Nagarkot hike - Nov 25 - Nov 25, 2017
The contact with Ngima was very professional. He responded very expeditiously, answered questions, made proposals and showed flexibility.
However, the tour as such left much to be desired.
On the positive side, the team arrived at the hotel before the agreed time.
But then the announced guide was replaced by someone whose name I do not know until today.
This person was sporty, young and knew his way. But there was a communication gap.
I would have expected that at the start the guide provide information likes this:
We drive now xyz hours/ Kilometres to the place abc from where we will hike def kilometres/ hours. Lunch will be at hotel klm.
There could have also been information on the villages we passed, on the cultivation of the plots, on nature, on the local way of life, local food etc., etc.,
None of this information was provided. It was somehow half-mentioned that we would walk 4 to 5 km, in the end it were 11 km, which is quite a difference.
When I asked in Nagakort where we would have lunch, the answer was “somewhere here”. I then suggested the Club Himalaya, which is a kind of reference point for Western tourists. On the way there, the guide all of sudden said that it was still 30 min to walk and suggested some other place. But my GPS showed a distance of 231 m straight line, so I insisted on going to this place which we reached after 5 min.
However, the weakest, almost unbelievable, aspect was the following: The tour price was USD 200. But for this price (hotels in Kathmandu offer the same tour for 50… 70 USD….), there was not even a bottle of water in the car or with the guide. So, I had to get out of my way and buy one (20 Rupees or 20 US cents) in one of the village kiosks on the way.
I have been working for many years in areas related to tourism development in developing countries (in fact, prior to Nepal. I had been in Ethiopia to check out two tourism destinations –Tigray and the Danakil Depression). So I can compare a bit many different experiences. The Nagakort experience was not among the better ones.
Finally, travel agencies make money by selling impressions and emotions. It should therefore be in their interest that the tourist places are in conditions that generate positive impressions and emotions. Nagarkot, particularly the Nagarkot Tower area, urgently needs a clean-up. Littering is so spoiling the place that I left prematurely. Travel agencies, in their own interest, should engage themselves in keeping this place clean and worthwhile a visit.