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					The Everest Experience

Trip notes: ENAE

Validity: 01/01/2009 to 31/12/2009
Everest Base Camp conjures up visions of sheer awe and beauty, and this epic journey will not disappoint!
Trek through beautiful forests, Sherpa villages, glacial moraines and the Himalayan foothills on the way to
the base of the highest mountain in the world. This is an unforgettable expedition into the most
mountainous corner of the world.


Itinerary Disclaimer

The information in this dossier has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is
subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and Babel Travel. The
itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one that’s featured in the
brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers,
comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal in the
itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our
goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience.


VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your dossier to review a couple of days
prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated trip notes
please visit our website: www.babeltravel.com


Itinerary

Day 1 Kathmandu

Arrive and check into your hotel. Your tour leader will leave a notice in the hotel reception with
information for our all important welcome meeting, scheduled for 1pm on day 1. You will need to bring
with you your passport, all tour vouchers and a copy of your insurance policy to this meeting so that your
tour leader can obtain important details that are essential to the running of the tour. This meeting will give
you an overview of all the exciting things you will be seeing during your tour and includes a lot of practical
information on how to get the most out of your time in Nepal.


Important Note: it is a condition of joining our tours that you are in possession of a comprehensive travel
insurance policy. If you do not have a policy you will be required to purchase one from your tour leader in
order to join the tour.


Kathmandu is a fascinating almost medieval city full of extraordinary temples, monuments, and colourful
street life. There are endless small streets jam packed with stalls selling cloth, pots and pans, spices,
souvenirs, saris and a myriad of other merchandise. Scooters carrying families of 5, bicycles, taxis and
pedestrians all compete for space and there is always something to marvel at. The best way to explore
Kathmandu is to spend a few hours wandering through the maze of narrow lanes in the old part of town
which are crowded with colourful little shops. Most roads lead eventually to the Durbar Square. Here you
find the old Royal Palace, many temples, and you may even catch sight of the Living Goddess, known as
the Kumari, as she appears at window of the Kasthamandap, or House of Woods, which gives Kathmandu
its name.


If you arrive early we recommend you check out Durbar Square, home to the palace of the Kumari Devi,
who is considered to be a living goddess. It is also worth the climb to visit the Swayambhunath - the
'monkey temple'. Explore the network of street markets and alley bazaars and witness the burning ghats
at Pashupatinath. For those with a few extra days in Kathmandu, the neighbouring towns of Patan and
Bhaktapur are well worth a visit.


After our welcome meeting on day 1 we will be heading out to meet KEEP (Kathmandu Environmental
Education Project), a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that aims to minimise the negative
influences of tourism by advocating and promoting 'minimum impact' trekking. Its aims are two-fold: to
provide impartial and independent information to travellers; and to ensure the future ecological and
cultural prosperity of Nepal through positive-impact tourism and outreach project work. At the
organisation's information centre we will get practical advice about conservation, trekking, mountain
safety, causes of deforestation, ecotourism, and the do's and don'ts of Nepalese society.


Days 2-13 Everest Base Camp

Mount Everest (8848m), known to the Nepalese as Sagarmatha and Qomolangma to the Tibetans was
‘discovered’ in 1852. Isolated and considered of little importance to either Sherpa or Tibetans, the
mountain is home only to a minor deity. The newly confirmed “highest mountain in the world” received its
English name in honor of Sir George Everest, the recently retired head of the Survey of India.


First summited by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953, Everest has traditionally been the
ultimate goal for mountaineers from all over the world. Today trekkers seek the challenge of reaching the
mountaineer's base camp, an incredible achievement in itself.


Our accommodation comprises small, basic teahouses along the track. These cozy remote teahouses are
operated by the mountain Nepalese to cater for trekkers and offer simple yet filling and delicious meals to
sustain our efforts. This is a challenging trip and involves difficult trekking at high altitudes but the whole
experience is simply awe-inspiring!


Details of the trip are subject to change due to weather conditions or any other factors outside the control
of Babel Travel.


Day 2 - Phakding (2610 m)

Today we have a very early (approx. 6.30 am) flight from Kathmandu to Lukla (45 minutes). If the
weather is good, the views of the Himalayas from the small plane are amazing! After breakfast in Lukla
(2800 m), a short safety talk and an introduction to our porters, we gear up and commence our trek.
Today is a fairly gentle introduction, following the milk-white Dudh Kosi River approximately three-hours
to Phakding.
Overall Altitude gain between places we sleep is -190m


Day 3 - Namche Bazaar (3440 m)

Today we trek 9 km to Namchein (approx. 6 hours), the administrative centre of the Khumbu region. This
will be your last chance to check your equipment and hire any additional gear for the high altitudes from
Dingboche onwards. Namche Bazaar is also the last chance for a hot shower, yummy feast, to enjoy the
local nightlife or to take to the pool hall and video parlours.
Overall Altitude gain between places we sleep is 830m


Day 4 - Namche Bazaar

Today is an acclimatisation day where we will also visit the local museum and surrounding villages. The
best way to acclimatise is to do a strenuous walk up to a high altitude then come back down to sleep.
Remember - it doesn't matter how fit you are, anyone can be affected by altitude, so have a chat to your
doctor before you leave to talk about the symptoms and what to expect.


Day 5 - Phortse Gaon (3810 m)

Today we trek for about 6-7 hours to cover the 9 km from Namche Bazaar to Phortse Gaon. This route
offers amazing insight into the life and culture of the sherpas, and that night we stay in a village that is
home to a number of sherpas who have reached Everest's summit. Looking out from Phortse Gaon, the
views of Amadablam are great. Overall Altitude gain between places we sleep is 370m


Day 6 - Dingboche (4410 m)

Trek approximately six hours to 'the roof of the world' as we travel 8 kms to Dingboche.
Overall Altitude gain between places we sleep is 600m


Day 7 - Dingboche (4410 m)

Today is another acclimatisation day. Staying the night in Dingboche we take day hikes to Amadablam
base camp, Nagarjun Hill and Chukkhung.


Day 8 - Lobuche (4900 m)

The trek to Lobuche is about five hours and covers 7 km, bringing us close to our ultimate goal!
Overall Altitude gain between places we sleep is 490m


Day 9 - Everest Base Camp (5364 m)

From Lobuche we trek to the Everest Base Camp and then back down to our lodge at Gorakshep (5140
m). Here we have astonishing views over the Himalayas.
Overall Altitude gain between places we sleep is 240m


Day 10 - Kala Pathar/Pheriche or Orsho

Today we witness some of the Himalayas most recognisable sights. We make an early start to avoid the
early morning clouds and trek to Kala Pathar (5545 m) to witness the best views of Everest, Lohtse,
Nuptse and other surrounding peaks. It's a tough walking day (approx. 7 hours), and depending on how
the group feels, your will decide where you spend the night.
Day 11 - Tengboche(3840 m)

Trek to Tengboche (approx. 4 hours), for excellent views of Amadablam and a visit to the Tengboche
Monastery and the Sherpa Heritage Foundation.


Day 12 - Monjo (2860 m)

Trek downhill and out of the national park to the small settlement of Monjo (approx. 5 hours)


Day 13 – Lukla

This morning we descend to Lukla for the night before flying back to Kathmandu.


This is a trek that requires an excellent level of fitness as there are plenty of ascents and descents and the
walking is very strenuous. The weather can be harsh in December and January, with a combination of
snow and frosts.


This trip is lead by an experienced English speaking local guide and two assistants who help with the daily
logistics. Though you are expected to help carry your gear, there are porters provided to assist.


Our accommodation along the way is at local lodges, better known as teahouses, which are comfortable
without being luxurious, toilets and washing facilities are shared and rudimentary, and the food is plain
and filling.


Days 14-15 Kathmandu

Weather permitting, we take a short early morning fight from Lukla to Kathmandu on day 14 (45
minutes). We'll return to the Kathmandu Guest House and have free time during the afternoon for further
sightseeing or shopping.


Day 15 is departure day and we say 'Namaste' for memories that will last a lifetime. There are no
activities planned for today and you are able to depart the hotel at any time. Check out time from the
hotel is at 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.


Note - If there is bad weather or low cloud conditions our flight back to Kathmandu may not go, giving us
an extra day in Lukla to relax or do a day walk. In this case, we will return to Kathmandu by late morning
on day 15 and the trip will end with an arrival transfer back to our hotel.


Arrival Complications

Arrival transfers are included for all clients arriving in Kathmandu. If you have booked your flights
separately from your tour please ensure that you inform your tour booking agent of your flight details at
least one month before departure to avoid payment of an administration fee. If you have not made
contact with our representative (please look for the Babel Travel Logo and your name) within 30 minutes
of clearing customs and immigration, as can occasionally occur as many flights tend to arrive at once,
please contact our India representative. Give this person your exact location in the airport (find a
landmark) and you will be attended to promptly.
In the very unlikely event that this process fails, you can find taxis at the front of the airport and it will
cost approximately 4 Euros (NPR400) to take you to your hotel. Please inform your group leader at the
initial group meeting if this occurs for a refund. No refund is available on missed transfers, or portions of
your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to
meet up with your group is at your own expense.


Starting Point Hotel

TBA
Kathmandu
Nepal


Starting Point Instructions

There is no airport bus service available at Tribhuvan, Kathmandu's International Airport so it's a matter
of taking a taxi. This is very easy. There are two pre-paid taxi booths inside the terminal, one on each side
as you exit the baggage claim area. They have fixed rates of NPR400 to anywhere in the Thamel area
from 6am-8pm and NPR500 from 8pm-6am. If you wish to to entertain the masses you can step outside
into the frantic ranks of drivers, touts and hangers on. Bargaining is the order of the day here and if you
are good you may be able to get a taxi for NPR200, a massive saving of around 80 cents. It's a 20 to 50
minute journey depending on the time of day and the traffic levels.


Normal check in time at the hotel is after 12:00.


Please arrive by 13:00 on day 1 as we will have an important group briefing.


Finishing Point Hotel

TBA
Kathmandu
Nepal


Finishing Point details

Please note that private departure transfers are not available for pre-booking through Babel Travel from
Kathmandu. There is no airport bus service available to Tribhuvan, Kathmandu's International Airport so
it's a matter of taking a taxi. This is very easy. Your Tour Leader can assist you with organizing this for
you.


Style

Babel Travel Adventurer

Live and travel like a local. Stay in simple guesthouses, travel on local buses, trains or just about anything
that moves. I count my pennies because I know the more money I save means the longer I get to travel.
The best value adventures on the planet! On an Adventurer trip, you can expect some amazing
experiences, but none of the inclusions or 'extras' that you may not want. These trips are ideal for first
time travellers seeking fun and independence with the security of a Tour Leader at hand and for
backpackers wanting minimum hassle and maximum flexibility at the lowest possible price.
Group Size

Maximum of 12 travellers per group.


Accommodation

Hotels/guesthouses (2 nts), teahouse lodges (12 nts)


Accommodation at local lodges, better known as teahouses, is comfortable without being luxurious, toilets
and washing facilities are shared and rudimentary, and the food is plain and filling. In a teahouse,
passengers are provided with small twin share rooms with twin beds, mattresses and pillows. At times, in
high seasons, and in places where there are limited number of teahouses, passengers have to make do
with dormitories. In some places, teahouses don't have access to electricity and depend on solar powered
lighting. In remoter regions, teahouses don't have running water and toilets can mean just a hole in the
ground. Hot shower facilities are available in some teahouses for a price but in most of the places, a hot
shower means a bucket of hot water, barely enough to wash your body.


Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multi share basis. Please note there may be times when you
share a room with passengers travelling on different Babel Travel trips than your own.


Accommodation whilst trekking can be very basic, with shared facilities at local squat style toilets.


Meals

While travelling with Babel Travel you will experience the wide choices of excellent local food available in
the Nepal. For us, we aim to provide you with the flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat,
and as a result not every meal is included in the trip price. Great, when you're on a budget! Usually, the
large majority of our groups eat together, enjoying the wide array dishes, relaxing and enjoying each
others company - and all those wonderful travel stories! Of course, you are under no obligation to join
every dinner. Your group leader will recommend excellent restaurants and eateries throughout the trip for
those of you that wish to go it alone. Please check the 'included meals' section of the trip dossier for
details of which meals are included.


You will find the meal plan for your tour clearly indicated in the brochure and on your Trip Dossier.
Breakfast is often provided, and other meals are included in remote areas. Approximate costs for meals
not included are shown below,


Simple snack: EURO .30 Light meal: EURO 2-5, Three course meal: EURO 5-10 For a guide to the type of
food you will find in Nepal see the Local Food and Drink section of this dossier.


Drinks Tea and Coffee is always provided with breakfast. All other drinks (i.e. bottled water, soft drinks)
are at your own expense. Approximate costs for drinks bought in a shop in the street are shown below.


Note: Prices in restaurants, hotels, and in remote areas can be double those specified.
1.5l of water: EURO .30 EURO, 30cl bottle of soft drink: EURO 1, 33cl bottle of beer: EURO 1-2
It is not recommended that you drink the local tap water in Nepal. However, bottled water, carbonated
soft drinks and fruit juices are widely available throughout the country.


Allow EUR 200 for meals not included.
Included Meals

No meals included


Solo Travellers

If you are travelling alone you will be allocated a room with another group member of the same sex
(unless you have paid a single supplement). If you are travelling as a couple please note that we cannot
guarantee the availability of double beds. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed
gender share basis - where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes.


Getting around

Plane, bus, walking


Included Activities

This is a list of included activities on this trip. All other activities are optional and at your own expense. For
a list of optional activities and sightseeing available on this trip, see the optional activities section below. If
you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.


Visit KEEP - Kathmandu
Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla
Airport transfers for the above flight
Trek led by your group leader and supported by assistant guides and porters - Everest base camp
Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu
Airport transfers for the above flight


Notes to remember

Travelling in Nepal

Nepal is a land that is without a doubt very different to your own. From the craziness of packed market
places, the searing heat, huge crowds, pollution and poverty - this will probably lead to a dose of culture
shock. This should be viewed as a wonderful and exciting challenge, rather than a deterrent. From our
time in Nepal, we have grown fond of this incredibly diverse and varied land. As a developing country,
Nepal has very different philosophies on an all manners of things. From men staring at you in the streets
(due to fascination more than anything - you'll probably do the same thing!), semi clean squat toilets
(remember, embrace the difference!) or the 'when it happens, it happens' attitude things dont really get
much more different than this. Patience, understanding and a sense of humour will see through and you'll
no doubt grow this love this amazing place.


Alterations to Itinerary

Please note that while we operate successful trips in Nepal throughout the year, some changes may occur
in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables.


Physical Preparation
For the trek on this trip the general rule is you will need to be very fit and the more preparation you have
done for it, the more you will enjoy it. You will be walking at altitudes of up to approximately 5545 metres
above sea level and it will be demanding trekking. You will be walking with your day pack, with the
possibility of extreme variations in temperature. We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic
exercise in the months before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Doing
mountain walks or climbing long stair cases with a pack is good preparation (try putting a few bricks in
your pack for real training). Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase
your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trek to its fullest.


Physical Rating

Activities include extended treks of 8 or more hours a day or extended bike touring, often at altitude and
over steep terrain. Even if you're in excellent shape, these trips provide plenty of challenges.


Important Notes

This trip starts at 13.00pm on day 1. Please be ready for your group meeting. Please bring your completed
Personal Information forms (you’ll find the forms on the notice board at your hotel), local payment,
passport, 1 passport size photograph (for trekking permit) and return flight tickets to the briefing.


Departing from Kathmandu at the end of the trip:


Please do not arrange any international flight departures before the afternoon of day 15. Although the aim
is to leave Lukla for the short flight back to Kathmandu on the morning of day 14 it is important to note
that if there is bad weather or low cloud conditions the flights will not go. In this case we will return on
day 15 and will be into Kathmandu by late morning.


Weather conditions in the Himalayas can change rapidly and our group leader may be forced to change
the trip itinerary accordingly. The months of January and February may see the Everest base camp
component of the trip delayed or even cancelled due to the inclement weather. Alternative itineraries will
apply if this is the case. Travellers need to be prepared for all weather conditions. For more information
please read the 'What to Take' section of this trip notes.


While our itineraries are designed to allow for adequate acclimatization, you are likely to feel the effects of
altitude sickness and oxygen deprivation whilst on this trek. Please be aware that your group leader may
deem it unsafe for you to continue trekking at any time, and arrange for you to descend to a lower
attitude.


This is a trek that requires an excellent level of fitness as there are plenty of ascents and descents and the
walking is very strenuous. The weather can be harsh in December and January with snow and frosts. We
stop at tea houses or lodges where accommodation is multi-share, toilet and washing facilities
rudimentary and the food is basic, filling and usually vegetarian. Travelling in this area is travelling at its
most adventurous but also at its most basic, please be prepared to rough it.


Snap bandhs (strikes) can occur in Nepal. If this happens during your tour it may be necessary to fly
rather than travel by road. You will need to use your emergency funds for this purpose and then claim the
money on your travel insurance.
Water whilst trekking– We advise clients to use boiled/filtered drinking water that is available whilst on the
trek along the trail. In additional to this and to be on the safer side we suggest that you add some water
purifying drops – which you can bring from home or are easily available locally. Use of bottled water is not
recommended unless absolutely necessary.


For client’s own convenience, please leave your international return flight tickets with the local operator
for reconfirmation while you're on trek/tour – all airlines flying out of KTM besides Thai Air requires
confirmation. Our office is happy to reconfirm your flight for you whilst you are on your trek but require
your ticket to do so. Please hand your ticket to your leader at the group meeting if you would like the
office to reconfirm your flight.


Please note this Babel Travel trip is operated by our experienced local partners.


Breakfasts included

There are some simple breakfasts included on this trip which comprises simply of bread, tomatoes, butter,
jam, coffee/tea and juice. This is typical of breakfasts in hotels in Nepal. Local breakfasts are available for
the more adventurous at nearby markets.


Staying in touch

Please be aware that telephone calls made from hotel rooms are extremely expensive. We advise you do
not rely on hotel telephones to communicate while travelling. Use local phones or call shops, or rely on the
internet.


Local Transport

Babel Travel adventures uses every form of local transport available. We feel that this is the best way to
get a feel for the country by travelling the way the locals do. Whether it’s by local train, bus, taxi, ferry or
donkey – travelling the local way will not only give you a true taste of the country but will leave you with
great experiences to last a lifetime.


Accommodation

Our main criteria for choosing hotels is cleanliness. On Adventurer tours hotels are simple, but
comfortable. Bathroom facilities may sometimes be shared and rooms may sometimes be multi share
rather than twin. Please bear in mind that hotels can sometimes suffer from minor problems and technical
difficulties. At each hotel your Tour Leader will try to organize the rooming arrangements to suit
everyone's requirements.


Early check-in throughout the trip

Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, however this is not
always possible which means we will not be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels.
Instead we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.


Additional Accommodation

If you have bought, pre or post trip accommodation (only when available), you may be required to change
rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
Arrival and Departure Transfers

Please note that only arrival transfers are included in this trip.


Insurance

Our tour prices do not include insurance. However, it is a condition of joining our tours that travellers are
fully insured for any medical expenses they might incur while travelling. At the start of your tour the Tour
Leader will ask to see your insurance documents and will note down the policy number and emergency
contact number.


We recommend a comprehensive travel insurance policy that covers repatriation and evacuation in case of
a medical emergency, cancellation and curtailment as well as covering baggage and valuables. If your tour
involves certain adventurous activities (i.e. trekking, whitewater rafting, house building or scuba diving
etc.) you will need to make sure your policy specifically covers these activities. You may also need specific
cover for expensive camera equipment.


Many credit card companies offer complementary travel insurance. However, the majority of these policies
offer virtually no cover and cannot be accepted as adequate travel insurance. If you are planning on using
credit card insurance you must bring along proof that the policy covers medical emergencies. Failure to be
able to provide such proof to the Tour Leader will result in you being compelled to purchase a new
approved policy before you can join the tour. If your travel insurance was not purchased from Babel Travel
or our agents, you will be required to sign a waiver absolving the company and its agents should your
policy not be adequate.


Any clients unable to provide proof of adequate travel insurance cover will be required to purchase a
policy or will not be allowed to join the tour.


Most insurers require a local police report to support claims for loss of or damage to personal property.
Our office can only issue a letter verifying that personal items have been lost or damaged on tour of 50
Euro in value and the tour leader was informed of the loss or damage at the time that it occurred. Please
go to www.babeltravel.com for links to various travel insurance providers.


Please also make sure you have access to an additional EURO 400, to be used when unforeseen incidents
or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a
change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence but it is well worth being prepared!


Visas

It is your responsibility to arrange visas before you travel. Your travel agent can assist. Below are the visa
requirements at the time of printing.


Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your return date. Be sure to check the date
you require a visa from and the length of time you will need to cover, especially if you change countries
during your trip.


Nepal
All foreign nationals (except Indians) require a visa to enter Nepal. Visas are obtainable from embassies
abroad or on arrival at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan airport. If getting the visa at the airport be prepared for
long queues. There have been instances when passengers were asked to show return flight tickets. You
will also need to provide two passport photos and the following fees in US dollars cash only: multi entry
visa valid for 15 days - US$25, multi entry visa valid for 30 days - US$40, multi entry visa valid for 90
days - US$100.


*Please note if you are staying in Nepal for less than 24 hours while in transit a transit visa can be issued
on presentation of your international flight ticket, there is a nominal charge of US$5 and two photos are
required.


If the visa application form requires a contact address in the destination, please give either your meeting
point hotel or the address of our local contact. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession
of the correct visas for your holiday and onward travel. Babel Travel cannot accept responsibility for
anyone who is refused entry to a country because they lack the correct documentation.


Please be aware that visas are your responsibility. Visa requirements vary, from what country you are
from and where you are travelling to, or where you have come from. We update our visa information
regularly, but please understand that rules and conditions can sometimes change. It is essential, that you
as a traveller check any possible changes before starting your trip.


Health

All travellers joining our tours are assumed to be in good health and to have a sufficient level of fitness to
complete their chosen itinerary. If you have an existing medical condition or disability you must make this
known at the time of booking. If accepted on the tour, you must also make your condition known to the
Tour Leader.


When selecting your trip please carefully read the Babel Travel brochure and itinerary and assess your
ability to cope with our style of travel. Please contact us at info@babeltravel.com should you require any
clarification on what is involved on your itinerary. For travellers over 70 years a completed Babel Medical
certificate is required. Babel Travel reserves the right to turn away, without recompense, any person who
is found, at any time during their trip, to have concealed an existing medical condition. We also reserve
the right to turn away any person who we consider incapable of completing the trip. If you are taking any
form of medication, please make sure that you bring with you an adequate supply to last the duration of
your holiday and inform your Tour Leader at the start of the tour. You might not be able to obtain suitable
medication in the countries you are visiting


Although, there are no particular health requirements for this trip, is it important for you to get an update
from your family doctor or health clinic on what vaccinations may be required. It is your responsibility to
bring a small supply of items such as insect repellent, aspirin or plasters for small cuts and abrasions.
Some travellers like to bring along their own emergency medical kit which may be used by local medical
staff in the case of accidents or illness. Your group leader is fully trained in basic first aid and will carry, at
all times a very well stocked First Aid Kit which can be used in emergencies.


Drinking water
Please DO NOT drink tap water, even in hotels or restaurants as it usually contains high levels of minerals
than the water you are used to drinking in your own country. It is fine for a local to drink water from a tap
as their bodies are conditioned to it, but for everyone else we highly recommend you drink bottled water
at all times. Bottled water is found everywhere and is quite cheap. Upset stomachs generally occur quite
quickly if you drink local water, and although it is not really serious - it can hamper your overall
enjoyment of a country. Also, please aim to brush your teeth by using bottled water.




Are you ready for this adventure?

On most of our itineraries there are long travel days and some rough travelling in areas away from main
tourist routes. Mountain passes, bumpy and windy roads can sometimes make for some real challenging
travel experiences. If you have experienced motion sickness in the past, we highly recommend you
consider medication to help ease the discomfort. On some occassions, we depart very early in the morning
to make sure we get the most our time in the next destination.


Temperatures vary from the very cold (usually in the early morning and late evenings) to the extreme
heat in the summer (usually during the day). Please be prepared for these extreme temperatures and
dont forgot to pack to correct gear! If you suffer health issues when experiencing these kind of
temperatures, consider if this trip is right for you. A decent level of fitness is recommended and will
certainly help increase the enjoyment of the trip.


Money

There are a wide variety of different ways that you can obtain or carry money overseas, including credit
cards, ATM cards and cash. Traveller's cheques are a useful back-up which are popular for security
reasons but they can be difficult to change in some countries. For more information on what we
recommend for the specific destination that you are travelling to, check your Country Dossier.


Do carry some cash – a small amount is often useful in more remote regions. It is a good idea to obtain a
small amount of the currency of the country you are visiting prior to arrival as this can be very useful for
any immediate expenses. If you can’t obtain currency in advance, you will usually find banking services in
the Arrivals Hall of the airport, port or border post, though these won’t necessarily be open 24 hours a
day.


You should try to carry at least some of your money in small denominations so that you can change only
the amount you will actually need. EUROS are widely accepted around the world. This is particularly
important near the end of your holiday as it is sometimes difficult to change back surplus local currency.
We regret that regional Babel Travel offices cannot accept traveller's cheques as payment for services
booked while on tour. They can accept Visa and Mastercard, subject to a minimum transaction of 200
EUROS.


While some banks and 5 star hotels will change travellers' cheques the process is very time consuming
and commissions can be high (up to 10%) and it is difficult to change Travellers' cheques on weekends
and public holidays. The easiest cheques to change are Thomas Cook or American Express in USD.
Please note that most establishments in Asia will not accept foreign currency notes that are old, torn or
faded and they can be very difficult to exchange or extra fees added when exchanging at banks. Please
ensure that you have new, clean notes.


Nepal: The local currency is the Nepali Rupee (NPR). ATMs can only be found in Kathmandu, Pokhara and
Bhaktapur. Money exchange facilities are available in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan (only outside the
park) and Bhaktapur.


Please note that you may find it difficult to access US Dollars once in Nepal.


Nepal: The local currency is the Nepali Rupee (NPR).


Cash in EUR, CHF and USD dollars are favoured for exchange. Nepal has no black market.


Current exchange rate as of March 2009


Nepal: EURO $1 = 105 RPS (Nepali Rupees)


Hotels: Service charges have been introduced in Nepal. Hence there is no need for tipping; except for
porters, for whom NPR 20-30 is adequate.


Restaurants: Please check the bill and if theres an addition of 10% service charge, theres no requirement
for tipping. Otherwise, 5-10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.


Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We
suggest US$ 1-2 per person, per day for local guides. (Including city tour guides, jungle guides, rafting
guides, assistant trek guides)


Porters: Throughout your trip you may at times have a porter in addition to your leader. We suggest US$
1-2 per person, per day for porters.


Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while
others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the
group however a base of US$ 1-2 per person, per day is generally appropriate.


Local transport: For a city tour we suggest US$ 1 per person, per day.


For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or
pouch concealed under your clothing.


Spending Money

Each and every traveller differs when it comes to how much money they spend on their holiday. Some
may spend more on shopping, souvenirs or food and drink. Please keep in mind your spending habits
when deciding upon how much money you should set aside as spending money. Each trip has specific
extra costs that pertain to that particular trip. Please read the trip dossier for more information.
Any tip that you wish to give your group leader, local guides or drivers in recognition of service is always
appreciated.




Optional Excursions

All of our itineraries include some free time, the amount of which usually depends on the style of tour you
are travelling on. Although we do not arrange any specific optional excursions in Nepal, there is plenty of
free time for you to undertake activities not covered specifically in the itinerary. You should allow approx.
EURO $15-20 per week for extra activities.


Below lists covers for the more popular excursions that past travellers have taken.


Durbar Square, Kathmandu – NPR200
Trip to Patan Durbar Square, Patan – NPR200
Trip to Bhaktapur, Bhaktapur – NPR750 or US$10
Swayambhunath Monkey Temple, Kathmandu – NPR100
Bodhnath, Kathmandu – NPR100
Pashupatinath, Kathmandu – NPR250


Departure Tax

Airport tax for internal flights - NPR170
Airport Departure tax from Nepal to SAARC destinations (Bhutan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and
Maldives) - NPR1365
Airport departure tax from Nepal to other destinations - NPR1695


Please note: for trips which have an included flight during the trip departure taxes are not included.
Passengers will need to pay the departure tax upon arrival at the airport. Please allow for this as well as
the departure tax at the end of your trip, in your trip budget.


Communication

Email

Internet cafes can now be found almost everywhere in Nepal. The cost for an hour is approx EURO 1.


Phone

The Nepali phone system is fairly good, although international calls can be expensive. A 3 minute call (to
Europe) will cost approx. EURO 8 from a hotel and approx. EURO 3 from a telephone centre.


Post

The postal service is relatively good and stamps are available everywhere. An overseas stamp for
postcards will cost approx. EURO 1. Posting of parcels can be time-consuming however, and contents of
parcels normally have to pass customs inspection before they are sealed for posting.
We don't recommend that family and friends try to contact you through hotels, as they are subject to
change and the reception staff may not speak English.


Emergency Contact

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Babel Travel’s Switzerland Office can be reached on +41
(762) 472 326. Alternatively, you can call Babel Travel’s India Office on +91 11 4500 6400 during
business hours (9.30am to 6pm) or after hours Tel: +91 9999916229.


Your fellow Babel Travellers

On group trips you will be exposed to all the wonderful things that comes with experiencing a destination
with like minded people. Your fellow Babel Travellers will most likely come from all walks of life, and from
different countries. We ask you to patience will all travellers for the sake of group dynamics. We want
every one of you to have the best travel experience of your life. Being punctual helps the group. If you are
asked to be in a place at a particular time, please ensure that you do so. Being late may mean youll miss
that special cultural performance, spend less time with a local family - or in some cases completely miss a
local bus or a train journey! The best groups are the ones that work together as a happy Babel Travel
team!


Tour Leader

Your Babel Travel tour leader (whether it be a local or a westerner) is there to ensure that all aspects of
the trip run smoothly. He/she will share their local knowledge, advise on how to fill your free time and co-
ordinate the day to day running of the tour – although occasionally he/she may need your understanding
if things do not go according to plan. If you have any problems on the tour, please let your Tour Leader
know so that steps can be taken to put it right. Tour Leaders are supported by our regionally based office
staff and, in most cases, a locally based manager.


At Babel Travel we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit -
and who better to hear it from than the locals themselves? If you were interested in delving deeper into
the local culture then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of
your trip.


Sustainable Tourism

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we
try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and
highlight the positive aspects.


Drugs and the law

The possession or use of any illegal drugs is strictly prohibited in all the countries we visit. When overseas
you are subject to local laws and the penalties for breaking the law are severe. In order to safeguard the
interests of the group as a whole, our Tour Leaders are instructed to insist that any person found to be in
possession of drugs leave the group immediately. The Tour Leader’s decision on this matter is final.


If you need to carry certain drugs with you for purposes of medication, please ensure that you also carry a
copy of your prescription.
Babel’s philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local
people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely
contrary to this philosophy. Our Tour Leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are
found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.


Sustainable Tourism in Nepal

In Nepal, the Intrepid Foundation works with the Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP)
which is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation. Its aims are to provide impartial and independent
information to travellers, and to ensure the future ecological and cultural prosperity of Nepal through
positive impact tourism and outreach project work.


Laundry

Some of our hotels offer a laundry service however this can be expensive. Self-service laundries are
scarce in this region. We recommend you bring bio-degradable laundry soap and hand wash while
travelling on your trip. Ask your leader who can point out the best places to do your laundry on the trip.
They are usually at any 2 night stop to allow enough time for drying.


What to Take

What you luggage you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries
you are visiting and when you are travelling. As a guideline, you should pack as lightly as possible (under
10kgs is a great idea!) On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage over
short to medium distances (no longer than 20 minutes)


Due to this nature of our trips, suitcases and wheelie bags are not recommended for Babel Travellers!
Most group members carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap
would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags with wheels are acceptable (if it has carry straps) but you
will need to carry these bags up and down stairs, over bumpy roads etc. You will also need a day
pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day/overnight trips or walking tours.


It is very important that your bags can be locked, as on public trains and buses it may be necessary to
store your luggage separately (and unattended) from the group. The smaller your bag is the better for
you and other passengers on local transport, for when it comes to traveling on local buses and trains its
usually only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas. If your bag does not fit in these areas
then often the only place to put it is on your seat or on your lap.


Please note you do not need to take all your gear with you while trekking - we can leave luggage behind
at the hotel and collect it at the end of the trek. Porters are provided for the trek. The recommended
baggage load to be carried by a porter can NOT exceed 10-12kgs per person.


Please see the list below for what to bring while trekking. Try to keep the weight and bulk to a minimum
by bringing clothes made from lightweight material. Don't pack too much clothing; one or two changes will
be all you need. However, as the weather conditions in the Himalayas are often unpredictable, be
prepared for all eventualities, be it rain, unseasonable cold or heat. Bring good walking boots/shoes with
ankle support that are well broken-in (this means worn frequently prior to travel because new boots
invariably equal blisters and discomfort). Intrepid provide porters to assist with carrying your luggage but
you will be expected to carry your day pack and to keep your other luggage to a minimum.
Please note that sleeping bags, packs of various sizes, cold weather clothes (for all treks) are readily
available to buy or hire in both Kathmandu and Pokhara at very reasonable rates. Most items can be hired
for no more than US$2 per day. Your group leader can assist you in hiring gear. If you plan to hire a
sleeping bag we recommend that you bring an inner sleeping sheet, which adds another layer of warmth
as well as a layer of hygiene. For the trek all of your gear should be packed into plastic bags to protect
from rain etc. Dry clothes are essential for your comfort.


TEAHOUSE TREKS: A medium size, comfortable daypack will be needed. Your main pack, to be carried by
the porters, should be big enough to carry the requirements listed above, including a sleeping bag. Be
careful not to pack too much. A sleeping bag is essential while trekking as only blankets are provided in
the tea houses. Before departing, make sure you have enough Nepalese currency to purchase meals and
drinks during the trek (in the smallest denominations possible, as no one out there is going to be able to
change a NPR500 note). Your group leader will go over this before departure.


Checklist

The following is a guide to what you should bring along on your holiday and is not meant to be a complete
and absolute list. You are welcome to bring less, or more than what is mentioned below.


Travel documents: passport, visas, travel insurance certificate, air tickets, Intrepid voucher
Health requirements arranged
Money: traveller's cheques/cash/credit card and money pouch
Day pack to carry your personal needs during the day
First aid kit
Medication/prescriptions (it is a good idea to have a doctors letter if you are carrying a large amount of
medication), travel sickness tablets if required
Prescription glasses and contact lens solution if required
Alarm clock
Torch/flashlight
Travel plug/international adapter
Insect repellent
Refillable water bottle and water purification method
Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses
Swimming costume
Lightweight travel towel
Ear plugs/eye mask
Comfortable walking shoes
Local language phrase book
Camera, film and/or memory cards with spare batteries
Personal audio player with spare batteries
Raincoat/umbrella
Waterproof jacket
Extra warm clothing during winter (December to February)
Personal hygiene products such as tampons can be bought locally, but your choice may be limited


Recommended to bring for the trek:
4 season sleeping bag (Oct-Feb) - this can be hired locally
Several pairs wool blend and thin cotton socks. Bring extra during winter months (Dec-Feb)
Running/tennis shoes or sandals, for wearing around tea houses or camps
Waterproof, thigh-length jacket of GoreTex or similar material
Wool jumper / sweater / fleece. Lightweight during summer, 1 heavyweight or 2 lightweights during
winter months. Down jackets are great in winter.
Pants: lightweight long trousers, a pair of long shorts, tracksuit pants to wear around tea houses or
camps. Warmer trousers during winter months. Jeans are not suitable.
T-shirts/shirts: 2 or 3 short sleeved, 1 long sleeved to protect you from the sun
Hat: Sun hat or cap for day wear. Wool hat or beanie covering the ears during the winter months
Water proof gloves
Thermal underwear as they are light and easily washable
A sarong is also useful while bathing - can be bought cheaply in Nepal
Cotton headscarf/bandanna
Basic toiletries
Biodegradable soap
Hygienic hand wipes
Penknife, Swiss Army style
Lip balm
Plastic/waterproof bags to use as rubbish bag while trekking & to keep clothing dry
High energy foods such as nuts and chocolate
Waterproof pack cover


Local Dress

As a general guideline, clothing should be lightweight, loose fitting, hard-wearing and easily washed. In
Nepal warmer months, cotton clothing is much more comfortable than man-made materials like nylon.
You should bear in mind that Nepal has conservative attitudes towards dress, particularly in remote areas.
Women, and also to a certain extent men, will find that the way they dress will often determine the
degree of respect they receive from both men and women. It is advisable to keep legs, shoulders and
upper arms covered, and we recommend that you bring appropriate clothing for this purpose.


Your Safety

By choosing to travel with Babel Travel you can be sure that your safety and well-being is our prime
concern. Over the years we have built up a network of local offices, and a team of Destination Managers,
local and non-local staff enables us to maintain constant contact with events on the ground in each of our
destinations, and to ensure that every aspect of your tour runs as smoothly as possible. If you find
yourself worrying far too much about all the terrible things that might happen to you while travelling
overseas, remember that generally overseas travel is very safe and group travel even more so. If you
have not done much travelling before, a few simple guidelines may be useful.


Enjoy your time in a new environment – don’t worry yourself sick. Conversely, don’t be lulled into a false
sense of security. The best advice is simply to take the same precautions you would when travelling in
your own country.


Your Belongings

Although it can be traumatic and distressing to lose personal belongings, remember that almost
everything can be replaced. Your valuables are your responsibility so look after them. Keep items like
cash, traveller's cheques, tickets and passports on your person in a hidden money belt or stored in the
hotel safe. Leave all non-essential jewellery at home.


Most governments regularly inform their fellow citizens through safety updates on travelling abroad. We
highly recommend that you check your own government website before setting off on this adventure.
Please also check our news section of the website as it will have regular updates on safety in all of our
destinations.


Once on the road you will find that most of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure
way of storing your valuables. Your group leader will be with you on all included activities, however you
will have some free time to pursue your own activities and interests, chill out or explore in your own time.
Please be aware that the optional activities you undertake are not part of your Babel Travel itinerary, and
Babel Travel makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators
running them. We simply recommend them and not endorse them. Saying that, we will warn you if we feel
that an activity is dangerous or an operator isn’t reputable.


Please use your own good judgment when choosing these optional activities. Please also note; that your
tour leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary
due to safety concerns. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before
travelling.


Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in India differ from those in the western world
or from your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit.


Pick pockets and personal safety: Please be aware that while travelling in Nepal there is the risk of pick-
pocketing, particularly in the more tourist orientated cities. We recommend that you exercise caution
when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well lit roads. Be
particularly careful on public transport. Precautions such as carrying your day pack on your chest, not
placing your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your
valuables should being stolen.


Traffic and driving on opposite sides of the road: Depending on where you come from please note that
drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to.
Please look both ways before crossing any road - at all times. Traffic can be chaotic and dangerous – far
more than what you’re used to at home. Be aware on all roads and even tiny streets and alleyways.
Vehicles tend to find their way into small passages leaving no room for both you and the traffic!


Participation form

All group members on a Babel Travel trip are required to sign a participation form on day 1 of the trip.
This will take place during the all important welcome meeting. Please be aware that signing this form is an
essential part of travelling with Babel Travel and is a requirement of all travelers.


Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! This is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the
price of your next trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 1 month.

				
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