Annapurna Peaks + Villages Trek | Poon Hill - Nepal

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Welcome to Nepal!
Explore Kathmandu's historic World Heritage sites, indulge yourself in Pokhara with a spa day and infinity pool, paddle across Dal Lake and hike up to Shanti Stupa for beautiful mountain and lake views, and enjoy eight days of idyllic, low altitude trekking in the foothills of the Annapurna region to Poon Hill, with spectacular Himalayan panoramas.

Kamzang Journeys has crafted three price options for this trip, from traditional boutique to deluxe heritage, to cater to all types of travelers!

Annapurna Peaks + Villages Trek
This wonderful trek is the perfect introduction to the diversity and excitement of trekking. The sub-tropical forests come alive with an immense variety of bird life, waterfalls thunder down from steep cliff sides and monkeys chatter from the tree tops. Trekking higher into the green, terraced hills we wander through ancient, mossy rhododendron forests to reach the cooler Buddhist and animistic middle hills, where Buddhist chortens and prayer flags send prayers out to the gods and the Gurung and Magar inhabitants are more Tibetan than Nepali. Terraced fields and tropical fruit trees surround the neat, white washed Gurung villages of the higher regions, leading the eye to vistas dominated by some of the Himalaya's most majestic peaks. The Annapurna region is truly the heart of the Nepal Himalaya.Accompanied by views of Annapurna South, Machhapuchhre, Hiunchuli and Lamjung Himal, we trek through the heart of the Annapurnas.

Accompanied by views of Annapurna South, Machhapuchhre, Hiunchuli and Lamjung Himal, we trek in the heart of the Annapurna circuit. From Deurali, the Himalayan mountain views begin, and we contour through traditional villages to reach the bustling Gurung villages of Landruk and Gandruk. At Poon Hill, near Ghorepani, we are treated to a 360-degree sunrise, one of Nepal's most spectacular Himalayan panorama. Back down through golden, terraced villages dominated by Machhapuchhre, the 'Fish Tailed' mountain, we continue to hike through Ulleri to the end of the circuit at Naya Pul and drive to Pokhara.

This is a classic tea-house trek run in our special Kamzang-style; instead of camping out in the cold, we enjoy the dining-room stoves and famed hospitality of the local people of the Annapurna region, our gear is carried by porters, and we have local guides to explain the various cultures, mountains and sights to us along the way.

Chitwan National Park | Maruni Sanctuary Wildlife Safari
Chitwan National Park is home to the Bengal Tiger and Asian one-horned Rhino as well as a large variety of rare bird and wildlife, and a lovely national park surrounded by traditional Tharu villages. With an extra day, relax on the breezy deck with a book, rent bikes to explore the traditional thatched hut Tharu villages, where water buffaloes laze under tropical skies, or continue with the river paddles, spotting more varieties of Kingfishers!
NOTE: Kamzang Journeys doesn't encourage elephant safaris or elephant rids in Nepal National Parks.

Royal Treatment | Pokhara + Kathmandu
Treat yourself to a truly luxurious holiday, staying at  Temple Tree Resort + Spa or the Himalayan Front Resort in Pokhara, where you can spend the day at the infinity pool, having massages or indulging in various spa treatments. The Himalayan Front Resort is situated in Sarankot, and features some of the best Himalayan panoramas from the windows of your room. Temple Tree Resort + Spa is on Lakeside in town, close to shopping, paddling and restaurants, bars and cafes. Top of your trip in true style and luxury at Dwarika's heritage hotel in Kathmandu, with options to spend additional days at Dwarika's incredible Dhulikhel Resort.

Customize Your Journey
We are happy to customize your journey to include more days in Kathmandu, Chitwan National Park or Pokhara.

Incredible Nepal!

Trip

Annapurna Peaks + Villages Trek
Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu
Day 2 - Kathmandu | World Heritage Sites
Day 3 - Fly Pokhara. Drive Phedi + Trek Pothana
Day 4 - Trek Landruk
Day 5 - Trek Gandruk
Option | Extra Day in Gandruk
Day 6 - Trek Tadapani
Day 7 - Trek Ghorepani
Day 8 - Trek Poon Hill. Trek Ulleri
Day 9 - Trek Naya Pul. Drive Pokhara
Day 10 - Pokhara
Day 11 - Fly Kathmandu
Day 12 - Depart

Chitwan Wildlife Safari Extension
Day 11 - Drive Chitwan. Afternoon Wildlife Safari
Day 12 - Chitwan Wildlife Safari
Day 13 - Chitwan Morning Wildlife Safari. Fly Kathmandu
Day 14 - Depart

Add Ons | Per Person
+ Kathmandu World Heritage Sightseeing Tour | Pashupatinath, Boudhanath + Swayambunath (+$75)
+ Kathmandu Durbar Square Walking Tour | Durbar Square (+$50)
+ Bhaktapur Heritage Sightseeing Tour (+$100)
+ Patan Heritage Sightseeing Tour (+$50)
+ Extra Day Chitwan (+$125)
+ Everest Sightseeing Flight (+$250)
+ Everest Sightseeing Helicopter Tour (+ $Inquire)
+ Shivapuri Heights Cottage (+ $Inquire)
+ Cycling Trip in Kathmandu Valley (+Trip Price)

Chitwan National Park | Maruni Sanctuary Lodge
Chitwan + Tharu Villages Wildlife Safari
+ Upgrade to Tharu Lodge Chitwan (+$300 Per Room)

Nepal Modules
Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip!

Highlights+Reviews

Trip Advisor Reviews

Client Comments
Thank you for everything you did to make our anniversary trip special. From the extras at our hotel rooms to the amazing quality, warmth and hospitality of every person who works with you – we were blown away by the trip you planned. We loved meeting you, Lhakpa, Doma and all the guides, drivers and porters who created such a hassle-free and seamless environment for us to explore beautiful Nepal.  Thank you so much – you created a truly life changing and unforgettable trip for us.
 - Kim + Bob (USA), Private Amazing Nepal Trek 2016 (Honeymoon Trip)

Kim arranged a solo trek for me at very short notice in November 2013 - and did it even whilst most of them were leading another trek in Mustang! They made the complex easy. From a wonderful guide to helping me arrange evacuation when I got sick, I was always in knowledeable, kind, efficient hands. I recommend Kamzang Journeys without reservation and I'll be using them when I return to Nepal in September 2014!
- Nick A (UK), Private Everest Trek 2013

Tsering Sherpa is marvelous, extremely responsible, serious, devoted, very thoughtful, discreet and very pleasant to trek with. He is very helpful, well travelled, speaks good English, is well-mannered and has a good experience as a mountaineer and a climber.  He is very powerful, strong and quick, and smiles a lot! He seems to know everybody on the trail, is active in his community and is respected by other Sherpas. On trek he was a good counsellor on food, and of course respectful of tradition and of the Tibetan Buddhist faith. With him we felt very secure as he knows the trail and all the short cuts.
- Nan & Odette (France), Private Everest Base Camp Trek 2014

Viney was my private guide to trek to Everest base camp in October 2013.  I felt very secure with him the entire time.  He was always attentive to my wellbeing from the time we started in x (kim pls fill in) where we ended up slogging through rainfall and mud due to the cyclone left over from India, all the way through to the end of our trip in Lukla.  I could count on him without a doubt every day of the entire 3 weeks we spent together.  Thanks to Viney for an excellent trek!
- Lori C (USA), Private Everest High Passes Trek 2014

Last May I spent almost three weeks hiking with Mingma in the Khumbu region of Nepal and we explored the Gokyo lakes, Gokyo valley and we climbed Gokyo Ri. Mingma is an experienced mountain-guide, knows all the summits in the region, the Sherpas and routes.  He is responsive of the challenges, strong and kind, but he is very calm in case of difficult situations. While we walked together, he was attentive and he always tried to accommodate my phyisical condition and my spiritual eagerness. We spent wonderful time together and I immensely enjoyed every moment of the trek. I am planning to walk with him again in 2015!
 - Kati K (Hungary), Private Gokyo Lakes Trek 2014

Tashi was the perfect guide for me. I was going solo, and looking mostly for solitude; Tashi's temperament was the perfect match for mine. When he had something to say, it seemed eerily to come right when I was about to ask him a question about the very thing he started to speak about! He has a real passion for the natural world he lives in and for the Sherpa people and their traditions, too. I ended up falling ill with something and here again Tashi was the perfect guide - helpful but not smothering or overly-solicitous. I will be back, and with my family and I'm certain to request that Tashi accompanies us when we return.
- Nick A-H (UK), Private Everest Base Camp Trek 2013

Thanks for looking after my friends Ian & Adam so well! They were really pleased and very impressed with the arrangements made by Kamzang Journeys and particularly pleased with the guide, Karma, who did a wonderful job of looking after them on their trek. Everything went to their satisfaction and it exceeded their expectations. He's now got a taste of Nepal and thinking about doing another trek there sometime!
 - Viv D, friend of Paul & Patrick, Private Annapurna Peaks & Villages, Helambu Trek 2014

I have traveled the world and I have never been as cared for as I was in my trek in Nepal.  Karma was beyond attentive and professional. He has become family. The very best of Nepal and mankind can be found in this young man.
 - Dave M, Annapurna Peaks & Villages 2013

Client Highlights
Travelers' Comments

Trip Highlights

  • Kathmandu World Heritage Sites
  • Lower Annapurnas Trek
  • Spectacular Himalayan Panoramas + Traditional Villages
  • Chitwan National Park + Wildlife Safaris
  • Pokhara + Phewa Lake
  • Opportunities for Spa + Massage
  • Optional Everest Sightseeing Flight

Kim Bannister Photo Gallery | Trip + Trek Photos
Kim Bannister Photography

Kamzang Journeys | Country + Regional Photos
Kamzang Journeys Photos

Kamzang Journeys Group Photos
Group Photos

Himalayan Photos
Himalayan Wildlife Photos

Himalayan Bird Photos

Himalayan Flower Photos

Market + Street Food Photos
Asian Markets + Street Food

Travel Reading | Enhance Your Trip!
Travel Books

Date+Price

Dates
Custom Departures
12 Days

+ Chitwan Wildlife Safari
14 Days

Chitwan National Park | Maruni Sanctuary Lodge
Chitwan + Tharu Villages Wildlife Safari

Traditional Trek Price - $1880
(Kathmandu Guest House, Lake View Resort)
+ Hotel Single Supplement $250
+ Chitwan Wildlife Safari - $550

Boutique Trek Price - $2080
(Kantipur Temple House, Shangri La Village Pokhara)
+ Hotel Single Supplement - $600
+ Chitwan Wildlife Safari - $550

Super Luxury Trek Price - $2880
(Dwarika's Heritage Deluxe Rooms, Temple Tree Resort + Spa)
+ Hotel Single Supplement - $800
+ Chitwan Wildlife Safari - $550

Chitwan Options
Chitwan National Park Wildlife Safari & Tharu Villages

Other Options
+ Super Deluxe Room Dwarika's (+$1050 Single +$600 Double Per Person)
+ Upgrade Temple Tree Resort + Spa in Pokhara (+$95 Single +$65 Double Per Person)
+ Extra Trek Day Gandruk (+105)
+ Extra Day Chitwan (+$125 Single +$100 Double Per Person)
+ Paragliding in Pokhara (+Inquire)
+ Everest Sightseeing Flight (including transport to + from airport) (+$250 PP)
+ Extension Shivapuri Heights Cottage (+$75 - $150 depending on room + season Per Room)
+ Cycling Trip in Kathmandu Valley (+Inquire)

Includes

  • Kathmandu Guest House, Kantipur Temple House or Dwarika's in Kathmandu
  • Lake View Resort, Shangri La Resort or Temple Tree Resort in Pokhara
  • Domestic Flights on Yeti Airlines
  • Departure tax
  • Airport pick-ups & drops
  • ACAP permit
  • TIMS card
  • Private car to Chitwan
  • Kamzang Lodge Trekking: All meals from lodge menu, herbal teas and French press coffee, double rooms at lodges, small medical kit, porters & Nepali guide

Excludes

  • International flights
  • Travel or travel medical insurance
  • Nepal visa
  • Meals in Kathmandu (while not on trek)
  • Helicopter rescue cost
  • Equipment rental
  • Alcohol & soft drinks
  • Showers & hot water bottles
  • Laundry
  • Tipping & other items of a personal nature

Tips & Extra Cash
Allow approx $200 for meals (while not on trek), shopping & drinks (on trek). We recommend $100-$150 per trekker divided between the staff for tips.

Inquire for extra nights at other hotels which have seasonal rates & specials.

Contact+Details

Trekker's Comments
Travel Books

Kamzang Journeys Contact
Kim Bannister
kim@kamzang.com
Mobile: +(977) 9803414745
On-Trek Satellite Phone: +88216 21277980 (Nepal)
On-Trek Satellite Phone: +88216 21274092 (Tibet & India)

Kathmandu Contact
Khumbu Adventures
hiking.guide@gmail.com
Lhakpa Dorji Sherpa Mobile: +(977) 9841 235461, 9813 371542
Doma Sherpa Mobile: +(977) 9841 510833, 9803 675361

Follow Us on Facebook
Kamzang Journeys Facebook

Arrival Hotels
Kathmandu Guest House
Kantipur Temple House
Shangri La
Yak & Yeti

Dwarika's

Kathmandu Guest House Single or Double Upgrades | 2 Nights
Garden Single - $50
Deluxe Single or Double - $200

Kathmandu Guest House Single or Double Upgrades | 3 Nights
Garden Single - $75
Deluxe Single or Double - $300

Kathmandu Guest House Single Upgrades | 4 Nights
Garden Single - $150
Deluxe Single - $425

Kathmandu Guest House Extra Nights
Includes breakfast + 25% taxes
Book with Kamzang Journeys + save on room rates

Kathmandu Guest House | Room Prices
Standard Single - $80
Standard Double - $100
Garden Single - $120
Garden Double - $140
Deluxe Single - $200
Deluxe Double - $220

Kamzang Journeys | Room Prices
Standard Single - $55
Standard Double - $75
Garden Single - $80
Garden Double - $100
Deluxe Single - $160
Deluxe Double - $180

Extra Days in Kathmandu | Customize your Journey!
We have plenty of great suggestions for extra days, or weeks, in Nepal! See our Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip! to put together the perfect journey.

Mountain biking, rafting, vespa tours or yoga retreats around the Kathmandu valley or Pokhara, trips to Bhaktapur or Patan (Kathmandu Valley's other historic capital cities), a visit to the Newari temple of Changu Narayan and a night at the Fort Hotel in Nagarkot for sublime Himalayan panoramas, an Everest sightseeing flight, a luxurious stay at Temple Tree Resort & Spa, paragliding, hiking or zip-lining in Pokhara, a spa & wellness getaway at Dwarikas Resort in Dhulikhel, a relaxing excursion to Chitwan National Park Wildlife Safari & Tharu Villages (staying at Maruni Sanctuary Lodge) or Bardia National Park, a weekend of adventure, sauna and pampering at The Last Resort or five-star treatment in historic Dwarika's in Kathmandu.

Kamzang Journeys can customize any of these excursions for you, just inquire!

Kathmandu
Kathmandu Happenings

Photo Gallery | Trip + Trek Photos
Kim Bannister Photography

Visas
You can get your Nepal visa either at the airport (or any land border) when you arrive in Nepal, or before you leave home.
Nepal Visa

Health Information
Nepal Health Information
CDC

We also recommend bringing probiotics with you to help prevent infections while on trek. Doctor's recommendation!

Travel Medical Insurance
Required for your own safely. We carry a copy of your insurance with all contact, personal and policy information with us on the trek and our office in Kathmandu keeps a copy. Note that we almost always trek over 4000 meters (13,000+ feet) and that we don't do any technical climbing with ropes, ice axes or crampons.

Global Rescue
We recommend that our trekkers also sign up for Global Rescue, which is rescue services only, as a supplement to your travel medical insurance.
Book package through Wicis-Sports via Carlota Fenes (carlota@wicis-media.com)

Wicis-Sports Wearable Tech | Sports Package
Live personal heath stats via a wearable chest strap heart rate monitor.
Track your vitals (heart rate, temperature, oxygen saturation), the weather, GPS locations, altitude, speed, bearing and stream LIVE via a Thuraya satellite hot spot. Partners: OCENS (weather), Global Rescue, Aspect Solar.

"Thuraya Telecom + WiCis Sports offer connectivity to Himalayan treks + expeditions"

"Founded in 2011 by Harvard and Stanford anesthesiologist Dr. Leo Montejo and located in the Lake Tahoe area, the company’s goal is to promote the use of mHealth and tracking devices to make adventure sports safer and engage their followers with real time data that is either private or also available to social medial platforms."

Book package through Wicis-Sports via Carlota Fenes (carlota@wicis-media.com)

Medical
Please bring a supply of all personal medications, have a doctor's check-up before leaving home, and inform us of any medical issues. This is for YOUR OWN safety. DO bring all prescription medications and good rehydration/electrolytes. We advise bringing your own Diamox, Ciprofloxin, Azithromyacin & Augmentin. Your guide will also have a basic medical kit with him with Indian-made drugs.

Notes on Itinerary
Although we try to follow the itinerary below, it is ONLY a guideline based on years of experience trekking in the Himalaya. At times local trail, river or weather conditions may make a deviation necessary; rivers may be impassible, snow blocks passes, and landslides wipe out trails. The trekking itinerary and campsites may also vary slightly depending on the group's acclimatization rate or sickness.

The Himalaya are our passion, and we take trekking seriously. Although everyone is here on vacation, please come with a dollop of patience and compassion added to your sense of adventure ...

Arrival Kathmandu

Arrival
You will be met at the airport by your hotel representative or our Kamzang Journeys driver. Look for a sign with your name on it AND the Kathmandu Guest House sign. You will be driven to the Kathmandu Guest House (or the hotel of your choice) where your rooms have been booked for you. Someone from Khumbu Adventures, or Kim if she is in Kathamandu, will meet you at the Kathmandu Guest House to go over details and get you settled into Kathmandu.

Arrival Hotels
Kathmandu Guest House
Kantipur Temple House
Shangri La
Yak & Yeti

Dwarika's

Visas
You can get your Nepal visa either at the airport (or any land border) when you arrive in Nepal, or before you leave home.
Nepal Visa

Temperatures + Clothing
Kathmandu during trekking season, in the spring and autumn, is usually warm (t-shirt, sandals, light pants or skirts) during the day, and gets chilly (light fleece or windproof top) in the afternoon. Nights can be cold enough for a sweater or light jacket, or warm enough for t-shirts. Summer is hotter and wetter; you’ll need a rain jacket and umbrella. The winter months (November – March) are chilly in the mornings and evenings, cold enough that you might start the day in a down jacket, but often warms up enough to wear a t-shirt by mid-day. Nights get cold enough for a down jacket if you’re sitting outside in the spring and autumn, and much colder in the winter when you won’t leave the hotel without your down jacket. It never snows in Kathmandu, leave your snow boots behind. Keens or lightweight sandals great for wandering around Kathmandu, and for trekking in lower altitudes.

Trekking is a mixed bag of temperatures. LAYERS are the key as hot can change quickly to freezing crossing the passes and snowfalls are common. We often have some rain below 3000 meters in the spring and early autumn, and it can rain hard in the summer. Have a wide range of layer-able trekking clothes for summer to winter temperatures. Keep a lightweight down jacket or synthetic jacket with you at all times, available inexpensively in Kathmandu. A lightweight rain poncho and umbrella for trekking recommended spring and summer. Be prepared! See our GEAR LIST for full details on gear, shoes, clothing, electronics and meds for the trek.

There are lots of real gear shops (North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, Sherpa Gear) and of course many fake ones in Kathmandu, so if you don't think you have the right gear starting the trip it will be easy to pick-up stuff once in Kathmandu. We have sleeping bags, duffel bags down jackets to rent.

Dress conservatively in Kathmandu and on the trail as a rule. Shorts are okay if they aren't too short, mini skirts aren’t recommended. Sleeveless t-shirts are absolutely fine, but perhaps avoid tank-tops on the trail. Super tight doesn't go over so well with the village elders. Many of the younger generation in Nepal wear modern Indian or Western-influenced clothes, but remember that you haven't signed up for a beach or surf vacation. Use your good judgment, be an ambassador for western tourists! Please ask Kim or your guide if unsure about appropriate clothing.

Duffel Bags
We have North Face style duffel bags with Kamzang Journeys logos for sale (XL, orange). They are (mostly) waterproof, mid to lightweight (lighter than North Face) and good quality. Price 4000 NRP ($40)

Cultural Issues
Nepalis are very open and welcoming, but there are a few issues you should be aware of to make your stay in Nepal more fulfilling. Use your right hand to pass things, shake hands or do most anything. Left hands are somewhat taboo. Nepali's often place their left hand on the right forearm when passing things to others, a sign of respect. Best not to pat kids on heads, or point feet ahead of you at monasteries. Don't walk over someone's legs or feet, but put your hand down in front of you to signal them to pull their legs to the side. Take off shoes and hats when going into Buddhist monasteries and Hindu temples, don't use flashes inside monasteries or temples in general, be respectful of a puja (prayer ceremony) if attending one. You can talk, all religious are very tolerant, but be aware of your level of voice.

Nepalis don't anger quickly, so try not to raise your voice if exasperated or angry as it only will make a situation worse. Do bargain at shops, with taxis and rickshaws, but don't fleece them. They are poor and making a living, generally.

Give small donations on the streets if you choose, but try not to encourage begging too much. Be aware of who you are giving money to, and please only give small amounts. If you do want to donate to a cause, ask about our Kamzang Fund or other responsible organizations.

Pampering Yourself in Kathmandu
We’re happy to book your rooms before or after the trek (or upgrade during the trek) at other boutique or luxury hotels in Kathmandu. We recommend Dwarika’s, Shangri-La, Yak & Yeti or Hyatt. We can also direct you to wonderful spa & massage centers in Kathmandu.

Tips for Staff
We recommend at least $200 per person to go into the tip pool for the staff. Please bring Nepali Rupees (NRP) with you on the trek for the tips. It’s nice to buy the staff drinks on the last night. Or any other night that you feel like getting them a bottle of Kukure Rum!

Tips in General
Tips are always appreciated but they don’t need to be extravagant. 100 NRP to carry bags to/from your room is fine. The women who clean your room will be happy with 100-200 NRP when you leave, and 100 NRP is good for drivers to/from the airport. Round up taxi fares. A larger tip would be expected for a daytrip in a car, perhaps 500 NRP. 10% is included in most restaurant and hotel bills in Nepal, and if it’s not included it’s still expected. Check your bills, and still round up at restaurants. Feel free to give out small change to the beggars in the streets (5, 10, 20 NRP) but try not to give it out to the street kids who use it for glue to sniff.

Cash + ATMs
You’ll want some cash with you on the trek for drinks, snacks, beer, sodas, etc. There are often  chances to during the trek, and usually local crafts to buy en route. (You’ll want your tip money in NRP as well). There are ATMs in KTM but they don’t dispense large amounts of cash (usually 10-20,000 NRP) so you’ll be best with currency or TCs to change.

International Medical Center Kathmandu
CIWEC

Kathmandu + Kathmandu Valley Information
Our personalized 'Insider' list of things to do, places to go, what to visit, the most happening restaurants + the best hotels in Kathmandu and the beautiful Kathmandu Valley.
Happenings in Kathmandu

Gear

Travel Photography Gear Guide
The Complete Guide to Gear for the Landscape Photographer

Gear List
This is a guideline, not a bible, for the gear you will need on the trek. Ask if you have questions! One 15 kg (33 lbs) maximum weight limit for the duffel bag.

  • Duffel Bag
  • Day Pack (25-35 L) + Rain Cover
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Down Jacket
  • Hiking Shoes
  • Crocs (Evenings)
  • Trekking Pants (1)
  • T-Shirts (2)
  • Long-sleeve Trekking Shirt (1)
  • Microfiber | Synthetic Jacket (1)
  • Lightweight Wind + Rain Jacket + Pants
  • Thermal Top + Botton (Evenings)
  • Socks (2)
  • Light Gloves + Hat
  • Baseball Cap or Wide-brimmed Hat
  • Small Camp Towel
  • Trekking Poles (optional, recommended for steps)
  • Sunglasses
  • Water Bottles (2)
  • Umbrella (optional)
  • Toiletries, Sunscreen + Lip Balm SPF
  • Camera Batteries + Battery Chargers
  • Head Lamp
  • Water Purifying Tablets, Small Water Filter or SteriPen (optional)
  • Laundry Detergent or Bio-degradable Clothes Soap (optional)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Small Solar Panel (optional, recommended for iPods, iPhones, Kindles)
  • Book
  • Zip-Lock Plastic Bags (for packing)
  • Soft Toilet Paper | Tissues (we supply toilet paper but it's rough)
  • Baby-Wipes | Wet-Wipes (for personal cleaning)
  • Handi-Wipes, J-Cloth or Chux (optional, easy for a quick daytime clean)
  • Snacks
  • Rehydration | Electrolytes
  • Personal Medical Supplies

Medical Supplies
We strongly suggest bringing Western meds with you as there are a lot of Indian fakes on the market!

Suggested: Diamox, Azithromyacin, Ciprofloxacin, Tinidazole or Flagyl & Augmentin. Bring COMPEED for covering blisters & good tasting electrolytes &/or rehydration salts (Emergen-C is a good American brand). The local versions aren’t very appealing.

We also recommend bringing strong knee & ankle supports & braces, ACE bandages for sprains & strains, Tegaderm &/or other would coverings. Duct tape is always useful. We're happy to take excess medical supplies off your hands when you leave if you won't need them and pass them on to others. We use lots of the large amount we have with us to treat locals we meet when trekking.

Comments on Gear
Layers are essential for trekking. Quality is more important than quantity. It’s worth investing in some new, warm, lightweight gear available in all gear shops or online. Nights are chilly to cold so a down jacket and sleeping bag are essential. Days range from steamy hot to cold with snow showers, or wind, if the weather changes. We recommend a down bag of 0F for lower altitude treks. Rentals available.

Trekking poles are not required but strongly recommended, especially for going down passes which can be quite steep and are often icy. Bring gators if you tend to use them but they’re not required if you don't own a pair. Micro-spikes (mini-crampons) or YakTraks are almost always useful (or essential) for high pass crossings. It’s also good (possibly essential) to have a pair of plastic Crocs for washing and the evenings. Tevas take a long time to dry, not recommended. You can bring a pair of light sneakers or running shoes for the afternoons or easy days if you have room in your pack, or if you are used to hiking in them.

Good, polarized sunglasses are essential; please bring an extra pair if you tend to lose them! Don’t forget a sun hat or baseball cap and have plenty of sunscreen and lip balm with SPF! Bring extra large plastic bags or stuff-sacks in case of rain. You can pack electronics in them or stash your sleeping bag and clothes. The weather is very changeable in the Himalaya!

Day Pack
We recommend a 25-35 liter day pack (ask at your gear shop if you’re not sure of the capacity). Most have internal water bladders built in, which are good for ensuring that you stay hydrated. Make sure it fits and is comfortable before purchasing!

In your day pack you will carry your camera, water, snacks, lightweight wind & rain pants, hat, light gloves, sunscreen, electrolytes. hand sanitizer, a pack-cover and sometimes your lightweight down jacket. I carry my Crocs to give feet a break mid-day. Water purifying tablets, filter or SteriPen optional. Go as light as possible with your day pack.

Water
We bring MSF water filters along on the trek for fresh drinking water, ecologically the best way to get water in the Himalaya’s fragile trekking regions. Bring your own filter pump, SteriPen or iodine tablets for fresh water while trekking. NOTE: To be extra safe with your drinking water, you can drop one purifying tablet into your water bottle after filling with our filtered water. Make sure you wait the required amount of time before drinking, and don’t add anything with Vitamin C as this negates the iodine.

Please bring at least TWO Nalgene, Sigg or other unbreakable plastic or metal water bottles. Camelbacks and other bladder systems are good for trekking but can leak, so as a back-up it’s best to also bring a Nalgene or water bottle.

NOTE: We do not provide boiled water for drinking on either our tea-house | lodge or camping treks although there is endless hot water for herbal, milk and green teas, hot chocolate and hot lemon.

Snacks
You body needs snacks hiking at altitude, even if you don't generally snack between meals. We burn more calories at altitude, as well as in the cold, and you will crave certain foods at altitude. Energy or nutrition bars, ‘GU’ gels, chocolate, dried fruits, nuts and jerky work well for immediate energy. Emergen-C, Nuun and electrolytes are important for daily rehydration.

Rentals
We have Western down jackets to rent for $1.50 per day.  We also have good super-down sleeping bags to rent (0 to -10F) for $2.50 per day.

Duffel Bags
We have orange North Face-style duffel bags with Kamzang logos for sale, between L + XL. (+$40)

Packing & Storage
Packing and unpacking is easy from a duffel bag, and easy for a porter to carry.Inexpensive duffel bags are also available in Kathmandu. You can store extra gear in Kathmandu in your hotel's storage room free of charge. You can drop a bag for Pokhara at the hotel before setting off for the trek.

Shopping
Almost all gear is now available in Kathmandu, from real (North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Sherpa Gear, Marmot - all in Thamel) to inexpensive knock-offs. The real gear shops take credit cards!

Chitwan

Royal Chitwan National Park

History
Royal Chitwan National Park has long been one of the country’s treasures of natural wonders. The park is situated in south central Nepal, covering 932 square kilometers in the subtropical lowlands of the inner Terai. The area comprising the Tikauli forest, from Rapti river to the foothills of the Mahabharat, extends for an area of 175 square kilometers and was declared Mahendra Mriga Kunj (Mahendra Deer Park) by the late King Mahendra in 1959. In 1963, the area south of Rapti River was demarcated as a rhinoceros sanctuary. The area was gazetted as the country’s first national park in 1973. Recognizing its unique ecosystems of international significance, UNESCO declared RCNP a World Heritage Site in 1984. In 1996, an area of 750 square kilometers surrounding the park was declared a buffer zone which consists of forests and private lands. The park and the local people jointly initiate community development activities and manage natural resources in the buffer zone. The government has made a provision of plowing back 30-50 percent of the park revenue for community development in the buffer zone.

Features
The Chitwan valley consists of tropical and subtropical forests. Sal forests cover 70 percent of the park. Sal leaves are used locally for plates in festivals and religious offerings. Grasslands cover 20 percent of the park. There are more than 50 different types of grasses, including the elephant grass (Saccharum spp.), renowned for its immense height, growing up to 8 meters in height. The shorter grasses (imperata) are used for roof thatching as well as mats, rope and paper making.

A total of 68 species of mammals, 56 species of herpeto fauna and 126 species of fish have been recorded in the park. The park is especially renowned for its protection of one-horned rhinoceros, gaur, royal Bengal tiger, wild elephant, four-horned antelope, pangolin, gangetic dolphin, gharial crocodile, golden monitor lizard and python. The park harbors not only the world’s largest terrestrial mammal (wild elephant) but also the world’s smallest terrestrial mammal (pygmy shrew). A total of 544 species of birds has been recorded so far including 22 globally threatened species including critically endangered Bengal florican, slender-billed vulture, white rumped vulture and red headed vulture.

The park houses a diversity of ecosystems, including the Churia hills, ox-bow lakes, and the flood plains of the Rapti, Reu and Narayani Rivers. The Churia hills rise slowly towards the east from 150 meters to more than 800 meters. The western portion of the park is comprised of the lower but more rugged Someshwor hills. The park shares its eastern boundary with the Parsa Wildlife Reserve.

Tharus are the main indigenous ethnic groups in Chitwan. They are well known for their resistance to malaria. Traditionally they are farmers and practice their own unique tribal culture. A stroll or a ride through the Tharu village will provide an opportunity to see their traditional farming and relics. Traditional Tharu stick dance gives an insight into their culture

Climate
Conditions are subtropical with a summer monsoon from mid-June to late-September, and a relatively dry winter. Mean annual rainfall is 2400mm with about 90% falling in the monsoon from June to September. Monsoon rains cause dramatic floods and changes in the character and courses of rivers. Temperatures are highest (maximum 38°C) during this season and drop to a minimum of 6°C in the post-monsoon period (October to January), when dry northerly winds from the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau are prevalent.

Trip Photos
Chitwan National Park

Annapurnas

Annapurna Foothills Trek
The beautiful Lower Annapurnas (Annapurna foothills) trek starts just 25 kilometers north of Pohara, and is often referred to as the Poon Hill trek because of the incredible sunrise Himalayan panoramas from this viewpoint above Ghorepani. Macchapuchare (Fish Tail Peak) is the most renown mountain in this region, an unmistakable peak which rises above the clouds. Views from Poon Hill are awe inspiring, and include the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges: Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Annapurna II, III, + IV, Dhaulagiri, Lamjung Himal, Gangapurna and Manaslu!

Our Annapurna Peaks & Villages Trek features terraced slopes, green rice paddies, rhododendron forests, local cultures and traditional Gurung and Magar villages, Ghorepani and Gandruk being two of the largest Gurung villages in the Annapurna region. It's a wonderful, shorter low altitude trek in the lower Annapurna region is the perfect introduction to the diversity and excitement of trekking in Nepal. We start the Nepal trek in steamy Hindu villages, where water buffaloes wallow in the rivers, colorful, sari-clad women sit and weave by thatched huts, and villagers perform ancient rituals to appease their local deities. The sub-tropical forests come alive with an immense variety of bird life, waterfalls thunder down from steep cliff sides and monkeys chatter from the tree-tops.

Trekking higher into the green, terraced hills we wander through ancient, mossy rhododendron forests to reach the cooler Buddhist and animistic middle hills, where chortens and prayer flags send prayers out to the gods and the Gurung and Magar inhabitants look more Tibetan than Nepali. Terraced fields and tropical fruit trees surround the neat, white-washed Gurung villages of the higher regions, leading the eye to vistas dominated by some of the Himalaya's most majestic peaks. The Annapurna region is truly the heart of the Nepal Himalaya.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu 1340m
You'll be met at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) airport in Kathmandu by Khumbu Adventures or a representative from your hotel who will have a sign with your name on it. Transfer to your hotel where your rooms have been booked for you.

The Kathmandu Guest House and Kantipur Temple Home are located in the hub of Thamel, a myriad of banners, signs, music shops, bakeries, cafes, restaurants, bars, hotels and shops of all imaginable varieties. Dwarika's is an oasis of calm near the airport. Relax by the pool, visit the spa and enjoy the historic and serene surroundings, dining at one of their world-class restaurants. Yak & Yeti is just off Durbar Marg, a tree-lined, upscale road of shops and hotels. Shangri La is in Lazimpat, just a few kilometers outside Thamel and features a lovely garden and outdoors cafe.

We'll need your travel medical insurance, a copy of your passport and Nepali visa and one (or more) visa-sized photo, so have them ready to give to your guide.

Day 2 - Kathmandu
Enjoy a free day to explore Kathmandu's many World Heritage sites, to decompress at your hotel or the spa, to head out shopping or to embark on a tour of the Kathmandu and the beautiful Kathmandu valley, surrounded by Himalayan snow-peaks.

Kathmandu | Optional World Heritage Sightseeing
Kathmandu is filled with World Heritage sites and sacred destinations, crowded with traditional neighborhoods and colorful festivals. Spend a few days exploring Nepal's exotic capital and the history-laden Kathmandu valley. We can arrange sightseeing guide, vehicles and guides as required. See Kathmandu Heritage + Happenings for more details.

We recommend beginning with Pashupatinath in the early morning, and moving on to Boudhanath mid-morning. Hindu Pashupatinath on the sacred Bagmati river and its sacred temple complex is one of Nepal's most important sites, a powerful cremation site and Nepal's most important Hindu temple. Here, monkeys run up and down the steps of the burning ghats, and trident-bearing saddhus draped in burnt-orange and saffron sit serenely meditating, when they’re not posing for photos-for-rupees. Local guides can explain the significance of the complicated ceremonies. Please be respectful when taking photos.

Boudhanath, in the midst of traditional monasteries (gompas) and hung with long strings of multi-colored prayer flags, attracts Sherpas, Tibetans and tourists alike for daily circumambulations (koras) of the iconic stupa. The striking Buddha eyes of Boudhanath Stupa watch over a lively and colorful Tibetan community and attract pilgrims from all over the Himalayan Buddhist realm. There are wonderful spots for lunch at Boudhanath (Roadhouse Cafe has wood-oven pizzas and a breathtaking view of the stupa and colorful Nepals circling it), and it's a good place to learn the technique of thanka painting and purchase a thanka (Buddhist mural). See also Bhaktapur for more options for shopping for thankas.

Wander through the many temples, pagodas, courtyards and the museum at Kathmandu Durbar Square, a timeless gathering spot and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Kathmandu Durbar Square, including the old royal palace, is Kathmandu's 'Palace Square', a showcase for the world renown artisans and craftsmen of Kathmandu and a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist palaces, temples, stupas and statues. The Malla and Shah kings ruled over the Kathmandu Valley during the centuries of the building of the layers of this Durbar Square. Along with their opulent palaces, the square surrounds numerous courtyards and temples, all works of art with intricate and often erotic carvings. Kathmandu Durbar Square is known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, a name derived from a statue of Hanuman, the monkey devotee of Lord Ram, at the entrance of the palace. The social, religious and urban focal point of the city, Durbar Square is often the site of festivals, marriages and other ceremonies such as Teej. Some important structures are Hanuman Dhoka Palace, Kumari Ghar (Abode of the Living Goddess), Taleju Temple, built between the 12th and 18th centuries, the 17th century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace with writings in 15 languages.

In the evening (take the interesting back streets from Durbar Square) climb the many steps to the gilded Swayambhunath stupa (known as the monkey temple) which rises from the Kathmandu valley floor at 1420 meters and is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal. . Swayambunath, the 'self created’  stupa, was founded over 2000 years ago at a time when the Kathmandu valley was filled by a large lake, with a single lotus in the center. Mythology says that Manjusri, a bodhisvatti, drained the lake with one cut of his sword and the lotus flower was transformed into the stupa. From its commanding views of Kathmandu, circumambulate Swayambunath's white-washed stupa, painted with distinctive Buddha eyes, the complex a unique synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism. Another interesting time to visit Swayambunath is in the mornings, when Nepalis visit the temple dedicated to the God of Smallpox to with colorful offerings for the goddess.

Stop to photograph reflections in Kathmandu's many pokhari's, or ponds, including the beautiful Rani Pokhari (queen's bath) near New Road, and the Naga Pokhari (pond of the snake gods of the underworld) just beyond the palace gates. The many bathing ghats, square enclosures with steps leading down to water spouts, often decorated with naga heads, are also interesting and colorful gathering spots.

+ Kathmandu World Heritage Sightseeing Tour | Pashupatinath, Boudhanath + Swayambunath (+$75)
+ Kathmandu Durbar Square Walking Tour | Durbar Square (+$50)
+ Entrance Fees not Included for Single Person

Day 3 - Fly Pokhara 830m. Drive Phedi - Kande. Trek Photana 1890m - Bichok Deurali 2130m
Transfer to the domestic airport for the scenic flight to semi-tropical Pokhara. Nepal's second largest 'city' is 198 kilometers west of Kathmandu; en route you will look down on rivers flowing towards the Terai from the Himalaya and Tibet, over terraced villages and green hills with the Ganesh, Langtang, Manaslu and Annapurna ranges in the distance, to balmy, sub-tropical Pokhara.

One in Pokhara a private vehicle will transfer you, with your guide and porter for the trek, to Phedi or Kande, from where you will start the trek into the wonderful, green central Annapurna region. You'll hike straight up stone steps through a dense forest first thing in the morning, afterwards contouring less steeply along paddy fields, past slate-roof houses and a few small tea-houses. About three hours later you will reach the picturesque Gurung village of Dhampus.

Continue to climb through lovely rhododendron forests and you soon reach the small hamlet of Pothana, a possible stopping point for the night. The views start to open up as we near the plateau of lower Deurali, with quaint, Himalayan villages opening up below us. Continuing on along a partially stone-paved trail, we soon reach Bhichok Deurali. You'll spend the night at the last lodge in the village, and feast on views of Annapurna South, Machhapuchhre (Fish Tail Peak) and Dhaulagiri in the evening. (3-4 hrs trek)

Day 4 - Trek Landruk 1590m
You'll wake to a misty morning of Himalayan peaks, with Machhapuchhre and Annapurna South rising majestically out of the shrouded valley, an awesome sight. You have a classic Himalayan day of trekking through green, textured fields along wonderful village-lined trails ahead of you. Leaving Deurali, descend through a forested slope on partially stone-slab steps and cross a small bridge after Bheri Kharka. A short ascent brings you to Tolka (1750m), a large, scenic Gurung village. The grassy trail lined with ferns and sub-tropical trees descends after the village, and after crossing a few small streams and contouring around terraced hillsides we reach the hill-side village of Landruk, painted in pastels and lined with fields ready to be planted. Landruk is a sprawling Gurung village, worth a bit of exploration through its narrow, slate alleys. You'll take rooms at a lodge for the night and admire the vivid colors at sunset over the Annapurna peaks. (4 hrs trek)

Day 5 - Trek Gandruk 1940m
Another wonderful day of trekking, starting with a gentle wander through the extensive village of Landruk, endlessly interesting. Watch the local Gurung women weaving with their wooden looms, drying vegetables to make a spicy 'achar', sorting lentils for dal or involved in the morning's washing at the village taps. Once through Landruk, we have a a steep descent through open forest and paddock land on a partially stone trail. Once down, we cross the Modi Khola on a steel bridge to Khumi (1350m), from where we start our steep climb to Gandruk, the last of it on stone steps. Take advantage of the 'chautara' or stone resting spots, along the way. The slope is steep and it's a long climb, but once up you'll be rewarded with a large and bustling Gurung village contouring around the expanse of terraced hillside. Gandruk is perhaps the largest and most prosperous village in the region, with two interesting museums, local restaurants featuring their unique Gurung cuisine and many guest houses. We stay at a lovely garden guest house and will hike up a bit along the cobbled steps for sunset views in the evening. Annapurna South and Hiunchuli dominate the horizon while the views of Macchupucchre have changed so that it looks more like its translation, a fish tail. Annapurna I and Gangapurna are just visible in the distance if the weather is clear.

Spend the afternoon exploring this fascinating and bustling Gurung village, a labyrinth of narrow alleyways, white-washed, slate-roofed houses with porches and traditionally-carved windows, water buffalos in thatched huts and open slate patios. If time permits you could hike up to the Hindu temple a ways above the village. There is lots to keep one busy in this picturesque village, and the villagers are friendly, always ready for a laugh or a chat. (3-4 hrs trek)

NOTE: Luxury treks will stay at the beautiful Himalayan Lodge in Gandruk (+$75 Per Person)

Option | Gandruk Extra Day
Spend an extra day in the beautiful Himalayan village of Gandruk if you have the time! This idyllic village deserves another full day to hike, wander the alleyways, photograph the incredible views, sample the trditional cuisine and chat with the welcoming locals. Enjoy a full day of spectacular mountain panoramas (Machhapuchhre, or Fish Tail peak), experiencing the unique Gurung culture and cuisine of Gandruk and visiting some of the local Hindu temples above the village. There is lots to keep one busy in this picturesque village, and the villagers are friendly, always ready for a laugh or a chat. Gandruk is perhaps largest and most prosperous village in the Annapurna foothills region, with two interesting museums, local restaurants featuring their unique Gurung cuisine and many guest houses. Wander through Gandruk’s stone paths, returning to the lodge for lunch, and enjoy a rosy Himalayan sunset in the late afternoon, pure heaven!

Day 6 - Trek Tadapani 2630m
Another balmy start as you head for Tadapani, the village which translates as 'far water'. Tadapani is perched on a plateau overlooking the peaks of the Annapurna region. To reach it we trek out of Gandruk for a few kilometers, cross the Kyunri Khola and climb to Baisi Kharka (kharka means 'grazing field' in Nepali, a commonly used word in the trekking world and baisi translates as 'buffalo') at 2470 meters. From here, trek through a lovely, open forest filled with chattering langur monkeys and birds, ascending all the while; a wonderful hike. Finally at Tadapani, your highest sleeping point yet, we relax with a cup of chai in hand as the clouds swirl around us, revealing breathtaking views of Machhapuchhre soaring above us. A sublime sight; the snow peaks in front of the lodge are Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Annapurna III, Machhapuchhre, Annapurna II, and Lamjung Himal, and much of your trek is visible in the valleys below. (3 1/2 hrs trek)

Day 7 - Trek Ghorepani 2920m
We have another steep and slightly longer day of trekking today, starting with an ascent through dense, damp forests, the tree-tops swaying under the weight of the langur monkeys. There are several clearings in the forest, many of them with local tea-houses offering basic fare. Soon we reach Banthanti (2650m), a hamlet of small thatched dwellings, buffalos and tea-houses. Crossing the small stream at the end of the settlement, our steep climb begins. Again, there are many chautaras en route, so take advantage of these to drink some water, have a rest and admire the views. The trail can be slippery if its muddy, so watch your step as you climb. Higher up, the trail crosses several small streams and by small huts until we finally reach the small settlement of Deurali (3050m), where Tibetans own the souvenir stalls. Finally, we have a well-deserved descent through a forest of birch, bamboo and rhododendron; about two kilometers more, contouring around green hillsides, and we reach Ghorepani, our destination for the day.

Ghorepani, which means 'horse water', is a busy trekking village with a real Himalayan ambiance. We'll get a room in the newer, upper section of the village and have a wander around town in the afternoon. There are bookshops and lots of local (or Kathmandu-made) souvenirs to buy, plenty to keep you busy for a few hours. Don't miss the sublime alpenglow on the Himalayan peaks in the evening, especially as at sunrise from Poon Hill in the morning the sun is behind many of the peaks. (6 hrs trek)

Day 8 - Trek Poon Hill 3210m. Trek Ulleri 1960m or Hile 1430m
You'll be up before sunrise for the spectacular panorama from Poon Hill, an hour's steep climb above Ghorepani. It's a popular spot, so you will share the views with other trekkers and their Nepali guides. Make sure your camera has full batteries; this is a once-in-a-lifetime Himalayan view dominated by Annapurna South (7219m), Annapurna I (8091m), Machhapuchhre (6993m), Hiunchuli (6441m) and Lamjung Himal (6931m) as well as the Ganesh Himal range, Dhaulagiri (8167m), Niligiri and Tukuche Peak (6920m). Don't leave the viewpoint to quickly as the mountains emerge into the deep blues of the morning sky later in the morning. Perhaps bring a pastry from one of the bakeries with you and relax with this breath-taking sight.

Heading down for breakfast back in Ghorepani, you'll later hike back down steep steps through a forest of rhododendron to tiny Nayathanti village, soon afterwards crossing a stream to reach the settlement of Banthanti. Now out of the forest, you hike through a bit of terraced village land to reach scenic Ulleri, where we stay at a lodge for the night. Ulleri is a Magar village with many lodges as it is a popular stop on the central Annapurna route. You may opt to continue further down the steep stone steps to Hile, another 1 1/2 to 2 hours away. (5 1/2-7 hrs trek)

Day 9 - Trek Naya Pul 1070m. Drive Pokhara
Our last day of trekking, and another steep descent down slate steps to Tikhedunga (1540m) and perhaps Hile, with beautiful vistas the entire way. Continuing down the contouring stone steps, you pass Sudame and then Matathanti before finally reaching Birethanti (1020m), at the confluence of the Modi Khola and the Bhurungdi Khola, where we will check out of the Annapurna Conservation Area. Less than half an hour away along a dirt-road is the bridge at Naya Pul ('new bridge' in Nepali), where you'll meet your private vehicle (or the guide will get a taxi) to take you back to the hotel in Pokhara. (2 1/2 hrs trek, 1 hr drive)

Day 10 - Pokhara
There is endless opportunity to spend extra time in Pokhara, so at least one day in this balmy town is a must. Options including a stroll part-way around Phewa Lake, paragliding or zip-lining from Sarankot, paddling on the lake, a morning hike up to Shanti Stupa via a short canoe trip or a day of shopping for the creative locally-produced crafts along Lakeside.

Inquire at reception to book any activities, including a massage or spa treatments!

Optional Chitwan Wildlife Safari | Chitwan National Park Wildlife Safari & Tharu Villages
+ NOTE: Kamzang Journeys doesn't encourage elephant safaris or elephant rids in Nepal National Parks.

Day 11 - Fly Kathmandu
After breakfast, board the morning flight back to Kathmandu (with options to take an afternoon flight or stay extra days in Pokhara). You have the afternoon in Kathmandu for shopping, some sun in the garden of the Kathmandu Guest House or your luxury or boutique hotel, shopping or perhaps a visit to Boudhanath for some 'koras' to give thanks for the safe journey in the mountains. This is also the extra day in case of cancelled flights out of Pokhara.

Option | Extra Days in Kathmandu
See our list of World Heritage sightseeing tours + more (below), and enjoy an extra few days in magical Kathmandu!

Day 12 - Trip Ends
Transfer to the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) for your flight home. Namaste!

Kathmandu Tours

Kathmandu | Bhaktapur  Sightseeing Tour
One more day in Kathmandu, with a sightseeing excursion by private vehicle to Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur which translates as 'Place of Devotees’ and is also known as Bhadgaon, is an ancient Newar city approximately 15 kilometers east of the Kathmandu Valley. Bhaktapur is one of three ancient capitals of the Kathmandu valley, the capital of the Newar Kingdom and a city of artisans and craftspeople famous for its art and architecture: intricate carvings, sculptures, paintings, thankas, pottery, statues and temples, or pagodas. Bhaktapur has a well-preserved ‘durbar square’, or palace square, and has been named a World Heritage site by UNESCO because of its incredible temples, pagodas, wood carvings, stone carvings and metalwork. Bhaktapur is also famous for its yogurt, called curd in Asia, a taste which hasn’t been duplicated anywhere.

Spend a full day exploring Bhaktapur and its rich cultural heritage, where a majority of enthnic Newaris live in traditional ways, and life seems to stand still. There are many great restaurants and cafes to rejuvenate, and it's possibly the best spot in Kathmandu for purchasing a thanka after watching the technique, as well as shopping for endless other locally produced crafts. Bhaktapur is home to countless local festivals, so if you are lucky and arrive on a festival day, enjoy the timeless and colorful events unfold.

+ Kathmandu World Heritage Sightseeing Tour | Bhaktapur (+$100)
+ Entrance Fees not Included for Single Person

Kathmandu | Patan Sightseeing Tour
Visit the third of Kathmandu's ancient capitals, known as 'The City of Fine Arts', best if you have an extra day in hand as Patan is also rich in cultural heritage, has many lovely roof-top cafes for lunch and world-class museums. Some of the highlights of Patan are its Durbar Square, the Krishna Temple within the palace complex of Patan (entirely made of stone, with 21 distinctive spires), and Hiranya Varna Mahavir, or the Golden Buddha Temple.

+ Kathmandu World Heritage Sightseeing Tour | Patan (+$50)
+ Entrance Fees not Included for Single Person

Kathmandu | World Heritage Sightseeing Tour
Kathmandu is filled with World Heritage sites and sacred destinations, crowded with traditional neighborhoods and colorful festivals. Spend a few days exploring Nepal's exotic capital and the history-laden Kathmandu valley. We can arrange sightseeing guide, vehicles and guides as required. See Kathmandu Heritage + Happenings for more details.

We recommend beginning with Pashupatinath in the early morning, and moving on to Boudhanath mid-morning. Hindu Pashupatinath on the sacred Bagmati river and its sacred temple complex is one of Nepal's most important sites, a powerful cremation site and Nepal's most important Hindu temple. Here, monkeys run up and down the steps of the burning ghats, and trident-bearing saddhus draped in burnt-orange and saffron sit serenely meditating, when they’re not posing for photos-for-rupees. Local guides can explain the significance of the complicated ceremonies. Please be respectful when taking photos.

Boudhanath, in the midst of traditional monasteries (gompas) and hung with long strings of multi-colored prayer flags, attracts Sherpas, Tibetans and tourists alike for daily circumambulations (koras) of the iconic stupa. The striking Buddha eyes of Boudhanath Stupa watch over a lively and colorful Tibetan community and attract pilgrims from all over the Himalayan Buddhist realm. There are wonderful spots for lunch at Boudhanath (Roadhouse Cafe has wood-oven pizzas and a breathtaking view of the stupa and colorful Nepals circling it), and it's a good place to learn the technique of thanka painting and purchase a thanka (Buddhist mural). See also Bhaktapur for more options for shopping for thankas.

Wander through the many temples, pagodas, courtyards and the museum at Kathmandu Durbar Square, a timeless gathering spot and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Kathmandu Durbar Square, including the old royal palace, is Kathmandu's 'Palace Square', a showcase for the world renown artisans and craftsmen of Kathmandu and a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist palaces, temples, stupas and statues. The Malla and Shah kings ruled over the Kathmandu Valley during the centuries of the building of the layers of this Durbar Square. Along with their opulent palaces, the square surrounds numerous courtyards and temples, all works of art with intricate and often erotic carvings. Kathmandu Durbar Square is known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, a name derived from a statue of Hanuman, the monkey devotee of Lord Ram, at the entrance of the palace. The social, religious and urban focal point of the city, Durbar Square is often the site of festivals, marriages and other ceremonies such as Teej. Some important structures are Hanuman Dhoka Palace, Kumari Ghar (Abode of the Living Goddess), Taleju Temple, built between the 12th and 18th centuries, the 17th century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace with writings in 15 languages.

In the evening (take the interesting back streets from Durbar Square) climb the many steps to the gilded Swayambhunath stupa (known as the monkey temple) which rises from the Kathmandu valley floor at 1420 meters and is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal. Swayambunath, the 'self created’  stupa, was founded over 2000 years ago at a time when the Kathmandu valley was filled by a large lake, with a single lotus in the center. Mythology says that Manjusri, a bodhisvatti, drained the lake with one cut of his sword and the lotus flower was transformed into the stupa. From its commanding views of Kathmandu, circumambulate Swayambunath's white-washed stupa, painted with distinctive Buddha eyes, the complex a unique synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism. Another interesting time to visit Swayambunath is in the mornings, when Nepalis visit the temple dedicated to the God of Smallpox to with colorful offerings for the goddess.

Stop to photograph reflections in Kathmandu's many pokhari's, or ponds, including the beautiful Rani Pokhari (queen's bath) near New Road, and the Naga Pokhari (pond of the snake gods of the underworld) just beyond the palace gates. The many bathing ghats, square enclosures with steps leading down to water spouts, often decorated with naga heads, are also interesting and colorful gathering spots.

+ Kathmandu World Heritage Sightseeing Tour | Pashupatinath, Boudhanath + Swayambunath (+$75)
+ Kathmandu Durbar Square Walking Tour | Durbar Square (+$50)
+ Entrance Fees not Included for Single Person

Everest Sightseeing Flight
An hour long extravaganza of the world's 8000 meter peaks, including airport transfers. (+$270)

Everest Sightseeing Helicopter Tour
Inquire for prices + options. Cost per helicopter.

Shivapuri Heights Cottages
A wonderful get away 20 km north of Kathmandu, Shivapuri Heights Cottages are stylishly designed and personal cottages built around a 'common house', where you can breakfast overlooking the stunningly beautiful Kathmandu valley. Massages available on request. (+$Inquire for Options)

Cycling Trip Kathmandu Valley
Many options for day trips, or extended trips, in the Kathmandu Valley. We can customize a cycling trip for you in partnership with one of our knowledgeable partners in Kathmandu. (+$Inquire for Option)

Extra Days in Kathmandu | Customize your Journey!
We have plenty of great suggestions for extra days, or weeks, in Nepal! See our Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip! to put together the perfect journey.

Mountain biking, rafting, vespa tours or yoga retreats around the Kathmandu valley or Pokhara, trips to Bhaktapur or Patan (Kathmandu Valley's other historic capital cities), a visit to the Newari temple of Changu Narayan and a night at the Fort Hotel in Nagarkot for sublime Himalayan panoramas, an Everest sightseeing flight, a luxurious stay at Temple Tree Resort & Spa, paragliding, hiking or zip-lining in Pokhara, a spa & wellness getaway at Dwarikas Resort in Dhulikhel, a relaxing excursion to Chitwan National Park Wildlife Safari & Tharu Villages (staying at Maruni Sanctuary Lodge) or Bardia National Park, a weekend of adventure, sauna and pampering at The Last Resort or five-star treatment in historic Dwarika's in Kathmandu.

Kamzang Journeys can customize any of these excursions for you, just inquire!

Namaste & Tashi Delek!

© Kim Bannister

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