earthquake recovery

Nepal on track welcome a million tourists in 2017

Nepal tourism is on track to reach the magic figure of 1 million arrivals by the end of the year, industry watchers said. Analysts have based their projection on arrival trends for the first 10 months (January-October) of 2017 when the number of visitors jumped 25.47 percent to 757,448 individuals.

According to the Department of Immigration, arrival figures were buoyed by the growth in the number of travellers from India, the US, China and Europe. Nepal received 153,792 more tourists in the first 10 months of this year compared to the same period last year. The figure includes overland arrivals.

 

Arrivals in October, the peak tourist season, reached an all-time high of 112,492 individuals. Considering hotel and airline booking trends, November is expected to be a very productive month with arrival figures expected to break all past records. Travel trade entrepreneurs predict that November is expected to record more than 130,000 tourists.

“The growth puts Nepal on a path to record arrivals,” said senior hotel entrepreneur Yogendra Sakya. “This is an achievement that should make us all proud, irrespective of the 2015 earthquake, subsequent trade embargo and crumbling infrastructure at the country’s sole international airport,” said Sakya.

The private sector and the Nepal Tourism Board have poured a lot of money into promoting Nepal. “But beyond that, social media has emerged as a key tool. People obtain a true story and true picture on social media connecting Nepal across the globe.”

Nepal has been featured regularly in different foreign publications and media as top destinations to visit in 2017. With the improved arrivals, revenue from tourism is also expected to beat expectations.

The growth prospects have also prompted investors to inject billions of rupees into the aviation industry. Travel trade entrepreneurs said that the entire sector, ranging from hotels to restaurants and airlines to trekking, had witnessed a boom in terms of earnings.
Source – Kathmandu Post

The Buddha Odyssey is set to organise their third Yoga, Trekking & Community Trip to Nepal in 2017

door magnet odyssey

Yoga Pathways & The Buddha Odyssey are again coming together in Oct 2017 and organizing another trip to Nepal from Canberra.

The trip will again focus on the Community Project in conjunction with Reach for Nepal Foundation, while also providing travellers the experience of trekking the Annapurna range & Hatha Yoga wherever possible.

Lou Nulley, yoga instructor at Yoga Pathways & co-founder/director of the foundation leads such a trip each year to Nepal alongside Odyssey tour leader Raju Thapa. Over the years, Lou and Raju have developed a special working relationship and delivered very successful trips.

raju lou

Lachhu Thapa, the co-founder/director of the foundation is also keen to join the tour group this year. Lachhu is excited to be going back to Nepal with family and finish off the project in Annapurna village.

The travel group raises funds for the project before they head off to Nepal.

BHAKTAPUR KATHMANDU VALLEY NEPAL - APRIL 8 2014: People walking near Nepalese temples in shape of pagoda at Durbar Square

The tour starts in Kathmandu, with sightseeing of major attractions of a 2000 year old valley. We then head to picturesque Pokhara where we spend another couple of days. From there we embark on a trek which sees you walking up to 5 hours a day on a route that’s less popular with tourist – making the experience more authentic whilst absorbing the mesmerizing views of the Himalayas.

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The 5 days trekking leads you to our Community Project where you will spend another three days working on the project and spending time with villagers, school teachers and students. Yoga is incorporated on the trip where ever practical. We then head back to Pokhara and fly out to Kathmandu for last minute shopping before our flight back home.

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Historically these trips are fully booked, as participants enjoy the blend of trekking the Himalayas at a relaxed pace, making a real difference in the lives of many people through the community project and maintaining a sense of equanimity through regular yoga sessions.

yoga pose island peak

The cost of the trip is around $3790 (to be confirmed around Jan 2017) including international airfares, accommodation and most meals.

To lock in a spot please contact us by filling this form

Namaste

Lachhu Thapa

From Kathmandu to the top of Island Peak: What happened on our 2015 Nepal expedition

island peak summit reach for nepal

Last month, The Hungry Buddha’s Lachhu Thapa travelled to Nepal to climb Island Peak, a 6189-metre mountain in the heart of the Himalayas. In this post, Lachhu recounts his journey from Kathmandu to Island Peak’s summit.

This trip was one that was so close to my heart, especially after the earthquake in Nepal in April 2015. I wanted to the trip to be a success, for everyone involved.

Being in Kathmandu, the breath of fresh Himalayan air is always a nice welcome. However, the start was a bit sour, as there was an unannounced trade blockade from the Indian side, already in place for several weeks.

There was a lot of politics involved. A trade blockade meant that no gas or petroleum products were coming in from India to Nepal, a landlocked country. It was so bad that Nepal’s national airline carrier was carrying loads of fuels to get the domestic flight circuit going.

After all the parties had arrived, and after a bit of last minute shopping for supplies, it was time for our last night’s rest in Kathmandu.

trekking nepal

The next morning we went to the airport to for an early morning flight to Lukla, home to Tenzing Hillary Airport at 2800m. Lukla is the gateway to Everest and other Himalayan mountains. It’s also one of the world’s most dangerous runways, but to me it didn’t feel like it because of excitement.

After breakfast at Lukla and meeting the rest of our crew, we were off on our expedition.

Along the way, we had a rest day in Namche Bazaar. The village is home to Everest View Hotel, a four-star paradise at 3800 metres often used by trekkers acclimatising to high altitude.

nepalese village

There were views of Everest and the region as we sat and sipped tea. We also visited Edmund Hillary School in Khumjung, which was established in 1963 and has a 100 per cent Year 10 pass rate – more than half the students receive distinction grades. We had a chat with some teachers, saw kids attending a lunch mass and also visited the museum located on the first floor of the school. This was some day.

rebuilding in nepal

Along the route, we saw plenty of devastation from the earthquake – some deserted houses, some being rebuilt and also some people still in temporary shelter. It was a mixed feeling. I was relieved to see people carrying on with lives but also affected by the amount of devastation far from the Gorkha/Sindhupalchowk epicentre.

prayer flags nepal

Despite the trade blockade and recent earthquake, we met plenty of tourists during our trek. We met a Slovenian guy on his ninth trip to Nepal, a German lady on her fifth visits and another fella, around for the 29th time. There is something about Nepal that brings people back. We were happy that visitors were around – after all, tourism is the backbone of Nepal’s rebuilding efforts.

himalayan peaks

After Renjo-la Pass at 5418 metres and Gokyo at 4800 metres, we finally arrived at Chukkung on our 12th day of trekking. This is where we met our climbing sherpas. We had a rest day before we climbed the 5350-metre Chukkung Ri, where we had a nice view of Mt Makalu (8481 metres), Ama Dablam (6812 metres) and Island Peak – our climbing peak the very next day at 6189 metres.

The next day at around 12 pm, we headed for Island Peak Base Camp – at 5100 metres.

lachhu island peak 2

At 1 am on 14 Nov, 2015 we started our ascent to Island Peak. At around 8:30 am, after seven long hours of climbing, all four of us summited the peak. It was mixed feeling. We were exhausted, but the thrill of having just climbed the first peak was surreal. Everyone was in good health, and proud of the achievement.

yoga pose island peak

Nepal is beautiful and inviting. It is absolutely safe to travel, and still offers something for any traveller. We have established the Reach for Nepal Foundation, to assist rebuilding efforts in Nepal after the earthquake. There are two school rebuilding trips one each in Feb and Mar 2016 organised to Nepal by the Buddha Odyssey. There are other trips planned for 2016, so check the website for more information.