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Nepal Trekking
Budget Trekking
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Country: The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
Capital City: Kathmandu - 1300m
Heighest Point: Mount Everest 8,848m - Top of the world
Climate: Cool summers and severe winters in north to sub-tropical summers and mild winters in south
Time: GMT +5 hours 45 minutes
Location: Nepal is landlocked country situated in South Asia between China in the North and India in the South.

Objects of Interest:

  • One of the best countries for adventure destination in the world
    - National Geographic Adventure Magazine
  • One of the 50 places to see before you die.
    -BBC Holiday
What is Trekking?

Nepal is known as one of the best destination for trekking in the world, to and around several of the world's highest mountains, including Mount Everest. Many people visit the country just to trek and the tourism industry is well prepared to facilitate all manner of trekking styles and destinations. On the one hand you could spend a year planning an expedition to wild and lofty places; on the other you could land in Kathmandu with no plans and be on the trail to Everest Base Camp (EBC) in a matter of days.

Types of Trekking in Nepal:
"Teahouse trekking" along the main trails is the most common style, with decent lodges in every settlement (and between), it is possible to trek in comfort with minimal preparation, equipment and support. There is no need to camp and a selection of western style foods is readily available from a menu system. No special permits are required, just national park entry tickets and the TIMS permit. The main areas for these treks are Everest/Khumbu Langtang and Annapurna. Since 2010, the Manaslu Circuit Trek has become possible without camping in tea-houses, though it requires a special permit and must be trekked with a guide. The trek to Lo Manthang in Upper Mustang is similar: no camping is required as many comfortable lodges are available, but a permit is required which keeps many budget travelers away.


Facilities available in remote areas are less extensive than in the more popular areas. Off the main trails where there are no lodges and food from menus a Nepali guide becomes essential, and it may be advisable or necessary to visit such regions with organized groups, including guide, porters and full support. Kanchenjunga, Makalu Barun, Rolwaling, Dolpo, Humla are in remote areas. Many of them require also special permits.
Only TAAN registered trekking agencies in Kathmandu and Pokhara can legally organize treks and provide the services of a guide and/or porter with insurance. Be aware that no one else, no hotel, no street broker, no nice person you just met, not even a trekking guide is legally authorized to organize a trek. During the main seasons the agencies run regular group treks, both tea-house and camping styles, and it generally possible to join a group doing a trek of your choice. Independent trekking is quite easy in the main trekking areas.


Trekking Permit A trekking permit is required to trek in any part of Nepal. It's called TIMS today. Be sure you have one with you when trekking bit independently or organized. Individual TIMS is obtainable only from Nepal Tourism Board offices and the Trekking Agents Association of Nepal office. Not even Trekking Agents are legally authorized to obtain individual TIMS (even do many small Trekking Agents will offer the individual TIMS). Police check points and Park officers can at any time check your permits.
Restricted areas require different permits which are obtainable only through the organizing trekking agent for areas like Dolpo, Mustang, Manaslu, Kanchenjunga and other similar areas.
Do not try to bribe officers or police personnel; it might get you in more trouble than you think.

Types of Trekking:


Tea House (Lodge Trek): Also known as lodge trekking is a relatively cheap way of trekking in where meals and accommodation are provided in a teahouse. In Nepal, it is quite popular to trekking along the many trails, stopping each night to eat and sleep at a local Tea House. Meals depend on the menu at the tea house, usually the simple basic meals of the local people. Although many tea houses and hotels in the hills and mountains are reasonably comfortable, some may be dirty and, in areas where chimneys are rare, rooms may be smoky.
It's a great way to connect with some of the local culture and definitely suits trekkers not wanting to carry back-crushing rucksacks. The standard of lodgings can vary from very similar to a hotel, to something far more rustic.


Camping (Organized Trek): The classic style of trekking in Nepal and can be conducted almost anywhere in the country. Camping trekking is fully organized and supported with a team of Guides, Cooks, Sherpa’s and Porters to accompany you.
All the necessary trekking gears; food, fuel and other goods are carried by the porters. The cook will prepare all the meals during the camping trek. Trekkers need to carry only a small bag as required for the day. At night, tents for dining, sleeping and ablution are provided and set up. Mattresses, sleeping bags, tables and seating are arranged by staff. A Sirdar (chief guide) is employed to pre-arrange and then to oversee the entire program. All land transportation, local permits, taxes, porter insurance, port dues and entrance fees to National Parks or sites constituting an integral part of the trip are arranged.

Important notes
Preparation
  • When to go: The best seasons for trekking are either side of the monsoon season, March-June and September-November. During this time the weather is generally fine and the skies clear. It is possible to trek out of season, but expect lots of rain (and leeches) during the monsoon and severe cold and closed passes during the winter months. See also the Nepal climate section.
  • Experience & Fitness - there are treks suitable for a wide range of experience and physical fitness, for age 5 to 85. An easy teahouse trek with Nepali support (guide/porter) is quite attainable for anyone who is reasonably walking fit - if you can walk for a few hours each day for a week and are not averse to the occasional (frequent!) hill climb then you can trek in Nepal. Longer treks, crossing high passes and into remote regions do tend to demand a higher degree of endurance. For Trekking Peaks it is usually desirable but not necessarily essential to have some alpine climbing experience.
  • Equipment: the main essentials are sturdy and comfortable hiking boot, a sleeping bag and a few clothes (be prepared for a range of weather). It is best to travel light, take only what you need and leave the rest behind. If you have the services of a porter then you will need a day-pack for your essentials and the rest goes in a kit-bag or duffel to be conveyed to your next stop. It is possible to buy everything in Kathmandu and Pokhara but it is all copies.
  • Hiring support: Whether to join a group, trek with other independent travelers or to hire your own guide and/or porter is a personal decision to be based on the difficulty of the trek and available budget. When signing up with an agency you should speak with several and make detailed enquiries about the differences in service besides just the base cost. If hiring staff independently be mindful of your responsibilities to ensure that your man is suitably equipped for the job and stays safe.
  • Permits and TIMS: "Trekking permits" are not required for the main teahouse treks. Recent rule brought in by the Trekking Associations in Nepal require that all trekkers register with TIMS ("Trekking Information Management System"), this can be done via official trekking agencies or the Nepal Tourism Board. Trekking to remote areas and climbing the designated "Trekking peaks" require extra permits; these are generally obtained by the agent/guide who will be arranging your trek.
  • Arriving mid-travel: If you arrive in Kathmandu part way tour of Asia and decide to go trekking then you can easily get equipped in Kathmandu. Plenty of shops in Thamel sell (or rent) any trekking gear that may be required. The local copies of brand name goods are not good quality, but good bargains can be had on fleeces and down jackets. Whilst walking boots are readily available it would be advisable not to be breaking on Nepali made boots along the trail, comfortable and reliable footwear is essential. Permits and (if required) guides can be arranged in a day or two.
  • Rescue insurance: Before the departure check that your insurance covers trekking activities and the conditions. It would be very costly to pay a helicopter rescue at 5000 meters.
 
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