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A very humbling experience. One year after the devastating earthquake that hit the Kathmandu village it was good to see that the people have moved on with their lives. Walking through the many small villages on this hike allowed me to get close to the people closer than I ever imagined.
Since this tour includes watching the sunrise, it starts very early in the day. My guide and driver met me in the hotel lobby on time at 04.30. The trip to Nagarkot Tower to watch the sunrise was well worth the effort. Having made this trip in April, the conditions were smoggy so you could barely see the tips of the mountains. The October-December time period would be best to see the mountain range is in full view.
We had breakfast at small local restaurant with mountain views. It was literally a shack but that's also why I loved it. It was not touristy. The food was very good so absolutely no complaints. I paid for my breakfast, which surprised me since it was supposed to be included in the tour. I felt bad as I only brought an exact amount of money so the money I paid for breakfast was taken out of the money I budgeted to tip my guide and driver.
After breakfast, we went on a hike to the Changu Narayan Temple. If you are in good physical condition, it will be an easy hike. This mountain hike offers beautiful views of the valley. It also allowed me to see how the locals live. What is heart breaking is that there are still houses that are waiting to be fixed from last year's earthquake. There was a random hotel during the hike and we stopped there to have a cup of tea. This was an unexpected but a welcome respite as it allowed me to further take in the local experience. The Changu Narayan Temple was a fitting end to the hike. I took in all that history and the outstanding sculptures and woodworking.
Finally, my guide was very kind and informative. He was very willing to answer my questions and he answered them with just the right amount of detail. Unlike a previous tour that I took, there was absolutely no pressure from the guide to buy anything from the locals. Any item I bought was solely initiated by me. If you don't have a lot of time to spare in the Kathmandu Valley, I would highly recommend this tour.
Good views, helpful people but very expensive comparing to what it worth
Problem about trekking -- specially to Nagarkot-- is that you may simply do it completely alone, guided by your google maps, and pay nearly nothing. Wouldn't recommend anyone to pay money for specially one day trekking
Also if you are going specially to see the Mountains, checking the weather forecast this day is a must, because you would be completely frustrated if you didn't see them, and the fact is, most of the days the view is hazy and you can see nothing
Doing what: Nagarkot Guided Day Trek from Kathmandu
This tour includes 4 days, 3 nights. You start off meeting in Thamel, then driving about 45 mins to the hike start point. This morning is pretty much all uphill. Lunch was daal baat at a local restaurant. Overnight in Chisapani, which has beautiful views on both sides of the ridge. For Chisapani, we stayed at a basic guesthouse. Be sure to bring a towel, toilet paper, soap, and a sleeping bag liner or sleeping bag. They provide a modest blanket and pillow. Dinner was daal baat. The next morning you hike on the side of mountain to Nargokot. The morning is a long hike, a few hours, followed by another few hours. Lunch was at a guesthouse daal baat. Overnight in Nargokot at Hotel Country Villa, which overlooks a huge valley. It was super nice. Recommend purchasing the buffet dinner and breakfast. The next day is an easy hike out of Nargokot, where you will pass through several villages. Feel free to ask to stop and meet the villagers, buy some of their tea, or learn about locally brewed millet wine. I skipped the temple hike, which adds a few hours. We arrived in Bhaktapur around lunchtime. I was free to get lunch on my own. Bhaktapur is very in tune with the tourist industry. Thus, there are several Western style eateries usually at hotels. That afternoon, my guide showed me basic things in Bhaktapur, which reminded me of an ancient Italian bricked city. My guide then let me explore on my own. Be sure to venture off the tourist trail to see how life is really lived. Don't be afraid to get lost. Overnight was at a Bhaktapur hotel which overlooked Taumadhi Square. Bhaktapur is very touristy, so be sure to bargain for gifts. If you want a good gift for everyone back home, buy them an incense holder in the clay square, these run about 20 NR for one small one. The next day, I was free to explore on my own, then I met up for lunch with my guide and I was taken to the airport.
Other items: there is a porter until Bhaktapur, be sure to tip him.
Brilliant trip and incredible value for money--strongly recommended!
Shuang Yuan K Singapore
Good for trekking enthusiasts. Around 6 hours daily of serious trekking through a good mix of national park, rural villages, farm land and mountaineous terrain. Average pace allowed adequate water/rest breaks and lunch to recharge. Stayed overnight in one teahouse and two hotels. Hotels were comfortable and more than expected. Teahouse was basic with attached bathroom but has no air-con and hot water, hence be prepared. Food was satisfactory. Guide and porter were knowledgable and helpful. Last day at Buktapur allowed tour of historical town and shopping. Overall a well planned itinerary.
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