Life in Nepal
You’re likely visiting Nepal to see the mighty Himalaya, but you’ll find there’s way more to this incredible country. Life in Nepal is unique and magical. Experience the initial assault on your senses as you journey from the airport to your hotel in Thamel. It’s one of the poorest countries in the world and some scenes will shock you – the river flowing with rubbish and people living in extremely poor conditions.
Yet you’ll see many things that will instantly warm your heart. A young girl washing her long hair under a tap at the side of the road. Children playing in the street with a coke bottle top tied to a piece of string. An old woman sitting on a rock plucking a chicken. With less distractions and people living in the moment, this world is mesmerising and refreshing. If you’re looking for some perspective in your life, we guarantee you’ll find it here.
Nepali people are brave and resilient. Many have faced very challenging circumstances during their lives. Including the massive earthquake in April 2015 that killed nearly 9,000 people and destroyed many more homes. You can read about our Langtang trek three years after the earthquake.
When our Founder, Krishna was born at home, his Mother didn’t even have food to eat. She was starving when she gave birth to him. Thankfully, times have changed and Krishna’s family is now self-sufficient, with plenty of food to go around. You can read about Krishna’s home life in our blog about village life in Nepal. Sadly, many are still less fortunate. Yet you’ll see more warm smiles in Nepal than most other countries. You’ll likely want to help where you can and you’ll certainly feel grateful for all that you have.
In these blogs, find out more about our team and life in Nepal!
We're committed to being a responsible trekking company in Nepal... But what does that mean? From the start we've been determined to conduct business with integrity. No compromises. We evolve our understanding of what it means to be a responsible trekking company in Nepal all the time, as we learn and challenge more about how things work in the trekking industry. We know exactly how much things cost and we've been quoting prices as low as we can afford to remain competitive in the vast ocean of Nepal trekking companies. Yet we find we're still regularly undercut. How is this possible? The Truth is Ugly Nepal is still one of the poorest countries in the world. Conditions have improved over recent years, but still more than 25% of the population live in absolute poverty. Actually Krishna told me recently that costs are increasing at a significant rate, making it especially difficult for those who are very poor. Desperation results in exploitation and this is happening in the Nepal trekking industry. Some guides and porters accept work at any cost, because some money is better than none. They hope to receive tips so they can support their families, but it's a gamble. I met Krishna during my first trip to Nepal. He was the Assistant Guide on our group trek, yet in my opinion proved to be far more responsible and competent than the lead guide. Krishna also did most of the work. He explained to me that it didn't matter, he was still paid a lot less. This made me very uncomfortable. So, as a responsible trekking company in Nepal, our first priority is our people. We Pay Our Guides and Porters Fairly At Nepalorama we're committed to paying our guides and porters fairly. We can't yet afford to pay
We’re committed to being a responsible trekking company in Nepal… But what does that mean? From the start we’ve been determined to conduct business with integrity. No compromises. We evolve our understanding of what it means to be a responsible trekking company in Nepal all the time, as we learn and challenge more about how things work in the trekking
The fourth interview in our series of Nepal Trekking Guide Interviews is with our wonderful, professional trekking guide in Nepal - Buddhi! You'll spot Buddhi's smile before you see him and he's every bit as genuine as his pearly whites suggest! Krishna met Buddhi in 2015 through Bibek, one of our other fabulous Nepalorama guides. They're from the same village and both have the same kind and caring nature. You're in excellent hands if you're trekking Nepal with Buddhi, read on to find out why! How did you become a professional trekking guide in Nepal? "After completing high school I had to look for a job in Kathmandu to pay for my lodging and food, because I'm from a poor family background. I grew up in a village where you have to walk up and down for an hour to get to school, to collect grass for cattle and wood from the jungle for fuel. So I was already very fit and used to mountain walking. One of my friends took me to his brother’s trekking company. I went to Everest Base Camp for the first time in my life as a porter. For the next three years, I continued to work as a porter during the trekking season and I continued my studies in the off season until I finished my bachelor's degree. Then I participated in the guide training for two months in 2009 which was conducted by the Nepali government to produce more guides in Nepal. I've been working as a professional trekking guide in Nepal since then." What do you like most about being a trekking guide? "I am the kind of person who really loves to be in nature and I have a keen interest to learn about cultures from different parts of the world.
The fourth interview in our series of Nepal Trekking Guide Interviews is with our wonderful, professional trekking guide in Nepal – Buddhi! You’ll spot Buddhi’s smile before you see him and he’s every bit as genuine as his pearly whites suggest! Krishna met Buddhi in 2015 through Bibek, one of our other fabulous Nepalorama guides. They’re from the same village
The third interview in our series of Nepal Trekking Guide Interviews is with our fun-loving, friendly Nepal trekking guide - Ramesh! Ramesh is Krishna's younger brother and he couldn't be happier to work in the family business. I met Ramesh for the first time when he was making sure a bus didn't leave without Krishna and I! His smile stood out among the crowd and I noticed the cheeky twinkle in his eye! Ramesh's clients love him and think he's kind, friendly and frank - trek with Ramesh and he'll openly share his experiences and opinions with you! How did you become a professional trekking guide in Nepal? "My family first saw my dream when I was 19 years old. You already know trekking runs in our family! My brother working as a trekking guide really impressed me. He told me important things about being a guide in Nepal and said we could get knowledge of lots of different places in the world. It was an easy decision to want to be a trekking guide, but it's hard work to actually become one. I started as a porter, like many others. After five years I became a porter guide, still carrying bags, but also having more responsibility and contact with clients. I worked really hard and learned lots of things. Last year I got my trekking guide license!" What do you like most about being a trekking guide? "I really want to support and help my family and I need to earn money to do that. It's important for me to contribute and now my brother Krishna has started a trekking business, it's great working with him. I think he is happy to work with me too! The heritage of the mountain region in Nepal is really interesting for me.
The third interview in our series of Nepal Trekking Guide Interviews is with our fun-loving, friendly Nepal trekking guide – Ramesh! Ramesh is Krishna’s younger brother and he couldn’t be happier to work in the family business. I met Ramesh for the first time when he was making sure a bus didn’t leave without Krishna and I! His smile stood
The second interview in our series of Nepal Trekking Guide Interviews is with our friendly and trusted Nepal trekking guide - Bibek! I met Bibek in Kathmandu a few months ago. We had dal bhat together with Krishna. I liked him immediately! He was so polite and gentle, very respectful of others and certainly knew how to keep a great conversation going! I know what to look for in a guide and it's safe to say Bibek ticks all the boxes - and some! Meet Bibek..! How did you become a professional trekking guide in Nepal? "One of my uncles from my village was a trekking guide and one day he took me along as a porter on the Annapurna Circuit trek. I never looked back! Being a porter for another three years gave me chance to build my experience in the trekking industry. I really enjoyed it and decided to become a guide so that I could meet more people from all over the world and be able to show and tell them all about Nepal. Our beautiful nature, our culture and customs, our mountain views and much more!" What do you like most about being a trekking guide? "I just love being a trekking guide in Nepal! First of all everyone knows that Nepal is one of the most beautiful countries in the world! It's naturally very beautiful but economically a very poor country. I feel so proud to be a trekking guide in my country because I love to share all the riches we have with clients from around the world. There are so many different natural landscapes, cultures and lifestyles in Nepal. I also find it really interesting learning about other countries and cultures from my clients as we trek!" What's your favourite trek in Nepal
The second interview in our series of Nepal Trekking Guide Interviews is with our friendly and trusted Nepal trekking guide – Bibek! I met Bibek in Kathmandu a few months ago. We had dal bhat together with Krishna. I liked him immediately! He was so polite and gentle, very respectful of others and certainly knew how to keep a great
The first interview in our series of Nepal Trekking Guide Interviews has to be with our one and only Krishna! Founder of Nepalorama Trekking and known for being 'probably one of the best guides ever'! There's no doubt that in our mind, Krishna is THE best trekking guide in Nepal. I first met him trekking to Ghorepani Poon Hill and we became instant friends. Krishna was very kind, friendly, easy-going, knowledgeable and funny! No wonder so many of our clients love him! Today I asked the man himself a few questions... How did you become THE best trekking guide in Nepal?! "I don't know about THE best but I know clients think I am a good guide! Haha! I was really impressed by my older brother who worked in the trekking industry. An opportunity came up to be a trekking cook back in 2000 and so I decided to follow in his footsteps. Then I asked him if I could go trekking with him as a porter. He sat me down and gave me some brotherly advice! After he explained that being a porter is really difficult - you have to carry very heavy loads and walk for 6-7 hours per day - I could have been disheartened. But instead I made a decision. I wouldn't lose heart and I'd carry the load no matter how heavy. So, I became a trekking porter and spent several years doing this. Over time, I found many opportunities to learn about the industry, culture and tradition. I spent time with people from the mountain region of Nepal and learned to understand their manners and how to build genuine relationships with them. Furthermore my experiences whilst trekking helped me to build my knowledge and ability to deal with lots of different situations. Above all,
The first interview in our series of Nepal Trekking Guide Interviews has to be with our one and only Krishna! Founder of Nepalorama Trekking and known for being ‘probably one of the best guides ever’! There’s no doubt that in our mind, Krishna is THE best trekking guide in Nepal. I first met him trekking to Ghorepani Poon Hill and
Holi - The Festival of Colours Those of you that know me, know I use this phrase a lot! So I've been waiting a while to write a blog called 'Holi Mackerel' to celebrate the Holi festival in Nepal! I spent Holi - the famous festival of colours - in Pokhara five years ago. It was amazing! I'd seen colourful photos of this special day, but never thought I'd actually experience it! I put on some old clothes and protected my valuables, not really knowing what to expect. I left my guest house feeling excited but anxious! Would I have to go and find the fun, or would it find me? My answer came quickly. Within about five seconds of being outside, some kids pelted me with coloured powder and the games began! Celebrating the Arrival of Spring, and Overcoming Evil! I'm not so keen on the winter months, even if they're relatively mild in the lowlands of Nepal. So, celebrating the arrival of spring is right up my street! The Hindu spring festival of Holi also represents the victory of good overcoming evil - bravo! (As well as several other Hindu mythologies). The festival begins the night before when bonfires are lit to destroy evil. The following day, people take to the streets to celebrate good overcoming evil. Everyone is fair game. Refreshingly - caste, status and other society divides are forgotten during this festival. Now that's good overcoming evil in my book! What to Expect The streets fill with people throwing multi-coloured powder at each other. You can buy it from one of many sellers on the street. Water is used too, in water balloons, water pistols and worse! I actually got a whole bucket of water dumped on me! Every time I saw my reflection that day,
Holi – The Festival of Colours Those of you that know me, know I use this phrase a lot! So I’ve been waiting a while to write a blog called ‘Holi Mackerel’ to celebrate the Holi festival in Nepal! I spent Holi – the famous festival of colours – in Pokhara five years ago. It was amazing! I’d seen colourful
Krishna and I always talked about me visiting his village in Nuwakot and meeting his family. Finally that day came during my recent visit, when I was lucky enough to learn a little about village life in Nepal. I spent two nights there and was truly moved by what I discovered. A world where time almost stands still, families are truly connected, and people are genuinely happy with very little. Village life in Nepal is not about 'more, bigger and better'. It's about family bonds, self-sufficiency, maintaining traditions, and living in the moment. Hiking up to Krishna's Village After our trek in the Langtang Valley, we took the bus to the cross roads at Betrawati. After a hair raising bus journey from Syabrubesi, I opted to hike the steep three hour climb to Krishna's village, rather than taking another bus! Our hike took us past the school of Krishna's family. We arrived just in time to meet his son, nieces and nephews for their daily 45 minute steep, uphill walk home to their village. The children, dressed in school uniforms, were excited to chat with me in English or just smile! I didn't know what to expect from village life in Nepal. Krishna's standard of living had likely improved over recent years. I also knew about the April 2015 earthquake. It damaged all the property in the village and killed three people. Naturally, construction would be an ongoing effort. Village Life in Nepal - Another World What I discovered was another world. Village life in Nepal is far removed from the way of life we take for granted every single day. Krishna and his three brothers all live very close to each other, with their families. I found an incredible sense of community there. Everyone came out to meet me,
Krishna and I always talked about me visiting his village in Nuwakot and meeting his family. Finally that day came during my recent visit, when I was lucky enough to learn a little about village life in Nepal. I spent two nights there and was truly moved by what I discovered. A world where time almost stands still, families are