Thursday, April 23, 2015
The Himalayas of Nepal make a perfect travel destination for avid trekkers. With eight of the ten highest peaks on the world, Nepal boasts a lot of trekking trails interconnected to form one of the longest trekking trails that results in a dramatic route of trekking in Nepal. One of such adventurous trails is the popular Gokyo trail. Located at an elevation of 4,750 meters, the Gokyo village is one of the highest settlements in the world.
Gokyo is a tranquil valley situated against a backdrop of snowy mountains standing regally. The oligotrophic lakes of this region are world’s highest freshwater lake system consisting of six lakes. The serenity of these lakes is amplified by their altitude and the background of the resplendent mountains.
Although Kalapatthar is not a mountain, it is a popular landmark in the Himalayas because of the vantage point it provides. Because of the structure of Mount Everest, it cannot be seen directly from the base camp. The view of the highest mountain is only accessible from Kalapatthar. This point also provides unobstructed views of Lhotse, nuptse nup II and changste.
The trek to Gokyo and Kalapatthar has an alternate route to Everest Base camp. This route will lead you through the Sherpa villages of Khumjung and Namche bazaar. Located at above 3,000 meters, both of these villages are popular for altitude acclimatization. Because Buddhism is practiced in Sagarmatha zone of Nepal, you can see an abundance of Buddhist monasteries and chortens.
As remote as these places my sound, these villages are perfectly equipped for incoming tourists. Facilities like lodges and internet are available and one can even find cheap Chinese or Tibetan goods for sale. The people who stay in the lap of the Himalayas are hardworking and amiable. The experience you’ll gather from spending your time with these culturally rich people will be something you remember your whole lives.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Standing regally at 8848 meters (29,028 foot), Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. Because of a demanding ascent, it is the dream of many mountaineers and alpinists to conquer the astounding height of the Everest and stand at the top of the world. Hundreds have already had the glory since the way was paved for them by Sir Edmund Percival Hillary from New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a sherpa from Nepal, on 29 May 1953.
As invigorating as it may sound, the journey to the top of the world is arduous and requires all of your energy. You will meet many obstacles on your way to the top that endanger your safety and there are factors like blizzards, shifting snow, falling rocks etc. to be taken into account and the unstable weather does nothing to help. Low oxygen level may cause high altitude cerebral edema and high altitude pulmonary edema and there is always high probability that you might get frostbite and hypothermia.
Because of these obstacles, it is imminent to choose an established outfitter with a perfect record of the ascent. The guides need to be experienced and capable to guide you to 8848 meters and back without failing to cater to your needs. Because of your unfamiliarity with the country, there might be permits and other expenses you might be unaware of.
The experienced and rigorously trained groups of guides are more than willing to guide you safely through the adventure of your lifetime. From your daily itinerary to the weather updates, everything important will be taken care of. Some of the deaths in the region have been caused due to the negligence of the guides and travel agents do everything they can to stop it from happening. Trekking in Nepal will be one of the best experiences of your life.
Sunday, April 19, 2015
Nepal has grown to be extra attentive in the conservation of natural heritages after Mount Everest was dubbed as “the world’s highest garbage dump”. Because of the low temperature, the garbage accumulated from six decades of ascent doesn’t degrade biologically and stays as it is. This obnoxious collection of refuse is comprised of empty oxygen cylinders, broken tents, food containers and even the body of the mountaineers who died during expeditions.
The government of Nepal has now made it mandatory for mountaineers in the Everest to return with all of their garbage. As small as this step may seem, it was enough to attract the attention of the concerned parties to reduce the amount of trash collected in the serene Himalayas. This has also paved a way towards a new kind of tourism called eco-tourism.
As a country where a majority of its population is involved in tourism industry, Nepal tourism board can’t afford to be reckless about its natural heritages. Such tourist attractions invite a lot of tourists and proper conservation of such places is a must. Eco-tourism has been found to help raise awareness and minimize the impact in such situations. Similarly, another important purpose of eco-tourism is to create respect and awareness for culture.
Several foreigners have also been known to work with some conservation organizations in remote villages of Nepal. If your intent is only to travel, you can take measures such as disposing of your wastes properly and reducing fuel and energy consumption in the areas where it is scarce.
Eco-tourism sometimes needs joint efforts of both locals and tourists to prosper. While the tourists can spend their money on local transport, service and goods, the locals can treat the tourists with respect and encourage the conservation of the tourist attractions. Eco-tourism has proved to be beneficial in some countries of the world and we hope that our efforts pay off soon.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
The mysterious and forbidden kingdom of Mustang allures many visitors all over the world. Because of the unique culture and topographic features, Mustang has been known as a place where travelers find their Shangri-la. The place gained its notorious title because it was forbidden to travelers until the early 1990’s. Only a few travelers are fortunate enough to get acquainted with the utopian landscape today because of the restriction to enter.
Mustang lies between Tibet and Nepal and it has been known to acquire its prosperity by dominating the salt trade from Tibet to Nepal. Because of the Tibetan influence, monasteries resembling those in Tibet and white-painted village houses are the main attraction of this place. Stupas or chortens which are a symbol of Buddhism can be found in every village around mustang. The beauty of this place is amplified by the amalgamated cliffs with varying shades of red, yellow, brown and blue set up against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks.
The trek takes you to the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lo; Lo Manthang. This medieval city comprises of earthen structures of palaces and monasteries and is inhabited by a very few people. The oldest and the most spiritual form of Tibetan Buddhism; Bonpo is still practiced in this region. The UNESCO has described this settlement as unique and having no comparison.
There are other beautiful villages on the way to mustang. The trek is fairly easy for hill climbers, compared to other trails like the Annapurna circuit. Mustang, situated at above 3,000 meters allows for easy acclimatization if approached at a steady pace. If you want to be one of the lucky few to get the opportunity to visit this astonishing and enigmatic kingdom of Lo, find a good trekking agent in Nepal today and feel the experience.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
If you are an avid trekker and you are thrilled at the prospect of a good adventure, Everest Base camp is the right place for you. Only the most courageous of us can take on the base camp of the Highest Mountain of the world. Also deemed as a Mountaineer’s holy grail, the Mount Everest rests at an astonishing 8848 meters and conquering it is an adventure very few embark upon.
The idea of reaching the base camp of the highest mountain is absolutely alluring but there are a lot of other attractions on the way too. Experience the Sherpa hospitality and culture while you trek through beautiful villages like Phakdim and Thami. You can also visit the beautiful mountain town Namche Bazaar and get acquainted with the helpful locals.
Another attraction that this trail holds for you is the monasteries. The monastery of Thami village and the tengboche monastery are the most visited by trekkers. It is believed that praying in these Buddhist monasteries help you endure the difficult path you have yet to accomplish. This trail also gives you a glimpse of the infamous khumbu pass. For those who are not aware of it, Khumbu ice fall is a large mass of ice fall constantly shifting its way.
Trekking in Nepal to Everest base camp is one of the most adventurous treks in the whole world. From exploring the mountains of Nepal to getting acclimated with the altitude, the journey is arduous and demands every ounce of energy you possess. But the realm of the nature that unfolds itself in front of your eyes as you climb upward is definitely worth your efforts. Similarly, staying in mountain tea houses and exploring the mountain cuisine is another added bonus in this trek. The Sherpas that guide you through the trek are amiable too!!
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Pokhara is the perfect escape. You can spend a few days in this small town surrounded by a number of lakes, which is a great opportunity for a good reunion with friends or meeting friendly strangers.
Then there is the city called Bandipur, a charming Newar town where you can spend several days walking through the cobblestone streets and hiking to the surrounding mountains. You can descend further south towards the Indian border where you may find the climate hotter and habitat and landscapes similar to India.
You can spend a few days in Sauraha near the National Park of Chitwan. In this park, elephants wander through the streets at all hours and a breeding center for elephants also allows you to spend time with baby elephants. Their morning routine in the river is a good opportunity to play with them when they shower water on you from their trunks. Kids love this activity at Chitwan.
A walk in the jungle also gives you a chance to see rhinos in the wild.If you are dreading the noise and pollution in cities of Nepal, you can book a holiday for camping at the hillsides. You can spend your days between school, cultural tours, shopping and preparing for the next trek in Langtang. The Kathmandu city certainly has a factor that attracts hippies but the magic of the impressive monuments in the valley is more alluring. Beautiful Buddhist temples with magnificent Stupas are located everywhere; where eyes that represent wisdom and compassion are painted.
Tourism in Nepal is not only visiting places but also getting acquainted with the local customs and traditions. You can choose to hike to remote areas where cultures are richer.
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Before you embark on a journey to Annapurna or Everest Base camp, you have to reach the small town of Besi Sahar first. After a trip on a public bus for 7-8 hours and costs 600 rupees from Kathmandu brings you to this town which is the starting point for the long trek that goes around Annapurna.
The city, 800 meters above sea level, is where you can stop for the night after a tiring journey. You might also need to buy required permits or equipment. You can continue with your travelling in the early hours the next day.
When you reach Ghermu from Besi Sahar, you can continue until Tal, 1700 meters, which is a beautiful village on the banks of a river. Being a Tibetan village; it is a thrill to cross the threshold of this new region, where the altitude starts to change its face to the landscape, where the mountains you approach seem closer than ever.
The standard of “lodges” or hotels along the way is made for tourists. While some might be poorly kept, you can also find some good hotels in the area. Booking a trip with one of the best trekking outfitters in Nepal can make your stay convenient; hotels are booked in advance and there will be guides to show you the way.
The rocky roads that lead you to the mountains are strewn along among forests and remote villages on Nepal. The houses are made up of mud and are a pleasant sight among the lush forests and rivers of Nepal. The culture of these remote places is equally mystifying. However, you might run into some villages where there is no electricity. Make sure you pack extra batteries for your camera or flash light in advance. Going with a group is highly recommended, if you are concerned about your security.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
While trekking through the popular mountains of Nepal, you have to be careful about your health. The Annapurna Circuit is passed at extreme conditions like Manang, at 3,500 meters above sea level. While on Everest, you may spend more than a week closer to 5,000 meters depending upon how fast you can move. For those who choose to complete the arduous track of the three Steps, this time stretches even more.
At these heights, you have undoubtedly the best views, but such extreme conditions impose limits - it makes it harder, colder, more expensive and dangerous - and not everyone can stay at high elevations for prolonged periods. The altitude also may cause side effects, from headaches to loss of appetite, which can lead to more serious diseases if you do not proceed with caution. On Everest you exceed the 5,000 meters at least three times (Gokyo Ri, Kala Patthar and field-based) as well as sleep at least one night in 5100, while on Annapurna is the highest refuge at 4,900 meters and 5,000 are exceeded only for a few hours during the trek. The temperatures can reach -10 at night in the mountains.
An obvious measure to take before you trek is to choose the season for it. In both locations the weather is unpredictable in the winter and during the monsoons, but with wider tracks and lower elevation Annapurna is known to be feasible even in summer. The clouds, however, will block any view.
The landscapes while trekking in Nepal are panoramic; Annapurna’s pine forests contrast beautifully to the white snow; a gradual change brings new views every day you climb. In this trek you will cross different regions different from each other, from the Hindu villages in the lower part to those Tibetans in the higher part, to the hills of Mustang in the North West and a more arid during the descent, around Jomsom.
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Everest; The legendary Eight thousand mountain standing at 8848 meters is no more an impossible dream. Today, what was once considered to be one of the most challenging and difficult task has become accessible to the world. This trekking route was made precisely to allow climbers and Alpinists to get close to the highest peak of the world, enjoying the grand views Everest provides.
A spectacular itinerary with stops in hotels that bear interesting names is available, all equipped with heating and comfortable rooms; no tent or no huts with shared bathrooms and hence are luxurious. Trekking this way is called "A balcony in the Himalayas"; a 10 day long path that winds between 2500 and 4200 allows you to admire giant mountains such as the Everest, the Makalu, the Cho Oyu, the Lhotse , the Ama Dablam and many other peaks that have entered the legendary realm of the mountain range.
But it also allows a total immersion in Buddhist culture, in the world of the Sherpas and yaks, from Namche Bazaar, the capital of the Sherpas to Thame , where they meet the caravans carrying merchandise from Tibet to Nepal . And that, in the end, includes a visit of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, with its pagodas in overlapping roofs, buildings carved from wood and terracotta temples with crowded markets on their courtyard.
But above all, this is a journey without inconvenience, with domestic flights, helicopter transfers, guided tours and day treks lasting from two to five hours, with enough time to dedicate to the local culture and religion, with luggage traveling aboard a bus from hotel to hotel.
There are plenty of trekking outfitters in Nepal that you can choose from. You can go without a guide but having one amplifies your adventure and makes your stay convenient.
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Nepal and its mountains are not unknown to the mountaineers worldwide. They have trekked through the rough roads of mountain ranges and peaks. People going to the Annapurna for the first time should be aware of everything.
September officially starts the trekking season in Nepal. If you are planning to be here, make sure you keep a day or two spare because delays due to weather are imminent in the mountains.
Age, fitness and health are important to follow when choosing the trekking route. Some are suitable for all ages and durations from one day up to one month, with varying degrees of difficulty. This trek however is better for experienced mountaineers only.
The first expense is to get here from your home country and depends on the airline you choose. To get the required permission from the area of Annapurna Conservation Area Project, application must be lodged at the ACAP office, at the entrance to Thamel, with 2000 Nepalese rupees and two passport-sized photos.
During the trek, only room and food cost is required. Prepare a budget of between 700 and 1000 rupees per day, according to your taste and comfort level used but you have to adapt to local condition. VISA card or your currency will not be accepted anywhere. You can take cash with you; preferably 100 rupees notes so it is easier to pay.
October and November see the influx of a lot of tourists in this region. This is because there is no rain; yet mosquitoes are not present, the sky is clear and the trails are frequented, which has its advantages - you cannot miss the trail, it is relatively easy to ask for help if needed – and you can be safe in groups. You can even hire any trekking outfitter in Nepal to set you up with a group.