The perfect DIY trek from Kathmandu

Hiking in the Alps or the Rockies is a dream for many of us weekend warriors. But taking on Mount Everest, with its death zone and crowds? Perhaps not. Hiking fans may think that to come to Nepal and fail to take on Everest or the well-trodden Annapurna Circuit means that on some level, they’ve failed, that they’ve chickened out.

Fear not. The 4.3-mile hike from Telkot to Nagarkot east of Kathmandu is safer than Everest and offers a better insight into day-to-day life in rural Nepal than the sparsely populated upper reaches of the Himalayas. Plus the views are more idyllic and the hike itself is certainly more appealing to quiet-loving nature lovers.

Stephen Star, OZY, July 2019

OZY: IF YOU’RE NOT CUT OUT FOR EVEREST, TRY THIS KATHMANDU VALLEY HIKE INSTEAD

We got a lot of feedback from friends and fellow travelers when we published our Mustang for Non-Trekkers tour a month ago.

Last week a friend introduced me to an online magazine I didn’t know: OZY the magazine cool people read to get smart and smart people read to be cool.

Who doesn’t want to be cool & smart, so of course I had to read it 🙂

And off course I found a lot of interesting stuff. Like this one day trek from Kathmandu targeting travelers like me and Annette, who aren’t mad about the Himalayas, but fell in love with Nepal for its culture and people.

This one is a 4.4 miles (7 km) hike from Telko (A) via to Nargakot (C) . A trek you can do on your own.

This trek is mostly aimed at Kathmandu Expats – all us foreigners who desperately need to get out of Kathmandu, when the pollution and dust gets too much and we’re panicking to get out in the fresh air.

But it’s also a very good way for tourists, NGO’s & business travellers with limited time to add rural local life and lush nature to their Kathmandu visit.

The trek from telkot to Nargakot is moderate - all people can make it without guides. Just download a Google Map.
For more inspiration and practicalities check out Michelle’s Full Time Explorer blog with alternatives and modifications to OZY’s trek.

Why not combine the trek with other sights?

All 3 of Kathmandu’s ancient kingdoms are on most tourists itineraries because of their Durbare Squares – the equivalents to the Western World’s Town Hall Squares, Grand Place or the Latin world’s Plaça de Armes.

Each of the 3 squares are unique – you MUST visit them all. Basantapur and Patan Durbar squares can easily be reached by foot from your hotel. But with its location 1 drive from Kathmandu Bhaktapur is different. Its always ends up taking most og your day because of the traffic.

Tourists rarely stay there – they go there. They arrive in the morning after breakfast and leave again in the afternoon so they can make it for dinner in Kathmandu.

Before and after Bhaktapur changes completely. Then the city becomes how it was in the old days, before the valley opened up to the outside world.

So we always recommend tourists go there in the afternoon and stay the night. When most tourists are gone and all locals have returned to the streets to socialize as they have done for centuries. Then Bhatktapur becomes one of the most magical places in the valley in our opinion.

After breakfast head of to Telkot (Taxi or local bus) and start Stephen Star’s trek. You of course also can walk which will take you another 2-3 hours.

Depending on your stops along the way, you will reach Nargakot in around 3-4 hours. From here it’s easy to get transportation back to Kathmandu – but why not stay the night? Nagakot has lots of accommodation in all categories.

Get up early the next morning and see the sunrise from the view point before going back to Kathmandu.

If you leave Thamel in the afternoon, stay the night in Bhaktapur, trek to Nargakot and return to to Kathmandu the following morning after sunset you will be back in Thamel before lunch.

Not a bad way to spend one and a half day.

Enjoy,

Thomas

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