Guided by American yoga teacher & vocalist Odeya Nini & a Himalayan Hermitage facilitator
A journey with Yoga, Vocal Embodiment, Song Circles, Vocal Sound Baths and Meditation as we settle in beautiful locations surrounding the Kathmandu Valley & Everest region and travel through some of the most revered Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the world
Hike in some of the most stunning Himalayan landscapes as we visit sacred sites & monasteries on our way
Walk in the footsteps of fully realised yogis and yoginis, as we visit monasteries and nunneries that are nestled inside a ‘pure-land’
‘Early Bird’ special of $2900 USD per person
Please see the ‘Price & Inclusions’ tab below for more details
Travelers should be physically fit and mentally prepared for multiple hours (2-4) of activity hiking almost daily.
Superior Journeys are led by an experienced Himalayan Hermitage facilitator accompanied by our top local expedition team who draw from an in-depth wealth of knowledge and local experience which allows for a deeper and more immersive accessibility to sacred sites and Himalayan culture. Itineraries are carefully designed to visit the most beautiful locations and sacred sites with a good balance of free time. Accommodation has been carefully selected with comfort appreciation for beauty in mind – only high-end or the best available. Ground transportation, healthy meals, and activities are included in the journey price.
DAY 1 – ARRIVAL & STAY AT THE TIBETAN BUDDHIST MONASTERY IN PHARPING, KATHMANDU VALLEY
Arrival and pick up at Tribhuvan International Airport of Kathmandu. We drive straight to a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Pharping, the South Western corner of the Kathmandu Valley. There may be time to rest from the journey, go for a walk or enjoy the spectacular views over Kathmandu Valley. In the afternoon there will be an introduction to the journey by the facilitators.
DAY 2 – PHARPING
Morning yoga/voice work followed by breakfast. We have our introduction session to Buddhist philosophy before lunch. After lunch and a rest, we hike through rice fields to visit and pay homage to the Asura cave and the self-arisen Tara in Pharping. Dinner and meditation session. We spend the night at the Tibetan Buddhist monastery guesthouse.
DAY 3 – SWAYAMBHU
Morning yoga/voice work followed by breakfast. We have our introduction session to Buddhist philosophy before lunch. After lunch and a rest, we pilgrimage to the sacred Stupa of Swayambhu and watch the sunset overlooking the Kathmandu Valley from the Stupa. Dinner and meditation session. We spend the night at the Tibetan Buddhist monastery guesthouse.
DAY 4 – NAMO BUDDHA
After morning yoga, voice work & breakfast we continue our journey to the lovely area of Namo Buddha, where we spend the next two nights. We will have lunch in the beautiful surroundings of the resort we will stay in, followed by a free afternoon. After dinner we will have a meditation session.
DAY 5 – NAMO BUDDHA PILGRIMAGE
Morning yoga & voice work followed by breakfast at our resort in Namo Buddha. After lunch we hike to pilgrimage in Namo Buddha where it is said that the previous incarnation of Shakyamuni Buddha sacrificed his body to feed a starving Tigress and her cubs. We visit the stunning monastery of Thrangu Rinpoche and the sacred Namo Buddha Stupa. We overnight again at the beautiful resort in Namo Buddha.
DAY 6 – JEEP RIDE TO PHABLU
After breakfast we depart for Phablu early morning and venture into the foothills of Lower Everest region of Nepal. We go on a beautiful and bumpy jeep ride up through Central West Nepal where we drive along the Sudekoshi river and lush landscapes of Central Nepal. Once we get closer to Phablu we might get a glimpse of the majestic Himalayas. The roads are much better now compared to in recent years but we can prepare ourselves for an adventurous and long day of traveling. Dinner and overnight at a charming mountain lodge in Phablu.
DAY 7 – HIKE TO THE TIBETAN BUDDHIST NUNNERY IN THE HIMALAYAN FOOTHILLS
After breakfast, we begin our 6-7 hour hike up to the Tibetan Buddhist nunnery located up in the lower Everest region. We stop for lunch in Junbesi and climb the last bit after lunch. Afternoon tea and dinner.
DAY 8 – STAY AT A TIBETAN BUDDHIST NUNNERY IN THE HIMALAYAN FOOTHILLS
Morning practice with the nuns. At the nunnery we experience the living tradition of a sacred heritage, passed down from the historical Buddha Shakyamuni, to the present day, in an unbroken lineage of masters whose teachings have been passed on to their students, seeking the qualities and realisation of awakening. We join the nuns in their daily practices in the main gompa (place of meditation), and other than that there is the chance to go for stunning hike in the astounding surroundings of hillsides, dotted with prayer flags and retreat caves where we – if the weather is on our side- will be able to get a glimpse of the majestic Himalayas.
DAY 9 – STAY AT A TIBETAN BUDDHIST NUNNERY IN THE HIMALAYAN FOOTHILLS
We take a few days off hiking and spend the day at nunnery, where we are able to sit in at the nunnery gompa with the nuns practicing. It is possible to go for short hikes in the area around the nunnery. The day is partly guided, partly free for own adventures. According to Tibetan terminology, this Tibetan Buddhist nunnery is seen as a pure realm; a Buddha field. This signifies a place where many prayers and mantras have been whispered throughout the years, of the many nuns living there; mantras and prayers of compassion and loving kindness for the wellbeing of all sentient beings, and very naturally one senses the result of this accumulation of merit.
DAY 10 – RETURN TO PHABLU
After breakfast we make our descend to Phablu. We have lunch and dinner and spend the night at the same charming mountain lodge in Phablu as on our way up.
DAY 11 – FULL DAY AT THE MOUNTAIN LODGE IN PHABLU
Early morning there is an optional outing by a 30-40 min. jeep ride to go up above Phablu for a sunrise view to Mount Everest & the full Himalayan range. Departure at 4.30am. We return to the lodge and have breakfast around 8am. Day for rest & evening yoga & meditation practice/philosophy session. Dinner at the lodge.
DAY 12 – RETURN TO KATHMANDU
Early morning breakfast at the lodge and departure for Kathmandu at 7am. We embark on yet another full day of traveling down through Solo Khumbu on our way back to Kathmandu. It’s a stunning ride but bumpy as well! Dinner and overnight at our guesthouse in Boudha.
DAY 13 – BOUDHA FREE DAY
Last day of the programme is free to do shopping, visit sights in Kathmandu etc. We meet for a farewell dinner at the Roadhouse Restaurant with view to the sacred Boudha Stupa. We overnight in Boudha.
DAY 14 – DEPARTURE
Day of departure. We provide transportation to the airport.
This yoga pilgrimage will be jointly facilitated by embodied voice & yoga instructor Odeya and an experienced Himalayan Hermitage facilitator. The groups will hold the maximum amount of 15 people.
Odeya is a Los Angeles based interdisciplinary vocalist, composer, embodied voice teacher and yoga instructor. Her artistic work ranges from orchestral music to sound installations and healing Voice Baths. She leads workshops and retreats dedicated to the integration of mindfulness, communication, energy and play in releasing the resonant voice. As a solo performer her voice has been heard from Los Angeles to Australia, Madagascar, Mongolia and Vietnam. For more information on Odeya, see here: www.voicebath.com
– We are very excited to be facilitating this yoga pilgrimage together for the first time!
We start the day by exploring the inner experience of awakening in ourselves, as well as grounding our awareness into the body through yoga and sacred sound practices, sound healing and song circles, and in the afternoon sessions we enhance the experience by becoming pilgrims and yogis. We explore the outer element of sacredness and the culture of awakening by visiting, and paying homage to the many sacred temples and shrines in the Kathmandu Valley. Evening meditation after dinner.
7:45 – 9:00 Yoga and Sacred Sound
9:00 – 10:00 Breakfast
10:30 – 12:00 Morning session on Tibetan Buddhism & Meditation Practice
1:00 – 2:00 Lunch
2:00 – 3:30 Free time
3:30 – 5:30 Visiting sacred places
7:00 – 8:00 Dinner
8:15 – 8:45 Evening meditation
The Voice is an instrument that radiates from the soul, resonates in the body, and is pure breath. Harnessing the energy of the Voice is a strength that is felt deep within ourselves, and heard loudly outside of ourselves. Resonance is the act of reciprocating sound and creating vibration, and it is an ability we all have with our voice.
Voice and yoga are one. The practice of meditation, awareness, flowing with the breath, balance and the power of visualization and imagination in effecting the physical body are central to both practices. The voice can be seen as an invisible limb, which if left ignored and unintegrated will remain tight and block us from the physical, emotional and creative release we seek. The practice of voice with yoga and holistic practices helps us enter openness and higher states of consciousness as we desire.
There is no prerequisite for joining a pilgrimage journey, nor is it required to have any knowledge or experience with the practice of meditation. Simply, to have the wish to go deeper with one’s mind, and to have curiosity regarding its qualities and functions is enough.
There is nothing religious about the practice of meditation or in visiting sacred places. In fact, there is nothing even Buddhist about it! The idea of pilgrimage here, means that while we are exploring sacred sites, we are also investigating ourselves with a ‘tried, tested, and true’ introspective process called meditation. The practice of meditation is simply a tool to bring your mind back to a place of naked awareness, to a place of basic space with yourself and environment.
It is simply a technique with which to uncover all the layers of hope, fear, grasping, and judgement that are all such strong habits which cloud the mind. With the practice of meditation, we can learn to come back to ourselves, to become familiar with the groundless, unfabricated, and raw quality of reality. The daily schedule in this itinerary comprises of meditating together every morning and evening – this can be for 30-60 minutes (several sessions of sitting and walking meditation) depending on what the group wants and where we are in our itinerary. Note, on days of extensive travel sessions will not always be possible.
Buddhist philosophy sessions are roughly 1-hour per day, combining a short presentation with group discussion.
Throughout the 18 days we slowly walk through all 3 yanas (vehicles) of the Tibetan Buddhist path. We explore how & why shamatha/mindfulness (one-pointed ‘calm abiding’ meditation) + vipassana (insight) are used as tools from the beginning through to the end of the path. The foundational path of the Shravakayana is comprised of: ‘The 4 Turnings of the Mind’, ‘Refuge’, ‘The 3 Marks of Existence’, and ‘The Four Noble Truths’. There is an emphasis on exploring the middle yana – the Mahayana (the ‘great vehicle’ of the Bodhisattvas) which entails: ‘Bodhicitta’, ‘The 6 Paramitas (perfect actions)’, ‘Shunyayta (emptiness)’, ‘Relative and Ultimate Truth’, and ‘Lojong (mind-training)’.
We contemplate Lojong slogans as brought forth in an accessible way by great Tibetan/Western hybrid teachers Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Pema Chodron. We touch upon the final yana of the Vajrayana (Tantric Buddhism) by exploring its many expressions and intricate symbolism. At face value Tibetan Buddhism may look esoteric, but with investigation we may see first-hand how it is simply a system for training one’s mind by utilizing various methods which combine mindfulness, compassion, and wisdom cultivation practices.
Please refer to the ‘Price’ tab for specific information about price & what is included on your journey.
• DEPOSIT: The deposit is due at the time of registration
• BALANCE PAYMENT: The full balance of the payment is due no later than 90 days before the starting date of the journey (unless booking last minute, which is generally not a problem – please inquire with Himalayan Hermitage about this). After filling out the REGISTRATION FORM and paying the deposit you will be sent an email with the ‘Payment Procedure’ which outlines how to transfer the balance of your payment into Himalayan Hermitage’s bank account.
‘Early Bird Special’: 2900 USD (expires 6 months prior to the starting date of the journey)
Normal price: 3160 USD
Single room supplement: 390 USD
Deposit: 500 USD
All accommodation, meals & transport in Nepal
Experienced guides & instructors
Jeep ride from Kathmandu to Phablu and flight from Phablu to Kathmandu
Healthy, vegetarian meals
Daily Dharma talks & introduction to meditation
Notebook for journaling during the pilgrimage
International flight ticket to Nepal
Personal insurance during the pilgrimage
Personal visa to Nepal (25 USD for 15 days / 30 USD for 30 days to be purchased upon arrival)
Any alcoholic beverage during the pilgrimage
Tip to local guide and porters
• How fit should I be in order to join the Yoga & Meditation Journey?
Travelers should be relatively physically fit and mentally prepared for several hours of hiking daily. The hike up to the nunnery in the Everest region will take us 6-7 hours with a lunch break included. The terrain is comfortable and not too strenuous. As an alternative to this hike it is possible to ride on horseback. There is no prerequisite for joining neither the yoga nor the meditation sessions.
• How can we expect the accommodation to be like?
We will be staying in comfortable guesthouses in Pharping and Boudha and a beautifully located resort in Namo Buddha. We will be staying in a lovely mountain lodge in Phablu, gateway to the Everest region, prior to and after our stay at the nunnery higher up in the valley.
• Passports & Visa information• Food• Health & Vaccines• Money• Communication throughout the journeyPassport / Visa Information
• What do I need to know about the visas?
Firstly, it is important that your passport is valid at LEAST 6 months beyond the end date of the journey. In addition to this, please make sure that you have at least two empty pages free in your passport.
You will not need to apply for your Nepali visa prior to the journey.
This can easily be obtained ‘upon arrival’ in the Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport. Once you reach the immigration section of the airport, please proceed directly to the machines available in the far left corner and fill in all of the necessary information asked. It will ask you how long you will need the visa for (15 days, 30 days and beyond). Fill in the needed days + take the photo of yourself on the spot and proceed to payment. Payment can be done either in cash or with credit card (you might have to insist on the credit card as they will try to turn this request down!). For more information about the Nepali visa see here.
• I have special dietary needs; can this be accommodated?
Throughout the Journey in Nepal we will be eating primarily vegetarian meals. Vegan food can also be accommodated, as well as ‘gluten free’ options. Please inform us in the registration form under ‘dietary needs’.
Health & Vaccines
• Which vaccines will I need in Nepal?
There are no required vaccines for Nepal, but we recommend that you speak with your physician to decide on what options are best for you. Tibet is located at higher altitude and it is therefore difficult for most viruses and bacteria to survive.
• What about malaria?
As we will only be spending time in Kathmandu valley and in the Everest region there is no risk of malaria.
Money• How much money will I need to bring?
During the journey your accommodation, food, and transportation are all covered so you will only need to bring for any extras such as gift shopping and tipping local guides.
• How Do I get cash in country?
In Kathmandu you will be able to take out Nepali Rupees (NRP) from any ATM which you will find all over the city. Once we reach Phablu (gateway to the Everest region) it will not be possible to take out money from an ATM so it is good to take out before to ensure pocket money for snacks and souvenirs.
Communication throughout the journey• Will I be able to get wifi throughout the journey?
For the most part of the journey you will be able to connect with wifi on hotels and guesthouses in Nepal. During our three nights up at the Tibetan Buddhist nunnery guesthouse in the Everest region we will not have wifi access.
We are more than happy to give recommendations for your international airfare; however, it will ultimately be you who will make the purchase yourself. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
• When must I arrive in Kathmandu?Please make sure that you arrive in time to meet up at the meeting point no later than 2pm on the starting date of the journey. We then leave together to go to Pharping, the first visit on the journey. We have a pick-up service to arrange someone to pick you up from the airport when you arrive in Nepal and then bring you to your Hotel/Guesthouse (if you arrive before the journey). Please lookout for your driver who will be holding a sign that says ‘Himalayan Hermitage’ when you exit the Airport (the first time you get out-doors). You also have the choice to either be picked up from your Hotel/Guesthouse (or airport) on day 1 to be brought to the meeting point or to meet us at the meeting point at 2:00pm with all of your luggage (although most Guesthouses and Hotels will offer a free drop-off service if requested). The meeting point: is in the lobby or lounge of the Hotel ‘International Guesthouse’, which is situated in Thamel (the main tourist district of Kathmandu). If you wish, upon request Himalayan Hermitage can arrange your accommodation for you by booking you in one of their choice Hotels (see the tab ‘Kathmandu Add-ons’ for more information) before and/or after the Journey, or you may wish to choose + book your Hotel yourself. • What time should I book my departing flight from Nepal?
You will return to Kathmandu a few days prior to the end of the journey and are therefore safe to book a flight on the last day of the journey. If you would like to stay on in Nepal hereafter let us know and we are happy to help you either book something or offer advice on nice places to go.
If you arrive a few days early in Kathmandu or stay on in Kathmandu after the end of the Pilgrimage Journey to Tibet, here are a few options you might like to consider:
UNESCO World Heritage Site Tour
In this 1-day tour we have selected the 4 most important & interesting ‘UNESCO World Heritage Sites’ in the Kathmandu Valley. Please note that we do not visit these sites during the itineraries of our Journeys. These World Heritage Sites were chosen by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) as being judged as important in having the ‘collective interests of humanity’. If this may be your only visit to Nepal, these sites are not to be missed!
1. Pashupatinath Temple:
The Pashupatinath Temple is one of the largest temple complexes in Nepal. It is located on both banks of the Bagmati river in the Kathmandu Valley. The temple belongs to the Hindu tradition and is one of the four most significant religious sites found in Asia for Hindus who worship the God Shiva. This Sacred Hindu temple is a ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’. The existence of temples on this sacred site date back to 400 BC. The two-storied temple that one can see today was built around the 15th Century by a Lichchhavi King. The main Temple is built in the Nepalese pagoda style and boasts a copper and gold roof which covers an inner sanctum home to the main idol: Mukhalinga, who’s faces look in the four directions (which represent various aspects of the God Shiva). The Main entrance to the temple courtyard (the western entrance) is limited to only certain people of Hindu practice – not all. There are many other temples in this complex including the Vaishnava Temple and the Gehyeshwari Temple. Also worth mentioning on the Pashupatinath grounds are the caves of the great Buddhist masters Tilopa and Naropa.
2. Kathmandu Durbar Square:
‘Durbar Square’ is roughly translated as ‘King’s Square’ or ‘Royal Palace’. There are 3 major Durbar Squares found in the Kathmandu Valley. Kathmandu Durbar Square, also known as Basantapur Durbar Kshetra, is situated in front of the old royal palace of former Kathmandu. It is a ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’.
3. Patan Durbar Square:
The Patan Durbar Square, another one of the 3 major ‘Durbar Squares’ (and another UNESCO World Heritage Site), is located at the centre of the city of Lalitpur. This ancient Royal Palace is where the Malla Kings of Lalitpur resided. It is one of the marvels of Newari architecture (the Newari are famous for their expert craftsmanship of fine carpentry, pottery, metal-work, statue making, and architecture). There are many temples and idols in this area.
4. Bhaktapur Durbar Square:
Another ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, is the ancient royal palace of the old Bhaktapur Kingdom. This ‘square ’ is actually spread across 4 squares ( Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, Dattatreya Square and Pottery Square), but the area as a whole is informally known as Bhaktapur Durbar Square. There is much to see at this site and it is definitely not to be missed if this may be your only visit to Nepal. Highlights include spectacular architecture and the fine wood carvings of the Newari. There are assortments of beautiful, intricate (and graphic) Tantric gods, goddesses, and deities carved into the wood-work of the many temples.
The time of the tour can be flexible upon request, but what is recommended is to
start at 9:00 AM and finish by 4:00 PM
The cost Includes:
– Private Car
– Tour Guide
– Pick-up at Hotel and drop-off at Hotel
The cost excludes:
– Tourist entry fees
– Meals and drinks
$100 USD for a single person
$70 USD per person on a sharing basis (2 participants and above)
Shivapuri & Nagi Gompa Day Hike
Shivapuri is a National Park reserve situated at an altitude of 2563m. It is north of
Kathmandu and is the second highest foot-hill in the Kathmandu Valley after the
famous Phulchowk hill. On this hill is located Bagdwar, the source of the Holy River
Baghmati, and is the biggest water supply to the Kathmandu Valley’s increasing
From downtown Kathmandu we drive for about 45 minutes (8km) to Budhanilkantha Temple – a Hindu temple with one of the biggest statues of Lord Vishnu sleeping on an ocean bed. This is where we start our hike. From Budhanilkantha we walk through the Shivapuri conservation area – this is a government protected forest where over 500 species of fauna are found.
Nagi Gompa is a Tibetan Buddhist Nunnery (2330m altitude) founded by the late great Tibetan master Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. Tulku Orgyen Rinpoche is one of the first Tibetan masters to come to Kathmandu and to also teach foreigners. He lived and taught at Nagi Gompa which is one of the first Tibetan Buddhist Nunneries built in the Kathmandu Valley. To reach Nagi Gompa we will hike for about half an hour up a steep and narrow trail followed by two hours at a gradual incline.
This whole tour should be 6-7 hours long.
● Pickup from Hotel + drive to Bhudanilakhantha
● Trekking Guide
● A packed lunch
● Entry fee to Shivapuri National Park
● Pick-up from Kopan and drop-off to Hotel
$115 USD for single person
$80 USD per person on a sharing basis (2 or more participants)
Kathmandu to Nagarkot Hike & Overnight in Nagarkot (2 days / 1 night)
If you want to experience a different side to the Kathmandu Valley, outside of the busy city, then Nagarkot is famous for its beautiful views of the Himalayan mountain range. In the morning your guide + driver will pick you up from your Hotel and drive 1 hour to Shakhu Village. The hike starts in Shakhu and will take roughly 5 hours to reach Nagarkot. Overnight in beautiful Nagarkot with morning sunrise views of the
Himalayas. After breakfast you will be picked up from Nagarkot for a 2-hour drive back to Kathmandu.
● All transportation by private car
● Trekking Guide
● All meals
● Hotel in Nagarkot
● Entrance Fees
● Bar bills & cold drinks
● Personal expenses & tips
$210 USD for a single person
$165 USD per person on a sharing basis (2 participants and above)
All of the above prices include all taxes, VAT, and service charges
Treat yourself with a nice massage with Seeing Hands in Kathmandu.
Seeing Hands are located in Boudha, Thamel, and Patan and are easily accessed from anywhere in the city. Seeing Hands is a social enterprise providing training and employment opportunities in massage therapy for visually impaired people. Seeing Hands employ teams of professionally-trained blind therapists who provide massage to visiting guests. Part of the fees that they earn are used to fund the training and employment of more blind masseurs so the organization can grow and develop. Handicapped people in Nepal have terrible difficulty finding employment, so this is an organization worthy of support.
Seeing Hands offer:
Remedial Sports Therapy, Swedish Relaxation Massage, and Relaxation Foot Massage:
● 60-minute massage: $22 USD
● 90-minute massage: $32 USD
● 120-minute massage: $40 USD
You may wish to choose a combination of the above (Ex: 90 minutes total massage
time comprising of 60-minute Swedish Massage and 30 Minutes Foot Massage)
Enjoy the amazing facilities at the Hyatt Regency spa in Boudha where you can enjoy their outdoor jacuzzi + pool and their indoor steam + sauna + jacuzzi:
● Full day package: $28 USD
All of the above prices include all taxes, VAT, and service charges
Himalayan Hermitage has selected a variety of quality Hotels in different locations in Kathmandu. Upon your request HH can make full arrangements to book your Hotel(s) before and/or after your Journey. These Hotels have been organized into their location, quality, and price per night’s stay. All prices include breakfast. The ‘High-end’ and ‘Luxury’ Hotel’s also have a swimming pool. Please see the table below.
Thamel is the ‘tourist hub’ of Kathmandu. It is the most tourist friendly area of the city with many Hotels, restaurants, and shops.
Boudha is the biggest Tibetan refugee settlement in Kathmandu. It is home to the great Boudhanath Stupa and also to many of Kathmandu’s Buddhist population – Tibetan, Nepali, and foreigners alike. There are many Monasteries and Nunneries built around the Boudha Stupa. This area is also a very friendly and convenient location for tourists with its many Hotels, restaurants, and shops.
Single: $46 USD
Double: $51 USD
Single: $78 USD
Double: $91 USD
Single: $102 USD
Double: $114 USD
Single: $30 USD
Double: $42 USD
Single: $128 USD
Double: $135 USD
Single: $198 USD
Double: $222 USD
All of the above prices include all taxes, VAT, and service charges
For your main luggage bag that you fly with, you are free to bring any kind you like! Please bring a small day pack for carrying snacks, water, and layers while hiking and in the city. We will provide duffel bags that we will use when we go up into the Himalayan foothills. Instead of taking all of our luggage with us, we will only pack what we need for our time in the foothills into the duffel bags – porters will carry these. The main luggage bags will stay in Kathmandu. You may want to keep some space + weight free in your main luggage bag for carrying home souvenirs, etc.
As we will be sleeping in the nunnery guesthouse up in the foothills of the Lower Everest region of the Himalayas, it makes the journey more convenient and comfortable to bring your own sleeping bag. Temperature rating of the sleeping bag should range from 0° to -30° C. Temperatures will be moderate, but in the mountains it can get cool at night. You can either bring your own sleeping bag with you, or otherwise it is possible to rent a good quality sleeping bag in Kathmandu for around 7 USD per day (we will be hiking in the foothills for five days in total). We can help you organise this in Kathmandu.
It is a good idea to bring along a Nalgene or another kind of water bottle for drinking water up in the foothills. It is a nice idea to carry two water bottles so we are sure to have enough water. Almost every monastery and local guesthouse will have hot water thermoses, so it is possible for us to refill our water bottles in most places. In this way we are not leaving behind too much plastic. It is easier to carry our own water and we will not be depended on many plastic bottles for our water supply during the journey. The added bonus is that these water bottles can be transformed into a hot water bottle at night to warm up our beds during the chilly nights in the foothills!
Wear layers in the foothills
When hiking in the mountains or foothills of the Himalayas it is always advised to bring a lot of layers to wear – from the chillier and fresh temperatures in the mornings to the warmer temperatures in the daytime, and again more cooler evenings. Layers could be for example: carrying a warm hat, several changes of wool/synthetic socks for hiking, light long underwear/base layer, pants for hiking, short/long sleeved shirt (synthetic or wool clothing is best for quick drying and easy for handwashing), light scarf/bandana – for warmth and can be used for dust/sun protection. It can be nice to have a change of clothes for after a day of hiking. Sweater or fleece layer as a second layer. In addition to this, It is also nice to bring comfortable clothes for yoga practice, as well as a warm jacket, such as down or other light weight jacket work well for packing. In this way it is easy to put on and take off layers of clothes during the different times of the day. Make sure to bring a warm jacket for mornings and nights. Note that laundry service will be available in most of the places that we stay throughout the journey.
What shoes to bring for hiking in the foothills? We will not be walking in difficult terrain on our 5-day hike in the foothills. However, it can be nice and comfortable for the feet to wear good shoes. Anything between good runners to more outdoor and firm hiking shoes. We recommend high hiking boots or sturdy hiking trail shoes with a good sole and support for going up and down hills and steps in the foothills. Alternatively, a light pair of casual shoes for wearing in the evening/down time and in the city is also nice.
We offer yoga mats as part of the Yoga & Meditation Journey, which you will receive upon your arrival in Kathmandu. If you should feel like bringing your own yoga mat that is also fine.
Bring a small towel
We will be able to have access to hot water – either as a shower or bucket shower – in the foothills, but this is not guaranteed in every spot. Therefore, it is comfortable to bring a small quick dry travel towel for this.
We recommend sunglasses, sunblock SPF 30 or higher, SPF lip balm, sun hat or baseball cap, and light layers for wearing while hiking to protect from strong Himalayan sun.
Any personal toiletries you may need during your stay and travel such as: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, lotion, medications, etc.
This is optional and depends on how you find it comfortable to hike. It is however nice to have trekking poles for going up and down in the foothills, and can work as a good support. It is also possible to buy these in Kathmandu upon arrival.
Light rain jacket
It is nice to have a light rain jacket to carry along just in case.
A flashlight/headlamp with extra batteries can be nice to have for finding the bathroom at night, etc.
This is of course optional. It can be handy to have a plug adapter for charging your mobile phone, etc.
Nepal uses European outlets. You may want to bring an adapter for your mobile charger or laptop if they have a different plug other than the European standard. This can also be purchased in Kathmandu upon arrival.
It is advisable to bring along a set of ear plugs. During the nights at the nunnery – the wooden walls of the guesthouse are not too thick and sound proof, so if you are a light sleeper you will appreciate ear plugs!
To partake on a journey with Himalayan Hermitage you MUST be covered by a travel medical insurance. If you arrive without having this coverage, you will not be able to participate on the journey. This insurance needs to include trekking or travel over 4000 meters (10,000 feet) and it needs to include emergency medical expenses, helicopter evacuation, and emergency repatriation.
We highly recommend a travel cancellation insurance as you never know what might come up in life at the time of getting ready to leave for a big journey.
Please have a look here below for different options:
World Nomads provides medical travel insurance for travellers below 70, including also the journey cancellation. You can use the box below to get a quote for your journey.
Medical Travel Compared offers a good platform for comparing what different options of travel medical insurances that are out there.
If you are 70 + please have a look at TripAssure – partner of World Nomads – via their ‘Silver Nomads’ program here and get a price.
Photos from the journey. Please click to enlarge the photo