Two week itinerary backpacking Nepal

The country of mountains even for those who do not like trekking. You will draw strength from anywhere to explore every corner of the Himalayas that you can, get lost in every street of Thamel and stupa in Kathmandu and climb all the viewpoints and lakes of Pokhara.

Nepal and its purity and tranquility do not leave you indifferent, a mandatory stop before or after India to recharge your batteries.

Everything you need to know for your trip to Nepal:

  1. Best tips for visiting Nepal
  2. Best time of year to visit Nepal
  3. Two-week route through Nepal
    1. Days 1 to 3: Kathmandu
    2. Day 4: Bhaktapur
    3. Days 5 to 7: Pokhara
    4. Days 8 to 14: Trekking the Himalayas
  4. Nepal daily backpacking budget
  5. Where to stay in Nepal
  6. What to do in Nepal if you have more time

Official exchange rate 1EUR = 140 NPR Nepalese Rupee

Best tips for visiting Nepal

Let’s demystify some myths about Nepal and its Trekkings:

  • You don’t need a guide for your trekking. Most of the routes, including the ABC or the EBC, are perfectly indicated so you can get there on your own. The roads do not have the slightest difficulty and there are signs everywhere and Tea Houses every 2km that will be able to tell you. If you want one, they will help you with your luggage, you will contribute to the economy of the area and you will have more information about the route and mountain. They will also help you manage your physique in a better way.
  • Buy your equipment in Pokhara, as in safaris, the closer you are to the origin the cheaper everything will be, in Pokhara there are stores with clothing and equipment both to rent and to buy of very good quality and very well priced.
  • Food and accommodation: The further you have traveled on a trek, the more expensive everything will be, since the transportation is by mule or with porters. Of course, you will find Tea Houses every 2km maximum where you can stay and eat between €5 and €10.
  • Don’t act brave in the mountains, if you see that your physique can’t continue or that the weather is bad, lean back or rest a little.
  • Visa: There are three types of visa for Nepal, 15, 30 and 90 days that cost $30, $50 and $125 respectively and can be done on arrival and paid by card.

Best time of year to visit Nepal

The best time of year to visit Nepal is without a doubt between October and November. It is the time when the sky will be clearest and Nepal will offer you the best possible views of the Himalayas.

From December to April the dry season continues and although it is the coldest, it is the best time to avoid the rainy season and the melting of the mountains that cause landslides and avalanches.

The nights are usually cold in the mountains but in Pokhara and Kathmandu, which are only 1,000m high, it is the best time to enjoy them.

Two-week route through Nepal

A route adapted for those looking for a small dose of the mountains and the great cultural part that Nepal has to offer beyond the mountains.

Days 1 to 3: Kathmandu

Kathmandu will surely be your gateway to Nepal. Unlike many big cities in India, Nepal has that particular touch that makes you welcome and want to start exploring the city.

It is a stressful city when you move near one of its main road arteries, but when you immerse yourself in the Thamel and other areas and start wandering around you will see how it has a particular appeal.

Depending on the days you have, you can see more or less, but stay near Thamel to discover its economic center, Durbar Square, where several temples are located, including Kumari Ghar, where you can see the little goddess in life, and Thaleju. Bhawani. If you have some time, I recommend that you go to the Swayambhunath temple to the west of the city and go up to its viewpoint to have a 360 view of the Nepalese capital.

Day 4: Bhaktapur

If you stay one more day in Kathmandu, I recommend that you go to the city of Bhaktapur, just 30km away and practically a two-hour drive for 120 NPR, a little less than €1.

Bhaktapur, which was once the city that was built for the nobility of the area, preserves a series of historical buildings and temples in excellent condition. Access to Durbar Square is somewhat expensive, 1800 NPR (about €14) for non-Nepalese tourists, but it is well worth it. There are a lot of places to visit, even extending the visit for a couple of days if you want to take it easy.

To reach Bhaktapur you will have to take a bus from Ratnapark.

Days 5 to 7: Pokhara

To get to Pokhara you have two options: either a 9-10am bus or by plane. One option costs €10 and the other costs €100, it depends on your budget. What I can say is that it is one of the worst roads there can be, 10 hellish hours of holes in the roads, eternal stops, traffic and roads under construction.

However you have to go to Pokhara no matter what, as it is the main starting point for all the places of interest in Nepal. Pokhara is a small town on the banks of a lake away from the madness of big cities. From there there are multiple routes you can take to different viewpoints such as Pumdikhot and the Peace Pagoda and at the other end of the city the Thulakot Hill.

Other places that you should not miss are Devil’s Fall in the Gharipatan area and the Ghats in Phewa Lake where every afternoon a ritual is performed and the entire town gathers in that area with children and families.

To get your Trekking permits you must go to the Pokhara Immigration Office in good time in the morning, you must bring cash to pay, they will take your ID photos.

Days 8 to 14: Trekking the Himalaya

Mardi Himal is a perfect trekking for those who want to start without having done much mountain before, as well as Poon Hill. Both offer spectacular views of the Himalayas and if you do Mardi Himal you will reach about 4,200m, enough to challenge the athlete in you.

Mardi Himal

In my case I did the Mardi Himal in 3 days and 2 nights. Normally it is designed to do 4 days and 3 nights, but I felt good physically, especially on the ascent and I continued pushing at a good pace.

My recommendation: Start very early, if you go with more people go at your own pace and stop when you need to, if you stop for too long you will get cold and if you stop too little you may get too tired and the pace you should maintain should be your own.

We took a bus from Pokhara that left us in Kande, from there it was about 6 or 7 hours to Forest Camp, the first Tea House where we would sleep. Many people start trekking around mid-day or afternoon and stay at the Australian Camp, which is about two hours from the start.

The next day we left after a good breakfast and at my own pace I separated from the group and continued on my own until we reached the Fishtail Lodge which is in High Camp, it is the last camp you can reach on this route which represents an ascent to 3,900 m where conditions were no longer so good. It was very windy and quite cold and the snow began to appear, as well as the top of Fishtail, one of the most dangerous mountains in the region and the views through which you do this route. It was another 6 or 7 hours of climbing.

On the third day we get up at 5 in the morning for a climb of about 45 to 90 minutes depending on your pace and how you handle the altitude since you will climb to 4,200m with temperatures of -20ºC. Of course, the views from the viewpoint are brutal, with a sea of clouds at your feet, the Annapurna behind you and the Mardi Himal and the Fishtail at your side you will be able to ask for little more when the sun begins to break on the horizon .

Annapurna Base Camp (ABC)

Many of the treks to the ABC start in Landruk. If after doing the Mardi Himal you feel strong enough to continue walking like in my case. You can retrace your path to Forest Camp, descending for about 20 kilometers and just past the camp, take a detour that, after descending stairs for two hours that will destroy your knees, will take you to the town of Landruk where I recommend that you stay at Tibet Lodge.

With my pace I was thinking of doing this trek in 6 days with the following stops Upper Sinua, Himalayan and Macchapuchare and back in Jhinu Danda with a day to spare depending on the pace, time and energy. In the end, in my case, the weather began to turn very bad and I was not sufficiently equipped for so much snow and cold, and the wear and tear of the Mardi Himal left me without strength.

So my attempt at ABC was in Jhinu Danda, Doban and on the way back, I stayed a little more than a day from Base Camp but this way I have an excuse to return in the future. However, it should be noted that the landscapes up to Doban are not as spectacular as in Mardi. However, it is worth it if you are doing the Annapurna Circuit to go to the hot springs of Jhinu Danda and go up to Chomrong to see the town. If you have good weather, Jhinu Danda is an ideal place to rest for at least a day.

Right in Jhinu is the longest suspension bridge in Nepal that is not suitable for everyone, you will see how the Nepalese pass by with their cattle and running on donkeys.

Nepal daily backpacking budget

Nepal is “as cheap as it gets”, except for the hikes, most of the options in the country are quite cheap. Including equipment for trekking, I spent an average of €25 a day without breaking even.

Food: Food in the cities is usually around €1-2 for some momos or a plate of curry or around €2-3 for a Dhal Bat, when you go trekking, the food becomes more expensive the further you go. further from your starting point.

Accommodation: Similar to the food on treks, you usually negotiate at the tea houses, a combined price or free accommodation in exchange for eating three meals. But in Kathmandu and Pokhara it is usually around €5-6 per night.

Transportation: Most of your transportation will be on your feet, because if you go to Nepal it is because you will be in the mountains a lot. Despite this, some transfers to Pokhara are expensive, €20, and if you don’t want to pay for the flight to Pokhara, the wonderful 9-hour bus awaits you Clearly one of the worst public transports there is, due to the poor condition of the roads.

Entertainment and equipment: You will need to equip yourself with some material to go trekking, if you don’t have anything, better buy it in Pokhara, where you will find it cheaper. Apart from this, trekking permits are mandatory and somewhat expensive.

Where to stay in Nepal

I stayed several times in Pokhara and Kathmandu so if you are a single traveler these hostels and guesthouses are your option!

  • Elbrus Home // Kathmandu: It consists of two buildings with a gigantic patio where they will prepare the best breakfasts you will have from 5am. They are hot at night and have hot water.
  • Kiwi Backpackers // Pokhara: Without a doubt the best option to meet people and go on different treks, they have a WhatsApp group to help you coordinate everything and they will give you the best instructions to organize your trip. The rooftop is spectacular.

You will find the rest of the Tea House trekkings above!

What to do in Nepal if you have more time

Due to getting sandwich between plans once again ran out of time in Nepal, if I had had a little extra I would have gone to Chitwan National Park to see the rhinos since even after so much traveling I have not been able to see them!

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