Nepal Backpacking Trip and Backpacking Cost

Nepal Backpacking Trip:  NEPAL HAS LONG BEEN A MECCA FOR BACKPACKERS. Back in the heady “flower power” era, the very word Kathmandu was the stuff of dreams, and the city’s “Freak Street” was a magnet to the lost in space generation. times change. Freak Street’s glory days are long gone and today’s “freaks” likely as not have a credit card in their money pouch. But for all that, Nepal remains the perfect destination for a backpacking holiday.

Backpacking Nepal

Nepal Backpacking Trip and Cost

Nepal Backpacking Trip

After all, Nepal is a great bargain. Keeping costs down doesn’t mean scrimping and saving, sleeping in a tent and eating out of cans. There’s no need for dormitory-style hostel accommodation either. Hotels and guest houses, even in Kathmandu, cost as little as US$7 a night for a room with an attached bathroom. And, unless you take one of the less trodden treks, beds are available in tea houses strategically situated three to four hours walk from each other on most of the popular trekking routes. Many young budget travelers take to the high mountain paths to enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery in the world on less than US$12 per day.

Backpacking Nepal
Khumbu Glacier

If accommodation charges make backpacking a breeze, so too do meals. The restaurants of Kathmandu and Pokhara have a near-legendary status among backpackers on the Asian trail Pokhara’s Lakeside district and Kathmandu’s Thamel district are walls to the wall with restaurants whose menus read like introductory samplers to the cuisines of the world. Hungry diner frequently finds themselves forced to choose between dishes as diverse as chicken korma, a Mexican burrito, vegetarian lasagna, sizzling steak, moussaka, Tibetan momos, and Chinese stir-fry.

Backpacking Nepal

Backpacking Nepal Cost

Perhaps the ambitious inclusiveness of these assaults on international cuisine leads to a certain lack o authenticity, but there are few who’ll deny that the results are tasted. And cheap… in most such restaurants it’s possible to sit down to an enormous sizzling steak and a bottle of beer and, when you’ve finished, be presented with a bill for no more than US$6.

This remarkable good value extends into the restaurants that offer genuine quality dining, so that it’s perfectly possible to splurge on, say, some of the best Indian cuisines the world can offer and spend only US$18 TO US$22. It’s near impossible to spend more than US$ 30 per head on a meal anywhere in Nepal.

Backpacking Nepal

Nepal’s great asset as a backpacking destination is that it is one of the few places in the world where economizing doesn’t mean missing out. With the exception of the Mountain Flight and ballooning, there are almost no activities or sights in Nepal that do not have a budget option, even the jungle safaris of Royal Chitwan National Park, where the well-heeled may spend upwards of U$300 per day on the full safari experience, can be done on a budget of US$30 per day if you stay in the village of Sauraha and organize your own safari = on elephant back, by jeep, by canoe or even on foot.

Backpacking Nepal

Nepal backpacking Tours

Nepal Backpacking Trip

As for the mountains, independent trekking has long been a popular activity in Nepal. Essentially, you organize your permit and set off into the hills. If you’re reasonably fit, the Annapurna and Everest treks can be done without guides and porters at a cost of US$20 per day for accommodation and food, plus US$10 per week for the permit. The easiest and most popular treks to do independently at these rates are the Everest trek, the Langtang trek, the Helambu trek, the Jhomsum trek, and the Annapurna Circuit trek.

Backpacking Nepal

One more thing you won’t have to resort to in Nepal is hitchhiking. Most budget travelers get around on Nepal’s long haul buses. The driving is erratic, there’s never enough legroom and speeds rarely get above a tortured trot, but you do eventually get to your destination. The bus journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara, for example, takes around eight hours and costs US$8. And for the hardy budget traveler the US$80 saved in that eight hours of not flying is equal to six days trekking in the Himalayas.

Nepal Backpacking Trip

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