domje is the entrance to the upper valley. It is at the confluence of three rivers, two of which are tributaries for the Syar Khola. This is farm country, but the village does not look very prosperous.

We stay at the only guest house in the village, a rundown place where we have to climb a rickety ladder into the sleeping area. The door closes, but I’m not sure why as there is a big window that must measure at least 5 x 5 feet that is constantly open. The other side has a smaller window with no shutter or glass. The beds are simply wood. I lay out my sleeping bag and grab a blanket to throw over it. It is late afternoon and the temperatures are already down to 8° C. The wind blew through.

They lack food, although Ram is able to scrounge up some boiled potatoes which we heat. The saving grace was that they had Coca-Cola. It was good and cold. Who needs refrigeration when you have ice-cold mountains streams flowing by your place?

TUESDAY, MAY 4

PANGCHHE CAMPING AND GUEST HOUSE, LAMAGAON, NEPAL Our destination was Lamagaon, which was to us like the fabled African city of Timbuktu. It has been our goal, and our hope is to be able to borrow enough money to finish the trek. Today we would climb the mountain to the upper valley where we would finally achieve our destination.

It was 7°C at 6 am and I didn’t feel much like crawling out of the sleeping bag, no matter how pretty the sun looked. That room was cold, and it didn’t offer many shelters from the wind. At least the place where I was sleeping had no leak above me. I’m not sure the same could be said for other places in the room.

Ram fixed breakfast of flatbread, and we quickly were on our way. We crossed the fields and went up to join the trail that would lead across the suspension bridge over one of the rivers. I had diarrhoea while early on the trail. Why now, I don’t know. Fortunately, it was one of only two attacks that day, so it wasn’t such a setback.

We soon came to a very pretty little village called Gho. Built into the side of the mountain, it overlooked Domje with some colorful houses and a gomba that was shaped like a pagoda. They had one store in town, a tiny place built into the hill where the wife was cooking and their little boy peeking at us from around the door. They had ice-cold Coca Cola, which they drank with pleasure.

Domje is at an elevation of 2440 meters; Lamagaon is at 3305, so we had a lot of climbing ahead of us. We were now back on the main trail, ascending the stone steps.

We would meet a few foreigners on the trail today, a first for us. One was a lady from Austria who we would encounter again. She had been on her way to Manaslu when that trail was closed due to snow. She decided to go to Tsum Valley while waiting for the Manaslu trail to open. We would also encounter a man from Mexico and his traveling companion, a woman from Russia.

One fun part of trekking is the people you meet. Nepal draws people from all over the world, and you encounter a league of nations on the trails. We would encounter Canadians, Swiss and Germans on the trek.

School in Tsum Valley

We also encountered students from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu who were doing some fieldwork in the valley. At times the trail was just surrounded by barren rock, other times by flowers of a variety of colors. Butterflies would hover around us, while the hawks and eagles soared overhead.

Ram was worried about what would happen if the man was not at the guest house. What would we do for money? I told him God would provide. He gave me a strange look, asking, “God will provide?” I said don’t worry – all will work out. I have faith. He just kind of shook his head, not sure what to make of what I had just said.

Finally, we reached the top of this mountain trail around noon. We were hungry, and the next village was ChhokungParo, the principal village of this VDC for the Upper Valley. Then, We passed through the forest before we came to the kani that marked the beginning of the village. We were excited to be coming into this village, looking forward to getting some food after the night in Domje.

The upper valley is relatively level, nestled between the two mountain ranges that enclose Tsum Valley. The flat area is not especially wide, maybe just over a kilometer, but it is flat for Nepal. It is well watered, and a good place to grow food. It is these fields that attracted the first Tibetan settlers over a thousand years ago. We passed alongside rock walls that marked boundaries between farms before we passed under another kani as we entered the town.

ChhokungParo is very typically Tibetan. The houses have walls that enclose the barnyard, with only a wooden door to open to the street. Inside the walls is usually a two-story structure. The people live in the upper story while the rest is used for animals and storage of foodstuff.

The walls give the town almost a medieval feeling. The town was quiet, except for a woman who was drawing water at the well. Most everyone was out, working in the mountains. They were taking care of fields, animals or picking herbs for medicine on the mountainsides.

All three guest houses were closed. They had customers, which included the Mexican man and his Russian girlfriend who were very hungry. But there was no place open.

Ram was able to persuade the teacher in town to have his wife feed us. They took us in and fed us one of the best bowls of noodle soup I’ve ever enjoyed. I don’t know what vegetables she added, but it certainly was very flavorful.

We talked with the teacher who told us some history of the valley as we slurped down a bowl of soup. They also had some soft drinks from China that we consumed.

ChhokungParo was a disappointment because everything was closed. Still, it was a pretty village, which features its own gomba along with another major gomba just north of town.

To the north, a school is being constructed. The local population will donate at least 20% of the cost, oftentimes through local labor. The schools are built of heavy sedimentary stones that are quarried in the area. Women and donkeys will bring the heavy stones to the site where the stonemasons will then fit the stones for proper use. A good workman can easily dress a stone in 10 minutes.

Schools are a problem for Tsum Valley. The population here is small, and those with money send their children to Kathmandu or Pokhara for education. Children as young as five will walk several days to catch a transport at Soti Khola and then live in either of those cities, seeing their parents only on holidays.

Local government schools are viewed as not good. That reputation may or may not be deserved as we did meet some dedicated teachers. It is also hard to attract teachers. who come to teach in the valley from Kathmandu. It is difficult not only because of the isolation but also because most teachers do not speak the local language: Tibetan. Right from the start, the teachers discover a language barrier with the children and often the parents.

Most of the women here do not speak even Nepali. They are often illiterate and only speak the native tongue. That creates many barriers, and the children grow up first learning their dialect of Tibetan. Most of the children will get very little education unless they can escape from the valley and go to Kathmandu.

What is needed is for some of those educated ones to return and teach in the valley. They would know the local dialect, plus be educated in Nepali and English.

The trail continues to go uphill, but at a much more gradual pace in the upper valley. The valley is “Nepali level” which means it has hills but is basically level by their standards. Level ground is such a rarity, that to call something level, it can be off by a few degrees. In a land where the mountains may turn the ground at a 90° angle, something that’s even 15° is pretty flat for them.

The next village was Ngaku, which was like a miniature version of ChhokungParo. It has no guest house, but a homestay. The walls along the pathway through the village cast some long shadows in the afternoon sun. Everything was pretty much closed up, very similar to ChhokungParo. We did have one little boy follow us, and Ram found one lady to get some information from. The village did have a gomba but no lama. Instead, it had a nun that stayed there.

Our next town was Lamagaon and we got there as it was starting to get dark. The only guest house is just beyond the village and our goal was not only to stay there but to see Pradip’s friend Norgay Lama. He would be able to help us.

We arrived and were welcomed by his wife Dawa. Of course, I have no problem with staying there. Unfortunately for us, Norgay had left for Kathmandu that morning. We had unknowingly passed him on the trail. The phone had not been working, so Pradip was unable to get through to him.

Ram was feeling panic. What do we do? I told him, “God will provide”. That was our only option besides eating lizards which they frown on in this valley. Lizards aren’t all bad, as long as you have plenty of barbeque sauce. And ketchup can make anything palatable.

 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 5

PANGCHHE CAMPING AND GUEST HOUSE, LAMAGAON, NEPAL We went to bed early that night in their only room for visitors. It was the room used as the home altar. There was no glass in the window, and the chilly night air blew into the room.

There were no beds, but a blanket on the floor where we set up our bedding. I managed to procure an extra blanket that I threw over the sleeping bag. It would go down to around 4° C, and I wanted everything I could to keep my cocoon warm.

We sat with the family and ate mashed potatoes that Ram cooked. We sipped butter tea, which was not as bitter here as it had been up with the lama in Chumchet.

A Tibetan house consists of a single room where the stove is upstairs. You enter through a side room that is used for storage, and as your eyes adjust to the darkness (lack of windows), you find the doorway into the common room.

Two walls are reserved for the kitchen items, which are neatly organized in copper bowls and jars on shelves. Large copper water pots hold many liters of water for use. There is no running water except when the women run to the well site, draw the water and run back into the house. The houses now have cast iron stoves from China which don’t produce much heat for the houses. I sit next to the stove and shiver. Of course, the cold has little impact on these people who live with it year-round.

There is a bed/couch by the only window in the room, which has some plastic over parts of it, but the wind easily blows through the other parts. The windows are beautifully carved and are composed of small squares that would be ideal for glass. I said ideally: the glass is non-existent.

I pull a thick blanket around me as we eat dinner and then go off to our room to sleep.

Our room is a part temple, and there is a picture of the Dalai Lama along with the local lama at Rachen Gomba who is highly respected in the valley. While not as great as the Dalai Lama, his name is pretty close to the top. We would meet him later in the day.

Dawa is Norgay’s wife who looks after us. She has no idea how old she is but knows that she’s been married for over 20 years. They have four children who are all away at school either in Kathmandu or Pokhara.

Dawa has been able to do some traveling outside of the valley. She has been to Kathmandu and once traveled to India where she met the Dalai Lama.

Her work is cooking and the fields, along with making rough blankets which are common in their homes. She also runs the guest house, which she likes as she enjoys meeting the people that come to stay.

She has a helper, a young girl who is a relative named Dolpa. Dolpa has not been to school and cannot read or write. She is about 11 years old and very industrious. When she’s not cooking or cleaning, she is working the distaff. She has a brilliant smile and is quite happy.

Across the Syar River is one of the biggest gombas in the valley. Rachen Gomba is the home of Lama DukpaRimpache, who heads up four different monasteries. Rachen Gomba and Mu Gomba are in the valley, while the other two are in Kathmandu. We would visit with him today. We cross the Syar River on a suspension bridge and then hike over to the monastery. The weather is cold and the skies don’t look good. I am beginning to wish I had brought my raincoat for this day trek.

The monastery covers several acres of land, and they are in the process of building a new gomba along with rooms that will hold 113 monks and nuns. We meet some Swiss people who have come on a trek that has arrived before us. They took a camping trip, and their porters are cooking up a plate of spaghetti which is looking pretty good. I’ve been eating noodle soup and Tibetan bread for much of this trip. Having an Italian chef for a porter is quite a nice treat. I give hints about being hungry, but they only give us cups of hot tea. Ah, well, at least the tea was nice and hot on this cold and blustery day.

The nun informs us that the lama is having his lunch, and could not be disturbed. We sat around outside until the rain started, and then moved into parts of the old gomba.

The only source of heat in that room was the butter lamps that were burning. The new energy-efficient corkscrew doesn’t provide any heat to speak of. The window in the room, of course, had no glass, so everything blew in.

We finally got to meet the lama, who is a man that is about 66 years old and suffers from a variety of health issues, which include hearing loss. He greets us cordially and invites us to sit down on the mat on the floor. He is sitting cross-legged on a low couch.

The lama was an impressive man. He has been in the study of sacred Buddhist scriptures since he was 7 years old.

His group promises celibacy when they become lamas at their graduation. Their course of study takes about 20 years and after that, they continue to study the sacred scrolls.

His age and health have slowed him down to where he now only teaches the lamas. He has a staff of six who help teach, and these people will teach others who learn. The new gomba will be much larger and more come to impressive than the older one. It also will have glass windows.

We take a picture of the lama and thank him for his time. I could see he was tired and I didn’t want to push too hard. I did ask him about the impact of tourism on the valley and he said only time would tell. Rachen Gomba does not have lodging for tourists, but Mu Gomba does. It is one of two monasteries in the valley that provides housing for tourists.

The rain has become heavier and I try to duck into the lama’s kitchen to warm up. Ram stops me, says I can’t go in there because only the nuns are allowed in the lamas private kitchen. I guess it would be like sneaking into the Pope’s kitchen in Vatican City. Still, I’m shivering. We go back into the room with the big prayer wheel, but find little comfort in that. Finally, Ram suggests making a run for the big kitchen across the way.

We move as quickly as we could with the big cold raindrops drenching us. This is a big place, so it takes a while to get there. We arrive at the kitchen and we sit down in front of the fire.

No one objects; in fact, they even offer us butter tea. Anything hot is appreciated. I am sipping tea when one of the nuns exclaims, “It’s snowing outside!”

Sure enough, it was. Big old fat white snowflakes were mixing with the big cold raindrops. It’s May and we’re having a snowstorm
!

The kitchen was operated by what appeared to be teenage monks and nuns who were interacting more like adolescents than holy people. Of course, you can’t expect much from that age group. The girls were working; the boys goofing off.

The girls started to cook some chapatti bread, which I kept making hints at how hungry I was. It was now 2:30 in the afternoon and we hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast. We got more tea, but the chapatti was for the monks.

We sat for more than an hour before deciding that we should make a break for it back to the guest house. Actually, it was Ram’s idea. I was more thinking about finding an empty room and sleeping there for the night. With 113 rooms, there ought to be a vacancy somewhere. I had not worn my long underwear and didn’t have a decent jacket to wear. Also, I had brought a sweatshirt, but it was no protection against the rain/snow mix. I had left my raincoat at the guest house as it hadn’t looked like rain that morning.

The semi-frozen concoction from the sky finally slowed down and we made a break for it. The dog came out and barked at us. I don’t know why, but it seems that most Buddhist monasteries have a mean dog that doesn’t much like visitors. This dog was fortunately on a chain. It was big and ugly and seemed to be willing to violate the no meat rule of the valley. Of course, the meat it wanted was me.

We left the Gomba and ran down the hill, over the dry river bed and then up the sides to join the bridge over the Syar Khola. The trip was a lot faster this time, no doubt because of the motivation to escape the weather.

We arrived back at the guest house when we learned that God had indeed provided. Norgay had come back to Lamagaon.

 

THURSDAY, MAY 6

PANGCHHE CAMPING AND GUEST HOUSE, LAMAGAON, NEPAL As I told Ram, God would provide. And God does work in mysterious ways.

Norgay had been on his way to Kathmandu. He had got to Lokpa when he learned that the border had reopened to Tibet. The border had been closed due to snow, and now was open again. He was going to assemble a yak train to bring supplies from Tibet to the valley. He spent the night and then turned around and came back to Lamagaon.

Norgay is a businessman who has many different businesses. He has the guest house, a farm, organizes yak trains and does a variety of trading. One has to multi-task in this valley if he hopes to survive. There is little room for specialists up here.

He had not heard from Rupchandra because the phone has been out. The phones up here work part-time, but they bill you for full time. But he recognized his friend’s name and said he would help us out.

Today he would be out of the house until late, but he would meet later with us. Our day was to climb to the cave monastery which hangs precariously on the side of the mountain.

Thankfully, the weather changed. The snow that had fallen only stuck to the mountain, adding to its beauty and lustre. We walked to the next village of Bursa where we got the key to the monastery (for a fee of Rs 300) and then began our climb.

The place is officially known as Milarepa PirenPhu Cave Monastery and is named for St. Milarepa who brought Buddhism to this valley almost 1000 years ago.

From what the locals tell me, this valley was composed of several warlike tribes. St. Milarepa came and medicated in this cave, and then spread the word about a better way of life through the teachings of the Buddha. He was born in 1052 AD and lived until the age of 83. St. Milarepa brought the entire valley under the influence of Buddhism.

He taught non-violence, which included not eating any type of meat. No animal could be killed for food, as it had a soul and was probably someone reincarnated. He taught respect for all living things.

We climbed up the side of the mountain to the cave monastery, which is in two parts. The lower is the monastery while the upper part has a second time where there is a footprint that is said to belong to St. Milarepa in the rock. It is encased in a shrine and easy to find.

The trip up was steep, but the views of the valley were outstanding. Rachen Gomba stood out in beauty below, its red walls reflecting in the sunlight in contrast to the white mountains that were covered with new snow.

We first reached what looked like a motel. It had been used for monks to stay and pray, but it appeared to not be of much use these days. The place would make a wonderful guest house, with visitors waking up to a gorgeous view of the valley below.

Above was the first building with its prayer wheel and altar, featuring Buddha in the middle and surrounded by two gods. The floor was rough boards, and it was a quiet place to meditate.

Higher up was the cave, which is now covered by a wooden building. We entered it and saw the footprint of St. Milarepa in the rocks.

We stayed up there a long time, gazing at the beauty of the area. It is so incredibly pristine up there. The villages look so small from up here and the mountains so incredibly big. One cannot truly appreciate the size of the Himalayas until they have sat on a mountaintop and looked across at the other mountains. The only thing small in the Himalayas is the man.

We descended down the mountain to a place. which had all kinds of Buddhist flags flying. It was the field of flags that had been set up here in the valley. There were a number of monuments, of which one of them told the history of Tsum Valley. It said the name “Tsum” meant “vivid” and the people of the valley are called “Tsumbas”. We stayed for a while, taking in the quietness of the surroundings.

We returned to the village of Bursa and had lunch at Milarepa Restaurant and Lodge, a new guest house that’s being developed. From here, we returned the key and made our way back to Lapagaon to rest before our return journey tomorrow.

We had to cut some of the trip short because of time. My walking, as well as time for research and writing, had cut into our travel plans. We had hoped to travel to Mu Gomba, about a day’s walk to the north and then down to Gomba Lundgang at the base of the glacier for Ganesh Himal. That would have to be another time.

Ram was going to leave in just over a week for Tibet and I needed to get to the Ganesh Himal region. The day was windy, so I found a spot by a wall at the guest house that acted as a windbreak. I played some music on my MP3 player and did some writing. The temperature today was around 20°C. Balmy for Tsum Valley.

 

FRIDAY, MAY 7

GUEST HOUSE, RIPCHE, NEPAL Norgay returned late from his work, so, we didn’t have a chance to really talk to him until this morning before we started our return journey.

Norgay proved a leader in the area. We talked about tourism and its impact. He invited me to return and do a seminar for the people of the VDC; He was willing to host it. I’ve been doing some seminars in Kathmandu and would welcome the opportunity to return to Tsum Valley.

The area has only been open to foreigners since 2008, they have a pretty good job preparing for tourists. They have set up guest houses and homestay homes in the region. There is signage in English and they are working to educate the local population.

The area opened up at the request of the people. Those who had the to pushed open the tourism make for people. They have responded well while working to maintain the valley’s unique culture.

We said goodbye. He gave Ram the money we needed, plus as a parting gift gave of a can of Lhasa along with a pouch of dry noodles. There wouldn’t be much until we got to Ripche.

We got a late start, but made good time, passing through ChhokungParo was still closed up. found no place to get food. passed through the and were now back in the wilderness large gathering of langurs crossed our path. They crossed the trail, but then stopped to look at us. They kept their distance, but there was no great fear in their eyes. We watched them for a while before continuing on.

Ram and I stopped for lunch and enjoyed our beer and dry noodles. We sat and talked as we looked at the beauty of the area. We finally rose and made our way down the mountain. Our journey was pretty easy until we got back to Gho and had to take a different trail. This one was not on most tourist maps and was quite steep. We passed the small gomba and then down to the river which was a greenish-blue color from its glacier origins. The bridge was pretty rickety. While many of the bridges were being replaced in the valley, this had not been one of them. We crossed and made our way past Domje.

At Domje, we could have gone down to Gomba Lungdang. It is a large gomba where they have rooms for tourists at the base of the Ganesh Himal Mountains. I had wanted to go there, but it takes between 6 and 12 hours to travel. For me, it’s the 12-hour trip one way, and we were running out of time.

The trail to Ripche is on the south side of the Syar River. We crossed the suspension bridge over the Langdang Khola and up the side. The north side of the Syar River is a well-developed trail, but the south side has a long way to go before it can actually rival the north side. It was late afternoon and we would end up traveling the last part of the trail in the dark. A local woman ended up joining us as we crossed rickety wooden bridges that were being made obsolete by new suspension bridges.

Our destination was the village of Ripche, which overlooks the Lower Valley. The village is 105 meters higher than Chumling, which it overlooks. An agricultural village, it doesn’t offer that much except a really good home stay where we spent the night. It is really more than a homestay, where they have made a guest room out of their home Buddhist shrine. There are two beds inside to which we happily set up our sleeping bags and went to sleep.

 

SATURDAY, MAY 8

TSUM HOTEL GUEST HOUSE, LOKPA, NEPAL-We woke up to the rays of the sun coming into the room as the lady of the house was making Nepali popcorn. Popcorn is a common snack up in the mountains as they grow it here. Popcorn is different from what we are used to in the West. Here, the kernels don’t necessarily pop up white and fluffy. Also, the ones that don’t pop don’t break your teeth if you try to eat them.

Most don’t really pop up fluffy, but will usually be small and still in the “shell”. The “shell” is cracked, and you simply eat it by the handful without salt or any other type of spice. We had arrived at night, so we couldn’t see anything outside. Now that it is light, we can see around the village. Ripche is a small village at 2470 meters. It doesn’t offer the traveler much in the way of facilities. I saw no store and there is just one homestay. It does offer a great view of the valley as you look at the mountains and look down at the village of Chumling. You can also see Chumchet higher on the mountainside.

We left early and began our trek toward Lokpa as we were to finally exit the valley. It is a steep trail down the mountain from Ripche to Gumkhola where we stopped for a Coca-Cola and washed in the ice-cold water. I was pretty filthy from the trip over the last few days. My feet were covered with layers of dust, even though I had on shoes and socks. The Nepali dust penetrates everything, it knows no boundaries. What I would really like is a hot shower, but that won’t happen until this trek is over.

When trekking, you leave behind the things you normally take for granted, which includes personal hygiene. The places where you can really bathe with any privacy are few and far between. You know it’s time for a bath when the mule passes you and farts, and that improves the air quality.

From Gumkhola, we follow the trail down toward the gorge that marks the lower valley. The return trip offers us a different view of the gorge and the trail is steep going to the river’s edge. The water is still roaring and foaming over the rocks as we bid goodbye to the Tsum Valley.

The trail then turns upward as we ascend to Lokpa. We will stay at the same guest house, but this time discover it is full. A group of Canadian college students have come and are pretty much occupying the entire place. I manage to get the last room available – basically, a closet and I crawl into the room as it is only a bed, nothing more. I organize my backpack around me and fall asleep.

 

SUNDAY, MAY 9

HOTEL PHILIMGAUN AND LODGE, PHILIM, NEPAL-I woke to a much warmer morning than I had when I came through this way a number of days before. The rooster woke me up with his prolific crowing. I don’t know what he had to crow about, but he was certainly pleased with himself. I kept telling myself that chicken dinner was something I could really appreciate this morning.

The flies buzzed in the room and the smoke from the kitchen blew through the cracks. It was already 19°C.

I chatted with the Canadians at breakfast about their trip. They were on their way into Tsum Valley Trek; I was on my way out. One girl commented that she thought I had sleep apnea, which wouldn’t surprise me. She said she could hear my snoring; I was amazed that anyone was that awake last night to even notice. The walls are simply 1″ boards with plenty of gaps between them.

We said goodbye and were on our way back toward the main trail. The skies were clear and we could see Mt. Manaslu clearly. We walked along the trail, past the sign that said, “Welcome to Tsum Valley Trek”. We watched eagles soaring, floating on the thermals effortlessly above us as we descended down into the valley.

The trip was a short one today as we decided to stay at Philim. I was hungry for something besides bread and I knew that they had vegetable mo-mo with cheese. We stayed in one of the cabins at Hotel PhilimGaun and Lodge.

The place has room to shower; with a large picture window in front ( guess that’s to entertain the neighbors). Water comes into the room in a hose. Don’t worry about temperature control; it doesn’t exist. What comes out is what you get. I grab my soap and head for the shower facility to get my first real bath in over a week. It takes a lot of scrubbing to get some of the layers of dust and dirt off your legs.

Philim has no electricity – the power station was taken out by a rock slide. They do have solar power, but not for the rooms. The cabin is small, barely enough for two beds. It does have windows and a back door. I open the back door and there is the start of a toilet as well as a very tiny porch. The porch overlooks the river valley as we’re back to overlooking the Budhi Gandaki Nadi. We have dropped in elevation, and we can feel it is much warmer than what we’ve been used to. No chance of snow tonight in the valley. It is warm.

The food is good, and I get to enjoy the local fellowship. The owner is also a teacher, and some of his teacher friends were gathered in the gazebo. They bid me join them and we have a good visit.

It is a relaxing day, and it is nice that we weren’t pushing hard to reach a location.

 

MONDAY, MAY 10

YURUKHOLA, NEPAL-We left Philim in the morning, setting off for points south. The day started out sunny, but the rain returned in the afternoon. That limited our choices for destinations, and we chose to stay in the sometimes village of Yuru Khola.

Yuru Khola is a fascinating place. The village is located at the confluence of the Yuru Khola which meets the Budhi Gandaki Nadi at that place. The local people catch fresh fish from the Yuru Khola and if you’re lucky, you will enjoy fresh fish for dinner. We were not so fortunate this evening as their fish is popular and sells quickly.

The village is composed of basically one extended family that has built wooden buildings along the way. They have set up a store, restaurant and guest house right on the trail. When I say, right on the trail, I literally mean right on the trail. Donkeys and people pass within inches of you when you are sitting down to eat.

In the monsoon season, they often have to abandon the village and move to higher ground. There are some houses back into the hills built on stilts. They can sometimes ride out the monsoons there when the Budhi Gandaki Nadi rises well above its banks. Other times, they have to move out completely to higher ground.

Once the water recedes, they reclaim their building and it’s back to business. The place also offers camping and there was one group camping on the rocks, polished smooth by the force of the river.

I hated to leave Philim as it is a delightful village. It has stores and places to eat along with a school. The town is pleasant and the people are very friendly. I slept good and enjoyed the privacy of the cabin. The walk was pretty uneventful in the morning.

Ram and I headed down the hillside toward the long suspension bridge that would cross over to the west side of the river. We retraced our steps through the villages of Sirdibas and Salleri. Our goal for lunch was Jagat and it was during lunch that the rain moved in. I had spaghetti which-a real treat.

Jagat is the entrance to the Manaslu Conservation Area. The streets are smooth, large stones have been used to pave them.

The thunder crashed and the lightning filled the sky as we concluded our meal. The rains came, and we hid in the hotel until we thought it was passing.

Darn rain wasn’t passing. We got out and on the trail and sure enough, here it comes again! We hurried to the end of town where we found another guest house and sat under the overhang waiting for the rain to stop.

The rain was delaying us, and we decided to stay at Yuru Khola. We would have to duck the weather a few more times as we moved southward.

Our lodging at Yuru Khola was basically one huge bed. The owners had put a number of beds together and you simply claimed a spot. Fortunately, it was only Ram and me in the room. We choose opposite ends of the Goliath-size bed and slept through the night. We could hear the rain coming off and on.

The lodge there at Yuru Khola has no toilets, but it does have a back door. It is what is known as an “open toilet”. You find the spot that works for you and do your business accordingly. It is times like these when it is really great to be male.

 

TUESDAY, MAY 11

SHANGRI-LA HOME COTTAGE AND TENT HOUSE, KHORLABESI, NEPAL-The rains had left us during the night and the day opened beautiful and sunny. It would stay that way all day as we made our way south.

We had interviewed the teacher in the morning as she was heading south. She would cover much more than us today. She’s Nepali, and the Nepalis can walk through the mountains like a mountain goat. She was also anxious to see her husband. I was concerned about the physical exertion as she was rather far along in her pregnancy. Nepali women are quite hardy; they can take the exercise with great stride. I would see more of that later when we reached the village of Dobhan.

Yesterday, the worst part of the trail was the summer shortcut just above Yuru Khola. Ram went out of his way to take me a different way than down the rickety ladder.

He took me down to the river and got large stones which he put near the shore so I could walk on them. The shore rises abruptly with huge rock walls, so he made the trail in the water. I was quite touched. That was going above and beyond in service.

The trail continued along the east side of the river until near Tatopani when a suspension bridge would cross the Budhi Gandaki Nadi and we would again be on the west side.

In Dobhan, they are building a new school. The men are quarrying the stone and then dressing it at the building site. The Nepali government requires that each community invest 20% into the school. Most of this is done through in-kind labor.

The women were working about the school. They were carrying the stones from the quarry to the building. Women would go as a group, place the stones in a sling that wrapped around their foreheads, and then carry the stones to the worksite where their husbands were preparing the stones.

Womens went as a group, laughing and joking along the way. It was like watching an army of ants move, as they carried stones almost the size of them. I was so impressed to see this kind of commitment to building a school for the village children. It shows what teamwork can be done when people work together for a common cause.

Our goal had been to bypass Tatopani and stay in Khorlabesi. I had been impressed with this little village. We entered the town, following what appeared at first to be grapevines. They were not, but another plant that is harvested and may prove to be a source of alternative energy for Nepal.

There are two guest houses in town, and we stayed at the Shangri-la Home Cottage and Tent House. It has a motel-like look to it and they are building more units. They also have a shower facility, which consists of a hose and a picture window. I don’t know what it is about picture windows in shower rooms, but it seems to be quite the rage up here. Maybe this is the Nepali answer to sex education.

Like everywhere, the menu is pretty limited. What did intrigue me is that in June, the Chum Valley Winery is opening. The owner of the guest house said his brother was opening it, and that they would be producing wines from local fruits. It is a bold step, but definitely a good idea as it’s another way of producing income from local sources for the visitors.

 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 12 — The Last day of Tsum Valley Trek

MACHHAKHOLAGAON, NEPAL – Machhakholagaon is a short, easy hike from Khorlabesi. This was our final destination as I would spend a couple of nights here before going on to Ganesh Himal.

Ram was to leave me here as he would continue his trek down to Soti Khola and then back to Kathmandu. He had another trek ahead of him, guiding a group to Tibet. I hated to see him go, as he had been such a good guide. I felt glad I was able to bond with him.

Ram has his degree in education but was unable to find work in his field. He does advise his village school, and we are to get together and visit his village so I can see the work they are doing. The school, like most of the schools in rural Nepal, needs a lot of support and help. The schools are horribly underfunded, the facilities lacking and classrooms crowded. The teachers I have met in this region struck me as dedicated and concerned about the lack of educational opportunities for the children. The children’s only hope is education. It is something that the parents take seriously in Nepal.

We stayed at a wonderful little place in Machhakholagaon Chum Valley Hotel which has three floors and some nice rooms. The food is exceptionally good and I enjoy some time to relax before the next trek.

Conclusion of Tsum Valley Trek

The trek to Tsum Valley is not that difficult. It does offer an incredible opportunity to see a Tibet that existed 100 years ago before the Chinese invasion. The valley retains its Buddhist roots and peaceful attitude, even when confronted with the problems of the 21st Century.

How will tourism impact this valley? Like the lama said, only time will tell. Progress cannot be stopped, but I hope that the growth can be controlled in such a way that the flavor and peacefulness of the people are not lost.

I felt privileged to be there and to experience the natural beauty first-hand. I was able to interact with the culture and come away with a feeling of awe and respect.

That’s why I trek at my age. I love the people I meet and learn so much. The treks for me are not easy, but whatever pain I may feel is more than made up for by what I see and learn.

I was very fortunate to have a good guide like Ram. A good guide makes a big difference on whether you enjoy your trek or despise it. Ram went out of his way to work with me, showing great patience with my slowness and disabilities.

Tsum Valley Trek – a great experience!

Nepal Travel Guide Part One : Everest Base Camp Trekking

Nepal Travel Guide : Everest Base Camp Trekking

Everybody has a dream destination. While some aspire to visit Thailand beach, others want to go on a shopping spree in London or Paris, and a significant fraction of people wish to tour New York City once in their lifetime. Likewise, other people have been looking forward to visiting Nepal. Even though this South Asian country other than being known for Mount Everest is also famous for its other natural wonders such as scenic mountains, highland terraces, Lake Districts among many others. In fact, many would rank this beautiful nation at number one while making a list of must-go places all over the world and Everest Base Camp Trekking is one of the finest trekking trial in the world.

A trekker in Kala Patthar
A trekker in Kala Patthar

Greetings from Peregrine Treks, We have started the series of travel diaries mentioning the travel information. In this first part, we will be discussing Everest Base Camp Trekking.

A definitive travel guide for Everest Base Camp Trekking will discuss significant subjects like Everest trip features, outline, exercises, licenses, EBC journey trouble, agenda, pressing rundown, food, convenience, elevation ailment, things you ought to do, and things you ought not to do during traveling. By and large, it’s a total Everest Base Camp Trek Guide.

When you think about trekking or hiking, do you wonder where to go? Which countries are best for trekking? I am sure that lots of people think about these questions, but few of them have good information on the topic of what are the best places to hike? I have found some awesome articles that describe the best treks in the world. Everest Base Camp Trekking is one of them.

A Trekker in Everest Base Camp
A Trekker in Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp Trekking is done between the elevations of 1,310 to 5,610 meters. The highest place on earth, Everest Base Camp is simply appealing owing to its seclusion and tranquil environment. Climbing to Mt. Everest Base Camp is an awesome experience that takes you to the Worlds most elevated spot, i.e., to the headquarters of the Worlds most elevated mountain.

Deciding on this excursion is motivation to cheer! For some, it is one dream on their list of must-dos. Furthermore, many international portals have ordered Everest Base Camp Trek as one of the best trips in the World.

Everest Base Camp Trekking Overview

Everest Base Camp Trekking offers you the opportunity to walk to the foot of Mount Everest, the tallest peak on earth, passing through the beautiful Sherpa country, ancient monasteries, lush forests, and fast-flowing rivers originating from Himalayan glaciers.

Trip Facts:

Country: Nepal

Area: Everest Region

Duration: 15 Days

Group Size: 2-25

Grade: Moderately Difficult

Activity: Walking

Maximum Altitude: 5640m (Kalapatthar)

Minimum Altitude: 1310 (Kathmandu)

Average Walking Hours: 6-7 hours per day

Number of Walking Days: 12

Accommodation: Three-star hotels in Kathmandu; Teahouse during trekking

Startpoint: Kathmandu

Ending Point: Kathmandu

Trip Highlights:

  • Guided full-service trek to the Everest region
  • Scenic yet adventurous flight to Lukla
  • Opportunity to know about Sherpa culture, tradition and lifestyle
  • Breathtaking views of high Himalayan peaks including Everest
  • Beautiful Sherpa villages of Namche Bazaar and Tengboche
  • Ancient Buddhist monasteries

About The Everest Base Camp Trekking

Trek to the Everest Base Camp is a journey of a lifetime for many. The trek has featured numerous international guide books, travel shows and vlogs thanks to its main attraction — Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the world. Because of Everest, the trail may look difficult for many. But the trek is moderately difficult and every fit person can do this trek with proper acclimatization.

As trekkers directly fly into Lukla, they suddenly find themselves in the Buddhist land. One can see prayer wheels, mani walls and Chhortens throughout the trek which reflects the rich Buddhist heritage of the region. The walk is easy initially.

The trail that goes along the Dudh Koshi River valley is scenic with beautiful villages and lush forests rich in diverse flora and fauna. The trek provides you with an opportunity to meet and interact with Sherpas — the amazing climbers.

The trek to the base camp of Mount Everest remains etched in your memory for a long because trekkers walk on the same trail used by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, the first climbers of Mount Everest, and their climbing party nearly seven decades ago.

Mountain Views:

Though trekkers won’t be able to get good views of the mountains over the first two days of the treks, they find themselves surrounded by mountains on all other days. A scenic Himalayan visa welcomes trekkers no sooner than they climb beyond Namche Bazaar. In some places, they get 360-degree views of high Himalayan peaks. The most dominating peak after Namche is Amadablam which rises tall above all other peaks.

Similarly, the pyramidical summit of Pumori rises above you as you walk past Dingboche. The panoramic view of tall mountain peaks like Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse among others from Kalapatthar is the icing on the cake.

View of Mount Everest from Renjo La Pass
View of Mount Everest from Renjo La Pass

ROUTE INFO:

The trek begins with a 40-minute flight to the Lukla airstrip. Furthermore, the trail then passes through the settlements of Chaurikharka and Cheplung to Phakding and then continues along the Dudh Koshi River to Monjo before making a climb to Namche Bazaar. From Namche Bazaar, the trail again drops again to Dudh Koshi River before making a climb to Tengboche.

The trail then passes through beautiful Sherpa settlements of Debuche, Dingboche and Lobuche to Gorakshep. Gorakshep is the last village on the Everest trail. The return leg begins after a short hike to Kalapatthar ridge which offers unhindered views of the high Himalayan peak.

Everest Base Camp Trek Map
Everest Base Camp Trek Map

ITINERARY:

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu (1310m)

Welcome to Nepal. Our representative will be at the airport to offer you a traditional Nepali welcome and transfer you to your hotel. The remaining time is free for independent activities. In the evening, meet your guide and attend the trek briefing session.

O/N: Hotel

Day 2: Fly to Lukla (2810m), trek to Phakding (2800m) — Approx 40 minutes flight, 4 hrs trek

After early breakfast, meet your guide at the hotel who will transfer you to the airport for a short flight to Lukla. Lukla is the starting point of the Everest Base Camp Trekking . The flight takes about 40 minutes and offers your bird’s eye view of terraced fields, lush forest and the diverse topography of Nepal. You can also enjoy breathtaking views of the high mountain peaks of the Himalayas as you leave Kathmandu Valley.

Be prepared for the adventurous landing as many have described Lukla Airport as one of the most difficult airports to land. The slightly inclined airfield sits on a cliff above the Dudhkoshi River valley leaving pilots no room for error.

Lukla Airport
Lukla Airport

Upon arrival in Lukla, meet your crew and wait for them to arrange your loads and begin your trek. As the trail is easy, you will get used to it on the first day itself. After leaving Lukla, we will walk through the leveled trail of Chaurikharka village and Cheplung before descending to the Dudhkoshi River which originates in the Khumbu glacier. The trail contours along the left side of Dudh Koshi River as it progresses forward. There are plenty of restaurants and guesthouses on the trek.

We will have lunch in one of them before continuing our trek to Phakding. Lookout for mani walls and prayer wheels on the trail which reflect the amazing Buddhist heritage of the region. Phakding is a beautiful village seated on the banks of the Dudhkoshi River. There are plenty of lodges and teahouses on both sides of the river.

O/N: Teahouse

Day 3: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3440m) — Approx 5-6 hrs

We will resume walking after having breakfast at your teahouse. After crossing the Dudhkoshi River on a suspension bridge, the trail is on the right side of the river. The trail passes through the settlements of Toktok and Bengkar before crossing the river and making a short climb to Monjo. We will get the first view of Mt Thamserku from Bengkar. Monjo is a popular stopover on the Everest trail. Some trekkers spend a night here instead of Phakding so that they can climb the uphill trail to Namche Bazaar in the morning time. The Sagarmatha National Park area begins from Monjo village. We will show our permits at the check post of the national park, exit Monjo village and head toward Namche Bazaar.

On and around Namche
On and around Namche

There are plenty of ups and downs on the trail. Today, we will gain around 600 meters altitude. We can see caravans of Yaks and Jokyos ferrying supplies to villages lying in the upper areas of the Everest region. A short walk from Monjo will take us to Jorsalle where we will stop for lunch. After lunch, we will cross the confluence of two rivers, which form the Bhotekoshi River, on a suspension bridge and start an uphill walk to Namche Bazaar. The winding trail to Namche Bazaar passes through beautiful pine forests.

The walk is difficult but you will forget your pain after you reach the beautiful village of Namche Bazaar where we will spend two nights. We will explore the beautiful settlement of Namche Bazaar in the evening. Namche Bazaar has everything that a tourist looks for. There are many coffee shops and bakeries. It even boasts of a discotheque in the high season.

O/N: Teahouse

Day 4: Rest day for Acclimatization

Today, we will take the first rest day of our trip for acclimatization. It is necessary to take a rest day after gaining a certain altitude as it helps our body to acclimatize to higher altitudes and prevent altitude mountain sickness (AMS). There are several activities to do to utilize this day. Hike to the twin villages of Kunde and Khumjung, where there is a school built by Sir Edmund Hillary, a visit to Sagarmatha National Park Office and Sherpa museum, and a hike to Everest View Hotel are some of the options. Your guide will select the appropriate activity for you.

View from Everest View Hotel, Namche
Mountain View from Everest View Hotel

O/N: Teahouse

Day 5: Trek to Tengboche (3890m) — Approx 6 hrs

Fresh after a day’s rest, we will resume our walk after having breakfast at our teahouse. The walk turns difficult from here as the high altitude kicks in. However, the views are rewarding and you will see mountains ahead of you almost all the time. A little uphill from Namche Bazaar will take us to one of the most scenic walks of the entire trek. We walk on a ridge above Dudh Koshi River with mountain peaks, including Amadablam, dominating the northern horizon.

Tengboche Monastery
Tengboche Monastery

We will stop at Kyangjuma (3600m) for lunch. Kyangjuma is a small Sherpa settlement on the Everest trekking trail. After lunch, we will make a descent to Dudh Koshi River and cross it on a suspension bridge. The final leg of today’s trek is mostly uphill to Tengboche. The magnificent Tengboche Monastery is the main attraction of this small Sherpa village. In the evening, you can offer prayers at the monster and interact with young monks. Climbing parties to Everest often make special prayers at the monastery praying for the success of their expedition.

O/N: Teahouse

Day 6: Trek to Dingboche (4350m) — Approx 5 hrs

After enjoying the sunrise and magnificent mountain views early in the morning, we start our walk toward Dingboche. The trail is a gradual downhill initially to Debuche. It then contours on the right side of Bhote Koshi River to the settlement of Milinggo. Going further, we will cross the river and walk on the left side of the river to the village of Pangboche and further to Shomare where we will stop for lunch. After lunch, we continue our walk to the confluence of Dudh Koshi and Imja Khola rivers.

We cross the river and follow the Imja Khola River to Dingboche. The trail on the left side of the river goes to the village of Pheriche where there is a health check post operated by the Himalayan Rescue Association. Both the routes eventually meet at Dough La. However, many trekkers use the route to Dingboche as it promises magnificent mountain views. Imja Khola river originates from Imja glacial lake which lies at the bottom of Imja glacier of Island Peak.

O/N: Teahouse

Day 7: Rest day for Acclimatization

Today, we will take another rest day for acclimatization as we are now walking above 4,000 meters. There are plenty of activities to make use of this day for acclimatization. The first option is to hike to Nagarjuna Hill (5050m). Nagarjuna Hill is an excellent viewpoint in Dingboche. The hill offers unhindered views of mountains like Ama Dablam (6812m), Makalu (8485m) and Cho Oyu (8201m), among others. As trekkers are advised to climb to higher altitudes for acclimatization during rest days, a hike to Nagarjuna Hill is the best option. But if you do not want to take the ordeal of climbing a hill, you can enjoy a walk to Chukhung village which lies below the Chhukung is a stopover in the Everest Three Passes Trek. Explore the village and return to Dingboche for lunch.

O/N: Teahouse

Day 8: Trek to Lobuche (4920m) — Approx 6 hrs

Fresh after a daylong acclimatization break, we will resume our Everest trek today. In total, we will complete the distance of about 9 kilometers gaining some 700 meters of altitude. There are two steep sections in today’s walk. The first is right after you resume walking as you will need to climb a hill above Dingboche. Second is a steep walk to the pass above Dugha La. Dugha La is about five kilometers from Dingboche. It will take around three hours.

There are few lodges here. We can stop here for lunch or continue toward Lobuche if it is too early. Right after Dugha La, we will need to climb to a high pass. It is a steep climb of about 300 meters. The views from the top of the pass are rewarding. After the pass, the trail descends to the river and it is an easy walk along the river to Lobuche.

O/N: Teahouse

Day 9: Trek to Everest Base Camp (5340m) and back to Gorakshep (5130m) — Approx 7 hrs

Today is the day you have been waiting for! We will start early as we will need to reach Gorakshep by midday so that we have sufficient time to hike to the Everest Base Camp and come back to Gorakshep. The distance is short but the walk is demanding. There are multiple ascents and descents on this trek but not a single place to take a rest. Look for the views around every time you reach the top before making a descent. After a walk of about four hours, we will reach Gorakshep. Gorakshep is the last village on the Everest trail. There are no facilities beyond Gorakshep.

On and around Everest Base Camp

After having lunch, we will start the hike to the base camp. The distance to Everest Base Camp and back to Gorakshep is about 7 kilometers. But it is more difficult than the trail to Gorakshep. There are some difficult ascents as you will have to climb through the Khumbu glacier. As there is no marked trail, it will be difficult if you get lost. So, always follow your guide. The base camp looks nothing but a moraine. Surprisingly, you won’t see Mt Everest from the base camp. Take some pictures and cherish the journey of your life before you start your return walk to Gorakshep.

O/N: Teahouse

Day 10: Morning hike to Kalapatthar (5640m) and trek to Pheriche (4350m) — Approx 6 hrs

Hike to Kalapatthar viewpoint is something not to be missed while on the Everest Base Camp Trek. Kala Patthar is a small ridge above Gorakshep that offers unhindered views of high mountain peaks like Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Changtse, among others. Though the distance is very short, it takes around three hours to reach the top.

However, you can come down to Gorakshep in just an hour. The trail is well-marked and you won’t be alone while going to the top as most of the trekkers hike to this viewpoint to enjoy panoramic views of some of the highest Himalaya peaks. After spending some time at the top, we will descend to Gorakshep, have breakfast and begin our return leg of the trek. We walk on the same trail via Lobuche and Dugha La. After Dugha La, we will take the lower trail on our right to Pheriche instead of going to Dingboche where we spent two nights while coming up. Pheriche is a small settlement on the left bank of Dudh Koshi River.

O/N: Teahouse

Day 11: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3440m)

Another easy walk! We will resume the walk after having breakfast at our teahouse. A little below Pheriche, we will cross the river and walk along the right side of the river toward the settlements of Shomare and Pangboche. After a short walk from Pangboche, we will cross the river on a suspension bridge and walk along its left bank to Debuche and rich Tengboche after a short climb. From here, the trail descends again to the river and we will make a final ascent after crossing the river to the village of Kyangjuma. After a short uphill from Kyangjuma, we reach the ridge from where it’s an easy walk to Namche.

O/N: Teahouse

Day 12: Trek to Lukla — Approx 6 hrs

This is going to be our final walking day. After breakfast at Namche Bazaar, we will descend to the river confluence and Jorsalle and continue our walk toward Monjo where we will need to show our permits. We will then continue through the villages of Bengkar, Phakding and Ghat before making a short climb to Cheplung and then to Lukla. In the evening, we will organize a small get together in honour of our amazing crew members.

O/N: Teahouse

Day 13: Fly to Kathmandu

After early breakfast, we will take a flight to Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, our guide will transfer you to your hotel. The remaining time is free for independent activities. Perhaps, you will choose to take a rest in your hotel room after a long trek.

O/N: Hotel

Day 14: Sightseeing of Kathmandu Valley

Today, we will take a sightseeing trip to Kathmandu Valley. Kathmandu Valley is a treasure trove of historical monuments and cultural attractions as the small area are home to seven UNESCO World Heritage sites. We will visit Swoyambhunath Stupa, then Kathmandu Durbar Square and cap our sightseeing by visiting Pashupatinath Temple. A tour guide will accompany you today so that you get more historical and cultural facts about the site that you visit. In the evening, we will host a farewell dinner for you to celebrate the success of your trek.

O/N: Hotel

Day 15: Departure

Your final day in Nepal! After a leisurely breakfast, our guide will pick you up from the hotel and transfer you to the airport for your return flight. We will take you to the airport at least three hours before your flight time so that you don’t have to rush for customs and immigration formalities. You will have plenty of time to reflect on the amazing time that you spent in Nepal while you return to your destination.

MEALS AND ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation is at three-star hotels in Kathmandu on a twin-sharing and BB basis. In the trek areas, however, accommodation is at tea houses with three meals a day i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner.

TRANSPORT

Your package includes flights in the Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu sector. Transfers and sightseeing will be in private air-conditioned vehicles.

Essential Information of Everest Base Camp Trekking:

Natural Experience

The Everest Base Camp trek is rich in terms of natural attractions. In lower areas, the trail passes through lush forests where you can hear birds singing high above the forest canopy. You can see small rivulets crossing the trail which makes you feel rejuvenated. While the lower areas have lush vegetation of oak and pine trees, the higher areas have birch, juniper and pine forests. However, you can see only shrubs and arid landscapes beyond the treeline.

Getting there

Lukla is the gateway to the Everest region. This hilly settlement is 40 minute’s flight away from Kathmandu. There is an option of walking all the way from Jiri, but it will take some five days to reach Lukla.

Difficulty

The trek is moderately difficult. The trail is very good. Only the high altitude factor makes it moderately difficult.

Best Season

The best season to do this trek is spring when clear weather guarantees a better view. Also, flights to Lukla operate seamlessly in this session. However, the trek can be done around the year.

Packing List

The packing list depends on the trekking season. We will provide you with the list of trekking equipment well in advance. No technical trekking equipment is required for this trek. A three-season plus sleeping bag will be enough for you.

How much does the trek cost?

The trek cost depends on factors like tour plan (deluxe or standard), group size and services required. The cost of the standard plan is USD 1500 per person.

Extensions

There are plenty of trip extensions in the Everest region. You can take a side trip to the Gokyo Lakes, or visit the Imja glacial lake. Or, you can simply stay a few more days in the village to know more about Sherpa, culture, tradition and lifestyle.

Relevant Everest Base Camp Trekking

Everest Base Camp Trek: https://peregrinetreks.com/everest-base-camp-trek

EBC Trek and fly back by Helicopter: https://peregrinetreks.com/everest-base-camp-trek-and-fly-back-by-helicopter/

Everest Panorama Trekking: https://peregrinetreks.com/everest-panorama-trekking

Everest View Trek: https://peregrinetreks.com/everest-view-trek/

Luxury Everest Base Camp Trek: https://peregrinetreks.com/luxury-everest-base-camp-trek/

Everest Three Passes Trek: https://peregrinetreks.com/everest-three-passes-trek/

Gokyo Lakes Trek: https://peregrinetreks.com/gokyo-lakes-trek/

Gokyo Cho La Pass Trekking: https://peregrinetreks.com/gokyo-cho-la-pass-trekking

Nice to Know

Do’s

  • Greet with a smiling face and shake hands
  • Do walk in a group
  • Consult with a guide about anything you want to know
  • Inform your guide if you feel uncomfortable or dizziness
  • Capture the lifetime moments in your camera

Don’ts

  • Don’t disrespect other cultures and religion
  • Don’t take pictures of locals without permission
  • Don’t feel uncomfortable people staring at you, they are just curious about you
  • Don’t carry dangerous weapons
  • Don’t harm wild animals, plants, birds
  • Don’t hesitate to say no to the vendors in a polite way

Best Time for Everest Base Camp Trekking

The Everest Base Camp Trek is a tough, but exhilarating reward. However, you should take into account that this trek has particular prerequisites which you ought to pay special mind to before the trekking begins.

The best ideal opportunity for the Everest headquarters trip in spring is from March to May, and for autumn is September to November. During this time, the climate is clear and dry. Also, on the off chance that you travel in October, you might be essential for the popular Mani Rimdu celebration. Buddhists commend the old celebration in religious communities like Tengboche Monastery for 19 days on Everest. Similarly, according to custom, the date for the festival of Mani Rimdu has been indicated as 20th, 21st, and 22nd of October.

Mani Rimdu Festival
Mani Rimdu Festival

Else winter is excessively cold while the storm is wet for traveling to Everest Base Camp. Indeed, even the permeability is indistinct, with patches of mists in the sky. Thus, we don’t suggest climbing during pre-spring and early storms.

Everest Base Camp Climate

Everest base camp trek is the most challenging adventure the earth has to offer. It attracts those interesting to test their own skills and endurance as it involves physical, mental and emotional tests.

Mount Everest lies 28 north of the equator and is dependent upon a common northern half of the globe occasional example. It lies at the edge of the impact of the Indian Monsoon which carries dampness and mists from June to September. The cool months are December/January and the best traveling is between these two seasons .during March to May and October to November, when the environment is moderate.

Required Equipment for Everest Base Camp Trekking

The following gives you a general idea of the trekking equipment and clothing needed for this trek. This may varies according to personal needs and conditions while trekking.

  • 4-season sleeping bag
  • Duffel Bag
  • Daypack
  • Down jacket (Must have for mornings, nights and evenings, and for altitudes above 13,000 ft)
  • Upper Body – Head / Ears / Eyes
  • Sun Hat
  • Wool or synthetic hat that covers the ears
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Headlamp
  • Neck warmer (For winter)
  • Hand
  • Liner gloves
  • Heavier shell gloves (For winter)
  • Core Body
  • T-shirts (2)
  • Lightweight expedition thermal tops
  • Fleece jacket or pullover
  • Water/windproof shell jacket (preferably breathable fabric)
  • Synthetic sports bras (for women)
  • Lower Body – Legs
  • Lightweight expedition thermal bottoms
  • Nylon hiking shorts
  • Softshell and hardshell trekking pants
  • Water/windproof trousers
  • Casual pants
  • Feet
  • Liner socks
  • Heavyweight socks (For winter)
  • Waterproof hiking/trekking boots
  • Light shoes/sneakers
  • Gaiters (For monsoon and winter)
  • Medicines And First Aid Kits (Please note Peregrine’s team will carry the first-aid kit bag during the trek. However, we still recommend you bring your personalized first-aid kit as well.)
  • Extra Strength Excedrin for altitude related headaches
  • Ibuprofen for general aches and pains
  • Immodium or Pepto Bismol capsules for upset stomach or diarrhoea
  • Diamox (commonly prescribed as Acetazolamide) 125 or 250mg tablets for altitude sickness
  • Anti-infection ointments
  • Band-aids
  • Lip balm (At least SPF 20)
  • Sunscreen (SPF 40)

Miscellaneous, but Important!

  • Passport and extra passport photos (3 copies)
  • Airline tickets and itinerary
  • Durable wallet/pouch for travel documents, money & passport
  • Water bottle/bladder
  • Water purification Iodine tablets
  • Toiletry kit (Be sure to include toilet paper stored in a plastic bag, hand wipes, and liquid hand sanitizer, towel, soap, etc.)

Optional

  • Adjustable trekking poles
  • Favorite snack foods (No more than 2 pounds)
  • Paperback books, cards, mp3 player
  • Binoculars
  • Cameras (Memory cards, chargers and also batteries)
  • Pee bottle for men and pee funnel for woman

Note: This list is only a guide.

While you are needed to welcome everything on this rundown, there are various choices, brands, and forms of each piece of gear. Utilize your experience and the recorded highlights to track down the best stuff for you. A portion of the above gear can be effectively found in stores in Kathmandu at less expensive costs.

Nearby Namche

FAQs

WHERE IS THE EVEREST BASE CAMP LOCATED?

Everest Base Camp is located in the Solukhumbu district of Nepal.

HOW LONG IS THIS TREK?

There are different trekking options. But the classic Everest Base Camp Trek can be done in 15 days from Kathmandu.

WHICH IS THE BEST SEASON TO GO ON THIS TREK?

Spring is the best time to do this trek as clear weather ensures better mountain views. However, the trek can also be done in autumn and even during the monsoon.

HOW FIT DO I NEED TO BE?

Any healthy individual can do this trek as it is only moderately difficult.

HOW LONG DO WE NEED TO WALK EVERY DAY?

You will need to walk 6-7 hours a day on average.

WHAT PERMITS DO IN NEED TO TAKE?

You need two types of permits: Sagarmatha National Park permits and TIMS CARD.

WHAT IS THE HIGHEST ALTITUDE ON THIS TREK?

Kalapatthar (5640m) is the highest point of this trek.

HOW IS THE ACCOMMODATION?

There are good teahouses in the Everest Region with warm and comfortable rooms.

DO I GET AN INTERNET FACILITY?

Yes, you get an Internet facility in most of the places on the trek. But lodges often charge separately for Internet browsing.

IS THERE AN ATM FACILITY ON THE TREK?

There are ATM facilities only in Lukla and Namche Bazaar.

DO I NEED TO HIRE A GUIDE/AGENCY FOR THIS TREK?

You are free to trek independently. But we advise you to take along a guide or a porter given the difficult topography and unpredictable weather. Hiring an agency is even better as it will take care of everything.

WHAT ARE THE OTHER WEBSITE THAT I CAN COLLECT INFORMATION ABOUT EVEREST BASE CAMP TREKKING ?

You can visit website below for further information :

TAAN : https://www.taan.org.np/

Nepal Tourism Board : https://ntb.gov.np/

Visit Nepal 2020 : http://visitnepal2020.com

Tourism Ministry Nepal : https://www.tourism.gov.np/

Mount Everest Base Camp Trekking – An Expedition in Khumbu Region

Mount Everest base camp trekking initiates half an hour of the globally renowned spectacular mountain flight to Lukla from Kathmandu airport. On the opening of the trek, the foot trail runs with the Dudh Kosi River, thereupon it crosses the heart-rendering the blooming forest of Rhododendron, beautiful Buddhist villages and monasteries which leads to Namche Bazaar, a fluttering bazaar, a trekker’s inn.

The Namche bazaar is the perfectly designated place to rest and stretch your tired legs. From here the trek continues along the enchanting path ultimately leading to the intimidating “Thyangboche”, an old Buddhist monastery. Then the trek follows the route of Dingboche, Lobuche and Gorakshep. From Gorak Shep, the trekking continues towards Everest Base Camp and lure towards the black rocks called Kala Patthar. After visiting Mount Everest base camp, the trek will re-route back to the Lukla airport via the previous route.

On the way to Everest Base Camp
On the way to Everest Base Camp

For all the adventure seekers, you don’t need to wander here and there in search of all the outrageously awesome destinations. Standing on the foot of the world’s tallest peak itself is worth the thrilling reward any other adventures can present you with. As it is knowledge to everyone; the tales of the legends for conquering even the greatest creation of mother nature, Mt. Everest, has taught us a lesson to never give up any of our wills because who knows when they might come true.

Trekkers during Everest Base Camp Trek
Trekkers during Everest Base Camp Trek

It is only a matter of time before you witness Mother Nature’s greatest gift of all time to us. For those who want to brawl with nature’s strongest creation and on the other hand, enjoy the most exotic breathtaking scenery with a sweet mixture of the local loving hospitality, Mount Everest Base Camp Trekking is one and the only of its kind with such diversified thrilling as well as heart rendering nature’s handicraft. Mount Everest Base Camp Trekking offers you the best possible getaways for letting go of all the strains off of your busy schedule.

 

An Everest Base Camp Expedition

Mount Everest Base Camp is one of the world-famous trekking trails. With the fact that you trek in the shadow of the world’s tallest mountain, it is a special trek for every person willing to trek and the destination not to miss. Mount Everest base camp trekking starts with the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, which is a great adventure in itself. Once you arrive in Lukla, the feeling is very much special; the excitement to start is something joyous.

Trekkers near Everest Base Camp
Trekkers near Everest Base Camp

Trekking to the Mount Everest base camp offers you to explore the natural beauty, along with you exploring your inner self. You explore within you, you explore tiredness, fatigue, altitude sickness, fitness, stamina and then once you complete the trek, you explore the belief and determination in you to go through the challenges and achieve success. It gives you the life lesson.

Mount Everest base camp trekking is basically for the advanced trekkers and with a high fitness level, still, it can be trekked by the normal person and explore the inner person within you. The journey comes with various checkpoints, once you start from Lukla, Phakding is the nearest checkpoint.

A Trekker in Everest Base Camp
A Trekker in Everest Base Camp

Before you start the journey you can relax a bit and prepare for the long walk around Lukla, where you can find many restaurants. It has also got shops with trekking equipment if necessary during the last hour. Mineral water is expensive and it is recommended to boil the water and carry it. Trekkers generally avoid eating meat before the trek as there is a risk of food poisoning. Apart from this, the guide will guide you for a safe and sound trek.

 

Trek Route

The journey from Lukla to Phakding follows along the river trail. It is the one that gives much of the spectaculars during the trek. From Phakding you start your journey towards Namche. The journey is filled with downhill and uphill. You can smell the mountain and feel its air. You can observe the mountain range.

Everest Base Camp Trek Map
Everest Base Camp Trek Map

Various peaks can be seen and it provides the sense of adrenaline rush inside you. It drives you along and keeps you determined to complete the trail. You can also see the various varieties of Rhododendron blooming in the hills. You can observe some of the rare high altitude birds like Danphe. It all adds to the beauty of the trek. then you enter the Sagarmatha National Park at Monjo. You need to show some paper works at Monjo.

Then you reach one small village where you can have food as it is the only place before you reach Namche. Then the journey gets the uphill task only with so level and downhill, it tests the fitness a lot. Prayer flags can be observed in various places and it adds the belief in you to trek on.

 

Capital of Sherpa – Namche Bazar

Once you reach Namche Bazar, a very important place in the Khumbu region, you need to acclimatize. Namche Bazar is the home of Sherpas. You need some time to recover and get used to the climate so walking around the Namche is very important.

It has places for shopping and the cyber café too. It is one of the rare places where you can access the internet. A day off in Namche is very important for the journey ahead. You get to know the lifestyle of the Sherpas and get their story.

Nearby Namche

Hotel Everest view provides you with the service. Apart from this, there are some restaurants serving international foods. Particularly one German restaurant is quite famous. Then the journey of the village kicks off with the challenging uphills towards Tengboche.

The journey is filled with sounds of yak bells, a view of the Tengboche monastery and the peak of Mt.Everest. It is challenging and you feel the oxygen level is decreasing, only Sherpas can walk at a reasonable pace. Tengboche is the centre of traffic for trekkers so you can observe the activities of yaks, guides and trekkers going through their work. It provides the view of Ama Dablam and Mt.everest. Then the journey towards the Dingboche starts the next day.

 

On the way to EBC
Group of three trekkers passing signpost

The trail is along the river valley, once you reach Dingboche, trekkers prefer to stay for two days for acclimatization. The journey takes to Lobuche, Gorakshep where the path does not have a definite trail, and the challenge is to walk on loose rocks leading finally to the base camp. The moment when you reach the base camp relief and the sense of satisfaction would astonish you with the beauty at the foothill of the world’s tallest mountain Mt. Everest.

Best Treks in Nepal – An ultimate guide to travel in Nepal

Nepal is popular for the spectacular trekking in the world. You can do a classic trek like Annapurna Base Camp, Everest Base Camp, Annapurna circuit trek to off the beaten path trek like Api Himal Trek. As per our previous client’s recommendation, we have chosen these 7 best treks in Nepal.

This Nepal’s best trek has been updated on June 2021 and we recommend you to do any trek in 2021 and 2022. All of the trekking includes a stunning view of the Himalayas, local culture, and lifestyle of ethnic groups. This is just an overview of the trek and for detailed information, you can click on the hyperlink.

1. Everest Base Camp Trek

Adventure travelers don’t need to wander here and there in search of all the outrageously awesome destinations. Standing on the foot of the world’s tallest peak itself is worth the thrilling reward any other adventures can present.

As it is knowledge to everyone, the tales of the legends for conquering even the greatest creation of mother nature, Mt.Everest, have taught us a lesson to never give up any of our wills because who knows when they might come true.

Best Treks of Nepal
A trekker on the way to Lobuche during EBC Trek

It is only a matter of time before you witness Mother Nature’s greatest gift of all time to us. If you want to brawl with nature’s strongest creation and enjoy the most exotic breathtaking scenery with a sweet mixture of the local loving hospitality.

Everest Base Camp Trek is one and the only of its kind with such diversified thrilling as well as heart rendering nature’s handicraft. This trek offers you the best possible getaways for letting go of all the strains off of your busy schedule.

Kala Patthar -- Everest Base Camp Trek
A trekker at Kala Patthar and Mount Everest

This EBC Trek initiates half an hour of the globally renowned spectacular mountain flight to Lukla from Kathmandu airport. The foot trail runs with the Dudh Kosi River; thereupon, it crosses the heart-rendering blooming forest of Rhododendron, beautiful Buddhist villages, and monasteries Namche Bazaar, a fluttering bazaar, a trekker’s inn. The Namche bazaar is the perfectly designated place to rest and stretch your tired legs. From here, the trek continues along the enchanting path, ultimately leading to the intimidating “Thyangboche,” an old Buddhist monastery. Then the hike follows the route of Dingboche, Lobuche, and Gorakshep. From Gorak Shep, the trek continues towards Base Camp and lure towards the black rocks called Kala Patthar. After visiting Mount Everest base camp, the tour will re-route back to the Lukla airport via the previous route.

 

2. Annapurna Base Camp

If you search for a memory of diversified trekking in Nepal with nature and culture together, this is the best choice.

The Annapurna Base Camp Trek in Nepal is the most vibrant and diversified trekking trail ever-present in Nepal. The trek takes you to the magnificent views of the Annapurna range Mountains and Fishtail, locally named Machhapuchhre. From the beautiful lake city, Pokhara, to the lap of majestic Himalayas, this trek would be an amazing journey to the mountain madness.

On the way to Annapurna Base Camp
On the way to Annapurna Base Camp

The trekking trail in this part of Nepal gives you a different perspective on the life of people mostly of Thakali, Tibetan, and Mongolian origin, who are famous Gurkha Soldiers, too as well as. The trail takes you to breathtaking and jaw-dropping geographical artistic landscapes, including snow bulk to lush green forests. The trekking itself is a holy adventure once it is associated with Mount Annapurna.

In the local community, Annapurna refers to the goddess of food. The essence and the thread of life remain in the food. The spiritual bond between the ever-flowing glacial rivers originated from the Annapurna Mountain has a century-old relationship with the locals residing in this part of Nepal.

The unique hospitality and culture of these tribes would be another fascinating activity to conduct while trekking through steep uphill and downhill. The duet combination between you and the nature in the trail lets you forget all the hardship and tiredness gathered along the trip. The scenic beauty of Mother Nature and the enthralling local culture, traditions & hospitality would quench your hunger for a wilderness holiday in Nepal. The ABC trek has unlimited trekking options within the circuit as Ghorepani Poon Hill Trekking, Circuit Trekking, Muktinath Jomsom Trekking, and short hiking in Dhampus-Australian Camp.

Panoramic View of Annapurna Base Camp
Panoramic View of Annapurna Base Camp — Best Treks in Nepal

Join the experienced team of Peregrine Treks to experience the beauty of nature in Nepal and get close to the amazing culture, traditions, and hospitality of Nepalese people in a single trip via the Annapurna Trekking programs offered by Peregrine Treks.

 

3. Annapurna Circuit Trek

If you seek to get away from the hectic life and monotonous working hours, a holiday in Nepal would be an ideal solution. Come and be part of the Peregrine Treks team for trekking in Nepal, exploring the Annapurna Circuit.

The usual trekking in the Annapurna region of Nepal starts from the Nayapul or Birethanti in the Kaski district near Pokhara. Still, this particular trekking begins from the ancient district Lamjung and ends at Kaski, the lake city Pokhara. The unique bus drive to the Jagate of Lamjung district along the Prithvi Highway would give you the hints of rural Nepal coming on the way of your trekking.

Trekkers during Annapurna Circuit Trek
Trekkers during Annapurna Circuit Trek

The actual walking in the trail starts from the Jagate of Lamjung. The ever-present Madi Khola (River) would accompany you for most of your trekking uphill and downhill up the beautiful terrain. The amazing rural scent mixed with the folklore of the local community residing in this part of the region would give you an idea that the world is a unique village of different cultural and traditional backgrounds. The single trek in The Annapurna circuit would take you to the most remote land of Nepal and make you witness the amazing villages of Gurung, Thakali, Tibetan as well as Brahmin Chhetri. The visual delights of the Mount Lamjung, Annapurna Series, Fishtail, Ghorepani Poon Hill, and the glacial rivers like Kaligandaki and Madi could be witnessed. The deepest gorge in the world, too, is present in this trekking as Kaligandaki gorge.

This diversified trail leading up to the lap of glorious Mount Annapurna presents unique paths ranging from the lowland to the highland. The difference in the culture of people according to the geographical locations and the changing nature in every step of your glorious trekking in Annapurna Circuit trek would hypnotize you and make you feel that heaven is on earth. The amazing attractions like the bulk of snow in mountain foothills, waterfalls, rivers, lush green forests, and sunrise sunset views upon the casement of Himalaya would rekindle the romanticism inside you. Peregrine Treks would like to assure all the trekkers that the circuit trekking in Annapurna would be your special memory which you will share with your upcoming generations with pride.

Join the team of Peregrine Treks; witness the majestic Pokhara with beautiful lakes and caves, cherish the unique hospitality and culture of Nepalese People, relish the spectacular mountains and feel the adventure via Trekking in Nepal.

 

4. Upper Mustang Trek

Nepal is the land of extreme mystery and Upper Mustang is one of the best treks in Nepal. The land of varied attractions consists of plain, hills, and Himalayan. In an hour of the journey, the three geographical landscapes will be experienced. If you are willing to participate in the well-kept secret of Himalayan culture and want to get near to the lofty Himalayas, then Upper Mustang Trek is the best activity to conduct. Peregrine Treks has organized more than 100 expeditions in the upper mustang region. Utilize your holiday in Nepal.

The land situated higher than Kagbeni adjacent to the Tibet border of China lies the majestic and mystic Upper Mustang. The Nepal Government had restricted the permit to the visitors earlier. However, the special pass and a limited number of visitors can get access to this mysterious land. The holes on the hills and the clustered village of Tibetan-origin Nepalese people would give you the bone-chilling tickling sensation.

Tiji Festival in Lo Mangthang
Tiji Festival in Lo Mangthang

The famous National Geographic Channel too featured the documentary related to the mystic attractions of the Upper Mustang. The village lies behind the mountains, and it would be a fascinating sight for travelers to see the snow-capped mountains on the southern part rather than the usual northern side. The ever-flowing Kaligandaki River has become a witness to the lifestyle of the people of this part of Nepal.

The deepest gorge to the driest and windiest places makes your trip to Upper Mustang the adventurous and memorable one. The Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri Mountains glacial are the source of the Kaligandaki River. The final trekking point of this trek is Lo Manthang Pass. It is the exit point of Nepal towards China. The journey could be a double whammy, and the treats at Jomsom, Kagbeni, Muktinath, Lo Manthang Pass and the Clustered Tibetan villages, Thakali community along with the magnificent views of mountains would give you worth of every penny spent on the tour.

5. Three Passes Trekking – Challenging best treks in Nepal

The Everest 3 high passes comprise Renjo-la 5,446m, Cho-la 5,420m, and Kongma La 5,535m, which are very strenuous yet full of exhilarating experiences of adventure, perseverance, and excitement. The scenic beauties seen from the apex of these passes are spectacular and panoramic as Everest, Lhotse, Cho yu, and Makalu.

It would be better to do this trek with experienced personnel who can take you to cross these three passes safely yet full of adventure. The three high passes trekking goes hand to hand with the ascending of Gokyo Lake and Kalapathar, from where the majestic view of Mount Everest can be savored in the best possible way.

View of Mount Everest from Renjo La Pass
View of Mount Everest from Renjo La Pass

The three passes trekking is the best trekking adventure if you are seeking the peak climbing kind of experience and want to have a fear of the unknown dipping into the backpacking wilderness. This trekking is very rich in terms of activities that the trekkers carry out as it is spread to the Chhukung Valley, Ama Dablam Base Camp, EBC, and short early morning hikes to the Kalapatthar. The crossing of the Renjo La would be the gateway to the serene Thame Valley, Gokyo Lakes, and electrifying views of panoramic Mountain ranges.

The route of this high pass trekking is very demanding and challenging. It is reported that lots of tourists and trekkers were missing in the passes that went there without the expert guidance of the local guides and trek leaders. It is highly recommended to use the highly skillful personnel to organize your trekking in this Everest 3 high passes trekking.

 

6. Dhaulagiri Trek

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is one of the best treks in Nepal. For the views of gorges, mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, rural communities, forests, hills, and beauty of nature, then trekking in Nepal is the best choice to make. Dhaulagiri Trek, which is also called the trek to the Hidden Valley, falls under the mystic trail of the Nepal Trekking.

The Dhaulagiri Trek offers all the traits of the adventurous trekking experience. If you are willing to savor the magnificent nature and majestic culture of Nepal, then Dhaulagiri trekking provides you all these moments with the help of an experienced team of Peregrine Treks.

On and around Dhaulagiri

The trails in some parts of the trekking should be explored with the expert guidance of the Trekking guide as trekking is highly regarded as trekking into the wild. The major highlight of this trekking route is its peaceful nature and fantastic, raw traits. If you wish to avoid the limelight and want to explore the world less explored and hike the path less trekked, then the Dhaulagiri Trek would provide you all these. The two decades of experience in the field of trekking in Nepal, Peregrine Treks would love to take you to experience this enchanted land up in the lap of the Himalayan in northern Nepal.

Join and become part of the wild seeker and organizer Peregrine Treks Pvt. Ltd. We assure our valued trekkers to have the amazing memory tale of your journey in Nepal. Two-decade-long service in the field of hospitality and tourism industry of Nepal has made the company know about your interest and serve you to fulfill the interest at ease.

 

7. Api Himal Trekking

Are you seeking alternative trekking in Nepal? Api Himal Trekking in the Far Western Region of Nepal is the perfect solution for searching for unusual trekking other than commercial trekking routes of Everest, Annapurna, Langtang, and Manaslu.

Api Himal Trekking is the off-the-beaten-path trekking in the Dolpo region of trekking in Nepal. The trekking in Api Himal base camp offers the forgotten trail in Western Nepal. The remoteness and the serene beauty of virgin nature can be witnessed in this region of Nepal.

Api Himal

The diversity in culture, white water rapids, lakes, and mountain ranges residing adjacent to the green pastures are the major highlights of the region. The lush green forests and the new holy temples on the banks of rivers and lakes make this place a mystical journey destination. The beautiful Kaladhungi lake, which is very blessed in the local area, could enthrall you with its picturesque location. The stunning 360-degree panoramic view of the mountains Api Himal, Thado Dhunga Tuppa, Rajamba, and Kapchuli.

Api Himal is the most popular mountain in Western Nepal; however, it remains hidden in the remoteness of the Dolpo region. The natural wonders and mystical landscapes are there to savor, while the unique culture of the Western region people of Nepal also worth noting down in your tour diary. The major religion of the locals is Buddhism and Hinduism. The actual origin of the Nepali language and culture is supposed to have originated from the area.

We have chosen these 7 best treks in Nepal with the amalgamation of people and nature. The perfect blend of culture and wildlife makes this trekking a memorable one for you, and we highly recommend conducting this trek in Nepal. The usual routes can be explored by many, so be part of the unique trekkers and enjoy the pristine, mysterious hidden land of Western Nepal.

Nepal Tibet Bhutan Tour Itinerary

Nepal Tibet Bhutan Tour Itinerary is just an outline of this tour. You can amend this tour as per your requirements. Nepal Tibet Bhutan Tour Itinerary covers Kathmandu and Pokhara in Nepal. Similarly, Lhasa City in Tibet and Thimpu and Paro, including Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan.

Nepal Tibet Bhutan Tour Daily Itinerary

Day 01 – Arrive in Kathmandu

When we arrive at Tribhuvan International airport, we will be welcomed by Peregrine Treks and Tours representatives and transferred to the hotel. After a short rest, we will visit Thamel Market and its surroundings. After Dinner, we will return to the hotel overnight.

Day 02 – Kathmandu Sightseeing Tour- Nagarkot

Today, our sightseeing tour starts from the holy temple of Hindu followers, Pashupatinath temple. Then we go to Boudhanath, 8 km east of Kathmandu. Within the afternoon, we drove to Bhaktapur and explored architectural temples, shrines similar to Lion gate, Golden Gate, and, therefore, the Palace of 55 windows. We then head towards Nagarkot to discover the mesmerizing sunrise and sunset along with a spectacular side view of Himalayan ranges.

Sunset view from Nagarkot
Sunset view from Nagarkot

Day 03 – Nagarkot to Kathmandu

Our morning begins with the enthralling sunrise alongside the comfortable hill views. After breakfast, we checked into Kathmandu. On arrival, we proceed with the excursion of Patan Durbar Square. We will visit Krishna Temple, Patan Durbar with Royal bath, Hiranya Varna Mahavir – a Buddhist Monastery. Then we will go to Kathmandu durbar square – a historical palace of Nepal. We see Kumari Temple, Kasthamandap, etc. Ultimately, we all moved towards Swayambhunath. After completion of these places, we will return to the hotel overnight.

Patan Durbar Square - City of Temples
Patan Durbar Square – City of Temples

Day 04 – Kathmandu to Pokhara

Today, we’ll have a pleasant drive to Pokhara, touching Kathmandu on the outskirts as we move to the famed city. On the way, we’ll also visit the Manakamana Temple- a temple dedicated to the “Goddess of Fulfilling Wishes,” where you’re taking a car ride of 9 minutes. The car ride is thrilling because it goes over the laden area of Manakamana hill, and we will see incredible scenes of the sprawling pastures below.

Day 05 – Tours in Pokhara

This morning, we will choose an excursion trip to Sarangkot. The foremost popular tourist destination from where you’ll experience the pleasant views of the Pokhara Valley. Therefore, the magnificent view of the mountains, Sarangkot, is that the highest viewpoint for sunrise. Paragliding also can be done from Sarangkot. From Sarangkot, in the northern direction- we will see Dhaulagiri Himal, and therefore the Annapurna range is additionally visible when the weather is evident on an equivalent side. In that southern area, the village faces Pokhara and its lake on the city’s north-western outskirts.

Kathmandu Pokhara 6 Days Tour

In the afternoon, we will visit the Bindabasini Temple. This is often among the oldest temples in Pokhara; the most deity of the temple- Goddess Durga, was brought from India. Aside from the peace and tranquillity. The temple premises offers an honest view of the Himalayas on a clear day. The temple is within the area of the bazaar; hence, a journey of the old bazaar is often connected with a visit to the temple. The sightseeing then proceeded to Devi’s Fall and applied to Patale Chango- an awe-inspiring waterfall lying 2 km southwest of Pokhara. Throughout the summer and therefore the season, the waterfall takes its original form, with gushing water splashing and enforcing its way through the rocks. On the opposite surface of the road, there’s the Gupteshwor Cave, the just reverse of Devi’s fall. This cave is accessible for various natural sorts of limestone deposits.

Day 06 – Drive back to Kathmandu

After breakfast, we will drive back to Kathmandu. After a short rest, we will pack our stuff for the Tibet Tour. Evening time free to explore around the hotel.

Day 07 – Fly to Lhasa

The flight from Nepal to Lhasa (3660meters) in Tibet is taken into account, one among the best beautiful air routes within the world, because it provides extensive views of Mount Everest (8848meters), Mt. Kanchenjunga (8536meters), plus other Himalayan peaks. If traveling via China, there is the right sort of flight and the world’s highest train route to succeed in Lhasa. Upon arrival, you’ll be received by our Tibetan guide at the airport/train station. After approximately 1.45 hours of driving, we will reach Lhasa. It’s prudent to rest and take it easy for the remainder of the day.

Day 08 – Excursion Tour in Lhasa

We will spend this day visiting several monasteries in Lhasa with our Tibetan Guide. We will visit the Sera Monastery, a best-preserved monastery in Tibet, inside its whitewashed walls and golden roofs. After lunch, we hit Norbulingka, a summer palace of the Dalai Lama and, therefore, the Jokhang Temple, a typical divine shrine in Tibet.

Day 09 – Full day Lhasa sightseeing

We visit Potala Palace in the morning. It’s a palace that dominates the town of Lhasa. It’s a magnificent building, including private quarters of the Dalai Lama and many grand staterooms, and lots of famous chapels. There has existed a Palace in this place for the 5th or 6th century, although this Palace was assembled within the 17th century. After lunch, we tour the Drepung Monastery, which was established within the 14th century. It won’t be the usual famous monastery within the world, with a population of around 10,000 monks. Lately, the amount has fallen right down to a hundred.

Sunrise at Potala Palace
Sunrise at Potala Palace

Day 10: Fly back to Kathmandu.

Our tours end today! An agent from the company will take us to the airport for your flight to Kathmandu. Our airport representative will pick you up from the airport and drop you at the hotel.

Day 11 – Kathmandu to Paro Flight

The flight to Paro divides the Himalayan Mountains, affording magnificent views of the impressive peaks, including the holy Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. On approaching, we are welcomed by the design and transport to the hotel. After lunch, we visit the Ta Dzong, once a fortified lookout tower that’s now the National Museum. The museum has a wide assortment of ancient paintings, armors, philatelic displays, and “field of Buddhas,” which helps one see while meditating. Next, visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country.

Day 12 – Paro-Thimphu

Today, you’ll hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery. It’s breathtaking, situated at 10,400 feet, and perched on the sting of a cliff about 3,000 feet beyond the Paro Valley. Guru Rinpoche (great spiritual master) is challenged to possess flown on the rear of a tigress to consider during a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. Lunch is served within the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up the mountain. Explore the monastery and hike backtracks to the valley floor. Tonight you transfer to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.

Day 13 – Thimphu

After breakfast, we will visit Memorial Chorten (the built-in idea of the third King of Bhutan who governed from 1952-1972), Changangkha Monastery, Nunnery temple, School of Arts and Crafts, and Folk Heritage Museum. After relaxing lunch, you’ll visit a conventional paper factory, majestic Tashichhodzong, and a giant Buddha statue on a hill commanding Thimphu, which is reputed to be the most influential Buddha Shakyamuni within the world. Within the evening, you’ll stroll freely in Thimphu city and absorb the lifestyle of the people.

Day 14 – Thimphu-Paro

Morning is going to be spent hiking to Wangditse Monastery. We will walk one hour from the Radio Tower on a leveled trail amidst pine forests with a great view of north Thimphu Valley. On the way, we will even have a chance to see Takins — the unique national animal found only within the Himalayas. After having explored the monastery, you’ll hike back to Thimphu town. After lunch, we will repel to Paro. Within the evening, you’ll tour the village in Paro to find out about lifestyle – perhaps attending a farmhouse or two for a cup of butter tea or an “ara” local wine provided by a factory of wheat or rice.

Day 15 – Departure

After breakfast, ride to the airport for departure. Our agent will bid you farewell. It would be best if you catch your international flight from Paro. If you are happy with us, please tell your friend, and if you are unhappy with this Nepal Tibet Bhutan Tour, please notify us. We will improve our service as per your requirement.

Bhutan Tour – 4 Days

Peregrine offers the easiest, cheapest and most popular 4 Days Bhutan Tour. On Day 1, we will pick you to form your hotel in Kathmandu and fly to Bhutan from Tribhuwan International Airport.

General itinerary of 4 Days Bhutan Tour

Day 1: Nepal to Bhutan to Thimphu – International Flight from Nepal to Bhutan using Druk Air!

07.00 am: Check out form the hotel and transfer to the airport and flight to Bhutan.

Note: You will travel via Druk Airways from Nepal to Bhutan experiencing spectacular views of Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Jomolhari and other Himalayan peaks.

08.00 am Check-in airport.

08.45 am: Catch your flight to Bhutan.

10.20 am: Arrive at Bhutan Airport.

11.00 am: Drop at Thimpu Hotel

12.30 pm: Check into your hotel and after lunch and refreshment, we will start our Thimphu sightseeing of 4 Days Bhutan Tour as following.

Kuenselphodrang (commonly known as Buddha Point) where the largest Buddha statue is situated on the hillock overlooking the Thimphu Valley. You can enjoy short hiking through Kuensel Phodrang Nature Park with the magnificent view of Thimphu Valley and some mountains peaks as well.

The second visit destination will be the National Textile Museum, which is known to see the art of traditional weaving being kept alive and preserved. The fine collection of old textiles and designs are the main attraction of the museum.

Rimpung-Dzong
Rimpung-Dzong

Then, you will visit Tashichho Dzong, a tower built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1641 and it is reconstructed by the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in 1962-1969.

Lastly, Craft Bazaar where you will be a witness Bhutanese culture and crafts. You can find 80 stalls that cover all aspects of the traditional Bhutanese arts and craft.

06.30 pm: Back at the hotel. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 2: Sightseeing at Thimpu and drive to Paro

After your early morning breakfast, you will start your day personalizing Bhutanese postage stamps with your photo on them from Bhutan Post Office Headquarters. You can use such stamps on your postcard to give a gift to your family and relatives. Your next destination will be Jungshi Paper Factory which was established in 1990 and is undertaken by the Royal Government of Bhutan. The handmade paper has its own significance in Bhutan that carries the age-old tradition of Bhutanese cultural identity.

You will then visit the School of Traditional Painting of Arts and Crafts. Students undertake a six-year course on the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan form that school.

Your day will get more excited when you see Archery Match at Changlimithang National Stadium, Archery is the National Game of Bhutan.

After lunch, you will move to Paro, where you will visit Paro Rinpung Dzong that was built in 1645 to defend the valley from Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now used as an administration centre to Rimpung Bridge and a school for monks. Rimpung Bridge (Traditional Cantilever Bridge) is the oldest bridge in Bhutan. In addition, you will visit farmhouses in Paro valley and the Paro town market where you can visit local shops.

Dinner at hotel and overnight stay.

Tigher's Nest Bhutan
Tiger’s Nest Bhutan
Day 3: Paro – Tiger’s Nest (Important part of 4 Days Bhutan Tour)

After breakfast, you will hike up to Taktsang Monastery which is popular as Tiger’s Nest. You will have to climb up about 3 hours to the monastery. En route, you can take a rest at the View Point Cafeteria for a spectacular view of the monastery from there. It is believed that in the 8th century, Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress from eastern Bhutan to this place and took meditation for 3 months. You will gently start to get down from Monastery to have lunch and then continue down the road.

While returning to the hotel, you can visit Kyichu temple which is one of the temples among 108 temples built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songsten Gampo. A story goes like this; a gaint demon used to lay across the area of Tibet and the Himalayas and preventing the spread of Buddhism. So, King Songtsen Gampo decided to build 108 temples to overcome the gaint demon’s problem.

In the evening, you can enjoy a relaxing traditional hot stone bath at your own expense. Then, you will have dinner with a cultural show and an overnight stay.

Monks in Bhutan
Monks in Bhutan
Day 4: Bhutan to Nepal – Flight from Bhutan to Nepal

Check out from your hotel to fly to Nepal. Peregrine Treks and Tours will transfer to your hotel from TIA Kathmandu and you can enjoy your further plan as per your schedules. You can extend this 4 Days Bhutan Tour as per your available time. Also, you can travel Tibet Tour. If you have more than 2 weeks you can do Nepal Tibet Bhutan Tour.

Kathmandu Pokhara 6 days Tour – Nepal Tour and vacation Package

You must have been on a lot of trips or maybe this could be your first one. One of the finest trips in Nepal for the people with limited time to enjoy their vacation is Kathmandu to Pokhara 6 days tour. This trip is one of the most scenic and popular trips in Nepal. Both the valley lies in the hilly region of the country. Kathmandu valley is full of world heritage sites. And Pokhara valley is full of scenic and natural beauty covered in between mountain views.

Kathmandu valley consists of three different cities i.e. Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur. All these three cities are full of historical monuments and museums. You can also try varieties of local food of Nepalese cultural society, among which Newari food is quite popular in the valley. Since there is a full of diversity of culture in the country, many people are residing in the valley, you can also find different kinds of traditional and cultural foods accordingly.

Fewa Lake Pokhara

Pokhara is another beautiful tourist destination that has a high number of tourists. This valley is full of natural beauty, lakes, mountain views, adventurous activities like Paragliding, Hot air balloons, Bungee Jump, rafting, Annapurna base camp, and many more. Kathmandu to Pokhara trip can be experienced either in airways or roadways. Through the roadways, you can capture scenic beauty even closely. There are several rivers and destinations on the way to Pokhara. You can either book a private car or get a bus ticket for a road trip. It takes around 6-7 hours to travel through roadways while it takes less than an hour to travel through airways.

Suggested itinerary for Kathmandu Pokhara 6 days tour

Day- one

This is the first day of your trip, we receive you through Tribhuvan International Airport. Our staff takes you directly to the hotel. After taking some rest and lunch, you go out to visit the valley. The beautiful valley of Kathmandu has several greatest UNESCO heritage sites such as the historical temple ‘Pashupatinath’, the stupa of ‘Boudhanath’, and the monkey temple ‘Swayambhunath’. A short and historical trip to Bhaktapur Durbar square, Patan Durbar Square, and Basantapur Durbar square is full of an architectural glimpse of the ancient culture of the Nepalese people. On the very first day of the trip, you are visiting these popular sites.

 

Day- two

Meanwhile, on the second day, you go to visit another beautiful valley of Pokhara by road or air means. The eye-catching valley is full of glorious mountain views such as Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and many other beautiful peaks. After you reach the destination, there are hotels and lodges pre-booked for our guests.

You can go for a short walk in the lakeside to see the amazing handcrafts of Nepalese people. You can visit back to the hotel where the dinner is ready for you.

 

Day – three

On the third day of the Kathmandu Pokhara 6 days tour, you are going on an early morning visit to Sarangkot which is known as the point to see the beautiful sunrise that strikes on the top of the Himalayas. The beautiful sight-seeing from the top of the tower is the breathtaking moment of this trip. The sun strikes on the peak and it gradually starts to enlighten the valley.

Kathmandu Pokhara 6 Days Tour

Everybody looks busy capturing the sight with a sip of coffee or tea. After taking you back to the hotel for breakfast you can take some rest. In the day, you will go to visit Phewa lake to visit the famous Barahi temple through boating as it lies in the middle of the lake. You can also do boating for the sake of adventure and enjoy nature as well. Later that day, you visit Mahendra Cave, Davis fall, Begnas Lake, and Seti River. After visiting places on this beautiful day, the staff takes you back to the hotel.

 

Day – four

The fourth day is your day to experiencing Paragliding, Bungee jump, rafting, etc. If you are interested to experience this lifetime adventure, you can get book your tickets accordingly. You can also visit the Annapurna base camp for a short trek. If not, you can roam and look around the valley anywhere you would like to visit or also take a rest back in the hotel. At night, as always there will be a special musical event in the hotel. You can utilize your day by sketching a beautiful live scene of Pokhara valley or by shopping the cultural handcrafts of the Nepalese society. Therefore, this can be the rest day of your trip if you have nothing much to do.

 

Day – five

On the fifth day, after having your breakfast you must return to the Kathmandu valley. You can again visit the remaining places if you like to or if there are any on your lists. There is Narayanhiti Palace in Singha Durbar. It is the palace of our King before democracy arrived in the country. Now, it has been turned into a beautiful museum. There are also beautiful pagoda-style temples that were built in ancient times which can also be visited in a short period. You can also go visit around Thamel which is full of crowds even at night as it is the most popular tourist destination due to large numbers of pubs, clubs, and handcraft selling products.

 

Day – six

Not so far, the last day has arrived. The sixth day is the last day of your Kathmandu to Pokhara 6 days trip. This day you will be safely taken back to the airport so that you can fly back to your departure after taking breakfast from the hotel where you have been staying on.
This trip can be made as memorable as you want. The peaceful country is full of diversities and scenic beauty. Kathmandu to Pokhara 6 days trip can bound between the Himalayas and hills with adventurous steps. A person should at least experience this trip once in their life. Nepal is small yet a beautiful country with amazing people around here. We always welcome our guests with our open arms and love them as our people.

Tour Cost

Kathmandu Pokhara 6 Days Tour cost totally depends on the group size, used services, accommodation level, etc. Normally this tour cost starts from USD 450 and this cost includes land transportation, guide, hotel accommodation in a three-star hotel, entrance fees, etc and you need to pay for meals, bar and beverage bills, personal expenses, and tips for guide and driver.

Please feel free to contact us via email (sales@peregrinetreks.com) or you can directly call or text message on Viber/WhatsApp/Cell-Phone +9779851052413. For more details, please click this link.

Chisapani Nagarkot Trek

Nepal to be known as the best hiking destination in the world with many hiking trails and routes. Among them, we Peregrine Tour offers you the Chisapani Nagarkot Hiking route in 6 days which includes your arrival and departure days. This Chisapani Nagarkot Trek is very popular for domestic and international hikers as well. At first, we will do Sundarijal to Chisapani Hiking and second-day Chisapani to Nagarkot Hike.

Sunset in Nagarkot
That was sunset time in Nagarkot of Nepal, but the clouds were that thick that we could not see the sun. Fortunately, there were still some colors in the distant sky.

The Chisapani-Nagarkot hike starts from Sundarijal entering Nepal’s youngest National park that is Shivapuri National Park. It will be about 5-6 hours hiking from Sundarijal up to Chisapani. You can view many majestic Himalayas peaks, hills, valleys, and natural beauty. Next morning, you will move to Nagarkot.

The Nagarkot is located at an altitude of 2211 m. above the sea level is the most popular viewpoint to view sunrise and sunset over the Himalayas.

Chisapani (2140m) is the famous place for the shortest trekker and the place to get away from the chaos of the rushing city. The place form where you and rejoice in the serenity of the natural environment. If the weather supports, the great views of the Himalayas including Annapurna, Lantang, Dorje Lakpa, Gauri Shankar, Ganesh Himal, and many more will not allow you to move from there. The next day, a short hike down leads to Changunarayan temple (a UNESCO-listed heritage site), then drives back to Kathmandu.

 

Detailed Itinerary of Chisapani Nagarkot Trek

Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu airport and transfer to hotel:

After arrival at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, our representative will receive you and escort you to your hotel. A leader or guide will provide you a brief orientation of the Chisapani Nagarkot Trek at the hotel, Kathmandu city, trek, and other related information that you should do and ought not to do during your stay in Nepal.

 

Day 02: Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing

The day starts with a warm breakfast at the hotel and you will be taken out for a full day sightseeing program in Kathmandu valley. Kathmandu is pretty much beautiful because of its own historical and religious significance. Visiting UNESCO declared world heritage sites like Kathmandu Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Monkey Temple, Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa and Changunarayan Temple will make your great day of the tour.

 

Day 03: Kathmandu – Sundarijal – Chisapani Hike:

After breakfast at the hotel, you will drive towards Sundarijal, then start the Sundarijal Chisapani Hiking. Walking through the shadow, you will play hide and seek with the golden sun rays in the pine and oak forest of Shivapuri National Park. The park is a famous spot for bird watching and some wild animals can be seen during your walk. The unique trail in the sense while walking will allow you to view the Kathmandu valley along the Himalayas on its horizon. Overnight at lodge surrounded by residents of Sherpa ethnic group.

 

Day 04: Chisapani Nagarkot Trek

Start your Chisapani Nagarkot hiking after breakfast at the lodge. It takes about 3 hours of hike to reach Chauki Bhanjyang for lunch. Then you will continue your walk through charming trails for another 3 hours. The Himalaya ranges from Dhaulagiri in the west all the way past Mr. Everest to Kanchanjunga in the east will be your most memorable moments in this hiking. As you reach Nagarkot, you will have a great sunset view inspiring its majesty and beauty.

Early morning view from Nagarkot

Day 05: Nagarkot – Chagunarayan – Kathmandu

Early wake up for a sunrise view from the top of the hill. At the same time, the glory of the Himalayan panorama through a Himalayan river valley will give you great morning wishes. After breakfast, you will hike for a couple of hours to Changunarayan Temple. This is a UNESCO world heritage site and the old and ancient temple of Nepal. Having lunch at Changunarayan will lead us to Kathmandu drive and check into the hotel for an overnight stay.

 

Day 06: Departure

After your last breakfast in Kathmandu, you will drop you at to Airport for departure to your home country. By the time, you will be carrying Nepal’s natural beauty, amazing experiences of incredible Himalayas ranges, and memory of your combo vacation spent during Chisapani Nagarkot Trek or Hike. Good Bye !!!

If you are interested in this trek, please email us at sales@peregrinetreks.com or fill up this form. Also, we are 24/7 available at WhatsApp/Viber/Mobile +9779851052413

Nagarkot Dhulikhel Trek

Nagarkot is known to be a popular place for a sunrise viewpoint and spectacular scene of the Himalayas including Mount Everest, Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Langtang, Jugal, Rolwaling, and many more ranges of eastern Nepal. Similarly, This Nagarkot Dhulikhel Trek offers you a dynamic panoramic view of the Kathmandu Valley.

The travelers who want to enjoy a relaxing day in a short time can go for this Nagarkot Dhulikhel trek. One day hike enjoying the natural beauty and for refreshment, Nagarkot Dhulikhel Namobuddha Trek can be the prioritized one.

Nagarkot Dhulikhel Trek
Sunset at Nagarkot. Photo was taken on the roof balcony Of Club Himalaya. The weather was gloomy and the sun was hiding most of the time. Anyway, we waited and eventually, for a brief time, the sun shone on the distant icy mountains….

Dhulikhel

Dhulikhel situated just about 30 km east far from Kathmandu through Arniko Highway, lies in this trek which is a popular hill station in Kavre District. An Ancient Newari settlement and its architecture for at least five centuries and narrow streets are the main attraction of Dhulikhel.

The buildings, temples, public squares are based on ancient Hindu planning belief and dominance having their own meaning and harmony where different cultures and processions still exist. The majestic view of mountains like Ganesh Himal (7429 m), Jugal mountain range, Langtang Lirung (7227m) in the west and Dorje Lakpa (6966m), Gauri Shankar (7134m), Melungtse (7181m), Mt. Lhotse (8516 m), till Numbur (5945m) in the east is the main reason to stay there for the short time traveler.

Plain Land of Banepa
A Natural environment neat Dhulikhel , Kavre where rapid urbanization is taking place .

Namobuddha

Namobuddha located southeast of Kathmandu is a famous place for Buddhists and a favorite one for trekkers to stay overnight. It is situated between Banepa and Panauti on slightly elevated land with a peaceful environment. It is 3 hours of walk from Dhulikhel passing through several small villages and rows of Buddhist stupas adorned with fluttering prayer flags that soothe both devotees and trekkers. Namobuddha has its own religious and historical importance. An ancient carved slab portrays a popular story that Lord Buddha allowed his hand to be devoured by a starving tigress to save her cubs from starving to death. The cool and fresh winds coming from the southern side will give warmth to a soul.

Namobuddha at Night
Large Buddhist monastery Thrangu Tashi Yangtse, Nepal near Stupa Namobuddha in the Himalaya mountains

Nagarkot Dhulikhel Trek Itinerary:

Days 01: Arrival in Kathmandu

Meet Peregrine Treks and Tours airport representative at Tribhuwan International Airport to pick up you and transfer you to your Hotel /Resort /Guesthouse. Get involved in dinner, introduce guide, trip briefing of Nagarkot Dhulikhel Trek and check trip necessities in the evening.

Day 02: Explore Kathmandu City

After a warm breakfast in the hotel, proceed for the sightseeing tours to Pashupatinath Temple, the holiest Hindu Temple. Then, you will move towards Boudhanath Stupa, the biggest Buddhist Stupa architecture in the world, and Swayambhunath Stupa situated on the hillock also known as Monkey Temple, having 2000 years of old legendary. There is another sightseeing tour to Patan, the oldest city in the Kathmandu valley with fine arts and so many temples. Patan city is known to an age-old traditional city with fine arts. Kathmandu city tour also covers Durbar Square, the living goddess Kumari, fascinating temples, freak street, and many more.

Day 03: Drive to Sundarijal & trek to Chisapani (2160m /7130ft).) 5/6 hrs walk

After breakfast, you will move to the eastern end of Kathmandu valley, which is Sundarijal, your trekking starting point. The trail will lead you up to Typical Tamang Village, Mulkharka (1800 m. / 5940 ft.) along with the pine, rhododendron, and oak forest through Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve. Eventually, the trail will end at Chisapani after passing Borlan Bhanjyang (2460m / 8110ft), your overnight accommodation

Day: 04: Chisopani Nagarkot (2175m/7134ft), 5-6 hrs trek.

Be ready for Chisapani to Nagarkot hike after your breakfast. On the way, you will observe the fantastic view of Kathmandu valley and so many hiding mountain peaks like Mt. Dorje Lakpa and Jugal Himal ranges will be waiting for your attention towards them. Then, A gentle walk through some villages and forest along with terraced farming field brings you to the hill city, Nagarkot (2175m). You will stay overnight. Enjoy your sunset and sunrise, even Mt. You can see Everest on clear climatic days.

Day 05: Nagarkot – Dhulikhel (1550m) 5-6 hrs.

Early morning get up for Sunrise view, then start your journey from Nagarkot Dhulikhel Trek. A drop-down trail from Nagarkot hill to the deep green valley and terraced rice field. Finally, flat trails denote the arrival in Araniko Highway which will lead to Dhulikhel. Enjoy fresh air and peace environment with relaxed accommodation.

Day 06: Dhulikhel – Namo Buddha (1810m), 5/6 hrs trek

Almost 5-6 hrs hike takes up to Namo Buddha from Dhulikhel. During your walk, you can see the old traditional villages and so many stupas. Entering Namobuddha will make you feel very calm and pleased. Visit beautiful chorten and monastery. You will have a very relaxed and comfortable sleep with an iconic praying ceremony of a monk. Practice meditation with the monk the next morning before starting your trip.

Nagarkot Dhulikhel Trek

Day 07: Namo Buddha – Panauti (1620m) – Drive to Kathmandu: 4-5 hrs trek and 1 ½ hr drive

The walking day starts from Namo Buddha to a legend village, Panauti. Explore ancient temples and a fully terraced view of farming lands. After lunch at Panauti, drive to another historical heritage site Bhaktapur to explore the traditional lifestyle of Newari communities, the oldest Durbar, and temples till evening. Then, drive back to Kathmandu in the hotel.

Day 8: Departure

Finally, Nagarkot Dhulikhel Trek will make a lifetime album of your experience.

 

For this trek please send an email at sales@peregrinetreks.com or you can fill this form. We are also available at WhatsApp/Viber/Mobile +9779851052413.