The Annapurna Foot Hills Trek is popular owing to the following reasons – it offers stunning vistas of the mighty Annapurnas and the surrounding Himalayan peaks, it offers a fascinating peek into the Gurung culture of Nepal, and lastly, it is not as physically challenging in terms of duration and altitude. This trek for many is an introduction to the magnificent experience that is trekking.
Beginning with a drive from Pokhara to Phedi and start the hike to Dhampus. Walking under the warm sun through terraced rice and paddy fields, we pass by charming villages mostly inhabited by the Gurungs & Magars. Crossing thick rhododendron forests bursting in red during spring, the landscapes are picturesque. As we watch the sun rise and set along the snow-capped Himalayan peaks; the dance of the orange hues nothing short of heaven.
We spend the first night in Dhampus, climb further up to reach Landrung the next day. The third day we trek to Ghandrung is a short trek. We spend the afternoon exploring this famous village with its museum and a small monastery. We ascend the next day to Chommrong from where we get the closest views of the Annapurna ranges. Head further up to reach Tadapani where we spend a night and on our sixth day we reach Ghorepani which at an altitude of 2860 meters is the highest point of our overnight stay. A major highlight of this trek is to climb Poon Hill (3,210m) from Ghorepani to watch the sunrise. Many visitors have been in awe of the sunrise as the ray’s shine over the Himalayan giants (Dhaulagiri, 8167m, Machhapuchhre, 6997m, Annapurna South, 7219m, and Annapurna I, 8091m). The sunrise from Poon Hill is said to one of the most magnificent sunrises ever seen by many travelers – divine and mesmerizing at the same time.
DAY 01: ARRIVE KATHMANDU
Arrive at TIA, Kathmandu, meet representatives and be transferred to the hotel. Guests welcomed with a welcome drink and rooms duly assigned. Free to visit local attractions the remainder of the day.
Overnight at Hotel.
DAY 02: FLY TO POKHARA (884 M)
After leisurely breakfast board the waiting vehicle and drive to domestic airport.
Catch the 25 minutes’ flight to Pokhara. Upon arrival met by the waiting vehicle and drive to Hotel. Check in. Rest of the day is free to rest, relax and enjoy the lake side city on your own.
Overnight at Hotel.
DAY 03: DRIVE POKHARA TO PHEDI AND TREK TO DHAMPUS (1650 M)
Early morning after breakfast board the waiting vehicle and then drive from Pokhara to Phedi which takes around 45 minutes. Here meet the rest of the team and commence trek to Dhampus (1700 m). The trek starts immediately with a steep climb on a cobbled stone steps and through mixed forests and scattered settlement.
As you gain the elevation the trail becomes gradual passing through the villages and terraced rice and paddy fields and takes an hour to arrive at the Top View Lodge which marks the end of the steep path and arrival at Dhampus Plateau. From here the incline is much easier as the trail continues to climb steadily in more forested area and after about an hour we arrive at the entrance to Dhampus Village with a maze of houses and alleyways of stone walls. There are magnificent views of the mountains from west to east of the Annapurna South (7219m), Hiun Chuli (6441m), Mardi Himal (5587 m) and Machapucchre (6993m) to the north.
The rest of the day is free to explore the village
Dinner and overnight at the lodge. Trek duration: 3 – 3 ½ hrs.
DAY 04: TREK FROM DAMPUS TO LANDRUNG (1699 M)
After breakfast, the trek begins with a pleasant morning walk through the village and then passing through undulating trails in a forested area to the settlement of Pothana (1990 m).
The path from here slowly ascends until it reaches the locality of Bichok Deorali (2149m) and the trail further ascends to passing through Modi Khola to reach the village of Bheri Khola. Another short undulating trails brings us to the village of Tolka which is a convenient place to stop for lunch.
After lunch, cross a small suspension bridge as the path follows the ridge of a hill to reach the hamlets of Tolka Naga and Tolka Medi Gara. From here it’s a gentle descend to the village of Landrung.
Dinner and overnight at the lodge. Trek duration: 4 ½ to 5 ½ hrs.
DAY 05: TREK FROM LANDRUNG TO GHANDRUNG (1950 Meters)
Today is a short walking day allowing time to explore the village of Ghandrung. After breakfast the trail goes steeply down towards the Modi Khola (river) and cross the river on a suspension bridge. The ascend is steep from here but through picturesque terrace fields and small villages. Eventually we reach Ghandrung, one of the largest Gurung settlements and the headquarters of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP).. The views of Gangapura, Machhapuchhre (Fishtail), and other Annapurna ranges can be seen from here.
After lunch visit the village, the museum and the small local monastery.
Dinner and overnight at the lodge. Trek duration: 3 to 3½ hrs.
DAY 06: TREK FROM GHANDRUNG TO CHOMMRONG (2170 Meters)
After breakfast, the trek starts with a pleasant morning walk through the main village square and follow the gradual undulating trail for an hour and a half to reach a small settlement at Komrong, on a pass at 2250 meters. From here the trail immediately descends through the mixed forest until to arrive at the bottom of the valley, cross the Komrong River.
From here the trail immediately starts with a steep ascent for about an hour and a half passing through village and terraced farm land, until we meet the trail junction in the middle of the forest. We take the right side and continue further passing through forest and small settlements to arrive at Chommorong.
Dinner and overnight at the lodge. Trek duration: 5 to 5½ hrs.
DAY 07: TREK FROM CHOMMRONG TO TADAPANI (2590 M)
After breakfast, start trek to Tadapani. The trail starts with a descent passing small settlements to reach Kymnu Khola (river), cross the bridge and a short climb brings us to the settlement of Chuele.
Climb steadily for about an hour and enter a dense forest of very tall Rhododendron trees. Continue to climb and after two hours arrive at Tadapani, with a row of tea houses and lodges on a ridge. We shall stay overnight at this lush green area with trees and fresh mountain air.
Dinner and Overnight at the lodge. Trek duration: 5 -5 ½ hours.
DAY 08: TREK FROM TADAPNI TO GHOREPANI (2860 M)
After breakfast the trail descends from this village square and shopping area and then ascends through forests to arrive at Banthanti, A further climb bring us to Deorali (3180 m).
Continue through the undulating forest trail to arrive at a clearing to get views of the Annapurna South and the Ghorepani village far down below. Descend for 30 minutes to approach the main gate to Ghorepani with a big signboard welcoming trekkers to this village, which is also the highest campsite on our trek. It is an interesting walk as we pass through this densely populated village of a different ethnic community of Magars. We pass through the main village to arrive at the Lodge for overnight stay.
Dinner and Overnight at the lodge. Trek duration: 5 -5 ½ hours.
DAY 09: EXCURSION TO POON HILL SUNRISE & TREK FROM GHOREPANI TO ULLERI & DRIVE TO POKHARA
Pre-dawn alert and it is time to do the one and half hour trek to Poon Hill (3210 m) to view a magnificent sunrise over the Annapurna Range.
Shortly afterwards we return back to Ghorepani for breakfast. After breakfast, bid farewell to the villagers and the trek starts with a descent which gradually intensifies as we descend steeply to the river. Then there is more descending through a trail of gurgling streams and forests till our arrival at the Magar settlement of Ulleri.
Board a local vehicle to take us to Nayapool via the village of Tirkhedhunga. Change vehicle here and drive to Pokhara.
Overnight at Hotel Trek duration: 4 ½ hours. Drive duration: 3 hours
DAY 10: Am: FREE Pm: FLY BACK TO KATHMANDU
After leisurely breakfast rest and enjoy Pokhara.
In the afternoon board the vehicle and drive to airport and catch the 25 minutes’ flight to Kathmandu. Upon arrival met and transferred to the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 11: FINALDEPARTURE
Free for final minute packing and shopping until transferred to the airport for final departure.
Best Period: Feb, Mar, April, May – Oct, Nov, Dec
Time Period: 10 Nights / 11 Days.
Trek Period: 06 Night / 07 Days
In Kathmandu: 02 Nights
In Pokhara: 02 Nights
Trek Type: Medium
Highest Altitude: 3210 meters
Warning: Altitude Sickness.
Trek Start /End Point: Nayapul
Accommodations: Hotels in Kathmandu/ Pokhara / Lodges on trek
National Park: Annapurna National Park (7629 sq. kms)
Mountains: Annapurna I, Annapurna II, Annapurna South Dhaulagiri I, II, III, IV, V, Nilgiri, Fishtail etc.
Rivers: Seti, Modi, Burgundi etc.
Tribes: Brahmins, Chettris, Newars, Gurungs, Magars, Thakalis, Manangis and the Tibetans
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.