My friend and I left for Markhu village located in Makwanpur District in the Narayani Zone of southern Nepal on our scooters on a rainy Thursday despite me being hounded by bad memories of roads with lots of puddles and dirt from my last trip to the place a while back. Even back then, the roads till Pharping were pretty good but after we took a right to get to Markhu, the ride got bumpy and uncomfortable. This time around, however, I was surprised to see that the roads were all black-topped and riding the scooter was fairly easy.
We reached Markhu around seven in the evening and there we set up our tent. After that, we hiked for 10 minutes to a hotel to have dinner. We returned to the place where we had set up our tent just in time to avoid the rain. In the morning, I was pretty proud of the way I set up the tent as not a single drop of water got in despite it having rained hard all night long.
On a sunny morning, we watched the nearby waterfall and then went to explore Markhu village after a hearty breakfast. We also decided to go boating in the lake nearby. The boating charge was very high at Rs 600 per hour. At Pokhara, renting a boat for the whole day costs just Rs 800 and that is despite the fact that boating in Fewa Tal is a pretty touristy thing to do. Markhu is a bit too commercialized now. Till a year ago, it had fewer hotels and was more peaceful. But despite it all, we still had a good camping time there.
After saying goodbye to Markhu, we headed to Chitlang. The road to Chitlang was also very bumpy and people were actually amazed to see me on the scooter there. Tired from the bumpy ride, we searched for a place to camp in Chitlang but couldn’t find a proper place to put up the tent. However, there are many home stay options available in Chitlang with the Goat Cheese Factory being one of the cleaner and thus popular ones.
A trip around the outskirts of the valley is a must when you have a few days off from work. Our trip to Markhu and Chitlang was a one night-two day affair and in this short while, we managed to recharge ourselves as well as experience life away from the chaos of the capital city. There are many good places around Kathmandu waiting to be explored – all you need is the will to venture beyond the comforts of your home and surroundings.