Semi-unpopular opinion: The Everest base camp at Annapurna is superior to Everest’s base camp. No one may argue the not-so-famous or historically-mentioned Everest Base Camp. It is iconic to climb to the top of the highest mountain in the world. If you’re surprised, join the club. When I went to Nepal, I knew I would love both trekkings. But I really wanted to see Everest.
Every time I went to a jungle, it was what I wanted. It is true. In India, the term ‘jungle’ is used synonymously with ‘forest’. The United States uses the word forest because it has everything, including pines, oaks, and birches. However, we use the term jungle when thinking about a jungle. However, my dream was to be surrounded by lush, tropical jungle undergrowth. From the moment I stepped on it, I knew something special about it. After seeing my first banana tree, I took a closer look at the strange plant until someone pointed out the fruit wine hanging in the middle.
The palm tree is mixed with ferns and thick moss. There are also bamboo shoots. Fine, but wildly colored blossoms. And the undergrowth is the thickest and greenest I have ever seen. It sometimes felt like we were walking through a tunnel of green with just sunlight streaming in, when bamboo, vines, and trees all worked together. Although there were beautiful forests along the route to Everest Base Camp, the area is generally much drier and has a lower level of vegetation. The trail to Annapurna, however, has an air of freshness that cannot be ignored.
If you have concerns about your budget, this is another important point. Three factors are involved: cost of transport, location, and length. It is easier to travel to the ABC railway by road than it is by air. A bus from Kathmandu-Pokhara is quite affordable and you can book a shared taxi from Nayapul at the start of the trail. The trail begins at Lukla. This village has no road access and can only be reached by air. EBC is required on the other.
Round trip costs approximately 17,000 INR, and 24,000 INR respectively for SAARC members and others. EBC’s remote location also increases the cost of travel. You can only get to the cafeteria by flying to Kathmandu. There, porters will carry your food (just like the food you eat). You will pay more for lodges and porters the higher you climb. The price for boiled eggs is 660 NPR or 500 NPR when you reach the top huts like Lobuche and Gorakshep. It is easy to access the Annapurna trail by road. This makes it cheaper to transport items and allows for more flexibility in budgeting.
Pokhara is the nearest town to the beginning of the ABC Trek. You will need to walk to Pokhara to get a cab. This town feels like a resort at the beach. Pokhara, nestled in the hills close to Phewa Lake feels like you’ve been on a vacation to Goa. We couldn’t resist getting one and rowing in the middle of the lake, where we could see the temples high above the mountains and the bamboo shacks that lined the shore selling cold beers as well as chicken and barbecued maize. People make their way from the mountains to the lake and go to the fairground on a Ferris wheel. They also attend concerts at the festivals along the lakeshore.
Jhinu Hot Springs
Technically, you can pass through the village on your way up. However, I recommend taking the Jhinu route back to ABC. Jhinu, which is perfectly balanced by the slight widening of a larger ridge, is the final town you will stay in before returning to civilization. It’s the perfect finale of an amazing week. This was a conversation that lasted for days. We walked up and down 60km, and we were ready to let our hair down for a moment. After all, we talked about it for many days. Just before reaching Jhinu, we had already thrown our bathing suits and sprinted down to Jhinu, making it easy to descend into steam. It was perfect.