Terraced temples & Tharu Jungle Trek
- Walking / Hiking
- Price from:
- 858 GBP /person
- 01273 322044
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- Credit Card
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Last updated: 02/19/2009
You'll visit the cultural treasures of the Kathmandu Valley (Patan and Bhaktapur), take an elephant safari and a jungle trek with the local Tharu tribe. Then trek from Pokhara up to Poon Hill.
KathmanduOn arrival at Kathmandu Airport, you'll be greeted by your driver and whisked away to the buzzing area of Thamel. When you've freshened up and recovered from the inevitable jetlag, you can take a stroll around the area to soak up the typical Nepalese atmosphere and find a good spot to eat. Definitely check out one of the many rooftop restaurants Thamel has to offer. Your hotel just outside the centre of Kathmandu is full of character and has a beautiful serene courtyard garden.
Kathmandu tourYou'll have plenty of time today to see Kathmandu with your guide. Your sightseeing tour will take you to Durbar Square, Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath and Swayambunath. Durbar Square is the ideal starting point from which to explore this ancient city. Take a seat on the steps of one of the many temples and just watch the locals going about their daily activities. You will also visit the temple complexes Swayambunath and Pashupatinath.The Bouddhanath temple, a Tibetan buddhist monument is one of the highlights of today's tour. It's one of the largest stupas in the world. You may feel all templed-out at the end of the day but you'll definitely have a better idea of significant role religion has in Nepalese daily life. For a more detailed description of the various sights take a look at our Kathmandu Valley page.
Kathmandu - Patan - Bhaktapur - Kathmandu This morning, you will head out of the city with your driver to explore surrounding area of Kathmandu. Your visit will include the cities of Bhaktapur and Patan and you can opt for an excursion to Nagarkot or Dhulikhel. Patan, just south of Kathmandu is known for its many ancient squares where rice is laid out to dry and children run around playing with paper kites. You can also spot lots of old-fashioned water pumps throughout the city. It's like being in a medieval time-warp. You'll spend one more night in this captivating city before heading on to Chitwan the next day.
Kathmandu - Chitwan National ParkTravel time: approx 5 hours by busToday it's a five-hour bus ride on the Green Line Bus (a luxury tourist bus by Nepali standards) to the Chitwan National Park. After a short briefing there's time to freshen up in your bungalow and grab some lunch. In the afternoon you'll have your first elephant safari. Perched high on the back of these giant beasts you're safely out of reach of all that lurks in the tall grass. If you're lucky you'll spot your first rhino, although there's a better chance of seeing them on foot on your walking safari tomorrow morning. If a rhino comes into view our elephant will sound the alarm with an almighty growl, just to subtly show the rhino who's boss...
Chitwan National ParkChitwan is at its most beautiful at dawn. The early morning golden light sweeps across the plains, giving it a mystical atmosphere. The river is even more magical. Working elephants stride through the water, battered ferries glide downstream and a solitary rhino grazes in the grass. Today, you'll start off with a guided walk through the jungle, hiking along narrow paths through the forests and plains where the high grass seems almost impenetrable. It's a little scary knowing that this grass could be hiding rhinos, leopards and tigers, but don't worry, your experienced guide will know exactly what he's doing. If a rhino gets too close, you'll be quickly directed to scramble up the nearest big tree, your heart thumping at the thrill of it all. As harmless as rhinos may seem, don't underestimate them. Their poor eyesight often causes them to storm defensively into any unfamiliar noise or smell, so it's wise to follow your guide's instructions very closely. Later on there will be an exciting crocodile walk down the overgrown banks of the river, which is lined with wily crocodiles ready to snap.
Chitwan National ParkYou'll start the day with an invigorating 'elephant bath'. Armed with a brush you'll get to work scrubbing off all the dirt off the gentle animals. The elephants clearly love the pampering and rest assured they'll give you a thorough rinse-off with their trunks once you're done! After you've dried off, you'll head into the jungle with your guide. You're guaranteed a very warm welcome in the local Tharu village. The Tharus are the indigenous people of this jungle and also Buddhist. The enlightened prince's son Gautama Buddha was a Tharu himself. The Tharu will tell you all about the jungle and their way of life. The fact that you really get the time to get to know these wonderful people is what makes this module so enjoyable. Together you will prepare the evening meal and as the sun sets the fire is lit, drums and rice wine appear and the party continues into the early hours... You'll spend the night in a 'jungle tower' on the edge of the village (see images at the bottom of the page). This Tharu house is built on stilts - so don't worry about any jungle wildlife paying you an unexpected visit in the middle of the night! Your room is basic but comfortable enough and you will soon find yourself lulled to sleep by the sounds of the jungle...
Chitwan National Park - Pokhara Travel time: approx 5 hours by carIt's an early start today if you want to catch the beautiful sunrise over the forest. The jungle slowly awakens as the mist slowly rises in the first light of day, a whole orchestra of birds sing good morning to you. You'll have a good chance of spotting some wildlife at this time the day. When you arrive back in the village a tasty breakfast will be waiting, just what the doctor ordered after a morning hike through the jungle.Towards noon, you'll say your goodbyes to the Tharu and head off on the five-hour drive to Pokhara. Here, you'll stay in a simple hotel and prepare for the trek ahead.
Pokhara - TirkhedhungaTravel time: approx 2 hours by car and 4 hours trekking After breakfast our driver will pick you up for the two-hour drive to Birethanti. On the way you will be able to see the high peaks of the Himalayas emerging in the distance as the road winds its way up to the starting point of the trek. Packed with your camera, warm sweater and some water you head off, accompanied by your guide and local porters. The villagers wave goodbye as you slowly begin your ascent. The path leads through a thick bamboo forest to lush green fields where cows with red plumes on their heads graze contentedly. You can stop off for some pictures or a drink on the way. After about 4 hours you arrive in Tirkhedhunga, a small village with a couple of shops, a wobbly hanging bridge across the river and waving children that follow you with curiosity. You'll sleep in a basic lodge. There's running water but don't expect a hot shower...
Tirkhedhunga - Ghorepani Travel time: approx 6 hours trekking After a hearty breakfast it's time to pack your things and head off on the trek. The first stretch is fairly easy as you walk downhill into the valley. Crossing the river Burungdi Khola, make sure to stop and admire this spectacular mountain river which at times is a peacefully flowing stream but can fast become a wild churning rapid. The freezing cold meltwater flows down from high up on the mountain. Then it's the most strenuous part of the trek. Heading up some stony steps you slowly make your way to 2000m. At the end of this strenuous climb you'll be rewarded with an amazing view of the snow-capped mountains rising up about the surrounding hills. The last part of the trek is pretty level and leads through a colourful and aromatic rhododendron forest. On arrival in Ghorepani, put your feet up, have a drink and relax. As you look around you see colourful prayer flags blowing in the wind at the many temples and snowy mountain peaks in the background.
Ghorepani - Ghandrung Travel time: approx 8 hours trekking It's an early start this morning so as not to miss the sunrise at Poon Hill. After breakfast you start the 1-hour climb to the top - a pretty impressive 3190m. Once you reach the top, you can sit yourself down on a rock and watch as the sun slowly colours the white peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri a deep orange. It's enough to give you goose bumps... When the sun's up, the trek continues to Ghandrung. You'll meet a lot of local villagers on the way, often carrying some very interesting paraphernalia. Everything is lugged up the mountain from sacks of rice to live chickens in big baskets, even entire beds. The local men all wear simple flip-flops but they're still a lot faster than us tourists in our posh hiking boots. On the way you pass through fertile fields where you can see farmers working the land. At the end of the afternoon you reach a small Gurung village where you will spend the night in a basic lodge.
Ghandrung - PokharaTravel time: approx 6 hours trekkingIn the morning, you will leave for the last part of the trek to Nayapul, just under 2 hour's walk. When you arrive, you'll find your transportation waiting for you for the two-hour drive to Pokhara. This friendly town is the starting point of several treks. Most of the hotels are situated around the lake and this is also where you'll find plenty of bustling bars and restaurants. The restaurants in Pokhara offer plenty of western food too so you can finally enjoy those burgers, pizzas and fresh fruit juices again. On a clear day you can see the snow-capped mountain peaks in the distance, you can rent a boat and go out on the lake or visit the golden Varahi temple.
Pokhara - KathmanduTravel time: approx 30 mins flightLater that morning you will take a short domestic flight back to bustling Kathmandu. The rest of the day is left for you to do a last bit of sightseeing or just relax and recover from your trek. You'll sleep in a friendly hotel in an oasis of calm just outside the centre.
Kathmandu - End of itinerary Today your itinerary comes to and end, and you'll either continue with your trip onwards, relax in Kathmandu, or head towards the airport for your flight home.
If you have any questions about this itinerary, please call or email us. If you would like to request this itinerary, please fill out our quote request form.
- Inclusions -
- 12 nights' accommodation with breakfast, excursions as described, domestic flight Pokhara - Kathmandu, private transportation, English-speaking guide and porter, National Park permit
- Exclusions -
- All other meals, admission fees, tips, international flights
- Extras -
- This is based on 2 people sharing a private trip (no groups)and departs daily. The accommodation is basic whilst trekking.
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