Saturday, December 9, 2006

Trekking in Nepal

trekking arrangements

There are different approaches to trekking in Nepal and the choice depends on time, budget, experience and personal preference.

Agencies provide essential logistical arrangement including porters, guide, cook, food tents, sleeping bags, mattresses, transport to and from trekking starting points, flight arrangement, permits, staff insurance and so on. These agents also provide a choice of itineraries and necessary information on trekking health care etc.

The cost of an all inclusive trek ranges from about US$ 25.00 to US$ 150.00 per person per day depending upon the quality of service, number of days and number of persons in the package. This style of trekking is relatively expensive compared to that of backpacking but a few extra dollars guarantees comfort and security, eliminates time consuming ordeal of organization and ensures a trouble free holiday. There are limited areas where a backpacking type of trek can be undertaken by an individual.

A companion/guide is helpful in the remote wilderness and is enjoyable to talk to on the trail. It is strongly advised to be overly cautious of free-lance guides or the services of any agency not recognized by government.

money matters

It is generally not possible to change foreign currency/travelers checks except in bigger cities like Kathmandu, Pokhara, Namche Bazaar, Jompsom, Salleri, and Okhaldunga. Consequently, when your in the mountains, cash is king. Change money in the city before your trek starts. Make sure to ask for small denominations (ones, twos, fives, twenties, fifties and hundreds - a 500 or 1,000 note will be useless).

Careful: Torn banknotes seem to be a superstitious item. Village people, and even people from the village that have moved into the city, refuse them. Use them for tips or donations to holy-pilgrims.

mountaineering adventure for non-climbers

For the more adventurous traveler, there are many minor peaks open for Alpine climbing under the Nepal Mountaineering Association. The climbing of these peaks is controlled under the rules and regulations formulated by this Association.

Most of these peaks require snow and ice climbing experience. Trekking Agents provide qualified and trained climbing guides to take non-climbers for convenience, safety and expected successes. By Himalayan standards, these are considered minor peaks, but in fact some of them provide relatively challenging snow and ice climbing of high standard, and more so in Winter.

The royalty for these peaks ranges from US $150 to US $300 depending on the particular peak for up to a 9 member climbing team.

See's Trekking: Areas: Trekking Peaks for a list of those currently open. For complete details about Peak Trekking, Mountaineering and Expeditions, visit our sponsor Adventure Thirdpole Treks and Expeditions.

tips and suggestions

During your trekking sojourn in the hills and the mountains of Nepal you should be aware and remember that you are traveling back in time and into the wilderness not usually frequented by many foreigners and away from normal policing. Although the people of the hills of Nepal are exceptionally hospitable, honest and friendly by any standards, the possibilities of some trekkers encountering bad elements who take advantage of foreigners cannot be eliminated. It would be wise to exercise the following basic rules as regards. Security and safety during your trekking:

*Trekking organized through recognized Trekking Agent ensures comfort and convenience, safety and security and greatly affords the unique experience. This approach to trekking not only prevents you from any unforeseen hazards and accidents but also provide educational information and rewarding experiences on the mountains, people and in rural Nepal

*All foreign nationals are required by law to pay their hotel, travel, and trekking agents bill in foreign currency. Exchange your money through authorized banks/money changers only. Insist on a receipt when exchanging your money and retain all exchange receipts with you.

*Littering mars the purity of environment. Avoid the use of non-biodegradable items as mush as possible. Your attempts to burn oddments and carry out the unburnable ones will be a great help in the efforts to conserve the environment.

*Avoid dispute with local people, most particularly when you are alone. Avoid drunkards and lunatics.

*Do not encourage beggars by giving them money or other articles.

*Be most economical with all fuel. Avoid hot showers which use firewood and discourage campfires. Avoid lodges using firewood and insist on use of kerosene for cooking to Trekking Agents.

*We strongly recommend that you take out a personal travel insurance to cover against illness, accidents, loss and theft of items and materials, travel alterations and deviations, rescues and evacuations.

*It is recommended not to travel alone in the remote areas while traveling in Nepal particularly in the case of females. If you do not have a fellow trekker as companion, you should not engage a guide/porter except through a third party who has responsibility for the person engaged.

*All the information mentioned here is subject to change, so do not forget to do your own homework.

information centers

*Department of Tourism, Tripureswor (near the national stadium), Kathmandu

*Nepal Tourism Board - NTB is a national organization established in 1998 and promote and market Nepal as an attractive tourist destination. NTB's office is located at Bhrikuti Mandap, Kathmandu, Ph: 4256909 or 4256229.

*Kathmandu Environmental Education Project Trekker's Information Center, P.O.Box 495, Tridevi Marg , Kathmandu

*Nepal Association of Travels Agents - NATA, Lal Durbar, Yak & Yeti Plaza, Kathmandu, Ph: 4228787.

*Trekking Agents Association of Nepal - TAAN, Ganeshthan, Maligaun, Kathmandu, Ph: 4440920 or 4440921.

*Kathmandu Environmental Education Project - KEEP provides trekkers with information about responsible trekking and also has a travelers' information center in Thamel. Through slide shows, lectures, videos, and other activities staff and volunteers provide trekkers with information about promoting positive environmental and cultural interactions when trekking.KEEP is located at the Potala Tourist Home, off Tridevi Marg, and is open from 10 am to 5 PM daily expect Saturdays and major holidays Ph: 4410303



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