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Frequently Asked Questions For Treks - Annapurna Travel & Tours (P) Ltd.
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Frequently Asked Questions For Treks

What Is A Tea House Trek (Th)?
TH trek means a Tea House Trek. Some of the most popular trekking routes are served by lodges making it possible for you to stay at a local Tea house (a mountain thatched hut that's made of mud, brick and wood) during your trek. Tea house treks are less expensive then Camping treks and are largely suitable for small groups. Usually during busy seasons if private rooms in smaller villages are fully occupied you might have to sleep in a dormitory. Price includes accommodation in lodges, guide, porters and all meals. it would be wise not to expect it to be like the hotel u stay at in Kathmandu; but its reasonably cozy, warm & homely...u can call it luxury on a rugged trail & it can literally be a blessing in disguise because weather patterns can really be unpredictable sometimes.....especially at higher altitudes.

What Is A ''Fot'' Trek?
On FOT or Fully Organized Treks your eating and sleeping arrangements will be fully organized by a support crew. FOTs are also known as CAMPING TREKS. On camping treks you will be sleeping in tents. A trekking crew consists of one sirdar, one cook and kitchen crew, Sherpa assistants and porters depending on the size of the group. Under the leadership of the sirdar (the local trek leader), the crew consists of several Sherpa assistants who will ensure you don't take the wrong path, a cook and kitchen crew to keep you well fed with delicious and nutritious meals and the porters to transport all the gear from camp to camp. Our main aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. The ratio of both Sherpa guides and kitchen crew to group members is generally 1:4 and the ratio of porters to group members is around 3:1 at the beginning of the trek, but this decreases as food is eaten and loads become smaller. For bathroom facilities we carry a toilet tent. Your camping staffs dig a deep hole in the ground for excrement and cover the hole with soil after the business is done. Camping treks are generally organized for peak climbing or when trekking in extreme remote regions of Nepal....but then the choice is yours. You can camp out on any trek of your choice.

Do Your Guide/Porters Speak English?
Our cultural tour guides are pretty proficient. The trekking guide (Sirdar) and his assistants speak a reasonable amount of English and are good enough to explain to you about the places, local culture or any sight that catches your eyes or is of interest to you.  

How Big Are The Groups?
We try to bring together a small group of likeminded people to give them a memorable and insightful adventurous experience, and this is an invaluable opportunity to interact with each other in a fun-filled environment. Our travel group generally comprises of a maximum 12 members. We need a minimum of 2 participants to run our trek programs. For private trips, no minimum or maximum numbers apply.

How Long Do We Walk For Each Day?
All our trekking programs are classified into THREE different categories according to the level of altitude & terrain of the trek. Soft Adventure treks are only about a week to 10 days in duration. They generally don't go above 4000 meters and each day, you can expect to be walking for around 4 - 5 hours. While moderate to fairly challenging treks are longer treks that go right into high mountain country. Physically quite tiring, these involve approx 6-8 hours trekking along rocky ridges of high Himalayan peaks. Strenuous treks are longer treks that go far beyond the normal haunts of trekkers and tourists. Physically challenging, these may involve 7-9 hours trekking and likely to include unfavorable weather conditions and strenuous activities. It's definitely not for beginners. Basically, any trek can be challenging...u need to know your body & probably take a medical examination before doing any trek above 5000 meters and/or before doing strenuous treks.

What About Security During Trekking?
Security of our clients is of foremost & vital importance for us. All our guides and other support crew are carefully chosen for your trips. Our guides hold licenses issued by the Government of Nepal. They are very honest and reliable. But we would also advise you to take care of your own personal belongings. If you are on 'camping treks' please do not leave your bags unattended at any time for your own safety. Take your main bag inside the tent once you reach campsite. At night, put all bags and belongings in the middle of the tent. Your guide assigns a Sherpa on turn wise basis to guard the campsite throughout the night. If you are on a 'Tea house or GAP trek' arrangement, you will be sleeping in a local tea house. You have to take sensible precautions yourself at all times. Never leave your baggage unattended and keep your lodge room locked when you go out. Prevention is always the best kind of cure.

Do You Provide Any Equipment While Trekking?
On all our Camping treks we provide all the tents, sometimes dome tents, sometimes sturdy A frames and normally people share one tent between two; a foam mattress each; all the cutlery and utensils, cooking pots, stoves; candles/kerosene lantern, tables and stools, kitchen tent, a dining tent and toilet tent; and all the main meals while trekking but not snacks. On Tea house treks, there is no necessity to provide any equipment.

Do You Arrange Domestic & International Flts?
On the domestic front, we work with all domestic airlines operating in Nepal. Annapurna Travel & Tours employs IATA trained personnel who will assist and guide you in booking all your domestic or international flights. We are one of the largest air ticketing stockists in the country for all flight tickets.

What Happens In Case Of An Emergency?
In the event of a serious sickness or a casualty, which we surely believe will not happen; you will be rescued by a helicopter. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in the event of your having to be evacuated; please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or u must be prepared to pay on your own after getting back to Kathmandu. Ask your guide to arrange a runner to the nearest communication point and inform our office about the requirements of a helicopter. While asking for the helicopter, please send a name of the sick person and always give the exact location from where the helicopter can airlift you {our guides will help you on this} do not leave your stationed point even if you are getting better once you have called in the helicopter.

Can We Change The Itinerary?
Depending on any given situation, you can modify it to some extent after consulting with your guide. However, the date of your trek completion should always coincide with the original itinerary. You should keep in mind that this is an adventure trip into some of the most remote regions on earth, where any unforeseen events may compel you to go for a change in your itinerary. In such cases, we or your guide will suggest the best alternative similar to your original itinerary.

Are You A Licensed Trekking Agency?
Yes, we are a licensed trekking agency. We have been organizing tours, treks and expeditions for our valued clients for over 4 decades. We enjoy our work.

How Do I Book With You?
After choosing a trip of your choice, the first step is to fill up the form available here. A deposit has to be made in order to confirm the reservation. All details will be emailed to you to make it easy for you to book. The next step is to get on a plane and jet down to Asia, and then get ready for an adventure that will be a 'once-in-a-lifetime-experience'.


Do You Arrange Private Treks?
Yes, we do. If you prefer to travel independently, or with your friends, families & colleagues you are invited to choose any of the trips at a timeframe suiting your convenience. The number could range from a group of people that could be (minimum 1 & maximum 100 at a time). Costs for private trips can be fixed on the basis of group size, trek area; duration and trek style, and is negotiable. We also arrange TREKS FOR a SINGLE WOMAN, if required. However, if none of our fixed group departure dates work for you and you do not have anyone to accompany you; you can still be able to make your preferred trip with us. There is absolutely nothing to worry about if you wish to do a solo trip. We can assign a local professional guide, porters etc whom you could trust with your life. We strongly advise to avoid traveling alone in the mountains.

What Is A ‘Gap’ Trek?
This is an abbreviation for 'Guide Accommodation and Porters' (GAP). This trek option is for those who only want basic support services from us. This is the most economical way to do trekking in Nepal. We provide an English speaking local Sherpa guide, book and pay for the accommodation in local lodges during trek and arrange required porters and trekkers who pay for their meals directly to the local lodge owner. This option works only on certain routes in the Everest, Langtang and Annapurna regions where trekking routes are served by the local folks in their tea house or lodges. You pay for your own meals. We take care of all the expenses of our staff.

What Type Of Food Is Served During A Trek?
On a CAMPING TREK we provide three tasty, plentiful and nutritious meals daily with a variety of local and western dishes. Your first meal of the day starts with a king size breakfast that consists of a choice of porridge, muesli or a cereal followed by eggs done to your style; it can be an omelet, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta and traditional breads. Dinner is a hearty 3 course meal - soup, followed by a variety of vegetable, meat, rice and pasta dishes and completed with a simple dessert. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate is also provided at all meals. We use as much fresh produce as possible and special diets are regularly catered for. The cooking crew leaders are able to maintain very tight controls on health and hygiene in the kitchen with respect to general cleanliness and food preparation. The head cook makes sure that all food is prepared with respect to personal hygiene. All foods are well cooked and vegetables are treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. Boiled water is served for drinking. Antiseptic soaps and potassium or iodine treated water are provided for washing. Special dietary requirements can also be catered for.  

On the Tea House treks we provide standard breakfast, lunch and a three course dinner. Tea or coffee will also be included with each meal. Your guide will help you with the menu selection and ensure that you get the best value meals possible. Although the food is usually plentiful and delicious, you should be aware that the menu is not normally extensive. Most teahouses offer a variety of rice and noodle dishes, as well as soup and seasonal vegetables. A variety of cereals, bread and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. There will also be plenty of snacks available such as biscuits, chocolate and soft drinks and in some areas you will find fresh fruit in season. You can buy packaged water (bottled mineral water) from local lodge and shop en route or you can also ask your guide to fill your water bottle with boiled water and treat with water purification pills.

How Do We Get Safe Drinking Water On A Trek?
On camping treks, our staff will boil and cook meals treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. On GAP treks, you will be able to buy safe hot drinks in the tea house. We recommend that you to bring water purification pills. On the trail, water from the streams is safe if away from settlements.

What Is The Overnight Accommodation Like?
In cities like Kathmandu or Lhasa, accommodation will be in hotels of your preference. We have a pool of hotels that range from luxury deluxe to budget hotels. While on a trek, accommodation will depend on the trek style. If you are deciding for a camping trek, then you will be sleeping in tents. Whilst we endeavor to stay in the best possible accommodation along the way, you should be aware that most teahouses, particularly in the smaller villages, are quite basic. The bedrooms are usually very small, the shared bathroom facilities are often outside and meals are served in a communal dining hall. Although simple, the teahouses do provide shelter and warmth and are normally run by friendly local families. Tea house treks are less expensive than Camping treks and are largely suitable for small groups. Usually during peak or busy seasons if private rooms in smaller villages are fully occupied you might have to sleep in a dormitory; however, the feel of adventure is always there.

How Fit Must I Be To Trek In The Himalayas?
You should be moderately fit, used to some regular exercise and enjoy walking in high altitude conditions. Living up to a physical challenge is always good for you, no matter what. Trekking once a year is always the best regimen for your body's needs; as per recommendations from most health journals throughout the world.  

Is Tipping Included? If Not, How Much Budget Should I Have For The Trip?
Tips are appreciated by your support team after the trip. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. Some trekkers give 10% of the total tour cost as tips. This is absolutely your choice, make the best of it. Only you can decide this.

How Should I Dress During A Trek?
The clothing you bring will need to allow for both the warmth of the days and the chill of the nights. While trekking during the day at lower altitudes, lightweight trekking trousers and T-shirts are recommended. It's always a good idea to carry a waterproof jacket and some warmer clothing with you though as mountain weather is notoriously unpredictable. For the cold nights, thermal underwear, a warm fleece jacket and even a down jacket will help to keep you warm. Good shoes are of great importance. They must be sturdy and comfortable. For higher altitude treks where you may have to tread snow for long hours, good boots are available for rent in Kathmandu. In view of local customs, try not to wear too skimpy or revealing clothes. Your reception by locals can vary greatly on the way you dress.

Is It Possible To Change The Lodge If It’s Not In Order Or To My Choice?
Yes, you can definitely change the lodge if you feel it is not in order by talking it over with your guide, (provided there are other lodges with good rooms in the vicinity).

Do You Reserve Rooms At The Lodges Before Or During The Trek?
We accommodate trekking groups in local lodges available on the trail. As it is not possible to book the rooms days in advance, we send a porter few hours ahead of the group each day to book the rooms.

How do I find you at the airport?
Our airport representative & a vehicle will be waiting you at the arrival gate of the airport; in his hand will be a plaque board holding your name with the Annapurna Travels tag clearly written on top of the board…you can’t lose us.

Is it ok to get a Nepalese visa in advance or at the airport?
Obtaining a Nepalese visa on arrival is easier except that you may have to spend some precious time queuing up. If you get your visa in advance, you can avoid the queue. Also, don’t forget to bring cash as ATMs are not available at the airport.
Note: If you are staying for more than 15 days, don’t forget to arrange a visa for 30 days.

Where should I get my money exchanged?
You can get your money exchanged at your hotel or we will recommend you the better place where you can get good exchanging rates. So once you are here in Kathmandu, visit us for further information.

What is the weight limit for luggage/clothing/equipment that each traveler can take?
The weight limit for the trek is 15kgs per guest, as it is the maximum weight that the porters can carry. It is also important to note that "hard" luggage poses a problem: soft "duffel-bags" are recommended which we provide. The lighter you are the better for the trails…

Where can I keep my luggage?
You can keep your luggage & valuable items in a locker at the hotel in Kathmandu for free of charge.

Do tea houses have electricity so I can charge my electronic devices?
Most of the teahouses have electricity facilities during the trekking period. You can charge your electronic devices on the trail.

Can I use credit cards during trekking?
Credit cards are not accepted during your trekking period so you have to use only Nepalese Rupees in cash. In Kathmandu and other major cities modern banking facilities are available.

What do I have to carry with me on trek?
You will only have to carry a daypack, which should be a reasonable size to carry a water bottle, sunscreen, camera, etc. Your other packs are carried by porters. Again we stress on the wisdom of always TRAVEL LIGHT’.

What kind of weather can we expect during trekking?
Mountains weather is difficult to predict. Although at night it is generally cooler and the days are warm. Winter (January and February) will be colder but the days can be warm if the sun is out. There will be bit of snow during the month of January, February and December. It is also important to make sure that you can stay warm and dry in just about any conditions. Expect the unexpected to avoid being on the dark side of the moon. 

Is it healthy to take showers during the trek?
You can get hot shower services throughout the trip. However, the higher you climb the less pleasant it will be. It’s better to be on the safe side of things.

ALTITUDE MOUNTAIN SICKNESS
Altitude mountain sickness can affect anyone or everyone while trekking including young and healthy people and is a genuine concern in the Khumbu region.  If you feel dizzy, suffer palpitations or severe headaches, return immediately to a lower altitude. Do not take altitude sickness lightly. It can be fatal!  When trekking, its vital to realize that you must always hike at a pace that is convenient to your body…& not to anyone else’s, make sure you feel comfortable when trekking & listen to your body…always.

These are the questions we are often asked and we hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.

OTHER THAN THIS, JUST PUT YOUR FAITH IN ANNAPURNA TRAVELNO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE ON THE HIMALAYAS OF NEPAL…YOU WILL NEVER WALK ALONE…
 

Further useful information

Respect local traditions, customs, values and sentiments to help them protect local culture and maintain local pride.
Respect privacy when taking photographs
Respect holy places
Refrain from giving money to children as it encourages begging
Respect for the local etiquette earns you respect
Let the Himalayas change you - Do not try to change the way of life in the Himalayas, because you’d be going against the hand of GOD.
Protect the natural environment

Leave the campsite cleaner than you found it
Limit deforestation - make no open fires
Burn dry paper and packets in a safe place
Keep local water clean and avoid using pollutants
Plants should be left to flourish in their natural environment
If you have more questions related to your trip, please mail us at: navraj@mos.com.np
we’d be glad to answer them

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