I just completed Annapurna circuit trek with 11 trekking days (original plan was to fly out from Jomsom). This trek certainly deserves ones attention as one of the classic treks in Nepal.
The trek starts from low land valleys, this part of trekking mainly follows the Marsyangdi river on either side. The elevation gain is not a whole lot, but the terrain is very rocky by usual standard. Everytime when switching the river bank from one side to the other, one needs to walk over a suspended bridge, 22 of them to be exact when completing the trek. And when the river crossing happens, there is always quite an up-and-down associated with it, as the bridge base is not always an easy access.
At the 4th day, reaching Charme, the elevation starts to rise and the weather becomes more comfortable. In the next 2 days to Manang, most people will begin to feel the effect of altitude. Especially if one takes high route to Manang, it is more than likely to show some physical laboring in climbing section. But this will serve a good acclimatization climb and the landscape is 10 times better than the low route to Manang. At this point, 8000M Manaslu range, and 7000M Annapurna II can be clearly seen if weather permitting.
Typically, there is a acclimatization day at Manang to adjust the higher altitude. As it would be followed by 3 crucial trek day to continuously into the higher mountain terrain and to trek cross the Thorong La pass at 5416M mark, easily the highest point for many trekkers. A good rest and a good acclimatization climb in Manang are both important.
After Manang, the landscape changes again, into the Tibetian bare land, the
Certainly the big day is to cross the Thorong La pass, which depending on the weather condition can last from 9hrs to 12hrs. Not only one has to climb up 900M to reach the pass, one also has to down climb in a very steep terrain for 1600M
A couple of friends and I chose to end the trek at Jomsom, while the other friend decided to trek to Poon Hill to complete the whole trek. If you have only 2 weeks like me, fly out at Jomsom is not a bad option at all, as the route will see most of the landscape and also enable you to cross over a very high pass. But do keep in mind that fly out from Jomsom is not always guaranteed. Read the below paragraphs.
We worked with a guide and 2 porters for our 4 person group. Here, I like to highly recommend our guide Bhakti Devkota. I found this excellent guide from a detailed information search, and he did a great job in coordination, acclimatization and some cruical decisions in the trek routes. Bhakti's english is more than adequate and his more than capable in communicating and understanding your needs. His style is to pay detailed attentions from the beginning to the end, from welcoming you at the airport exit to secure all the lodges and food for you on the road. Please understand, this is no small task in Nepal, both complicated city streets and remote mountain treks alike.
And though Bhakti is mostly quite layback, he began to really urge us for proper acclimatization climbs as we reached Manang. So, unlike many other trekking groups, we did acclimatization climbs almost every day since Manang. Always climb higher than the locations that we will spend the night. Not all the guides have proper knowledge for the risk of high alititude. I was really impressed with Bhakti's insisting of "climb high, sleep low" principle, as I've done some mountain climbings myself back at California.
Last but not least, as we finally cross over Thorong La pass and would've plan to have a celebration at Jomsom, the weather turned cloudy and foggy, Bhakti made an immediate decision to urge us hop on the bus due to all cancellation of flights. By doing so, we had more than 10hrs of extremely crowdy, very uncomfortable bus rides to reach Pokhara. But that's the only way that we evenutally caught up with our original schedule and did not miss the international flight back. What a trip !
Anyway, good luck to anyone who is willing to explore the classic Annapurna circuit trek in the future. You can contact Bhakti Devkota easily through his email and website. Do keep it in mind though that this trek is not for the lazy couch potato, a good physical condition is more than necessary. Also, 5416M is not a trivial elevation, especially if the you can only make Jade mountain as the highest experience. Certainly, you can do it, but do it with all the proper preparation and respect towards the mountains.
back at California, USA
from Santokh Kandola (UK)
Trek guide recommendation for Bhakti Devkota
My wife and I would like to recommend Bhakti Devkota for any trekking plans you may have in Nepal. We arrived from the UK and took advantage of his services during two weeks in September and October 2010 to organise a trek to the Annapurna Base Camp starting from Pokhara.
His English is excellent and conversation interesting – makes those long mountain climbs a bit shorter! He also has particular knowledge of local birds (feathered kind!) which may interest some people.
Although he markets himself as a trek guide this is really only a part of what he can do for you. He organises your whole trip … if you wish he can:
- Meet you on arrival at the airport (he met us in Kathmandu).
- Make the reservations in advance at the hotels on your itinerary.
- Organise rafting, paragliding if you want to try it.
- Organise your transport.
- Helps you with shopping for trek gear or any other requirement.
His prices are very reasonable compared to any trekking company, even if Nepal based. Importantly he is trustworthy – essential because you may need to send some funds in advance to pre-book hotels, activities or obtain permits.
He was very attentive to our pace of walking (i.e. staggering along) by slowing down and allowing rest stops. We always found that he made sure we were nicely settled at the end of the day before he and the porter (his brother) relaxed themselves. We found his experience of the trek route, knowledge of the tea houses and
relationships with their owners very useful in booking good rooms (and also booking ahead).
If you are thinking about going trekking on your own I would caution you to think it through – it may be fine while everything is normal – but you may find yourself in a rainstorm and unable to get to your next destination (or the rooms might be full when you get there because everyone ahead of you stopped there in the bad weather). A guide can then be essential – as we saw on our trip.
We, as fortunate people able to undertake these wonderful trips, should encourage good, honest local trek guides – I hope you will.
Here is a picture towards the end of our trek – Bhakti at the hot springs at Jhinu Dhanda – as you have never seen him before!
Cheers – Santokh
Sam Stearman recomends Bhakti Devkota
If you are fortunate enough to travel to Nepal for a month or more - spend as much as possible here. A 10 day trek will take you to the Anapurna Base Camp; a 30 day trek totally around the entire Anapurna Circuit. If you only have a few days, you can get a good flavor of the Anapurnas with as little as a 2 – 3 day tour.
If you choose to come on your own, I would strongly recommend getting a guide, and if you do, I warmly recommend my guide and personal friend: Bhakti Devkota. He knows these mountains like the back of his hand as he still lives there today with his wife and young son, his English is excellent and he is knowledgeable, courteous, helpful, and reasonable. If you are interested, you can reach him by phone at 98 46139572 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org . Tell him Sam said Namaste (Nepalese for hello) You can find additional information about Bhakti from the following websites:
further recomendation by Dave Allan:
I trecked to Annapurna Base Camp with Bhakti in February 2009. He's a fantastic guide and a fantastic person. He is an absolute natural as a tour guide. He knows all of the routes, he is great with people, he likes to laugh, and he just makes everything very easy. He is very popular at all the lodges and he will arrange everything that you might want, from boot repairs to special meals. He also knows many of the best sites for rare birds and he has incredible eyesight. I trekked with two English friends, and we used Bhakti, his brother, and a friend of Bhakti as guides/porters. Soon we were 6 good friends, and I had great times learning the Nepali language and learning about Nepal. When I visit Nepal again I'll be delighted to meet up with Bhakti again and spend more time with him in the hills and mountains.
I have no hesitation in recommending Bhakti as your guide or porter-guide.
Dave Allan Lancashire, England, email@example.com
Guide Bhakti Ram Devkota is also recomended by Charlie Stainforth Bhakti Ram Devkota
Brilliant Trekking Guide NEPAL
I spent 14 days with Bhakti trekking through the remote and magical Kingdom of Mustang and I can honestly say that he was the best guide I could have possibly had.
Not only did he guide me through the terrain with the ease and ability of a professional, he lead me through the culture, customs and history of an incredible land that can only be reached by foot or horseback.Bhakti speaks perfect English, and even over days of walking we never ran out of anything to talk about especially my specific interest in the area, he interpreted for me perfectly and had some interesting questions for the locals, which I still think about.On the way to the trek my bag fell off the top of the jeep because I forgot to tie it down. Bhakti not only noticed and stopped the jeep; he jumped out and ran back along the dirt track to find it, not knowing if it had fallen minutes or hours ago! Legend! After that I knew I could trust him to look after me over the coming days.
If you are planning any trip to Nepal even without trekking intentions Bhakti knows everything and can give the best advice from a truly good guy, who will do everything he can to make your experience in Nepal the best it can be.
I spent a long time in Nepal and BHAKTI WAS BY FAR THE BEST GUIDE I HAD AND THE MOST EXPERIENCED and if you are planning to go to Mustang or anywhere with him you will have an incredible time and tell him Charlie says hi. I will be going back soon anyway! If you need anymore info contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .see also his Worddocument with pictures
Recommend by Richard.Thewlis as atrekking guide in a Everest region
"I can thoroughly recommend Bhakti Devkota as a first rate trekking guide. He was the main guide who also helped in the planning of a trip I did to the Everest region with Martin Naylor (above), and Geoff Turner in Nov-Dec 2009. We also employed his friend Bhuban KC and his brother Bishnu, so that we had a guide each - they were both excellent too. Bhakti arranged our trekking permits and flights back from Lukla whilst we were in the UK, and also arranged a 4WD vehicle to get us to Jiri at start of the trek. These things saved us precious time which can so easily be wasted, and helped us to do what we went there for - to look for, and watch birds. This was my second trip to Nepal: last time I walked the Annapurna Circuit looking for birds, alone, with no guide. It was certainly good this time to have someone to help to carry my gear, as well as provide an income for local people who would not receive this otherwise. Not only this, it is safer to travel with others, so that should anything go wrong there will be help at hand.
Bhakti’s cheerful nature and good sense of humour will guarantee any trip with him will be fun too. If you are looking for wildlife then Bhakti’s sharp eyes are an extra asset to help you see more - there were many occasions when he spotted something exciting that we hadn’t noticed. Bhakti is a star, so make sure you book Bhakti for your trip to Nepal
Richard Thewlis, UK."
Clara NG Recommendation (email@example.com)
4D3N對經常行山的人應該不會辛苦。我剛剛完成了4D3N的poon hill trekking，雖然第3天(Ghorepani -> Poon Hill -> Ghorepani -> Ghandruk)走得很累很累 (因為我極少行山)，但也能熬過去
不過我覺得如果時間容許的話，我會選擇5D4N的PACKAGE。因為如果順時針走(即Nayapul -> Tirkhedhung -> Ghorepani-> Poon Hill -> Ghorepani-> Ghandruk
-> Nayapul)，第3天要早上5點起來上Poon Hill 看日出，看完回Ghorepani吃過早餐後，就要趕路到 Ghandruk。到達 Ghandruk時最快也要近五時，冬天去的話太陽也要下山了。但是Ghandruk是一條很大的村落，應該也值得去看看拍照的，我那次就沒有機會去村裡 看看。當然你可以逆時針走(即Nayapul -> Ghandruk -> Tadapani ->Ghorepani -> Poon Hill -> Ghorepani-> Tirkhedhung ->Nayapul)，難度好像沒順時針那麼高，也可以在Ghandruk及Tadapani 待久一點，只是可能會比順時針走再晚一點回到Nayapul。
另外，也想在這裡感謝帶我們健行的導遊Bhakti。在背包上已經有不少人推薦過他了，他的確是一個非常體貼，十分關切遊客的導遊。我在 Ghorepani 的旅館不小心弄傷牙臼，脫臼了，急需牙醫看診，Bhakti也十分擔心，馬上打電話找Ghorepani 村的護士來看我，那護士很快就到，把臼托回去。這件事擾攘了半個夜晚，我跟同伴都沒吃晚飯，Bhakti還着廚房先弄好我們的晚飯，他才吃，那時已經快九 點了(我們第二天還要早起看日出)。所以我真的非常感謝他，如果我們遇到的時一個愛理不理的導遊真的不知道該怎麼辦。
Another Recommendation from Clara NG
ray R Recommendation
剛從Nepal回來,在Annapurna Region進行了四天三夜的Poonhill Trek,想推薦一下一位非常友善且經驗豐富的guide Bhakti(a.k.a. the Black Tea)。本來我僱了Sagar當我的guide,可是由於12月19-21號3天Nepal發生了全國性的罷工,所以Sagar先前的一組客人把trekking順延,導致與在下的檔期相撞。作為Plan B, Sagar推薦了其好友Bhakti作為我的guide。
1)經驗豐富Bhakti和Sagar在同一時間開始擔任trekking guide,兩人都有非常豐富的經驗(超過十年)。在Nepal,雖然有license的guide很多,真正經驗豐富的trekking guide卻很少,而經驗又是非常重要!一旦山上有事,一個經驗豐富的trekking guide絕對有莫大的幫助。Bhakti就曾幫助一位受雪困山上的旅客下山。http://www.backpackers.com.tw/forum/showthread.php?t=152176
Bhakti對中國文化很有興趣,他可是非常期待能和大家一起去trekking的! Bhakti有兩個小孩,為了擔任trekking guide,只有每3-4個月才能見他們一次,所以他會非常珍惜每一個工作機會,大家想找guide請聯絡他吧!
We spent 10 glorious days in mid March 2010, trekking with Bhakti on the Annapurna Sanctuary trail and had a very memorable experience. Bhakti, having been born and raised in the Pokhara area, has an in-depth knowledge of the mountains, and being a very sociable and likable person, he is well known and admired in many of the villages on the trail. Every day he was most attentive to our needs and tried to provide us with the utmost in comfort possible in these remote areas. He is quite knowledgeable in many areas and we enjoyed talking with him about many different subjects. His specialty is birds and bird spotting, but he also has a good knowledge of the regional flora, local culture, customs and farming. His English is absolutely excellent and he also has a great sense of humour!
Bhakti is warm-hearted, completely genuine, and great fun to be with. We can heartily recommend him as a guide who will make your trek an experience of a life-time.http://web.me.com/thomasr123/Winter_holiday_2010/Nepal/Nepal.html
Anna and Tom Redlinger