It is a rugged and wild trek that takes you to the extravagant valley of Nar Phu, one of the most remote yet alluring regions located north of Annapurna. This trek is perfect for travelers who want to discover the Annapurna circuit as well as explore an untouched valley. This exotic land offers medieval Tibetan culture in undisturbed form, significant mountain views and great alpine scenery.
Opened to visitors only in the year 2003, the Nar Phu valley remains unaffected by modernity. The inhabitants, who roughly comprises of about 350 Nepalese Tibetans, have retained their ancient practices. Most of them are engaged in yak herding and farming.
The trek that covers major portion of the trials of famous Annapurna Circuit Trek also offers Sensational views of the Annapurna massif, Lamjung Himal, Machhapuchhre Himal, Manaslu Himal, Dhaulagiri range and Tilicho peak. As the trekking route is frequented by few trekkers, you can look ahead for a ‘just the mountains, nature & us’ experience.
After landing at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Adventure Ascent representative will be there to greet you and take you to the hotel. We will then check-in at the hotel, freshen up and take a rest. Welcome dinner will be hosted in the evening. Overnight in Kathmandu.
After introduction with the city tour guide at the hotel you will begin your tour to Pashupatinath temple, Swayambhunath stupa and Bouddhanath stupa, which are all world heritage sites. Pashupatinath temple is one of the most important places of pilgrimage for all Hindus. Swayambhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple and Baudhanath Stupa is one of the largest stupas in the world. After the tour you will meet with your trekking guide, briefing about the trek and checking your trek gears will be done afterwards. Overnight in Kathmandu.
We leave Kathmandu early in the morning and drive first to Besisahar. After lunch, we change to a four-wheel drive vehicle for the rugged journey towards Koto. The road can be almost as challenging for passengers as for drivers, but it is incredibly scenic! It travels along the old Annapurna Circuit trek route, through amazing gorges and past stunning waterfalls. Arrive in Koto around dinnertime.
We start our journey early today, as we have to cover a long distance. After crossing the river we enter into this magnificient Nar & Phu valleys. Unlike towns on the nearby Annapurna Circuit it is completely untouched by modernity.
Today’s trekking route passes through beautiful woods, past small cave shelters and pilgrims’ resting places. Emerging from a narrow canyon, the trail passes under a wide waterfall, from which point the woods become thinner and the vistas wider. The last stretch into Meta involves climbing a steep hill, from which there are amazing views of some of the giant snowy peaks in the area. Meta lies on a big open plain and consists of a few lodges, which are simple yet clean and offer good meals.
As soon as we trek out of Meta, some of the unique, colorful Tibetan Buddhist chortens that Nar and Phu are famous for begin to appear in sight. The trail meanders along the ridge with a good view of the spectacular Nar Phedi monastery, which you will visit in a few days’ time. After another ninety minutes hiking through scenic canyons and gorges, you’ll reach a monolith that guards the steep trail up to Phu.
From here, you can get your first view of the three villages in the area as well as the old “Dzong” (Tibetan-style fortress) and the remains of two ruined forts, impressively situated atop the flatlands before the village. Just before crossing the bridge into Phu, a line of wonderful Chortens color the landscape.
To adjust our body in high altitude, it’s good to spend an extra day in Phu acclimating. You can explore the tiny alleyways of the town or hike up to Himlung Himal base camp. Phu itself is an interesting village, and a day is well spent sitting with the villagers as they spin their yak and sheep wool, pound mustard seeds into a paste for oil, or go about their other daily chores.
For an extra challenge, the hike up to Himlung Himal base camp takes you through a glacial valley. The 7,125 m. peak was recently opened for climbing. On the trail up you will see herds of blue sheep skillfully clambering up the steep cliffs. The return trip takes about four to five hours.
Retracing the route backs down towards Meta, but we turn towards Nar Phedi monastery, which will be our accommodation for the night. In fact, the monastery is all that Nar Phedi consists of!
We will be welcomed in clean and neat rooms by the nuns. We will then eventually join them in the kitchen and watch them prepare dinner on a modest fireplace. At 5 pm they usually do a puja (blessing), which you are welcome to witness. There is a small donation box in the monastery where you can leave a contribution for the maintenance of this beautiful and friendly place.
Today is a very gentle day. We climb out of Nar Phedi and follow a winding path up a hill towards Nar passing a line of wonderfully painted, bamboo-topped chortens on the way into the ancient village.
Nar is bit more social and lively than Phu, and during the day you may find the village ‘square’ be packed with chatting women with their back-strap looms weaving wool fabric for rugs and blankets. With a few new teahouses built on the outskirts of Nar, you can stay in a comfortable lodge with an extensive menu.
Today is a long day, so we get up before sunrise and head towards the Kang La pass, which leads back onto the popular Annapurna Circuit. It is not a difficult pass, but it can be a long day, as the effects of altitude will be felt. Once you reach the top of the pass you can enjoy an amazing view over Annapurna II, Gangapurna, and Tilicho Peak. The trail down starts off steep, but if you enjoy scree running you can have some fun! We stop for lunch on a plateau overlooking the peak, and then continue towards Ngawal.
Ngawal, on the upper Pisang route of the Annapurna Circuit, is certainly very different from the ancient villages just visited. The lodges are big with comprehensive food menu, and there will be Wifi and phone signals in most lodges.
The weather gets much hotter and the scenery greener as you start descending more than 2000m from the pass. Set off early for the last few hours of trekking to reach Pisang. The trail is wide and comfortable passing a beautiful lake just outside Pisang. Stop for a quick snack in the village, and then take a four-wheel drive back to Besisahar. Overnight stay in a comfortable hotel.
The drive back to Kathmandu takes around five hours. Enjoy a hot shower and the cozy rooms of the city once again! Spend the afternoon shopping for souvenirs in Thamel, or just relaxing.
This day will be an extra buffer day just incase the flight from Lukla get cancelled due to bad weather. We will have farewell dinner in the evening.
Our adventure in Nepal ends today. An Adventure Ascent representative will drop you off at the Tribhuwan International Airport a few hours before the scheduled flight for final departure towards your sweet home