“Namaste. It was a Nepalese greeting. It meant: The light within me bows to the light within you.” 

Jennifer Donnelly

Truth be told, few trips have ever made us as nervous as Nepal. It is a country with cities full of noise and commotion and countryside painted against the backdrop of the biggest mountains on Earth. The dichotomy is intoxicating, and sometimes it’s not clear if your head is spinning from the contrast or the thin mountain air.

If at all possible, we try to avoid organized tours or guides, preferring to do the research and make our own plans, even if this means making our fair share of mistakes. The highlight was undoubtedly a self supported 40 mile, 4 day hike with our (then) two kids in the Annapurna conservation area. No, it wasn’t Everest (or even Everest base camp), but it was still one of our favorite experiences of any trip. Nepal is amazing. You should go.

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Tips on Nepal/

  • Visa’s are free for children under 10 years EXCEPT those with American passports. This was a new policy when we arrived (May 2019) and caught us a bit off guard.
  • Taxi’s from Kathmandu airport to the city are about 500-600 NPR for a small three seater or 700-800 NPR for a van. Don’t let them charge you per person, this should be the total price.
  • Download offline maps with google maps (sometimes gives you a pretty limited area) or maps.me (easier to get entire countries) as cell signal/reception was pretty spotty for us
  • Many trekking paths (poon hill, Everest Base Camp, etc) are very popular and therefore are very well marked. We worried about tackling it without a guide for weeks, only to find that it was extremely easy to find our way (and make our own decisions regarding when to stop.
  • If you DO decide to go with a tour or guide, it may be best to wait until you are in Pokhara to book in person. Prices for tours booked in Kathmandu or online may be as much as 2-3x higher than tours booked in person.