Coming in late in the evening our preferred accommodation was full, the second didn't have appropriate room, and then we asked some locals who guided us to this place.
Horse and horseman on the menu - live!
Quiet, on the northern outkirst of Kagbeni with a view toward Upper Mustang.
On the trail though kagben to Upper Mustang, very close to the ACAP office and next to the big mani wall.
Eklobhatti between Jomsom and Kagbeni has 4-5 hotels, of which definitely 4 are fine. Never stayed overnight here, but passed through twice and had lunch on my downward transit at the Tibet Guesthouse. The accommodation here seems fine by the look at it and the food was good where I ate at Tibet Guesthouse. Excellent thukpa.
But there iosn't muh to Eklobhatti than a stopover place.
Eklobhatti means also "single lodge".
The main unique quality to this place is the howling wind and dust and sand. Ensure that you have windproofs here.
Came up from Kagbeni, tired and dusty, and decided to stay in Jharkot instead of proceeding to Ranipauwa, the main pilgrim and tourist accomodation area for Muktinath.
Jharkot is definitely quieter, and the medieval-looking village is unique in itself.
The most obvious and in my opinion best place to stay is Hotel Sonam, on the main drag from Eklobhatti/Kagbeni via Kiringhar up toward Muktinath. Close to the main village chorten and the little post office you'll find Sonam's (see photo).
The rooms are basic, but clean. Common toilets, clean. In need of warm covers on top of a thin sleeping bag I was provided with blankets.
There is a dining area downstairs, and a rooftop sitting/eating area upstairs. The restaurant offers a range of souvenirs with no hassles and pushiness involved.
A few rooms downstairs, 4 doubles upstairs, two solar hot water cubicles downstairs.
They organize porters and horses should you need it.
Friendly and talkative proprietor family and assistant staff - and very helpful.
Great views from the rooftop in the morning: Toward Dahulagiri, Dhampus Peak, Tilicho and up toward the Thorong La peaks.
A short stroll around the village and to the gomba will make your day.
From Sonam's to the Muktinath pilgrimage site, there is is a 45-minute walk on a good trail.
After the Mustang trek we had the suspicion we'd be looking for a good place to de-dust and wash, so we pre-booked at Om's Home in the airport part of Jomsom.
Lonely Planet calls it "upmarket", and it was spick and span with attached tiled bathroom with solar warm water and bedding provided. While LP states prices starting at 850 Rs, we were offered the room for 350 without asking for "good price". An indication tourism is way down, unfortunately. Om's Home is worth more.
An upstairs low-tables (sit cross-legged or kneeling) restaurant with big windows, an extensive menu and excellent food.
The downstairs sit-down restaurant is more convenient for breakfast unless you go to the German Bakery further towards the airport entrance. Om's Home also houses the Cosmic Air office (same family), so you can combine reconfirmation with room booking.
Straight across the street is the police check post and diagonally across is the ACAP check post. You can do all you need to do in Jomsom based in Om's Home.
We came to stay for one night only, but wish to come back to Marpha for a prolonged stay. It is an ideal place as a base for day hikes and more around the area.
We came in need of rest and some comfort and had a room with attached bathroom and hot water shower -all of which worked well.
The hotel was nearly empty due to the general downturn in tourism, and prices to follow. The proprietor/-ess couple showed us around and told how they diversified their activities not to depend solely on tourism: goat and chyangra farming, general trading, apple and apricot farming, the first honey producers of Marpha, home gardening etc.
While there are several excellent places to stay in Marpha, we came to like this one very much due to the space and air it provided, and the interest, insights and good food offered by the hosts. The Trans-Himalayan is nice and clean, and the dust is well kept out. The dining room doubles as TV room which is not too pleasant when the soaps are on.
Good food, including some local specialities not offered on the ACAP-inspired menu. This is the place where the Marpha and Mustang destilleries are, so you can have a first-rate opportunity of tasting the products: apple juice, apple cider, apple wine, apricot wine, ditto brandy (25% up) and Mustang Apricot Brandy (best!) and Marpha Apple Brandy (75 proof - best and strongest).
There is a glass house for winter warmth and breakfast, a trail-side closed-in restaurant area for windy times during the day, and an inside dining area for evenings, all served by the same kitchen.
A good friend of the prorietor is Bhakta, a keen social worker in Marpha, who can add another dimension to you stay given he has time and you are willing to lend an ear.
The proprietor can rent you tent and other equipment and assist you to 2-3-day trips around the area, such as Dhampus pass, Old Marpha etc.
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