Arriving in Beding, Nepal was a bit of a surprise. We’d been walking for hours and most of the villages on the way to Tsho Rolpa Lake were just a single building with no actual village nearby. Beding, however, is a small city set along the Rowaling River in the mountains. Since we found so little information online before doing the Tsho Rolpa Trek, I wanted to provide some basic information about each of the villages along the way to help future trekkers navigate better.
Brief History of Beding
Since Beding is a mountain village, there isn’t a lot of information available on the history. The village is made up of about 70 homes set near the river on the way to Tsho Rolpa Lake. The lake is a famous pilgrimage site and is considered holy in Nepal. The area, which is mainly Buddhist has two monasteries. The old one is located on the side of the mountain and requires a strenuous climb uphill. It was used until they closed it down after the earthquake. The second newer monastery is located right along the river and is easy to visit.
An interesting story about Beding is that the area is a no kill zone. This means that no one can kill animals in the region. Anyone caught killing an animal or buying/selling meat will receive a $500 fine. Around 2009, Guru Rinpoche put this law into effect. Approximately 5 years later, he rescued 108 yak and brought them to the area to be free. Locals don’t even use the animals’ milk. The only thing they use from the animals is their poop. Yak and cow poop are dried and used in lieu of firewood (no, it doesn’t smell). Sheep poop is used as fertilizer for growing potatoes. This area is one of the few places where you can see yak roam free.
Beding, Nepal Teahouses
Number of teahouses: At least 3 (possibly more)
We stayed at: Gaurishankar Himalayan Hotel & Lodge
We checked out three different teahouses in town. Gaurishankar Himalayan Hotel & Lodge was the nicest. It’s run by two young women who are sisters. One has a young daughter who is the cutest little kid. If you play Bollywood music she might even show you her dance moves. The hospitality here was amazing, and I found them to be extremely kind. The rooms were clean and the toilet is close by, so you don’t have to walk up and down stairs at night. They also have a western toilet which was a bonus. We stayed here one night on the way to Tsho Rolpa and one night on the way back.
Price of room: 500 rupees (approximately $5 USD)
Price of vegetable dal baht: 500 rupees (approximately $5.00 USD)
Toilet Situation: Western toilet
Showers: Buckets of hot water available for a fee
NTC Service: Limited Cell Service
Beding, Nepal Overview
Major ethnicity: Sherpa
Major religion: Buddhist
Language: Nepali & Sherpa
Altitude: 3,721 m (12,208 ft)
Oxygen Concentration: 65% (compared to 100% at sea level)
Location: Beding is located in the Gaurishankar Conservation Area which is in the north-eastern part of Central Nepal. It’s 21.6 km (13.4 miles) from Chhetchhet which is the closest village with road access.
Best Time of Year to Visit: October, November, April, and May – If you visit outside of tourist season, the teahouses may be closed. Many locals leave during the winter because it’s too cold, and there are not enough tourists. Locals do stay in Beding during monsoon, but it’s very dangerous to travel that time of year and even the locals don’t dare to cross the rivers.
How to get there: Beding is part of the Tsho Rolpa Trek, Rowaling Valley Trek, and the Tasi Lapcha La Trek. It takes an 8-10 hour drive from Kathmandu and 3-5 days of walking to reach the village of Beding.
What to eat: Because the area is mostly Sherpa, it’s best to try authentic Nepali or Sherpa food. Dal baht is popular along with Thukpa (Tibetan noodle soup) and Thongba (millet wine). It’s forbidden to kill animals in this area, so you should not try to order meat.
Things to do in Beding
Beding is set in the mountains with amazing views. Tsho Rolpa Lake is a 1-2 day walk. Dudh Lake is also a 1-2 day walk. The area is a training site for mountaineers who want to practice or acclimate before expeditions or practice ice climbing. There’s an old monastery (Rowaling Sanga Chhyoling Gumba) set in the cliffs which makes a wonderful but steep day hike. You can also spend time wandering through town and visiting the new monastery which will begin hosting retreats. This area is a sanctuary for animals like yak, cows, and sheep. Plus, you can ask locals if they’ve seen the infamous Yeti as a few villagers will have some wild stories to share.
You might also like…
Michelle Della Giovanna
Writer at Full Time Explorer
I’m just your average New Yorker who quit her job in the fashion industry to explore the world. Come find out what it’s like to trade in five-inch heels for squat toilets.
Hi Michelle, thank you for your post. We were in Beding in November 1977 and stayed a night in the ceiling cavity of the older monestry. A wonderful nights sleep. As it was getting on for winter there was only a few monks around. I read in the post that oxygen 65% at Beding’s altitude and it was really hard going walking on the path to get there and onto Na where we stayed a couple of nights in tents. Cold cold. The days were beautiful and even warm. One day we set off for Tshol Rolpa Lake there was deep snow all around dumped by the previous night’s storm. It was really tough going and we turned back to Na while there was still daylight to travel in. I remember slipping and sliding all the way back. I often daydream about the valley Beding and have always longed to return. Best wishes
Thank you so much for sharing your story Bruce! What an incredible experience. I can only imagine how different things were in Nepal in the 70’s. I wish I could travel back to witness it. I imagine it was an entirely different world then. Beding is truly beautiful and the route there is gorgeous. Staying in the old monastery must have been such a treat. I hope you are able to visit the valley again!
Hi Michelle, thank you very much for your post. We are planning to travel to Tsho Rolpa very soon and this post of yours has been of great help. I just wanted to say thank you very much for this 🙂
Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I’m happy you found the post helpful and wish you a wonderful journey to Tsho Rolpa. It’s a beautiful trek! Enjoy ?
Hi Michelle, thank you for the website. I am from Rolwaling myself and very proud about my town although I lived in Kathmandu for my whole life. I did get a chance to visit over my hometown over the summer 2020. I have been living in Colorado for five years now. I really appreciate your work. Well now they have more lodges and I got to drink lots of milk from the Yak and high altitude cows. There is ice climbing during the winter and there will soon be retreat program for buddhist practitioners or anyone who wants to have the experience of living away from the day to day lifestyle to get a peace of mind essentially.
Thank you for reading my blog and for the updated information. Beding is such a beautiful place and I hope more people will explore it! I really enjoyed our time in the Rolwaling Valley.
Hi Michelle, thank you for writing such a lovely blog on the Beding village. That’s true that it’s hard to find information on many un-treaded villages such as Beding online! I myself have not been to this place though I have been planning a trek to Tsho Rolpa forever. This information will come in very handy.
I am a founder of askmeaboutnepal.com, my idea for this website is to create a databank of visuals and texts on Nepal. It would be great if we can collaborate with you in one way or the other.
Thanks so much Nikki! Please feel free to shoot me an email and we can chat about your website.
We want to cross Tasi Lapcha and go over to Thame. Shall we find guide and porters in beding/na?
Those are small villages so I’m not sure if you’d be able to find a guide there. That pass is rather difficult from why I hear so I would plan in advance for a guide as you may not find one on arrival.