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  • Writer's picturePrabin Adhikari

A Trekker's Paradise: Nepal

Journey to Poon Hill

In 2016, after celebrating our grand Dashain festival, my cousin brother and I embarked on our adventure to Poon Hill. The timing was perfect: Autumn bloomed around us, promising a scenic trek in the Himalayas. Armed with our new DSLR and warm clothing, we took a bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara, and from there to the trailhead at Nayapul. It took us a total of 4 days to hike to our final destination, Poon Hill.

Trekking through quaint villages, like Birethanti and Hile, we felt the serenity of nature's embrace. We hiked through Tikhe Dhunga, and further uphill to Ghorepani, where our anticipation grew for the grand spectacle awaiting us atop Poon Hill.

Much of the trek is uphill, but the trail is well-marked, minimizing the risk of getting lost. There are no shortcuts to the summit; the only options are by foot or via helicopter, which is very expensive. Locals rely on mules, known as Khacchad, to transport their daily supplies.

After ascending thousands of steps, we reached our final destination at 3,210 m (10,532 ft). While the Poon Hill trek may not boast views of Mt Everest, it does have some of the most breathtaking panoramas of the Annapurna region, including: Annapurna I; Dhaulagiri; Annapurna South; Macchapuchre or "Fishtail"; and many more.

Map provided by Exciting Nepal Treks & Expedition Pvt. Ltd.

The sunrise painted panoramic views of Himalayan peaks with hues of gold, a sight forever etched in our memories.

Continuing our journey, we descended towards Ghandruk, a Gurung village nestled amidst the mountains. The trek unfolded like a canvas of wonders, with rhododendron forests, terraced fields, and glimpses of the mighty Himalayas enhancing every step of our experience.

Rhododendron, the national flower of Nepal

As we concluded our roughly 49 km (30 mi) trek, a sense of accomplishment intertwined with the beauty witnessed along the way. Poon Hill not only revealed  Nepal's natural splendor but also a journey of self-discovery and adventure. With the towering peaks of the Himalayas serving as our constant companions, this was an unforgettable experience. 

The majestic backdrop, diverse landscapes, and distinctive culture of the villages along the way, make Poon Hill trek a must-do for those seeking the beauty and adventure of the Annapurna region.

Adventures at Annapurna Base Camp and beyond

Inspired by my Poon Hill trek, I found myself seeking other outdoor adventures in the mountains of Nepal.

Two years after Poon Hill, in 2018, my sister, her two sons, some friends, and I, embarked on the 68 km (43 mi) Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) trek. It takes 6 days from Kathmandu to ABC and back again. ABC, at 4,130 m (13,550 ft), is renowned as one of the finest treks in the world. You can see tourists decorated with big cameras waiting to capture the perfect shot of the sun kissing the giant mountains. The presence of mountain-living Sherpas, many visitors, simple yet fulfilling local cuisine, rolling hills, towering peaks, vastness of untamed forests, and glistening snow, all serve to rejuvenate one’s soul.

Transitioning from Macchapuchre Base Camp to ABC evokes a sensation akin to my image of stepping into paradise. This trek remains one of my most cherished memories from my time in Nepal.

Following this adventure, I explored other treks in Nepal such as the journey to Gosainkunda (4,380 m/14,370 ft), the trek to Dhampus (6,012 m/19,724 ft), and the pilgrimage to Namobuddha (2,565 m/8,415 ft).

All of these myriad experiences, from Poon Hill to ABC, are etched in my mind forever.



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