So many people love the country of Nepal. Many come here primarily for the trekking. I as well came here for the trekking but got sick and couldn’t make it. I however did get to travel Nepal like the locals and let me just say two words,, ‘embrace yourself’. Nepal clearly has won the championship award for the worst road system. This is not a joke nor is it a scam, I’ve now been in 43 countries and Nepal is more slow than island life time or beach time lol most know what I mean by this. Of course many fly from airport to airport which I would highly recommend to do but I don’t travel like this, for one no money and two this is a budget blog and I will continue to travel primarily like the locals do.
Whom ever is the head manger of the road projects should be drug behind a truck to experience this horrific conditions. Luckily I came here before winter so it was a little better. I couldn’t imagine coming here in summer and I would highly advise not to using the bus system. Just to put into perspective, an average of 200 km will take around 9 hours in the mountains no matter where you go in this mountainous country. Because of the road system that is half complete, almost every secondary bridge is not complete, roads to fit tuk tuks where two buses are trying to pass by each other, and mountains galore so many and many roads are damaged, or just way to small and not one main highway has been complete. Ok the highway running East to West in the south is pretty much complete, but that is it. The rest are hell roads! Yes end of my rant but I just wanted to let you feel what I feel in these road systems. Like I said many fly here which should be number one choice so just be prepared. Embrace yourself! Be prepared so much that it’s almost impossible to read on the bus because of the bouncing, can hardly even hold a phone in hands and dust is out of control. So bring a mask and get some drugs to fall asleep on the bus because it’s long rides. What makes things even worse is the bus systems really only run during the day time and only few places have night time buses like from Kathmandu to Pokhara. This route is pretty much also the only route to offer luxury buses that cost around $22 depending on the tour agency. So all I have to say is good luck 🍀.
Now that I got this off my chest I will write to you about the rest of the country. Getting a visa here is very simple and probably is the easiest country to get one. In fact if I wanted to come from India to Nepal I could have just walked through both immigration centers with no questions. Of course it was at 4 am so I had to wait for them both to open to get my stamps. India seems to open up one hour before Nepal border did. I would also mention to you do not stay over because the fines are pretty high.
Most come to Kathmandu first and head east to Everest base camp (12 hours) or go west to Annapurna base camp (9 hours). If heading to Everest and want to save money like I did by the local bus, don’t do it, take a Jeep. The bus to here takes about 14 hours and the local bus only leaves twice a day at around 6am and 1pm depending on where the bus will pick you up. Which you can go to many of the main bus stations heading out of Kathmandu East and the bus will grab you. It costs 1200rupees to go, I took the day bus and we stopped at a hotel at midnight only to carry onto another bus at 6am to climb the rest of the way to Salleri. I was so tired I had to sleep for two days at the guesthouse and that is maybe why I got sick also. I also tried to climb the whole way up instead of just getting in a Jeep for around 700 to reach a far amount up to Lukla. Like I said many just fly here and many buy porters or guides which honestly is some crazy prices. I have heard people spend around $150 if not more per day per person. By coming to these main towns you surely can find people to port or guide you but good luck finding a good rate. Maybe if lucky can find someone for around $20 a day but if looking to save money many people stay at these guesthouses or they call them tea houses for free, just offering them to buy dinner and breakfast which does cost double or triple than the city meals. This is because every item has to get transported up and even though more roads are being built with better means of carrying the goods up such as tractors now instead of ox or donkeys, it’s still long ways to carry the stuff so you are helping pay for these other means to get supplies. So when going on these hikes you do not need to bring any food at all, nor do you have to bring a sleeping bag. All the tea houses have some food and all have extra blankets for night time. When you climb any of these mountains I really have to say to keep your luggage around 7 kilos or even less. The more weight the more tired you will be and this will adjust to any of your climbing times. Some do it in ten days and some do it in twenty. To me the water is perfectly fine to drink from but many carry water purification tablets and many carry extra bottles of water. You will run into loads of waterfalls and little water flows coming out the side of mountains. Which is the cleanest and best water on earth. Since you are high in the mountains the temperature will be some drastic changes so be prepared for that as well. All this information can be applied for any of the trekking done in Nepal and if you do have to pay for a tea house to sleep it’s only about 200 per night. But the higher you go up it will costs more.
You can read this blog here if wanting anymore information about the climbing.
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The top things you are for sure to find in Nepal are nice people, beautiful people, gorgeous woman, dust, incomplete projects, momo foods which is this mini rolled up dough steamed, fried or pan cooked with either meat, veggie or both inside. You will for sure run into trekkers from all over the world as well as Buddhist people although Nepalese are primarily Hindu a lot of Buddhist come here because in mosquito infested land of Lumbini is where Buddha was born at the royal palace of his father’s kingdom. Just a side note that I would like to put down is, every great prophet to walk on this earth has came from a royal family tree. Any regular person would have never got the attention as to a king and queen family tree would have. But yes many come to Nepal to celebrate their Buddha religion. Most Buddha fanatics want to visit three places before they die, one being the birthplace of Buddha, the enlightened place which is at Gaya, India which has the famous tree Buddha got enlightened under and the third place of Bali, Indonesia which has the biggest Buddha temple at Brahma Vihara. One item that is another top is Jewelry, hand made jewelry especially in Kathmandu. Kathmandu actually at one time held a lot of kings and kingdoms where a lot of people worked for the palace making fancy jewelry. You have to remember some history where the Mongolians had captured this part of the world and held onto it for many hundreds of years. Many kingdoms were established and it wasn’t that long ago where the kingdoms started to fade away and Nepal became more of a communist party where a civil war was broke out during the 90’s. People say their is still one king in Kathmandu but I never researched it. Nepal people really dislike India for many different reasons and they say India supplies them with many things such as roads, bridges, vehicles, petro and much more. One thing you’ll see a lot in Nepal is farm land and lots of people working together on the farm especially in the south west side.
(Prices, costs and drugs)
Mostly all the places you can easily find a place to stay for $5 or less and some offer free breakfast. Food is pretty cheap also being around $2 a meal or less and most places tend to feed you until you tell them to stop just like in Myanmar. Meat is cheap also around $1 extra but unfortunately alcohol especially beer is not cheap at all being around $3 for less than a liter and the bars are pretty expensive. Can of course find cheap liquor and mix it yourself. Partying is not so much here and Kathmandu is about the only place to party at, however if you are interested in smoking marijuana it’s everywhere. It’s grown wild in so many places even on the Annapurna circuit it’s grown wild in abundance of course at the right time of the year so before winter and after winter is the best. There is also this stuff called ‘mad honey’ that many places can get and it’s a physcodelic drug, so please do your research before taking it. Can also find a lot of opium here so definitely be careful with that, also I heard many people will mix opium in with the hash so just take it easy and be careful with this stuff. Hash is everywhere and some is super strong and some is extremely weak, so maybe smoke some before buying some. Also like any other country many will try and scam you so now what your getting before you buy. Most of the police don’t really care but still be careful. Transportation is fairly cheap and generally I would say the average cost is about $3 for every 150 kilometers give or take.
Pokhara is the capital, is the cleanest city and has the most to do for adventure sports from rafting (best time to go is September and October) has paragliding and many others. Don’t pay no more than 4500 rupees for paragliding and rafting has many different prices. Just keep this in your mind, the average Nepal person makes around 700 rupees a day.
Kathmandu is the most religious and has the most to do for city tours. In this city you will find many old cities and the famous place of Pashupatinath Temple. Where they burn the bodies like in Varanasi, India but you will also find this goodness girl where she can never touch the ground, is captive pretty much in the temple until see hits puberty and then she no longer is the goodness child. Pretty cool actually especially these children being special because they have to be born on a certain day and time to be able to get into this position but at the same time I feel very bad for them. You can watch a documentary here about it.
Also a lot of meditation classes are going on but I did not do any of this so I don’t really have much feedback on it.
Interested in wild animals, this country offers a wide range of national parks that tigers, leopards, elephants, rhinos, snakes, crocodiles and many more can be seen. The most famous park is Chitwan, its pretty commercialized but most likely definitely will be able to see some animals. If looking more for an adventure straight walking into the wild just holding a stick then go for a non commercialized awesome village where, Leonardo Decaprio went to Bardia National Park which is west of Chitwan National Park. Bardia has the best Bengal tiger views during March, April and May. You are almost guaranteed to see a tiger during this time as though most people here hate the Jeeps because of their loud noise you can get one but very expensive and a walking tour with one guide and one stick per person you can have an awesome adventure not knowing if you are being hunted or you are trying to hunt for that perfect memory. I went here and stayed at the eco friendly homestay which by the way was fabulous with awesome foods an free pickup and drop off. I took a guide cost 2500, food for day was 500 and entrance for foreigners is 1500 rupees. Kinda of expensive but you can really bargain at the road bus stop and haggle with the people making your prices to get a guide. Prices for a guide can range any where from 300 to 4000. I will say this as I thought some of these guides would venture way off into the tall grass which I can understand the safety factors but many of these guides will claim they are great or the best. I’ll just say this, all of them follow the paths of the jeeps so it’s all a matter of luck to find animals nothing at all to do with skill or even them knowing the park. All of the guides keep in contact with phones to see if they see any animals so I guess that is one plus with a guide being around for a long time. Other than that, bargain at the main bus stop on highway and make a deal there even if you have to write it on paper.
I thought this would be the end to my blog but I encountered some more things coming out of Nepal. One was a political movement where the people was holding people up at the border to get some compensation for a child being hit and killed by a bus. Long and behold I meet some young guys after being stopped for hours and they explained everything to me then invited me to their home and a wedding in their village. So now I have been to a wedding in almost every country in South East Asia. Amazing times. Can watch the videos here. Cheers and hope this is good enough information for you to get across this vast mountain range on a budget. You can access these videos down below 👇🏽
You can check out this blog about Nepal’s bus system. Great information https://thirdeyetraveller.com/guide-to-bus-travel-in-nepal/?unapproved=1589&moderation-hash=3fb09d61435f022b7724322f45cfd347#comment-1589