Moderate trekking involves 5 – 6 hours a day walking at a steady pace below 4000 meters for around 10 days trekking trip.
The Annapurna Naar Phu Valley & Tilicho Lake Trek is an ideal for those trekkers who have time and appetite to venture into some of the less trodden remote regions of Nepal beyond the regular trekking routes. This tented camping trek offers the pictorial landscape of recently opened region of Nar and Phu valley, situated just north of popular Annapurna circuit route. The Nar Phu valley topography is trans Himalayan and similar to that of Tibet. Trails are still rugged that has changed little over the years. We spend few days in exploring this remote valley and cross the Kang La pass (5300m) on the way to Manang. Leaving famed Manang we head to Jomsom via the best-kept secret remote trekking route of Meso Kantu pass (5099m) and the world’s highest situated outstanding Tilicho Lake (5300m). This less trodden trail offer a more challenging and exciting alternative to the popular Thorong La pass on the Annapurna Circuit trekking route. We take mountain flight to Pokhara to savour our exhilarating journey to Nar Phu valley and Tilicho lake trip.
Langtang Ri trekking & expedition representative will greet you in an airport & transfer you to hotel, here you will be formally introduced to your Guide and the activities to be enjoyed over the next few days. We will also ask for your passport photographs and any other details required for your trek permits, at this stage.
After breakfast, we start an interesting tour around Kathmandu. Escorting by an English speaking guide (can be provide any language speaking guide on request) be, try to give them a full taste of our vivid culture image and an enchanting manner of its people. In our sightseeing tour we go to Monkey temple Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath and Kathmandu Durbar square.
Bouddhanath: Bouddhanath is a Buddhist religious complex with a history dating back over 500 years. Located on the eastern edge of Kathmandu it is now a site of great pilgrimage for Buddhist followers who circle its massive stupa, spin its many prayer wheels and visit its beautiful monastery. The main feature of Boudhanath is its huge hemispherical white stupa with central golden tower and the all-seeing eyes of the Buddha. Visitors should circle the stupa in a clockwise direction and spin prayer wheels for good fortune and a good life. Visitors may also enjoy visiting the Thangka painting school within the complex to see highly skilled artists at work on religious mandala paintings.
Pashupatinath: Hindu Temple is a very large and complex and focal point for the Hindu religion. This old and very revered complex of buildings and shrines is dedicated to the Lord Shiva, one of the main deities of Hinduism. While Lord Shiva has multiple forms he is often seen as the destroyer. This has great significance for the Pashupatinath temple as it is the site of many Hindi ritual cremations each day. Pashupatinath is considered by Hindus to be an auspicious site for passing from one stage of life to the next through the purifying and destroying flames of cremation. However, on a happier note, visitors may also get to see the temple in a buoyant festival mode with one of the many Hindu festivals celebrated here through the year.
Swayambhunath: You will first visit the Swayambhunath temple complex that sits atop a high hill overlooking Kathmandu and the entire Kathmandu Valley. Swayambhunath is perhaps the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site in Nepal. It consists of a very large white stupa with the all-seeing-eye of Lord Buddha plus many small stupa and beautifully carved stone shrines. This is a wonderful place to catch your breath and start to understand and appreciate the deep importance of Buddhist belief to the people of Nepal and the Himalaya region. Make sure you ring the many bells to awaken the gods and let them know you are in Nepal. Take the time to enjoy the view over Kathmandu and have your guide point the many other highlights of the city. In the far distance to the east you may also be able to see the hills of Nagarkot where your hotel for tonight is located. If you feel energetic you might also like to try some or all of the 350 steps that lead all the way from Kathmandu city up to your Swayambhunath temple vantage point.
Kathmandu Durbar Square: The next stop today is the beautiful Kathmandu Durbar Square, or the royal palace square of the ancient Malla kings of the Kathmandu Valley. This square and all its architectural treasures are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While some damage to buildings occurred in the 2015 earthquake the site still contains many stunning architectural gems. The original royal palace courtyards are open to visitors and you will marvel at the intricate timber carving and beautifully crafted brickwork of the palace. The open square outside the palace has many beautiful multi-storey pagodas and temples with ornate carving and carpentry artwork that tells some of the story of the ancient kings and their mystical time and beliefs. The square also contains many important Hindu temples and statues such as to Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Durbar Square also contains the unique and intriguing Kumari Chok. This is an ancient and ornate house where resides the Raj Kumari – the Living Goddess. She is a young girl chosen through an ancient and mystical selection process to become the human incarnation of the Hindu mother goddess, Durga. If you are in the courtyard of the home at the right time in the afternoon you may see a brief glimpse of the Goddess at her window.
You will be driven for around 7 hours today to Besi Sahar, the Lamjung district headquarters. Here you will be shown to your hotel for the night.
The route initially follows a rather dubious road along which buses and trucks occasionally pass, but there are no big climbs. However, the first day is memorable for a rather spectacular bamboo suspension bridge, which is quite entertaining. The walk takes about 4 leisurely hours to Ngadi and a further rather tougher 2 hours due to the climbs involved followed by moderate descents, until you reach Bahundanda (Brahman village).
A steep trail descends from Bahundanda, through rice terraces, before crossing a stream at the bottom of a small waterfall. It then climbs again and traverses the hillside high above the river before reaching the village of Hani Gaon. Ahead, the Marsyangdi valley forms a steep V-shape, and we follow the winding mountain path down through Syange and along the river for some distance. The trail then climbs steeply and the path is cut into the sheer cliff-face some 200-300m above the riverbed. Eventually we descend to the stone village of Jagat, situated on a shelf, which juts into the precipitous Marsyangdi valley. We camp in the fields beyond the village.
The trail from Jagat descends until it almost reaches the river and then begins to climb again through a forest. The sheer cliff on the opposite bank plunges downward but this side is also steep. When the climb ends, we follow a level track to Chamje, which is marked by a magnificent waterfall on the opposite bank. After descending to the river and crossing a suspension bridge, we begin a climb to Sattale on a path so steep that it seems one slip would send you hurtling down into the valley. We continue on an undulating path above the river, and at one point, where a tributary flows in from the opposite bank, the main river becomes covered with huge boulders that hide the water. Climbing the zigzag path to the top of the hill, we see the level, plain of Tal before us. Though cliffs enclose it, the level area looks reassuring after the arrowing mountain paths just travelled on. We descend to a grassy riverbank, which leads to Tal with its hotels and teahouses. Beyond Tal, the valley narrows and the path becomes high and winding, and in several areas hewn from the rock itself. Beyond the small village of Karte, there is a bit more cliff walking before the path drops again to the river. We cross a suspension bridge, and climb the short distance to the stone kani marking the entrance to Dharapani.
As we cut through a narrow field from the village, the Dudh Khola, which originates from the south face of Manaslu, enters on the opposite bank. The Marsyangdi then veers to the left, and as Annapurna II becomes visible ahead, we arrive at Bagarchhap, a Bhote village with prayer flags fluttering in the breeze. Continuing to climb through forests of pine and oak, we pass through Dhanakyu before coming to a thundering waterfall. Further on, the Marsyangdi Khola enters a gorge and the path consists of steep stone steps. Pausing for breath, we can look back for views of Manaslu. When the steep incline ends we follow a path amid magnificent rhododendrons to Ratamron and then continue on a gently rising path, crossing a stream before entering a pine forest. We then cut across a loose hillside to the hamlet of Koto (2600m) from where we can look straight up at nearby Annapurna II – a sight convincing us that we are deep in the Himalayan mountains! This is also where we leave the Annapurna Circuit, we cross the Marsyangdi river and enter the Nar Phu valley. From the bank of Nar Phu Khola we start climbing to our first camping site, which we reach about two hours from Koto.
Most of this first day in the Nar Phu valley we walk on small jungle paths, which is quite a change from the bigger trail around Annapurna. For the first part is up and down and then we have a short steep ascent to Choto (2840m). We then have lots of steep ups and downs and the path is quite exposed above the Nar Phu Khola. At the altitude of 3090m we cross a suspension bridge, here the valley is very narrow and just before the bridge there are some hot springs. The rock carved path now becomes very exiting, both because of danger, but also because there are some big waterfalls.
We begin the day by crossing Methang Khola river and then start a breathtaking climb on a winding path to the Methang pastures. Here at Methang there is an ancient Chorten and marvellous views of Kang Guru. Further on we pass the abandoned Methang village (3560m), from the village there is a path to Kang Guru BC. The path to the next village Junan is easy and flat, Junan is also abandoned. From here we continue to have an easy walk to Lower Chaku village, which has about 15 houses. We continue to Upper Chaku on a steep trail.
This day begins with a hard steep ascent to the abandoned Kyan village Vhaku, where there is a nice long mani wall. We continue on an amazing tunnel carved rocky path 70 meters above the river and then decent to the riverbed, we follow the riverbed and pass some Mani Chortens. We then climb up from the riverbed to the Phu valley entrance door (Phuohii Yalgoe). About an hour from the valley entrance we cross the Phu Khola and begin climbing up to the village. Phu village consists of about 30 houses, which are home to 100-150 people.
We rest here for a day, have a look at the village and might go exploring a little further up in the valley.
To get to Nar we have to go back down the valley, we pass Chaku and walk on for a couple of hours before we cross the Phu Khola at Nar Phedi (two bridges to Nar). From here we climb up to a very nice grassy campsite.
From our campsite it is a steep couple of hours climb to Nar Village (4110), we have lunch here near the village, so we can take a look at it before we walk on. We continue on a long but gentle ascent through the lateral moraine of Temdenzon Khola, on a nice path. At the bottom of Kang La, we camp on a nice grassy spot.
Today we have a long and hard day ahead of us, however it is very rewarding. We have to cross the big Kang La pass (5280m). It is a very steep ascent to the top of the pass where there is a nice Chorten and some great views of the Annapurna massive. Just before we reach the pass there is a small lake where we take a rest before making the last effort to reach the top. From the top of the pass it is a very steep decent, but after an hour we a grassy path which leads us to Ngawal, where there is both restaurants and lodges. We continue all the way to Munje where there is some beautiful forest and we camp there for the night.
Cultivated fields appear on both sides of the path and off to the right, below a craggy mountain, we can see the village of Braga with its splendid monastery. Large chortensi and mani walls abound and the tall peaks of the Himalaya spread out before us – Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Gangapurna (7455m) and, to the rear, Tilicho Peak (7134m). After a short steep climb we reach Manang which is a surprisingly large village for this remote mountain region. We camp here for the night, amidst the fluttering prayer flags, which adorn the houses.
From Manang, we climb to the next village of Tengi, with the magnificent Annapurna Himal in view all the way, while behind us we can see Peak 29 and Himalchuli in the distance. We are now past the treeline and the vegetation consists of alpine grasses and scrub juniper. Climbing the path past the summer village of Gunsang, we cross the Gundon Khola via a wooden bridge. From here we can see ahead the mountains surrounding the Thorung La which we will cross tomorrow. The trail is up and down as the elevation gradually increases and we soon enter an alluvial delta where there are yak pastures. An hour beyond this, we come to the small settlement of Letdar.
Leaving Letdar, we climb gradually to a ridge before descending to the headwaters of the Marsyangdi and crossing via a covered wooden bridge. After a short ascent up the mountain path on the right bank, we follow a narrow trail across an unstable steep slope and then descend to Thorung Phedi.
An early start today for our crossing of Thorung La (5416m). The trail becomes steep immediately on leaving camp but as this trail has been used by local people for hundreds of years the path is well defined. The gradient then eases and after around 4 hours of steady climbing we reach the chorten and prayer flags of the pass. The views are dramatic to say the least, from the snow covered mountains above, to the head of the Kali Gandaki valley below and the brown and purple hills of Mustang which are spread out before us. The descent to Muktinath is a knee pounding 1600m but it’s compensated for with excellent views of Dhaulagiri. Eventually the moraines give way to grassy slopes before a pleasant walk along the Jhong Khola Valley to Muktinath and its shrines and temple.
We now begin the descent down the dramatic Kali Gandaki valley, initially through arid country in the same geographical and climatic zone as Tibet. After passing through Jharkot and Khingar, villages with typical Tibetan architecture, we follow the valley floor most of the way to Jomsom and are rewarded with tremendous views of both Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri. Jomsom is a large town sprawled along both banks of the Kali Gandaki River.
We take an early morning flight to Pokhara. It is a spectacular flight along the Kali Gandaki Gorge and provides wonderful views of both the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges. We then catch a further flight back to Kathmandu.
After breakfast in the morning you say goodbye to Pokhara and head back to bustling Kathmandu by car or private bus (There is an option to fly). In the afternoon free day of your own. Overnight in Hotel.
This is the free day and you can use it for your shopping. In the evening you will drive you for farewell dinner with cultural dance.
All too soon it’s time to bid Nepal farewell and one realizes that we can never be intimate, only acquainted with this amazing country.
Recommended equipment list: Trekkers need to provide their own personal clothing and equipment. Some items of equipment are available for hire from us as like Down Jacket
Footwear : Well broken-in walking shoes - these must be suitable for snow, thick socks, light socks, camp shoes.
Clothing : Down or fiber filled waterproof jacket and trousers, sweater or fleece jacket, underwear, warm and cotton trousers or jeans, shirts and T-shirts, shorts, long underwear, wool hat, sun hat, gloves, bathing suit, track suit.
Other equipment: Sleeping bag (5 seasons), lock, day pack, water bottle, sun cream, sunglasses, flashlight with spare bulbs and batteries, lip salve, gaiters.
Other items: Insect repellent, toilet articles, diary, toilet roll, laundry soap, wet ones, pocket knife, towel, sewing kit, plasters, binoculars, camera, film, cards and personal medical kit.
We were surprised by the warm welcome and perfect cooperation with the agency. It was a great time not because of the mountains but also due to perfect service of Pamfa Dhamala and her staff.