Nepal

12th Elephant Festival held in Nepal, to promote tourism

The five-day fair was organized by the Regional Hotel Association of Sauraha to promote tourism in Nepal. An elephant race, a bullock cart race, a horse cart race, elephant soccer, an elephant beauty pageant and various cultural activities will be held during the event.

Source – The Himalayan Times

Elephants vie for a ball during a football game, which is a part of Nepal's annual international elephant festival in Sauhara, Chitwan on Saturday December 26, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/ THT

Elephants vie for a ball during a football game, which is a part of Nepal’s annual international elephant festival in Sauhara, Chitwan on Saturday December 26, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/ THT

An elephants trying to eat bananas placed on the table during the 12th international Elephant football festival in Chitwan, Nepal on Monday, December 28, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

An elephants trying to eat bananas placed on the table during the 12th international Elephant football festival in Chitwan, Nepal on Monday, December 28, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

A woman tourist riding on elephant back gets water splashes at Rapti River in Chitwan district on Monday, December 28, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

A woman tourist riding on elephant back gets water splashes at Rapti River in Chitwan district on Monday, December 28, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

Feet and trunk of an elephant being decorated for a beauty contest during the 12th International Elephant football festival in Chitwan, Nepal on Monday, December 28, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

Feet and trunk of an elephant being decorated for a beauty contest during the 12th International Elephant football festival in Chitwan, Nepal on Monday, December 28, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

A mahout bathes an elephant at Rapti River in Chitwan, Nepal on Monday, December 28, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

A mahout bathes an elephant at Rapti River in Chitwan, Nepal on Monday, December 28, 2015. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

Armando Corvini to lead Mera Peak Expeditions from Canberra in 2016

Armando Corvini

Armando Corvini, a well known Mountaineer from Canberra Region has partnered with The Buddha Odyssey and will be leading Mera Peak Expeditions to Everest region in Nepal in 2016.

guide_armando

Armando started rock climbing in the Dolomites in his teens and has continued his passion – climbing and mountaineering – throughout his life. Armando Corvini is a well known person in climbing circles because of his considerable experience and leadership. He has visited the Himalayas more than a dozen times including Island Peak, Mera Peak, Ama Dablam and Mt Pumori.

As a qualified outdoor instructor and guide Armando has worked over the years with Schools and Colleges on Camps, rock climbing, abseiling and caving trips.

guide_armando3

Mera Peak (6,461m/ 21,190 ft) is an exciting, scenically stunning mountain becoming popular among trekkers and climbers as it is the highest trekking peak in Nepal in Khumbu (Everest) Valley. Situated on the edge of famous Khumbu Region and dominated by Mt. Everest, climbing Mera peak is an opportunity to all the adventure seekers who are physically fit. Lifting the eyes from Mera and keep on lifting them until, above the clouds, the mighty frieze of the world’s 8000 meter Mountains- Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Lhotse, Cho-Oyu and many other peaks is an unforgettable experience.

 

Date                               15 Apr 2016 & 28 Oct 2016

Cost                       US $3,349 pp (US $200 extra for peak season Oct departure)

Duration              19 Days (In Nepal)

Activity                Trekking and Expedition

Group size           Max 12 climbers

Max-Altitude      6,461m/ 21,190ft

For more information and booking the trip, please contact

Lachhu Thapa l 0422 657 897 l thebuddhaodyssey@gmail.com

Armando Corvini l 0419 693 493 l acorvini@grapevine.com.au

Rescue, medical insurances to be reduced to boost Mountain Tourism in Nepal

Mountain Tourism in Nepal
Nepal Government is all set to reduce the insurance costs for mountaineers planning to climb different mountains below 6500m. This initiative is taken in order to revive the country’s adventure tourism business.

According to Director General at the Department of Tourism Govinda Bahadur Karki, DoT forwarded its proposal to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation yesterday recommending huge reduction in the rescue and health insurance costs.

The DoT’s proposal has proposed for 60% reduction in the existing  insurance amount of US$ 10,000. It has recommended US$ 3,000 as medical insurance amount for mountain guides and porters reducing the existing cost by 25 per cent. “Insurance amount of US$ 2,000 has also been recommended for base camp workers of all climbing peaks below 6,500 metres, slashing the existing amount by US$ 1,000.”

DoT has also decided to reduce the insurance costs for high altitude and base camp workers. DoT decided to forward its proposal after holding consultations with stakeholders, said Karki, who also hoped that the proposal would be endorsed by a minister-level decision at the earliest.

According to Karki, MoCTA has also been reviewing DoT’s proposal, which seeks at least two-year extension for climbing permits issued last spring as the mountaineers had abandoned their bids after earthquake struck nation killing more than 9,000 people in April and May.

Source : The Himalayan Times
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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.

Trips to Nepal

Trips to Nepal
We are pleased to announce that we have started “the buddha odyssey” which is our offshoot travel business. We have started with travel packages to Nepal, with aim to serve the whole Himalayan region. The focus has been on trekking, adventure, cycling and expedition.

Please visit our website for more details – www.thebuddhaodyssey.com