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Nepal – Poon Hill Trek 1 (Tikhedhunga; Nepal Travel Review Series)

This is the blog entry I am most excited to write about Nepal, because the trek has been a life changing experience for me:

1)     All through my life, when things get difficult, I sometimes give myself excuses to stop going. But on this trek, no excuses are allowed and I cannot give up because if I stop, I will have no tea-house to stay at for the night and I will be stranded in the mountains, so the only option is to keep going no matter how exhausted I was or how much my leg muscles were crying. Despite having mild food poisoning and a cold at some point on the trek, God helped me to keep going, one step at the time, to complete the step.

2)     I tend to limit myself in my thinking especially in relation to physical fitness, for example, I can never do a marathon or a vertical marathon (~climb 90 stories in Singapore Raffles City). But without realizing it, on day 2 of the trek, we had to ascend at least 3000 steps in the morning, which is like at least 150 floors climb!! And this was only for the trek before lunch, and I still had 3 hours to go AFTER lunch. Again, without knowing that the trek on day 3 would be so long, we ended up trekking for 9 hours and 15 minutes starting at 5am. Even if I did a stroll at 5km/hour for 9 hours, we would have more than finished a marathon. Without even realizing it, I had finished 2 physical tasks I always thought was impossible for myself in 2 days back to back (with screaming muscles of course :P)

Because 1) I had no choice but to climb, 2) I didn’t know there were SO many steps, I didn’t even have a chance to form a limit on my thinking, and I managed to achieve so much more without having to deal with a negative inner voice telling me I couldn’t do it . I did not how what I was physically and mentally capable of but this trip proved to myself how much I could stretch myself.

3)     Finally, this trip is life-changing because it opened my mind how resilient God created humans to be, and how much tougher I can become. It was so humbling that there are so many insanely fit and health people, who may be twice my age, but physically more able than me. But instead of mocking us, all the guides, porters from our group and others were encouraging and helpful, with one 57 year old porter dropping us load to come help us get through the snow and ice safely. It reminded me to stop occasionally in the busyness of the city to look at others who may not be able to move as quickly up this meritocracy society.

Enough of the self-improving yogi talk. There are at least some 600 treks in Nepal, and here is the Poon Hill trek journey.

Day 1: Nayapul to Tikhedhunga

This is probably the easiest climb of the trek. As our amazing guide, Puskar, puts it, the first day is a warmup only. Our 20 year old young porter, Ganesh, strapped with our 35kg of luggage, walks ahead of us the entire time!

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Ganesh, our porter strapped with 35kg of our luggage, walks ahead of us the entire time!

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Clear green waters at Nayapul, where we start our trek

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Loving the scenery already

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Shops at the start of the trek to stock up on winter wear if you forgot anything!

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Super cute kids asking for chocolate!

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The first of many bridges ahead

The trek starts relatively flat, with stunningly beautiful views, with some scenes reminding us of Norway and Japan.

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Poon Hill Trek P1-6Poon Hill Trek P1-8 Poon Hill Trek P1-9

By lunch, we had completed 5km, and we stopped for good mountain chicken Dal Bhat! Dal bhat (Nepali: दालभात) is a traditional meal they have for all 2-3 meals, comprising steamed rice, cooked lentil soup called dal, fresh vegetables and I love my dal bhat with chicken though there are other meats. 

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How our porter takes a break

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Lunch stop!

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Chicken Dal Bhat

More climb continues after lunch!

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Steps upon steps upon steps..

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Houses – building in progress

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Beautiful homes, beautiful views

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Fresh vegetables plucking in process

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Terraces in the farms

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Sharing the paths with horsies; he looks frightened of us…

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Did I say more steps already?

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Locals chilling out and enjoying the sun

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Streams of sunlight and water..

We finally end at Tikhedhunga Teahouse, clocking total of 10km for the day. Love the rustic local village, fresh mountain air, and endless vastness that never seems to end.

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Finally reached our first night accomodation – Thikedunga

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Tikhedhunga guesthouse

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View from our room

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Very simple, no frills, USD$2/night room

The trek continues to Ghorepani the next day!

For the entire Nepal Travel Review series by EatPrayFlying, please refer to the list below:

15 Comments

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  6. Stella says

    Hi ! enjoy your blog & beautiful pics 🙂
    May I know you follow a Nepal Or SG outfit?
    Thank you for your time.

    • espie36 says

      Hi Stella, thanks for your kind words and readership!
      We followed a Nepalese guide. Do you need a recommendation? I can email you his contact. Hes very good!

  7. coffeegirl says

    If you still have any contact for the nepalese guide, would really love to get one, i am planning a trip this sept 🙂

    • Beatrice says

      Hi coffeegirl, I hv emailed u his contact 🙂 <3, Eatprayflying

  8. Clara Kong says

    Hi !
    I am planning on trekking Poon Hill trek In December.
    I will be going alone.
    Will you be able to recommend a guide for my trip.
    I have some questions on the accommodation bookings and permit to climb as well.
    I hope to hear from you soon.

    Clara

    • Beatrice says

      Hi Clara, have emailed u the guide contact 🙂 hv a safe climb!

      <3, Eatprayflying

  9. Ben says

    Hi!
    I really enjoyed your post about your experience! Would love it if you could share the contact of your guide with me too! I’m planning to travel alone in december this year.. Thanks for sharing!

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