Tag Archives: sindhupalchowk

Tatopani Trip

Some important things to keep in mind prior to traveling to Tatopani:

  • If you plan to take a public bus [Kathmandu – Tatopani]
    1. Buy the ticket in advance.
  • If you plan to visit Khasa, China
    1. Make sure you go all the way to Liping (about 5-km further away from Tatopani main bazaar. Liping is also the last stop of the public bus.
    2. You must have Nepali citizenship card to enter China.
    3. Before you enter the border, get the 1-day pass from Nepali border office. Will cost you a few bucks.
    4. Border closes at 3 p.m. NST [There is no time limitation for your return provided you get back within 24 hours.]
    5. Nepali Rupees is accepted in Khasa, China.

When my friend suggested that I should go to Tatopani which is only about 3 hours away from Kathmandu, he completely forgot to mention that he had gone on a motorcycle. Cause 3-hour seemed way too tempting to try it out on a single day. And so we went – my brother and I early in the morning straight to Puraano Bus park (Ratna Park) – just to find out that the bus that goes all the way to Tatopani was already full. Then we took the one that went up to Barhabise. From there it was supposed to be 1 and a half-hour to about 2 hours to get to Tatopani. But eventually the entire journey took almost 8 hours [Lesson learnt: buy the ticket in advance].

Kids from Barhabise, Sindhupalchok

Kids from Barhabise, Sindhupalchok

With public bus, I’m not going to sugarcoat- it is kind of a nightmare. As very few buses run to and from Tatopani; people don’t mind cramming into whatever little space they can find because that is the only choice they have. In terms of simply the bus ride, it was a great adventure. Barhabise onwards I stood all the way to our final destination cause there was no seat available. The upside however, I got to talk to the locals. Sometime traveling with locals add a whole new flavor to your travel experience that you cannot get when you are simply driving on your own on a private car.

Our mission that day was to get to Khasa, China. The bus had left from Puraano Bus park at around 7 a.m. towards Tinkune, Bhaktapur, Banepa. After crossing Dolal Ghat, Khadichaur, finally made it to Barhabise by 11 a.m. then had our lunch and the bus to Tatopani finally left at 12 noon. By the time we got to Liping the border town, it was already 2:30 p.m. Nepal – China border closes at 3 p.m. Reached the border just in time to fill up the paper and cross to the other side. You have to have Nepali citizenship card to enter the Chinese territory. Need to display the card multiple times, get your bags scanned. And don’t be surprised if Chinese officials speak to you in Nepali. To get to main Khasa bazaar- it costs us Rs 300 from the check post. On our way back to border Rs 800. [Good luck bargaining]

I really wished I knew a little bit of Mandarin or Tibetan language when I reached Khasa. Because – they don’t speak English or Nepali and I don’t speak their language. May be because we got there kind of late – Khasa looked very desolated. We were so hungry – after taking few clips we returned right away to Nepal for some food.

I have to admit, I didn’t find much to do in Khasa, whtaever fun I had was in Liping. I was so worried about not getting a seat on the bus the next day, we stayed overnight in Liping. Didn’t bother eploring the main Tatopani area as it was quite far away, additionally there was no way to easily commute and it was already too late. I wanted to make sure that I could sit for another 7-hour travel back to Kathmandu.

Kids from Liping, Sindhupalchok

My brother and kids from Liping, Sindhupalchok

I don’t know how much Liping is talked about in the landscape of Nepali tourism, I loved the place. It was probably the best border town I had ever been to. It might have to do with roaring Bhotekoshi that added to our adventure. The room we got was just by the shore. From the inside of the room it felt or sounded like torrential downpour of rain, that’s how loud Bhotekoshi was. I have never seen a river run so fast, so dangerously, in such a hypnotic manner. Weirdly enough, I found serenity in that river rush. Just that site alone made my trip worthwhile. Also, some local kids who insisted on singing and made sure that I captured them on my camera. Like any other obedient and curious traveler, I thought it would be wise to listen to the [junior] locals. Below is the result of that recording along with a few glimpses of the trip:

Nepal – China border [Liping – Khasa] from Shailiza Manandhar on Vimeo.

Charikot, the headquarter of Dolakha district is about 130 km from the capital city, Kathmandu. Besides offering a stunning view of the mountain range; domestic tourists flock this region to pay respect to Dolakha Bhimsen which has its own religious importance. Our initial plan was to hike to Kalinchowk the next day from Charikot. Not surprisingly as life would have it – didn’t exactly turn out the way we expected.

Accompanied by my brother, cousin, and an awesome driver (along with his kick-ass hindi movie song playlist), our journey began early in the morning at 7:30 a.m. from Tinkune. It was my first time witnessing 6-lane highway in Nepal that leads all the way to Suryabinayak. Possibly the only bump-free non-existent-traffic-jam ride I had experienced in Nepal.

As we bid farewell to Kathmandu valley we were greeted by an utterly breathtaking sceneries. Despite the heavy rain, it didn’t quite affect our scenic drive. Leaving behind Bhaktapur, a long stretch of Banepa, and Dhulikhel, soon started a winding road to Dolakha.

A must do on your way to Dolakha is to stop by Dolalghat; to try out some fresh local fish. There are quite a few eateries around. Nomatter where you choose to go I guarantee an excellent tasting fish with a lot of Nepali dish choices.

Sunkoshi river (Dolalghat)

Picture above: Dolalghat eateries

After an appetizing meal we made our way to Khadichaur. Quick note: about half-an-hour drive from Khadichaur the two-way highway is reduced to one lane, making the trip all the more adventurous. Picture below: Khadichaur bridge.

Near Mude, closest town to Charikot.

And we finally reached our destination. Picture below: Charikot downtown

Reached Bhimeshowr temple area around 1 p.m.
In the picture below: Bhimeshowr locals

My brothers running ahead of me. At the end of this stairway lies the temple.

Bhimeshowr Temple

Hello! Hello! smiling mini goat 🙂

Thaali for lunch. Great food outside the vicinity of the temple.

It was a cloudy rainy day, didn’t get to see the mountain range. Still was a memorable trip.A goat casually walking by.

On our way back it seemed to be snowing in Mude. Upon a closer look we discovered it was a small pea-sized hail. **Majestic**

With that we said goodbye to Dolakha.