There are so many ways and places to enjoy a vacation on a planet that’s big enough to accommodate anyone’s fancies; and how many would cross 3 halves of the universe to enjoy a holiday in one of the world’s most remote mountainous territories, nestled close-up in the laps of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the worlds 3rd highest peak at 8598 metres; this virgin region threw open its gates for outsiders in 1988, and is home to the ethnic tribes of Rai and Limbus who live in strong thatched hut villages scattered around in the lush mid hills with pristine forests, home to hundreds of beautiful rare bird species that merrily welcome you with sweet chirping tunes as you hike through their homesteads and when you clamber up the higher reaches, Himalayan glaciers and isolated Tibetan villages are sights that simply stir your feelings to the core. Superbly geographically placed east of the grand crevice of the Arun Salpa valley, the Kanchenjunga region is blessed with the heaviest monsoon rainfalls in all the Himalayas, igniting the middle hills with lush green foliage and the semi tropical temperature gives way to hills laden with seasonal colourful flowers that lights up the whole area with a splash of dazzling colours, which would even put the biblical king Solomon with all his riches in the shadows of this region of gorgeous splendor. God’s love for the human race he created from the dust of this earth is magnified in the loveliness of this unique zone of immense beauty…
Shadowed by an alpine opulence from almost every angle, mountains such as Pyramid Peak, Jannu, the Twin peaks, and of course Kanchenjunga at (8586m) dictate this breathtaking location. We needn’t expect less striking landscapes on our reverting journey by way of the Mirgin La Pass at (4500m). This very much admired trek is billed amongst the most stunning walks on the planet.
‘Trekking Kanchenjunga’s South Base Camp’ is an area not frequented by many in comparison to the other heavily trafficked trekking regions of Nepal’s Himalayas; as you penetrate deep into the Kanchenjunga region on this venture, its not long before you realize you’ve entered another world…it’s a world you’ve never imagined…and most likely a world you’ll never ever forget…just pack your bags and board your jet…get set to explore the unknown from the known…for this is what life is all about!!
Trip Duration : 20N / 21D
Tour Code: STE/KR/01
Grade: Strenuous Trek
Activity: A cultural tour and trekking
Starts and ends in: Kathmandu
Trek type: FOT (Fully Organized Trek or Camping Trek)
Accommodation: Hotel and camping…teahouse lodges are not available on the trails of this region…
Meals: Healthy and nutritious meals are provided throughout the trip on the trails
Transportation: Flights & private car
Maximum altitude: 4663m…we peak out at Mirgin La!
Day 1 : Arrival Kathmandu at Tribhuwan International Airport
Day 2 : Free at your own leisure
Day 3 : Fly Kathmandu to Biratnagar and drive to Phidim
Day 4 : Trek to Lali Kharka [2220m]
Day 5 : Trek to Keswa [2100m]
Day 6 : Trek to Mamanke [2000m]
Day 7 : Trek to Yamphudin [1650m]
Day 8 : Trek to Lamite Jungle camp [2920m]
Day 9 : Trek to Torontan [3080m]
Day 10 : Trek to Tseram [3750m]
Day 11 : Trek to Ramche [4360m]
Day 12 : Rest day in Ramche – Exploration
Day 13 : Trekking beyond the Mirgin La [4663m]
Day 14 : Trek to Gunsa [3475m]
Day 15 : Trek to Kyapra [2300m]
Day 16 : Trek to Sakathum [1600m]
Day 17 : Trek to Chirwa [1180m]
Day 18 : Trek to Phurumba
Day 19 : Trek to Taplejung – Drive to Phidim
Day 20 : Drive to Biratnagar, Evening Fly to Kathmandu
Day 21 : Final Departure
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
It’s a panoramic thrill flying into Kathmandu on a clear day. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below you are almost ecstatic, beginning a whole chain of memorable experiences that stay with you for a long, long time. And as your plane hits the tarmac, our waiting support team will meet and greet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. Welcome drinks will be served and after you’ve refreshed, your trek leader will brief you about your trip in the lobby of your hotel in the evening. Get familiar with your surroundings by taking a walk down the street, don’t make it too late, get back to your nest for supper and then get ready for a good night’s sleep because the morrow is going to be busy. The first overnight at your hotel in the valley of temples and cows – probably the most in the world.
Day 2: Free at your own leisure
After your first night in Kathmandu, you will be well informed on arrival about what to do in your next free day.
The choice is yours: either you can stroll around the nearby market on your own or you can opt for a half/full day guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu at places of interest. The cost for this extra tour is not added in the trek cost and you have to pay extra depending on the places you choose to visit. This extra tour gives you deep insights into Nepal’s iconic monuments that have been recognized by UNESCO as world heritage sites. Sansui Treks will give you an orientation on your program & you will also get the opportunity to ask us any questions you may have regarding our upcoming adventure. When this is done, you might find time to shop around the city in the evening time if you need any gears for the trek. Overnight at your hotel
Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Biratnagar [81m]
We get set for our flight from Kathmandu to Biratnagar. Depending on the availability of flying options to Suketar from Biratnagar, we will two options to fly depending on the availability of flights, these ops are listed below:
• If there is availability of a flight to Suketar, we spend the night in Biratnagar and fly to Suketar the next morning.
• If there are no flights available to Suketar we drive to Phidim and spend the night there.
Day 4: Trek to Lali Kharka [2220m] – 3-4 hrs
Today our venture begins as we start hiking and this will continue for the next three weeks we wander across areas amid some of the most wonderful naturalness of Mother Nature that we behold in the wild of this region. We head to Lali Kharka with the trekking crew. On the trail, we walk by verdant pastures and immaculate settlements. After several descents for 3-4 hours, we arrive at Lali Kharka for our first night in Kanchenjunga country.
Day 5: Trek to Keswa [2100m] – 5-6 hrs
On our way along the steep route to Pokhara village, fascinating terraced farmland unfolds soon after crossing an airy suspension bridge above the Phawa Khola. The route further leads to Kunjari where we haul up for lunch. After lunch, we move on to hang on to the trail. We get to see dense forests and sometimes small villages located on far off hillocks, as we progress along the trail. On skirting along a gently sloping mountain path, we reach Tambawa and later Bhanjyang, where we come across several teahouses. Hereabouts, we behold thrilling sights of Kanchenjunga glimmering against the rays of the sunshine. After having trekked for 5-6 hours, we conclude the day’s trip for some rest and an overnight
Day 6: Trek to Mamanke [2000m] – 7-8 hrs
As we move out of the terraced fields of Keswa, we follow an exploratory path to Nandeva Khola. After crossing the river, we plod along glaciated mountain passes. Further ahead, the route meanders through dense forest and the village of Loppoding. We come across shady areas where we can haul up for a breather after some tiring trekking. The supple trail then takes us to the right bank of the Kabeli Khola. After a while, terraced fields reappear and the village of Anpan comes into view. We continue ascending till we reach Ponpe Dhara. There are shady areas on the way where we can take a little rest. As we proceed along the trail, we see several hamlets and terraced fields stretch along the crest of the ridge. There is a place where we can pause for a while to savor the enthralling sights of Mt. Jannu. We continue our descent along the winding path, as we pass through the village of Anpan and terraced fields along Khangwa Khola. We arrive at a suspension bridge.
We then cross the bridge and continue descending the swelling mountain passes till we reach the village of Mamankhe where we set up our tents for the night.
Day 7: Trek to Yamphudin [1650m] – 5-6 hrs
We start our day with a pretty leisurely climb, the walk to Yamphudin is along a trail which passes a curve along the hillside above the Kabeli Khola. We cross the ridges and stream beds that make up the valley sides and the trail eventually becomes plain with the river a couple of hours before Yamphudin. Along the way, we can haul up to bathe and get rid of the sweat on our bodies in one of the many clear pools in this lovely river. It is a truly perfect spot for some washing and cleaning and after lunch by the river, we complete the day's walk to Yamphudin. Yamphudin is the most far-flung settlement in this area and the last habitation we will see until we culminate at Gunsa. None the less, it is an attractive place tucked away beneath the ridge of the Deurali Danda, which we must cross next. Overnight at the village of Yamphudin in our tents
Day 8: Trek to Lamite Jungle camp [2920m] – approx 4-5 hrs
After we check out from Yamphudin, the trail ascends a steep spur before dropping again to cross the Omje Khola. Walking through a pleasant and dense forest amidst the chattering of birds with their merry tunes, we stop for lunch in a pasture atop this spur, which commands fine views of the valley beyond Yamphudin to the south and of the Omje Khola Valley and Deurali Danda to the north. A steep descent to the river brings us to our campsite at a clearing in the Lamite forest, for an overnight
Day 9: Trek to Torontan [3080m] – 6-7 hrs
Leaving behind our campsite, we ascend steeply for 3 hours through dense forest to the ridge of the Deorali Danda. From the top, the twin peaks of Mt Jannu are clearly visible. After crossing the pass, we descend across some fairly steep and bare scree slopes before re-entering the forest, where we will haul up for lunch. After lunch and some rest, a steep descent takes us down into the valley of the Simbua Khola and after crossing an appealing wooden bridge that may steal your heart, we arrive at Torontan. This campsite lies amongst the towering fir trees of what is now a mainly coniferous alpine forest. This is where we pass our night
Day 10: Trek to Tseram [3750m] – 5-6 hrs
After breakfast today, we begin our hike by follow the right bank of the river, passing through pine and rhododendron forests. The trail is fairly steep and, as the day progresses, the trees become fewer and more stunted, giving us glimpses of the snow-capped giants ahead and of the massive nose of the Yalung Glacier. Just before Tseram, the soaring heights of Kabru and Rathong peep over the moraine. We camp at Tseram, where night-time temperature tends to drop, reminding us that we are really gaining height. Overnight in our tents
Day 11: Trek to Ramche [4360m] – 4-5 hrs
We ascend past the snout of the Yalung Glacier and hike alongside the Simbuwa Khola, passing through Lapsang village to reach Ramche. While there, we walk further up the valley or ascend a ridge for a marvelous view of blue sheep. We then follow the stream before climbing on the moraine top until we come upfront with Kanchenjunga’s southern face. We walk further ahead for a peek of the Jannu Himal. We can even decide as an option for continuing to Oktang Monastery. We descend and spend the night at Ramche
Day 12: Ramche – stop over and explore
As we stroll out of our camp at Ramche, we take a packed lunch and set off very early for our first intimate encounter with Kanchenjunga. Following the valley around its sweeping curve, we come across a large southern wall of the mountain. The ridge forms a cirque which is over 15 kms long and not less than 7500 m high. Along this ridge lie the three main summits of Mt Kanchenjunga at 8420m, 8586m, and 8474m. These three summits, jutting out into the sky presents a really grand sight. Proceeding further on towards Oktang [4630m], we descend onto the glacier and cross it to a point below Talu from where we can see the panoramic view of the mountains in the area. Especially impressive is the eastern part of Khumbakarna Glacier flowing from the east face of Jannu [Kumbhakarna being the local name for Jannu]. We then return to our camp at Ramche.
Day 13: Trekking beyond the Mirgin La [4663m] – 7-8 hrs
We leave our campsite behind and trek down the valley, passing the small settlement of Lapsang, before steering off towards the Mirgin La - the pass we must cross in order to reach Gunsa and the north side of Kanchenjunga. As we descend from the Mirgin La, the views, especially that of Mt Jannu, are simply glorious. Our campsite will be somewhere beyond the pass and a good area to spend the night
Day 14: Trek to Gunsa [3475m] – 4 hrs
A sheer descent from our campsite brings us to Lamba Sumba Kharka where we get some more attractive views of the overwhelming south west face of Jannu. From here, the going gets pretty comfy. We descend on a first-rate trail to the village of Gunsa, where we camp in the fields by the river. Gunsa is a Tibetan village with a tiny gompa and prayer flags fluttering atop wooden houses. It comes as a welcome sight after the painstaking walk of the previous days and provides a wonderful opportunity to visit a weird local hostelry and sample the 'tongba' [alcoholic beverage fermented out of millet, popularly known as mountain beer and its good for health. Makes you feel good without knocking you out as would happen with any other alcoholic drink if not consumed moderately]. Overnight in our camps at Gunsa
Day 15: Trek to Kyapra [2300m] – 6-7 hrs
From Gunsa, our path out of the mountains follows the sublime Gunsa and Tamur Kholas and passes through fabulous forests of rhododendron, conifer, birch and oak. The valley sides here are steep and the trail follows the river as it cascades downwards. We pass through Kyapra, the last of the Tibetan villages, and, an hour or so further on, we camp in the forest at a spot called Tang. As it will take 2 to tango, we soon set up our camps for the night
Day 16: Trek to Sakathum [1600m] – 5-6 hrs
As we make a beeline for the village of Sakathum, our route follows a heaving trail for the first couple of hours until we reach Amjilasa. From here, there is a long steep descent from which we can see the Gunsa Khola Valley all rolled out before us. We camp in the fields of Sakathum close by to the valley.
Day 17: Trek to Chirwa [1180m] – 5 hrs
After breakfast, we leave Sakathum, and set out for Chirwa. En route we bump into the union of two rivers, Simbua Khola and Gunsa Khola at Tamur Kosi. On following the trail along Tamur khola, many other small tributaries of these streams cross our paths. After trekking for several hours we enter the untouched village of Chirwa for the night
Day 18: Trek to Phurumba [1790m] – 5-6 hrs
Our path today as we move ahead cuts across cultivated land and lush green pastures. On reaching Mitlung, we stop for a healthy warm lunch. Our trail then zigzags through a path of steep stones. After climbing for a few hours we enter the valley of Phurumba. This is where we camp out for the night.
Day 19: Trek to Taplejung and drive to Phidim – 3 hrs hiking – 2-3 hrs driving
After breakfast, we leave this lovely valley and continue ascending along the ridge for about 3 hours to Taplejung village. We can stroll around the village and take in the familiar rural lifestyles of village life in mountainous Nepal, while getting deep insights into the cultural wealth, and traditions of the village folks. After this, 2 hours of driving will bring us to Phidim where our trek concludes officially.
Day 20: Drive to Biratnagar, Evening fly to Kathmandu
3-4 hours of driving from Phidim brings us to Biratnagar following which we take a flight to Kathmandu. We get transferred to the hotel on arrival. The rest of our day is free to do as we wish. We can go souvenir hunting for the loved ones at home or just simply chill out with some beers and rest after a great trip. At eventide, we go downtown to an upscale Nepalese restaurant for some delicious Nepalese food to celebrate the success of this gripping trip which we won’t forget anytime soon. While enjoying supper, we will be entertained to a scintillating cultural dance performed by the local belles, and this concludes a wonderful day that began several weeks ago in one of the most compelling regions in the world. Overnight at our hotel in Kathmandu
Day 21: Departure for home sweet home
Today is free to relax and do your own things; perhaps some last minute shopping or pen a few post cards to the loved ones at home, until your departure or to commence any additional trips or activities you may have booked.
If you are departing, you’ll be transferred to the international airport in time for your return flight home. Meeting you has been a wonderful experience that Incentive Holidays will cherish for a long, long time; & on your way home, you’ll be thinking of a trip that will linger in your memories for a whole lifetime which we are sure will become fireside stories to be told to your loved ones on a cold winter night for the generations to come. Adios Amigos! Till we meet again one day…
Have you made the right choice for what may turn out to be a lifetime vacation?
A lot of this adventurous vacation is made up of some average hiking which can be done by anyone who loves hiking and is fit enough to do it…a spirit of adventure is the call of the times for a trip of this kind. The trek is billed as ‘tough’ and challenging because of the long haul that goes over several weeks but then some of the area is rugged and mean and the higher reaches are pretty gritty. Perhaps, this is why this zone is less visited by backpackers compared to the other well known trekking regions. Most of the journey on foot throughout this trek is a wonderful experience and somewhat easy on the body, except in certain areas whilst going across the Mirgin La. Planning a holiday to any part of the Kanchenjunga region is an odyssey for a story to pass down to the generations to come…
Please Note: that although we will go the lengths to follow the itinerary given above, at times local trails or unpredictable weather patterns may necessitate slight changes if necessary. The trekking itinerary may also sometimes vary slightly depending on our trekkers' acclimatization rates. This adventure goes into wild territory above the timberline, so we seek to request maximum flexibility if and when required for the success and safety of your trip and your life.
A ‘Camping trek’ is a term used for sleeping in tents. The tents we provide are ‘Two men or couple domes’ or ‘A’ shaped. A foam mattress with insulation underneath is used for sleeping. Clients need to have their own sleeping bag. Bags or cloth packs are used as pillows. It’s a matter of choice, if you want, you bring your own ‘Air pillow’ and freak out anyways, and this is adventure in the wild…the rougher it gets the better.
We have a pool of hotels in Kathmandu under 3 Star categories which we provide to clients in connection with this program, unless it is mentioned otherwise or clients have a choice of their own. You can check on the description of such hotels through our website. Accommodation is never a problem, the choice exclusively yours.
At ‘Incentive Holidays’ – its zero tolerance on cutting of cost when it comes down to feeding our trekking guests, because we know how tough it is on the trails; we provide three tasty, bountiful and nutritious meals daily with a variety of local and Western dishes. To start the day, breakfast is ‘king size’ [the first meal of the day] consisting of a choice of porridge, muesli and cereals followed by omelet, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta and traditional breads.
After a lengthy gritty day on the trail, dinner is a hearty 3 course meal - soup, followed by a variety of vegetables, meat, rice and pasta dishes completed with a simple dessert. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are also provided at all meals. We use as much fresh produce as possible and special diets are regularly catered for. The local trek leaders are able to maintain very tight controls on health and hygiene in the kitchen with respect to general cleanliness and food preparation and also within the group with respect to personal hygiene. This has allowed us to maintain extremely high standards of health over many years of planning treks - and good health is vital to an enjoyable and successful trek and climb. All foods are well cooked and vegetables are treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. Boiled water is served for drinking. Antiseptic soaps and potassium or iodine treated water are provided for washing. Special dietary requirements can always be catered for. ‘Gluttony is a sin’ but there are no restrictions on the grub we serve to our guests on the mountains; we leave it up to our trekking guests who are the best judge of their own appetites.
Popular Sightseeing places in Kathmandu:
Half day sightseeing includes visit two of these places and full day sightseeing includes three of these places inside the ring-road of Kathmandu. Besides the above mentioned places, the charges will apply depending on the distance accordingly.
The best time to visit for a trip of this kind would be in the Spring and Autumn. It is wonderful during this time of the year when an overall beauties of the landscapes found in these trips are so distinct & stunning, due to clear weather pattern & sunny blue skies. Our program could be changed to accommodate individual group choices and preferences in order to give you proper holidays that become signature ventures for a lifetime.