My wife and I arrived in Kathmandu mid-December 2010 for 7 weeks of trekking: our plan was to go up to Gokyo Lakes, cross Cho La to the Khumbu valley, on to EBC, back to Lukla, and then back to Kathmandu before continuing on to Pokhara and the Annapurna Circuit.
We bought our Kathmandu-Lukla plane tix from a travel agent who had an office close by where you used
to go to obtain your trekking permits. At that time, there were several companies flying and they all seemed to fly the same type of planes... does one company have a better safety record than another? You could probably find that out ahead of time if it concerns you. What time of day to fly? I'd heard that the weather is iffy (always or only at the time of year we were there? Couldn't tell you) but we booked tix on the first flight out of Kathmandu thinking we'd be the first out when the weather cleared. Be prepared to exercise heaps of patience (which is essential in almost every activity when traveling.)
quote:Originally posted by HikingJeff
I have done three trips to Nepal and one to Pakistan. In my view:
1 the Everest trek is very popular and very busy. The trail can be so busy that you literally need to wait in line. I would do another trek in a less popular area.
It is an awesome experience and you should do it; however, we did it in the cold off-season and quite often had the lodges and trail to ourselves. Waiting an hour at a swing-bridge for my turn to cross, plus crowding in the lodges, would lessen the enjoyment for me immensely. Here's a pic of the numbers on a board in the Sagamatha National Park entrance:
quote:2 booking in Kathmandu is cheaper but quality of guides and food varies widely. Also, some local trekking companies do not always treat the porters well.
I would think that it might near impossible to do it yourself during the high season when the lodges could be full, unless you carry a tent and thermarests and camp. Others may be able to answer that question. If your intent is to just trek to EBC and back, you don't need a guide or porter to help you find your way or speak the language as the trail is unmistakable and everyone speaks english. People we met who had hired a guide were either very happy with his maturity and demeanor or hated him. If you're fortunate to get a good one, it's a great opportunity to learn more about the country and culture.
quote:4 all the places I have been in Nepal are fantastic and the people are friendly. I love it and will go back again.
Same for my wife and I, we loved it. Fantastic scenery, people, and experiences. The Gokyo Lakes, Khumbu, and Annapurna regions are varied in their beauty and one should see them all.
One area that was just opening up when we were in Nepal is the Nar and Phu valleys. That is where we would go on our next trip to Nepal. Google it!