thank you for the relaxing, but at the same time adventurous 2 weeks we spent together.
During this time, we explored Kathmandu, took a bus to Pokhara (the second biggest city in Nepal, 200 km west of Kathmandu, driving duration of 9 hours) to chill and prepare for the hike, but also to recover from our respiratory problems, did a trekking tour to Poon Hill in the Annapurna region (Himalayas), and took a night bus back to Kathmandu. In the following I’m going to describe some positive and negative impressions I made during my stay. I want to say: these are MY individual and personal impressions and experiences. Different people have different perceptions, so go make up your own! This is just to inform about some things, and by the way: expenses are always interesting to see ;-).
First of all, I want to say I’m proud of you how you treat your animals. Of course, as a vegan we often tend to feel sorry for working animals. However, I’m a fan of the following concept I got to know when I started to eat vegan. Back in the days, a deal was closed between humans and animals. Humans take good care of their animals, in return they work for them. That’s what’s happening in Nepal between humans and their horses, donkeys, and mules.
Second, your mountains are breathtaking! I only got the chance to see a taste of the Annapurna region, however, the little villages which are surrounded by the Himalayas were amazing.
Third, we have to talk about your bad air pollution. If you want tourists (especially trekkers) to keep visiting your country, you have to pay more attention to a sustainable way of environmental protection, such as clean air. After visiting Kathmandu for 2 days, we were hit by the so called “Kathmandu cough”. Yes, it does exist if you don’t wear a face mask. Around 70% of the air is polluted because of dust particles due to unmanaged infrastructure (mainly due to unpaved streets). Modernisation has also fuelled the appetite for electricity, yet the infrastructure has not kept pace. Kathmandu endures daily scheduled power failures. This lead to the predictable consequence of people using generators, therefore, pumping even more toxic fumes into the air. So please, if I can give you one good advice: use face masks for the health of your lungs!
Fourth, I have a mixed feeling about your hospitality. Oftentimes when we asked for help, the answer was “I don’t know”, and that was it. Maybe I was too spoiled from India, who knows. However, there were many times when we felt ripped off. In most cases it was so obvious that it was way too annoying. Of course, as a tourist you pay more money, I do get that. Still, I didn’t always feel comfortable with the locals. But again, that’s just based on my experiences and there were also some Nepalese people who helped us a lot (like our adventure guide at the hotel, shoutout to him 🙂 ).
To sum up, Nepal is a great country for trekking lovers with its beautiful nature especially in the mountain areas (which makes up most of the country). Also, if your budget won’t allow you too much, Nepal is a cheap destination. However, don’t underestimate the air pollution in its capital. I highly recommend wearing a face mask all the time.
Some more impressions from Nepal in pictures….
Facts about Nepal:
Food to eat: Dal Bhat / Momos
Trekking: Pokhara/ Annapurna Region:
4-5 days Poon Hill Trek, 14-24 days Annapurna Circuit/ Annapurna Base Camp
- Flight Delhi – Kathmandu 67€
- Visa for 30 days (as we stayed for 16 days…) 35€
- Taxi Kathmandu Airport to Thamel 5,50€ (each person= 2,75€)
- Bus Kathmandu – Pokhara 5,50 €
- Taxi Bus Station Pokhara to Hotel 2,35 € (each person= 1,18€)
- Night bus Pokhara – Kathmandu 11 €
- Taxi Bus Station Kathmandu to Airport 6,25€ (each person= 3,13€)
- Hotels: for two people
Kathmandu: 25 €/ night (3 nights = 75€, each person= 37,50€)
Pokhara: 27,50 €/ night breakfast included and we did laundry twice (8 nights= 220€, each person= 110€) -> “Hotel Karuna” is highly recommended here!
- Tea Houses: we were there in off season, so some tea houses don’t charge anything or very less
- Trekking Poon Hill for 3 days including food & tea houses ca. 10€/ day per person (3 days = 30€ per person)
- Permit & Tims for Trekking 45€ per person
- Taxi Pokhara to Nayapul ca. 15€ (7,50€ per person)
- Local bus back from Ghandruck to Pokhara ca. 5€ per person
- Others (like souvenirs) 35€
- Paragliding in Pokhara 43€ per person
Food & drinks
around 8 €/ day per person (12 days (minus Poon Hill)= 96€ per person)
So for 15 days for the flight to Kathmandu from India, staying in really nice hotels and going crazy on food, doing paraglyding and going trekking we spent around 535 € per person.
Some can go cheaper, some can go more expensive, as always.