CARAVAN OF DOLPO AND SHEY PHOSUNDU LAKE | LOWER DOLPO

CARAVAN OF DOLPO AND SHEY PHOSUNDU LAKE

Group Size

5- 10 peoples

meal

breakfast, lunch, dinner

accomodation

hotel, lodge,tent

arrival on

kathmandu

departure from

kathmandu

trip level

moderate

max. altitude

5100m

Best season

Autumn

trip highlights

  • The mythical and unexplored region of Upper Dolpo
  • Visits to Shey and Taksang Monasteries
  • The wild landscapes of the Tarap valley and Lake Phoksumdo
  • The turquoise blue lake Shy Phoksundo

caravan of Dolpo and shey phosundu lake trek is in northwestern Nepal, located in the high Himalayan range. Its population is of Tibetan origin, along the border between Dolpo and Tibet. It crosses current territory until the 18th century. It is the last region in the world where there is an authentic Tibetan culture that can develop freely. Dolpo is a “beyul” in Tibetan, which means the hidden land. The Dolpo has been forbidden for a long time to foreigners. And has retained this somewhat mythical image of a hidden country. Beyond the Himalayan range, it is in fact like the Mustang and a Tibetan enclave in the kingdom of Nepal. For a long time, however, the Dolpo has crossed paths. Then, taken by Tibetan caravans which descend the salt towards the Nepalese valleys and come back uploaded with cereals and spices.

caravan of Dolpo and shey phosundu lake trek, Many Tibetan, Buddhist, and Bon monasteries are established on these highlands. As well as, hermitages where the monks have taken a vow of silence. But as soon as you move away from the villages, you enter the domain of snow leopards! The region of Dolpo, protected by the Himalayan barrier, enjoys a dry climate and it is one of the few pockets of traditional Tibetan culture still alive. caravan of Dolpo and shey phosundu lake trek the life of the Dolpo-pa is based on a complex ancestral system, of pastoral nomadism and trading – For centuries. They supply grain to the Drokpas to Tibetan nomads of Changthang, the high Tibetan plateau. In return, they had the right to graze their herds in winter. On the rich Tibetan pastures and obtained an abundance of salt which they bartered in the Nepalese villages for grain.

Itinerary

Arrival in Kathmandu. you are greeted at the airport by our team and then transferred to our hotel. Evening briefing from your guide.

approximately 15 hours of driving to the hotel
Final altitude: approximately 13,50 m
Meals:  dinner
Accommodation: night in the hotel

We reserve this day for sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley and to prepare for trekking. After having a warm breakfast, we will leave the hotel in a private vehicle with an experienced tour guide. We will visit several UNESCO-listed world heritage sites in Kathmandu valley and the famous sacred Hindu temple, the Pashupatinath temple, Swayambhunath stupa, and Boudhanath stupa. These places are famous to have inherited ancient religious practices, architecture, and culture.

Tour: full-day tour
Final altitude: approximately 13,50 m
Meals: breakfast
Accommodation: night in the hotel

Flight of about an hour with superb views of the Manaslu, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri massifs. Nepalgunj is located in the Terai plain, not far from the Indian border.

approximately 1 hour of flight
Final altitude: approximately 280 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the lodge

Flight of about 45mn to Juphal (2450m), the small airport which allows you to approach Dolpo. Please note: this flight is particularly subject to climatic and operational hazards. It can be postponed or even canceled and therefore force us to modify the stages of the trekking. After getting to know our local team, we start our trek with a descent to the junction, at an altitude of 2080m, of the Thuli Bheri and Suligad rivers. The latter comes from Lake Phoksumdo that we will reach in 2 days. We continue by a path that runs along this river to arrive at the hamlet of Hanke (2500m) where we set up our camp.

Approximately 45minutes of flight & 5hours of walking
Final altitude: approximately 2,710 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the tent

We continue to follow the Suligad river by a path in “Nepalese flat” (succession of short climbs and descents). We cross a few bridges used by yak caravans and therefore very solid. On the way, we cross a few hamlets only used in winter. Bamboos and ferns are now giving way to junipers and conifers. Installation of our camp in Sunawar (3160m). Here an Amchi monk keeps a small dispensary based on medicinal plants (visit possible if the monk is present).

Approximately 5hours of walking
Final altitude: approximately 3,160 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the tent

After an hour’s walk in the forest, the vegetation becomes scarce. We pass Palam, the winter village of the inhabitants of Phoksumdo, then a steep climb allows us, at 3760m, an extraordinary view of the waterfalls of the spillway of Lake Phoksumdo. By a short and easy descent we reach Ringmo (3640m), a superb village with a gompa in the center of the village and another nearby

Approximately 5hours of walking
Final altitude: approximately 3,640 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the tent

Day of rest but above all acclimatization before going further, higher …We take advantage of the day to visit the gompa of Pal Shenten Thasung Tsoling (Bon sect) but also to do some purchases of local products such as, for example, the famous traditional weavings of Dolpo.

Approximately 3 hours of walking
Final altitude: approximately 3,640 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the tent

Absolutely splendid stage on a path overlooking Lake Phoksumdo. We enter the Haut Dolpo area where the special permit is compulsory. After a steep climb that takes us to 4000m (superb view), we descend to the other side of the lake. We continue our walk up the valley of Phoksumdo Khola for 1 hour to finally arrive at our camp (3680m).

Approximately 6 hours of walking
Final altitude: approximately 3,660 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the tent

For 1h30 we walk along and cross the river several times. Beautiful view of the Kanjirowa Himal (6612m) and the many surrounding 6000m peaks. At the confluence of two valleys (3750m) a steep climb leads us to pastures on a plateau around 4100m. After lunch, another steep climb winds through a moraine to reach an “upper valley” where our camp is located: Ganda La Phedi (4600m).

Approximately 6 hours of walking
Final altitude: approximately 4,600 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the tent

Gradual climb of 3 hours in a mineral and wild setting to finally reach the Ganda La pass (5200m) where the eternal prayer flags fly. This pass marks the “geographical border” between Dolpo and Haut Dolpo. We descend into a scree slope to reach the beautiful valley of “the crystal mountain”. Here, many caves pierce the rocky cliffs. Sometimes a few monks come to meditate in these caves. For the locals, doing the khora (circumambulation) of the “crystal mountain” brings great blessing. Shey’s shrine is one of the most sacred in Dolpo: legend has it that it was founded by a yogi monk riding a flying leopard. It is also here that takes place the festival “Shey Ribo Druk Dra” which takes place only once every twelve years, during the year of the Dragon. Installation of our camp in Shey (4330m) near the gompa.

Approximately 6 hours of walking
Final altitude: approximately 4,330 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the tent

By an easy path, we go up the wide valley, crossing some nomadic camps. We continue our walk until reaching the Sela pass (5095m) from where the view towards Tibet is magnificent. An easy descent then a balcony path leads us to Namgung (4420m), a small hamlet nestled at the foot of a colorful cliff. The hamlet is made up of a few fields and houses around a very old gompa carved into the rock.

Approximately 5 hours of walking
Final altitude: approximately 4,420 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the tent

We start the day on a path carved into the cliff and which allows us to leave the gorge. Then, the walk continues in “Nepalese flat”. Here it is not rare to see some wild animals: partridge, vultures, mountain hares, large bharals (“blue sheep”) … From the Saldang La pass (4400m) the view allows us to realize the vastness of the region. The descent, easy, leads us to the village of Saldang (4050m). We go up the valley to the hamlets of Namdo then Sibu (small partially fortified village) to finally arrive at Cha (4030m) where we set up our camp.

Approximately 6 hours of walking
Final altitude: approximately 4,030 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the tent

We continue our trek through the last inhabited villages of Haut Dolpo and cross a few fords again and then go up a wild and austere valley before arriving at Jeng La Phedi (4540m), a place of the encampment of nomads who keep yaks and goats.

Approximately 6 hours of walking
Final altitude: approximately 4,030 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the tent

In 3 hours of fairly easy walking, we arrive at the Jeng La pass (5130m). As a reward for our efforts, we can admire the Dhaulagiri (8167m). The descent, also fairly easy, allows us to find chörtens and prayer walls (“mani”), signs that we will soon find homes. We continue in the valley along with the Jengdala Chu then we take a valley on the right bank which leads to the hamlet of Tok Kyu (4200m) located in the famous Tarap valley (the “valley of excellent horses”). Visit of the Champa Lhakang gompa. This region is experiencing strong development with the enormous income generated by the picking of “yarsakumbu” (a fungus which colonizes a caterpillar) which is sold at high prices in China.

Approximately 6 hours of walking
Final altitude: approximately 4,050 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the tent

For the next 3 days, we will descend into spectacular gorges, mainly along with the Tarap Chu. In the morning, 3 hours of easy walking with a stop for lunch near the river at Suchi Khola. In the afternoon we cross a few small bridges: the gorge narrows as we progress. The path skillfully carved into the walls is nevertheless easy. Camp at Thonjam (3560m).

Approximately 7 hours of walking
Final altitude: approximately 3,560 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the tent

In 1989 following the rupture of an ice pocket, this gorge was devastated by a huge wave that washed away the existing bridges and trails. The passage remained impractical for several years. Thanks to a Dutch NGO, works were carried out and the path reorganized, thus allowing again exchanges between the valleys. We evolve for 3 hours on this wide and airy trail, far above the river. After a good descent, we reach the “tea shops” of Lahini. The valley widens and we find trees and crops. In the afternoon, steep descent into the forest to reach the river. Installation of the camp before the big bridge of Lasicap in the middle of the junipers.

Approximately 7 hours of walking
Final altitude: approximately 2,700 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the tent

After crossing the bridge, we descend the valley of the Barbung Khola: we find the villages perched on the hills and fields of corn, millet, and buckwheat. Check Point at Lingdo (2355m) located below Tarakot (2410m), an ancient fortress and caravan town perched above the Bardung Khola.

Approximately 6 hours of walking
Final altitude: approximately 2,410 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the tent

After having skirted the river, we cross a bridge protected by “dokpa” (protectors in the form of man and woman sculptures in wood) then join Dunai (2105m), the administrative capital of Dolpo. set of the camp and visit of the village.

Approximately 1 hour of walking
Final altitude: approximately 2,105 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the tent

We walk about 1 hour on flat ground then the last climb (last effort too) leads us to Juphal (2450m), the starting point of our trekking 15 days ago. Farewell dinner with our Nepalese staff.

Approximately 3 hours of walking
Final altitude: approximately 2,450 m
Meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner
Accommodation: night in the tent

Flights to Nepalgunj then Kathmandu (flights particularly subject to climatic and operational hazards). Transfer to the hotel then free time.

Transport: by private vehicle and domestic flights
Meals: breakfast – free lunch (not included) – free dinner (not included)
Accommodation: Overnight at hotel

free time depending on the departure time of your flight and our representative will drop you at the airport, ending your journey in Nepal. We hope to be of service to you again. Thank you and safe travels.

approximately 20 minutes  of driving to the airport 
Final altitude: approximately 13,50m
Meals: breakfast 

inclusion

what's included

  • Pick up from the airport and Final drop to the airport by private vehicle
  • 3-night hotel stays in Kathmandu on B/B Plan
  • Guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
  • Domestic flight and land Transportation
  • camping and cooking equipment.
  • Meals as indicated in the “Day to day” program.
  • Dinner on the last evening in Kathmandu (except for drinks).
  • Supervision by an English-speaking Nepalese guide throughout the trip.
  • 1 porter for 2 members to carry the luggage
  • food and accommodation for local team and insurance
  • The assistance of a local team during the trekking (sirdar, porters, cooks).
  • The permit for this region of Nepal.
  • All Government tax

what's not included

The price does not include

  • Cancellation/interruption of stay/loss of luggage insurance and assistance.
  • All that is not indicated in the section “The price includes”.

Your expenses on site

  • Visa fees on arrival.
  • international flight ticket
  • Lunches and dinners in Kathmandu and Nepalganj
  • Any additional luggage on domestic flights.
  • The drinks.

TIPS

Tips are an integral part of the country’s culture. This gesture of thanks, which varies according to the itinerary and the duration, has become an obligation. A prize pool is created, given at the end of the trip to the members of the team.

However, it is important that the tip remains a gratuity, as our teams are also very well paid. We invite you to distribute tips only if the service has met your expectations and to reduce this sum if the services were not sufficient, explaining why in order to consolidate our educational work.

 

 

Accomodation & meal

ACCOMMODATION

In a standard category hotel (base: double room) in Kathmandu and Pokhara, during the rest of the trip in a tent (3-person tents for 2 people) or in a lodge depending on the trip. The lodges in Nepal are very comfortable random. In general, conditions are quite good around the Annapurnas and the Everest region. On the other hand, in Mustang, in the Manaslu,  Tsum valley, and in the region of Kangchanjung or Makalu, they can be very rudimentary to the point of being a dormitory sometimes even a kitchen. lodges can look like a refuge or sometimes a bed and breakfast from home. Most of the time it is a family house with double, triple, or dormitory rooms. Toilets and showers are always separate. It is essential to check that the water is not heated with wood, as this contributes to deforestation. Most of the time, the water is heated with solar energy

MEAL

In the cities, many restaurants allow us to discover the typical local cuisine. Meat is scarce in the high mountain, the Nepalese are generally vegetarians. The basic ingredients are rice, pasta, lentils, potatoes, vegetables. Snacks are included during the trek (cereal bars, dried fruits, etc.).

For camping trek accommodation: during the trek, breakfasts and evening meals are prepared by the kitchen team. They are taken under the mess tent. Depending on the profile of the stages (length of the day’s walk and/or presence of water), midday snacks will be served hot or cold in the form of picnics.

For tea house trek accommodation: meals are prepared by the cooks of the lodge and are taken in the dining room. Here is a typical one-day menu:

  • breakfast: eggs, toast or chapati, or Tibetan bread or pancakes, or pancakes, butter/jam, tea or coffee
  • lunch: the main course, tea or coffee.
  • dinner: soup, main course, fruit (fresh or canned), tea or coffee

NB: Hindus and Buddhists are most often vegetarians. We, therefore, eat very little meat or fish. The dishes are pasta, rice, potatoes, lentils, etc.

DRINKS: during the trek, tea is served with meals (two cups of tea per meal). Additional cups of tea and other beverages, including mineral water, are the responsibility of the participants. You can fill your gourds with water in the lodges, but it is essential to treat them with purifying tablets. Avoid buying plastic bottles.

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  • duration :

    22 days
  • difficulty level :

    moderate

price from

4000$per person

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