Don’t panic if you are stranded in Nepal

Posted Mar 26th, 2020 under Company News, Tourism News, Travel Guide,

Right now the whole world is in despair due to coronavirus outbreak. Amidst this chaos, the travelers who are stranded are suffering more with countries tightening their lockdown after the growing number of corona cases and deaths. Government of Nepal has also imposed complete lockdown since 24th March to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, around 2000 travelers are stranded in Nepal due to the lockdown. In response to this distressing situation, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) has initiated a support network named Stranded in Nepal to facilitate the travelers for their safe return to their respective countries. The network enlists all the important services any traveler require at the current situation. The services include different WhatsApp groups (support channel, who want to stay & wait, who want to leave, country-wise), embassies details, airlines details, accommodations, restaurants and eateries list which are still serving and important information & links. The network also offers useful tips and guidelines to the travelers as follows:
travelers stranded in Nepal
In the meantime, the Government of Nepal is in constant contact with concerned embassies for returning their citizens. The Government in collaboration with local authorities is also evacuating the travellers by ground transferring and airlifting them to the capital city. Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality and Hotel Association Lukla are providing free lodging and fooding facilities to those stuck in Lukla (effective from 26th till lockdown period). Some hospitality providers are also offering free food and accommodation to the travellers in Pokhara and Kathmandu.

Though the situation is upsetting, Nepali tourism is responding it with patience and positivity. Explore Himalaya wholeheartedly appreciates such initiatives and extends thanks to everyone involved in this relief work especially Nepal Tourism Board, Government of Nepal, Local Authorities and Kind Hearts! We are also doing our best to  arrange food and accommodation for our travelers and speed up their repatriation.

Hopefully all of us will overcome this situation very soon! Stay Safe, Stay Strong!!!

Coronavirus Threat in Nepal Update #5

Posted Mar 24th, 2020 under Company News, Tourism News, Travel Guide,

As you all know that we are continuously updating our valued partners and travel friends about coronavirus threat in Nepal. Following our fourth update on Covid-19 threat in Nepal, please find our fifth update:

  1. As of March 23, a total of 610 samples have been tested out of which 608 have proved corona negative. The first case of corona positive was confirmed in Nepal on 23 January. The infected person who is a Nepali national and has returned from Wuhan, China remained under the care of Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital till full recovery. After making a full recuperation, he has been discharged. The second case was confirmed on 22nd The infected person is a Nepali national who came to Nepal from France via Doha Qatar on 17th March. The infected person is now under the care of Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital.
  2. Government of Nepal has enforced nationwide lockdown from 24th March, Tuesday for a week. The Government came to the decision after finding second case of corona positive in the country. Earlier, the government had imposed partial closure by suspending all international flights, long-route public transportation and closure of all services except essential.

For more information:

Tribhuwan International Airport Civil Aviation Office – https://www.tiairport.com.np/

Department of Immigration – http://nepalimmigration.gov.np/

Ministry of Health and Population – http://heoc.mohp.gov.np/

Nepal Tourism Board – https://www.welcomenepal.com/

Sukraraj Trpical and Infectious Disease Hospital – http://stidh.gov.np/home

We shall keep you updated! Stay Safe, Stay Positive!

 

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus Threat in Nepal Update #4

Posted Mar 20th, 2020 under Company News, Travel Guide,

In response to the coronavirus threat in Nepal, please find our fourth update following our third update (as of March 19, 2020):

  1. Government of Nepal has decided to restrict arrival of all the passengers coming through direct flights, having a transit at and taking the first of their origin from Europe, West Asia and all the Gulf countries, Turkey, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. It is effective from 20th March 2020 till 12th April 2020. (Source: Department of Immigration, Government of Nepal)

 

  1. Department of Immigration has launched a hotline service (+977-1-4113045) at immigration office Tribhuwan International Airport for immigration related information. (Source: Department of Immigration, Government of Nepal)

 

  1. Government of Nepal has suspended the issue of Trekking Permit to the designated restricted area of Nepal till 30th April 2020 to the foreigners who have arrived Nepal on 15th March 2020 and onward. (Source: Department of Immigration, Government of Nepal)

 

  1. Government of Nepal has decided to extend visa of those foreigners (as per the state regulations) who are stuck in Nepal due to arrival restriction in their respective countries.

 

  1. Government of Nepal has temporarily shut down schools, colleges, cinema halls, cultural centers, stadium, gym, health club, museum, swimming pools, entertaining centers, dance bars, clubs etc. till further notice.

 

  1. All cultural, social, religions and public events, programs and gatherings with more than 25 persons are restricted till further notice.

 

  1. All public transportation vehicles are restricted to carry more passengers than capacity.

 

  1. All public transportation vehicles and public places in all metropolis, sub-metropolises, municipalities and rural municipalities should disinfect their respective areas regularly.

 

  1. As of March 17, a total of 496 samples have been tested out of which 495 have proved corona negative. (Source: Ministry of Health, Government of Nepal)

We shall keep you updated!

For more information:

Tribhuwan International Airport Civil Aviation Office – https://www.tiairport.com.np/

Department of Immigration – http://nepalimmigration.gov.np/

Ministry of Health and Population – http://heoc.mohp.gov.np/

Nepal Tourism Board – https://www.welcomenepal.com/

Sukraraj Trpical and Infectious Disease Hospital – http://stidh.gov.np/home

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus Threat in Nepal

Posted Mar 5th, 2020 under Company News, Travel Guide,

We all are aware about coronavirus or COVID – 19 outbreaks in different parts of the world. It has created a state of emergency across the globe. The effects of the current outbreak have significantly impacted tourism raising a great concern among the travel community. We understand you are also worried! So, in this regard, we want to update the status of Coronavirus Threat in Nepal to all our partners and travellers so that you will be aware about the real situation and plan accordingly.

Coronavirus Threat in Nepal

Coronavirus Threat in Nepal #Source: CNN

Currently, Health Emergency and Disaster Management Unit – Ministry of Health, Department of Immigration, Tribhuwan International Airport Civil Aviation Office and Local Government bodies are working jointly to control the potential spread of the virus. Please go through the following update in which we have complied concerned facts and information related to coronavirus threat in Nepal. We hope our information will help you in considering and making your travel plans to Nepal. We will keep you updating about the latest news and information regularly.

  1. Till date, only one case of corona positive has been confirmed in Nepal (on 23 January). The infected person who is a Nepali national and has returned from Wuhan, China remained under the care of Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital till full recovery. After making a full recuperation, he has been discharged. Now, he is back to normal life under regular monitoring. (Source: Ministry of Health, Government of Nepal)
  2. As of 3rd March, a total of 433 samples have been tested out of which 432 have tested negative. No other new suspected case has been reported till date. (Source: Ministry of Health, Government of Nepal)
  3. All 175 Nepali university students who were repatriated from Wuhan, China, on 16th February and quarantined at Kharipati, Bhaktapur for two weeks have tested negative. They were allowed to return home after the second time test also came negative. The evacuees had undergone the first test within 24 hour of their arrival but their test results were found to be negative. The government had decided to go for second test on 29th February to ascertain the result. Not only the students, all 18 crew members involved in bringing the students and 7 health and hygiene staffs mobilized at the quarantine site have tested negative. (Source: Ministry of Health, Government of Nepal)
  4. Nepal Government has taken into account the recommendations and measures of WHO and has suspended visa-on-arrival (till further notice) for the nationals of People’s Republic of China (including Special Administrative Regions), Islamic Republic of Iran, Italy, Republic of Korea and Japan. These nationals can obtain visa beforehand from the Nepali Missions abroad after submitting a recently issued health certificate stating that they are not infected by COVID-19. (Source: Department of Immigration, Government of Nepal)
  5. Nepali nationals directly coming from countries affected by and in the high risk of COVID-19 and from third countries transmitting via those countries will have to undergo mandatory home quarantine for 14 days. (Source: Ministry of Health, Government of Nepal)
  6. Tribhuwan International Airport, country’s only entry point by air, has adopted the preventive safety measures by screening passengers using thermal scanner, thermal gun and spraying sanitizer over the travellers for disinfection. Precautionary information is also displayed in Nepali, English and Chinese language at major points. (Source: Tribhuwan International Airport Civil Aviation Office)
  7. Health desk with international standard is operational at Tribhuwan International Airport. Passengers with temperature measured >100.4 °F are being sent to Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital for further investigation and treatment; People reporting fever, cough or shortness of breath at TIA Health Desk or Teku Hospital are further investigated, treated, counseled and monitored on a regular basis. (Source: Ministry of Health, Government of Nepal)
  8. Health desks with international standard are also operational at the main land borders crossing with China and India. Visas to the nationals of third countries entering through India via land routes shall be issued visa after their health check-up ensuring that they will enter only through the designated points. (Source: Ministry of Health, Government of Nepal)
  9. Hospitals have prepared the Hospital Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan and isolation facilities as per the protocol prepared by the Ministry of Health and Population. (Source: Ministry of Health, Government of Nepal)
  10. International meetings and conferences to be held in Nepal in the near future have been postponed. (Source: Ministry of Health, Government of Nepal)
  11. Private and non-governmental sectors are requested to postpone their international programs scheduled to be held in Nepal. (Source: Ministry of Health, Government of Nepal)
For more information:
Tribhuwan International Airport Civil Aviation Office – https://www.tiairport.com.np/
Department of Immigration – http://nepalimmigration.gov.np/
Ministry of Health and Population – http://heoc.mohp.gov.np/
Nepal Tourism Board – https://www.welcomenepal.com/
Sukraraj Trpical and Infectious Disease Hospital – http://stidh.gov.np/home

Everest Base Camp Trek Distance, Time and Elevation

Posted Feb 26th, 2020 under Blog, Photo Essay, Travel Guide, Trekking & Hiking,

It’s a known fact that Everest Base Camp Trek is a very rewarding highland adventure. Flying to thrilling Lukla Airport, walking past quaint Sherpa villages and breathtaking landscape, and finally getting real close to Everest, the highest of all peaks in the world, Everest Base Camp Trek is definitely a whole new level of experience. As expected of any trekking in Nepal, it also involves a lot of walking (continuously for about 11/12 days) in the alpine terrain. So, anyone interested to undertake trekking in Nepal is sure to ask mandatory questions like how high? how far? and how many hours.  However, there is absolutely no reason to get worried – we are making things easier for you! Below we have listed some major facts on distance, time and elevation involved in Everest Base Camp Trek. Please note that we have used a standard itinerary to provide a general overview of the trek, though there can be some side treks and different stopovers depending on individual requirement.

Gorak Shep to Everest Base CampSummary of distance, time and elevation

  1. Distance in Everest Base Camp: The total distance in Everest Base Camp trek (Lukla-Everest Base Camp-Lukla) is about 130km round trip (65 km each way). Normal number of days to cover the distance is 11/12 days. So, you will be walking roughly about 11 km in about 6 hours a day in average. As the terrain is rocky with switchbacks (gradual ascent and descent), the pace will be slow about 2.5 km an hour. So, distance in Everest Base Camp Trek is achievable for people of all ages. As you need to acclimatize while going up, it takes 9 days to reach the Base Camp (including the 2 acclimatization days) and just 3 days to return to Lukla.
  2. Elevation in Everest Base Camp Trek : Everest Base Camp Trek is not a very technical trekking. However, elevation is a bit of challenge that needs to be considered of. The very starting point of the trek, Lukla Airport itself is at an altitude of 2860m. Lukla Airport, known as Tenzing Hillary Airport, is popularly known as one of the most adventurous airports in the world due to its tricky runway perched on a cliff. The highest point you reach is 5545m (Kala Patthar), an amazing viewpoint to savor the beauty of Everest and her sister peaks. Though the altitude variation looks extreme, the itinerary is planned in such a way that your body gets enough time to acclimatize. An average elevation gain ranges from 400m to 800m per day. When you gain significantly high altitude in a particular day, the next day will usually be the rest day to acclimatize. As a whole, elevation in Everest Base Camp Trek defines both the challenge and joy.

Day to day distance, time and elevation

To get a more comprehensive idea on the distance, time (walking hours) and elevation, here is a day-to-day break down of the standard Everest Base Camp Trek with en-route highlights.

Day 1: Lukla to Phakding 

Phakding

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Gain

 

9 km

 

4 hours 2860m – 2656m

En-route Highlights: mani walls and boulders, villages like Cheplung, Lhawa and Ghat, suspension bridge (first one of six such bridges in the trail)

Day 2: Phakding to Namche       

Namche

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Gain

 

12 km

 

6 hours 2656m – 3440m

En-route Highlights: Monjo (National Park Entry point, Entry Permit Check Point), Jorsalle, 4 suspension bridges (3 above Dudh Koshi and 1 above Imja Khola, the iconic one seen in movies), approximately 700m vertical climb before reaching Namche – shouldn’t be taken lightly as you will set off for the climb right after your lunch and when you have to walk uphill in altitude right after meal, it can’t so easy. This uphill climb is the first of the two tough climbs you will have in Everest Base Camp Trek.

Day 3: Rest Day at Namche

Khumjung Village

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Gain

 

6 km

 

4 hours 3440m – 3880m – 3440m

Activities:

  1. Visit to Sherpa Culture Museum, Sagarmatha National Park Museum ( about 100m above Namche) & Monastery
  2. Hiking to Khumjung/Khunde (3790m- about 2 km from Namche) – about 400m climb from Namche to Syangboche Airport and continue to Khunde and Khumjung
  3. Hiking to Hotel Everest View (3880m – about 2.5 km from Namche) – about 400m climb from Namche to Synagboche Airport and continue to the hotel
  4. Hiking in a loop Namche-Syangboche-Khunde-Khumjung-Hotel Everest View-Namche; you can also choose to stay overnight in Khumjung or Hotel Everest View

En- route Highlights: Views of Everest, Nupste, Lhotse and Ama Dablam; Khunde Hospital, Khumjung School, Khumjung Monastery, Hotel Everest View (one of the highest hotels in the world) etc.

Day 4: Namche to Deboche

Tengboche Monastery

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Gain

 

11 km

 

6 hours 3440m-3734m

En-route Highlights:  Views of Everest, Nupste, Lhotse and Ama Dablam; a suspension bridge over Imja Khola , after about 300m downhill walk to Punki Tenga; about 500m of climb to Tengboche (second of the two vertical climbs after Namche climb), Tengboche Monastery (3867m – 10 km, 5 hours)

Day 5: Deboche to Dingboche

Lower Pangboche Village

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Gain

 

11 km

 

6 hours 3734m – 4410m

En-route Highlights: Views of towering Amadablam and Nuptse; Everest starts to hide behind the Nuptse wall; Pangboche Village (3985m- about 3 km, 2 hours) combination of 2 settlements lower and upper; Pangboche Monastery with its famed yeti skull; Pangboche is also the last village for Amadablam expedition – climbers go to Amadablam Base Camp via Pangboche; consistently flat trail throughout; crossroad one leading to Pheriche and other leading to Dingboche

Day 6: Rest Day at Dingboche

Dingboche Village

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Gain

 

 

i. 1.5 km (if Nangkar Tshang Hill)

ii. 11 km (if Chhukung Village & Chukkung Ri)

 

i. 3 hours (includes steep climb)

ii. 6 hours

 

i. 4410m – 5083m

ii. 4410m –  4730m – 5550m

 

Amadablam View from Nangkar Tshang

Activities:

  1. Hiking to Nangkar Tshang Hill (5083m, about 700m high from Dingboche, 2.5 hours) which sounds like Nagarjun (Nepali word of Sanskrit origin), at first steady climb and later on steep. Nangkar Tshang hill is right behind Dingboche village.
  2. Hiking to Chhukung Village (4730m, about 5km, 1.5 hours) – the last village before Island Peak, can continue to Chhukung Ri (5550m, about 820m high from Chhukung Village, 3 hours) if you want to push yourself a bit harder –  in this case an early start from Dingboche is required.

En-route Highlights:  From Nangkar Tshang Hill 360 degree views of Mt. Makalu, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Island peak, Amadablam, Kangtega , Thamserku , Taboche, and Cholatse ; From Chhukung Ri impressive view of Imja Tse (Island Peak), Imja Glacier, Ama Dablam, Makalu and Nuptse

Day 7: Dingboche to Lobuche

Lobuche

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Gain

 

8.5 km

 

5 hours

 

4410m – 4910m

 

En-route Highlights: Views of Amadablam, Taboche and Cholatse;  Thukla – a riverside lunch stopover, A Memorial Park at Thukla Pass  – has about 100 memorials (called chhortens in local language) of those who died while climbing Everest  and other mountains including legendary climber Babu Chhiri Sherpa; Khumbu Glacier moraine

Day 8: Lobuche to Gorakshep (Base Camp hike)

 

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Gain

 

i. 4.3 km (Lobuche – Gorakshep)

ii. 3.5 km (Gorak Shep – Everest Base Camp)

 

i. 2.5 hours

ii. 5 hours for round trip (3 hours + 2 hours)

i. 4910m – 5140m

ii. 5140m – 5364m – 5140m

En-route Highlights: Khumbu Glacier, close up views of Pumori, Nuptse, Khumbutse, Lhola, Everest Base Camp, Tip of Everest (highlight of the whole trek)

Day 9: Morning Kala Pathhar hike; Gorakshep to Pheriche

Gorak Shep

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Loss

i. 1.2 km (Gorakshep – Kala Pathhar)

ii. 10 km (Gorak Shep – Pheriche)

i. 3.5 hours for round trip

ii. 5 hours

i. 5140m – 5545m – 5140m

ii. 5140m – 4371m

En-route Highlights: Spectacular sunrise view of Everest, Nuptse, Changtse, Lhotse etc.  from Kala Pathhar

Day 10: Pheriche to Namche

Pheriche with a backdrop of Amadablam

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Loss

 

14 km

 

7 hours 4371m – 3440m

En-route Highlights: Pangboche monastery; Tengboche monastery; Suspension bridge at Phunki

Tenga; views of Nupste, Everest, Amadablam, Kangtega Thamserku, Kongde Ri etc.

Pangboche village with monastery

 Day 11: Namche to Lukla

Distance Walking Hours Elevation Loss

 

18 km

 

7 hours 3440m – 2860m

En-route Highlights: 5 Suspension bridges, Dudh Koshi River; and of course trees (you might have almost forgotten about them)

 

 

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My trip to the 'roof of the world' was a great adventure - right from the mysterious Potala Palace in Lhasa to the Everest Base Camp.

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