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Important Info and Common questions for the Nepal Tour

Lake Fewa Pokhara, Nepal

When and where should you arrive?
Please book your international flight to arrive and depart from Kathmandu Tribhuban  International Airport ( TIA). The tour starts with an orientation meeting at about 5 pm on the first night of the tour and ends with a yoga class on the last morning of the tour. If you don't plan on taking advantage of extra excursions (click) while in Nepal, you can plan on arriving either the day before the tour or at least by 1 pm on the day of the tour. 

You will be met outside the Kathmandu International Airport  terminal by a driver holding a Earthbound Expeditions playcard and he will escort you to the hotel. 


If you plan to arrive early or depart late please make sure you  make extra hotel arrangements by contacting  thamelecoresort@gmail.com  
Mention that you are with Earthbound Expeditions to get a discounted price. They will accommodate you either at Thamel Eco Resort or Samsara Resort which is a three minute walk away. Both places come highly recommended.

After you purchase your international air ticket please contact us to give your flight details.

If I would like to spend extra time in Nepal what is there for me to do?
For a full list of additional excursions please click here. To book your spot for most extra activities you can submit a $47 deposit by going to our make payment page. On the  payment page under the Nepal payment button find the option "Add-Ons".  The balance of the payment can be made after your arrival in Nepal. The deposit is non-refundable. For larger side trips, such as Tibet, Bhutan, and/or the Golden Triangle please contact us for details.

Booking your international flight
If you don't have a regular travel agent then you can check for international flight options at one of these sites. 
www.skyscanner.com     www.kayak.com     www.momondo.com  
They usually have good offers. After you check on a good offer I would recommend trying to purchase the same flight from a local travel agent. That way there is more flexibility with flight cancellation/change of flight.

How many people in each room?
There will be two people accommodated  in each room for the duration of the tour. If you prefer private accommodation please go to our payment page. Under Nepal, you'll find the option for "single supplement".  If you want private accommodation the last day to register for it is two months prior to your tour date and is still subject to availability.  Important:  Please note that during the trek there are some lodges which won't have sufficient rooms to provide private accommodation. So, even if you purchase single supplement you will end up sharing a room for 2-3 days of the trek.

Who will be leading the tours/treks?
Our local Nepali team is one of the most experienced and respected trekking outfits in Nepal. The team is fully licensed and affiliated with the trekking agency's association of Nepal (TAAN), Nepal Mountaineering Association, Nepal Tourism Board, Govt of Nepal, Sustainable Tourism Network, Himalayan Rescue Association and Kathmandu Enviromental Educational Project. With over 14 years of experience, 26 well trained, friendly guides, and courteous porters you are assured  of a wonderfully memorable experience. 

How do I book a side excursion (Chitwan, rafting, etc...) 
To book a side excursion  please submit a deposit of $47 per person at our Make Payment. On the Nepal payment button find the option "Add ons". The balance can be paid upon arrival in Nepal. Important: After paying your deposit please contact us to inform us which add on you have booked and which dates you plan to take your extra excursion. Also mention the type of transport you prefer (bus,car,plane). For bigger side trips, such as Tibet, Bhutan, and  Golden Triangle please contact us.

Vouchers
If you have purchased a voucher for the tour please inform us which tour date suits you as soon as you are certain. We need time to purchase your domestic air ticket and make other arrangements so please confirm your spot on a tour at leastthree months ahead of the start of the tour. Your booking on a particular tour date is subject to availability of spots, so please, book your place ASAP. Also please send your redemption code and voucher number.

Trekking
Our trek will be in a very beautiful part of the Annapurna region. Expect to trek about 5-6 hours daily or about 10-12 kms per day. One day we trek 16 kms (about 7 hours). It is recommended that you prepare for the trek by suitable training such as climbing hills or stairs, jogging, and spending some time in the gym to improve your stamina for a few months prior to the trek. The trek has plenty of ups and downs and  the most difficult part is one section where we go up many steps.  If you are fairly fit and do sufficient training prior to arriving in Nepal the trek will be enjoyable, and it is suitable for fit people in to their early 60's. This trek is the most popular  trek for those wishing to get wonderful views of the Himalayan peaks.
If you have health issues, please consult your doctor about the advisability of going on the trek. The highest altitude we reach is 3200 meters at Poon Hill, which offers a breathtaking view of many of the world's greatest peaks. It is stunning!  Any trekking equipment such as walking poles, jackets, water bottles, rucksack are very easily available in Kathmandhu near our hotel.  Important! Please bring two photos for your trekking permit.

What type of plug and what is the voltage used in Nepal? Please click here for details.

Which currencies are accepted in Nepal?
Most major currencies (USD,NZD,AUD,EURO etc.) are accepted for both visa and in general. There are plenty of ATMs in both Kathmandu and Pokhara and credit cards are accepted in limited shops and many restaurants. Please note that only Nepali rupees are accepted on the trek.

Is altitude sickness a problem?
The maximum altitude we gradually reach is 3200 meters (Poon Hill) which is not usually a problem for altitude related problems for people with stable health. If you have a health condition which might cause problems please consult a doctor on the advisability of doing the trek.

Drinking water on trek?
There are two good options for having proper drinking water during the trek. You can bring water purification tablets or fill your bottle for a nominal fee from the recognized and regulated "pure water" stations along the trek. As a last alternative you can also purchase bottled water at the lodges but this is not recommended.
It is very important that you drink  at least three (3) liters of pure water daily during the trek. 

Vaccinations
Please consult your doctor/local travel clinic for the latest recommendations regarding the vaccinations in Nepal. These websites give some  recommendations for maintaining good health in Nepal.
http://www.visitnepal.com/travelers_guide/medical_matters.htm   
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/nepal.htm

Is there Laundry facility on the trek?
There will be laundry facilities in Kathmandu and Pokhara, but not while on the trek. 

What clothes should I bring?
Depending on when you plan to travel, it's important to have the proper clothes and be prepared for unexpected weather. Fairly well worn hiking boots/shoes are a must! For tours between November and the first two weeks of March, bring a jacket suitable for zero degrees Celsius. Although it's often sunny and pleasant during the day, the trek to Poon Hill (3200 meters) in early morning will be cold. For tours at other times, please bring a jacket suitable for 4 to 6 degrees celsius, again mainly for the Poon Hill part. Otherwise the daytime weather will tend to be warm or pleasant. 

Better to be on the safe side in preparation. The porters are available to carry the bulk of your items. Kathmandhu and Pokhara are filled with stores selling discounted trekking clothes. You can easily and cheaply purchase your jackets, hats, daypacks, backpacks etc. BUT, bring your hiking shoes from your country. The Nepali ones are not good quality.

Sleeping Bag
For tours between mid-October and mid-April a sleeping bag is required.  If you don't mind renting a used one, they are available for under $1/day. If you are very sensitive to using the blankets provided by the lodges,   we recommend you bring a sleeping bag.

Visa
You can get a visa in the Kathmandhu airport upon arrival for $25 USD  (or equivalent in other major currencies) for a 15 day visa or $40 USD for a 30 day visa. Please bring two photos for the visa. Expect to have some waiting time in the queue for obtaining your visa. You can also get your visa prior to coming on the tour by contacting your closest Nepali embassy. 

Is there an orientation program?
Yes, the orientation will be at the Kathmandhu hotel  after your arrival and before starting trekking. The orientation meeting is scheduled for evening on the  first of the tour. Generally the orientation meeting will be at 5 or 6 pm and this will be posted upon your arrival at the hotel.

How large is each tour group?
For each tour date there will be several separate groups. Each trekking group will have a  maximum of 15 people with its own experienced English speaking guide. During the trek there will be a suitable number of porters to carry your luggage. Certain activities such as travelling, farewell dinner, and yoga will be done in larger groups.

Where will I stay during the tour?
In Kathmandu we will be staying at the Thamel Eco Resort or Samsara Resort. Although both places come highly recommended, please don't expect a European standard of hotel. These hotels are good, clean tourist hotels and are a good quality by Nepali standards. In Pokhara, we stay at Trek o Tel, Lake View Resort or a similar quality hotel depending on availability.  On the trek, we'll be staying at simple lodges run by Nepali families. During the trek the bathrooms are outside the rooms and hot water is dependent on solar panels so don't count on many warm showers.

What do we eat? 
During the trek  you will have three vegetarian meals daily (veg curry, Dal soup, noodles, pasta, tea, etc.) In Kathmandu and Pokhara, you will have a vegetarian  buffet breakfast . For lunch and dinner  in Kathmandu and Pokhara  you are free to explore the wonderful local restaurants. Your guide will be happy to advise you on good places to eat. The lunches and dinners in Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Nagarkot are not covered by the tour and will cost from $3 to $10 depending on meal items and restaurant category.

Will we see Everest?
If  you want to get right up close with Everest and the Mightiest Himalayan peaks, we can arrange an Everest plane tour

Travel Insurance?
It is strongly advised that you get traveler's insurance. Please consult with your travel agent to choose a suitable insurance company. 
 Insure and Go World Nomads (click)are two possible insurance companies.

What is the weather like in Nepal?
The width of Nepal is only about 200 km on an average, but within this short distance the altitude of the land rises from 60 m up to 8,848 m. Hence the weather depends upon the altitude of the place in Nepal. However, in general Nepal has four climatic seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Spring starts from March to May. The temperature of this season fluctuates between 20C to 30C (68F to 86F). Summer starts from June last to August. These are also the monsoon months with occasional evening-thunderstorms and hot temperature. Autumn starts from late September and ends by November. During this period, the climate is generally dry and mild with temperature fluctuating between 20C to 30C (68F to 86F). Winter starts from December and goes until February. The mornings and evenings are very cold while the afternoon is pretty sunny. The temperature during these months rises from 10C to 20C (59F to 68F). At higher altitudes it is cold during the winter months. 

How much money should I bring for my personal expenses?
It's difficult to give an exact amount of money that you should bring. Costs will vary according to how much  you want to spend  for shopping and where and what meals you want to eat in city. It is advised that you change at least $100 USD in to Nepali rupees to bring with you for the trek and for your meals in Pokhara and Nagarkot. Only Nepali rupees are accepted on the trek.

Porters
For the trek, we'll have a suitable number of porters to carry your luggage. The weight limit for the trek  is 8-10 kgs per person. If you want to bring more than that (camera equipment etc.) you'll need a private porter for an additional cost of $127 USD. Before the trek we will store all our excess baggage in our Pokhara hotel and only take what we require on the trek.

Tips
Tips to the Nepali drivers, porters, and  guides are appreciated and appropriate. It is standard practice to bring $30-$70 for tips.  Please tip according to your means and inspiration.

What should I bring?
. Day pack (rucksack)
. Bac pack (porter will carry it) Recommended size: about 50 liter capacity (8-10 kgs per person) If you are travelling with a friend you can share one pack between the two of you.
. Well worn hiking boots or shoes
. A pair of sandals
. Sleeping Bag ( If you want to go to trekking in the winter, which is from mid-October to the middle of March)
. Yoga mat (we provide used mats)
. A one - liter hard water bottle to be filled up along the trekking trail
. Warm  jacket for zero celsius (during winter months)
. Jacket for Poon Hill trek {3200 meters}    (Be ready for possible 4-6 degrees Celsius during the non-winter season and down to zero during the winter months)
. Light-weight cotton clothing 
. Water proof jacket (a fold -away windcheater is fine)
. Light sweater
. Bath towel
. Sun hat
.Sunglasses
. Mosquito repellent
. Sun cream
. Knee supports (optional for the downhill portions of the trek)
. Trekking poles
. Chap stick
. Water purification tablets or some other technique for purifying water 
. Small first-aid-kit ( Earthbound Expeditions will also provide one)
. Headlamp (preferrable) or Flashlight (torch)
. Swiss Army Knife
. Camera
. Loose stomach and nausea medicine
. Toiletries for trek (toilet paper, soap,shampoo etc...)
. Optional: School supplies (pens, notebooks, colored pencils etc.). These gifts can be directly turned over to our Nepali tour coordinator who will arrange for them to be distributed through the proper channels. 

Important: Much of your trekking clothes and supplies can be easily purchased in Kathmandu near our hotel at good prices. Bring hiking boots/shoes from your country. The Nepali ones are not recommended.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us.