This beautiful country, home to countless beautiful destinations and natural beauty, contains everything an explorer could possibly imagine on his/her dream vacation. In addition to the many rivers, gorgeous valleys, and mesmerizing mountains, some of the beautiful lakes in the western part of Nepal contain some underrated places every frequent traveler would dream of seeing.
Having visited over 50 attractions in Nepal, what I discovered after visiting the Shey Phoksundo lake is how underrated it is out of all the natural wonders of Nepal. The Phoksundo Lake is sacred to Bon-Po followers, making it ideal for combining culture and nature. Furthermore, Trekking through the Himalayan forests and traditional Tibetan villages with minimal high-altitude passes makes this trek relatively easy.
The following tips will help you complete the Shey Phoksundo trek and help you along your journey to one of the best trekking experiences. While doing so, I, too, will get to relive the crazy experience and remember how beautiful Phoksundo is again.
About Shey Phoksundo
Phoksundo Lake shimmers due to the reflecting backdrop provided by Kanjirowa massif. It also offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. Located in Shey Phoksundo national park, Phoksundo Lake is of primary natural importance. It is a habitat for a wide variety of fauna and flora. Phoksundo Lake Trek is suitable for those people who study botanical science and natural herbs because Shey Phoksundo National Park is quite popular for its wide array of medicinal herbs.
Among Nepal’s largest and most magnificent freshwater lakes, Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek is a quick and relatively easy trip lasting from five to ten days, but it can be longer or shorter depending on how much walking you wish to do each day. Located in the district of Dolpa or Dolpo, the region around Phoksundo primarily consists of Dolpo or the people from the Bon community, people who follow Tibetian Buddhism.
How do I prepare for the trek to Shey Phoksundo?
Trekking in the Shey Phoksundo Lake area is best suited during moderate weather of spring and autumn. This allows for clear hikes without any rain or extreme cold and snowfall.
In spite of Shey Phoksundo’s altitude, it is not a snowy region. However, it can get extremely cold depending on the weather. Therefore, you should prepare accordingly.
You will need to walk constantly for many days in rough terrains and cold climates. Therefore, you will need to bring along the following materials.
- Well-fitting gloves, socks, and walking boots
- Water bottles and thermos
- Trekking sticks
- Portable fire stoves
- Warm clothes, including jackets, sweaters, and thermal wears
- Snow Glasses and flashlight
- Moisturizers and lip guard
- Other necessary trekking gears
Furthermore, Shey Phoksundo lies at an altitude of 3,589 meters. A trip to such an extreme elevation may result in altitude sickness or even breathlessness, so those with serious health problems, lung issues, or similar conditions should avoid the trip. Likewise, you need to take all the necessary precautions prior to embarking on this journey.
The items listed above are ideal for the expedition mentioned above, though not all of them are necessary. For example, the Shey Phoksundo trek is popular with frequent travelers, so many hotels and homestays supply these items at a higher rate than usual.
Let’s Start the Trek
In order to begin the journey, foreign visitors must obtain a Nepalese visa and get to the capital city, Kathmandu. If you are already in Nepal, you must fly or take another mode of transportation to Nepalgunj, the gateway to the far-west.
From Nepalgunj, you can reach Juphal to begin the trek. For a healthy individual, the trek might take between five to fifteen days, depending on the pace and activities along the way. In the evening, you can choose to stay in one of the homestay facilities located in the area.
Day 1: From Nepalgunj to Juphal
Initially, you need to fly to Juphal from Nepalgunj. In Juphal, the starting place of the trek, you'll begin your trek. You can decide to go to Dunai on this day, but it'd be better to wait, rest, and prepare for the rest of the tour. After that, you need to start hiking upwards towards Thulo Bheri Valley and walk to Kalagauda.
Day 2: Reaching Dunai Village
From Dunai, you need to start hiking upward towards Thulo Bheri Valley and walk to Kalagauda. Further along the way, you'll pass Roop Ghar while following the Bheri River's southern bank. Finally, when you reach Dunai at an altitude of 2145 meters, you better take your rest for the day there.
Day 3: Enjoying Chhepka Village
Start your third day of the trek by walking through the streets of Dunai towards Sunlight village. While climbing to get to Kageni from Sunlight, you'll learn to walk through rocky paths until reaching Shyanta. This path consists of green vegetation and gorgeous waterfalls. Finally, just half-hour away from Santa, you'll reach Chhepka to rest for the day.
Day 4: Trekking through Waterfall
On day four, you need to hike through the forest to reach Ringmo village. Further along, the way, you can stop by one of the highest waterfalls in Nepal, the Jharana, with a view of Phoksundo Lake. In Ringmo village, you'll experience Tibetan culture while exploring Phoksundo Lake and the holy land of the Bonpo.
Day 5: To a Tibetan Village
On this day, you will trek through the upper parts of the Phoksundo River. As you continue, you should follow the northern trails towards Phoksundo Lake. After a few stretches, when you view the beautiful meadows after passing Phoksundo Lake. This beautiful meadow contains the Tibetan Village of RIngmo, the Bon village.
Day 6: Shey Phoksundo and Tshowa Gompa
On this day, you will visit Ringmo village, which is located near Phoksundo Lake, and Tshowa Gompa, an ancient Buddhist monastery perched atop a ridge above the lake. While descending, you can enjoy the wonderful, mesmerizing view of Phoksundo Lake. Moreover, the lake area is surrounded by many beautiful glaciers.
Day 7: Trek down to Chhepka
You will trek back to Chhepka today. Follow the stream that originates from the lake as you head towards Sulighad. You will pass through Renji, an ancient village. Eventually, you'll reach Chhepka before the end of the day. Though, it might take 6 to 8 hours of walking.
Day 8: Back to Juphal
You can spend your last day on the trek doing what you love, enjoying the luscious green vegetation on the trail down to Juphal village. After about 6 hours, you will finally reach Juphal, where you can plan your return home peacefully in a beautiful hotel.
- 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.
- 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
After you’ve enjoyed the thrilling and joyful experience, you can choose whether to visit other beautiful places in Nepal or head back home. No matter what you choose, we hope you have a fantastic time.
We can accommodate group tours for this trip; however, you may also opt for a private tour according to your liking. We can arrange private trips at any time of the year at any date of your choosing. Please let us know what your preferred travel dates are so that we can accommodate you.
Finally, we hope that this magical Shey Phoksundo Lake Trek fulfills your dreams! A short trek to Phoksundo Lake allows you to explore the Dolpo region within a few days. Next, a flight out of Kathmandu takes you to Nepalgunj, one of the nicest towns bordering India. Then you fly on to Juphal by another plane, where your journey really begins.
Besides wandering around the lake and spending time, you also enjoy the beauty of Mount Kanjirowa and Phoksundo Lake. After all, you can retrace your steps through the same route to Kathmandu after you have appreciated them enough.