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Topping My Travel List

WOW talks to travel aficionados Pooja Rijal, Amy Shakya and Pema Genkhang on places to visit in 2019

POOJA RIJAL

Pooja is an inspiring solo Nepali woman traveller. She was recently selected as Miss Nepali Traveller 2019 where she received full funding and support for international solo travel in South East Asia. In 2018 she travelled solo across Nepal.

›› Top of my list…

Gokyo Lakes, Nepal

Why?
These oligotrophic lakes are situated 5000 metres above the sea level comprising of six lakes. I went there last December, and it was a magical experience. You get a feeling of contentment when you look at glistening lake.

Must-visit.
Gokyo Ri (5357m) is the first must visit sight. You get a remarkable view of the mountains Cho Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Makalu. Also one must visit the 5th lake which lies in the northern part. From there, you can see Cho Oyu base camp and Ngozumpa glacier (the biggest glacier in the world).

What should one pack?
Good quality trekking shoes, 50-60 litre bag, two-litre water bottle (including 1 litre of thermal), polarised glasses, two hiking t-shirts, hiking pants, thermal, rain jacket, fleece jacket, down jacket, day cap, woollen hat, woollen gloves, scarf, mask, four pairs of trekking socks, quick-dry towel, first aid kit, personal hygiene items, power bank, extra battery for the camera, mini tripod, daytime backpack, pair of slippers.

How much cash should one carry?
Approximately Rs 30,000 per person is enough. This will include two-way flight tickets from Lukla and basic items. If you want to party you might need to carry a little more cash.

Best time to visit.
November/ December is the best time to visit as its offseason. It will be less crowded and the weather will be very clear.


Junbesi, Nepal

Why?
It’s one beautiful Sherpa village in Solukhumbu (Everest region) that has been in the shadows. Although it’s not a very popular tourist destination, it is very rich in terms of culture, monasteries and scenic beauty. It’s not very far and one can easily go via jeep or even walk from Phaplu (takes up to four hours).

Must-visit.
There are eight monasteries in the village including some of the oldest and the biggest ones. Personally, I would recommend,  Thupten Choling Gumba. It’s massive and lively. This monastery has around 375 lamas and anis. Each individual has their own small huts to stay. If you look at it from far it looks like a village settlement.

What should one pack?
A trekking bag, hiking or trekking shoes, t-shirts, hiking pants, fleece jacket, down jacket, water bottle, socks, quick-dry towel, day cap, polarized sunglasses, slippers, personal hygiene items, power bank, extra battery

 How much cash should one carry?
One can carry around Rs 15,000 for a week long travel. This includes Kathmandu to Junbesi two way bus fare.

Best time to visit
April- July is the best time if you want to see colourful flowers. Also there is the Dumji Festival around the months of May/June. However, if you want to see snowfall, I would recommend January.