I was asked by my boss last week why could he find an Everest Base Camp trek online for just under ₹55,000, when the one MHE offers is more expensive. “YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT MORE AFFORDABLE” he said.
Let me say at the start, you get what you pay for. if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. And always read the fine print.
Let’s assume you select the EBC-Gokyo trip offered by one of "India’s Largest Trekking Community". The listed price is around ₹54,590 - for their September/October 2017 departure. What does that include? Here's a quick comparative, to help you out:
Yes, at first glance we look more expensive. Once you add in all the above, you’ll find that you aren’t saving much at all, and adding a lot of aggravation to your trip.
Our prices include all taxes, staff, accommodation on twin share, food on trek, the required drinking water of 5 - 6 litres per day for every trekking day and transport from the time you land in Kathmandu to the time you leave for home.
Perhaps most importantly, all our guides and sherpas have relevant experience and training, certified by the Nepal government, and as with all MHE trips, your safety is our prime concern. There will always be an experienced MHE trip leader; we won’t leave you to wander the trail on your own, and if you feel unwell there’s always a sherpa by your side. If you need to be medically evacuated, a quick decision will be made, the insurance company contacted and if weather permits, you will be airlifted as soon as possible.
We are upfront, we are responsible, we’ve got decades of field experience, and we care about you. Do let us know if you'd like us to refer you to guests who have done this trek with us - feel free to speak with them directly.
Nepal, India’s nearest neighbour, is a fantastic and often overlooked destination. Did you know you can get a return flight from around ₹10,000, and Indian citizens don’t need a visa? Nepal is not just about Mount Everest – it has so much more to offer!
1. LANGTANG TREKKING
Langtang National Park, less than a day’s drive from Kathmandu, offers some of the most spectacular treks in Nepal without the transport access issues of other trekking areas. In the spring, the enormous rhododendrons are a delight of red, pink, yellow, white and mauve. Any time of year is great to visit the Langtang area – enjoy a trek to holy Gosainkund Lake, have the chance to see wild red pandas and soak in the hot springs on the Tamang Heritage trail, trek right from Kathmandu itself on the Helambu Trail.
2. POKHARA AND PHEWA TAL
Pokhara, Nepal’s second city, is situated on the shores of Phewa Tal. With spectacular views of the Annapurna range, particularly Mt Machhapuchhare (Fish Tail), and a pleasant tropical climate, Pokhara is a favourite for honeymooners and adventure lovers alike. It is the starting point for many treks in the Annapurna, Naar Phu and Mustang area, as well as Lumbini, Chitwan National Park and the west. In Pokhara you can relax by the lake, go boating, paragliding, soar with the eagles in a micro-lite, or play some holes on one of the world’s most scenic golf courses.
3. FESTIVALS AND UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN KATHMANDU VALLEY
UNESCO World Heritage sites are dotted all over Kathmandu valley’s three ancient cities of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. The sacred Hindu temple and ghats of Pashupatinath, Buddhist stupas of Boudhanath and Swayumbanath, and hundreds of tiny, often overlooked, temples in the narrow alleyways make every excursion a step back in time. Stunning stone and wood carvings were first created by the original inhabitants of the valley, the Newari people, who still live in the valley today.
Because of the many different cultural ethnicities - estimated at just over 100 distinct castes - Nepal, and particularly the Kathmandu Valley, has elaborate and frequent festivals (some claim there is one almost every day!) with Hindu and Buddhist influences.
4. NEPAL'S FAR WEST
Nepal’s Far West – a day’s drive from Delhi – has wonderful untouristed jungle parks such as Bardia and Royal Suklaphanta, where tigers, elephants, leopards, rhino and otters roam. These jungles, cut off from most tourism during internal troubles in the 1990s and early 2000s, had suffered from poaching but are now guarded by the army and as a result the jungles themselves are much more pristine and lush than Chitwan. You can even fish for mighty mahseer in the Babai and Karnali rivers. The Far West also offers treks to unspoiled areas like Khaptad National Park, Rara Lake, and Simikot en route to Mt Kailash. You can also trek Dolpo, the high altitude home of Tibetan nomads which possesses arguably the most stunning lake in the Himalaya, Lake Phoksumdo.
5. ADVENTURE GALORE!
Adventure is what Nepal is all about. You can trek, climb, bungy, raft, mountain bike and paraglide your way around some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet. There’s absolutely no reason to wait any longer. As one of their recent tourism promotions stated “Nepal – Once is Never Enough”.
Director of Pole To Pole Expeditions and Nepal advisor to MHE. Judy spent almost 20 years trekking in Nepal.
ECO TRAVEL is the topic for our MHE Inspiration Series this fortnight!
At MHE we take our ECO CODES very seriously and you'll never find us flouting the rules.
This is our ECO PLEDGE: We pledge to be a partner in conducting responsible and sustainable tourism with minimal impact on the physical, cultural and social environment of the area.
MHE is firmly committed to preserving our fragile environment. All MHE tours follow a strict Eco-code that involves everyone, starting from the office, to our clients, the adventure staff on field and the local community.
To that effect we are proud to present the following paper compiled by us, for you to read and pass on. The paper contains excerpts from the best Eco tourism practices around the world.
Moving towards the task outlined in the above pledge we have to conserve and protect our environment on all fronts. In the following pages we have endeavored to extensively outline industry specific guidelines. These measures have to be adopted sooner or later by the tourism industry in a positive and pro active collaboration with the Indian Government.
FOR YOUR PART dear adventurers, you can make sure you follow the leave no trace policy and never go on a trip with a company whose Eco Ethics you are unsure of. Happy (ECO) Travels!
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