Monday, September 24, 2012

Kathmandu, Nepal 4 -6 Sept 2012

Nepal currency is NPR - Nepal Rupee
US$1 = NPR86

On the 4th Sept, we took the maiden Airasia flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu. The flight was full with Nepalese who took the same opportunity like we did. We paid only RM399 for one way to Kathmandu. We arrived at Kathmandu International airport on time. The local time here is 2hrs and 15 minutes earlier than Malaysian time. We headed straight to the immigration tourist queue, happy to be the first few in line, we have our photo and US$ ready waiting for the officer to open his counter. Just as we thought we can be out here early, the officer shouted “where is your visa form?” “Damn, we need to fill up a visa form?” So we left the long queue and went looking for the form to fill up. Now we are the end of the line. Well done! There are only 2 queues, first you have to queue to pay then we have to queue to get our entry stamp. It took us almost an hour.

The visa fees are US$25 for 15 days multiple entry visa, US$40 for 30 days multiple entry visa and US$100 for 90 days multiple entry visa. One passport size photo required. After we got our bags, our hotel pick up was already waiting outside. We jump on the car and realized that the guy who was holding the name card was not our driver, he asked us for tips. WTF! The driver was probably too lazy to hold the card or the other one thinking he will get some money out of us. Well, they are not so lucky this time.

Rickshaw @ Thamel 
First sight of Nepal- rubbish everywhere, messy traffic, bad road condition, electric lines all over the building, nonstop horning and pollution… Seems rather familiar, just like the neighboring country except that there are no cows, elephants, camels, pigs, goats, pony on the street. Just occasionally some buffaloes.

We got to our hotel in Thamel. It was located right in the heart of Thamel. Thamel is the touristic area of Kathmandu, there are tons of hotels, restaurants, trekking agencies, souvenir shops and outdoor shops every step away. We could find anything from shoes, socks, pants, shirts, jackets, hats, gloves, sticks and etc in any brand we like and at super cheap price. Even though they are copies, they are worth the price you paid for.

Thali set
Dal Bhat
We have 2 days in Kathmandu to sort out our hiking trip. The weather was not so good when we arrived, it was drizzling. We first went to change some Nepalese Rupee in order to have our lunch. Just around the corner of the hotel, we found a nice restaurant. We had our first Nepal Thali set. We had a mountain of rice, some vege, a bowl of dal, a piece of papadum, a bowl of potato curry and a bowl of Lassi. It was delicious! After recharged, we went shopping. Wee!

We were looking for hiking socks, a wind jacket/rain jacket/pull over, hiking stick, hat, hiking pants, bandana and gloves. We just did a price check in several shops. There are just too many shops to go around. In the evening we met with the agency from the hotel and got a quote. We planned to hike to Annarpurna Base Camp(ABC) in 11 days trek. We can do it shorter but since we have time we thought we might as well enjoy the mountain. After some bargaining, we finally agreed to a price of US$620 per person for the following package. We leave the day after, so we still have a day to purchase what we need for the trek.

The package of 14D13N-11 days trekking includes :
  • Transport from Kathmandu to/return Pokhara
  • Transport from Pokhara to start point of trek and from end point back to Pokhara
  • 2 nights in Pokhara Hotel with BF
  • 11 nights accommodations in Teahouse/Lodge including B/L/D
  • Trekking Permit
  • TIMS Permit
  • Hot shower in trekking
  • A guide and a porter
  • Necessary trekking equipments
  • Airport drop
  • All taxes and admin fees
Not included :
  • Lunch dinner in Pokhara
  • Travel insurance
  • Any alcoholics drinks,Tea/coffee and hot water
  • Bottle water
We need to provide photocopy of passport, Insurance policy print out and 3 photos for the permit. The agency arranged everything for us. In the evening before we leave, we met with our guide Keshab. He picked us up in the morning to leave to Pokhara.

Hotel Silver Home ( - US$11 per night per room incl BF and airport pickup.


ABC trekking package - US$620 from Amazing Nepal Adventure (

Monday, September 3, 2012

Ready for Nepal

All packed and ready to go. 14kg of backpack, 4kg of day pack and 1kg of sling bag.

For Kathmandu and Africa, I have packed in additional items on top of these list ( 
  • a pullover (for cold weather at altitude)
  • a thick gloves (for cold weather at altitude)
  • a stack of blister plaster (for blister from too much hiking)
  • a binoculars (for birds and animals)
  • additional pair of trekking and winter socks  (for cold weather at altitude)
  • additional set of long sleeve shirt and trekking pants  (for cold weather at altitude)
  • a cooking mess tin (for Africa)
  • a water bottle
I will need to buy these in Kathmandu
  • a set of walking sticks
  • some energy bars
  • a single man lightweight tent (for Africa)
  • a camping stove (for Africa)
  • a matt (for Africa)
Preparation before Kathmandu
As I plan to hike to Annapurna Base Camp(ABC), it will be a 14-16 days trek with minimum 5 hours trekking everyday. I need to prepare myself for this tough and challenging hike. I was back in Kuantan after Perhentian for my training. I only have one month.

First week I started with walking and running, everyday 1 hour walk and 30 mins run, I suffered from muscle ache for a week, then I started badminton once a week. After a week I started to walk with 4L of water in my backpack and 40 mins run without the backpack. On the 3rd week, I started to hike the 250meters hill in Kuantan (can't find any higher) on alternate day with running. Then I started to carry 5L of water to hike and add on to 7kg later on. Sometimes I go thru the jungle trek instead of the pave road. I felt my knees complaining so I have take some days off too. Hopefully with these training, it will be sufficient to reach ABC :-(. And for the altitude, there is nothing much I could do here. I will need to hike slowly to acclimatise and drink lots of water.
Annapurna Base Camp

I am looking forward to conquer ABC! Wish me luck! :-)