Less than one week from today I depart for Nepal with my good friend and sorority sister, Ellie, for a trekking adventure of a lifetime. We received a grant from our college (the one and only Ohio Wesleyan University) to study the impacts of tourism on the Tamang people in the Langtang region of Nepal. We will trek with a porter for 7 days in the Himalayas, walking up to the northern Nepali border with Tibet before circling back to Kathmandu. With one day before and half a day after the trek we will embark on a whirlwind tour of the city before heading back home.
This week is all about preparations, scanning the internet for useful tips and tricks, thumbing through guidebooks, reading up on other research on tourism in Nepal, and buying the much needed mountaineer pack, anti-leech oil, and water-purification tablets.
Of course, you never really know what you’re getting yourself into when you travel to a new place, but you can pretend to get ready and hope that something you read will come in useful as you’re panting your way up a narrow mountain path.
My To-Do List looks something like this….
- Buy a hiking pack and hiking boots from REI.
- Read Arresting God in Kathmandu by Samrat Upadhyay–the first Nepali writer writing in English to be published in the west.
- Read Following Whispers: Walking on the Rooftop of the World in Nepal’s Himalayas by Dan Thompson–the proceeds of which go to sustainable tourism practices in the Himalayas.
- Continue reading the Lonely Planet Guide to Nepal.
- Activate my International Student Identity Card for discounts all over the world!
- Load up on medications and precautionary measures from bug spray and anti-leech oil to emergency snacks and bandages.
- Pack and hit the road! (And by road I mean 2-day flight to Kathmandu Valley).
Have any of you out there been to Kathmandu before or done a trek in Nepal? Any advice? Any thoughts?
You will have a fabulous time! My dear friend, Hayley, showed me the delights of a place in Kathmandu ‘Pilgrims Books’ (all the guest houses or cafes in Thamel will be able to give you directions). It is fabulous! They have a huge variety of books at about Nepal that are available really cheaply and not available in the UK or online; they are produced by small, local publishers. Others are mainstream academic books that are published in India and therefore are just generally cheaper! I could barely get my hand luggage on the plane it was so weighed down with books on the way back…
Also take some tiny, light weight, bits you can give out to children along the way. Avoid sweets. We took cheap plastic rings and necklaces that went down really well with the kids. We also took band aids with cartoon characters, which were also popular, but I think they thought they were sweets!
I did tons of reading before I went to try to prepare myself for what to expect – if you have any specific questions, drop me a line.
Oh!! I love books, we’ll definitely have to check that out! And great advice about bringing things for children. I vaguely remember seeing something somewhere about not bringing candy–so that’s a great reminder–I think we’ll go with something like plastic rings.
Thanks again for the tips! I’m getting really excited =)
That’s what I thought!! =)