Week Below Everest and Village Visit - Jun 19 - Jul 10, 2019
We just completed a 3.5 week vacation in Nepal that included stays in Kathmandu and other cities, tours of heritage sites and a national park and a trek in the Annapurna region.
We have traveled extensively in Europe and elsewhere and have always made our own arrangements, and have done very well. For a trip to Nepal you need professional assistance and we received exemplary service at every stage of our trip.
Before we arrived in Nepal, Amanda helped us with all the planning and arrangements. They customized the trip for us. They have many pre-planned treks in Nepal, but they can be customized to fit your time frame, experience, and interests. We considered a number of options before settling on our itinerary. Amanda provided us with lots of useful information. We followed her packing guide and used everything on the list, but didn't need anything else. I would suggest for your trek that you have a clean pair of socks and underwear for each day, you can wear the same pair of pants trekking each day but is is comforting to put on clean dry socks and underwear every day. We had lots of back and forth in the planning stage, and their communication system keeps everything in one place so you can easily check on what has been sent or reread information--really helpful.
When we arrived in Nepal, Raj was our primary contact. This turned our to be critical to the success of our trip. He was amazingly flexible, helpful, and knowledgeable. We made a number of changes/additions as the trip went on. Originally, we had planned a trek in the Everest valley during the monsoon season, Amanda prepared us very well for the potential weather related difficulties that could occur. We spent two days in the airport trying to fly into Lukla, but the airport was closed due to weather. After the first day, Raj suggested a number of options if the weather continued. After the second day we decided to change our plans and Trek in a more accessible area. We contacted Raj from the airport and he completely changed our itinerary, booked new flights and accommodations and we flew out that afternoon. It was so impressive!
I also want to point out that EVERYONE was always early for every appointment--every meeting, driver, tourguide, etc., arrived 15-30 minutes before they were expected, which gave us great confidence.
We urge you to request Naresh Nachhiring to be your trek guide--he was spectacular. We had the opportunity to observe a number of guides, and we were so grateful Naresh was our guide--there really is a difference. Naresh is soft spoken, very experienced/capable (doing this work since he was 14), honest, kind, small ego, big heart, he has the "helper gene". On the trek, the guide has lots of discretion, he chooses where you stop and eat and sleep, the places may look alike, but they are not! Naresh always found us the best location, the best room, and he was always looking for ways to be quietly helpful. He adjusted his service to our needs, our pace, our interests. He would leave us alone to walk together, but then he was there to put a rock in a stream to make it easier for us to cross, or point out a safer path through a challenging section, or show us something we would have surely missed. He never pressured us or tried to make us fit his needs, he served us. It was so cool to be with someone who is so experienced, yet he still take such pleasure in what we were seeing--monkeys playing in the trees, a beautiful waterfall or vista, a mountain view he must have seen hundreds of times before, yet still enjoyed. We enjoyed all our time together--he is a real person who is easy to be with, never playing a role or putting on an act. Ask for NARESH!
We had several city guides and by far the best one was Pratikshya--ask for her! She doesn't run through some prepared script that feels like it has been said a thousand times. She is like visiting a new place with a friend. Easy, tells you a little bit, if you want more she knows it. Fun to be with, she really made every experience with her enjoyable, relaxing, informative (without overdoing it). She is relaxed, genuine, honest, knowledgeable. The perfect guide!
At the end of our trip we stayed in 3 locations that were not typical Nepali hotels/teahouses. These are more western in style, but also really enjoyable for different reasons. Temple Tree Resort is in Pokhera, and we stayed there the nights before and after our trek--a real treat, amazing facility and service--we were spoiled and loved it. Namo Buddha Resort, near the Namo Buddha Monastery , is 13 gnome cottages built by a German couple 20 years ago on a hilltop overlooking a beautiful valley. We are not vegetarians, but we thoroughly enjoyed their amazing vegetarian meals made from all organic produce they grow on site--stay here if you plan to visit Namo Buddha. Milla Guesthouse in Bhaktapur is a 4 room exquisite mini hotel built by a Austrian Architect, involved in the restoration of Nepali religious sites. Bhaktapur is rich in history but badly damaged by a series of earthquakes, the latest in 2015, this hotel with amazing service is a gem in the rubble--stay there if you visit Bhaktapur, it is right in the center of everything. We never would have found these three places without Amanda and Raj's help.
We had many drivers, and lots of different experiences from primitive to luxury but all exceeded expectations. We were will taken care of and prepared because we recieved exemplary service at every turn. Highly recommended.