Whether or not you have visited an Asian country before, if you are planning a trip to Nepal you can already be described as an adventurous traveler. You have probably been searching through information on line and become at least slightly confused and overwhelmed by all the information and options you have.
There's a lot of (mis)information to wade through and it can be bewildering. You have to make decisions which may result in this the best or the worst trip of your life. We want to share some practical advice based on our own experience which we hope will help to plan your trip to Nepal. Two basic facts guide our services at Annapurna Foothills Treks:
Everyone likes to get a fair price when they travel.
Everyone wants to go home with good memories.
At some point travelers must balance their budget and their travel style. While traveling in Nepal is much cheaper than many countries, however we give a word of caution to those who take the advice of seasoned backpackers who travel the world on a dime. Some things may save some money but may not be worth it.
Some people say you don’t really need a guide or a porter. Is that true?
We say: Some people trek without a guide or porter. But if saving money is the main objective, they may not come out very far ahead. Guides and porters often save their clients from paying way too much on everything from souvenirs to food to accommodation.
- Annapurna Foothills Treks provides you with a guide who not only knows the route he/she knows the best tea houses.
- During trekking season when the rooms fill up quickly, Lodge/teahouse owners give priority to trekkers who arrive with a guide and a porter, as they assume a ‘backpacker’ will want a cheap price and not give tips.
- Your guide is the best means of communicating with the locals, and learning about the country and culture.
- A porter who will carry your gear can become invaluable when your legs get wobbly and tired after a few days on the trail. It means you can put in a few extras, and will only carry a day-pack.
Some people say you can easily find a trekking company/guide once you arrive in Kathmandu and it will be cheaper.
We say: You could waste a lot of time this way. During the trekking season, bus tickets and domestic flights are hard to come by, so you may face delays waiting for your ticket. AFT books the best available tickets well in advance, so you can plan ahead with confidence.
Some people say you can’t trust a Nepal-based company. Only international companies are dependable.
We say: There are some shady local companies that offer packages that appear to be the cheapest. Check what is included and excluded in the price carefully. You don’t want any nasty surprises like a big expense you weren’t planning for. Annapurna Foothills Treks is dependable local company that is licensed and registered with the government. If you check what is included in the package price you will find good value for your money.
Transportation realities of travel in Nepal:
Public transport can be frustrating and also frightening. Road safety is a major concern on trips outside the capital. Whereas fatal accidents involving public buses are almost a daily occurrence, private and tourist buses are very safe. Public buses and mini vans are extremely crowded. Be prepared to crouch, stand or share a seat meant for one with someone else. Taxi drivers may agree to use the meter, but may divert the route to get more money. The advantage of full service is having hassle-free private transportation.