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Preliminary planning questions

by Mozumbus Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 12:36 AM

I have been contemplating to visit Nepal since long (first time) and looks like that the time has arrived. Like last two travels (first: SEA and second: Egypt), I will travel with family and independently, i.e. without joining a group.

Based on expert responses here and research on other travel forums, I am thinking of making this loop in around 25 days in April/May:

KTM - Chitwan National Park - Bharatpur (or any other nearby city where I get Lukla flight) - Lukla - Namche Bazaar - Jiri (trek from Namche) - KTM

Is this doable?

especially with the family? I am especially concerned about Namche-Jiri part. we would like to do tea-house trekking.

would we require any permits for this trek?

Is Namche a good place for Everest views? we can stay there for a couple of days to explore the surroundings.

Can we get a flight easily from a city nearby Chitwan Park, e.g. Bharatpur, to Lukla? which airlines? or do we would need to trackback to KTM?

family: son (1 year), daughter (3 years), wifey and self (~30).

Good thing is that we have a direct flight from our hometown (3-4 hours) and no visa hassles.

Previously, I have traveled extensively to Pakistani Northern areas including Pakistan share of Himalayas. We are familiar with long bus drives on mountains and on not-so-safe-looking roads (e.g. Karakoram Highway, Lowari Tunnel, etc). So that must not be a problem as such imo (?).

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13 Answers
  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    Re: Preliminary planning questions

    by davidjo Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    It is doable but surely you will not stop trekking in Namche Bazaar, continue trekking to Gokyo, 4 days there and 1 back to Namche, then 6 or 7 to walk to Jiri.
    Yes you need permits which are obtainable in Kathmandu. Plenty ofn tea houses and lodges on the trek and there is one particular day when you trek up from Kenja to the pass then down to Junbesi---it is tough but if you are reasonably fit you should manage it.
    Regarding your family, i think i would not actually take the young children with me but others may have a different opinion. Are you going to carry the three year old as no way is she going to walk it.
    I would assume that you will require two porters, but a guide is not required as it is almost impossible to get lost. I usually carry 20 kilos on my back as layers of cloths are required because of the variation in temperature. Make sure the children have their shots should you decide to go on the trek.

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  • Mozumbus's Profile Photo

    Re: Preliminary planning questions

    by Mozumbus Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 3:19 AM

    Thanks David for the response

    I understand the Gokyo thing, although I was initially thinking of staying at Namche Bazaar for a couple of days and then head towards Jiri rather than continuing to Gokyo, because of kids.

    For the elder one, 3 years, yes we would carry her and I am looking for kids trekking carriers on the internet. they are like backpacks and she is around 15kg, so manageable imo. I guess we could buy one once in Kathmandu.

    We have not finalized trekking Lukla-Jiri with kids. And if that sound completely impossible then we would resort to Plan B.

    I got the 'guide' point. we would hire 2 porters if needed. We have another advantage coming out of our native language, i.e. Urdu. I see that there are many common words in Urdu and Nepalese, and in our previous travels, e.g. in Sri Lanka, we were pleasantly surprised to see people could understand our language! Thats mainly because Indian movies, i.e. Bollywood, is more Urdu than pure Hindi! This effectively means that we would not necessarily need an English speaking porter(s) that might bring the cost a bit down, maybe(?)

    About permit, do we need one for Namche Bazaar-Jiri portion? and can you recommend me an internet link which explains the 'permit' thing?

    About shots, do you mean the regular vaccination schedule, which we have been complying with, or some Nepal specific ones?

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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    by davidjo Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 3:42 AM

    .nepaleveresttreks.com/trekki...
    I see that i have given you some wrong information as i see that recently permits are no longer required unless you are climbing a peak, but you do need to pay an entrance fee.
    The fee is 1000 per person and children under 10 are free.
    visitnepal.com/nepal_informa...

    Regarding vaccinations i would take advice from the following site so your children are protected.
    wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destina...

    Regarding your trekking carrier it may be possible to purchase one in Nepal as there are many stores selling second hand equipment at good prices.

    Try checking m,y Nepali pages for more info.

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  • Mozumbus's Profile Photo

    Re: Preliminary planning questions

    by Mozumbus Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 4:08 AM

    Thanks again. I will definitely check your Nepal pages.

    As you mentioned, I am also looking for answers from other experts as well.

    btw, any idea about Bharatpur-Lukla flight?

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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    by davidjo Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 4:27 AM

    i am unaware of any flight from Bharatpur to Lukla but that does not mean to say there is not one!

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  • Mozumbus's Profile Photo

    Re: Preliminary planning questions

    by Mozumbus Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 4:34 AM

    ok. thanks.

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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    Re: Preliminary planning questions

    by davidjo Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 4:40 AM

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenzin...
    As i thought, no direct flights to Bharatpur but maybe you can catch a connecting flight

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  • mikkie50's Profile Photo

    Re: Preliminary planning questions

    by mikkie50 Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    hi friend :-) We just came back from nepal last september. i can only be of some help to you as far as KTM &Chitwan. Then we headed of to pokhara then best place oof all was yangshou. ok in KTM we stayed at Tings Tea Lounge & Lounge Hotel | An Oasis of Experiences
    tingsblog.com/ small freindly good prices i highly recommend this place in KTM. Then Chitwan it was the www.sapanalodge.com/
    that was amazing and a very good place to stay check them out :-))
    We also did an everest flight from KTM. and all i heard from a lot of local people was that lukla is a very dangerous airstrip to land at. and now i have just watched a vid clip on it
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqgZvb37NX0 :-)) i take my hat of to you sir :-))

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  • into-thin-air's Profile Photo

    Re: Preliminary planning questions

    by into-thin-air Online Now Mar 27, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Some Good info already posted

    I am in Nepal now, my 10th trip here and have just retuned fro m trekking in Mardi Himal
    I think your schedule is fine but would consider flying into Lukla, then trekking up to Namche and then back to Jiri – The main reason for this is that there is only one airline flying into Lukla now and delays are common – So if you fly in and trek out this avoids the potential of many days waiting in Lukla – Lukla was closed for a few days as recently as Last week !!
    Chitwan - Chitwan is an excellent place to wind down and see a few animals post trek - Usually a package that includes transportation from either Kathmandu or Pokhara by Tourist Bus and Includes accommodation with Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner as well as All your activities (National Park Entrance fee, Elephant Ride, Dug Out Canoe Trip, Jungle Walk, .Cultural Show, Bird watching / Village Walk etc) start at around $30 per person per day in a Budget Resort. You will easily arrange a package once you arrive in Pokhara and there is no need to book anything in advance as you will always get a better deal with an agent when dealing face to face
    My Own favourite for Sauraha is Tiger Residency tigerresidency.com/packages....
    This is a little more expensive but the accommodation and the food are well above average and the guide, Laxman is simply superb, he can recognise all the birds by sight, silhouette and bird call and knows their names in English, Latin and Nepali –
    I have steered quite a few people to Tiger Residency over the years and have had a lot of Good feedback !!
    Finally – An agent to sort all the above out for you - I recommend, HMA in Thamel, Nirmal the owner is a Great Guy and hires his Staff out at very fair prices from a pool of trusted and well vetted people, I have used his services for 10 trips to Nepal over the last 19 years and can give Nirmal the very best of recommendations
    His contact details are on the travelogue entitled A Very Important Decision on this link
    "My Love Affair with Nepal" - Nepal by into-thin-air

    Good Luck
    Rob

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  • Mozumbus's Profile Photo

    Re: Preliminary planning questions

    by Mozumbus Online Now Apr 1, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    Thanks Rob. I was actually waiting for your response.

    Got the 'flying-in' point. I was already inclined for that thinking that Jiri trek will be easier in the reverse direction with two kids in the tow.

    Wifey and I still need to finalize if we would be doing the Jiri trek with kids (1 & 3 years). If the answer is affirmative, then I doubt that we could go beyond Namche Bazaar. Rob and David please comment on this.

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  • into-thin-air's Profile Photo

    Re: Preliminary planning questions

    by into-thin-air Online Now Apr 1, 2013 at 3:48 AM

    Best advice that I can offer is plan a trek with flexibility that will give you the option of continuing above Namche – And/Or returning to Lukla from there and flying back to KTM – Then with children as young as yours consider hiring child friendly porters with specially converted Doko’s as on this photo
    "Trekking with Young Children" - Nepal Local Custom Tip by into-thin-air
    Good Luck and Happy Safe Trekking
    Rob

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  • Mozumbus's Profile Photo

    Re: Preliminary planning questions

    by Mozumbus Online Now Apr 1, 2013 at 4:00 AM

    Thanks Rob. I have seen that while searching on the internet. a good functional value!

    Got the 'flexibility' point. means we need to be flexible to forgo the Jiri trek and return to Lukla, in case(?)

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  • Mozumbus's Profile Photo

    Re: Preliminary planning questions

    by Mozumbus Online Now Apr 12, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    Just to update: We are giving up on the EBC+Jiri idea mainly because I have got 3 weeks leave from work which might not be sufficient for the trek - especially considering that we would have kids in the tow and going beyond Namche Bazaar is highly recommended.

    Good thing is that Kathmandu is not very difficult to reach from my hometown and a bit inexpensive also, relatively speaking. So EBC trek would keep on our radar in the near future.

    For other potential trekkers with kids, I can suggest that the trek is perfectly doable with kids (though we have not done that yet!) and I would be happy to share information I collected in this regard.

    Instead we are now looking at two possibilities; continuing overland to Lhasa - permit permitting or spending relaxed 3 weeks in the Nepalese mountains.

    Thanks again experts for helping me out. I would keep bothering you through forum posts :-)

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