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Ghorepani Poon Hill versus Helambu Trek

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California
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Ghorepani Poon Hill versus Helambu Trek

Will be in Kathmandu for a short period of time in April and would like to do a short 5 or 6 days trek. I have seen videos of Poon Hill trek and just love the scenery. However, it is much further from Kathmandu than the Helambu Trek thus requiring bus ride/plane to the starting point.

We are in great physical condition so altitude and difficulty of the trail would not be a factor.

Are both treks very similar in culture, scenery and difficulties?

Which would you recommend?

Will a guide be necessary or are the trails clearly marked?

TIA

adelaide
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1. Re: Ghorepani Poon Hill versus Helambu Trek

physical condition has no affect on whether you suffer from altitude sickness

Kathmandu, Nepal
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2. Re: Ghorepani Poon Hill versus Helambu Trek

Hello,

Ghorepani Trek is prettier in terms of scenery but this trek is more commercialized. Helambu Trek is mostly around small villages without close Himalayan sceneries. I would personally vote for Ghorepani Trek for it's stunning scenery than Helambu Trek but I am not saying that Helambu Trek is not a good trek. Either one you select, I guess you won't be disappointed.

California
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3. Re: Ghorepani Poon Hill versus Helambu Trek

Will there be tea houses to stay in for the Helambu Trek? We would like a basic and clean room with Western toilets similar to the tea houses for the Poon hill trek route. Also, will we see the Himalayans Mtns at all on the Helambu trek?

Edited: 7:28 am, January 10, 2014
Kathmandu, Nepal
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4. Re: Ghorepani Poon Hill versus Helambu Trek

Hello again,

Yeah, Helambu Trek also has tea houses for meals and accommodation along the trail. As the trekkers are in small numbers the lodges are also in small numbers. Lodges will be basic with basic room and toilets. It won't be highly standard toilets. You won't see the peaks from everywhere. Some places will give you distant views of Himalayan peaks.

Cumbria
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5. Re: Ghorepani Poon Hill versus Helambu Trek

I have trekked both Poon Hill and in Helambu and personably think that both treks have a lot to offer

Helambu is more terraces and villages with distant mountain views, it isn’t as popular as Poon Hill but the lodges are fine with good facilities and has the major advantage that the trailhead is just outside Kathmandu

Poon Hill has closer mountain views but is much more commercialised and has a lot more trekkers

Depending on which route you take through Helambu, it can be a lot cheaper area to trek in as if you follow the route that I suggest below you don’t need a Langtang National Park Entry Permit

Day 1) Taxi or Local Bus to the starting point at Sundarijal (1463m). Then a full days walking to Chisapani (2194m), The trail is well defined and passes through The Shivapuri Watershed Wildlife reserve (Small entrance fee payable at the park gate)

The day is mainly up with a height gain of about 1.000m crossing Borlang Bhanjyang (2438m)) but there are plenty of small villages en-route to buy refreshments.

Day2) From Chisapani the trail drops steeply down to Patibhanjyang (1768m) before heading steadily back up to Gul Bhanjyang (2141m)

You have a great variety of terraces with small sections of jungle on this day; again there are plenty of small villages en-route to buy refreshments.

Day 3) From Gul Bhanjyang it is up again crossing Jogini Danda (2667m and the highest point of the trek) before a gentle decent to Kutumsang (2471m).

Again a lot of variety of scenery during the day with more terraces and small sections of jungle, only a few small Bhati’s en-route but sufficient for you to get snacks to keep you going

Day4) Here I departed form the main Helambu Circuit Route and descended through terraces all the way down into the valley of the Melamchi Kola and found a lodge near Mahankal (Aprox 1,000m) to spend the night.

A Beautiful days trekking on small paths descending though terraces all day with no facilities en-route.

Day 5) Not the most exciting day as you follow a dirt road from near Mahankal to Melamchi Bazaar (846m). But there is very little traffic to contend with and as you are following the river it also make for quite a pleasant days trekking – From Melamchi Bazaar we caught the bus back to Kathmandu the next day, but if your timeframe is really tight then you could pick up an afternoon bus.

We Really enjoyed our trek so I have no hesitation of recommending it to anyone, either as an introduction to trekking in Nepal or if you just can’t do a longer trek for whatever reason.

It is a Teahouse Trek so you can either do it entirely independently or take along a Porter Guide (As I did), this trek is ideally suited to the Budget Trekker on a tight timeframe.

Good Luck and Happy Trekking

Rob

My Nepal Blog members.virtualtourist.com/m/50192/6ec/

Edited: 11:21 am, January 10, 2014
California
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6. Re: Ghorepani Poon Hill versus Helambu Trek

Thanks everyone for your assistance. We decided to do Ghorepeni Poon Hill trek because of the toilet situation (would need Western toilet rather than basic toilet)and would also like to spend a day or so in Pokhara after the Hike to relax.

I have read that the trek is usually done in 5 days. We are thinking of combining days 4 and 5 together so we would have an extra day for Pokhara-

So itinerary would be:

Day one- arrive in KTM at noon from long international flight

Day two- KTM

Day 3 - Tourist bus from KTM to Pokhara

Day 4, 5, 6. 7 - Poon Hill hike

Day 8 - Pokhara

Day 9- either bus back or flight out (early AM or late PM???)

Day 10- KTM and will explore the outskirt

Day 11- afternoon flight back home

Does it sound okay?

Not sure whether to leave in AM or PM depending on whether there is more to do in Pokhara or not or whether we want to endure the 7 hours bus ride back

Edinburgh, United...
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7. Re: Ghorepani Poon Hill versus Helambu Trek

Hi, I have been to Nepal many times (going in April again) and I have done both treks, twice Poon Hill. The scenery is much nicer, better views etc. I only did the Helambu trek once but I would not do it again (my opinion)more rocky and barren rather than green. You will never forget the sun rising over the Himalayas on Poon Hill. Enjoy your trip whatever your decision! Message me if you require any further information.

8. Re: Ghorepani Poon Hill versus Helambu Trek

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