Linda Ming

Khopra Danda Trek - A great off the beaten path trek in the Annapurna region - Mar 31 - Apr 8, 2018

Traveler: Linda Ming L. - Local specialist: Ngima Dorji Sherpa

Booking our trip on kimkim was extremely simple and convenient. We were connected to Ngima right away, and he was professional and attentive all the way through. Everything that we experienced prior to the trip was easy, smooth, and enjoyable.

The trip itself was rather disappointing because our guide failed time and time again to do his job properly. He seemed entirely unfamiliar with the region of Nepal that we trekked through and depended on our porter to do a number of things that he should have been able to do: lead us on our walks, correctly identify and name the mountains we saw, get us to the right tea houses at the end of each day, etc. Certainly we felt like we had been ripped off given the amount of money that we'd paid for our guide's expertise, but the bigger problem was that his incompetence led to some uncomfortable and frustrating problems -- one of them being a rather serious problem when he'd failed to inform us that there were no bottles of water for sale in the whole Ghorepani region (an endeavor to cut down on plastic waste). Had our guide briefed us on this, we could have purchased bottles of water on our way to Ghorepani, or at the very least, we would have known to save our empty bottles to fill up with filtered water. However, we were never advised on this matter, so we simply threw away our bottles assuming we'd be able to buy more. Needless to say, we felt outraged and panicked when we realized that we hadn't been sufficiently briefed, and that we didn't have any bottles for collecting water to get through the evening and the next day's walk. This made it crystal clear that our guide hadn't done his "homework" to prepare for a trek in a part of Nepal that he was unfamiliar with. (We also felt that Ngima should have advised us about the water situation in Ghorepani. The packing list that he shared did not indicate reusable water bottles as a must. It noted that we'd be able to buy bottles of water along the way, which led us to believe that there was no need to bring our own bottles at all. Given the situation at Ghorepani, Ngima really should have equipped us with better advice.)

There was one other incident concerning our guide that really frustrated and disappointed us. He had arranged to pick us up at our hotel in Pokhara at 2:00PM to take us to the airport for our 3:15PM flight to Kathmandu. We waited 30 minutes for his arrival, and then arranged our own ride to the airport when he still hadn't shown up by 2:30PM. We were terribly anxious for that whole half hour as we didn't want to miss the flight back to Kathmandu since we had an international flight to jump on from there. It was bad enough that we had to arrange and pay for transportation that the trip provider should have covered (we found this truly outrageous), but we really couldn't believe how irresponsible our guide had been. A guide should never make his clients feel so worried.

All in all, we are shocked and disappointed that this was the experience we paid for. In truth, we would like to be refunded the money that we paid to have a guide.

Needless to say, we cannot recommend Ngima's company, Nepal Myths and Mountain Trails.

Ngima Dorji Sherpa profile photo
Ngima Dorji Sherpa, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Linda,

I am so sorry to read that you had such bad experience traveling with us. But I am also equally surprised that you complained me nothing about guide's service when we met in Kathmandu after you return from your trek and asked you how your trip was. And now, suddenly all your experience flooded back in your review with a refund of guide fee.

Please allow me to clarify the situation. I just completed meeting with your guide to have a talk about the issue and now I would like to... read more

Dear Linda,

I am so sorry to read that you had such bad experience traveling with us. But I am also equally surprised that you complained me nothing about guide's service when we met in Kathmandu after you return from your trek and asked you how your trip was. And now, suddenly all your experience flooded back in your review with a refund of guide fee.

Please allow me to clarify the situation. I just completed meeting with your guide to have a talk about the issue and now I would like to explain what did happen on the trek after the inquiry meeting held with the guide.

According to your guide, who is one of the experienced and good guides of our company, performed his best to guide your trip. Most of the times, guide and porters co-ordinate with each other during the trip for service arrangements and easy workflow during the trip. I asked him about the mountains seen from Ghorepani and Khopra Ridge just to cross check his knowledge and he did answer correctly. If you ask other guides for the information instead of asking your guide and if they mislead you with wrong information about the mountains seen from the very particular area, I am sorry but it is wrong to say that your guide had no knowledge at all. You should have trusted your guide rather than trusting some random guides or people you met on the way. If he knows the names and answers me correctly then we can assume that he will definitely deliver the same information to you too.

Regarding, drinking water issue in Ghorepani, your guide suggested you carry multiple numbers of water bottles and so you did accordingly. But we too were totally unaware of the new rule on effect from Tirkhedhunga to Ghorepani area which was regulated recently. It's true that now travelers cannot purchase 1L water bottles but instead they can fill up water in their bottles from 20L jars from the lodge. And to address this issue, your guide purchased two reusable water bottles out of the trek budget which was just allocated for your trek accommodation, lunch, dinner and tea/coffee. He did not even claim for reimbursement of the price. And in addition, he suggested you fill up only boiled water instead of filling water from the jar just to avoid any water-related health issue to you. I think blaming guides expertise for suddenly changed rule in the certain area does not make sense at all. It's the responsibility of travelers to coordinate with the guide to cope with the prevailing rules and enjoy the trip rather than getting disappointed. Had I known earlier about the water bottle issue in Tirkhedhunga to Ghorepani area, I would have suggested you purchase water bottle in Kathmandu which was previously not needed.

Regarding, the flight issue, we had arranged your flight together with your guide. This is an expensive option to choose over transporting guides by local bus but we thought on your comfort in case the flight gets delayed or canceled due to weather problems or any unseen issues. And exactly that happened. Your flight got delayed by around half an hour and your guide re-confirmed your ticket with the new time schedule. He informed that he would pick you up at 2.30 pm at your hotel instead of going airport early and staying idle so that you will have slightly more time to enjoy Pokhara. Your guide reached hotel just a few minutes later after you left to the airport. I think you should have considered waiting few more minutes as missing your flight means missing his flight too and he should report to our office that day anyhow if the flight was operating. Point to be noted is that your guide was staying in another hotel as your Pokhara hotel don't provide guide room if it's directly booked by clients.

In a nutshell, if you were that much disappointed with guide's service that it compelled you to ask for a refund for what you paid for having a guide, why did you tip your guide with around USD 110.00? As usually tipping is done at last after completion of trek depending on your satisfaction with the services provided to you, we can say that you were happy with the trip.

We would love to hear you say in our email: info@nepalmountaintrails.com

Best wishes,

Ngima and whole NMMT family.