Advice for backpacking alone in Nepal in January
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Oct 5, 2012 1:43 AM Last Post By: rdccomments
Oct 4, 2012 3:17 PM
Advice for backpacking alone in Nepal in JanuaryHi all!
I'm travelling to Nepal on 15th January 2013 and returning on 6th February. My rough plan is to spend around 4-5 days in Kathmandu, exploring the valley and Durbar square and possibly doing a day hike or something. Then travel via bus to Chitwan (maybe stopping somewhere along the way, depending on what I see) and spend 2-3 days in the park on safaris and jungle walks and general lazing about in the natural world. From there to Pokhara and the Sarangkot trek, for about 5 days, then back to Kathmandu by bus; stopping at Bandipur on the way. If anyone can answer me these questions, I'll be a happy person:
1) How easy is it to travel in Nepal in general?
2) Does anyone have any suggestions on my planned route - any thing to potentially avoid and anything I've missed which is something I should see?
3) I'm thinking about attending one of those buddhist/yoga/meditation retreat things for a few days. Are these worth going to or are they just a way to fool gullible hippies like myself into wasting their time?
4) I'm looking to do this on a budget of around $20 per day. Is this viable?
Any advice anyone has to give will be greatly appreciated.
Oct 4, 2012 3:29 PM
My 1st suggestion would be to leave the bulk of your Kathmandu and Valley sightseeing until the end of your trip, by doing this you are building in buffer days should something go wrong to delay you from your journey back there.
The rest of the plan sounds fine
The $20 per day budget will be tight, especially if you are visiting a lot of the world heritage sites as entrance fees soon mount up
If you travel by a combination of tourist and local bus your money will go a long way.
Chitwan trips are cheap enough and include transportation, but are still a little above your budget at around $30 per day including activities and park entrance fees.
For more detail please browse the Things to Do and See as well as the transportation tips in the link in my tag-line
Oct 4, 2012 3:35 PM
2Whether it's easy to travel in Nepal? Yes, it is, but that will depend on your travel experience.
It's different culture, poverty is widespread, safety standards much lower than most people are used to. Generally the country is very safe to travel.
English is limited to touristy places.
As for your budget - it's too tight I'm afraid, if it includes all your costs (food, accommodation, travel)
Oct 4, 2012 4:07 PM
3Thanks a lot!
My budget isn't strict to $20 a day so that should be fine, just want to do it as cheap as I can but have roughly $1,200 or so to go with; just that is pretty much all my money in the world so I'd like to come back with a bit. Doing Kathmandu last is a good idea, didn't think of that but it makes sense.
I went to Cambodia for 15 days last year, so I've got a rough idea of what to expect whilst travelling, just I'd imagine doing it on your own is a very different experience.
Oct 4, 2012 4:16 PM
1) Tourist buses cover the route (possibly not the stretch from Dumre to Bandipur) and they are are relatively cheap (maybe avoid more expensive ones like Greenline) and easy to travel. On a tight budget though, local buses are cheaper and more interesting (a taste of local llife)..
2) As Rob said, it makes sense to leave the bulk of KTM and the valley until the end of the trek. Tansen might be worth visiting after Chitwan though as traditional town with views of the hills it's similar to Bandipur. You do have plenty of time so can cover the ground slowly.
5 days for the Sarangkot trek is too long - it only takes 2. Poon Hill is a more popular trek, taking 4 - 5 days depending on the route.
3) Both could be true; choose carefully. In Pokhara consider pokharabuddhistcentre.com.
4) I think you will need more than $20 to make the most of the trip. The entrance fee for Bhaktapur is about $12 (I think).
Enjoy the trip.
Oct 5, 2012 12:34 AM
5for #3 Kopan monastery near Boudhanath is good. They have 10 day courses that probably wouldn't fit well with your schedule, but you can always just book a room/dorm there and attend the daily teachings+guided meditations for however long suits you.
And you could get by on a budget of $20 a day, but you'd be safer to up it to $25-30 considering you're moving around a lot quite quickly and going to lots of national parks. Those entrance fees really add up. However since you're travelling in a bit of an off season, ask around for discounts and you shall be rewarded. As a rough guide I'm currently getting by on about 1,300 rs per day whether I'm trekking or not (when you go trekking your accommodation costs will drop to almost 0 but your food costs will rise to 2-3 times as much). However this is a no frills budget, and I would certainly have to spend more if I wanted to visit Chitwan or drink loads of beer.
As has already been said, that is too long for the Sarangkot trek. The Poon Hill, Ghandruk triangly shaped trek is a better option, although if you could spare 7-8 days for a trek the ABC trek is even better than that! Both can be done easily without guides or porters if you need to cut down on costs... Unless you meant by 'to pokhara and sarangkot trek for about 5 days' that you would spend 5 days total in Pokhara and the Sarangkot trek... Then that's a good enough itinerary.
Travel is very easy in Nepal. Tourist buses are cheap enough (500-550 KTM-POK if you don't use a travel agent) and local buses are even cheaper than that.
Oct 5, 2012 1:39 AM
6Just to echo what's been said - and to leave KTM till the end of your trip.
The solution to any political disagreements in Nepal is strikes - which means no daytime transport except flights. Tourists either have to wait it out or travel at night - you'll find someone to help you sort that out, but need to leave some flexibility to make sure you get back to KTM to get the flight home.
Enjoy - it's a great country.
Oct 5, 2012 1:43 AM
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