What will you do if you have travelled widely, traversed the Himalaya and love the mountains? If you are wise enough, maybe, you will think of smart ways to share your experiences.
Meet writer and intrepid traveller Bart Jordans, who has done just that. A widely travelled man, Bart has found a smart way to share his travel experiences. He has written guide books and is a regular guide leading trekking groups up the Himalayan mountains for than 25 years now. When not busy traipsing on the hills and mountains, Bart spends time with his family, selling outdoor gear in a trekking shop and writing. He has already published a trekking guide on Bhutan for Cicerone and presently writing about Everest region’s Khansung Trek.
Bart, who works as a group leader for Kipling Travels (Explore Himalaya’s partner agency in Denmark), led a trek to Everest Base Camp recently. He dropped in at our office after he returned to Kathmandu. Not to let an opportunity for a good write-up to slip by, I put forward a couple of questions to the expert himself.
A Dutchman who lives in Denmark, Bart first visited Nepal in 1984. He admitted that the country has changed a lot since then. Speaking about the changes he says, “There’s always the good old day as they say. You always remember how it was in ‘84. It was a lot more quiet and that’s what you miss now. But of course you can’t stop it. If more and more people come, more people can enjoy the Himalaya. In 1984 there were just three-four areas which were open (for tourists) but now many more areas are open and so the tourists have also spread. Of course its not everywhere as busy as you would think, still an Everest trek is busy.”
A widely traveled man, Bart has led treks not only to Nepal, but in Bhutan, Tibet, India and Pakistan as well. Asked where it is easier to travel to, he replied, “It’s easier here (in Nepal) if you fly. Travelling by road is also getting better, but if you fly that’s easier. All the services, like helicopters, it’s amazing. So you feel very safe here. On my trek, unfortunately, we had to order two helicopters. But it’s so easy to do. If the weather is okay, you could get the helicopter in no time. So that’s safe, which is not the case in many other countries in the Himalayas. It’s much more difficult.”
To people who have not visited Nepal, Bart’s advice is :
“ Come out here! Take an adventure and don’t sit on your chair back home and only watch television. Get up there! You know, its not that expensive and you will enjoy it. And if you are just a little bit more clever enough , you don’t get sick. Just listen to people who advise and the same is important with the altitude.If you plan to come out to the Himalayas for trekking, try to have those extra days for acclimatization. I think its also important to go with a big, known company because the back-up is very good. The back-up in cases of emergency , all the internal flights, the hotels – it makes so much easier!”
From 23rd August 2010, Buddha Air, a private Nepalese airline company, is all set to operate direct flights from Kathmandu to Paro in Bhutan .The airline will be operating four flights a week- on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, using 18-seater Beech 1900D aircraft.
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According to a study conducted by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)on the international visitor arrivals for the first quarter of 2010,arrivals to South Asia grew by 17% year-on-year in the first quarter.Arrivals growth was very strong for Nepal (+30%), the Maldives (+21%) and Bhutan (+57%) during the first three months of this year.The destinations of Southeast Asia also reported strong growth with a collective gain of 16% year-on-year in the first quarter. This was boosted by double-digit growth in international arrivals to Cambodia (+10%), Indonesia (+15%), Myanmar (+39%), Singapore (+20%), Thailand (+28%) and Vietnam (+36%).
Buddha Air successfully operated a test flight to Paro International Airport, Bhutan on 25th May 2010. Buddha Air is the first private airlines from Nepal to fly to Bhutan. The airlines will operate commercial flights from Kathmandu to Paro from July 17,2010.