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Tour of the Tsum Valley

Located high up in the Manaslu region of Nepal, near the Tibetan border, the Tsum Valley is one of the unknown and most isolated valleys in Nepal. It has an extremely Tibetan Buddhist feel, quite different from the surrounding countryside. It is a difficult trek to Tsum valley because of the difficult terrain. While visiting the valley, you will be surrounded by the beautiful mountains of Mt. Ganesh, which includes Mt. Sringi and Mt. Boudha. Unfortunately, the valley does not receive many tourists since it is so difficult to access.

Few outsiders have managed to reach this Promised Land in terms of trekking to the valley, and so many things about this valley remain a mystery. However, the off-the-beaten track to the Tsum valley offers you the opportunity to take an extraordinary hike on one of the most challenging trails in the world.

About the Region

Arughat is the starting point for this beautiful Trek, which follows the trail alongside the majestic Budhi Gandaki River, passing through dense forest and gorgeous villages to reach the hidden valley of Tsum. The small hotels in the region offer basic services and facilities, but the beauty of the wide landscapes and small villages is exceptional.

Buddhist traditions believe that the Tsum Valley is one of the sacred hidden valleys of Buddhism, a place of spiritual progress and old monasteries that remain active today. Historically, people in this valley have subsisted on agriculture and yak herds, traded with Tibet, and raised barley and tended yaks. The trails lead past square chortens and walls of stones hand-carved with Buddhist prayers.

Necessary Permits and Accommodations

Mandatory permits are required for the Tsum Valley trek. The permit fee is imposed to protect the delicate ecosystem and culture of the region. MCAPs and ACAPs are also vital to the Trek. 

At the beginning of the Trek, the accommodation options consist of well-run hotels and lodges. As the Trek progresses, well-equipped hotels become more difficult to come by. These paths mainly consist of small teahouses and homestays.

Preparing for the Trek

The tallest point on the Tsum Valley trek is at an altitude of 3,700 meters. This may not be much elevation for frequent travelers, but it is still quite a change for newcomers. In addition, the Trek requires the explorers to walk for multiple days. In addition, people with lung diseases should refrain from engaging in such activities or take precautions before doing so, as the high altitudes at such altitudes are extremely difficult to adapt to. Further, altitude sickness may occur at such high altitudes.

We recommend that you bring the following items to your Trek due to the cold at high altitudes for the Trek. Our group of mates brought these things on our first trip to Tsum Valley.

  • Warm clothes, including jackets, sweaters, and thermal wears
  • Water bottles and thermos
  • Backpack
  • Portable fire stoves
  • Snow Glasses and flashlight
  • Well-fitting gloves, socks, and shoes or boots
  • Trekking sticks
  • First aid kit
  • Moisturizers and lip guard
  • Energy bars

These items can be quite useful during the Trek. You can, however, easily purchase these items at the starting point of the Trek if you forgot any of them, though the price will likely be higher than usual.

Tsum Valley Trek Itinerary 

In order to begin the Trek, we need to get to Arughat Bazaar. For foreigners, it’d be better if you get to Kathmandu after acquiring your Nepali visa. From Kathmandu, the road is paved till Dhading Besi, and then a gravel road takes you to Arughat. Furthermore, you pass the Trishuli River and the Rakhu River on your way.

From Soti Khola, you make a steep climb uphill, passing rural settlements like Armala, Lapubesi, and Khani Besi. These settlements are populated by the Gurung people, who live a unique lifestyle. As you travel through the route, you can also observe the unique landscapes and the unique flora and fauna. Finally, we stayed overnight at Machha Khola.

Today, the trail leads you across the Machha Khola and upstream along the river's edge. After crossing Tatopani, the trail leads to Dovan through a wooded area. As you continue along, you will have views of Ganesh Himal at 7,429 m and Himalchuli at 7,893 m. We stay overnight after we reach Jagat after five to six hours of hiking.

On the fourth day, the crisp morning breeze greets you as you make your way to Sirdibas and enjoy the landscape's views. As you continue up the winding trail, you pass the Gurung and Magar settlements in Philim on your way to Chisopani. The Trek follows the Budhi Gandaki River during the day and ends at Chisopani.

From Chisopani, you cross a gorge and travel through a forest of rhododendron and pine trees before heading down to Tsum Valley. Up ahead, beautiful Lokpa village can be seen, and from here, you descend to Lungwa Khola. Further along the way, the trail leads you along the serene Siyar Khola to Chumling. You spend the night there.

From Chumling, the trail passes Rainjam to reach Sarpu Khola and then descends into the hidden valley of Tsum. Ganesh Himal (7,429 m) is visible from the suspension bridge across the river. At the end of the steep climb, you will arrive at the village of Chhokang Paro. Before arriving at Chhokang Paro, you can visit a micro hydropower plant. Finally, we stayed at Chhokang Paro for the night.

We hike from Chhokang Paro on the seventh day, to Lamagau, before walking to Rachen Gompa. We continue through several villages, passing Chhule village and crossing towards the Nile.

We head towards the highest point on the Trek on this day. First, we cross close to the Tibetan border in today's trail while walking through a valley. Then, we go to the Dhepu Doma Gompa (monastery) before continuing to their overnight accommodation at Mu Gompa.

In today's 7 to 8-hour Trek, we head to Ganesh Himal Base Camp, where we are rewarded with fantastic views of the enormous Ganesh Himal. We then are driven back to Mu Gompa for the night.

Our Trek today is about 5 to 6 hours through a greener part of the country. First, we descend through the lower Tsum valley to Chumling, where we spend the night.

Today, we travel toward Lokpa, passing the beautiful Samba Falls. After that, you will find yourself on a flat trail leading off from Lokpa. Then, if you like, you can enjoy the sights of the diverse flora and fauna in the Manaslu Conservation Area. Finally, we arrive at the destination of our journey, Philim Village, where we will stay the night.

You descend the trail to Sirdibas and reach Jagat. Then, you descend even further to Yaruphant and continue on to Dovan. Soon, you get to arrive at the natural hot springs of Tatopani, where you rejuvenate yourself by enjoying a bath in the hot springs. This water is also believed to have healing properties. Then you hike on a zigzag path to Khorlabesi. Finally, we spent the night at Khorlabesi.

On this day, as you cross the Thado Khola, you descend to the Budhi Gandaki River. You walk alongside the river until you reach Lapu Besi. As you trek on, you admire the untouched beauty of waterfalls on either side. Continuing along the Budi Gandaki ridge, we pass through Khani Besi, Liding, and Soti Khola before arriving at Soti Khola, where we spend the night.

The last day of trekking takes you over the ridge of Kuerepani and down to a waterfall. Then, you pass through the Magar and Gurung villages of Kokhetar and Dhodehi as you continue trekking to Arkhet. Following the bridge crossing Arkhet Khola, the walk ends in Arughat, passing by the hydroelectricity plant.

In the end, we can follow our steps back home from Arughat. First, do not forget to acknowledge and cherish all the beautiful moments and gorgeous sceneries you experienced during the Trek as you return home.

Cost includes:

  • Arrival & Departure transport via private Car/Van/Bus.
  • Three meals per day throughout the Trek(Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
  • Accommodation in lodges and tea houses during the trek.
  • Nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu with B/B.
  • Trekking Guide and a porter (Shared by two clients) with Insurance, food, and accommodations.
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu or Pokhara valley with a car and tour guide
  • First Aid kit.
  • Trekking permit (Conservation fee).
  • TIMS card (Trekking information management system) is like a permit.
  • All needed government tax/vat.

Cost excludes

  • International Airfare.
  • Your travel insurance.
  • Sightseeing entrance fees
  • Nepal Visa fee (US$ 50 for 30 days and US$ 30 for 15 days; you should get a visa open your arrival)
  • Any kind of drinks, items of personal expenses like hot shower, battery charge, telephone, missing meal, WIFI Porters, etc.
  • Tips for Guide and Porters

Note

The itinerary mentioned above is the general plan arranged by Pokhara Info. The above itinerary is only a guideline; it might change due to availability of lodging and campsites, fluctuating weather conditions, unforeseen political, trail, and environmental, or any other factors beyond our control. After consulting with the group, your trek leader will decide the best way to reach a final decision if this occurs.

If the itinerary is unsuitable for you, please let us know, and we will customize it. We will be able to make changes to the itinerary if clients want to do so.

Finally, When you are ready to start adventures in Nepal, it is time to begin thinking about what to pack. If you are ready to book but aren’t sure when is the best time to trek or what to stay in, Pokhara Info has got you covered. You can figure out these queries through our site. We can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites. I hope you have a good time in Nepal and thank you for visiting!

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Ghale Gaun Trekking and Homestay Tour

Adventure seekers and hikers may find Nepal to be a treasure trove of lush green forests, beautiful rivers, and breathtaking mountain circuits. This beautiful nation of hills and mountains makes for an excellent paradise for travelers, adventurers, and explorers looking for great trekking or sightseeing experience.

Therefore, a large fraction of the thousands of people are faced with choosing which trekking destination to explore in Nepal every year. Although it sounds strange, choosing your favorite Trek may actually be easier done in your home country than in the bustling trekking and tourist areas in Nepal, where dozens of trekking agencies are bound to give you different opinions about what Trek is the perfect one for you. And, if you were in such a problem, we’ve got your back. 

Would you like to explore beautiful places, experience the homestay, and take the less traveled route? At the foot of Lamjung Himal (6932m) in north-central Nepal, Ghale gaun Homestay Trek offers the best trekking experiences. It is one of the best trekking areas in Nepal.

About Ghale Gaun

Visitors who want a taste of Nepal’s culture can stay at Homestays Ghale Gaun Village. Located near the foot of the Lamjung Himal in north-central Nepal, Ghale Gaun is a pretty village dominated by Gurung communities. There is a very famous trekking route and a very scenic beautiful village called Ghale Gaun, where around two hundred local houses are situated.

There is a museum that shares the history and tradition of the people and the Village. From the British Army or currently in the British Army, many former Gurkha soldiers are known as Ghale Gaun members.

This Trek is not only about discovering the local lives of Nepalese people but also provides breathtaking views of mountains like Annapurna I, Himalchuli, Mahhapuchhare, Annapurna IV, Annapurna II, Buddha Himal, and more. Villagers greeted the tourists with warm greetings, wearing their traditional costumes.

Attractions

The main attractions of the Ghale Gaun Village Homestay Tour include local food, handicrafts, the Gurung Museum, Gurung Culture, and scenic mountain views.

As part of the ‘Ghale Village Homestay’ program, tourists are given an opportunity to live in villages such as Nandighar, Pasagaun, and Ghalegaun and get a glimpse of village life in Nepal. As well as observing and participating in their day-to-day activities, we visit another village near Ghale Gaun, Ghanpokhara, which is staying at home.

‘You will walk an hour to reach Ghale Gaun. Tourists have historically trekked to the Annapurna region. However, the stormy season streets around Ghalegaun are not ideal. Tourists are, however, encouraged to explore contemporary provincial life every season.

Ghalegaun Trek Itinerary

We here at Pokhara Info strive to make your Nepal experience the best possible. We have a great package for the GhaleGaun trekking trip as well. The Trek lasts for six to eight days depending upon your wish. However, our general itinerary is illustrated below.

There are many monuments in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, showing the excellence of Nepalese art and culture from ancient times. These monuments include the famous Durbar, the Pashupatinath temple, and the Swayambhunath stupa.

The number of locations to see in Kathmandu is so great that you will not be able to see them all in one day. However, we'll make sure that you don't miss the most popular attractions.

We will be going by bus to Pokhara early in the morning after breakfast. It will take approximately 5-6 hours to reach Pokhara, which is a beautiful city on a lake. While you are traveling by road, you can enjoy seeing Mt. Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and more.

A visitor may also enjoy the seven other lakes of the region, including Begnas, as they arrive in the afternoon. In comparison to the easy underlying Trek, Nangidhar and Pakhrikot now have an extreme climb. You will see beautiful Gurung communities at an altitude of around 1900 meters. You will also see Serga's charming culture.

After breakfast the next day, the hike starts with a few hours of walking and travels through wildernesses, waterfalls, bird chirpings, and after a slide for 2 hours for lunch at a point marked Garden.

We constantly try to get to Pasagaun town as soon as lunch is over. It differs enormously from Nangidhar or Pakhrikot. Moreover, even the nutrition is better here, and the beds are also more comfortable.

In the morning, you will descend approximately three hours to Bhujung and ascend another two hours. You can stop for snacks, lunch, or even spend the night there if you like. Ghalegaun Ghanpokhara is about 2 hours after Bhujung. The city has minimal infrastructure and a dense population, making it very interesting from the bottom up. Located around 2,016 to 2,050 meters above sea level, this charming city of Gurung is magnificent.

Not to mention, the picturesque mountains can be appreciated from here, especially in the morning when the sky is clear. While in the Village, after dinner, you can enjoy a cultural performance by the local dancing group, which includes mountain dance, music, and songs, which make your visit memorable. Be sure to take in all the charm of the Village and the performances as well.

The downhill portion of the hike takes about four hours to complete. Lunch is consumed at Khudi after the downhill portion of the hike. If you're fortunate enough, you'll also be able to see untouched nature in this area, which is a birdwatcher's paradise.

The path leads through delightful timberland, which can also be a paradise for birdwatchers. Then, as we conclude the trip, we return back to Kathmandu, unless you decide to explore the beautiful city of Pokhara. While you are here, you will enjoy the cultural show of Nepal in Kathmandu in the evening, relax in your hotel, and explore nearby places. You can also wander around Thamel at night, which is an ideal place for evening strolling.

After completing the Trek, rest as you cherish the beautiful moments you encountered during the Trek while on your trip back home. It certainly deserves its reputation for its rich culture, amazing views, and the hospitality of the locals that can make a trek to the Ghalegaun an unforgettable experience.

Cost includes:

  • Arrival & Departure transport via private Car/Van/Bus.
  • Three meals per day throughout the Trek(Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
  • Accommodation in lodges and tea houses during the trek.
  • Nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu with B/B.
  • Trekking Guide and a porter (Shared by two clients) with Insurance, food, and accommodations.
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu or Pokhara valley with a car and tour guide
  • First Aid kit.
  • Trekking permit (Conservation fee).
  • TIMS card (Trekking information management system) is like a permit.
  • All needed government tax/vat.

Cost excludes

  • International Airfare.
  • Your travel insurance.
  • Sightseeing entrance fees
  • Nepal Visa fee (US$ 50 for 30 days and US$ 30 for 15 days; you should get a visa open your arrival)
  • Any kind of drinks, items of personal expenses like hot shower, battery charge, telephone, missing meal, WIFI Porters, etc.
  • Tips for Guide and Porters

Note

The itinerary mentioned above is the general plan arranged by Pokhara Info. The above itinerary is only a guideline; it might change due to availability of lodging and campsites, fluctuating weather conditions, unforeseen political, trail, and environmental, or any other factors beyond our control. After consulting with the group, your trek leader will decide the best way to reach a final decision if this occurs.

If the itinerary is unsuitable for you, please let us know, and we will customize it. We will be able to make changes to the itinerary if clients want to do so.

Finally, When you are ready to start adventures in Nepal, it is time to begin thinking about what to pack. If you are ready to book but aren’t sure when is the best time to trek or what to stay in, Pokhara Info has got you covered. You can figure out these queries through our site. We can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites. I hope you have a good time in Nepal and thank you for visiting!

 

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Visiting Patan: Cultural Hub with Unique Options

The one thing most people think of doing in Patan, Nepal, is visiting every temple in the famous Durbar Square. Yes, there are some fantastic temples there, but there is much more to do here. The city of Patan is to the southeast of Kathmandu and can be reached by either a $4 taxi ride or a bus. We have visited Patan countless times and explored and experienced much more in this quaint little city.

If you have a few days remaining to spare, I recommend spending some time there. There are so many things to do and see, from art studios to archery classes. Here are some of my favorite things that’ll make you love this city as much as we do.

Furthermore, after a trekking trip in the Himalayas or while preparing for such a trip, you can enjoy your time in Nepal while strolling through the street of Patan and visiting the locations mentioned below.

Patan Durbar Square

Despite the fact that Durbar square is one of the main attractions of Patan, it surely deserves its fame. In addition to being one of the three Durbar Squares in Nepal, Patan Durbar Square is best known for its Newari architecture that dates back to 1637 and features intricate wood carvings and brickwork. You could easily pass many hours looking at them.

An important temple and a former king’s residence are located in the area, undergoing extensive construction after the earthquake of 2015. Although some buildings have scaffolding, you can also observe the rebuilding effort, which will feel fascinating.

The Golden Temple

In the twelfth century, the Golden Temple was built in praise of its golden color, hence its name. However, it’s also a monastery, so you’ll see lots of monks coming and going from here. Throughout Kathmandu, I’ve seen Hanuman depicted in many places, including within the temple’s courtyard and around its prayer wheels. In Hindu culture, Hanuman is the monkey god, so you can enjoy seeing monkey statues throughout the city.

Patan Museum

If you present your Durbar Square entry ticket, you do not need to pay to enter the Patan Museum. It is a fascinating and interesting place to explore, and you might as well adore the little garden behind the museum. You’ll enjoy the serene atmosphere, and a cute little cafe is also there. It’s a nice change of pace from the city’s sweltering heat, dust, motorbikes, and noise.

Seeing Hands Clinic

Seeing Hands is a social enterprise that helps blind people in Nepal become masseuses. I visited the location in Jawalakhel without an appointment and walked in. The sports massage I chose was amazing. My masseuse found and massaged every single sore muscle until I forgot it even existed.

Even though the massage was a real challenge, I could tell the masseuse knew what she was doing, and by the time I stood up, a lot of the pain in my shoulders and back had disappeared. You, too, will appreciate this detour you can choose while in Patan.

Strolling Around

When wandering around Kathmandu, it’s easy to stumble upon areas that are littered with garbage and devoid of beauty, but in Patan, it’s almost impossible to stumble upon a bad place. You can discover small beautiful squares with small places of worship in these little streets just off the main road.

You’ll love getting off the main road and going down tiny alleyways barely wide enough for a motorbike. You can get lost in these streets for hours on end without ever getting bored. Some lead you to little parks; others only lead you to turn after turn until you stay on the main road.

The Local Project Nepal

The emphasis at The Local Project Nepal is shopping from local companies with a conscience. I entered the store intending to take a few photos but bought three items. The items available there are reasonably priced considering the high quality.

House of Palates

In the next building to the Local Project Nepal, you will find the House of Palettes. A little art studio is open daily from 12 pm to 7 pm. The best thing about House of Palettes is that you can buy any size canvas (starting at 800 rupees) and use the space free of charge.

The studio is attached to Evoke restro (a restaurant and bar), so you can indulge in snacks and drinks while you work on your masterpiece. You can come back multiple times to finish your work without a time limit.

The Pimbahal Pokhari

There’s a pond off the beaten track called Pimbahal, and the temple behind it, Chandeswari temple, dates back to 1663. It’s a great place to relax and watch ducks swimming in the pond. You can also watch people at the temple as locals come and go.

If you visit in the morning, before it gets too hot outside, you’ll be able to sit and relax while you observe the daily life of Patan. I recommend you try the different flavored chips available in a shop near Pokhara.

Jawalakhel Handicraft Center

You can watch the rugs being woven by hand at Jawalakhel Handicraft Center. The center is attached to the Tibetan Refugee camp. The collection includes Tibetan rugs you can purchase if you wish.

Besides a community building with small handmade knickknacks, there is also a section with yak wool shawls and beautiful scarves. I bought a small jewelry box from the community building for 200 rupees, roughly $2. As the money goes to refugees, it’s a good place to buy souvenirs, and even small donations make a difference.

Mangal Bazaar

There is a street on the southeast corner of Patan Durbar Square, which sells a variety of local goods. You will find everything from metal dining sets to spices and traditional clothing. It’s a vibrant, beautiful street that’s bustling with people as locals buy everything they need for their homes.

Besides having these really interesting items, it is also a great place to find interesting items like Buddha statues, genie lamps, and bright fabrics. And the prices aren’t as high as the tourist shopping areas.

Labim Mall

You might wonder why to visit a mall. They’re available everywhere. Visiting a mall in another country may seem strange to you, but if you’ve traveled the world for so long, sometimes it’s nice to feel at home again. Additionally, it’s less intimidating than looking for something in Kathmandu or Patan’s narrow streets.

Perhaps you need a haircut from someone who speaks fluent English to avoid a bang disaster. Sometimes you need an ordinary pair of sneakers or a T-shirt that won’t lose its shape after a couple of washings. There’s always a time when a mall comes in handy.

Gallery Mcube

A cute little art gallery in a residential neighborhood near Patan Dhoka (the entrance to Patan), Gallery Mcube showcases local artists from Nepal. On arrival at the exhibition, most of the art on display was modern art, which provided a nice change from the typical street art one usually finds in tourist areas.

Artwork is available for sale, so if you want something unique and a bit less traditional to take home, this would be an ideal place.

Cost includes:

  • Arrival & Departure transport via private Car/Van/Bus.
  • Three meals per day throughout the Trip(Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
  • Accommodation during the trek.
  • Nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu with B/B.
  • Guide and a porter with Insurance, food, and accommodations.
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu or Pokhara valley with a car and tour guide
  • First Aid kit.
  • Trekking permit (Conservation fee).
  • TIMS card (Trekking information management system) is like a permit.
  • All needed government tax/vat.

Cost excludes

  • International Airfare.
  • Your travel insurance.
  • Sightseeing entrance fees
  • Nepal Visa fee (US$ 50 for 30 days and US$ 30 for 15 days; you should get a visa open your arrival)
  • Any kind of drinks, items of personal expenses like hot shower, battery charge, telephone, missing meal, WIFI Porters, etc.
  • Tips for Guide and Porters

Finally, the trip to Patan can be an extraordinary experience because of the stunning scenery, stellar views, thrilling Journey, and the warm hospitality of the locals. We hope you enjoy and take in every moment that you spend there.

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Visiting Bandipur: Underrated Gem in Nepal

Experiencing Nepal is a wonderful experience. It might be tiring, yet enjoyable to experience the real Nepal. There can be many things we might not know about the gorgeous nation before actually visiting Nepal. Taking bumpy roads over gravel or dirt, riding on motorbikes to avoid crowds in Kathmandu’s temples, and climbing high altitudes in the Himalayas are all part of the real thrilling experience.

If you are looking for a peaceful retreat with traditional culture and a serene, pleasant day filled with rural walks, wildlife, and spectacular mountain vistas, Bandipur is a great choice. It is no wonder that we consider it one of the most beautiful destinations in Nepal.

About Bandipur

If you haven’t heard of this place, you will be surprised to learn it represents one of the most underrated cities in Nepal. It is a tiny town that is reached by climbing a particular road on the Kathmandu-Pokhara highway.

Take time to relax, enjoy a cup of tea, and learn why Bandipur is one of Nepal’s top tourist destinations. It’s a visitor’s dream; it’s the perfect place to relax after trekking in Nepal, and it’s almost like it was built just for visitors! After becoming a trading post in the 1700s, it became a commercial hub for Tibetans and British Indians traders, a position it held until the Pokhara-Kathmandu route bypassed it one hundred years later. To tourists’ benefit, it has steadily become a center of Newari culture as well as a retreat from the city.

Bandipur is a perfect place to take a break since it is easily accessible from Pokhara and is one of the best places to visit in the Kathmandu Valley. Stopping here to escape those bumpy roads is a great way to break up long journeys.

Do not be fooled by the distance. Although it may appear short on the map, the road conditions and traffic will make travel time longer. The distance between Kathmandu and Bandipur is approximately 140 kilometers (it should take 5 to 7 hours), 73 kilometers to Pokhara (3-4 hours by bus), and 2.5 to 3.5 hours from Chitwan to Bandipur.

Draw of Bandipur

Bandipur is known as Nepal’s warm heart. It’s because of the wonderful hospitality as well as the relaxing location of the hilltop. Furthermore, there are several reasons why you should visit Bandipur during your trip to Nepal.

  • It is peaceful to see Buddhist and Hindu temples coexist. With no crowds, you can easily explore many temples.
  • Those who miss out on Kathmandu’s greenery, mountains, and pure air should plan a trip to Bandipur to refresh their lungs and spirits.
  • In addition to the wooden balconies and magnificent Bougainvillea trees characteristic of traditional Newari architecture, there are also a lot of cafés, restaurants, and places to stay.
  • You won’t have to haggle or wheel and deal with shopkeepers here, so you can roam around at your convenience during your free time without any pressure from them. The prices aren’t exaggerated here. You can eat, stay, and drink here for much less than in Kathmandu or Pokhara.
  • It is prohibited to drive on the main streets, including motorcycles. Thus, you can stroll down stunning cobblestone streets while admiring the traditional wooden and brick houses that are characteristic of the Newari culture.

Enjoying Bandipur

Bandipur has plenty to offer. While in Bandipur, initially, you can relax and appreciate the relief from Nepal’s hustle and bustle. The second category includes the following enjoyable activities:

Wander around the Temples: 

Numerous Hindu temples are located throughout the town of Bandipur, such as Bindebasini temple, at the north end of the Main Street or market. You can even find these temples on your own, even if you’re a first-time visitor. The temple is said to be dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga. Furthermore, you’ll appreciate the temple and the old wooden entrance that are decorated with intricate stone carvings.

Explore Siddha Guffa: 

You will need a guide to accompany you through the cave, which is 437 meters deep and 50 meters high and is one of Nepal’s largest caves. Start hiking halfway down Bandipur village hill for the Siddha Cave. The tour guide, who charges a modest fee, carries a lantern and guides you down ladders and along rope swings into the cave. The cave is decorated with stalactite formations, and whistling bats are often heard above the gloomy walls.

You can observe native prayer places and meditate at the swimming pool in the rainy season. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a headlight. However, this is not a trip for people with weak hearts.

Getting to Thani Mai Temple:

The stairway that leads to the hill above the town has a well-marked path and handrails. It is a beautiful walk when the sun rises in the morning or when it sets late in the afternoon. At the summit, there is a tiny Hindu temple of Thani Mai that is an excellent place for enjoying the views, although it isn’t a major attraction as others.

As you hike over the mountain range to Gurungche Hill, you will have a full 360-degree view of the entire area. The journey takes about 30 minutes, but it is a gradual, slightly strenuous climb yet mentally fulfilling.

Visit the Boudha Sadan Shakyamuni Monastery:

Also known as Bandipur Monastery, you can have some of the best times visiting the monks and Buddhist people in the monastery. Walking up the stairs past the main square would take you near the monastery; however, traveling up to the monastery is equally relaxing and enjoyable.

As we walked around during our visit to Bandipur, a monk living there invited us in for tea and informed us of plans for the monastery’s temple extension, and as a result, we ended up spending almost the whole day there. While meditating on the temple steps, he left us to gaze out at the snow-covered peaks of the Himalayas beyond the horizon. The visit turned out to be a peaceful and spiritually fulfilling experience.

Hiking and Shopping at Bandipur Bazaar:

While hiking around the countryside in Bandipur, you’ll come across interesting houses and temples in any direction. Additionally, T-shirts, Newari presents, and refreshments are for sale. Since there is no haggling, you can roam as much as you want.

Enjoy Local Delicacy:

Bandipur has many tasty and fresh local places to eat. There are no fast food franchises here; instead, there are small eateries run by local families that are delightful.

Nepal’s most famous dish is Momos, and there is no shortage of them in this town. As you walk around, you’ll find a variety of fried and steamed dumplings. The most frequent and common dishes here are chicken, buffs, and vegetables. However, they are rarely offered by default and are typically requested ahead of time. Dhal Bhat is a tasty and filling traditional Nepali dish that includes rice, beans, lentil soup, pickles, and generally unlimited refills. 

While there, you can visit local restaurants such as Loving Spoon or Hill’s Heaven. Located a few blocks north of Bandipur village resort, Loving Spoon is a charming little eatery designed by its owner. The traditional Dhal, Bhat as well as momos here are delicious.

Cost includes:

  • Arrival & Departure transport via private Car/Van/Bus.
  • Three meals per day throughout the Trip(Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
  • Accommodation during the trek.
  • Nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu with B/B.
  • Guide and a porter with Insurance, food, and accommodations.
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu or Pokhara valley with a car and tour guide
  • First Aid kit.
  • Trekking permit (Conservation fee).
  • TIMS card (Trekking information management system) is like a permit.
  • All needed government tax/vat.

Cost excludes

  • International Airfare.
  • Your travel insurance.
  • Sightseeing entrance fees
  • Nepal Visa fee (US$ 50 for 30 days and US$ 30 for 15 days; you should get a visa open your arrival)
  • Any kind of drinks, items of personal expenses like hot shower, battery charge, telephone, missing meal, WIFI Porters, etc.
  • Tips for Guide and Porters

Finally, the trip to Bandipipur can be an extraordinary experience because of the stunning scenery, stellar views, thrilling Journey, and the warm hospitality of the locals. We hope you enjoy and take in every moment that you spend there.

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Trip to the Sikles Village

Nepal offers heavenly experiences without visiting heaven, making it a top destination for tourists, adventurers, and nature lovers alike. Additionally, the district of Kaski in Nepal, along with its Pokhara valley and the nearby hills and villages, offers some amazing places to explore. Furthermore, would you like to experience an exciting journey on a short and easy trek in the Himalayas? Then the Sikles village might be the one for you.

As you trek through the Sikles trek area, you’ll see rhododendron forests, beautiful mountain ranges, and diverse landscapes. Sikles trek is one of the more interesting trekking destinations in the Annapurna area and quite unpopular compared to similar destinations. On the Trek, you will probably get to see Annapurna and Lamjung Himal up close after crossing 2,000 meters. You will also learn about the culture, tradition, lifestyle, and handicraft production of Huwu village and Khapuche Lake.

About the Region

Located in the Kaski district, Sikles village is a well-conserved village that lies on a hill at the height of 3,000 meters. It is one of the region’s earliest and largest ‘Gurung’ settlements. Furthermore, the villagers of Sikles village are mainly of Gurung ethnicity and consider themselves to be Nepal’s second-largest Gurung village.

During the Dashain and Tihar festival, the local youth are not allowed to play Nepali drums, perform folk songs, or dance until the festival is over. If not, it is believed that the god will get angry, avalanches will thunder down from the mountainsides, and something terrible will happen to the village.

And the Trek to this beautiful place takes you to the largest Gurung village in the Annapurna region of Nepal, which is located above Madi Khola at an altitude of 1,981 meters. It is roughly a 5-hour bus trip from Pokhara.

Necessary Permits and Accommodations

A permit is not mandatory for the Trek to Sikles village in northern Kaski. Still, the Trekkers Information Management System or TIMS card can be very useful on similar treks in Nepal.

Compared to other trekking destinations, the Trek to Sikles is relatively short. So, even on an exciting adventure like this, you will not be away from your own bed for too long. You will stay in small homestays and tea houses while on the Trek.

Favorable Time for the Trek

Despite the lack of altitude in the Sikles Trek, trekking is possible throughout the year. However, trekkers prefer to visit the village during the Spring and Autumn seasons. Sikles Trek is best enjoyed during the spring and autumn seasons. The spring season begins in March and lasts until May, whereas the autumn season begins in September and ends in November. There isn’t a lot of heat or cold during these months. Instead, the days are sunny and hot, and the nights are chilly. The skies are also clear, so you can see the best scenery.

The Sikles trek is least popular during the off-season from December to February. Similarly, visitors prefer to avoid the monsoon season as well.

Preparing for the Sikles Village Trek

As described earlier, the Trek to Sikles Village is quite short compared to other trekking routes in Nepal. Moreover, it reaches a height of 2000m, which may not seem like much to experienced travelers, but it is quite a change for first-time trekkers.

Additionally, explorers taking part in the Trek often walk for several hours daily. Thus, people with lung diseases should either avoid such activities or take precautions before taking part in them since high altitudes can be difficult to adapt to. Furthermore, these high altitudes may cause people to experience altitude sickness.

We recommend bringing the items listed below with you on your Trek for mild to cold weather at high altitudes. We brought these items with us on our first Trek to Sikles Village.

  • Warm clothes, including jackets, sweaters, and thermal wears
  • Water bottles and thermos
  • Backpack
  • Portable fire stoves
  • Well-fitting gloves, socks, and shoes or boots
  • Trekking sticks
  • First aid kit
  • Moisturizers and lip guard
  • Energy bars

However, do not worry if you forget the items mentioned above. They provide great assistance during the Trek, but they’re not mandatory. And, if you decide to take them along with you at the last moment, trek shops with these items are available at the starting point of the Trek, though they are likely to cost more than usual there.

Itinerary and the Trek itself

The Sikles village trek can be done in two to six days, depending on how fast you and your group hike. Now, if you are not from Nepal, you must apply for a Nepali visa and travel to Kathmandu. After traveling to Kathmandu, you can then travel to Pokhara via a tourist bus or flight. From there, we can begin our trip.

The second day of the Trek requires you to hike for 6 to 7 hours altogether. You will make your way today from Kalikasthan to Lama Khet. First, you will start the journey with a slight climb on the trail. Then, we will pass through a small village home with mixed ethnic people until we reach Mardi Khola.

Next, we follow the path along the riverbanks as you cross Bhaise and Nawaldanda. After traversing these two small villages, you reach Lama Khet. Lama Khet is a gorgeous village surrounded by green hills where you'll stay for the night.

The fourth day is set for you to reach Sikles from Lama Khet. Today's hike will take you to the major attraction of this trip. You walk through flat terrain along the river bank as you leave the village.

You then reach Khilan Gaon and do a gentle climb. After passing through Parju Village, we can reach Sikles. You can rest overnight in one of the friendly lodges or homestays available here.

Today marks the fourth day of the Trek. We now head towards Neuli Kharka. This is a couple of hours away. First, we walk through forests filled with oak and rhododendron trees.

Furthermore, we reach Neuli Kharka or forest camp after passing through flatlands. This would be the place where we take rest for the night.

As you begin your walk, you find yourself in a beautiful forest of Rhododendrons. After crossing one high pass, you would descend to the town of Ghale Gaon. This is the second to the last day of the Trek, and you'll probably hike for five hours on this penultimate day.

This is the last day of the Trek. Today you drive towards Pokhara from Ghale Gaon right after making your way down the trails to Hyamgya. From Pokhara, we hope you have a pleasant trip back home, and remember to cherish your memories.

Cost includes:

  • Arrival & Departure transport via private Car/Van/Bus.
  • Three meals per day throughout the Trekk(Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
  • Accommodation in lodges and tea houses during the trek.
  • Nights’Nights’ accommodation in Kathmandu with B/B.
  • Trekking Guide and a porter (Shared by two clients) with Insurance, food, and accommodations.
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu or Pokhara valley with a car and tour guide
  • First Aid kit.
  • Trekking permit (Conservation fee).
  • TIMS card (Trekking information management system) is like a permit.
  • All needed government tax/vat.

Cost excludes

  • International Airfare.
  • Your travel insurance.
  • Sightseeing entrance fees
  • Nepal Visa fee (US$ 50 for 30 days and US$ 30 for 15 days; you should get a visa open your arrival)
  • Any kind of drinks, items of personal expenses like hot shower, battery charge, telephone, missing meal, WIFI Porters, etc.
  • Tips for Guide and Porters

Note

The itinerary mentioned above is the general plan arranged by Pokhara Info. The above itinerary is only a guideline; it might change due to availability of lodging and campsites, fluctuating weather conditions, unforeseen political, trail, and environmental, or any other factors beyond our control. After consulting with the group, your trek leader will decide the best way to reach a final decision if this occurs.

If the itinerary is unsuitable for you, please let us know, and we will customize it. We will be able to make changes to the itinerary if clients want to do so.

Finally, every place has its own culture, non-verbal norms and values, government policies, and other factors that make traveling to a new place potentially nerve-wracking, no matter how many times you’ve done it. But remember to enjoy the Trek to the beautiful village of Sikles despite the difficulties you might face.