Nepal is popularly known as an exquisite trekking destination. Trekking in Nepal is not only thrilling, but also economical. As a backpacking destination it delivers a truly unique and rare travel experience, that is surprisingly under priced considering how much personal satisfaction it delivers. Every year, thousands of people from all around the globe set out on an adventure into the heart of the Himalayas – nature’s paradise.
Because the mountain ranges of Nepal run along its entire northern region, it has the ability to give you one of the best adventure experiences in the world. If you happen to be seeking some adventure and an enthralling backpack trek, then Nepal is the perfect destination to satisfy your desires. If you are planning a backpack trek in Nepal, here are a list of some useful tips that might be of some help.
Public transportation is easily available and economical. Public vans and buses will take you to any destination within a city, at a price of 0.30$ maximum. But, be aware that public vehicles can be really crowded and congested most of the time. If you are impatient then you can rather take a cab, which is easily available through out the city.
A 30min trip shouldn’t cost you more than 5$. It might even cost you less if you have the patience to negotiate. Avoid agreeing to pre-decided price. Instead travel with the use of a meter. Always ask the driver to start the meter at the beginning of your journey.
Travelling long distances is also economical. A round trip to anywhere from the capital city in a decent bus should not cost you more than 20$. Although it’s best to remove the idea of getting to travel in any luxury buses. Night and day buses are both available and it’s advisable to take the day bus, due to safety concerns.
The price of your food will depend largely on your choice of restaurants and food outlets. Local shops can serve foods at relatively lower prices, but you might have to compromise with hygiene and quality. A regular breakfast should not cost you more than 1-5$. Lunch and dinner should cost you around 5$ depending upon where and what you eat. Make a point to try an authentic Nepali dish called Dal-Bhaat. Dal Bhaat, which is a generous serving of rice, vegetable and meat curry cooked in Nepali style with tomato chutney. If you are travelling to some remote areas, be aware that food prices may increase. This is because the further you go into the deeper regions, most of the goods have to be manually carried by yaks and mules from the lower more populated areas.
Overall, you can manage to eat on a 10$ a day budget. Nepal is dominated by people who follow Hinduism that worship cow. Beef meat will not be easily available. Only a hand full of restaurants serve beef. Do not drink tap water in Nepal. They aren’t sanitized hence unfit for drinking. Clean drinking water is available at a reasonable price of 0.20$ in any retail store. While trekking, as you go higher the price of a litre of water will rise up to 1$. Always carry along with you water sanitizing liquid or tablets. You can also demand for boiled water in tea houses and home stays.
Tourism is an important sector in Nepal. The country serves various types of travellers from around the world. Therefore, finding accommodation to fit your budget and needs is not very difficult. Within the city, guest houses and motels range from 6$ to 10$ and are easily available.
If you are not afraid of cold showers, then it could cost you even less. There are also few hostels for frugal travellers who do not mind sharing a room. When you go trekking, you will be staying in tea houses or home stays. They are highly economical and will cost you around 3$-5$ for one night. Home Stay hosts are famous for their welcoming and friendly nature. Water for washing clothes and bathing may not always be available, as Nepal often faces acute water shortages. Water availability often depends upon how much you’re willing to pay for a room.
The toilets in the villages are of traditional manner. You will have to squat to fulfill your purpose. Some villages however, do not even have toilets. You will often have to go hunting for a perfect spot for your private ablutions. It is advisable to make sure you carry enough toilet papers with you.
Nepal is a culturally and ethnically diverse country. Each community in Nepal has their own language and dialect. Nepali is the national language of the country, is easily understood and spoken by the largest number of people all over Nepal.
English is getting popular among the Nepalese people in urban and more touristy areas, but it’s still uncommon in the other regions. Although, communication will not be much of a problem if you are accompanied by a guide. It will be nice if you could learn some basic Nepali words, as this will help you to easily connect with more locals, and even bring a smile to their faces.
Language guide books are readily available in most local stores if you have an interest to learn some of the basics. You will be surprised by the number of people you will please by simply speaking Nepali to them!
Culture & Tradition
The culture of Nepal is still rooted in traditional values. Here are some of the things you can do so as to avoid offending the cultural sentiment of the people.
1. Do not wear overly exposing clothes. However, it is acceptable to dress as you please in tourist areas.
2. Avoid exposing legs and shoulders while entering religious premises.
3. Do not wear shoes inside religious premises.
4. Do not indulge in any kind of public display of affection.
5. People greet one another by joining their hands into a “Namaste”. Practice this and you will probably please a lot of locals.
Trekking for backpackers in Nepal is very easy. Although there is a big disparity between the rich and the poor, that’s why you can chose to eat a meal worth 30$ or survive on that same amount for three days. Other than that, Nepal gives you a true experience of the Himalayas and exposure to the prevailing local cultures that are still untouched by modernization.
Everything here is still pure and simple, yet still magnificent and thrilling.