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TRAVELLING TO NEPAL AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE
Industry: Destinations       

Of course, Nepal still has its problems – including a fuel shortage caused by a political stand-off with India over the new Nepali constitution – but these kinds of issues are part of the landscape when travelling in the subcontinent. Despite these problems, in many ways now is a great time to visit Nepal. 

(TRAVPR.COM) NEPAL - November 17th, 2015 - The key thing to note is that infrastructure for tourists was remarkably unaffected by the disaster. Airports are operating as normal and almost all of Kathmandu's tourist hotels and restaurants remain open, or will reopen for the winter tourist season, though business is currently slim. Kathmandu's traveller district of Thamel is much as it was before the disaster, and transportation around the city, the Kathmandu Valley and the country continues as normal. The main roads across Nepal are open to traffic (or as open as they ever were!), and the Arniko Hwy/Friendship Hwy to Tibet and Everest's North Base Camp (in Tibet) is due to reopen for the 2015 winter season. However, roads are still cut off in some rural areas, where earthquake damage has been worsened by monsoon landslides. This situation is likely to persist for some time, so it pays to confirm that roads are clear and that accommodation will be available before leaving Kathmandu.

Trekking after the disaster

The majority of Nepal’s trekking trails are open, but some routes remain closed because of landslides and damage to paths, bridges and trekking lodges. International earthquake surveyors Miyamoto International have assessed the structural stability of routes and lodges in the Annapurna and Everest regions, and both regions have been declared safe for trekkers.

In both these areas, trails were only lightly affected and lodges are open for business, meaning that the Everest Base Camp, Gokyo Lakes, Three Passes, Annapurna Circuit and Annapurna Sanctuary treks, which rank as some of the world's most beautiful walks, are open as normal for the winter/spring trekking season.

The Kangchenjunga and Makalu regions in the far east and the Dolpo, Mustang and Rara Lake regions in the far east also escaped the worst, though there was damage to historic monuments in some areas. The Nepali government recently cut the price of trekking permits for Inner Dolpo and Mustang from an eye-watering $500 per person to just $100, making this a great time to explore the Tibetan villages of the Trans-Himalaya.

However, Langtang village and several neighbouring settlements were totally destroyed by a landslide triggered by the earthquake, and the Langtang trek is currently off limits. Landslides also destroyed trails connecting Langtang to the Helambu and Gosainkund treks, which also saw villages flattened by the disaster. Sections of the Manaslu trail, the closest trek to the quake epicenters, are still unsafe and large parts of the neighbouring Tsum Valley were also destroyed.

Many of the lodges in Langtang, Helambu and Manaslu have yet to be assessed for structural stability, meaning you should get reliable on the ground information before attempting any travel in these areas. It's essential that visitors do not divert much needed food or resources away from villages in recovery.

Synopsis

Of course, Nepal still has its problems – including a fuel shortage caused by a political stand-off with India over the new Nepali constitution – but these kinds of issues are part of the landscape when travelling in the subcontinent. Despite these problems, in many ways now is a great time to visit Nepal.

The infrastructure that travellers need is in place, but tourism is down by over 50%, which means fewer crowds on the popular trekking routes and discounts for hotels and airfares. More importantly, the money you spend when hiring a guide or porter, staying in a lodge or hotel, or eating in a restaurant will directly help local people. Given that 500,000 Nepalis work directly in tourism, the country needs travellers more than ever to rebuild its economy and bounce back stronger for the future.

http://www.marrontreks.com

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Name: Marron Treks
Company: Maron Treks Pvt.Ltd
Phone: 977-4356023
Email: mailmarrontreks@gmail.com
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