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edited by Somtam2000
The post that kicked this off was spam, which I've now deleted and banned the spammer, but as the rest of you got something else going have left the rest of the thread up.
#1 vladaus has been a member since 11/9/2011. Posts: 1
So happens that one of my sons is off to Nepal for a spot of trekking today. He's on a tight budget though, hasn't got any firm plans apart from the first couple of nights and will be sorting out treks once he gets there because I told him it would probably be a lot cheaper than booking in advance (never having been there myself).
How much did treks with this company you're promoting cost?
I only had 8 days to spend in Nepal, which is far less time than most people have and obviously not enough to get in an extended trek. Instead, I took the tour up to Nagarkot for the overnight trip to see the sunrise over Everest. But when the bus made its early morning departure back to Kathmandu, I stuck around for a bit and then eventually walked down the hill from there as sort of a poor man's trek. I made it all the way back in one day, passing lots of small villages and curious but friendly people along the way.
I did something similar once I got to Pokhara. I'm sorry that I didn't get to do an extended trek like the ones mentioned above, but at least I got out into the hills and the air and the views of the mountains. If you visit Nepal, try the yak cheese. Fantastic!
SBE, I know this thread is going a bit off on a geographical tangent but my advice to your son is not to rush into booking full trek arrangements even when he gets there. I don't know what his time scales are but assuming it's his first time trekking he'll be considering the Annapurna and Everest regions both of which are well trodden paths. Independent travellers on a budget can easily trek the standard treks in those regions without pre-booking any arrangements, carrying your own kit and staying in tea houses (simple lodges). If you don't want to carry your own gear, just hire a porter on the spot (pick one up in Pokhara or Lukla depending on the region you're trekking in); although they aren't guides and often have limited English they are useful if you're worried about the route - although it's quite difficult to get lost if you stick to the proper paths (there are some exceptions in the Everest region where it's advisable not to cross some high passes without guidance). Going into October it's peak season so there's bound to be other trekkers to hook up with and the tea houses are quite sociable in the evenings.
PS If I had to recommend Annapurna or Everest for a first time trekker, I would go Annapurna - and if he has the time to combine Annapurna Circuit with Annapurna Base Camp.
Thanks for the speedy replies you two! My son should be arriving at the airport about now, so I'll call him and pass on your messages before his flight leaves. [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]
He's spending a couple of nights in Kathmandu to get orientated, change money and check out the trekking options (and hopefully hook up with someone to share the guide costs if it seems necessary).
From what he told me, he didn't seem that keen on doing either Annapurna or the Everest base camp, precisely because they seemed too well trodden paths to him.... but he's wide open to suggestions from people who've been there! I haven't, and could only help him with vague generalities ...eg based on my experiences in SE Asia, it's generally far cheaper to arrange things locally once you get there rather than book a tour online in advance. (But I don't know anything about Nepal).
He mentioned he was thinking of a 14 day trek around Langtang and going to an animal reserve in the east of the country which is about 14 hours away from Kathmandu by bus I think. (Sorry the name of the reserve escapes me right now....until I've actually been somewhere, the names of places just don't stick!).
He's got just under a month, will be arriving tomorrow afternoon and is coming back on October 9th I think. He's interested in seeing mountains, jungles rafting etc.but can't afford several hundred dollars on guide fees
I think booking on the spot being cheaper is the general rule of thumb pretty much anywhere in the world!
When I read the part about not being keen on Annapurna and Everest and before I read on, the alternative that came into my mind was Langtang so I would say that is a good call. I haven't trekked Langtang has but my other half has (I've been to Nepal several times and we lived in Kathmandu for 7 months a couple of years ago); he trekked most of the routes and I know he always says Langtang is one of his favourites for exactly some of the reasons you mention and he also feels it offers much more culturally than the other regions. Everest and Annapurna are big name checkers but I often hear him trying to persuade people to trek Langtang over those.
Oh, and I think Bardia may be the park he is talking about in the east? It's many years since I was there but I did enjoy it at the time.
I am very attached to Kathmandu although it gets dusty, smellier and more polluted by the day. And to top it all a large bottle of beer is now around the $5 mark (in a non flashy place) - far cry from SE Asia! There's loads to explore including fabulous temples but most people appreciate getting out into the mountains and countryside ..........
In Kathmandu, climbing the steps up to Swayambhunath was a memorable treat. After that, I headed over to Bodnath in the late afternoon/early evening for a wander and to walk around the stupa as was the custom of the people who lived in the area.
I don't know if your son plans to visit Bhaktapur or not (13 km east of Kathmandu), but I have fond memories of the town there and particularly of the buildings in the square. It has been a while since I visited Nepal however, so things may have changed so much as to make these comments meaningless. I remember paying between $3 and $8 for an ensuite room in the greater Tamel area, for example, and a big bottle of icy cold Tuborg was under $1.
I hope your son has a wonderful time.
I agree with exacto on Swayambunath and Bodnath and they were the ones I was going to recommend. Bodnath is my favourite. Patan is also well worth a visit. Walking through the streets of old Kathmandu from Thamel to Durbar Square is really interesting. Bhaktapur is still pretty authentic and now they have finished building a new road there which took several years the journey is much better. The ancient parts are still the same, it's the effects of modern things like motorbikes and cars that are clogging its arteries (could also be said for many cities in SE Asia I know). You'd hardly get a spot on the pavement for $3 these days - I think hostels in Kathmandu are very poor value for what they offer (lucky we had an apartment). As for the 16 hours of day of power outages, well they just added to the challenges of living in Nepal ...........
Thanks again both of you. I'll send him the link to this thread as he's airborne now. And I'm glad he went and bought some extra batteries for his headlamp this morning, sounds like he'll need them, even in Kathmandu!
Hope this is not too late.
I stayed in Nepal for 6 months (Manang on the Annapurna circuit) a long time ago. In Kathmandu it's pretty easy to find independent guides. Off course it's hit and miss but certainly cheap. In general he's looking for someone who can speak both English and Nepali and knows the routes. Not much else is needed.
In the main square in town (with the old pagoda) he will be approached by several wannabee guides and I once took 1 and was happy with the result. Don't expect much of history and background information. Just make sure he knows the region where you want to go.
Langtang is beautiful but so is the first half of Annapurna. Great thing about Annapurna is Pokhara which is a gorgeous mountain city to chill out with breathtaking mountain views. And the first half of the circuit (eastern side up to Manang) isn't that crowded. The other side, which has a road now I believe, receives the short term tourists. Eastern parts only sees the people doing the whole loop and willing to cross the pass or backtrack.
Thanks everyone, including Somtam for leaving this spam thread up.
Just had an email from Kathmandu. My son said the traffic was crazy there but he met a Nepalese guy who showed him around Kathmandu and took him to visit his farm in a village about 20km away yesterday.
He says he's arranged a 20 day trek through his GH for 300 euros and will be doing Langtang, the Heritage trek and Helambu. His Nepalese friend said it was an excellent choice for seeing the *real* Nepal so hopefully it is. 15 euros a day all in seems OK to me and it's half the price he was quoted online for a 14 day trek so he's happy.
I drove the other son to the train station today. He's off to Indonesia for a month.
Someone has to stick around here to feed the dog ... but as soon as they get back I'm off!! :-)
Yep, Kathmandu traffic is pretty hellish. I'm sure he'll love it when he gets out into the mountains - sounds like a good choice of walks for a decent price if that's all in. Happy to be able to help .......... :-) It's a great country and I hope he has a fantastic time!
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