A residence for eight among the ten highest peak in the world, Nepal has some of the finest places to offer for trekking. It sees thousands of tourist who come to lose themselves to nature’s enchantments every year. It is an escape from every day’s busy schedule. You get to deposit all your stress and burden along the journey. Upon completion of the journey, it is a feeling of not of refreshment but of an evolution into an entirely new being with a set of whole new experience. Trekking in Nepal has become the major attraction to all the tourist around the globe.
Ranging from the highest peak of the world to the subtlest escalating valleys, Nepal has diverse range of trekking destinations you can chose from.
There are trekking and hiking destinations
- with rich biodiversity
- For bird watching
- For a daring adventure
- To watch the sunset and sunrise
- For relaxations
According to your preference and interest you can choose the one you wish to experience. You can also select trek on the basis of its difficulty level. It would be unwise to believe that the trill of a track depends upon its level of difficulty. Even the most elementary and shortest route can give you the experience of a lifetime.
Any destination will offer you with a spectacular view of the snow sprinkled mountain ranges. The sight of the view will lead you to the glorification of the creator’s skill. You will see the world that you though never really existed. It is an experience pushed beyond the nominal perception you accepted of the world.
The icing on the cake of trekking in Nepal is its preserved biodiversity that is unstained from the touch of modernization. A large part of the population still makes up the rural area. Most destinations lead to places that inhabitants settlements with unusual and interesting cultures. You will get a chance to explore some of the most exquisite tradition and lifestyle in your journey.
You will be spending the nights in tea houses, home stay or camps depending upon the destinations you chose. The tea-houses or home stay are traditional and very hospitable if not luxurious. You will be warmly welcomed by people from every villages you pass by.
Trekking in Nepal is not only about adventure but largely about exploring yourself. It is a journey to explore how insignificantly small you are in this world and yet how much of a difference your existence can make.
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Nepal is famous for tourism. Its unique geographical placement, pleasant climate and exclusive topographical structure make it a place of tourist attraction.
The trekkers and the adventurers make up the larger portion of the visitors of Nepal. People fly down here to escape the daily hum-drum of life and lose themselves to nature’s enchantments. There is no doubt that there are many other places in the world for trekking. But the reason as to why Nepal is a must for trekking are-
a. White Mountains Peaks
The northern region of Nepal is entirely dominated by mountain peaks. Eight among the ten highest peaks in the world reside in Nepal. Nepal is therefore the best place to experience the Himalayas. Trip to the base Camp of Mt. Everest– the highest peak in the world, is a legendary experience.
The Annapurna region is famously known world wide as one of the best commercial destination for trekking. The atmosphere and the altitude will give a sense of peace and serenity. In your attempt to lose yourself, you will also find yourself.
b. Pleasant Climate
Nepal had pleasant climatic conditions. The temperature do not rise to extreme other than on extremely high altitudes. The climate makes the journey comfortable. The conditions are also favorable for flora and fauna to richly grow and flourish. Hence. You will catch a glimpse of some of the most beautiful landscapes in Nepal.
The climatic conditions also invite a lot of migratory birds. Nepal is the deal for bird watching. Most of trails give you an opportunity to encounter some of the rarest species on the planet.
c. Culture and tradition
Nepal is a unique blend of various cultures and tradition. You will get to explore some of the most unusual practices and lifestyle. For a more exciting experience, visit Nepal during festival season and join the celebrations.
Most of the areas in the northern region are inhabited by the Gurungs and the Sherpas. Their culture is known to have originated from the Tibetan and is indeed very much like theirs. Acquainting with them expose you to an interesting culture worth familiarizing with.
e. Friendly Citizens
Nepalese are known for their hospitality and warm-nature. They are also very tolerant and patient. Immediate help will be rendered to you as per your requirement.
The Shrepas are famously known for their hospitality. They actually make up the major highlight of most trekking destination. The women, although traditional, are friendly and approachable. They will entertain you with local music and dance. Every place will just feel like home.
f. Food and Accommodation
You will get to try a variety of unique dishes. Momo is a popular dish that is available in any restaurant in Nepal. This dish is a must to try. Another dish that is famous is Dal-Bhaat which comprises of a generous serving of rice, lentils, vegetable, vegetable curry, meat cooked in Nepali style and tomato chutney.
If you are on a camping trek you will be spending the nights in camps tented in a wild environment. The thrill and excitement of sleeping in tents are a must to experience. On regular trek, you will spend the nights in tea houses. These are the hotels of conventional design that are quite warm and comfortable.
g. Economical trip
Nepal is not an expensive destination for traveling. By visiting Nepal, you will add another country to your travel diary by sending reasonably low budget. Trekking in Nepal can also be attempted in a very limited budget. That is why Nepal is also very famous among backpackers. You can get meals for less than 5$ even in the city. You can control your transportation expense by choosing the economical means.
Even a luxurious trip will not be as expensive as it otherwise is in other countries. The prices are pretty reasonable and you can effortlessly cut down unnecessary expenses.
h.Telephone and Internet Access
Picking up a local SIM card in Nepal is a smart idea for the connected travelers. Prices are cheap, and getting set up isn’t particularly difficult. As always, you’ll need an unlocked phone, tablet, modem or wi-fi to be able to use a local SIM.
There are two major companies selling SIM card in Nepal. They are available at a very low price. Ncell, one of the seller, has customer service store located in different areas in the city. You can easily purchase a Sim for yourself. Ncell is faster and easier to set up for foreigners. NTC ( Nepal Telecom ) is another option.
Nepal Telecom may have a slower Internet speed, but it has greater coverage in the mountains. This may be a better option if you are traveling and trekking to the remote area.
The 3G service in Nepal is quite feasible. Prices are relatively low for most day-to-day needs in Nepal, and local SIM cards are no exception. Expect to pay 100-150 rupees (~$1 – $1.50) for the SIM card, and a few hundred rupees for calls and data depending on your needs. Although most of the times you might find it slow. Local calls and SMS are very cheap around Rs2/minute or less for calls, and 1Rs per SMS. International calls and SMS are also inexpensive, ranging from as little as 2Rs/minute to the US and Canada to 15Rs/minute to several other countries, and 10Rs/SMS.
To buy the card, you will require to provide a passport-sized photo and physical passport. The vendor will take a photocopy of your passport’s identity page and Nepalese visa, and provide you with a form to fill. You will be provided with the SIM cad after you provide them with the filled form.
Any store or street stall displaying the Ncell or NTC logo should be able to sell you top-up cards to give you the balance you need.
Local STDs and ISDs are also available in most local stores in Nepal. You pay them a certain amount of money to make calls.
Wi-Fi is available and free in most of the restaurants and cafe in Kathmandu and Pokhara. As you trek, the mobile network gets weaker with the altitude. You might even not have any network at all in most places. Some tea houses do provide Wi-Fi, but at a costly price.
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a. Best Short Trekking Route
i. Panchase Trekking- 9 Days
A relatively new trek, Panchase Trekking is an ideal to explore Pokhara and the Himalayas. This trek offers you some of the best views of many snow-capped mountain ranges. The route is scenic being mostly covered by Rhododendron forest. A major highlight of this trek is the Gurung Village of Ghandrunk.
ii. Chisapani Nagarkot Trekking- 6 Days
Chisapani Nagarkot Trekking is a short and economical trek to nature’s Paradise. This trek decorates all the treasures of nature in a single picture- views of a beautiful sunset and sunrise, luscious green hills, silvery peaks and gracefully flowing river.
iii. Ghorepani Poonhill Trekking- 10days
A trek to the elegant Annapurna region, Ghorepani Poonhill Trekking is an ideal destination for nature lovers. The air is as fresh as a daisy. It is more of a relaxation trek to a dramatic viewpoint of white-mountains. The scenic route is mostly through rhododendron forest.
iv. Chepang Hill Trekking- 8 Days
Among the most recently opened route for trekking is the Chepang Hill Trek. The route costly comprises of rivers and hills. The region isn’t commercialized as yet. Hence, you will be spending your nights in home stay with local families which is the major highlight of this trek.
v. Ghorepani-Poonhill-Ghandruk Trek- 10 Days
A short and beautiful trek to the Annapurna Region, Ghorepani-Poonhill-Ghandruk Trek is a great way to experience the Himalayas. This trek is versatile; it is a makes a perfect spot for couples, friends or family to trek to. The route is rich and diverse in flora and fauna giving you the ultimate experience of nature.
vi. Royal Trekking- 9 Days
Named after Prince Charles who, along with his 90 person entourage, explored this route in the early eighties, Royal Trekking is the perfect trek for beginners and people with busy schedule. It is a short and easy trek to the foothills of the famous Annapurna Region.
vii. Helambu Trekking- 9 Days
Helambu is a region still unexploited by modernization. The trek is devotional and mostly through forests, waterfalls, and rivers. This trek offers you with one of the best view of the Himalayas. A major highlight of this trek is the visit to the Holy Gosainkunda Lake.
b. Best Long Treks
i. Everest Base Camp with Island Peak- 21 Days
An exciting mountain climbing adventure, Everest Base Camp Trek with Island peak takes you Base Camp of the highest mountain in the world. Island Peak is at the height of 6,189m and is generally used as a preparation for higher mountains like Everest.
ii. Arun Valley Trek – 22 Days
Situated between the worlds’s highest peak- Mt Everest, and Mt Makalu is a beautiful valley called Arun Valley. The journey is an unforgettable one to a naturally rich bio-diversity. The valley sees less visitors and Arun River and the scenic view of the mountains compliment the serenity of the place.
iii. Jiri-Chola Pass EBC Trek- 25 Days
Jiri-Chola EBC Trek is one of the oldest trekking routes in the Everest region. The journey is towards the Base Camp of the highest mountain in the world- Mt Everest. The route takes you to a village of Sherpa known as Lukla which promises you with beautiful memories.
iv. Annapurna Circuit Trek- 21 Days
Opened for tourism since 1980, this region is known as one of the world’s paramount destinations for trekking. The route takes you through Rhododendron forest to the foothills of Mt Annapurna and Mt. Machhapuchhre. This trek will never disappoint any adventure savvy trekker.
v. Mansalu Trek- 21 Days
Opened for foreign trekking only in 1991, Manslu is known for its preserved ecosystem. The area is still under the control of the government and hence a special permit is required to penetrate the region. Unadulterated ecosystem, magnificent views of the mountain and rich flora and fauna are the things you will encounter in this trek.
vi. Upper Dolpa Trek- Jomsom to Jupla- 28 Days
This is one of the most isolated areas of Nepal. Exciting landscapes, natural vegetation and unique wildlife make this region worth exploring. The journey is towards the north leading to a chain of high mountains. The geographical remoteness of this region makes this trek a challenging one.
vii. Nar Phu Valley- 25 Days
The journey begins in a dense forest. The route slowly leads towards the viewpoint of high snow-peaks, ancient villages and high altitude grazing settlements. Nar Phu valley trek is a combination of high peaks and passes, glaciers, remote villages, narrow canyons, forests, yaks, gompas and unique Himalayan lifestyle.
viii. Lower Dolpa Trek- 20 Days
Trekking to Lower Dolpa is all about exploration of some of the most isolated and remote valleys of the country. The region is an excellent viewpoint of the magnificent mountain ranges. This trek is the answer to your curiosities about the Himalayas, nature, culture and tradition.
ix. Tsum Valley- 22 Days
Tsum valley was recently opened for tourism. It is known to be one of the sacred hidden valleys of Buddhists. Some of the oldest Monasteries reside in this region. The valley is surrounded by some of the most beautiful mountain ranges. It’s a combo pack of experience of an exquisite rural lifestyle and nature’s paradise.
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a. Spring- March to May
It is the best time of the year to catch some of the most beautifully blossoming flowers. The trail is elaborately decorated with spring flowers of various species, some of which being wild orchids. If you happen to fancy flowers, this is your season to trek in the Himalayas.
The weather is pleasant for trekking. Walking through the trail is comfortable and enjoyable. You also will get a chance to witness some festivals like Ram Nawami and Chaite Dashian Fall in this season.
Trekking trails perfect for this season are:
- Annapurna region
- Everest region
- Langtang region
- Kanchenjunga trekking
You can do trekking in these regions. If you are in rush, then we would recommend helicopter tour which offers great views and experience in a limited amount of time. If you are planning to do view Everest Base Camp, then I would recommend Everest Base Camp helicopter tour.
. Summer- June to August
This season is hot and humid. The Hilly region and the Terai region receive maximum rainfall at this time of the year. Trekking in this region therefore may not be very comfortable. Trekking in the mid-Himalayan region during this season can give you a great experience.
Opt to visit trans-Himalayan region during this season since they have lesser rainfall as compared to the other regions of the country.
Some of the places are:
c. Autumn- September to November
This the best time of the year for trekking in Nepal. This season is flooded with tourists on vacation or adventurous trip. The Mountain atmosphere is clear and the weather extremely pleasant. You will encounter numerous species of flora and fauna that blossom due to favorable weather conditions.
Above all, you will get to be a part of two big festivals, Dashian and Tihar, that are celebrated in this season.
All types of treks are feasible to attempt during the season. Whether a higher altitude or a moderate treks in Lower altitude, the experience you gain will be wonderful.
Some popular treks in this season include-
- Everest base camp trek
- Annapurna circuit trek
- Langtang valley trek
- Manaslu trek
d. Winter- December to February
The intensity of cold during winter in Nepal varies from places to places. On an average, winter is very cold in Nepal and snows in many parts of the country. Hilly region and Himalayan region have cold morning and evenings, but warm and sunny afternoons.
Trekking till the altitude of 3000m during this time of the year is quite pleasant. Regions beyond 3000m, witness heavy snowfall. Hence trekking at higher altitude may be highly uncomfortable.
Some of the places you can trek in this season are:
- Ghandruk Ghorepani Trek
- Namche Bazaar Trek
- Kyngjin Gompa Trek
- The Annapurna Base camp trek
- Chisapani Nagarkot Trek
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A recreational walk to any destination is hiking. Hiking is never about the destination. It is about, the experience you gain from the journey. Nepal has plenty of such hiking destinations that can give you the ultimate experience.
Nepal is versatile in its hiking destinations; you can hike up a hill for a spectacular view of the mountains or take a spiritual walk towards a sacred temple. There are innumerable places you can walk up to. Despite of the place you chose, the experienced gained will be worthwhile.
Hiking doesn’t necessarily have to be a strenuous one unless the path is uphill. A pleasant walk to connect with the nature, the surroundings and everything you come cross with is the aim.
Listed below are the best places Nepal has to offer you for a wonderful recreational walk.
a. Hiking in Nagarjuna
Historically known as Jamacho Peak (6,300 feet), Nagarjuna is situated in north-west Kathmandu. The 2 hours walk is easy and a short hike. It is famous for Nagarjuna Cave. You can capture one of the best views of the entire city of Kathmandu from this hill.
b. Hiking in Shivapuri
Shivapuri is a famous National Park, situated not very far from the capital city of Kathmandu. The hill is decorated with rich flora and fauna. A Buddhist Monastery is situated on the hill. A Hindu shrine, known as Budanilkantha Temple, is also situated on the hill. It is dedicated to the Hindu god Krishna and has a peaceful ambience.
c. Hike to Sarangkot
Sarangkot is a hill situated in the outskirts of Pokhara. It is famously known as the perfect viewpoint of sunrise and sunset over the Annapurna Range. The hill has a couple of tea-houses for you to enjoy the view with a cup of local tea.
d. Hike to Champadevi
Champadevi is the ideal viewpoint of the city with white Himalayas glistening across the horizon. The 3-4 hours hike is quite easy. The hill houses a Buddhist Monastery and a Hindu Shrine. Langtang range and Ganesh Himal are the two mountain ranges seen from the hill.
e. Hike around Kathmandu Valley
The capital city of Kathmandu has innumerable places for a recreational walk. Kathmandu Valley comprises of three districts- Lalitpur, Kathmandu and Bhaktapur. Historic places, mainly palaces and temples, are the major attraction sites of the valley.
The places you can hike to are:
- The monkey Temple
- Basantapur Durbar Square
- Bhaktapur Durbar Square
- Patan Durbar Square
f. Hike to Pulchowki
Pulchowki is situated in the south of Kathmandu Valley. The short and easy hike is through breathtaking vegetation. The hill is popularly known for bird watching and a botanical garden. You will catch a splendid view of the eastern part of the Annapurna Range. From the hill, you will also see the entire concrete jungle of Kathmandu Valley.
g. Nagarkot to Changu-Narayan Hike
Nagarkot is a hill station situated at a height of 7200m above sea level. It is popularly known or its amazing view of some of the highest peaks in the world. Changunarayan falls on the way to Nagarkot form Bhaktapur. It is one of the oldest temples in Kathmandu valley dating back to the 7th century.
h. Kathmandu-Namobuddha-Dhulikhel Hike
Namobuddha is an ancient holy site. Legend has it that a Prince named Mahasttva offered himself to a starving tigress and her cubs. The legend is depicted in the carving of a holy Stupa situated on the hill. The journey is a historic one along with splendid nature’s beauty.
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a. Tea house trekking
The word tea house conjures up an idea about a place that provides tea and some other refreshment services. Although this may seem true in most cases, in Nepal it implies to a broader meaning.
The tea houses provide accommodation and food services to the trekkers. Tea housing trekking means trekking to the destinations with tea houses along the way. The tea houses are small and comfortable. Each room can generally accommodate more than one person.
Features of Tea house Trekking in Nepal
- Tea houses are run by the locals and governed by local officials or TAAN (Trekking Agencies Associations of Nepal)
- The service, food or accommodation, is not luxurious. It’s basic, simple and satisfactory. However, you may find some luxurious tea house in some of the famous trekking trails.
- A single room may accommodate more than one person. Most of the time they are twin sharing bedrooms.
- The prices of the tea houses depend upon altitude, it is located in and the ease of its accessibility.
- As you go higher, a fewer number of tea houses are available.
- Tea house trek tends to cheaper than camping and can be done with ease and during any season.
- You do not need to carry food, bed, cooker etc while doing tea house trek. This makes the teahouse treks much easier than the camping trek.
List of Tea house trek trails
- Annapurna –Annapurna base camp trek and Circuit trek
- Everest –Everest base camp trek, Gokyo trek, EBC via Jiri and 3 Passes Trek
- Muktinath, Jomsom
- Manaslu Circuit
b. Camp trekking
Camping trekking is mostly towards the remote area. Often known as “off the beaten track”, it is a trek with camp accommodation. Along with camping requirement, food, gears, porters, chefs and other supplies have to be carried along.
Camping is the alternative to the tea house. It serves as an alternative to the Tea house. You might also have to camp in some regions due to lack of accommodation. This is bound to happen while trekking to a higher altitude.
Features of Camping
- Camping trek gives you a complete wilderness experience as you will be close to the nature.
- Camping trek requires a good planning. This requires you to carry all the necessities along with you. You will need to arrange all your accommodation and Fooding necessities along the trail while you are on a camping trek. This makes camping trek more strenuous compared to tea house treks.
- It is more expensive than tea house treks. The cost arises out of the expenditure made on porter, food supplies, and extra staff.
- You will be spending your nights in the tents. The dinner will be prepared by the in-house staffs.
- Camping trek is not recommended for solo / independent trekkers.
- Some of the trek requires camping due to lack of teahouses in the region. Most of the remote an restricted area trekking include camping Treks.
- It is best to have some prior trekking experiences before you attempt to go for camping trekking.
List of Camping Trails
- Upper Dolpo
- Rara Lake
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Trek and mountain guides are people who have a good knowledge and experience about trekking and climbing. A porter, on the other hand, is someone who will carry your baggage for you and make your journey more comfortable and enjoyable.
Trek guides and porter are largely available for hiring. A trek guide and porter helps to make your joinery more comfortable and convince. They know the place, people and the activity better than you do. They will also accustom you with the local culture, places and people. A guide not only counsel you but also helps you during emergencies.
Guide-porter are also available nowadays. These are people who earlier worked for quite a long time as porter and are eventually close to becoming a certified guide. Hiring a guide-porter will save you from extra expenses.
a. Training and experience?
If you are worried whether your guide is experienced enough of not, ask for the guide’s certification. Every trek and mountain guide is certified and licensed by the Nepal government.
In order to be eligible to become a guide, one must have a minimum of 3 years of experience in trekking and 2 years in climbing. One also must be trained in the Government Institution of Nepal. Basic knowledge about first aid is also taught to the guides during training.
b. Do Guide/Porter speak English?
All guides understand and speak basic English. You will also find guides who speak other languages such as Japanese, French, German etc. Communication will not be an issue at all. However, not all porters understand and speak English. Some understand only the simplest and, most commonly used statements.
Language guide books are easily available in any bookstores in Thamel. You can buy one and learn some of the basic Nepali. This will help you to communicate with your porter or the locals.
c. Do I really need a guide/porter?
Although some of the famous trekking trails are marked well, It is still highly advisable that you hire a guide. This will ensure that your security and makes sure that you do not miss any highlights of the place you visit .
Other than that a guide will help you during emergencies and accidents. They have contact with the local medical services. They will also arrange a helicopter rescue service for your immediate deportation during extreme medical emergencies.
They will negotiate rates for you in hotels and guest houses. Since they know the place better than you do, they will accustom you with the culture and people of the place.
A porter will make your journey comfortable. Carrying a heavy weight during a long trekking day may not be suitable for everyone, thus porters are great to help you with your luggage. Remember that a guide will not carry your luggage.
d. Tipping a guide/ porter
Tipping is expected in Nepal. Along with the cost of a guide/porter it is advisable to tip them a certain percentage. Your tip will also help them understand that you perceive their service to be fruitful.
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Carrying the right kind of equipment is very important for a comfortable trek. It not about how much you carry, but what you carry that actually matters.
Most trekkers have difficulty in deciding the right equipment to carry. Everything one sees or thinks of appears to be something one might need. Some trekkers underestimate their need and leave out even on the basic requirements.
For your convenience, we have listed below the required equipment you must carry disregard of the type of trekking. Every item is available in Kathmandu. Some of the equipment is also available for hiring. If you want, you can purchase them from your home country itself.
a. General Checklist
The general checklist consists of those items that will be needed in both mountaineering and trekking expeditions. It is advisable to pack a minimum number of clothes. Insure that all the clothes are light in weight and specially designed for expedition. It is not necessary to carry everything on the list.
Use your own judgement to make your decision.
- Thermal tops and bottoms, Fleece jacket or pullover, Waterproof shell jacket, trousers/pants, Wind cheater jacket(optional)
- Thermal gloves
- Underwear, Shorts
- Cotton trousers/pants T
- Sun hat, scarf, light balaclava
- Sunglasses with UV protection (opt to but this at your home country)
- Backpacking sleeping Bag rated to 0 degrees (3/4 season)
- Head lamp, spare bulbs & batteries
- Small padlock to lock trek bag
- Plastic bags
- Daypack (35-40 litres/2500-3000 cubic inches)
- Camping mattress. small wash towel
- Water bottles
- Footwear (see footwear section below for details)
- Basic first aid kit. It must consist of-
- Band-Aids/Bandage for sprains
- Iodine or water filter (optional)
- Moleskin/Second skin – for blisters
- Antiseptic ointment for cuts
- Anti-bacterial throat lozenges (with antiseptic)
- Aspirin/Paracetamol – general painkiller
- Oral rehydration salts
- Broad-spectrum antibiotic (norfloxacin or ciprofloxin)
- Anti-diarrhea medication (antibiotic)
- Diarrhea stopper (Imodium – optional)
- Antibiotic for Giardia or similar microbe or bacteria
- Diamox (altitude sickness – can be bought in Kathmandu)
- Sterile Syringe set (anti-AIDS precaution)
- Toiletries. They must consist of-
- 1 medium sized quick drying towel
- Toothbrush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
- Multipurpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
- A high-quality compass watch
- Nail clippers
- Face and body moisturizer
- Feminine hygiene products
- Small mirror
- Lightweight hiking backpack. Check out these best lightweight hiking backpacks under $100.
- If you are travelling with a partner, you can also get one of these best best two person tent under $100.
b. Trekking Checklist
Addition to the items mentioned in the general checklist, there are some other items you will need for trekking. They are:
- Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer
- Down vest and/or best lightweight down jacket (optional)
- Fleece or wool trousers/pants
- Trekking/Hiking boots with spare laces
- Thick, warm wool hiking socks
- Footwear for around camp, eg running shoes and/or sandals
- Gaiters (optional)
- Telescopic trekking/ski poles (optional)
c. Mountaineering/climbing Checklist
Some other items you need for Mountaineering and expedition are:
- Plastic boots and crampons (preferably step-in bindings) with front points
- Mountaineering harness
- Mountaineering ice-axe (60-75cms long – depending on your height and personal
- 120cms (4ft) climbing sling and two locking carabineers
- Telescopic ski-sticks (optional)
- Prussic loops
- Climbing helmet (optional)
- Reading book
- Trail Map/Guide book
- Journal & Pen
- Travel game i.e. cards chess, backgammon, scrabble
d. Information on Equipment
Footwear is the chief item you should purchase with great consideration. The pleasantness of your trekking experience is largely determined by the comfort of the walk. The more comfortable the shoes, the more pleasant is the walk. Purchase a pair of lightweight trekking boots, suitable for walking over rough trails and comfortable over long distances. Good quality fabric boots are recommended. If the trek you are attempting has snow covered trails, purchase waterproof trekking boots. Depend upon your own comfort while selecting a brand or type of a trekking boot.
ii. Mountaineering boots
Plastic boots are the standard equipment for climbers. They are lighter in weight, warm and waterproof. Leather boots aren’t suitable while trekking in a high altitude of 6000 meters. The temperature in such regions is extremely cold. Asolo and Koflach are excellent plastic boot manufacturers
Gaiters are like leg-warmers that encircle around your calves. They are held in place with a strap that goes below the boots. They are very effective in keeping your legs warm in extreme temperature.
Your clothes should be able to shield you from extreme temperatures. ”Layering” is highly advisable. In another words, wear several layers of thin thermal clothing so that you can change alter the combinations according to the prevailing weather condition. Your clothes should be of a weight favorable for expedition weight. The North Face and many other manufacturers make a wide range of fleece garments, jackets, pullovers, pants and vests. If you are trekking during monsoon or climbing or pass crossing, you need to have your waterproof shell outerwear, jacket and pants, to fall back on.
It is important to keep your head and hands warm. Select an equipment that will help serve this purpose. A balaclava and inner gloves are thin and lightweight. They will make an excellent shield against cold for your head and hands. You should take a fleece hat or cap, which has earflaps.
A thermal clothing, two layer of fleece, and a wind cheater jacket is enough to keep you warm. In higher altitude it is highly recommendable to use down jackets.
v. Sleeping Bag
Carry along a 4-season sleeping bag rated to at least zero degrees for any kind of trek. Using cotton or fleece liner will enhance the warmth and comfort of the bag. A mattress is needed primarily to insulate you from the cold ground. Use thermosets pads as mattress. We advise everyone to bring cotton or fleece sleeping bag liner.
vi. Sun Protection
Protection against sun should not be taken for granted. Use scarf or wide-brimmed sunhat to protect the head from sun rays. At certain altitudes, the sun’s rays are particularly strong, and sunglasses with 100% ultraviolet and infrared filtration are recommended, such as Vuarnet PX5000, Cebe 2000/3000 or Bolle Irex 100. These glasses have detachable leather or plastic side. This provides increased protection, especially from reflected glare. Carry along an affluent supply of sun’s screen lotion and some total block (factor 15-20) for above the snowline.
e. Rental information
Quite a lot of the equipment are largely available for hiring. This will save you from extra cost made on things that you will probably never use again. You will also find that it is a lot cheaper to rent than to buy some of the items. Shops in Thamel offer a wide range of equipment for renting and purchasing.
- Here are some cost approximation for renting:
- Sleeping bag: 30-60rs (0.3$-0.6$) a day
- Mattress: 20-40rs (0.2$-0.4$) a day
- All purpose mountaineering Ice axe (60-70 cms): 50-150rs (0.5$-1.50$) a day
- Climbing harness: 75-150rs (0.75$-1.50$) a day
- 2 locking carabineers, climbing sling: 20-50rs (0.2$-0.50$) a day
- 12-point crampons: 50-100rs (0.5$-1$) a day.
f. Where can you buy them?
All equipment are available in Kathmandu for purchase. The highly selling branded store for garments is The North Face situated in Thamel- a tourist area. Sherpa is another local brand that sells garments especially for trekking, hiking and other such expedition.
Thamel has many other local stores that sell variety of garments, shoes and other equipment. Everything you need is there is Thamel. You will not have to wander around different places looking for your requirements.
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The representatives of Nepal Eco-Adventure will be waiting for you at the airport. We will escort you to your respective hotels. We also take the responsibility of transferring you to the airport for your final departure to your next destination after the completion of your expedition in Nepal.
This service will be convenient for you. You will not have to wait to find a cab to take you to your hotel. Also, it will save you from a lot of negotiations with the cab drivers who generally charge higher than it actually costs.
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Cost is highly subjective when it comes to travelling in Nepal. It all depends on how you travel and where you stay and eat. You can survive on 30$ for three meals of the day or find a meal worth 30$. If you are here on a limited budget, you can choose economical hotels, restaurants and means of transportation. If you do not mind spending lavishly on a vacation, ideal hotels and restaurants are available to serve your luxurious demands. The cost of trekking in Nepal vary according to the area you want to travel, the activities you want to do, numbers of trekking days and the quality of services required.
Most places in Nepal only accept cash. Only a few restaurants and hotels accepts credit or debit cards. ATM booths are situated in easily accessible place for your convenience in the major cities lke Kathmandu, Pokhara and Namce bazaar. Always carry cash along with you.
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The level of difficulty entirely depends upon the destination you chose.
- Practically, five factors affect the difficulty level of a destination
- The total duration of the trekking.
- The duration of stay at high altitude (+3000m).
- The maximum difference in altitude per day.
- The condition of the terrain.
- The average duration of the daily stages.
- Range of extreme temperature
However, the level of difficulty of a trek is highly subjective. The same trek may be effortless for one person and extremely difficult for another. Weather conditions, level of your physical fitness, occurrence of health problems during the trek and other factors play a significant role the experience you derive.
The statistical based segmentation of treks are given below-
Treks that require 6-7hrs of walking on an average and are below 4000 meters fall under this category. An averagely fit person can effortlessly complete such treks. These treks are as long as 7 to 16 days.
The maximum elevation rises to 5000 meters and not more of the moderate treks. The duration of these trips is 12-19 days. It can be attempted by an averagely fit person.
These include difficult treks. The trail is rough and demands you to be very fit. If you suffer from asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease or any other such complicated medical condition, you are requested not to participate. The elevation rises above 5000 meters and the journey will last for 20 days or more.
These trails are extremely demanding. Most of them are in restricted areas and are composed of rough terrain. The altitude can rise up to 6,461m/21,192ft. Participants should have at least basic knowledge about mountaineering. They should be familiar with the use crampons and ice axes. Medical certificates are required prior to acceptance on any climbing treks.
a. Will rain ruin my trek?
Trekking in rain can be an unpleasant experience. The mud and the leaches make it even worse. Avoid trekking in those areas in mon-soon that are prone to heavy rainfall.
Despite of the season, you might still experience rainfall while trekking.
Here are some tips that might help to trek during rainfall.
- Insure full skin coverage to keep the jacket off your skin and plenty of stretch for comfort. Put on a light-weight tights and thermal tops underneath your hard shell.
- Wear synthetic and fleece insulation only
- Use hard shell jackets and pants with vents
- Keep your back-pack as dry as possible. Unless necessary, avoid opening it.
- Use waterproof trekking boots with waterproof gaiters
- Do not keep wet gears, backpacks and other equipment’s in the tents. They will wet your sleeping bags.
- Wet socks can create blisters that will make your trek unpleasant. Apply balms and lotion to prevent this from happening.
c. What is the highest altitude that can be achieved?
The altitude to be achieved is highly subjective and depends upon the trek you chose. The strenuous treks rise up to 6000+ meters and the easy trails do not go above 4000+.
d. Am I old enough to trek?
We welcome people of all ages to experience trekking in the land of Himalayas. You are never too old or too young. With a little bit o more attention to nutrition and health, you will be good to go.
However, it is advisable not to take children below the age of seven for long and high altitude trekking. They aren’t physical developed enough to be able to acclimatize to the altitude. Also, children between the age of 4-7 are too old to be cared by child porters and too young to walk long distances. Trekking with children of this age can hence be very difficult.
If you wish to visit Nepal for a family trek, many companies will provide you with a customized trekking package that will favorably serve your purpose. Such treks have lesser number of days and shorter walks. The altitude is also lesser than the ordinary treks. Means of transportation like horses, dokos (Nepali basket), porters or child carriers will be provided. You might have to stop more often than on an ordinary trek. Short walking tours or day walks are also an option with young children in child carriers.
There will be no compromise on the experience you will gain despite the lower altitudes and short walk, this we guarantee.
e. In a day, what is the average distance covered?
The distance that can be covered depends upon various aspects. If you are trekking in a region of low altitude, you will cover quite a lot of distance in a single day. On average you will walk for 5-6 hours.
However in regions of higher altitude, the distance covered will be very less. Your body need to acclimatize to the change in altitude and pressure. When descending from a higher altitude to lower altitude, you will cover more distance than ascending to a higher altitude.
f. Time duration of trek
The duration of the trek depends on the region of the trek and on interests which you have. Generally, your trek can range from 2-3 days to 4 weeks or even longer period if you wish. Even the same trek can be of a different duration. You can elongate your journey by exploring different routes, longer or shorter, depending on your own level of convenience and time schedule.
g. How fit do I need to be to trek?
Base camp trekking doesn’t require extensive training. However, an adequate amount of walking experience is a must. If you can walk for about 3-6 hours with a couple of breaks in between, you will be able to complete any trek.
If you are in shape and have been exercising regularly, you are more than well-prepared to trek.
To have a comfortable trek, it is good to exercise and train your body for it.
- To ease your muscle from straining, use shorter and more relaxing workouts before trekking.
- Take more rest.
- Spend about 30 minutes working out at least 3 weeks before the trek
- Maintain a well, balanced diet. Consume nutritious food and keep yourself hydrated. This is necessary to practice even while trekking.
- Do not over work out
Please see a doctor and get a recommendation from him before you trek. Make it a point to inform the company you are travelling about your sickness or physical inability before-hand.
h. Normal trek routine
Almost every day you will rise early in the morning. If the day’s plan is to watch the morning sunrise, you will rise eve earlier and start your journey.
Otherwise, you will start the journey only after breakfast. The day will be spent in walking along the trail and halting in tea houses along the way either for lunch or rest. You will have dinner once you reach the determined destination. Depending upon the type of trek, you will spend your night either in a teahouse or camp.
i. Can we make changes in the itinerary?
Yes you can! You can select the routes to your destination as per your interest. You can even extend your trips to an adventurous one.
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From the most premium to the most economical hotels are available in the cities. The Premium hotels start from 30$ a night and go up to 150$ a night. The economical hotels will cost you about 8-10$ a night. The hotels have an attached bathroom.
If you are looking for and even more economical trip, you can opt for guest houses or even hotels that will cost you about 4-6$ a night. It also comes at a cost of uncomfortable beds and squatting toilet pan. In some places, you might have to share the bathroom.
While trekking, you will be either camping or staying in tea houses. The tea houses range from 3-4$ to 6-7 $ a night depending upon the altitude you are in. There are not luxurious but will give you a conventional experience. Almost all the places have toilets with squat-pans.
Thamel is a bag full of hotels and restaurants. That is all you will find in this place. Otherwise Thamel is the ideal location to spend your night in Kathmandu.
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Composed of a unique topographical structure, Nepal is excellent for a bike adventure. Anyone with a taste for adventure and a love for the sport will find the experience exhilarating. Mountain biking is also a fantastic way to explore Nepal.
Nepal has protean trails to offer; you can head into the tropical plains of Terai for a scenic ride, or in the mid hill with rough terrain, or into the mountainous region, or into the high alpine region with lush green valleys. The journey, in general, is from the busy hum-drum city to a silent place decorated with natural beauty having a preserve unique culture and lifestyle.
Nepal has trails that can challenge the audacity of a romantic. The climb ascends above thousands of meters to a viewpoint of a splendid scenery. Fascinating mountain villages, nomadic lands, high passes, rugged and tough mountain terrain, winding rivers, rice fields, temples and monasteries and the view of Himalayan peaks make a Mountain Biking trail in Nepal a must to experience.
A bike tour can range from a few days to a few weeks depending upon the route you shoes to take. Longer tours go from Kathmandu to the southern Tarai region, Pokhara, Ganesh Himal region or Chitwan National Park. Experienced bikers can go to Lanatang Valley or Throng-La or even to Lhasa, Tibet.
a. What equipment can we hire?
A promising mountain bike is required for a long and challenging trip. Such bikes are available for hiring in specialist bike shops and tour operators. A helmet and basic tool kit should come with the bike.
Hiring equipment depends upon what these shops have to offer. You can purchase the ones you cannot hire.
You will have to leave a passport or something of value as security. You will be responsible for the cost of damage or above-normal wear and tear. If you are visiting Nepal during season, reserve a bike as far ahead as possible.
b. Where to Hire?
A good mountain bike is available in special bike shops or with tour operators in Kathmandu and Pokhara only. Equipment for hiring is available in Thamel- the tourist zone of Kathmandu.
Hiring Chinese bikes with V-brakes will cost you about 5$ a day. For long trip, it’s advisable to go for western-made bikes. Prices range from around Rs1000 for an older hard-tail bike to around Rs2000 for a newer one with dual suspension.
Cost of the trip depends upon various factors. Apart from cost of bike and equipment, other costs entire depends upon where you stay and eat and how far you travel.
c. Places worth to visit from Biking
Trip around Kathmandu valley is a legendary experience. Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan are the three cities of the valley. Each city is defined by it’s own source of attraction and a unique culture and infrastructure. You can visit The Monkey Temple, Swoyambunath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, Patan Darbar Square, Basantapur Darbar square, and Dhulikhel hill.
Kali Gandaki valley, the deepest valley in the world, is another popular destination for a bike tour. The place is a unique combination of culture and nature’s paradise.
Riding the through famous trial of Annapurna Circuit and the lower Mustang region, at altitudes of between 1,500m and 4,000m, will take you to some of the most beautiful and unexplored areas on the planet.
You can also cycle to Lumbini- the birthplace of Lord Buddha. Lumbini is a small and a beautiful city comprising of several monasteries and pagodas. This trip is best during “Budhha Jayanti” celebrated n Buddha’s Birthday. Bikers in groups, pedal to Lumbini from Kathmandu for an all-night celebration Ceremony of Lord Buddha’s birth.
d. Trek extension
If you are here for a biking and wish to extend your trip for trekking or some adventure sport, you can make the necessary arrangement with the company you are travelling with. You can also extend your own bike trip by customizing the trails you wish to experience.
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Kathmandu and Pokhara hav diverse and variety of restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars. Almost any cuisine is available. The cost of each meal ranges from 5$-20$ per person depending upon where you eat. If you eat at local restaurants, then it will cost you even lesser.
While trekking you will be having meals in tea houses. Almost all the tea houses have the same menu. A variety of food is available on the menu. The most commonly preferred meal is Dal-Bhaat- an authentic Nepali dish that comprises of a generous serving of rice, lentils, vegetable, vegetable curry, meat cooked in Nepali style and tomato chutney. Dal-Bhaat is filling and helps in the restoration of energy.
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First of all, do not drink tap water in Nepal. They are not fit for drinking.
Drinking water is available in shops and stores all around the city for 0.2$-0.30$ per liter. While trekking drinking water will not be as easily available as in the cities. In fact the higher you go, the costlier a liter of water will be. The price will rise up to 1.2$ for a liter.
You can ask for boiled water in teahouse. They will charge you around 0.3$ for boiling a liter of water. The water is safe for drinking. Do not forget to carry at least 2 water bottle along with you.
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Nepal has a diverse range of culture and religion. People from various castes have their own lifestyle and tradition. There is a set of commonly shared values and beliefs that are followed by all the Nepalese.
Listed below are some of the rules you can follow to blend in with the culture of this country.
Namaste greeting is done by joining both hands like that during a prayer and saying “Namaste. This greeting goes along with people of all ages. Hence, you will not appear disrespectful while greeting anyone. Especially in a country like Nepal that has a different ways of addressing people of different age within the same language.
Hand shake greetings have grown common. However, most women are still very uncomfortable with it. Try and not hug someone you are meeting for the first time. Your friendly gesture will be misunderstood.
Most of the table manners are underlying principles that are given to people as children. Once you touch any food to your mouth ,it is considered to be defiled. It is the same with water bottles. If you happened to drink water from someone else bottle, try and not touch the opening of your mouth. Do not eat from somebody else’s plate.
If you are eating with your hand, use the right hand only. The left hand is considered to serve another purpose. Do not pass food with your left hand either.
Nepalese are highly conservative in their attitude towards clothing. The fashion trends have however have changed within the city. Women in Pokhara and Kathmandu are found exposing legs and shoulder and it is okay for you to dress like you want in tourist areas.
Otherwise, avoid exposing too much of legs and shoulders. While visiting any religious sites, make sure you are dressed decently. The exposing of skin in temples and monasteries is considered to be disrespectful.
Temples and Monasteries
You need to dress decently while visiting a Hindu Temple or Monastery. Do not wear anything that is made up of leather in a temple. Also, do not enter with shoes on. Leave a few rupees in the donation box. Do not take pictures unless permitted.
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Nepal is a photographer’s paradise; it can serve the interests of different photographers, weather natural scenery, wildlife, or cultural heritage. You will capture some of the most amazing and unusual stories in your camera. The photographs will be the most unique ones in your collection. If you want to visit some of the most unique practices and tradition, visit Nepal during festival season would be a good decision.
Best Places to take photographs
A valley comprising of three cities- Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapu- Kathmandu has some of the best stories for your photographs to portray. Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambunath Temple, The monkey Temple, Patan Darbar Square and Basantapur Darbar Square are some of the famous cultural heritage sites.
Treks are the best way to get the most memorable photographs during a visit to Nepal. Rek offers a unique opportunity to discover a new culture and new region. You will get to photograph various landscapes, mountains, villages and people. The journey to the two most famous base camps, Annapurna Base Camp and Everest Base Camp, has some of the most exquisite sites worth capturing. Ranging from the sunrise view to sunset view to valleys, landscapes, snowcapped mountain peaks, forests of diverse species and wildlife- you will find it all!
17% of the topography of Nepal comprises of land with tropical climate which facilities a healthy growth of flora and fauna. The Terai with its wide range of flora and fauna has made Nepal one of the best destinations for Jungle Safari. Some of the species you will encounter are horned rhino, the royal Bengal tiger, Asiatic Elephant, Leopard, and Black Bear, 5 species of deers, wild buffalo and reptiles such as the Marsh Mugger Crocodile, The Gharial Crocodile and Asiatic Python.
900 species (10% of the world’s total bird’s species, more than Europe and North America combined) makes Nepal a paradise for birding. Dwelling places for birds like wetlands, lakes, tropical and subtropical forests, coniferous and Himalayan valleys are richly available. Some of the best places for bird photography are-
• Pulchowki (Kathmandu Valley)
• The Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reservation
• Chitwan National Park
• Pokhara Valley
a. Necessary Equipment
Essential Things during Photography tour in Nepal
- Nepal has frequent and prolonged load sheading. Carry spare batteries and back up chargers in case the electricity does not support.
- In places of extreme cold temperatures, batteries have a high chance of collapsing. Again carry spare batteries.
- Carry extra memory cards. There are too many things in Nepal that will get captivate your attention.
- As you to higher altitude, the tea houses will charge you extra for charging batteries. This is just a heads up!
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Are you a solo trekker having problem to find a partner to trek? No problem! It is not difficult to find a partner or a group to trek with at all.
Contact any authorized travel agency and they will find you a group to trek with. Otherwise, you can look up in the website and find some partners. The size of the group depends upon the place you are trekking to.
Listed below are some websites that might come of help.
It is important to note that trekking alone may be risky. You might fall a victim of some emergencies. Always try and travel with a partner or a group.
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Not all regions require permission form the Government to Trek. The ones that do are mostly in the remote areas that were recently opened for foreign trekking. Coordinate with the tour operator you are travelling with to help you get your permit if you are trekking in the remote areas. The permits have to be taken from an authorized travel agency. The permit fee differs from places to places.
The districts that require permission to trek are-
If you happen to be a solo trekker you will not be permitted in the regions listed above to trek. The treks listed above have to be attempted in a group only.