Travel, Tickets/Confirmation, Departure and Arrival in Kathmandu

Photocopy Your Passport

, airline tickets, travel insurance documents, health certificates etc.  Keep a separate record of any travellers cheque numbers. 
Make sure you travel with at least four visa-size photos.


Travel Tickets/Confirmation:

Check your airline ticket in detail.  Many routes to Nepal require a change of aircraft or even a change of airline.  Also, the greatest risk of lost baggage is if you are travelling on a combination of airlines.  In this case, make sure you ask at check-in whether your baggage should be tagged to Kathmandu or be claimed at the airport where you change carriers.

Travel Insurance: 

You should not be in Nepal without personal travel insurance.  The minimum cover required is £20,000/$US30,000 for medical/hospital/emergency repatriation, also cancellation and curtailment and personal effects.  Some (cheaper) policies exclude certain types of trekking and/or whitewater rafting but may be added on payment of a small extra premium. Many travel policies won’t extend the duration of the policy once you are overseas. 

A well-known London-based specialist whose travel policy includes high altitudes and whitewater rafting is Campbell Irvine: www.campbellirvine.com Tel:  +44 01737 223 687

Money/Credit/Debit Cards:

Himalayan Encounters accepts payment with Visa, Mastercard, American Express etc for all in-house services.

For general use, cash US$, UK£ and € are most readily negotiated, as are travellers cheques, at licensed money changers in all centres.  Credit cards are not generally used in most restaurants, bars etc.  Cash drawn on your credit/debit card is also possible but paid out in Rupees only. Sufficient cash machines (ATM) are in both Kathmandu and Pokhara.

The Nepalese Rupee:

is the currency. For a guide on current currency exchange rates go to www.xe.com

 

Nepal Time:

is GMT + 5 hrs 45 minutes (this is also 15 mins ahead of India).

Maps:

Pretty good maps of all trekking regions of Nepal are readily available in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

Guidebooks:
In our view, the better guidebooks are those that discuss and describe Nepal rather than devoting pages listing dozens of hotels and restaurants.  Although with many attributes, guidebooks can nonetheless encourage ruts that many ‘independent’ travellers then get stuck in.  The most popular (English language) guidebooks are:  The Lonely Planet Nepal, Frommer’s Nepal, The Rough Guide to Nepal, Let’s Go India & Nepal, and Trekking in The Nepal Himalaya (Lonely Planet).

Pre-Arrival into Kathmandu:
Kindly ensure that you take the important measure of advising Himalayan Encounters of your arrival and departure flight details into/out of Nepal.  Please also ensure that we are updated of any late changes.

Arrival  into Kathmandu

  1. If you are using our ‘First 48’ meeting service

    then, on exiting the Airport building, look out for the Himalayan Encounters' office sign with your name held high by a member of staff.  Your private car will bring you either directly to our Office or to your Hotel--whichever you prefer. 
  1. If you are not using our ‘First 48’ meeting service but are making your own way into the City after arrival, please note there is no airport bus from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan Airport .  However a pre-paid taxi system is in operation.  You will find two pre-paid taxi booths inside the airport terminal as you exit the baggage claim area. Fixed rate fares are currently NPR400 to anywhere in the Thamel area from 6am-8pm and NPR500 from 8pm-6am.  Journey time is anywhere between 20 to 50 minutes - depending on prevailing traffic conditions.  If you have not made prior hotel accommodation arrangements we suggest you come either directly to our Office at the Kathmandu Guest House or consider the suggestions of your guide book and/or taxi driver.
Details of Himalayan Encounters Offices:
Kathmandu (Ktm)
Courtyard Ktm Guest House
Thamel
Kathmandu
Tel:  +977-1-4700426
        +977-1-4700335
Pokhara
Diko Patan
Hallan Chowk
Lakeside 
Pokhara
Tel: +977-61-461873

Pre-Tour/Trek Briefing:

It is extremely important to attend this Briefing.  The Dossier for each Tour/Trek clearly states the time and place of the Briefing.  It is most important to note that some programmes have the briefing on Day 1 of the itinerary (eg Himalayan Heritage) while others have the Briefing pm on the day prior to Day 1 of the itinerary (eg Everest Base Camp Trek).

Security:

It’s remarkably safe to walk the streets anytime.  Crime against tourists is very low indeed.  Theft from hotel rooms is rare but not unheard of and theft in general almost always takes place when it’s been made easy for an opportunist thief.  Thus anything of value should be either locked up or kept secure on your person.  This perhaps means a money belt, but mostly it means having the same awareness you’d need even at home – but with extra ‘antennae’ to counterbalance the unfamiliarity of things.

We can help with the ‘locked up’ bit (as soon after your arrival as you like).  We can make sure that things left in our care in Kathmandu or Pokhara – carefully labelled – are responsibly looked after.  Such things as passports, airline tickets, credit cards, travellers' cheques or cash are safe with us.

A Good Read:

(available in paperback):  The Snow Leopard (Peter Mathieson), Into Thin Air (Jon Krakauer), Shopping for Buddhas (Jeff Greenwald/Lonely Planet).

Photography:

You’re not likely to come without a camera but it must remain your responsibility.  BINOCULARS….bring out the best in Nepal.  Got them?  Bring them!