Ready for Arrival in Nepal? Last Minute Tips!
Just about 2 weeks until you arrive in Kathmandu. We are very excited to meet all of you. Here are a few last minute details to help you prepare for your trek and give you an idea of what to expect:
Travel Tip: Always have a pen with you. They are NONE in Kathmandu (Tribhuvan) Airport.
Landing form – Please use the following address for where you will stay in Nepal:
Ph. (977) 980 301 0011 – Trekt Office
Ph. (977) 1- 4229885 – Hotel Tayoma
Arrival – Click this link for details about visa and customs in Kathmandu airport. Be sure to have 2 passport size photos and at least $50 cash for your visa. Once you pick up your luggage, look for our guide in a blue Medical Trek Nepal t-shirt. He/she will bring you to your hotel.
If you do NOT see your guide (please wait about 30 minutes, they may be helping others who have just arrived; or if you have arrived very off schedule and we do not know). Take a taxi to Hotel Tayoma in Thamel (on JP Street). The taxi should not cost your more than 1000 rupees, or $10 USD. Taxi drivers will try to scam arriving tourists with unreasonable prices, but 1000 rupees is the highest we would ever pay for this ride.
Preparation Day – You will have a free day in Kathmandu before you depart for Medical Trek’s remote regions. Please come by our office around 9am and our guides will help you get any extra things you need for trekking. Remember, you need “small money” for the trek to buy snacks, beers, or whatever you would like at the small village stores (you would be surprised the interesting things you can find in remote regions. One group met an old man who sold honey, and they all bought a giant jar of it.)
Sight seeing around Kathmandu – When you are all set, ask us where and how to do some site seeing for the rest of the afternoon. Sometimes a few trekkers share a taxi and explore Kathmandu’s World Heritage sites.
Welcome Dinner – We will have a group dinner the night before we depart for trekking where you will have some traditional Nepali style food, meet your fellow trekkers, Nepali nurses, and guides. This is always a lot of fun!
Trek Departure – 7am we will meet in hotel lobby and walk to bus to meet our porters who will be packing it up for our trek. Our trekking team will have about 30 people. We will travel together down the Privithi Highway on a private bus for about 5 hours to our trekking start point. We will make stops along the way for snacks, breakfast, restroom breaks. (Sometimes in Nepal, you must go outside in the wild to relieve yourself, so be prepared for that.)
Camping – We will be camping for 10 days. You need to have warm clothes to wear at night (if on an October – March Trek). Dress in layers that can be removed easily while walking. We provide all your camping needs, tent, sleeping mat, sleeping bag and meals. However, feel free to bring anything that will make you feel more comfortable. We will have limited access to water, but there will be a tap or stream nearby all of our camp sites. Toilets are primitive and sometimes non-existent. I will tell you how to deal with all calls of nature at our trek briefing. Please bring burnable plastic bags that you can carry trash in and we can burn each day for paper wastes, etc. I bring a bunch of Ziploc bags, or plastic shopping bags that you can tie up. We can not throw our trash in the nature, so we must burn it.
Tipping Guides and Porters – It is customary at the end of each trek to leave a little something extra for the guides and porters. The porters will leave the trek 2 days before we finish after the last medical camp, so that evening we usually have a little celebration (well, actually most evenings we do that!) and pass the hat for the porters. There will be about 8-10 porters, so if you would like, you could bring an extra 5000-8000 rupees ($50-80USD) to put in the hat for them to divide. When they divide it up, they will get around a $50-60 tip each. That means a lot to them, especially as this is likely to be one of their last treks of the season. They have to save up for the winter when there are very few opportunities to work. Totally optional, but wanted to let you know in advance in case you would like to give them something. For the guides, you will depart from them in Pokhara, which is a resort town (so there are ATMs, etc. if you would like cash). You can individually tip them or pass the hat at our last dinner if you would like. Optional and as you would like.
Extra Fun Trip – Many Med Trekkers like to do the Rafting and Canyoning trip from Hardcore Nepal Adventures, instead of going straight back to Kathmandu. This overnight trip has started to become a tradition for ending the medical trek. If you would like to join, price for volunteers is $106. You will spend 2 days of extreme adventure whitewater rafting and abseiling down waterfalls at Jalbire canyon. Details of this trip are here. You can let us know at any time before the trek or during the trek if you would like to join this activity.
My reading list – Want some good reads about Nepal? Here are some books I am reading or have read – Sandra BK, Trek Director:
The Snow Leapord by Peter Matthiesen – Award winning book, and considered a “must read.”
While the Gods Were Sleeping by Elizabeth Enslin – This book is just out. About an American anthropologist who marries a Nepali man and learns life lessons raising her baby in a rural village in Chitwan. Trivia – this son, Amalesh, was actually one of our employees at Hardcore Nepal adventures… we had no idea his American mother wrote a book about him!
Touching My Father’s Soul by Jamling Norgay – An Everest journey from the son whose father was the first man to summit Mount Everest. Raised in the USA, India and Nepal, Jamling Norgay gives an interesting perspective on east-west culture and the pursuit of adventure.
More Information – As always, our Kathmandu and USA based teams are happy to help you. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ang Chhoti Sherpa is your Nepal coordinator. Sandra Krasa BK is your trek director. Your guides are: Binod BK, Sabin Sherpa, Tashi Sherpa, Tenzing Sherpa, and Ram BK (global brands director).