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TREKKING IN THE NEPALESE HIMALAYAS TO KHOPRA DANDA

Eight days of trekking and our biggest physical challenge yet. An alternative that’s as good as the Annapurna Base Camp trek – but without the crowds

 

WHERE WE’VE STAYED

 

KATHMANDU

Tibet Peace Inn

Nights
1

Cost
3000 Rs

What that included
Bed & breakfast, air-con, wifi, airport pick up

Rating **1/2
Friendliness 3 Cleanliness 3 Location 3 Comfort 3 Facilities 2 Food 3 Value for money 2

What we thought
Expensive for what we got, although the rate did include airport pick up. Unfortunately, the road outside had been dug up to replace underground piping which meant that dust was swirling around everywhere. Pleasant enough service.

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

 

POKHARA

North Star Guest House
North Star Guest House, Pokhara

North Star Guest House

Nights
6

Cost
1280 rupees per night

What that included
Bed & breakfast, fan, wifi

Rating ***1/2
Friendliness 3 Cleanliness 4 Location 3 Comfort 4 Facilities 3 Food 3 Value for money 4

What we thought
Good value, clean room, comfortable bed and (usually) reliable wifi made this a good base before and after our eight-day trek. Set back in a small community away from the main road we were kept awake at times by one particularly persistent dog.

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

GHANDRUK

Hotel Asish Aana
Hotel Asish Aana, Ghandruk

Hotel Asish Aana

Nights
1

Cost
200 rupees per night

What that included
Room only

Rating ****1/2
Friendliness 5 Cleanliness 5 Location 4 Comfort 3 Facilities n/a Food 4 Value for money 5

What we thought
Rustic, spotlessly clean guest house on the Annapurna Base Camp trek route. The breakfast of millet/corn/wheat “Gurung” bread and  lentil curry/soup was sublime. It was by some distance the nicest and friendliest place we stayed at during our eight-day Himalayan trek. Recommended.

 

TADAPANI

Hotel Magnificent
Hotel Magnificent, Tadapani

Hotel Magnificent

Nights
1

Cost
400 rupees per night

What that included
Room only

Rating ***
Friendliness 3 Cleanliness 3 Location 3 Comfort 2 Facilities n/a Food 3 Value for money 3

What we thought
Extremely basic tea-house accommodation – bare timber floor and walls.  Decent food.

 

DOBATO

Hotel Mount Lucky
Hotel Mount Lucky, Dobato

Hotel Mount Lucky

Nights
1

Cost
300 rupees per night

What that included
Room only

Rating **1/2
Friendliness 3 Cleanliness 3 Location 4 Comfort 1 Facilities n/a Food 3 Value for money 2

What we thought
Extremely basic tea-house accommodation. Decent food. Very cold at night although a wood-stove gives off some warmth in the restaurant.

KHOPRA DANDA

Khopra Danda Community Lodge
Khopra Danda Community Lodge, Khopra Danda

Khopra Danda Community Lodge

Nights
2

Cost
400 rupees per night

What that included
Room only

Rating **1/2
Friendliness 3 Cleanliness 1 Location 5 Comfort 2 Facilities n/a Food 2 Value for money 2

What we thought
At 3660 metres and sat on top of a ridge, this place can get seriously cold at night. But in the right weather, it provides an unbeatable 180-degree view of the Himalayas. As with most tea-house accommodation the rooms are extremely basic.

CITRE

New Annapurna View Guest House
New Annapurna View Guest House, Chitre

New Annapurna View Guest House

Nights
1

Cost
200 rupees per night

What that included
Room only

Rating ****
Friendliness 3 Cleanliness 4 Location 5 Comfort 4 Facilities n/a Food 4 Value for money 4

What we thought
Great views from the bedroom window looking back towards Khopra Danda and the Annapurnas. Pretty good food, too along with better-than-average accommodation. And it even had an en-suite bathroom – all for just over £1.

TIKHEDUNGA

Tikhedunga Guest House
Tikhedunga Guest House, Tikhedunga

Tikhedunga Guest House

Nights
1

Cost
400 rupees per night

What that included
Room only

Rating ***
Friendliness 4 Cleanliness 3 Location 4 Comfort 2 Facilities n/a Food 2 Value for money 3

What we thought
Nicely situated beside a waterfall this was a decent place to stay for one night, although there are gaps between the walls of the bedrooms which made for quite a bit of noise from our neighbours. Nice outdoor seating area, too.

KATHMANDU

Hotel Happy Home

Nights
1

Cost
1500 rupees per night

What that included
Bed & breakfast, air-con, wifi

Rating ****
Friendliness 4 Cleanliness 4 Location 4 Comfort 5 Facilities 3 Food 2 Value for money 5

What we thought
We were upgraded to this hotel after our original guest house told us they’d double-booked. Ultimately it proved great value although the normal cost of our room would have been nearly twice as much. Large room, comfortable bed, good wifi and one of the best night’s sleep we had in Nepal.

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

 

 

BHAKTAPUR

Peacock Guest House
Peacock Guest House, Bhaktapur

Peacock Guest House

Nights
4

Cost
3680 rupees per night

What that included
Bed & breakfast, wifi

Rating ***1/2
Friendliness 4 Cleanliness 4 Location 5 Comfort 3 Facilities 3 Food 4 Value for money 3

What we thought
Set in a  lovely classic Newari building right on historic Dattatraya Square, our room was large, characterful and comfortable. The food was European cafe-style – sandwiches, muffins, Illy coffee etc. The only downside was the noise from the cafe and the large family living next door. Otherwise recommended.

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

BOUDHANATH

Rokpa Guest House
Rokpa Guest House, Boudhanath

Rokpa Guest House

Nights
2

Cost
3815 rupees per night

What that included
Bed & breakfast, wifi

Rating ***1/2
Friendliness 3 Cleanliness 4 Location 3 Comfort 4 Facilities 3 Food 4 Value for money 3

What we thought
Situated away from the hustle-bustle of the town, this would have been an oasis of calm had it not been for the inevitable building work in the close vicinity. Nice garden area for breakfast and dinner and the Daal Makhani with roti was a great lunch choice.

Website

Trip Advisor reviews

IMAGES OF NEPAL

GOATS IN BHAKTAPUR

Visit Bhaktapur’s ancient Dattatraya Square and you’ll notice a collection of goats who’ve made themselves at home along the walls and steps of some of its historic buildings. Like this one who isn’t about to move for anyone!

DURBAR SQUARE, BHAKTAPUR

Although badly hit by the earthquake of 2015, some of Durbar Square’s magnificent buildings remain. But there’s no ignoring the devastation to many of the World Heritage buildings, which have been reduced to nothing more than rubble.

STREET SCENE, BHAKTAPUR

Evidence of the earthquake is everywhere – including bricks and stones piled up on the side of the street as if they’re being prepared for a rebuilding programme.

PEACOCK WINDOW

Still intact, however, is one of Bhaktapur’s most famous sights – the intricately carved wooden Peacock Window, which dates back to the 15th Century. Also referred to as the Mona Lisa of Nepal, it now stands at the head of a wood-carving museum.

HINDU SHRINE, BHAKTAPUR

A small Hindu shrine in Bhaktapur is daubed with red Kumkuma powder. Although famous for its grand Buddhist stupas, the country is actually a Hindu state, with 80% of its population identifying with that religion.

TIBETAN BUDDHIST AT BOUDHANATH STUPA

Boudhanath is another of Nepal’s famous sites that were hit by the 2015 earthquake. It’s home to the holiest Tibetan Buddhist Stupa outside of Tibet, and while we were there repairs were being made to the whole of the structure above the dome.

SWEEPING UP IN GHANDRUK

In sharp contrast to the incredibly dust-filled streets of earthquake-hit Kathmandu, the lovely Himalayan village of Ghandruk was possibly the most immaculately clean place we came across in South and South East Asia. And this image of sweeping brushes on a window ledge perfectly sums up the villagers’ pride in their environment.

GUNUNG BREAD

Probably our favourite food in Nepal this simple breakfast of fried millet bread, served with a lentil curry, belied its simple appearance. Perfect before a long hike up through the Himalayas.

CARRYING STRAW IN TIKHEDUNGA

Working in rural Nepal inevitably involves long journeys on foot up and down steep hills. And plenty of steps. Of course, if you want to avoid having to do the journey too many times you try to pack onto your back as much as you can. As this man is trying to do with these bales of straw.

TREKKING IN THE HIMALAYAS

The vast majority of people who come to visit Nepal will take some sort of trek into the Himalayas. And although it can be tough, the rewards are special.
Read more at Trekking in the Nepalese Himalayas to Khopra Danda

A YAK

And, of course, if you’re going to trek in the Himalayas you’re going to want to see at least one of these iconic yaks. OK, they’re basically woolly cows, but they’re nonetheless fascinating to see in the wild. And they do produce milk that makes great cheese!

MOUNTAIN VILLAGE

Another of Nepal’s iconic sights are the tiny villages dotted around the mountains, surrounded by stepped fields of rice paddies.

MORE ON NEPAL

Nepal’s official tourism website

Excellent blog focusing mainly on Nepal

Comprehensive blog on travelling in Nepal

The indispensable guide for budget travellers

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