Travel is my passion; I love adventure and the mountains. On this winter vacation, I chose the Poon Hill Trek. The Himalayas fill Nepal, and Poon Hill Trek is among the most popular trails in Nepal. At 3,210 meters, Poon Hill is the highest point of the trek, which offers excellent views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Mountain Ranges. It was a dream come true for me to finally view these mountains at such a close distance. This trip is an excellent option if you are looking to start trekking around Nepal, and if you are short on time, as it can be easily completed in four or five days. Since this is a popular route, there are lots of hotels and tea houses throughout the route, and you will meet fellow trekkers all along the way. You can complete the trip without a guide, even if you are a foreign tourist. I did the trek in five days with my friend Sanjeev Thapa Magar. Our journey started from Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal.
Day 1: Kathmandu to Pokhara
We set off from Kathmandu to Pokhara early in the morning at 8 a.m. to catch a Jagdamba tourist bus. The tourist bus was really luxurious, with an attached European-style washroom. During the trip, we enjoyed good service and hospitality from the bus crew. We were provided hot coffee, cold drinks and a light lunch.
The drive mostly follows along the Trishuli Riverside. There were changing landscape views to enjoy from the window. After reaching Pokhara City at 4 p.m., we went to “Hotel Blue Heaven” at the lakeside village and took rest for a while. Pokhara is one of the most beautiful cities and the second largest tourist destination in Nepal. It is popularly known as the City of Lakes. Then, we went for a walk near Fewa Lake. The view from there was very nice. It is surrounded by green hills and snowcapped Mountains on the north. We could clearly see the white and diamond-like glow of the mountains. We also had a clear view of the Machhapuchhre and Annapurna Mountains. Pokhara is really a beautiful and peaceful valley. Many people come here for sightseeing and to enjoy extreme adventure activities, such as boating, mountain biking, paragliding, ultra-light flying and zip-lining.
Day 2: Pokhara to Nayapul
Early next morning, we had our breakfast in the hotel and then started our journey in a Taxi, to Nayapul, 45 kilometers away from Pokhara. The trek started from there. After reaching Nayapul, we rested for some time. There we came across a small river named Modi Khola. After crossing it, we reached Birethanti (1,025 m). It’s a small village that had small retail shops and guest houses. Here, the path continues with stairs. We followed the path alongside the river, hiked steadily up the side of the valley to a hill of 1,496 meters, and after a short climb, we reached Tikhedhunga at 1,555 meters to enjoy lunch. We met many Korean travelers along the way, exchanged a few “Annyeong-haseyo” and had short chitchat before continuing on our way, climbing uphill through Ulleri, a large Magar village at 2,020 meters.
We walked through the lovely forests, listening to the sounds of birds, and through the Rhododendron forest towards Banthanti at 2,250 meters. We stopped at Nangethanti, (2,510 m), for lunch. The weather was good that day, providing us with beautiful views along the way. Though we were feeling very tired, we enjoyed the hike. Most travelers take a one-night rest at Banthanti, but we kept going, and reached the more distant Ghorepani, at 2,882 meters in the evening. We stayed at “Shikhar Guest House”, where we received a warm welcome and very good Ghorepani service.
Day 3: Hiking to Poon Hill, back to Ghorepani, and trek to Ghandruk
We woke up at 4:30 a.m. to catch the sunrise at the top of Poon Hill. It’s about an hour climb to the top from Ghorepani. Poon Hill, at 3,210 meters, is not high enough for the trekkers to be really affected by the altitude. We reached the peak just in time to witness the sunrise and the view of the mountain ranges. It was a heavenly view, full of fogged ground surrounded by mountain peaks. When the sun rays touched the mountains, it was like seeing shining gold peaks – breathtaking. The scenery was really amazing and interesting. We got awesome views of the Himalayas, including Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Fishtail, and Annapurna South. When we saw the mountain ranges, we forgot all the troubles of the journey. We drank hot tea on the top of Poon Hill and took beautiful shots of the sunrise and mountain views. We spent a good two hours at the summit trying to capture the most beautiful moments.
Then we returned to our hotel and had our breakfast. After breakfast, we started walking through lovely forests to Ghandruk. On the way, we saw a beautiful waterfall, frozen because of the cold. A steep uphill walk to the village of Deurali offered more spectacular views of the nearby mountains.
We passed through more Rhododendron Forests on our way down to the river. Crossing the bridge, we headed up to the village of Tadapani. From Tadapani, we gradually made our way down to Ghandruk.
We reached Ghandruk, at 1,950 meters, in the evening. Ghandruk is famous for its home-stays and the culture. Ghandruk is a Gurung village; Gurung people are one of the ethnic groups of Nepal who have their own cultures and traditions, costumes and lifestyle. This village is one of the most famous tourist destinations because of its cultural significance. Many tourists come here to explore the different lifestyle, culture and traditions. This was the last day of our trekking. So, I was looking all around the village and surrounding. We stayed at the Peaceful Hotel and Lodge, where we received a warm welcome and good service.
Day 4: Trek down to Birethanti and Drive from Nayapul to Pokhara
After watching another wonderful sunrise and having a nice breakfast, we walked down through the beautiful Gurung Village. After an hour of Tourist Bus Ride, we reached our hotel at Lakeside, Pokhara. My five days of trekking ends here.
Day 5: Back to Kathmandu
We had our breakfast in the hotel in the morning. We headed back to Kathmandu in a Jagdamba tourist bus. We really had a great time. I am very thankful to all those who helped me in trekking, especially Sanjeev Thapa Magar for the entire journey.
I hope these photographs help travelers who are looking for a new travel destination; Poon Hill can be a good destination for an interesting adventure.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://kanchanrai.com.np/authors/wangli.jpg[/author_image]
[author_info] AP Tolang (Wang Li), is a fellow ghumante and travel enthusiast currently in South Korea and an avid Nepal lover. He is keen on promoting Nepalese tourism through his photography and travel stories.