"My Love Affair with Nepal" Top 5 Page for this destination Nepal by into-thin-air

Nepal Travel Guide: 4,267 reviews and 12,051 photos

Rob on 2013 Mardi Himal Trek - Nepal
Rob on 2013 Mardi Himal Trek
My Love Affair with Nepal

My Love Affair with Nepal started back in 1994 when I bought an old Landrover, put together a small group and drove from Cumbria (UK) to Kathmandu, since then I have returned a further nine times and am Hoping to return soon for trip number Eleven :-)

Since my first visit I have fallen in love with both the country and its people, Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world, but as little as the people there have, they are nearly always willing to share it with you. So in 2004 I started my own little enterprise, Pro-Tector to try, in my own small way to help.

In the following Pages, Tips and Travelogues below I will attempt to pass on my own experiences in Nepal to try to also encourage and help future visitors to the Beautiful yet sometimes troubled country.

For those interested, my individual trips and top recommendations are written up in the travelogues, In the Nepal Travel Tips Sections I have tried to explain procedures for arriving in Nepal, Ideas for Trekking along with permit requirements and reviews of the different styles available, Rafting on some of Nepal?s Awesome rivers, What to try to see when you are visiting Nepal including the world heritage sites as well as the National Parks, Transportation ideas and options and reviews of hotels and restaurants that I have used plus many other bits and pieces that I think might well be of use to visitors to Nepal.
Nepal is a wonderful country to visit and overall is a very safe destination, the people are some of the nicest that I have met anywhere in the world and the scenery is to die for ? However there are some pitfalls and I have also tried to mention these but if there is something that I have missed or extra information that you require then Please feel free to drop me a line and I will do my very best to answer you.

Visiting Nepal post 2015 earthquakes
The path above Chele, Upper Mustang - Nepal

The path above Chele, Upper Mustang

It is now just over a year since the first of the two major earthquakes hit Nepal on 25 April 2015; this was followed by a second major earthquake on 12th May.

It has taken a Long time for Nepal to recover from these and although it is still easy to see the scars left by these two disastrous quakes, Nepal is once again fully open for Trekking and Tourism.

All the major teahouse trekking routes are now open, but Langtang, the worst hit popular trekking region still has certain paths closed, notably the one between Rimche and Thulo Syabru which trekkers would normally use when combining the Langtang Trek with Helambu by crossing Gosaikund ? These treks can of course sill be combined but you now have to walk around by Syabru Besi ? Also the trekking route into The Langtang Valley is now on the old high level route via Sherpagone (The low level route being part of the closed path)

The Annapurna Region was largely unaffected by the earthquakes and remained open throughout and the Everest region which was effected by the second earthquake is now again fully open.

All the National Parks including Chitwan and Bardia are open as are all the world heritage sites around Kathmandu and the surrounding valley, but the latter have lots of scars in evidence.

Road networks are now fully functioning and air travel is back to the pre earthquake standards and the fuel crisis which also crippled Nepal post earthquake is now at last over ? So Anyone considering visiting Nepal should stop considering and get their flights booked as without the tourist $ once more flowing back into Nepal, the people there will continue to suffer post earthquakes

Good Luck and Happy Safe Travels to One and All



Rob

November / December 2016 trip
My Good Friends Helga & Nirmal at H.M.A. Office - Nepal

My Good Friends Helga & Nirmal at H.M.A. Office

I have now started a second Nepal page HERE which has a write-up and a few tips from my November / December 2016 trip ? My old pages were just getting too cluttered and, to be honest, are ready for a good sort out ? It?s just the usual hours in a day and lack of them ;-)

  • Last visit to Nepal: Apr 2010
  • Intro Updated Dec 18, 2016
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Reviews (348)

Itineraries (3)

  • Written Aug 23, 2016

    7 days

    8 Day Nepal Driving Tour Itinerary (Including arrival day)

  • Written Aug 10, 2016

    4 days

    4 day ? 3 Night itinerary for Kathmandu and the surrounding valley

  • Written Aug 9, 2016

    12 days

    The Everest Base Camp Trek

Travelogues (18)

  • Which is the best route Nirmal ? - Nepal

    Written May 9, 2016

    8 photos

    A Very Important Decision

  • Rob and Ama Dablam - Nepal

    Written Aug 9, 2013

    6 photos

    Trek Report ? Everest Base Camp Trek, Spring 2012

  • On the ridge heading for High Camp - Nepal

    Written May 9, 2016

    8 photos

    Mardi Himal Trek

  • Pro-tecor in use at the Masai Mara in Kenya - Nepal

    Written May 9, 2016

    8 photos

    Why The Pro-Tector range came into being !!??

Comments (208)

  • Nov 24, 2016 at 11:21 PM

    Hi Rob,

    I am planning a trek in the Subcontinent for photography during the Autumn or Summer months of next year. I suppose Autumn would be nicer weather and less crowded. It will be a Solo trip but perhaps my Wife and/or Brother will accompany me. The duration for the trip is still open. Are there any suggestions you may have?

    Thanks!

    • into-thin-air's Profile Photo
      Dec 9, 2016 at 2:55 AM

      March is my own favourite moth for trekking, mornings tend to have blue skies and are
      often quite warm, cloud tends to build around the peaks about mid-day and drops
      into the valleys as the afternoon goes on with a chance of rain (snow at
      altitude) in the late afternoon / evening ? Not as many trekkers about, so no
      problems finding a bed for the night and no huge queues for meals.
      Summer in the northern hemisphere is Monsoon Season in Nepal (June to August/September) and this is followed by the main autumn trekking season
      Good luck and Happy Safe Trekking
      Rob

  • Nov 12, 2016 at 3:57 AM

    Hi Rob,
    Thank you for the wonderful information. We are going in late December for the same duration. Would the same itinerary of LizzieM9 apply be feasible at that time.

    How long is the Poon Hill Trek and what is the approximate cost? Do the prices include accommodation?

    What is the contact information for Himalayan Magic Adventures?

    What is the best way of transportation from KT to Chitwan and from Chitwan to Pokhara?

    Sorry for all the questions.
    Thank you again

    Walid

    • into-thin-air's Profile Photo
      Nov 13, 2016 at 4:55 AM

      Hi again Walid
      I just answered some of your questions on the other post, so only the Chitwan transport question left
      - If you opt for a packaged safari trip to Chitwan then Nirmal can arrange one of these for around $33 per person and this includes that will include your transportation there from Kathmandu, all activates such as Elephant Rides, Dug-Out Canoe Trip, Jungle Walk, Cultural Show and Bird Watching / Village walk, also including food and accommodation and also include onward transportation either back to Kathmandu , or on to Pokhara by Tourist Bus ? This would probably be both the cheapest as well as most convenient way of doing things :-)
      I Hope the info helps
      Best Regards
      Rob

  • Aug 7, 2016 at 2:08 PM


    Hi Rob. My husband and I are spending 2weeks in Nepal at the start of a 5month trip this November. We would like to do 4 or 5 days trekking the Annapurna, plus Chitwan and Kathmandu perhaps a few other places. Is it easy to arrange a trek when we arrive? And then to get from Pokhara to Chitwan and back to K'du? Just not sure what to arrange beforehand! Thank you!

    • into-thin-air's Profile Photo
      Nov 13, 2016 at 4:42 AM

      Hi Walid and thank you for your kind words about my Nepal blog and no problems with the questions ? I am actually back in Nepal right now :-)
      The Poon Hill Trek take a bare minimum of 3 days, 2 days trekking up and one back down (Same route) again, but if you can possibly generate another day or two then this opens up a lot more possibilities ? Costs vary depending on duration and number of trekkers, but a fully packaged trek (Including transport to and from the trail head, trekking guide and porter(s), all permits, food and accommodation starts off from around $70 per person per day, the other way of doing the trek is to hire your trekking staff out on a daily rate and then arrange your own permits and pay for your own food and accommodation ? This an work out a little cheaper
      HMA?s contact details are all at "A Very Important Decision" - Nepal Travelogue by into-thin-air
      I Hope the info helps
      Best Regards
      Rob

    • Nov 17, 2016 at 7:56 PM

      Thank you very much

  • JacobTristan's Profile Photo
    Jul 6, 2016 at 2:29 AM

    Hi there Rob. I have a bit of a strange question for you. We are going to Nepal and India for my 40th birthday in September. We are from South Africa, so our local currency doesnt go far in USD! My question to you is, we have around 5 days in Nepal, is it worth spending the money to fly to Lukla and hike to Namche? We are ok with the time, but at the moment we are weighing up the cost factor as this in our currency is alot of money and almost as much as the week in India is costing us. Thank you

    • into-thin-air's Profile Photo
      Jul 6, 2016 at 3:03 AM

      Going back to Nepal would, Ideally be the better plan than eating bread and water ? But, alas, money often gets in the way of ?Ideal Plans? ? So, I would say, Go for the short Lukla ? Namche Bazaar Trek, you won?t ever forget it !!
      Good Luck
      Rob
      BTW ? To save a little money The Kathmandu Embassy Hotel comes highly recommended and apart from good value rooms and breakfast included in the price, it also has the added advantage of offering a free airport pick-up - tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Revi...

    • JacobTristan's Profile Photo
      Jul 6, 2016 at 3:11 AM

      Thanks for the recommedation!

  • Saagar's Profile Photo
    Mar 30, 2016 at 7:04 AM

    Rob, I notice that your earth quake info in the Nepal Editor column is dated. Things have much improved, I am happy to provide you with updates. I am posting updates on Facebook, the page named "Reis Nepal", most of it is in Norwegian, but I can translate it, as I have to do this anyway for NepalNow.org the next few weeks. And you can iron out my broken Norwenglish. Let me know, it's all yours to post if you want. Or another way to do it - I can post details on my Nepal page and you can summarize or copy-paste whatever you find interesting. Good to see you pasting new tips, by the way. I will probably guide in that area next autumn.

    • into-thin-air's Profile Photo
      Mar 30, 2016 at 7:29 AM

      Ho Olav
      Thanks for the reminder ? I have had other things on my mind !!
      Anyway, you gave me the prompt I needed and I have now updated my travel advice for Nepal post earthquake on Nepal Travel Guide - Please take a look and see if you think I have missed anything important
      Thanks
      Rob

  • Jasperr_'s Profile Photo
    Feb 16, 2016 at 8:35 AM

    Hey Rob,
    Thanks for your effort to share all your info and experiences of Nepal!
    I'm doing the AC in mid-april this year, but I have a few questions:

    1) I'm going to be in Nepal for 23 days, do you think that's enough to do the AC (until Jomsom) and include 3/4 days for Poon hill? or is it better to just go from Jomsom to Pokhara

    2) Would poon hill be even worth the hassle of getting there after doing the amazing AC?

    3) I'm doing this trip solo, do you advice me to just take a plane to Pokhara from Jomsom to keep it 'easy' for a first timer in Nepal (with trekking experience). I don't want to make it too complicated and I really don't want to stress myself to get back in time to KTM for my flight back to Belgium.

    Thanks in advance for your time!
    I'm a bit stressed for my first long solo trip... :)

    • into-thin-air's Profile Photo
      Feb 16, 2016 at 9:16 AM

      Hi Jason
      Thanks for your kind words about my blog ? Pleased to hear that you are finding eh info that I have posted useful in planning your own trip there :-)
      Before I answer your questions, I feel that I should mention that, Personally I don?t think it is the greatest idea to trek alone, just from a safety point of view as if illness or accident happened then if you are completely alone, you have no back-up ? However, this doesn?t mean that you ?Have to? hire trekking staff as the alternative is to find a trek-mate before you head off on trek, there will be plenty of people in Kathmandu in April, so finding someone suitable to trek with shouldn?t be a problem
      OK ? Your questions
      1) ? Yes, you have sufficient time, but to maximise this, try to be on your way out of Kathmandu and on the bus to Dumre / Besisahar within 2 or 3 days after arriving ? You might also find "Road Building on The Annapurna Circuit" - Trekking Tip by into-thin-air useful
      2) Yes ? You can catch a jeep / bus from Jomsom to Tatopani and start to trek towards Poon Hill from there ? But If I were you, I would keep your plan flexible and make your final decision once your reach Jomsom
      3) Again ? Just see how you go, but I would be surprised if you don?t want to continue with your trek and either walk / jeep or bus to Tatopani and walk out over Poon Hill :-)
      Good Luck and Happy Safe Trekking
      Rob

  • Usctwin's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    Thanks, Rob for the update on Nepal. Your pages are so great that I'm planning to talk about you and them in an upcoming all-hands company meeting. Thank you for all you do!

  • StanR8's Profile Photo
    Dec 16, 2015 at 2:06 PM

    Hey Rob, thats super helpful from you to help all travelers here with advice about Nepal. Me and my wife are thinking about the ABC trip and doing it in January or early February. That seems like there are various opinions about that, some people say its too cold, snowy and dangerous while others say its a great time to go because not many people are doing it in winter. We've done many hikes and several multi-day hiking trips, but we're not very experienced neither we're mountaineers. We do have basic hiking gear, but nothing special as well.

    Would love to hear your thoughts and advice on hiking ABC in January!

    Thanks,
    Stan

    • into-thin-air's Profile Photo
      Dec 16, 2015 at 3:41 PM

      Hi Stan
      Thanks for your kind words :-)
      Trekking in Nepal in January is certainly possible, I have trekked AC and EBC in January ? AC was wonderful, very cold, but no problems with snow, EBC was a slightly different matter as we had a lot of snow, but still managed the trek ? So, although statistically the winter in Nepal is the driest time, when it does snow, it tends to hang around longer because of the low temperatures ? Trekking ABC does pose a slight risk of avalanches, but as long as you ask the lodge owners their advice on the current situation further up the valley as you trek, if I were you I would give it a go, if you don?t get all the way to ABC, you can loop around by either Poon Hill, Kopra Danda or even Mardi Himal on the way out ? Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best is about the best advice I can give you ;-)
      Good Luck and Happy Safe Trekking
      Rob

  • Oct 6, 2015 at 8:15 AM

    Hello Rob,

    Thank you for your details sharing! I got a question. We gonna spend 7th nov to 15th nov in Nepal. Planing the trek in ABC also one day for parahawing, as well as two days for transport. Which means we only left 6days for ABC Trek. We are first time trekker. Do u recommend us to do 6 days Abc trek of we should go for shorter trek (poonhill). However we really want to do abc trek. We need ur honest experienced advise:)!

    Thanks a lot
    Audrey

    • Oct 6, 2015 at 6:52 PM

      Thank you so much Rob! Your advise is very useful. After consideration we will take the shorter trek! ;) cheers and God bless:)

    • into-thin-air's Profile Photo
      Oct 7, 2015 at 12:42 AM

      No Problem Audrey - Pleased to be of help
      There are several good 6 day treks in the Annapurna Region that will suit your timeframe ? One of the derivatives of the Poon Hill Trek ? Or even Mardi Himal ? I took longer when I trekked Mardi Himal, "Mardi Himal Trek" - Nepal Travelogue by into-thin-air But it can be safely cur down to 6 days and might well make the ideal trek within your timeframe
      Good Luck and Happy Safe Trekking
      Rob

  • Sep 25, 2015 at 11:09 PM

    Hi Rob - thanks a lot for your detailed writeup. I would like to visit trek the Annapurna Sanctuary in a few months time. The question is safety for trekkers: I saw the safety clearance report by Miyamoto for Annapurna region, and also TAAN's criticism that the report was hastily conducted and hence, not credible. Would you have any reliable sources on the safety of the Annapurna Sanctuary trek now we are a few months after the earthquake?

    Thank you for your help
    Emily

    • into-thin-air's Profile Photo
      Sep 26, 2015 at 10:34 AM

      Hi Emily
      I don?t see any reason why you shouldn?t trek ABC ? Even the UK Government have removed their advice notice against going (It is still up for EBC ? And I Really don?t understand why??)
      ABC wasn?t really effect by either earthquake and Kathmandu is now back on its feet with all the world heritage sites open, transportation is back to normal, there is a little political unrest, but this is mainly on the Terai, so I wouldn?t worry about that either - I am heading back to Nepal myself in March ? So If you are still there then, we can all hook up and swap stories
      Good Luck
      Rob

    • Oct 2, 2015 at 9:49 PM

      Thanks a lot Rob. Well I will be in Nepal for only 2 short weeks in April as I am travelling between jobs... Enjoy your trip!

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