Travel Guide > Travelling
Nepal: Annapurna Curcuit - Part 1
The morning clouds part to reveal mountains glided in sunlight. Before me is the Annapurna range in Nepal, peaks more than anything I’ve seen. Soon I’ll be experiencing them up close. But, for now, I’m admiring them at a distance from the comfort of tiger mountain pokhara lodge. Hidden away on a hilltop above pokhara – the central Nepalese city used as a base for trekkers path leads in the Annapurna region- the lodge is a corner of splendour in a rugged land. The area boasts some of the world’s most famous treks, particularly the arduous Annapurna circuit.
Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge is one of the new luxury options popping up across the region for trekkers. Made up of several stone cabins nestled between the trees and built on sustainable principles, the lodge is so idyllic.
The circuit is not for the faint-hearted, covering from 160 – 230km, with a few precarious paths and testing altitudes. It also boasts one of the highest mountain passes in the world. Thorong La Pass, at an altitude of 5, 416m. Despite this majority of trekkers and beginners unable to resist the promise of jaw-dropping views of 8, 000m peaks piercing the skies. And the government has poured money into maintenance, shoring up risky paths and installing WIFI along the route.
The journey from Besisahar, a couple of hours drive east of Pokhara, the path leads through dynamic valleys, shadowy mountains rising above, but here’s the secret, a four by four vehicle.
The road from Besisahar Eventually turns into a narrow path that leads through a forest and along cliff –edges. Passing through you reach a waterfall, and next stop is the city of Chame with hot springs.
Next stop is Upper pisang, several lodges scaling the hill of Upper Pisang, some have en suite bathrooms which used to be unheard of on the curcuit. You can enjoy meals like panoramic views of the white mountains Sharma.
In cities along like Manang, Muktinath, Chandruk there are new luxurious lodges, Manang is a larger village of quaint stone buildings, French bakeries, and even a few tiny cinemas. Most important is Tillicho Hotel. Its galleries overlook a pretty courtyard, dining rooms are wood panelled and furnished with handmade textiles. Excellent burgers and pizza beside the Nepalese cuisine. Another good choice is the yak steak!!
Most trekkers have a rest day in Manang to acclimatize to the altitude- nearly 3, 600m high so feeling restored after a break.
Next stop away from the Annapurna range is Thorong La, the pinnacle of the trek. Accommodation here is luxurious and much better than the first villages on the trek.
Next stop en-route is Thorong Phedi- the way is infamous for landslides, great stone-filled cages have been installed to prevent this. Lodgings are basic but Windhorse restaurant is more than comfortable. It serves a variety of Nepalese, Asian and Western dishes as well as fresh pastries.
After the town of Muktinath, there are many recently opened hotels, a new road also means someone can shorten the journey to the next town Jomsom where Om’s home boasts a fine restaurant as well as the best coffee for miles in the attached Himalayan Java café.
The government has been investing heavily in infrastructure in the Jomsom area but the challenge here is making the region more accessible while not disrupting what nature has to offer. After all whichever way you choose Annapurna’s natural beauty offers a kind of luxury That can’t be constructed.
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Page added on: 14 September 2018
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