Your browser does not support the HTML5 video element.
This walking holiday is a superb introduction to the pleasures of Himalayan teahouse trekking. Enjoy a gentle four-day trek in the quieter foothills of the Himalaya among traditional villages and beautifully terraced fields with spectacular views of the Annapurna range.
Explore Tour Leader
7 nights comfortable hotel
2 nights comfortable lodge
3 nights simple teahouse
Trip maximum 16 Explore Average 11
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
The trip starts today in Kathmandu, the busy, colourful and chaotic capital city of Nepal.
Your Leader plans to meet everyone in the hotel reception for a welcome meeting at 5 pm. For those that wish, there is the chance to go out together as a group for dinner afterwards. There are no other activities planned for today. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your leader will leave any essential information and details of the best time to catch up with them, at the hotel reception.
If you would like an airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM). You should allow at least 45 minutes to reach our hotel in central Kathmandu as traffic congestion in city can be bad.
Depending on the arrival time of your flight, should you wish to explore, our hotel is located a short walk from the lively Thamel area. Home to a multitude of outdoor gear, souvenir shops, great bookshops and a huge variety of restaurants, it's a fun place to wander.
Mila Hotel (or similar)
After breakfast we will have a full briefing by the Tour Leader on the trekking days ahead, followed by a chance to visit a local hire shop to pick up any last-minute equipment still needed. Following this, we then have a walking tour of the city, visiting the bazaars and the temples of old Kathmandu in the company of a local Nepalese guide. Nepal's bustling capital is a captivating mix of spice sellers and potters, rickshaws, all crowded together amidst a city of vibrant noise and color. Our sightseeing takes in the sumptuous majesty of Durbar Square and its collection of ornate palaces, courtyards and temples, as well as the Asan Bazaar and the Kumari Ghar, home to the living goddess of the Kumari Devi.
We make a morning departure to drive out of the high Kathmandu valley and descend to the foothills where we overnight at a riverside hotel in Kurintar at the much lower altitude of about 262m. As we leave the valley, on clear days we will have views of the Ganesh, Manaslu and Annapurna ranges of the Himalaya. En route you have the option of partaking in an exciting half-day's whitewater rafting trip on the Trisuli River (Grade III-III+). No previous experience is required (although we do recommend that you are confident swimming for at least 25 metres unaided) and the price includes all permits, equipment, the services of experienced river guides and lunch.
The rafting trip finishes at the beach just below our hotel. Those who do not wish to raft will continue to the hotel with the bus after dropping off the rafters and can spend a leisurely afternoon relaxing by the hotel pool.
Riverside Springs Resort (or similar)
This morning we head first to Pokhara (840m). Pokhara is smaller and more relaxed than Kathmandu and is beautifully situated on the banks of Lake Phewa. There are superb views from here of the snowcapped Annapurna range,including Machhapuchhre - the famous Fishtail Mountain. We'll call in at our hotel to deposit the luggage not needed for the trek and then continue our drive north west to the trek start point at Kande (1700m). From here we walk for around two hours passing cultivated fields and scattered small settlements to the Gurung village of Badauri (1661m) where several trails cross.
Today's five kilometre walk is expected to take around two hours with a total ascent of 305 metres and a descent of 405 metres.
Badauri Tea House (or similar)
After breakfast our walk takes us mostly through mixed oak and rhododendron forest to the high point of the trek - Panchase Danda 2500m. The summit has panoramic views of all the Annapurna peaks as well as 8000m Dhaulagiri to the west and 8000m Manaslu to the east. This area is also part of a pilgrimage route and we may visit the nearby shrine to the Hindu god Shiva. We descend to Panchase Bhanjyang - a bhanjyang being the local name for a pass (2100m). There are several local houses at the pass and we have wonderful views of the mountains as well as of Pokhara and Phewa Tal.
Today's nine kilometre walk is expected to take around six hours with a total ascent of 940 metres and a descent of 440 metres.
Panchase Bhanjyang Tea House (or similar)
Our walk today is through a largely uninhabited area on a less major trail. We will spend some time in forest but will also pass several open meadows specifically cleared to graze water buffalo. In the spring you can look out for rhododendrons and white orchids in bloom in the forest. There are several welcome stone built resting places along the route which climbs to the top of a ridge and then crosses three small passes on the descent to our overnight stop at Bumdi (1500m).
Today's 14 kilometre walk is expected to take around six hours with a total ascent of 470 metres and a descent of 1020 metres.
Bumdi Tea House (or similar)
We're now coming back into a much more inhabited area and pass many cultivated fields and several settlements. There are lots of cherry trees in blossom here in November. We pass the chhettri village of Pumdi with its distinctive houses to reach the white dome of the Japanese Peace Pagoda all the while with good views of the mountains to the north. From here we descend through Rani Ban (the Queen's Forest) to the end of the trek near the dam at the south eastern end of Phewa Tal. From here we drive a very short distance to our hotel.
Today's 10 kilometre walk is expected to take around four hours with a total ascent of 60 metres and a descent of 791 metres.
Hotel Pokhara Batika (or similar)
The day is free to explore the interesting town of Pokhara. You could make an optional visit to Tashiling, a thriving village of Tibetan refugees with its own schools and monastery, where you can watch Tibetan carpets being made. Alternatively hire a boat to visit a small temple on an island in Phewa Tal. There will also be time for some souvenir shopping.
Today we drive to the flat lands of Nepal's Terai region where we stay just outside of Chitwan National Park. Once a private hunting ground, Chitwan is now a National Park with thick tree cover and tall elephant grass sheltering a wealth of animals. We'll be briefed today on the variety of activities that we can enjoy in the Park and orientate ourselves on a short walk around the village. All Park activities will be accompanied by a trained naturalist guide who will help us get the best enjoyment from these excursions.
Island Jungle Resort (or similar)
Throughout your stay you will be kept busy except for a couple of hours around lunch time when you can read or relax in the shade. Activities in the park include a jeep safari searching out Chitwan's famous rare one-horned rhino, bird watching, jungle walks and a dugout canoe trip along the Rapti River. Canoeing will be dependent on the water level, floating silently down the river in a traditional dugout canoe gives us the opportunity to spot many varieties of water birds. On a nature walk in the company of trained native naturalists we walk along trails in the less densely forested parts of the park. An early morning bird watching walk near the river will reveal many of the 450 bird species that can be found in the park, especially kingfisher.
Today we drive back to Kathmandu. In 2019 due to ongoing roadworks this journey is taking longer than usual, possibly up to eight hours.
Today has been left free with the opportunity to make various optional excursions which your Leader can help arrange. One option is to visit the Newari town of Bhaktapur in the eastern corner of the Kathmandu Valley. Also know as Bhadgaun or the City of the Devotees, Bhaktapur evokes the feel of a medieval village, a snapshot of a time when the city lay along the prosperous trade routes between Tibet, China and India. The ancient centre of the town is a dazzling collection of temples, palaces and monasteries that has earned it a place on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Other places to visit include the Swayambunath stupa, perched on a hilltop and also known as the 'monkey temple' because of its resident group of very inquisitive primates and nearby Patan, whose Durbar Square has the finest collection of temples and palaces in the entire country.
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Kathmandu.
There are no activities planned for today, so you are free to depart at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like an airport transfer today, you'll need to depart from Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM).
Total distance : 22 miles
Temperatures in the lower altitude regions are extremely pleasant. At Pokhara variations in temperature are very limited: from the coldest recorded of 8°C (46°F) to the highest of 31°C (88°F). The mountains are best admired, with greater air clarity, from October to January, while from February to May the skies may be hazy. Monsoon rains are strongest in June, July and August. The coldest months are December and January.
2 Pin Round
Please note: for all excursions the minimum number of participants is 4 in order for it to operate. Kurintar - Whitewater rafting on Trisuli River - $70 USD pp (includes all equipment, guiding and lunch) Kathmandu :- Bhaktapur Medieval city - $45 USD pp, Swayambunath 'Monkey' Temple $25 USD, Patan old royal city $35 USD
While you are trekking, daytime temperatures will generally be warm. On this trek you do not go above 2500m, so although you will need a sweater or fleece for the evenings, weather will generally be mild. However it can be chilly in the evenings, particularly between November and February, and at those times you will need warm weather clothing including a woolly hat and gloves, and a warm down jacket. Long Trousers - For everyday walking, light cotton trousers are the most suitable. Knee length shorts are also acceptable Although comfortable, leggings are not recommended as they may cause offence to local people. Jeans are also not recommended as they are often difficult to walk in over longer distances and become cumbersome when wet. Waterproofs - Breathable waterproofs not only protect against rain and wind but also stop you from overheating. They breathe and avoid condensation which you will experience from nylon waterproofs. Rain during the trekking season is fairly rare but can be heavy if it does happen. Gloves - Especially useful around camp in the morning and in the evening in the winter months (December/January). Thermals or similar types are most suitable. Socks - It is best to wear a pair of reasonably thick loop stitch socks. These help to protect your feet against blisters. Avoid nylon socks, they are abrasive, don't breathe well and can cause blisters. Fleece pullover/jacket - You will need a fleece pullover/jacket for the evenings. Make sure that your waterproof jacket is loose enough to wear over your pullover or fleece. Thin Shirts/T-Shirts Laundry - Clothing may be left at the hotel in Pokhara to be washed and ironed ready for your return from trek.
We strongly recommend you bring walking boots with ankle support- leather or fabric are both fine. Make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. Trainers and tennis shoes do not give the ankle support afforded by a decent pair of walking boots. Ideally, visit a specialist outdoor pursuits shop who will offer advice. Trainers or sandals are fine for relaxing and general wear. We suggest that on international flights you either carry your walking boots in your hand luggage or wear them - should your luggage be lost or delayed, your own boots are the one thing that will be irreplaceable.
Your luggage should consist of three main pieces: Main Baggage: The item of luggage used to carry all your belongings in the hold of the plane and used to store all of the items you don't need on trek. This can be left behind at the group hotel used prior to the trek. Trek Kitbag: Customer on all of our treks in Nepal receive a free Explore kitbag on the tour prior to the start of the trek which is yours to keep. Approximately 80 litres in size it's ideal for all items you need to take on trek and the luggage preferred by our porters. The weight limit for this is 10kg but you will probably find that you do not need this much. Daysac/Rucksack: 30-35 litres recommended. During the course of a trekking day, you do not have access to the luggage which is being carried for you by the porters. In any mountain region the weather can change rapidly and you must be equipped for this eventuality. Your daysac should therefore be large enough to carry waterproofs, fleece jacketweater, long trousers (if walking in shorts), warm hat and gloves, sun hat, sun cream, water bottle (minimum 1 litre) and your camera. Most people normally find that this adds up to about 2 to 3kg. Other optional items in a daysac might be a diary or a book to read at lunch time. On a few occasions it is also necessary to carry your own packed lunch. We advise you to take a waterproof rucksack cover or alternatively line the sack with a large plastic bag to keep the contents dry. Advice on how and what to pack for the trek will be given at the tour briefing but it may be useful to do a trial pack before you leave home.
We recommend taking the following items: Sleeping Bag- The teahouses we use on trek all provide bedding and blankets however you will need a 4-season sleeping bag. Water Bottles or Platypus/CamelBak style hydration system - Water along the trail must never be considered as drinkable. Boiled water will be provided in the morning during the trek to fill your water bottles and this should be either filtered by you (see below) or sterilised with chlorine dioxide tablets. If you dislike the taste of sterilised water, it is a good idea to add some powdered fruit juice. For environmental reasons, we do not encourage the purchase of bottled mineral. Explore have partnered with Water-To-Go who supply 75cl personal water bottles with an in-built filter that eliminates 99.99% of all microbiological contaminants including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals. https://watertogo.eu/partnerships/explore. You can drink direct from the bottle which has a drinking spout and fill these either from the tap or with the boiled water provided on trek. Your Water-To-Go bottle can then be topped up during the day from your standard water bottle. Dry Bags - If you pack bits and pieces in a selection of bags inside your bag they will stay dry in case of rain and be easier for you to sort through in camp. Remember, the less you have to unpack in the evening, the less you have to repack each morning! A liner to pack inside your daysack is also a good idea. Torch/Batteries/Bulb - A small torch is essential. Head torches are particularly useful. Only a limited selection of batteries may be available locally so bring spare batteries and bulb. Toiletries - Try to keep heavy cosmetics etc to a minimum. Essentials are toothbrush/paste, bio-degradable soap, small towel, small nail brush and toilet rolls. Binoculars - Useful for game viewing in Chitwan. Sunglasses - A good pair of sunglasses is essential for protection against UV rays and glare. Sun Hat, Sun Cream/Block and Lip Salve - Choose a high factor suncream (Factor 15 or more) to protect your skin against the sun at higher altitudes. A combination sunblock/ lipsalve is ideal for facial protection. Personal First Aid Kit - Each trek carries an extensive first aid kit but no prescription medicines. You should have your own supply of plasters, aspirin, diarrhoea tablets and also a comprehensive blister kit, plus any other items you or your doctor feels advisable. (Please do not give medicines to local people without consulting the trek leader.) Trekking poles - Trekking poles with rubber points are recommended. Swimsuit Spare Laces Chlorine Dioxide for water purification Anti-bacterial handwash Ear Plugs- some may find it more comfortable to bring ear plugs with them so that while in hotels and teahouses they are not disturbed at night. Insect repellent Equipment Hire in Nepal - Almost every item required for a trek can be purchased or hired in Kathmandu and your Tour Leader can advise on the best shops to visit at your tour briefing. The costs of hiring are as follows: Please note: each item has a minimum charge of 7 days and then an additional per day charge added every after that if longer than 7 days: Sleeping Bag (4 season)- Rs.60 per day (Rs.420 for 7 days- minimum) Cotton sleeping bag inner liner (new)- Rs.150 per day (Rs.1050 for 7 days- minimum) Down Jacket- Rs.50 per day (Rs.350 for 7 days- minimum) Equipment Hire and Trek Training Days in the UK - Trek Hire UK hire out a wide range of kit including quality sleeping bags, down jackets, therm-a-rest sleeping mats and walking poles http://www.trekhireuk.com. They also run regular trek training and preparation days from their base in the Surrey Hills, ideal for getting an indication of your overall fitness level and also covering advice on kit and altitude.
Although accommodation choices in Nepal are expanding and overall standards improving, please note that whatever the level, from basic guesthouse to high end city centre hotel, you should always be prepared for standards to be different than in the West. For example, even in the best hotels, plumbing and electricity supplies can be somewhat erratic and although the welcome is always warm, service levels may be less efficient than you may be used to. Tea houses in Nepal were originally local homes where the family opened their doors to visitors and served drinks and simple meals and a place to sleep for the night. Over time these developed into a homestay-hotel hybrid and the concept of the 'tea house' was established. At the tea houses on this trek will usually be accommodated in a twin room with a bed, mattress and pillow but you will need to bring your own sleeping bag. Occasionally, when there is a larger group and the trails are very busy, you may need to share a triple or even quad room. Tea houses are sometimes likened to 'indoor camping' - there is no central heating and the usually shared toilet and shower facilities will be basic - there may be a squat style toilet and hot water is not always available. Meals are taken in the heated communal dining area which also provides a place to relax and socialise after the days walking. Over the course of the trek there will be a range of Nepali, Chinese and some Western dishes provided. Vegetarians are well catered for. A comprehensive range of hot and cold drinks will be available. Staying in tea houses is a great way of meeting the kind-natured men, women and children of Nepal and helps to support the economy in these remote mountain communities.
Can you drink the water?
The water quality is poor and therefore it is recommended to avoid drinking tap water during your trip.
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
Nepal: An entry visa is required by UK, New Zealand, Australian, US & Canadian citizens and can be obtained on arrival at Kathmandu Airport and various international border crossings between Nepal and its neighbouring countries. This currently costs $30 USD for a 15 day visa, $50 USD for a 30 day visa and $125 USD for a 90 day visa. All visas are issued as multiple entry visas and are valid from the date they are issued. There have been reports of lengthy delays when completing the form to obtain the visa at the airport, especially during peak times. We therefore recommend that you fill in the visa information prior to arrival using the following link: http://online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/. This will produce a receipt with a barcode, which you will need to print off and produce on arrival to obtain the visa. Please note if you are filling in the form before you arrive, please do so only within 15 days of arrival as application forms are only stored for a maximum of 15 days. Whether you are filling in the form on arrival or before, a passport-sized photograph for immigration is required along with the exact cash. Payment must be made in cash, UK sterling and US dollars are both accepted. If you are ineligible for the visa on arrival or wish to obtain a visa before you travel, please refer to your nearest Nepal embassy. Trekking Permits: A Trekkers Information Management Sytem (TIMS) card and Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit will be applied for on your behalf by our local agents in Kathmandu. In order to facilitate this please bring a copy of your passport and two additional passport-sized photos. Your tour leader will collect these at the start of the trip.
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
An ability to swim is essential for your safe enjoyment of the water based activities on this trip.
Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against malaria, infectious hepatitis, typhoid, tetanus, polio and Japanese encephalitis. Consult your travel clinic for latest advice on different prophylaxis available against malaria. Although not compulsory, travellers may wish to take immunisation against meningococcal meningitis. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.