Lodging and Transportation in Nepal 2016

Most of the hotels in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Pokhara were not seriously damaged by the earthquakes. When the fuel shortage abates the level of comfort and services in these areas should return to the previous standards. The major roads in the Kathmandu valley and to Pokhara and Chitwan are also in good shape with buses running on limited schedules.

All domestic flights are on their regular schedules. If you are planning to arrive in Nepal this year you can check with us on the current fuel and transportation situation.

View from Bhaktapur Paradise

View from Bhaktapur Paradise

Our guests who have already completed treks with us this fall have enjoyed the traffic-free cities and peaceful solitude in the mountains. In many ways this is the best time ever to visit Nepal.

Please feel free to contact Andrew or Shree by email, skype: itreknepal or andrew-itreknepal or phone any time if you have any questions or would like to have us arrange a Nepal trek, volunteer assignment or tour.

Trekking in Nepal – 2016

The monsoon in Nepal has ended, the days are mostly sunny, and mountain trekking is as good as ever in those areas spared from earthquake damage, especially in the Everest and Annapurna regions. In the Kathmandu valley things look quite normal though a second look will reveal some demolished buildings. Bhaktapur was harder hit than most parts of the valley and whole neighborhoods are still digging out of the rubble. Although half of the residents have left the city, most return each day to rebuild and work in the shops.

Taumadhi Square, Bhaktapur
Taumadhi Square, Bhaktapur

Though dozens of major World Heritage sites have fallen, most are still intact. It’s not the same here as before the quake but it is still a vibrant, fascinating place. While is now possible to enjoy trekking again in most regions of Nepal, there is a fuel shortage that has made transportation difficult, especially around the Kathmandu valley and Pokhara. Ironically this problem was brought on by one of the greatest triumphs in modern Nepali history. After eight years of failed efforts to deliver a new constitution, the earthquake spurred a spirit of cooperation and the Nepal parliament approved one of the world’s most progressive democratic constitutions. Unfortunately a large constituency along the Indian border has disputed some of the constitution’s provisions and has blocked the Indian border in protest. The restriction of fuels and other critical supplies has been a major problem for most Nepalese and an annoyance for many tourists. It should also be noted that while there has been some violent protests along the border this area is very far from Kathmandu which remains very safe.

ITrekNepal guests at Everest Base Camp -  October 2015
ITrekNepal guests at Everest Base Camp – October 2015

Fortunately the Bhaktapur Paradise Hotel where most ITrekNepal guests are staying has an ample supply of cooking gas and our drivers have a good stock of fuel so it is still a pleasant environment here. With the inauguration of the new government intent on remedying these political problems, the shortages are expected to ease in the next couple weeks and life should back to normal for everyone fairly soon.
In the meantime the Kathmandu valley and Pokhara are exceptionally peaceful. Similarly, the relative lack of tourists has made the popular treks even more enjoyable since there are no crowds to contend with.

Future of Nepal after April 25

Nepal’s Future
About every 70 – 80 years Nepal has been hit by a major earthquake. The great earthquake in 1934 resulted in many deaths and widespread destruction on the same scale as the current quake. After the 34 quake, most of the damaged cultural sites were restored and Nepal soon returned to normal daily life. Much has changed here in 81 years, but the strength, resiliency of the Nepalese people and enduring support of their friends from around the world are still the same. We are confident that Nepal will find the international and external resources to recover and prosper.

For the short-term, we have cancelled all of the scheduled group treks through May. We expect to resume operations in June and to be fully operational by the fall trekking season in September. We are also checking on the access roads, trails and lodges for the Annapurna, Langtang, and Everest regions to insure that these are safe for travel and trekking. As you might have heard there was major damage in the Langtang Valley. There has also been some lesser damage to the trails and lodges in the Everest and Annapurna regions.In addition to direct support for the recovery and Hope for the future in the faces of Nepal’s children rebuilding effort,one of the best ways to help Nepal will be to travel and trek there, either as already planned or with a different perspective. You can visit areas affected by the earthquake, hear the stories of those who have been directly affected, and bring them items from your country that they cannot easily get. Although you might find some inconvenience from damaged roads and facilities, you will mostly find a country and its people on the rise again, and happy to share with you the beauty of this remarkable country.