Our trekking season is already getting underway early this year, and I am glad to see it! Already we have seen more tourism than previous years – Nepal has become a nice short break trip for expats traveling from Dubai, Qatar and other places in the Middle East when they have Eid and Ramadan holidays. It’s also increasing in popularity as a summer break destination for families and university students.
For 2013 – Himalayan Kingdom of Mustang Trek with Karma Mustangi!
We found Karma through a New York Times article written by Jason Wong (NYT Asia Correspondent), and we are excited to have him on board with us at TREKT Himalaya. We are taking private bookings for Mustang Trek with Karma for Spring 2013, and will have public treks starting in September 2013. Mustang is a good alternative for those who wanted to visit Tibet, but can not due to border closure. Karma will show you his unique Himalayan culture steeped in Tibetan Buddhist traditions and often hailed as the lost Shangri-La.
Everest Base Camp and EBC Mini-Trek
A trek to Everest Base Camp has become a “must-do” adventure for most travelers to Nepal. But for those who want to see the Solu Khumbu region and do not have a lot of time, many companies (like us) have started offering an Everest short trek that starts at Lukla and does a quick 4 day circuit. It’s great for Himalayan views, Sherpa culture and a visit to Himalayan Buddhist monasteries. Prices vary, but it is usually under $1000 including the Lukla Flight. Our Everest expert guide is Tashi Sherpa – if you want to know more about Tashi and his homeland, send us an email at email@example.com.
Off Season Trekking In Nepal
I have always been a big fan of trekking in Nepal’s off season because you get to enjoy things at a less crowded pace. This year, we are kicking off Annapurna Circuit trek in the first week of April, but for less crowds, try June or September. For Monsoon time, it’s better to stick to Langtang, Poon Hill, or Helambu Treks.
Here are some common things to think about when trekking “off-season” in Nepal:
1) Ask for discounts. Many trekking agents in Nepal have really slow times during our monsoon, and they offer activities at a discounted price. So always ask!
2) Watch out for leaches and landslides! The downside of trekking while the monsoon is on or at the tail end is that Nepal has been deluged with water for 2 months. This creates landslides that block roads leading to many of the popular trekking routes. Also, I’d like to say, “watch out for leeches,” but you really can’t. You just have to deal with them. Here’s a couple web sites that give ideas for leech repellent. The only real option is anything but eco-friendly. I have tried insecticides all over my sock and pants, but those leeches will find you. I even got one in between my fingers once. Gross!
3) Take a longer (or shorter) trek. I encourage you to take as long as you can on any trek. I have never understood the whole rush to get to Everest Base Camp or around the Annapurna Circuit… although the 14 Day Everest Trek is our most popular. I guess many tourist only have a couple weeks holiday from work to spend in Nepal, and they are trying to take in all the sites. Well, I then, try a trek that is traditionally 8 – 10 days and extend it to 14 days. The Tamang Heritage Trail is awesome. The benefit of trekking slowly is you get to meet people and experience the “real Nepal.” Running from teahouse to teahouse is like running the Rock-n-Roll Marathon and forgetting to listen to the music. Our Nepal Himalaya are so beautiful, please enjoy them slowly.
4) Take a language class. There are many “Monsoon Language” course that have sprung up. I LOVE that idea. You will get a lot more out of your stay in Nepal if you take at least one week of language class before you head out on your trek. Just enjoy Kathmandu, take you class and then head to the Himalaya!
KEEP offers one of the many summer language classes.