North of Chame on the Annapurna Circuit, the hidden valleys of Naar and Phu were opened up to trekking groups as recently as the year 2000. Home to hardy communities of Buddhist people who continue to trade northwards across the border into Tibet, this is one of the most exciting trekking destinations in Nepal. We spend more than a week in these valleys, trekking northwards as far as the remote stone-built village of Phu and overnighting in simple lodges. We then retrace our steps briefly, before turning westwards into a broad and rocky tributary valley, passing numerous chortens, mani walls and unusual gateways en route to the similarly unspoilt village of Naar.
Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided. Depending on your arrival time, you may have the opportunity to explore the immediate vicinity of the hotel and get ACCLIMATISED to this bustling city. Alternatively, you may prefer to recover from your journey by relaxing beside the hotel pool. Himalayan Memories Trek package services begin with the evening meal and Nepali cultural show. Your guide will take dinner with you and will provide an informal briefing about the days ahead.
We set off after an early breakfast for the drive westwards to the start of the trek, accompanied by our trek crew. After 3 hours or so, we arrive at the town of Mugling and stop for an early lunch at a roadside restaurant. Soon after leaving Mugling, we reach the small town of Dumre, beside the Marsyangdi River. Here, we turn north on a smaller road which follows the river. We cross the river on a long suspension bridge at Syange before climbing to our overnight camp in Jagat (1300m).
Today we begin our trek. Although the road continues up valley, its condition is very rough and it is much more pleasurable to walk from here. Where we can, we take the old trekking trail away from the road. From Jagat we start with a steady climb to Chamje, before descending to cross the river on a suspension bridge. Climbing once more, we enter the Buddhist region of Manang at the village of Tal (which means lake in Nepali). Here the terrain levels for a short section and the raging river slows to a lake-like appearance. Beyond Tal, the trail crosses the river again and continues for a further 4 kilometres to Dharapani (1860m).
The valley now turns towards the west, as we set off and hike to the interesting Buddhist village of Bagar Chap. Manaslu is now visible behind us and Annapurna 2 occasionally in sight on our left hand side, as we walk on the road at times and also find sections of village trail, passing through scattered pine forest and negotiating many stone steps. There are isolated lodges and hamlets en route to our overnight stopping place at Koto (2600m).
There is a checkpoint in Koto where we have to present our permits. Beyond Koto we leave the Annapurna Circuit trail and head up the narrower and steeper gorge of the Naar Phu Khola. We start out on the left or western bank on a trail through beautiful woods and passing various temporary ‘villages’ used in the winter by the people of Naar and Phu. Soon the contrast with the Annapurna Circuit trail is striking and we are unlikely to see very many other trekkers as we make our way up this restricted valley. There are no suitable lodges. Therefore we will be camping on this trek. The altitude here at ‘Naar Phu Khola’ is approximately 3000 metres.
The trekking today is a world apart from the Annapurna Circuit. Only those trekkers with special permits can trek up into this restricted area alongside the Naar Phu Khola. There is a fair amount of up and down to negotiate and some sections of exposed trail hewn from the cliffs above the river, to reach Meta at 3560 metres. For the purposes of acclimatisation this is our overnight stop and we will check in at a basic lodge. It is possible to do some exploring in the afternoon, following a trail part way towards the basecamp for Kang Guru at almost 4000 metres.
We have a short day, again ascending as far as acclimatisation allows. This morning we follow the Phu Khola on a fairly level or gradually ascending trail to the temporary Khampa village of Chyako. From here the trail is steeper as we climb first to ‘Upper Chyako’ and then to Kyang with its long mani wall at 3800 metres. Kyang, located on a plateau high above the Phu Khola is the main winter settlement of the people of Phu and in the autumn we may be lucky enough to see a part of the annual migration when a family moves down from the high pastures with its Yaks – a scene from ancient Tibet!
Today begins with another exciting trail carved into the walls of the river gorge before descending to the river itself. A little further on, our further progress is blocked by another rocky bluff and we are forced to trek up out of the gorge, via several mani walls and chortens, to reach the Phuphi Yalgoe or ‘Phu Gate’. Beyond this ancient stone gateway, we get our first view of the 3 villages of Phu with the impressive ruins of forts on the skyline above. Approximately an hour after passing through the Phu Gate we climb to the village of Phu (4080m) where we check in at one of the lodges. We should reach Phu at around lunch time and will have the remainder of the day free to explore this amazing village with its comparatively unspoilt ancient culture and architecture. The remote settlement of Phu consists of around 30 stone built houses in the Tibetan style and is home to around 150 people.
We return to the Phu Gate and retrace our steps down the valley. We stop for lunch in Kyang and continue down to Muje (3720m) below Chyako.
A short trekking day. Continuing down the valley we make a big descent to a bridge across the river at Naar Phedi (3490m) and then begin the long climb out of the narrow gorge to the village of Naar. (4110m), set among snow clad peaks and surrounded by fields of mustard and barley. We should arrive here by lunch time, giving us plenty of time to explore this highly picturesque place. The people of Naar make their living from spinning and weaving. The village also boasts several colourful gompas which are well worth a visit or it is possible to climb to the line of prayer flags on the hill above the village for more spectacular views.
A shorter day today. We have a gradual ascent of around 2 to 3 hours, passing through ancient moraines of this once glaciated valley to reach the basic lodge on the yak grazing meadows of Kangla Phedi (4530m) at the foot of the Kang La.
A long day today but a spectacular one. We start by climbing over 700 metres to the summit of the Kangla Pass. From the top there are fantastic views over Annapurna II, Gangapurna, Tilicho peak, the peaks surrounding Tilicho. Far below we can see the Annapurna Circuit trail and make out the airstrip at Hongdae. The trail down initially is steep and loose, usually scree but it can be snow covered and care is needed. Reaching a plateau we take lunch and rest tired legs, before contouring to Ngawal (3660m) where we check in at a new lodge in this village of cobbled streets, prayer wheels and classic Tibetan architecture.
We take a contour trail with superb views of the Annapurna peaks across the valley and then descend to Pisang, where we join the Annapurna Circuit Trail. As we follow the trail down-valley we are confronted with the dramatic spectacle of the Paungda Danda, a smooth slab of curving rock that rises 1500 metres almost vertically from the river. We follow a cliff-side path and walk through fragrant woods of juniper and pine before reaching the administrative centre of Chame and, shortly thereafter, our overnight stopping place at Koto (2600m).
Here, we are close to the confluence of the Naar-Phu Khola where we started our trek to Phu 10 days ago. We continue our descent alongside the Marsyangdi River Valley, trekking down through Dharapani to a broader and more level stretch of valley. We check in at our lodge in Tal (1700m) the lowest of the villages in the Buddhist region of the upper Marsyangdi Valley.
After an early breakfast, we hop aboard our jeep transport for the first section of our journey back to Kathmandu. Then, in Besisahar, we switch to a bus and continue our drive on an improving road down the Marsyangdi River Valley to its confluence with the Trisuli. Here, we pick up the main Pokhara to Kathmandu road for the final part of our jouney. Once again, this is a 9 or 10-hour journey, including stops, and we will arrive in Kathmandu in the late afternoon. After checking in at the group hotel, we have time to rest and freshen-up, before going out for a celebratory evening meal in one of Kathmandu’s famous restaurants.
Himalayan Memories Trek package services end after breakfast. Transfers to Kathmandu Airport are provided. It’s your last day in Nepal! Grab some breakfast, and then take in some last-minute shopping in Kathmandu. We’ll make sure you arrive at Kathmandu International Airport with plenty of time before your flight home. At this time, we’ll say our goodbyes and bid you farewell, armed with warm memories and gorgeous photos to show your loved ones.
- 1. ARRIVALS AND TRANSFER TO HOTEL BY THE TOURIST BUS OR PRIVATE VEHICLES.
- 2. ACCOMMODATION IN 3 STAR CATEGORIZED HOTEL IN KATHMANDU.
- 3. DUFFLE BAG, TSHIRT, AND TREKKING MAP.
- 4. WELCOME DINNER WITH NEPAL CULTURAL SHOW.
- 5. KATHMANDU CITY SIGHT SCENE.
- 6. GOVERNMENT LICENCE HOLDER TREKKING GUIDE
- 7. ALL MEAL BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER, AND TEA, COFFEE,
- 8. STAFF EXPENSES
- ALL STAFFS MEDICAL AND EMERGENCY RESCUE INSURANCES DURING THE TRIP.
- ALL STAFF FOODS.
- PORTER WAGES.
- GUIDE WAGES.
- PORTER EQUIPMENT.
- KITCHEN UTENSILS.
- 9. NATIONAL PARK ENTRY FEE.
- 10. MUNICIPALITY CHARGE.
- 11. ALL GOVERNMENT TAXES.
- 1. LUNCH AND DINNER IN KATHMANDU EXCEPT WELCOME AND FAREWELL DINNER.
- 2. BOTH WAY INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT AIR-FARE.
- 3. PERSONAL TRAVEL INSURANCE AND EMERGENCY RESCUE INSURANCE.
- 4. NEPAL ENTRY VISA FREE.
- 5. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES.
- 6. FILMING PERMIT OF DRONE AND CAMERA DURING CLIMBING.
- 7. EXTRA NIGHT ACCOMMODATION IN KATHMANDU IF LATE DEPARTURE.
- 8. PERSONAL EXPENSES, LAUNDRY, WIFI CHARGE…..
- 9. STAFF TIPS.
On your trek, every morning, you are awoken early by a Himalayan Memories Trek staff with a first cup of native tea or coffee, along with a bowl of warm water to freshen up. Next, you are served a full breakfast of local fare. Such as fresh fruit and vegetables where it is available. We mainly serve freshly made porridge, eggs, camp made breads etc.
While you have breakfast the Sherpa’s use this time to disassemble the tents, so make sure you pack all bags before sitting for breakfast. while some porters set off on the daily walk in order to make setups in advance of our arrival at the next stop/camp, so that when we get there, all you have to do is relax and enjoy the area.
Typically, our walks start soon after breakfast. After a couple of hours walk, we will stop for lunches. In general, the afternoon walk is shorter than the morning one, to give people time to visit neighbouring villages, to rest and to chat while the chefs prepare the supper.
Tipping is the accepted way of saying thank you for good service. Normally the porters and any other trek staff are given their tips at the end of the trek and this is best done as a group. Your Guide will advise the group on an appropriate level of tipping. Most groups will hand out the tips with a bit of ceremony (or sometimes a party) on the last evening, to mark the end of the holiday. As a guide, we recommend that each group member contributes around $100 (or, approximately 12,000 Nepali Rupees) to these tips. At the end of their trek many people also like to donate various items of equipment to the porters and trek staff who work so hard to make the trip a success. Boots, gloves, hats, scarves and even socks are always warmly received by the porters. Your guide will make arrangements for a fair distribution (possibly by raffle) amongst the trek crew. Please note that you will have the opportunity to tip your guide separately during dinner on the final evening of the holiday. If you felt your guide was especially helpful, please consider an appropriate bonus to him or her of 20% of group tips.
Your main item of luggage should be a sturdy kit bag, duffel bag or similar. This will be carried during the trek by porters or pack animals and must weigh no more than 15kg. You should also bring on your holiday a day-pack of approximately 30 litres capacity. It is possible to leave items not required on trek at the hotel in Kathmandu. For your international flights, please check the baggage allowance with your airline.
Approximately $400 (or equivalent in pound Sterling, Euros) changed into local currency, should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including porter and trek crew tips, drinks etc. It is not necessary to obtain local currency prior to departure. Pound Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are equally acceptable for exchange in Nepal. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of cash, since you will exchange the majority of this on the day of your arrival in Kathmandu. If you prefer not to carry all of your spending money in cash, it is possible to withdraw money from ATM’s in Kathmandu using your debit or credit cards. (Fee applies) During the trek it is possible to buy snacks, chocolate, soft drinks and beer on most days. Please be aware that since everything has to be carried up by porters or animals, these items become more expensive as you gain altitude.
The basic idea of the trekking gear for the Himalayas. This Himalaya trekking kit list aims to keep you warm, dry, protected from the sun, able to move comfortably in the mountains and able to be comfortable in the evenings and night.
You will be given a detailed kit list after booking, but the main points to cover are as follows:-
* BAGS – Rucksack or duffel bag for a porter to carry plus a day pack to be carried by you. Your day-pack should be comfortable and capable of carrying everything you need for the day, plus any valuable items such as a camera and passport.
* SHELL – Top and bottom waterproofs to keep off wind/rain.
* PUFFY LAYER – A puffy jacket, filled with either down or synthetic, designed to be worn while doing physical activity in the outdoors is essential for your kit. This layer will not only keep you warm on the trail should it be cold, but also help you stay cosy in lodges and tea-houses. Often times, these places do not have heat outside of the common area, so a warm puffy jacket will come in handy.
* LAYERS – Shirts, trousers, shorts, T-shirts, jumpers and jackets, hats and gloves. We advise that you do not wear cotton while trekking. Cotton can actually make you colder, and in certain cases, give you hypothermia. Look for synthetic or merino wool material for your layering system.
* BASE LAYER – Thin layers to wick away any sweat and to wear for cold mornings. Both top and bottom. At least two sets.
* UNDERWEAR – We recommend non-cotton. 5-7 pairs.
* FEET – Comfortable Lighter footwear to change into in the evenings. Always be sure that footwear is well-broken in prior to arriving in Nepal. For socks we advise using non-cotton socks with plenty of cushion. If you are prone to blisters, consider getting silk sock liners. 3-5 pairs.
* SLEEPING – Warm sleeping bag (3-4 season) to get a good night’s sleep at the lodges (they also have blankets)
* DRINKING – Water bottles should be hard plastic (Nalgene), not throwaway bottles. We also advise that you do not bring a water bladder. Hose lines can freeze, and if you use boiled water, the hot water will melt your water bladder. For purification methods, we encourage you to bring a UV Filter (SteriPEN), iodine tablets, or a back-country water filter. Please bring spare batteries if you have a UV filter and at least one other method for sterilising water.
* WASHING & MEDICAL quick-dry travel towel, first aid kit, blister kit, extra toilet paper, hand sanitiser, lotion (the air is quite dry), lip balm,
* SUN CARE – sunglasses, sunhat, sunscreen
* TREKKING – trekking poles, umbrella, dry bags, waterproof cover for your rucksack
* PERSONAL ITEMS – cameras, books, headlamp, music, journal, etc.
* OPTIONAL ITEMS – Buff or neck gaiter, down booties (for warmth in the tea-house), ear plugs, camping pillow, trekking crampons (like Kathoola Micro-spikes) if you are travelling during a snowy season, silk sock liners for extra warmth or blister prevention, she-wee or other female urinary device, dry shampoo, and snacks. You can buy snacks along the trail, purchase them in Kathmandu, or bring your favourite treat from home. Bringing a treat from home is a fun way to share some of your culture on the trail. It’s also helpful for those days in which nothing looks tasty.
* ELECTRONICS – Charging your electronics will cost money while on a trek in Nepal. If you would like to avoid this cost, consider bringing your own portable charger. Electronics do not like the cold. Sleep with your phone and any batteries in order to avoid bad battery life due to cold weather.
1) Go slowly and take a full day for the hike rather than get there as fast as possible.
2) Drink lots of liquid.
3) Always give way to yaks right of way and when you meet one on a path with a drop to one side, always stand on the uphill side.
4) Don’t get caught out with inadequate clothing to cope with a rapid change in weather This is the high Himalaya and a clear bright morning does not mean the same in the afternoon.
5) Do not wander off by yourself and always make sure people know where you are. Anything can happen and a slip on scree or moraine can mean getting cold very quickly while waiting for someone to come and help.
6) Part of the trek is on lateral moraine and some places are slippery. There is no need for crampons but simple care where you are walking is important.
7) Remember that the best approach to safety is to prevent an accident happening in the first place.
As soon as you book your trip with Himalayan Memories Trek you should purchase a policy which covers trekking upto 5500m this will cover you any unexpected events force you to cancel. Your policy should also cover helicopter rescue in the event of an emergency evacuation.The only two methods of travel mostly are on foot or by helicopter once in the mountains. Obviously certain medical conditions are either so debilitating or urgent that the first option is not practicable as an evacuation method. Helicopter evacuation is very expensive and is also dependent on favourable weather conditions. Many of the helicopters are working at the limit of their operating altitude in the higher parts of the valley. Himalayan memories trek will be well placed to coordinate an efficient rescue but we must stress that there is no single definitive cost for a helicopter rescue, much depends on what else the pilot is doing in the area, how far the helicopter has to fly, where it started from and so on. The maximum is about $10,000 from Everest base camp (for example) Itself, so your travel insurance should cover up to this figure specifically for rescue costs. The helicopter company will require a payment guarantee before they fly, this will be done by your insurance provider, opening a case number and arranging the relevant exchanges of information and certification. For this purpose, it is essential that you have the right policy and provide us with all the policy details. Our staff have got mobile phones and generally, there is somewhere near with a phone signal, or else one of the staff will go to the nearest place. The safety and stability of the injured person is the job of the group and the staff and anyone nearby who can assist because sometimes it can take hours for a helicopter to arrive. Thankfully many of the trails have first aid posts along the way, but every group should be prepared to help deal with an injured person and in this case, it goes without saying that the needs of that person are more important than the trek itinerary.
It will be a matter of the helicopter company ascertaining that it is safe to fly to the relevant location and then flying the casualty to a nominated location, almost certainly a hospital in Kathmandu. The helicopter will then be met by Himalayan Memories trek who will help to coordinate any further stages in the process. The helicopter will also fly into Kathmandu airport and our staff will arrange for a car or ambulance to take the person to the hospital. If for any reason the helicopter is unable to fly we will use our many local staff and contacts to coordinate an alternative rescue and treatment regime. Normally this means using horses or simply stretchering a person off the mountain to the nearest safe place or safe helicopter landing area. Again, this is something that will generally involve everyone.
(Personal first aid kit contents)
Water Purification Tablets
Our treks allow a good time to acclimatise and as a mountain guiding outfit we always want to ensure the trek is safe. Reducing the number of days may make the price cheaper but the chances of safely reaching base camp also greatly reduce. We follow established mountaineering principles of height gain on all treks to altitude.
Our prices are competitive and good value, and we offer quality, service, security and an ethical stance on tourism in a developing country. We don’t want to be so expensive to run fewer trips and have our staff idle, but on the other hand we believe that running cheap trips that promote the practice of skimming budgets would result in the porters getting next to nothing, which is something we cannot consider. Your porters work extremely hard to carry your gear, advance set ups and keep your journey safe and enjoyable, sometimes at their own risk and peril. We could not complete our journey without them. They have families, too, and we all want to have an enjoyable, rewarding expedition full of great memories! Tashi Delek!