So we’ve left Kathmandu for the beautiful lake town of Pokhara. Only just arrived so not a lot to report except that it has internet (yay!) and a lovely big lake with a fishtail shaped mountain behind. Tomorrow we’re off to Beni by jeep before the days of uphill trekking begin.
Meanwhile we’re worried about the Bhutan leg of our trip later: apparently it costs $230 each per day minimum there – trying to work out a cheaper way… Any suggestions from someone who’s done it?
It sounds like you’ve already settled into a life of amazing experiences, even if you haven’t quite left behind the insane work ethic! I’m loving the updates and enjoying Nick’s pics – Annapurna looks stunning. Looking forward to hearing more – it’s a welcome antidote to the cold and dark of London. Good look in Bhutan and I hope the knee’s holding out Nick!
Hey Ian, we survived! Miracle – both really sore coming down the mountains but it was worth it for the views. Hope you’re both finished for xmas now!
Sounds like you were having fun – and hope Gaia manages to lose the vomiting bug so it start being fun again.
Laura and I visited Bhutan last year. The $230/day deal is true, I’m afraid. Bhutan wants to protect its culture from the impact of mass tourism and so has gone for a tourism policy of quality rather than quantity.
The $230/day is paid to your organiser who then makes sure it covers accommodation, transport, food, guides, etc – and then s/he sponsors your visa. However, if you are prepared to spend that sort of money then it’s far better to do it from Nepal than from the UK. If you go from the UK, like we did, then you end up being shepherded as part of an organised tour.
We bumped into some Dutch guys who booked a trip in Kathmandu – and for $230/day each they got a private car, driver, etc, and then got to dictate where they wanted to go – e.g., hike up to a monastery, sleep over, and then picked up the next day and ferried off to wherever else they wanted to go. Sounded like a much better experience to us.
Thanks Robin. Do you know if it’s any cheaper organising it from India rather than Nepal? We might go that route instead in the end. Certainly we’d prefer to have a guide than go as part of a big tour, so we’ll check that out. Any particular recommendations of things we shouldn’t miss there?
Don’t know. We entered Bhutan from West Bengal in India (after having travelled around the Sikkim kingdom for a week or so) but didn’t meet anyone who had done a more independent travel from there.
We were only in Bhutan for about 4-5 days, travelling from Phuentsholing to Thimpu then Paro Valley. Taktshang or Tiger’s Nest in Paro was probably the most spectacular – seemingly perched on a rock, 3,000m high up. But plenty of others in Thimpu. Disappointed we didn’t get to Eastern Bhutan.
Not many guide books available. We used Bhutan Himalayan Mountain Kingdom by Francoise Pommaret. But there may be a new Lonely Plant out now.
Either way, a trip in Bhutan isn’t cheap and seriously dents a budget.