Rough Riding Below Mt. Kanchenjunga

Arrival City

Kathmandu

Departure City

Kathmandu

Lodging level

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Trip Grade

Moderate

Maximun Altitude

Attractions

Activity

Sightseeing & Mountain Biking

Overview

Cycling southeast from Taplejung on a combination of dirt and paved roads, down to the Indian border town of Charali, our route climbs, descends, twists and turns its way through a part of Nepal seen by very few tourists, and even fewer have seen it the way we are doing it.

After flying from Kathmandu to Taplejung via Biratnagar, the first four days are spent making our way south through picturesque villages and golden fields of rice and wheat to our highest camp on the Pauwa Pass, from where there are spectacular views stretching from Kanchanjungha to Mt Everest. From the pass, it’s a two-day ride through the tea plantations of Ilam (Nepal’s tea growing capital) to the warm plains of the Terai. We spend a day in Ilam to relax or to go exploring in the tea garden on and off the bike. The Terai with its colourful bazaars, fields of tea, fruits and vegetables and the ever-smiling faces of the Nepali people. This area is completely unspoiled, with hardly any Westerners passing through – let alone mountain bikers. In only the first five days we cover around 240 km, with an awesome 5000m of ascent and even more awesome 7800m of descent.

Itinerary

You will be greeted by a panoramic view of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below once you fly in the sky of Kathmandu. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your trip activities.

After the early morning breakfast, you travel along the exotic locales of Kathmandu, where more diversified cultural settings in the valley welcome you. A day tour of the valley will take you to Boudhanath, where you will grab an opportunity for the insightful peep into the invaluable culture attached to Buddhism. This may make you feel like you have just been on a spiritual journey. Boudhanath is one of the largest dome-shaped stupas in the country where the practices of Buddhism can be observed at its best. Then it continues to Pashupatinath, the major Hindu shrine with countless temples dedicated to different Hindu deities within its widespread area. However, the main temple Pashupatinath is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Destroyer - Shiva dwells here as protector of animal kinds as per the myth. A final destination to explore is Patan Durbar Square, where Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor temple, Krishna Temple, Golden Temple and many other places of Patan, will unveil before you as an open museum showcasing intricately carved windows, intrinsic roof struts, statues of gods and goddesses, temples designed in pagoda style with sensual carvings and repose metalwork facades and many other exquisite facets.

You will take the 40-minute flight along the Himalaya to Bhadrapur in eastern Nepal; hopefully you have a clear day so you get to see the world's highest peaks. Bhadrapur is a town and municipality in Jhapa District in the Mechi Zone of southeastern Nepal. It lies on the right bank of Mechi River, Nepal's eastern border with Bihar state, India. In complete contrast to Kathmandu, it does not cater for tourism at all. Once you land in the Bhadrapur airport, you will be transferred to Ilam for overnight. Ilam is one of the major places in Nepal for tea-production. It is famous for natural scenery and landscapes, tea production, and diverse agricultural economy. It is one of the major horticultural crop production districts of Nepal.

Immediately after breakfast, your jeep will be standby to take you to Taplejung. It takes around 6-7 hrs by drive from Ilam to reach Taplejung. With stunning views from Sikkim to Makalu, you will start your bike journey from nearby local village in Taplejung.

What a start to a trip! You roll down a mind-blowing 40 km descent, dropping nearly 2000 meters along a graded jeep track, which now connects Taplejung with the outside world. Once you have finished the descent you have another 10 kilometers of pretty easy riding before you reach the Kabeli River, where you camp for the night. These last ten kilometers give you a chance to take a good look at the beautiful landscape of this region.

If yesterday was all about descent, today is all about ascent. It is the 'big climb'! From the river you climb 1500m, over a distance of 32 km, to the top of the ridge, before contouring around to another superb camp at Jor Pokhari. All day, you follow a superbly graded road, which is used by just a few vehicles each day. This means that on this section you have your full back-up support and, should you fancy a rest, you can hitch a ride for any part of the ascent that you want.

The day starts out with you flying downhill, and losing all the height that you gained yesterday! You blast through terraced fields down into a dense jungle, which grows on the lower slopes of the valley. It's downhill for the first half of the morning and then it is back onto another perfectly graded climb up to the local market town of Phidim, which is also the centre for the local Gurkha regiment. After lunch at Phidim, the fitter members of the party can carry on cycling a further 30 km, to the top of the Pauwa Pass, at 2560m the highest point on your route. Those who like more of a relaxing holiday can catch a lift in the support vehicle to your magnificent ridge-top campsite, which offers stunning sunset views. As you get higher, Kanchenjunga reappears above the intervening ridges and for the first time you can also see Everest, Lhotse and Makalu in the distant Khumbu region.

From the Pauwa Pass to Ilam is around 55 km, at first involving a descent before contouring around a ridge. This is followed by a blast down to the river and then a short climb. Finally, you cruise into town and set up camp amongst the sea of tea plantations. Another superb day's riding, full of contrasts and surprises. Ilam is Nepal's most famous tea centre where the tealeaf is processed before being transported to Kathmandu.

Today is dedicated to tea and relaxation. For those who relax best sitting on the mountain bike this is a fantastic place to ride some single trails. The tea gardens are full of small tracks and trails you can ride. However if, for once you prefer just to walk around at your own pace, looking at life in this tranquil town, feel free to do so - this is your "holiday".

Bhadrapur airport is around 94 km from Ilam which takes around 3 – 4 hrs. After breakfast, we will check out from the hotel and move towards Bhadrapur airport for Kathmandu flight. Once you land at Kathmandu airport, one of the office representatives will meet you and take you to your hotel.

Today is free for independent activities to let go off your exhaustion.

Transfer to the airport in time to catch you flight home.

General Information

    The Trip Cost Includes
    • 3 nights Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu on twin sharing with breakfast only
    • Local lodge/Tea house accommodation enroute with all meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
    • Airport transfers and tour transfers in private vehicles as per the itinerary
    • Sightseeing tour with English speaking local guide and entry fees to the monument as per the itinerary
    • 1 Mountain bike per member with Helmet and spare parts
    • Service of one English speaking local biking guide during the bike tour.
    • National Park permit fee

    The Trip Cost Excludes
    • Nepal Visa fee
    • Support vehicle throughout the trip (can be provided as per request with supplement cost)
    • Any Airfares and transfers
    • Lunch and Dinner during stay in Kathmandu
    • Personal clothing & equipment (Jacket, Helmet, Gloves, Trousers, Goggles etc.)
    • Any Damage of Bike during the tour (to be settled as per the expense/maintenance bill)
    • Tips to the guide, drivers and local staffs
    • Any expenses incurred in emergency evacuation due to any reason
    • Clients Insurance and Medical expenses
    • Anything not mentioned under the heading “Price Includes”.

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BOOKING PROCEDURE

Your booking of this trip will be confirmed by email once we receive your deposit of $500 and the signed copy of booking form and contract. The balance is due no later than two months prior to departure. If you book a tour less than 2 months prior to departure, you must send the full payment within 7 days of confirmation by us.

CANCELLATION POLICY

If you cancel your booking, the following scale of charges will apply: • 2 months before departure – Loss of deposit (US$ 500) • 29 days to 2 months before departure – 30% of total trip cost • 10 to 28 days before departure – 60% of total trip cost • Less than 10 days before departure – 100% of total trip cost

DISCLAIMER

The itinerary is taken only as a guideline. We cannot be held responsible for any delays caused by International or domestic flights, strikes, Government regulations, weather or natural casualties etc. In such cases, Explore Himalaya shall provide suitable alternatives which will be decided upon mutual agreement. If you have any questions regarding this trip, please feel free to contact us at enquiry@explorehimalaya.com or directly by phone: +977-1-4518100. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours.

TALK WITH EXPERT

Sudip Thapa

+977-1-4518100

sales@explorehimalaya.com

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