Why Nepal is one of the best destinations for Trekking?
Nepal has wide range of geographical features, distinction in landscapes and vegetations. Fabulous weather, majestic view of mountains, aesthetically built monuments and shimmering lakes are other beautiful features of this country. Nepal is a country of smiling faces and helpful hands where the eight hundred kilometers of snow capped mountains are rolling on and on. Nepal is perfect for those people who are interested in any of these fields or those who want to get away from the pollution, congestion and be in the serene and peaceful surroundings. In fact, Nepal is a Trekker’s Paradise where their dreams come true.
On top of that, most of the worlds tallest mountains are in Nepal. And most of the trekking routes head towards these mountains. Some go as far as Everest Base Camp and above.
What are the best seasons for Trekking?
Nepal is a Himalayan country which northern part is governed by the Southerly Monsoon that brings heavy rainfall between the months of June and September. There are treks available for such seasons too but if you are planning for a more popular and enjoyable trek, then it is best to avoid those monsoon months. You can fully experience Nepal if you set out for trek during the seasons between Autumn and Spring. At that time, you can get better visibility and fresh air. The weather is also perfect and Nepalese great festivals Dashain and Tihar are also marked during this season.
Is trekking suitable for me/ Can I also go for Trekking?
If you are reasonably fit and get pleasure from walking, then trekking is of course suitable for you. Depending on your health and fitness, you can choose either shorter treks or longer treks. Normally shorter treks are easier while the longer treks require a better standard of fitness. You can also decide your trekking tour according to the grade/difficulty level.
Where can I stay on a Trek?
There are well-established Mountain lodges that provide sleeping accommodation and meals in the more popular trails like Everest, Annapurna and Langtang. These days, you don’t have to share dormitories as almost all the lodges at present provide private rooms. Many of them also provide the solar showers and clean toilet facilities. However, if you are going to trek in more remote areas, then it is required to transport all the necessities like group tents, food, etc. Food can be cooked by the trekking agency while water is adequately supplied.
What equipments should I bring along the trek?
Most of the things that you will need during a trek will be available in Kathmandu. So, you can either rent them or buy them once you are there. A trekking book can also guide about the equipments that you will need and something that you should bring from home as well. Bring ear-plugs to have sound sleep in spite of dog barking. A radio can be helpful to listen weather forecasts and the news. Other helpful equipments can be a pocket knife, bug spray, sunscreen, camera, binoculars, sunglasses, a good watch with possibly an altimeter, a compass and a day pack. You can also rent them in Kathmandu at reasonable price.
What is altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness is also known as Acute Mountain Sickness which generally occurs when people ascend too quickly in altitudes of over 3000 m. It is fairly common that most people will feel shortness of breath, affect of altitude and possible light headed. It is quite different and normally involves sickness, severe headache and loss of awareness. To ensure minimal risk, you can either take enough rest or descend to a lower altitude.
What happens if there’s an emergency?
Generally, you are not likely to face any emergency but if the situation goes serious, then you can send word to the nearby village with radio service for a helicopter evacuation. It can cost you up to $1000-$1800 for a helicopter evacuation and it requires a guarantee of payment before the helicopter takes off. If you register with your embassy, then this process can be done in great speed. However, if the case is not so serious, then you can find some health posts or air field for check-up.
What are the best places for Trekking?
There are numerous treks in Nepal to try depending on the time of the year, amount of money you can spend, amount of time and amount of experience you’ve had. If you have limited time and money, you can trek to Langtang-Helambu which is just north to Kathmandu or also any parts of Annapurna region which is north of Pokhara. If you have enough time, then the best trekking routes would be Everest region or the full Annapurna circuit. Kanchanjunga area trek in the far eastern Nepal is somewhat a difficult trek. To know the best places for trekking in Nepal, you can buy one good book related to trekking.
Do I need a Trekking Permit?
Trekking permit is required only for the restricted areas like Kanchanjunga, Dolpa and others. It can be easily obtained from Tourism Department by paying the required trekking fees and showing your visa. It is not required in the trekking routes such as Everest, Annapurna and Langtang. Trekking in restricted areas is open for groups only so, you will not get trekking permit if you want to go there individually. You should obtain multiple trekking permits if you want to trek in multiple places.
Should I hire Porter/Guides?
Porters can carry your heavy loads (tents, food, etc) which make your trekking easy and rewarding and they cost about $10 a day. Guides can guide you through different places and they cost about $15 a day. You can ask a local trekking agency in Kathmandu or Pokhara or your hotelier to find one for you. Make sure you agree upon the wage before hiring them. Also, make sure they have adequate clothes and other things necessary for the trek. You should take full responsibility of their health. So, be prepared for it too.
Update:You can not trek anymore without a trekking guide anymore after series of incidents involving trekkers disappearing.
Is it good to trek with an agency?
It would be best to trek with an agency if you are tight on schedule but not on money. They can organize a suitable trek for the cost increasing from $25 depending on the nature of your trek. This cost usually comes with shelter, food, porters and guides. You will be travelling with other similar trekkers and the experience can be really worthwhile. You can get a high degree of luxury that you may not get if you go independently. Trekking with an agency has some limitations as you cannot design your own plans and you need to stick to the group schedule.
What is the general form of greeting in Nepal?
The general form of greeting in Nepal is “Namaste” which is both a greeting and a gesture as well. In Sanskrit “Namas” means to become silent, bend and submit humbly and “Te” means “to you”. So, the Namaste means “I bow to you”. This form of greeting can convey different messages such as “Hello”, “Nice to meet you”, “How are you”, “I am glad to see you”, etc. The proper way to tell Namaste is by putting both the palms together, bowing head gently and saying “Namastay”.
What is the currency of Nepal?
Nepalese currency is called as Nepalese Rupee which in short is written as NRS. Presently, notes of following denominations are used: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, 500 and 1000. It is better to carry smaller notes while travelling to less populated areas while larger notes are easily accepted in other areas.
Will my laptop work in Nepal?
Most of the trekkers have complaints that their laptops fried, hair driers blown up and electric razer gone crazy. It is better to use voltage converters and plug adapters while using your electronics. Voltage fluctuation is very common in Nepal and it is better to use a robust power surge for such equipments. As Nepal doesn’t produce enough electricity, the power may be disrupted for hours which we called load-shedding. Keep in touch with local newspapers from where you can get the information of load-shedding schedule.
What can I take back home from Nepal?
There are many useful things that you can take back home like Pashmina, Nepali musical instruments such as Banshuri and Madal and Nepalese arts and crafts. Nepali carpet is also quite popular among the tourists. The most popular items include: Nepali handmade papers, Khukuri/Knives, Thankas-Tibetan paintings, silver jewelries, Nepali Cap-Topi and other accessories. You can buy them from any tourist shops in Nepal. The most popular place for these items is Thamel street located in the heart of Kathmandu.