You sweat, you barely catch your breath, you are dragging your feet uphill for hours and then you arrive: an open valley, colorful houses, nestled between the mountains, smiling locals greeting you and inviting you in their tea houses. In an instant you forget the struggle: it is all worth it. In the Nepal’s Himalayas you find some of the most beautiful high-altitude mountain villages which could easily rival with the European ones. Not only these villages are high up in the mountains, surrounded by white peaks that give you vertigo but they are well connected and have a lot of facilities for trekkers: warm showers, good food, sweets, even bars, good coffee and … pool table.
Below is my list of favorite villages from the most popular treks in Nepal.
1. Manang (3.519m) – the jewel of the Annapurna circuit
You arrive in Manang after about 5/7 days into the Annapurna circuit trek. After spending time hiking through lush, tropical forests, in the lower parts of the circuit, you arrive in this truly mountain village, surrounded by mountains and with the Gangapurna glacier hanging above it. This is where you should stop for acclimatization before heading for the Thorong-La pass. There is no shortage of treks around: Ice Lake hike, Gangapurna lake hike, Tilicho Lake trek.While here, don’t miss on the delicious Yak Burger at the Mountain View Lodge. You also have two trekker’s shops here and a cinema.
2. Namche Bazaar (3.440m) – the gate to Everest Base Camp trek
Namche Bazaar is probably the most well know village because it is the place where people doing the Everest Base Camp trek acclimatize here. Here you find the highest Irish Pub in the world. It is also an excellent place to bargain for some good products in the weekly Saturday market. If you are craving some good Yak cheese (as I was), this is the place to find it. From above Namche you can admire Everest, the highest mountain in the world. It is a steep hike up to Everest View Hotel (3.880m). Don’t miss the Sagarmata National Park Visitor’s Center as the free alternative to the Sherpa Heritage museum for wonderful pictures of the valley and useful information about the evolution of the area.
3. Kyanjin Gompa (3.800m) – the most picturesque village on Langtang valley
The Langtang valley was the hardest hit by the Earthquake in 2015. Most of the houses here and the Gompa have been destroyed. With external and internal funding, most of it has been rebuilt. You will find here, not only a beautiful village sitting at the feet of the impressive Langtang Lirung peak (7.227m) and its glacier but new and comfortable guest houses, a cheese factory and hot showers. Apart from the Kyanjin Ri and Tserko Ri peaks you can also have a walk along the valley. There are no more guest houses beyond the village and you can delight in wild scenery, where you will only meet yaks and horses. If you are up for more serious mountaineering, you can hire here guides and tents and head for Yala Peak (5.500m) or for the more challenging Naya Kanga peak (5.844m).
The author :Cristina Podocea is a Romanian adventuress in love with Nepal who has spent many months hiking around the Himalayas. She loves writing as much as she loves trekking therefore she decided to share some of her photography and knowledge on our blog, since she used our services extensively. Follow her on her Facebook page (Cristina Podocea) and Instagram account (@Unsettledfeet).
May 29th, 2018 at 7:08 pm | 0 Comments
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