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Frequently Asked Questions
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Where will we be staying?
Through decades of experience in the region our partners know where all of the best accommodations are along the trail. This knowledge partnered with our “out of the ordinary” itineraries create a less crowded, more authentic tea house experience. All tea houses have a common area where we can hang out in the afternoons and eat all of our meals. Most of the rooms are simple with two twin beds and perhaps a table or window sill to place small items on. Some of the tea houses have private bathrooms attached to the room (a real treat) while others have a common, shared bathroom area. All of the tea houses come standard with incredible vistas.
As is the case with many of the lodging questions this depends on the specific location. Many of the more popular tea houses have a Western style toilet with a porcelain bowl and seat that one sits down on to use. Getting these toilets to the tea houses is quite an impressive feat and some of the tea houses have the more classic Nepali toilet, a porcelain bowl with footpads on both sides that one stands over the top of and squats down (hence the squaty poty). And you thought the trekking would be the quad burning exercise…
What about the bathroom?
What Will We Eat…Only Rice?
Since travelers love variety the Nepali people have learned to cook a plethora of menu items including but not limited to pizza, pasta with red sauce, chow-main, fried rice, mo-mo’s (Nepali pot stickers), spring rolls with french fries, varieties of soups, and sizzler plates of chicken, yak or buffalo. Breakfasts often include a combinations of omelets, toast, pancakes, oatmeal, rice pudding and of course coffee (mostly instant) and tea.
The variety of dishes served along the trail is truly impressive (although it may not always feel that way) considering where we are and cooking equipment available. Although our menu will vary from meal to meal the entire group will eat the same dish at meal time. Ordering in this manner saves time and precious fuel in a region where the only fuel options are deforestation or packing in propane on a yak.
The national Nepali dish, Dahl Bat, pictured here
What else do I need to know about Nepal?
In general Nepal is one of the kindest, safest countries in the world. The local Nepali people welcome tourists into their homes as family. While we are given a lot of leniency in regards to traditional customs it is good to keep in mind a few cultural differences.
Nepali people do not do anything with their left hand (eat, shake hands, etc.) To touch another with a left hand is considered an insult. Nepal is also a very modest country. It is best to try to dress modestly (sorry guys leave your tube tops and mini skirts at home) while traveling in Nepal.
There is very little public display of affection between a male/female couple. However it is very common to see two guys are two girls (especially younger) holding hands or walking arm in arm. This is not a sign of a romantic relationship simply a sign of good friendship.
Tipping is becoming more customary in the upper end restaurants and even be in included in your bill. However it is still not common place and is not expected for wait staff (at most restaurants), taxi drivers, etc. If you feel an obligation to tip 10% is more than satisfactory. DO NOT TIP ANY “HELPERS” AT THE AIRPORT. People that are there to “help you” carry your luggage are frowned upon. We do not recommend incentivizing this action by accepting their help or tipping them.
How much extra money will I spend?
This will vary significantly on the individual traveler. Refer to the “What’s Included” PDF to see what exactly is included in the price of your trip (as well as some of the expenses that are not).
An average day of meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) in Kathmandu varies from $25-$50 depending on where you eat. Shopping for souvenirs is recommended as there are some amazing, authentic items at great prices.
Other expenses you can expect are the visa fee (there is no longer an exit tax), tip for the guide, hotel for additional nights in Kathmandu, meals not described in the itinerary, and any additional activities you may want to experience (mountain flight, city tour, jungle safari, etc.)
Yes. You can apply for a tourist visa in person when you arrive at the airport in Kathmandu. You do NOT need to apply for a visa ahead of time. The prices as of January 2018 are:
15 day: $25
30 day: $40
90 day: $90
Be sure to bring enough cash (USD) with you to pay for the visa. You do not need to exchange money at the airport for any reason. We will take of that when we get to the hotel.
Do I need a tourist visa?
We recommend looking at the CDC’s website:
to get a baseline for recommended vaccinations.
Then be sure to schedule an appointment to talk with your family physician about your travel plans.
What vaccinations do I need?
How will the high altitude affect me?
Trekking in Nepal does expose many of us to higher elevations than we are used to (for some of us higher than we have ever been before). Although this initially sounds intimidating our trek itineraries are arranged to always give us ample time to acclimatize while on the trail.
Almost everyone will feel some degree of Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS) during the first few days at high elevation. This is normal and most affects subside after 48-72 hours of being at elevation. These affects can include headache, fatigue and loss of appetite. The group does carry diamox (a high altitude medicine designed to acclimatize the body faster) to use in emergency situations. If you are concerned about elevation talk with your doctor about prevention doses of diamox.
What about a tip for the guides?
A typical trip for Inbody Expeditions will employ more Nepali workers than we have trekkers. Porters (the people who carry our bags from tea house to tea house), Sherpas (guides), Siddar (Nepali trip leader), and Inbody Expeditions guides all work tirelessly to make your trip possible.
An recommended average tip for a trek is $20/person per day. This means that if you are on the trail for ten (10) days an average tip would be $200. If you felt the service was above average, feel free to tip more.
The tip will be split among all staff members involved in the trip.
I do not think I can live without my electronics…can I charge them?
There are many opportunities to charge electronics along the trail. Most tea houses have charging stations available for $3-5. While most of these outlets are becoming more universal and will accept the US plug (type A or B) bringing along a type C or D adaptor is a good idea.
When you see beggars on the street please DO NOT give them any money. Handing them money (even pocket change) incentivizes the action of not working and simply begging from foreigners. Although it is difficult the best action to take is to simply ignore the person and keep walking.
If you would like to help the poverty situation in Nepal please talk with us about it. There are many opportunities to volunteer, organizations to donate to, etc. that will help out the people of Nepal. Let us know and we would gladly point you in the right direction.
How can I help the beggars on the street?
What type of medications should I carry?
We are not the CDC and we recommend everyone talk with your family doctor about traveling in Nepal and check the CDC’s website (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/nepal) to see current recommendations for vaccinations. In addition to your average medications (Ibuprofen, Tylenol, etc) here are a few others medications that I carry in my pack:
Tums, Pepto-Bismal, etc
A little anti-acid goes a long way in your stomach comfort
Diamox (if concerned about altitude)
Medication to alleviate high altitude symptoms
Prescription “travelers stomach” aid
Whatever your physician recommends for a more serious stomach bug (more than 24 hours). Many physicians will prescribe Cyproflaxin for this. Be sure to clarify where exactly you are going with your doctor as some places in Nepal have bacteria resistant to Cyproflaxin.
Something stronger to keep you from needing to go to the bathroom every 5 minutes on the trail.
Something that will “force” you to go to the bathroom after a few days of not being able to
What will an average trekking day look like?
It is difficult to describe the “average” day trekking because often our days vary with the specific days itinerary. However a typical morning will start with a knock on your door between 6:30-7am. While you enjoy your first cup of tea or coffee that was presented to you at your door you pack your overnight duffel before coming down to breakfast. Breakfast is served between 7:30-8am. After breakfast we finish our last minute pre-trail chores and then hit the road around 8:30-9:30am.
Hiking an average of 2.5-3 hours (some days more, some less) we will arrive at our lunch stop around 12pm. Plenty of time is given for lunch as we kick back, rest our feet and prepare for our afternoon hiking.
Hitting the trail again between 1-2pm we hike for 2-2.5 more hours before reaching our destination. Most days we try to arrive at our evening tea house by 4pm. This provides ample time for getting situated in your room, reading, journaling, napping, etc before our evening tea time around 6pm. Of course the dining room is always open ahead of time for those that would like to enjoy a happy hour beverage or play a game with other group members.
With evening tea served around 6pm we have a half-an-hour to sit around and discuss the day’s adventure before dinner around 6:30pm. After dinner we get to hear insight into the next day’s adventure before retiring to our private sleeping accommodations for the night.
One of the most incredible feelings associated with trekking is Nepal is the lack of pressure associated with a schedule. Although there are situations we will need to “make time” there are ample opportunities for breaking the set schedule and stopping to sit in the sun, smell the flowers, or observe the beautiful colors on the wings of the Himalayan Monal (Nepal’s national bird).
For more information on what a typical day looks like click here to download A DAY IN THE EYES OF A NEPALI TREKKER
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