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Phoksumdo Lake in Dolpo

Phoksumdo Lake Trek [Homestay]

$1,650

This Phoksumdo Lake Trek is truly off the beaten track. This homestay trek in Dolpa is a unique and once in a lifetime experience. You get the opportunity to be the guest of locals as you’ll be taken into their home. And this is a complete other world, as these locals mostly don’t know much about the world outside Dolpa.

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  • Group Size Medium Group
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All about the Phoksumdo Lake Trek [Homestay].

Shey Phoksumdo Lake Trek

Dolpa is a remote and spectacular corner of the Himalaya, and is isolated from the rest of Nepal by high passes in the south. This homestay trek in untouched Dolpa is truly a unique experience. You get the opportunity to be the guest to locals as you’ll be taken into their home. As a result we also join meals together on the floor of their kitchen. And when we explore the villages and surrounding fields, we probably are accompanied by curious children.

The two highlights of this trek are our time in the village of Majhphal and in Ringmo by Phoksumdo Lake.

 

Majhphal

In Majhphal, you can feel what life is like in Dolpa as we’re the guests in the home of locals. In this village, the Tibetan-style houses are closely packed together. Furthermore, the houses are often stacked atop another up the hill and share common roofs. People, even little children, climb from one level to another via the carved log ladders outside the houses. These villagers mostly live off their land and cattle.

 

Phoksumdo Lake

To reach Phoksumdo Lake we follow the Suli Khola river from Dunai, all the way up to Ringmo. This is a village that’s located on a 30,000 to 40,000 year-old landslide dam. As a result, this dam formed the lake on the north side. And on the southern side of the dam, the water of the lake plunges down a 167 meter tall waterfall.

 

Even More Adventurous Alternative

Are you getting excited about trekking in Dolpa? And are you fit enough to spice it up a little more? Then take a look at the massive 17-days Untouched Dolpo Trek via two high passes.

With this trek, you trek to Phoksumdo Lake and further. To the beautiful valley of Dho Tarap. This is a remote valley of pure Tibetan influence. It consists of several clusters of closely packed stone houses. Scattered across the valley you find numerous Buddhist monasteries and chortens.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • airport transfer
  • experienced, English speaking mountain guide
  • porter per 2 persons (w/ dustproof & waterproof duffel bag)
  • bus (Kathmandu – Nepalganj – Kathmandu)
  • domestic flight (Nepalganj – Juphal – Nepalganj)
  • TIMS Card
  • all required trekking permits
  • entrance fee Shey Phoksumdo National Park
  • hotel in Kathmandu (w/ breakfast) – 2 nights
  • hotel in Nepalganj (w/ breakfast) – 2 nights
  • accommodations during your trek – 9 nights
  • breakfast, lunch and dinner during your trek
  • government taxes, VAT and tourist service charges
Whats not included in this tour.Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Nepal tourist visa
  • travel health insurance
  • emergency evacuation if needed
  • lunch & dinner in Kathmandu & Nepalganj
  • alcohol, hot and cold drinks
  • trekking equipments
  • tips for your trekking staff and drivers (will be expected)
  • extra costs if the flight is delayed and there are extra days out of the itinerary
  • all other expenses that are not mentioned below ‘cost includes’
  1. Day 1 Kathmandu (1400m)

    By Mountain People welcomes you at the international airport and brings you to your hotel in Thamel.

    Later this day, we will meet at your hotel or at our office for a pre-trip meeting. We introduce you to your guide and talk about your itinerary. If you have any questions or requests, we would like to hear them from you.

    Note: Please make sure you bring your passport to the meeting along with three copies, two photos and a readable copy of your travel insurance policy. We also request you to clear the due balance if any.

    airport transfer – hotel

  2. Day 2 Nepalganj (160m)

    Today, we take the bus to Nepalganj. This is a city southwest from Kathmandu, near the border with India. In Nepalganj we will visit bazaars and surrounding villages that are populated by different ethnic people. We can also visit the holy temple of Bageshori.

    If you like to speed up your travel, then we can catch the 55-minute flight to Nepalganj. Please let us know if you’d prefer that and we’ll provide you with the details.

    breakfast – bus – hotel

  3. Day 3 Majhphal - 4 hrs

    Early morning, we go to the airport and catch our flight to the village of Juphal (2320m). During the 30 minutes flight, we see a rapid change of the landscape below us. It changes from the flat Terai to hills covered by paddy rice fields to the first high mountains of Dolpa.

    From Juphal we walk to the very local village of Majhphal. Here we’ll spend the night and the next day.

    breakfast – airport transfer – domestic flight – lunch & dinner – local home

  4. Day 4 Exploration Day

    The village of Majhphal is a place where it seems like time stood still, for a very very long time. In this farmers village, you get to see what remote life is like. Imagine how these villagers live with the rhythm of nature and daylight as they have electricity only since 2016.

    breakfast, lunch & dinner – local home

  5. Day 5 Dunai (2145m) - 6 hrs

    Today, it is time to go. Partly, you leave the village via the trail you arrived two days earlier. You trek over a ridge, descend on the other side and follow the river to Dunai (2145m).

    breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

  6. Day 6 Chhepka (2838m) - 8 hrs

    We have early breakfast and start our trek by crossing the river Bheri via a suspension bridge. On the other side of the river, we continue our trek towards Suligad. Then we reach the office of Shey Phoksumdo National Park where we show our permits and let us registered.

    The upriver trail is mostly through shrubs and on the precipice mostly exposed to the morning sun. At Kageni we cross a wooden bridge and continue uphill, about 150 feet above Suli. The narrow trail leads us to a wide riverside winter sheds of B’onpos from Ringmo called Jalash. Then there’s a gradual uphill walk on the precipice and through a shade of maple, oak and pine till there’s a quick but mild descend to a wooden bridge. The last 1,5 hour to Chhepka is a strenuous bit of an uphill trek.

    breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

  7. Day 7 Sunduwa (3410m) - 8 hrs

    Today is a real test for endurance. There are 3 major uphills and downhills at places where the gullies run deep and narrow. The trail narrows and is often found squandered by larger beasts of burdens at certain places. The first 2 hours from Chhepka is a comfortable hike through the giant pines, oaks, maple, walnut, and birch. The trail is wider and mostly along the river bank.

    In the morning, the damp dark soil often captures footprints of larger mammals, primates, and horned herbivores. At Rechi, there is a lone abandoned bungalow and a campsite. From here, the trail widens miraculously to reach Boarding. Here, se set up our camp in a green pasture overlooking the high peaks.

    breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

  8. Day 8 Ringmo (3460m) - 4 hrs

    Today is the shortest yet most exhilarating day of the entire trek. The altitude crosses 3000 meters and the trail on the precipice is narrow and steep with confusing runoffs of loose soil and inhospitable rocks. The vegetation changes dramatically with the presence of sparse juniper shrubs and a few cypresses.

    The steep climb definitely burns calories but reaching the waterfall viewpoint is rewarding. The 260 degrees view of the beautiful terraced farms of Reike, Sunduwa and the nearby mountains are quite breathtaking.

    About 30 meters above this point, the trail ends the climb and also graces the first sneak peek of the turquoise Shey Phoksumdo Lake. From here to the campsite at lakeside, only takes about 25 minutes of an easy downhill walk through pine groves, chortens, and the village of Ringmo.

    breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

  9. Day 9 Exploring Phoksumdo Lake (3611m)

    The village of Ringmo lies on the bank of Shey Phoksumdo Lake. About 20 Tibetan style houses are clustered in a close knit to form the village, surrounded by scattered cairns and chortens. The people of Ringmo are B’onpos, the followers of the B’on tradition. They are subsistence farmers and also raise yaks, dzos, and some horses. B’onpos are strict adherents of nonviolence and hence refrain from any form of animal sacrifices.

    During the harvesting season, women and children work in the fields while the men cross the high mountain passes to reach the border of China to trade. It is quite a relief to not see a single person clad in jeans and modern appliances. And means of communications are close to non-existence. The lifestyle is still traditional and simple.

    In Ringmo there is an old B’on monastery. The chortens at the entrance of the monastery are fascinating for it has large horns of either blue sheep or Himalayan thar. There is also a small museum at the monastery. The Lama will kindly guide you through the monastery and briefly speak about B’on.

    breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

  10. Day 10 Sanduwa (3410) - 5 hrs

    The trek downhill from Ringmo to Sunduwa is quite steep. Along the way, you may spot a lone lammergier on the top of the ridge.

    breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

  11. Day 11 Juphal (2475m) - 7 hrs

    Today is the last day of our trek. We start off early after breakfast. There are no major uphills or torturous downhill except anymore, except for the last 1,5 hour to reach Juphal uphill. Today, the distance that we cover is quite a conquest.

    breakfast, lunch & dinner – mountain lodge

  12. Day 12 Nepalganj (160m)

    Early morning, we catch the flight back to Nepalganj and go back to the hotel. Here, you can finally take a good shower, and relax.

    breakfast – domestic flight – airport transfer – hotel

  13. Day 13 Kathmandu (1400m)

    Today, we catch a luxury bus with AC back to Kathmandu.

    If you like to speed up your travel, then we can catch a 55-minute flight to Kathmandu as well. Please let us know if you’d prefer that and we’ll provide you with the details.

    In the evening, we offer you and your guide a farewell dinner together in a traditional Nepalese restaurant.

    breakfast – bus – hotel

  14. Day 14 Departure

    If it’s the final day of your holiday in Nepal, we will bring you back to the international airport. Goodbye friends! We hope that we will meet each other again in the future.

    breakfast – airport transfer

Hotels & Homestays

Hotels

In Kathmandu and Nepalganj, before and after your Shey Phoksumdo Lake trek, you will be staying at a 3-star hotel with a private bathroom and wifi. The hotel in Kathmandu has a prime location, in the travellers neighbourhood Thamel. This are nearby many restaurants, trekking gear shops and supermarkets. The hotel in Nepalganj is very close to the domestic airport. This is needed as your flight to Dolpa will be early morning.

Homestays

Facilities in the Dolpo District are very sparse. There are a few shops and teahouses, but nothing resembling a trekkers lodge. Therefore, we do well by bringing tents, cooking supplies and food.

Along with your trekking guide, there will be porters and cooks who accompany you. And depending on the length of your trek, there might be a small caravan of mules or yaks too. Every day, they will set up and break down the camp and cook meals for you and the team.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance.
The true local Dolpa experiencePhoto by ErWin

Dolpa woman and her baby in the sun by ErWin - By Mountain People

Seriously back to basicPhoto by ErWin
Kids playing by ErWin - By Mountain People
Kids playing