Nepal FAQ aka Everything I Wish I Knew Before I Booked My Trip!
Are you thinking of taking a trip to Nepal? Check out my Nepal FAQ with a Q and A covering the Everest Trek, prices, porter info, and everything I wish I had known before we went!
1. When is the best time of year to visit Nepal?
Our guide told us he’s taken groups on treks and they never got to see Everest due to weather. I would have been devastated. For the best weather, book in the fall September through November, or in the Spring in April and May.
2. What is the difference between an Everest Base Camp Trek and Everest View Trek?
The Everest View trek is only seven days long, and does not go all the way to Base Camp. Instead it stops and turns around at the town of Tengboche, but still gave awesome views of Mount Everest for many days along the hike. We chose this option because we were short on time. The Everest Base Camp trek is longer and more expensive, and takes fifteen days instead of seven.
3. How Much Does an Everest View Trek Cost
I did the Everest view trek in 2015, and the cost for all food and accommodation, guide, porter, two night stay in Kathmandu, flights to Lukla and back, and a private car to Pokhara was $840 per person.
4. Do I really need a company and guide to package my trek for me?
You could do the trek on your own without a guide as common itineraries are easy to find online, but in that case you would be responsible for finding and choosing your own tea house and negotiate the price of your stay at every stop. You’d also have to negotiate terms with a porter when you land in Lukla, rent or buy your own parka and sleeping bag for the trip, and buy your flights to and from Lukla (if you do this, make sure you get them as early as possible in the morning, because the weather is notoriously fickle)
5. Will I have internet connection on my trek?
Internet is expensive up there, but accessible. You’ll pay extra to charge your phone or access the internet at any hotel or tea house you stay in during your trek, usually somewhere between two and ten usd.
6. Will I get altitude sickness on the trek?
Thats a good question and one I cannot answer. Altitude sickness can occur in anyone without warning. As long as you take the proper acclimatization days and keep listening to your body you have little to worry about. Signs of altitude sickness include headache, nausea, and shortness of breath, but they can easily be reversed simply by returning down to a lower altitude. When you buy your travel insurance package, make sure you get one that covers high altitude evacuation… just in case.
7. Are there luggage restrictions on the flight to Lukla? What should I do with my extra stuff?
Everyone is limited to 15kg per person checked bags, and another small carry on. Most hotels have storage rooms where you can leave your excess luggage in Kathmandu and bring only what you need for the trek. If you absolutely need more weight (remember, your porter will be carrying everything you bring) extra kg can be bought for around 1 to 5 usd per kg from the airlines.
8. How can I make the most of the iconic flight to Lukla?
On your flight to Lukla, choose a seat on the left side of the plane on the way out and on the right side on the way back to get the best views of the Himalayas that the flight path runs parallel to.
9. How many porters does my group need?
We had one porter for 3 people. If you are booking your own you will negotiate your own price with them when you land in Lukla.
10. How much should I tip my porter and guide?
Make sure you bring cash, rupees or USD, on the trek to tip your porter and guide. Common consensus agrees that the tip should be around 10% of the cost of your trip, split 60/40 between the guide and porter. However, if your package includes extra days in Kathmandu without them or a drive like ours did, adjust as necessary.
11. Should I visit Chitwan or Pokhara after my trek?
How much time do you have? Chitwan gets rave reviews, but it is much further away from Kathmandu than Pokhara. Pokhara is a 5 hour drive and Chitwan is around 12. If you want to pay for flights or have a lot of time in the country, then Chitwan is a good choice. If you’re on a budget then I recommend Pokhara.
12. Should I rent my own car to get from city to city, take a bus, or hire a private car?
Don’t try to drive on your own. The roads wind around steep hills and are laden with dangerous drivers. I’d trust a Nepalese local and hire a car instead. On our trip from Kathmandu to Pokhara we were stopped at police roadblocks twice, and at one our driver was definitely forced to pay a fee (or was it a bribe?) No thanks. You can also take buses from Kathmandu to Pokhara and back, they are a cheaper option but definitely more crowded and uncomfortable.
13. Is Nepal politically stable?
Yes and no. There are over 600 political parties in Nepal right now, and most Nepalese are not happy with the way the country is run. However, it remains a safe country to visit as a tourist.
These were some of the biggest questions I had when I was planning our Everest view trek and two week trip in Nepal. If you have any more, you can find more information in my Everest View Trek Itinerary, Experience, and Budget Breakdown post to learn about the details of the trip. Or, read more about what to do in Pokhora and Kathmandu here. If you have any more questions, comment below and I’ll get back to you!
All my love,
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