I hiked the Annapurna Circuit with Michelle from Full Time Explorer. She did a great write-up of our trek which she kindly let me borrow, so what you see below is Michelle's text and my photos. You can find her original article at Annapurna Circuit Itinerary.
A friend of mine told me Kagbeni was a beautiful “sleepy town” that I should definitely go see. Most of the trekking route has been catered to tourism, and I was curious to see a town that hadn’t been completely formed around the tourist trail. Since it was halfway to Jomsom, it seemed like an obvious choice to go visit. Plus, there were rumors of a YacDonald’s which was worth walking out of the way for.
You can easily hop in a Jeep, but I’m cheap and had already walked this far, so it seemed dumb to give up at this point. I decided to follow the paved road for an easy day of walking after such a long trek the previous day. My trekking buddy opted for the “trail” on the opposite side of the valley which ended up being a dirt road. The paved road did have some detours that went through the small towns of Jharkot and Khingar.
The views were incredible and unlike anything I’d seen in Nepal so far. Parts looked like the Grand Canyon while other sections looked like a desert. Make sure you have a lot of water because I was directly in the sun for three of the hours walking on pavement. The last hour of the trek we were both hammered with wind and small sandstorms. It was so strong that it almost knocked me over, and I was walking like a drunk. Make sure to have a face mask or buff with you to prevent getting dust in your mouth and nose.
After arriving in Kagbeni, I searched for the rest of my crew and strolled through the beautiful streets. It’s the oldest city I’ve seen in Nepal, and the architecture is incredible. I’d stumble on stupas, rows of prayer wheels, and old stone buildings. I eventually decided to eat and stay at YacDonalds despite the $5 room charge. I ordered the happy meal for lunch which promised a side of happiness and they were right. It was an AMAZING burger even by American standards.