The Poonhill trek in Nepal is a great way to get a glimpse of the Annapurna mountain range if you dont have that much time. The Annapurna mountain range in Nepal offers a wide range of treks and is extremely popular with tourist during the trekking seasons in autmun and spring. Experiencing a sunrise over the Machhapuchhare range where the first rays of sunlight will hit some Himalayan hotshots is the highlight of this trek.
While trekking towards the Annapurna Basecamp, the walk up to Poonhill was a short detour from the village of Ghorepani, a lovely little town on 2.850m home to a couple teahouses and a perfect stop while trekking in this region. We reached this town at the end of our second day and spent the night close to the fireplace with some fresh lemongrass-ginger tea. Extremely early the next morning we had to get out of our warm beds to hike uphill for about an hour. How in the world can walking stairs in total darkness and freezing temperatures be among my favorite hikes? It is all about the reward on top of Poon Hill.
Poon Hill has become a popular viewpoint and around sunrise you definitely won't be alone. Dont let this fact hold you back. The spectacular panoramic view of Annapurna South (7.219m), Annapurna I (8.096m), the famous Fish Tail (6.997m), Dhaulagiri (8.167m), Manaslu (8.163m) and many more peaks is truly amazing. Where in the world can you see 3 summits of the 14 highest mountains in the world from one viewpoint?
First of all I have to admit that Im not a hiker at all, at least that was my opinion before I vistited Nepal. While in Nepal you have to give trekking a chance, simply because it can hardly get any better. The Himalayas are around the corner and trekking here is made accessible for all levels of fitness and on top of all that, its extremely cheap. For a bed in the mountains you will pay about $1-$1,5 per night and for food you will not spend more than $10-$15 a day. That way a 5-day trekking through the Nepali Himalaya's will set you back less than $75, excluding permits. Thinking about hiring a porter? These guys can be found for about $10-$15 a day. But really you dont need that many stuff! Neither do you necessarily need a guide. Its quite impossible to get lost on the single tracks from village to village. The only thing you need to bring is a couple good books. My friend Will from the Broke Backpacker wrote this list of the Best books to Read On The Road.
The Poonhill trek is a fantastic trek for hikers who are completely new to this scene. If you are satisfied by what you saw and experienced once you reach the top of Poonhill, you can return to the normal world that same day. For me it was an eyeopener. I started with the trek to Poonhill as well but ended up spending 15 days in the mountains, I just kept on going! To me the lovely people of the mountains, the simple life, the life without internet, the fellow travellers I met and of course the stunning sceneries all contributed to those spectacular days in the mountains!