Nothing beats the joys of riding a motorcycle – the open road ahead, the wind on your face, new destinations, a motorcycle expedition is an exhilarating, and at the same time profound. Now imagine yourself riding along the Himalayas and en route the forbidden city of Lo Manthang – nothing beats that. This ride is one of the classic ride that entail riding in the rain shadow part of the wind-swept desert landscape of the Himalayas with views of implausible gorges, high passes and enormous vistas. We pas through authentic Tibetan villages, barren ridges, deep canyons, eroded cliffs and moraine valleys
We invite you to a motorcycle expedition – let’s take our Royal Enfield’s all the way from Kathmandu to Lo Manthang, and on the way we re-discover ourselves.
We start our journey from Kathmandu, and soon find ourselves leaving the city traffic and onto a scenic highway. Joined by the Trishuli river alongside us, we reach Pokhara, make our way to Baglung, and then towards Mustang district where we ride along the gushing Kali Gandaki. With snow capped mountain peaks ahead of us, the scenery changing from lush green valleys to windswept deserts, high passes and barren ridges, and crossing ancient villages, this journey is unlike anything previously experienced.
Recommended Riding Gears:
Riding Jacket (Recommended: Water Proof)
Riding Pants (Recommended: Water Proof)
Riding Boots (Recommended: Water Proof)
Gloves (Recommended: Water Proof)
Kidney Belt (Optional)
Tank Bag (Optional)
Day 01: Arrival: Kathmandu (1370m)
Welcome to Kathmandu – the city of temples, culture, and history. Be met by our representative and be transferred to your hotel.
Free to explore nearby areas and in the evening a welcome dinner at a typical Nepalese restaurant.
Overnight: Hotel in Kathmandu
Day 02: Introduction to bikes & Day ride to Namobuddha (100kms/3 hours)
Ride difficulty level: 6/10 Terrain: Tarmac & Dirt
Today, we familiarize ourselves with Nepal’s traffic and our motorcycle.
Making our way out of the valley, we take the newly constructed freeway to Bhaktapur. Riding past Bhaktapur, and its ancient sites, we are now in the outskirts of the valley, and are met with scattered settlements and terraced farms.
From Banepa, we turn south towards Panauti. We explore the ancient Newari town of Panauti, and navigate through the small alleys to discover ancient structures, all giving us a feel of time-travel.
We ride onward to Namobuddha (1750m). An important Buddhist pilgrimage, at Namobuddha a prince once upon a time sacrificed himself to feed a hungry tigress and her cubs. Thus, stands a monastery and several structures in dedication to Lord Buddha.
After Namobuddha, we continue onward to Dhulikhel, en route taking in the panoramic view of the Himalayas up north. On a clear day, we can see the entire range including Everest, Ganesh Himal, and Langtang.
Continue ride back to Kathmandu.
Overnight: Hotel in Kathmandu
Day 03: Ride: Kathmandu – Pokhara (884m/210kms/6hrs)
Difficulty Level: 6/10; Terrain: Tarmac
Early morning, we begin our journey to the forbidden city. Leaving the city chaos, we find ourselves on the highway in no time. Lush green mountains, meandering road, and the Trishuli river is quite a sight to take in, as we make our way to Pokhara.
We soon leave Mugling, and cross the river to be met with the raging Marshyangdi. Continuing onward, after 25 kilometers, from Dumre we take the right main highway to Pokhra. Just before arriving in Pokhara be greeted with the majestic Fish Tail mountain.
Check in hotel, and explore Pokhara lakeside, its cafes and unique bars, enjoy a boat ride in the lake, or simply relax and take in the view. Pokhara is also the gateway to many trekking routes in the Annapurna Region.
Overnight: Hotel in Pokhara
Day 04: Ride: Pokhara – Kalopani (2400m/130kms/5hrs)
Ride Difficulty: 8/10; Terrain: 60% tarmac, 40% off road
We leave the touristic town of Pokhara and officially make our way into the Himalayas. Pass looming mountains, hillside villages and cross Baglung. We can also stop to explore one of Nepal’s most famous suspension bridges.
Soon, we leave the main highway and reach Beni. Here onwards, the road is unpaved and dusty with occasional potholes and the ride’s difficulty level drastically increases. We begin our ascent, gradually through the Kali Gandaki gorge (the deepest gorge in the world), and enjoy the continuous change in the topography. We cross a huge waterfall, and make a steep ascent to Ghasa (2012m), and continue across the dusty trail leading to Lete, and then to Kalopani, our destination for the day.
En route, we are greeted with grand and mesmerizing views of Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167 m), Tukuche (6920m), and Nilgiri (7061m), and are offered a beautiful glimpse into the culture of the Thakali people as we pass by the villages of Tukuche, Lete, and Ghasa. We can also notice the change in the environment – from lush green deciduous trees to scanty to almost nil vegetation. The area becomes dry and windy, and the mountains are very close.
Overnight: Lodge in Kalopani
Day 05: Ride: Kalopani to Muktinath via Jomsom (3600m/50kms/3.5hours)
Ride Difficulty: 9/10; Terrain: Black top and Off road with occasional river crossings
Early breakfast, follow the off road trail along the Kali Gandaki river, and pass enchanting Thakali villages like Tukuche and Marpha. Marpha, one of the oldest villages of Mustang is famous for its paved alleyways and white thatches houses. We continue towards Jomsom, and are greeted with winds that tend to sway our bikes, and move our souls.
We continue upward to Muktinath crossing Old Jomsom, and entering a wide valley adjacent to the river with huge cobbled stones. A section of the road has been paved recently, and we continue upward, sometimes against the wind, sometimes with it, to be greeted with one of the most magnificent views of the landscape that surrounds us. In the afternoon, arrive at Muktinath, amidst the Himalayas, and check into a lodge.
Later, we visit the holy shrine of Muktinath, a revered temple for both Hindus and Buddhists.
Overnight: Lodge in Muktinath
Day 06: Ride: Muktinath – Ghami (via Kagbeni) (3520m/70kms/4.5 hours)
Ride Difficulty: 10/10, Terrain: Off road with river crossings.
The ride has just begun. We leave Muktinath and make our way to Upper Mustang. Descend to Kagbeni, and as usual battle the winds of the Kaligandaki Valley. Explore Kagbeni, a fascinating medieval village with closely packed mud brick houses, dark alleys and imposing chortens. Kagbeni is the gateway to Upper Mustang.
Complete official permits and ride onward to Ghami. Cross small settlements Tangbe and Chele as we slowly ride through the difficult terrain. Ride till Samar for lunch.
We take a route which crosses many ridges as we head north. Depending on the weather, we will use a combination of high trails and river bank routes. Late afternoon, we reach Ghami.
Overnight: Lodge in Ghami
Day 07: Ride: Ghami – Lo Manthang (3890m/35kms/3hours)
Ride Difficulty: 9.5/10; Terrain: Off road
Ride onward to reach the walled and forbidden city of Lo Manthang, the former capital of the Kingdom of Lo. Pass by Charang en route. Interestingly, everyone has to dismount from their motorcycles while entering the city, as only the King is allowed to ride a horse within the city.
In the evening enter the city, and check into a lodge. Feel free to explore the city in the evening, and visit the magnificent former king’s palace – an imposing four storey building in the city and the four monasteries.
Overnight: Lodge in Lomanthang
Day 08: Ride: Explore Lo Manthang (50 kms)
Today, we gear up for the day’s adventure. We shall be visiting a recently discovered ‘pre-historic’ human settlement and the Caves of Chhoser. We head north-east, leaving the walled city behind as we ride through the Himalayan desert with the horizon ahead of us.
Approaching Chhoser, we can see the numerous caves ahead of us, which was once abode to the pre historic Loba’s and the monks. Cross the river and enter the caves and travel through time as we peek into the lives of a pre-historic era. Fully explore the caves, and make our return journey to the walled city. Ride through Namgyal village on our way back and visit the monastery.
Back to Lo Manthang for lunch. Free to explore/rest for the remainder of the day.
Note: Advised to carry some Nepali currency, as the caretaker of the caves may ask around NRS 500 per person.
Overnight: Lodge in Lomanthang
Day 09: Ride: Lo Manthang – Kagbni (2810m/75kms/6hrs)
Ride Difficulty: 10/10; Terrain: Off Road
Today, we retrace our journey homeward. After breakfast, we bid farewell to the ancient and mystical town of Lo Manthang. We ride through the dusty trails of the Himalayan desert with snowcapped mountains within our sight. Stop for lunch, and continue onward to Samar and further down to Kagbeni.
Overnight: Lodge in Samar
Day 10: Ride: Kagbeni – Tatopani (1190m/76kms/6.5hrs)
Ride Difficulty: 9.5/10; Terrain: Off Road with occasional river crossings.
We have a long day’s ride ahead of us – through mountain passes and dusty trails. Take some time to explore Marpha, and be amazed by its amazing beauty and organized alleys.
Continue ride to Tatopani, passing through Tukuche, Kalopani, Lete, Ghasa. Tatopani has a natural hot water spring.
Overnight: Lodge in Tatopani
Day 11: Ride: Tatopani – Pokhara (884m/115kms/4hrs)
Ride Difficulty: 7/10; Terrain: 30% Off Road, 70% Tarmac
Descend to Beni, leave the off road trail and continue on to Baglung. Reach Pokhara in the late afternoon.
Free to explore the remainder of the day.
Overnight: Hotel in Pokhara
Day 12: Free day in Pokhara
Pokhara has much to offer, and our riders need a well deserved rest. Ride to surrounding areas like the Mahendra Caves or Davis Falls, or simply explore the Lake Side on foot.
Overnight: Hotel in Pokhara
Day 13: Ride: Pokhara – Kathmandu (1310m/210kms/6hrs)
The final leg of our motorcycle ride home, today we enjoy a leisurely ride back to Kathmandu through the meandering highway.
Overnight: Hotel in Kathmandu
Day 14: Departure
Breakfast, and transfer to International Airport for final departure.
Best Period: March to June & September to November
Time Period: 13 Nights / 14 Days.
Ride Type: Moderate Challenging
Highest Altitude: 4460 meters
Warning: Altitude Sickness.
Ride Start / End Point: Kathmandu
Accommodations: Hotels in Kathmandu / Lodges on Ride in Mustang area
National Park: Annapurna Conservation Project Area (ACAP) and restricted Upper Mustang
Mountains: Annapurna I, Annapurna II, Annapurna South, Machhapuchhare,, etc.
Rivers: Kali Ghandaki, Trishuli, Narayani, etc.
Tribes: Lobas, Tibetans, Thakalis (Gurung)
Forests: Of Rhododendron and Pine.
Landscapes: Varying from temperate valleys to snow clad mountains.
NEPAL TREK INFORMATION
What is Tea House / Lodge trek?
A simple way to under Tea house / Lodge is probably ‘a small hotel’. However this can sometimes be misleading, as they do not have high-end facilities like modern hotels in urban areas. The concept though is same as hotels in providing accommodations (rooms) and meals for guest staying in it.
So if one does a trek going from point A to B to C etc., and spending nights in these kind of lodges or teahouse is called a ‘Lodge Trek’ or ‘Tea House Trek’
Which areas in Nepal have Tea House treks?
The most popular regions for treks in Nepal are Annapurna, Everest Langtnag and Upper Mustang. All these places have good quality lodges, well managed, variety of food to choose from the menus available and boast of Wi-Fi, bakeries etc.
Around the areas that have lesser trekkers like, Makalu Barun, Manaslu, Kanchenjunga etc. the tea house/ lodge are very basic in comparison.
Basically good lodges have developed where foot traffic is the most and Annapurna, Everest and Langtang receive the most trekkers in Nepal.
Rooms in the Lodges?
The rooms are very basic in most places. In some very popular areas like Annapurna and Everest high-end rooms with attach bath and flush toilet and ruining hot/ cold water have come out in the recent years. However these kinds of lodges are very few and not available in all places on the trek route.
Basic room’s sizes are on an average of 8 feet by 8 to 10 feet. They have twin cots with mattress and pillows. Most lodges provide blankets, however for hygienic regions it’s advisable to carry a good sleeping bag of your own. The walls are pretty thin and noises carry. Earplugs are recommended to be carried.
In more remote areas one may only get dormitories for accommodations and dinning and sleeping arrangements may be in the same common area.
Toilets in the Lodges
Most lodges have several common toilets inside the lodge. The number depends on how big the lodge is. On an average a lodge having 15 /18 rooms may have 3 /4 common toilets. The toilets are very basic and no flush or running water is available in the toilets. Please bring you own Toilet paper. Drums with water and a mug are the ways to flush!
In Annapurna and Everest region we try and provide rooms with attach bath
where available. However, do note that there are only a handful of places where this kind of facility is available.
Food in lodges
Menu in most places especially the more popular trekking routes have extensive looking menus ranging from local, Tibetan to western delicacies. Items like Dal Bhat (rice, vegetables and lentils), pizzas, pastas, momos (dumplings), noodles, soup, fried rice etc., are amongst the common ones in all menus.
Our recommendation is to avoid meat, as in most places porter carry the meat to lodges without any hygienic way to keep the meat fresh on the way. It takes at least few days to reach the lodges. Even the canned meat items are not recommended, as one has no way to check the expiry date etc.
Recommended food items are the local ones like Dal Bhat, Momos (Dumplings), noodles etc, as they are freshly made in comparison to other food items. Please remember the cooks in the lodges are ‘not chefs’, very few are trained professionally as most have learned through looking at other cooks cooking in the same lodges or similar ones in the area. Basically sticking to local food is best as they are hygienic and fresh.
For breakfast pancakes, porridge, toast (not available everywhere), eggs etc. are available in all lodges.
There is a common dining area with fireplaces in all lodges. This is not only a place to eat but also a good place to unwind, interact with fellow trekkers, read a book, play board games or cards and relax.
Everyday our guide will help you and provide information on what choices to make in which places / lodges for food.
Drinking water on treks
One can get boiled water or bottled mineral water or filtered water in the Everest region, Annapurna and Langtang region. On an average a liter of water will cost US $ 1.50 to US $ 4.00 per liter. As one gains altitude on trek or goes further from the urban areas the higher the cost of drinking water.
Showers during treks
Hot or Cold showers are available everywhere in the Lodges. In some lodges, especially as we go higher in altitude instead of showers a bucket of hot water may be the option.
A hot shower cost on an average of US $ 3.00 to US $ 5.50 per shower. The higher we go the more expensive the bath.
We recommend not to take too may baths on treks specially if one is going to high altitude treks. The reason being the temperature drops rapidly as the sunsets and getting the body temperature back to normal after shower at high altitude becomes difficult. This increases the chances of catching cold and walking with cold at high altitude with thin cold air is not a pleasant experience. So please try and avoid taking showers as much as possible.
Electricity on treks
Electricity hasn’t reached all places in Nepal. So electricity is limited to certain areas of the trek. On an average one has electricity till about 3500 meters in altitude. As we gain altitude solar system has been set up in all lodges.
Rooms have lights only till places where electricity has reached. So where electricity has not reached there are no room lights. Dining hall, toilets and all common areas have electricity through the night even if it is being supplied through solar system.
Charging camera batteries, mobile phones can be done at the dining hall upon informing the management. They charge on an average of US $ 2.00 to US $ 6.5 for getting the batteries fully charged. The higher we go the more expensive to charge.
We recommended that you put your batteries in your sleeping bags at night to keep it warm as in cold the batteries drains energy very fast.
Wi-Fi and mobile phone on treks
Annapurna and Everest regions have lodges that provide Wi-Fi. A cost of US $ 5.00 to $ 12.00 depending on what data package they have is charged on per hour or per day basis.
Other trek areas have not developed this facility.
Annapurna and Everest region has good mobile connectivity. Other areas don’t have much coverage but the mobile network connection is growing. Please enquire via mail about the mobile phone coverages on trek routes for details.
One can get a mobile phone sim card on arrival at the airport. Passport photocopies with passport size photo (one) is required.