Everest Base Camp Trek Guide 2021/2022: Updated information about EBC Trek Guide

Everest Base Camp Trek Guide 2021/2022 – Updated information about EBC Trek Guide

Mt. Everest, viewed as the gem of the Himalayas, is the tallest mountain on the planet.

It stands 29,000 feet above ocean level and is the objective for climbers and globe-trotters from everywhere the world. The Everest Base Camp Trek will bring you into probably the most seasoned and most cherished spots on earth where you will see amazing perspectives on precipices, transcending ice sheets, and forested slopes.

Experience the excellence of nature and the neighbourhood Sherpa conventions of Nepal. This is viewed as one of the best on the planet. This is your opportunity to get very close with the magnificence of Everest and it is an excursion that will be associated with a lifetime. For the genuine swashbuckler, there isn’t anything that beats Everest Base Camp Trek probably the best perspectives on the Himalayas.

Your Everest Base Camp Tours starts on the departure from Kathmandu to Lukla where you’ll land at Tenzing-Hillary air terminal. There are no streets between the two towns and the main path in is via plane. There are some lovely perspectives on the Himalayas, so on the off chance that you don’t get queasy, you will need a seat by the window so you don’t miss a solitary moment of the excursion. The flight takes around 30 minutes and afterwards, you’ll be arriving in the peak town. The entire spot is humming with energy as adventurers and aides are occupied with planning for the trek. As you get together and plan to leave you’ll say farewell to progress as you start the rising towards Everest Base Camp.The air at the higher heights is cool and fresh and lavish, green woods stretch the extent that the eye can see. You’re off on an excursion to one of the most testing objections on the planet. The lovely and tranquil mountain towns, the benevolent individuals, and amazing perspective on the mountain make this excursion a once in a blue moon experience into the obscure. You’ll have a guide with you consistently travel along the pathways and trails to Everest Base Camp. Bring your camera and a lot of films since you’ll need to record this excursion for the entirety of your loved ones at home. There is a lot to see en route like spiked bluffs, shimmering away from of water, and an engineered overpass.

You’ll make stops in Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche, and Gorakshep while in transit to Everest Base Camp. You’ll go through the night in a portion of these towns and experience the accommodation of the individuals of Nepal. It is a 2-day trip to Namche Bazaar, which is the exchanging centre of the mountain. Individuals go to the towns to purchase and exchange their merchandise. The Sherpa lifestyle is a custom that has made due for some, numerous years. The towns are distant and stay as they have been since the get-go.

The characteristic magnificence of the Khumbu ice sheet is probably the best element of the trekking in Nepal. On the off chance that you’ve never encountered the Sherpa lifestyle, you’re in for a treat. The magnificence of the environmental factors, the quiet sentiment of being in nature without any interruptions like ringing telephones and PC screens will familiarize you with an alternate method of living. Every one of the towns you’ll be visiting has its own way of life and conviction framework. Tibetan Buddhism began here and is obvious wherever you explore. You’ll see wonderful symbols of the Buddhist culture and life in the Himalayas. As a feature of the trip, you’ll additionally get an opportunity to visit a couple of the cloisters and gompas in Nepal like the notable Tengboche Monastery. Each stop along the course is involvement with culture and friendliness. The Trek to Everest Base Camp is an undertaking that you should insight for yourself.

 

Highlights of Everest Base Camp Trek

  • See the stunning perspectives from the lap of the world’s tallest mountain – Mount Everest.
  • Surrounded by the magnificence of nature and the mountains of Nepal: Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Makalu, etc.
  • Experience the neighbourliness of the Sherpa public. Find out about their locale, customs and culture.
  • The venture incorporates stops at Namche Bazaar, Tengboche Monastery and Kala Patthar.
  • Take in the set of experiences and otherworldly experience of visiting the Tengboche Monastery.
  • Discover the magnificence of Sagarmatha National Park that is home to a few types of imperilled creatures.
  • See the pleasant perspectives from Nagarjun Hill and the Everest massif.
  • Get some great perspectives on Everest from Kala Patthar, the most elevated point in the journey. Take in the perspectives on Everest, Makalu, Lhotse and numerous different pinnacles. Likewise, there is the lovely dawn see over Everest from Kala Patthar.
  • Most energizing and daring trips to/from Lukla.
  • Take a guided city visit through UNESCO recorded World Heritage Sites of Nepal.

 

How Difficult This Trek?

Everest Base Camp Trekking is appropriate for most adventurers and climbers of normal wellness levels. The whole trip happens over a 12-day time frame and arrives at a greatest rise of 5,545 meters. The climb is modestly troublesome so you ought to have solid legs and be genuinely and intellectually fit to address the difficulty. In case you’re stressed over having the option to keep up on the trek it is prescribed to rehearse different cardiovascular activities like strolling, running, and swimming to get ready for the Trekking in Nepal. The air at the higher rises is more slender and some may think that its difficult to pause on the off chance that they are not ready for the adjustment in height.

There is no climbing experience required for the excursion. You ought to have the option to walk and climb moderate slopes to stay aware of the aides. You’ll be checked and everybody advances at a similar movement on the path, gradual. The primary concern is for the security of the gathering and you’ll get the chance to stop and enjoy a reprieve en route. It causes a ton to get a lot of rest and hydration for the climbs, just as being in acceptable state of being. The sooner you adjust to the climate the quicker you’ll adjust to it. The primary objective is to continue your energy over significant stretches to keep a consistent movement. On the off chance that you follow these tips you’ll finish the Everest Base Camp Trek like a prepared star.

 

The Best Time of Year for the Everest Base Camp Trek

The best season to trek the Everest Base Camp is in the spring from February until May. You can take the trek any season really, however the mountains of Nepal are known to encounter changes in climate. The best an ideal opportunity to visit is the point at which the temperatures are moderate and the environment is generally dry. Later in the season, it gets exceptionally damp which makes climbing more troublesome. Another great time, in case you’re not ready to come in spring, is in the tumble from September through November. You’ll see untamed life, blossoms sprouting, and clear blue skies. Regardless of when you plan your trip, it makes certain to be a life-changing encounter.

 

How Might I know whether the Trek is Right for Me?

In the event that you are searching for another and energizing experience, the Himalayan Asia Treks can take you higher than ever. Adventurers are furnished with all the essentials like facilities, foods, and transportation. Everything is orchestrated early by our organization staff preceding the trip. Several individuals rush to Everest consistently to go on an outing up the mountain. It’s an encounter that everybody ought to have in any event once in the course of their life. Our aides and considerate staff will ensure your outing is paramount and one that you will treasure for eternity. Relinquish your concerns and follow your globe-trotter soul to Everest Base Camp.

You’ll be setting out on a 12-day experience into the mountain towns of Nepal, a spot that couple of individuals find the opportunity to see while in transit to Everest Base Camp. It resembles venturing back so as to a less complex lifestyle encompassed commonly. Your agenda is intended to give you all the best sights and an opportunity to visit far off zones that are just open by walking. Reach us today to book your experience.

 

Everest Base Camp Trek 14 Days Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1350m) and move to Hotel

Day 02: Fly to Lukla and trip to Phakding (2610m) – 35min, 8km, 3 – 4 hours

Day 03: Phakding – Namche Bazaar (3440m) – 10 km, 6 – 7 hours

Day 04: Acclimatization day at Namche Bazaar (3440m)

Day 05: Namche Bazaar – Tengboche (3867m) – 8km/5 – 6 hours

Day 06: Tengboche – Dingboche (4410m) – 10km, 5 – 6 hours

Day 07: Dingboche – Lobuche (4910m) – 7km, 5 – 6 hours

Day 08: Lobuche – Gorak Shep (5140m) – Everest headquarters (5364m) – 15km, 8 – 10 hours

Day 09: Gorak Shep – Kala Pattar (5545m) and trip to Pheriche (4260m) – 15km, 8 – 10 hours

Day 10: Pheriche – Namche Bazaar (3440m) – 15km, 8 – 9 hours

Day 11: Namche Bazaar – Lukla (2840m) – 18km, 7 – 8 hours

Day 12: Fly back to Kathmandu (1350m) – 35 minutes

Day 13: Rest Day in Kathmandu

Day 14: Departure.

 

During the Everest Base Camp Trekking 14 Days, you pass by mountain towns like Phakding, Namche Bazar, Tengboche, Dingboche, Lobuche, and so on, where you will get the opportunity to watch the day by day way of life of local people. Moreover, you get the chance to see their way of life and standards. The path incorporates a few Chortens, gompas, stupas, supplication wheels, and petition banners, which will introduce you the social wealth of the area. The last objective of this stunning excursion is Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar (offers 360-degree perspectives on Everest). During the trip, you get the chance to see extraordinary perspectives on mountains like Mt. Everest (8,848 m), Mt. Lhotse (8,516 m), Mt. Nuptse (7,861 m), Mt. Cho Oyu (8,201 m), Mt. Ama Dablam (6,812 m), Mt. Thamserku (6,623 m), Mt. Kongde (6,187 m), Mt. Pumori.

USA Portland view

Getaway to Portland: An Insider’s Guide to the City

 

Portland, Oregon figured out how to offer travelers the best of each city rolled into one.

A reliable light rail system, responsible urban planning featuring parks and walking/biking trails, an eclectic art scene and an evolving food market makes this Northwest city a travelers haven.

Its bustling culture positioned between the Tualatin Mountains, Oregon Coast Range and the actively volcanic Cascade Range, while located at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers makes Portland the perfect stop while traveling the Oregon Trail.

Its natural beauty and landscaped scenery offers travelers a rejuvenating and progressive experience.

Portland is divided by the Willamette River, which runs north and south, and Burnside Street, which runs east and west. Organized and managable, the city is organized as a grid with numerous bridges to cross the river and intercepting streets to make it east to navigate.

From historic Old Town in the northwest part of the city to the swanky, vivacious Pearl District, upscale Nob Hill and the rich culture of central downtown, Portland’s many different neighborhoods offer an array of entertainment, sightseeing, nightlife and outdoor activities.

No matter the season, Portland is a highlight year-round. The city is known for it’s skiing in the outlining mountains during through the spring, Rose Festival in the summer, International Film Festival in the winter and many breweries to visit any time of year. Not only does Portland deserve to be top on the travel list, it has become the most progressive destination to visit in the Pacific Northwest.

Here are a few must-see and must-dos while visiting the city:

Where to Stay?

Hotel Rose is a boutique hotel located in downtown Portland across from the riverbank of the Willamette River. The fun, energetic vibe inside the hotel mirrors that of the city’s. Not only is Hotel Rose located steps from the iconic river, it is a short walk to many shops, restaurants, food carts, coffee shops and the famous Powell’s City of Books. The boutique hotel is also located across the street from a light rail stop, which makes getting around Portland convenient and easy.

Not only does Hotel Rose offer an array of ammenities, including complimentary bike rentals with your stay, it has a full-service bar on site. H50 Bistro and Bar, which was named Portland’s Diner’s Choice Winner for Best American Food and Best Scenic View, serves dinner and drinks daily in its bar area while the dining room gets an overhaul. The bar also offers a delicious happy hour with an ever-changing menu. Not only is the hotel in prime location, but the views of Portland it offers from some of the rooms makes this boutique hotel worth the stay.

What to See?

Powell’s City of Books is a major attraction and rightfully so with it encompassing a 68,000 square foot area in the heart of downtown Portland. The bookstore is a like a small city within itself. For bibliophiles, a complete day might not be enough time to get through the many color-coded aisles and floors of this bookstore. The Classical Chinese Gardens is also a popular sight in Portland. It is the largetst Ming-Style Chinese Garden outside of China. It occupies a full city block and is filled with a variety of flora, waterfalls, a pond and beautiful architecture.

Tasting some of Oregon’s famous microbrews is a worthwhile activity for beer lovers, or travelers who are looking to expand their varietal of beer. Well-known for their microbreweries, Portland is home to more than 60 of them spread throughout the city. A full day can be spend roaming around the city, enjoying some suds. Hair of the Dog Brewing Company offers great beer, good food and lots of Porland culture.

Another fun option when in Portland, but depending on the time of year, is to attend a Portland Timbers’ soccer game. The city revolves around the sport when it’s in season and watching the team play and experiencing the energy from the crowd first-hand at a home game is an unforgettable experience. This MLS powerhouse is worth rooting for when visiting their city.

Where to Eat?

Portland has a blooming restaurant scene. Offering a wide variety of styles and flavors, from ethnic food to American pub fare, the city is a foodie mecca. Each restaurant has its own vibe, while most are laid-back, there are also some upscale eateries located in downtown Portland and within the other sections of the city, such as Knob Hill and the Pearl District.

But for a quality meal that is the most economic, convenient and cultural, eating at the city’s food carts is a must-do when visiting Portland. From vegetarian to even greater eclectic varieties, the food cart craze is at the heart of Portland. The food carts, which are referred to as “pods,” are a big part of Portland’s food scene. With more than 600 to choose from, their locations differ throughout the city. For a map and more information on where to find the pods along with a list of the different cuisines, visit Food Carts Portland.

So the next time you are up for a road trip, or just looking for a new place to explore, Portland is the way to go.

Travel Tip Shared by Ashley
apageinmybook.com

 

Bhutan street view

Bhutan Travel Guide | Traveldudes.org

 

Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN)
▪ 1 INR = 1 BTN (Indian currency has one on one mapping with Bhutan)
▪ All major international currencies such as U.S. Dollar, Pound Sterling, Euro, Australian Dollar etc are easily convertible.

Do you need a visa to visit Bhutan?

Citizens of India, Bangladesh and Maldives with a valid passport need a permit available at the point of entry. All other international tourists need to obtain Visa, which can be processed online.

Is it safe to travel to Bhutan?

Bhutan is one of the safest place to be. Crime, petty thefts are minimal. The country scores high in the safety index.

Getting to Bhutan

Paro International Airport

Bhutan has only one International airport – Paro International Airport. National Air carrier of Bhutan – Druk Air operates regular flights to Paro mostly via Kolkata, India. Search for flights on Skyscanner.

By Train/Road – This is how we did it

  • Pocket Friendly & full of experiences.
  • Bhutan is accessible by roads via Phuntsholing – known as the Gateway to Bhutan, it is the Bhutan side of the Indo–Bhutanese Border.
  • We took the following route to reach.

Phuntsholing

  • Kolkata – Hasimara (Train) – Hasimara is a small town in West Bengal, India. The Indo-Bhutanese border is a 45-minute auto ride from Hasimara station.
  • Hasimara station – Jaigaon – (Auto) – Jaigaon is the Indian side of the Indo-Bhutanese Border.
  • Jaigaon – Phuntsholing – Just walk by!!

Bhutan travel guide: Travel tips

Money Matters

Not all international debits/credit cards work in Bhutan. You might want to confirm with your bank before travelling to Bhutan. Thimphu is the best place to stock up some currency as smaller villages and towns might not have ATMS.

Wi-Fi/Network

  • Network connectivity is good in Bhutan except for remote valleys.
  • Most hotels in Thimphu and Paro have Wi-Fi but you wouldn’t find internet connection in the other smaller towns/villages.

When in Bhutan…

Try the local food in Bhutan

Chillies are an essential part of Bhutanese cuisine and hence needless to say food in Bhutan is spicy. We tried a lot of local cuisines during our stay and following are the few must haves.

  • Red Rice – One of the staple foods of Bhutan. This is a variety of rice which tastes nutty and is a little grainy.
  • Momo – These heavenly dumplings need no introduction.
  • Suja – The Bhutanese Butter Tea. A Frothy butter drink, salty in taste. Different but worth the try.
  • If you eat non- veg, try Pork at any local restaurant

Hop around the local markets in Bhutan

  • The best way to explore a country’s local culture is to visit its local markets. Phuntsholing, Thimphu and Paro are the prominent places to do some souvenir shopping.
  • Wooden Handicraft and Hand-woven Textiles are very good in Bhutan.

Bhutan itinerary for 8 days

Day 1: Hasimara – Jaigaon- Bhutan

Day 2: Entry permit and reach Thimpu

Day 3: Explore Thimpu

Day 4: Day trip to Punakha via dochula pass

Day 5: Thimpu to Paro via Chele la pass and Haa Valley

Day 6: Hike Tigers Nest

Day 7: Explore Paro

Day 8: Leave Bhutan

You can read the deatiled itinerary here.

Hotels in Bhutan

We stayed at the below hotels in Bhutan:

  • Phuentsholing: Hotel Centinel
  • Thimpu: Hotel Tandin
  • Paro: Hotel Sonam

5 places to visit in Bhutan

Tigers Nest, the cliffside monastery

Tiger’s Nest is Bhutan’s most sacred religious site and one of the must places to visit in Bhutan. Also known as Paro Taktsang, Tiger’s Nest is a beautiful Monastery hung 900 meters above on a cliff overlooking the spectacular Paro Valley.

As legend has it, Guru Rinpoche flew to this site on a Tigress’ back to subdue local demons after which he meditated there for months. Guru Rinpoche is said to be the second Buddha and the one to introduce Buddhism to Bhutan.

Haa Valley, Bhuan’s best kept secret

One of the most beautiful valleys of Bhutan and our favourite pick has to be the Haa Valley. Approximately 65kms from Paro, this beautiful hamlet is Bhutan’s best kept secret.

The Valley is very close to the disputed Indo China Border in Doklam and hence was closed for tourists till 2002. It was made available for the public in 2002. Not many people know of it, as a place to be included in their itinerary.

There are numerous ancient Buddhist temples around which makes the valley ideal for hiking. A few hike options are Yangthang – Hatey Hike, Bjungneydra – Kat – Sho, Gonpa Hike, Jyenkhakha – Jamtey Gonpa – Yangthang Gonpa Hike

Punakha Monastery and river rafting

Punakha is around 80kms from Thimphu and is a 2-hour ride by road. Punakha monastery is one of the most scenic one along the river bank Pho Chhu & Mo Chhu River

If out of all the genres of travel, adventure is your true love, do not miss rafting in Punakha.

Imagine yourself flowing with the current, all drenched while watching a few rare birds in their most natural habitat along with the beautiful Punakha valley at the backdrop. White water rafting is a different experience altogether. Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers in Punakha are famous for river rafting in Bhutan.

Little to no experience is required for rafting on these rivers as there are certified experts who would guide you throughout the course. Specific instructions are given before riding the boat and off you go for an amazing adventure.

The most memorable part of the course is the point where you can see the Punakha Dzong from the river. The Dzong looks beautiful at the backdrop while rafting across.

Dochula Pass

Mountain passes are always beautiful because altitude nurtures tranquillity. Located at an elevation of 3100m, Dochula pass is a tale of bravery, valour, inspiration and spirituality. This place comes on the way to Punakha from Thimpu.

This beautiful mountain pass is located on the way to Punakha from Thimphu and one of the most divine places to visit in Bhutan.

It was built in commemoration of 108 Bhutanese soldiers who passed away in military operations of 2003. There are 108 memorial Chorten or stupas built in remembrance of every lost soul.

Chele la Pass: the highest motorable road in Bhutan

Standing on the highest possible road in Bhutan, wrapped in clouds and prayer flags, Chele La is enthralling. Located at an altitude of 3810m, Chele la links the two Valleys of Paro and Haa.

• Approximately 36kms from Paro and 27kms from Haa, Chele La is situated in between the two valleys.
• Because of its altitude, natural trails through forests with a view of Himalayas , Chele la is famous for mountain biking and trekking in Bhutan.
• The drive to Chele La is through dense spruce forests. Depending on the season of visit, one may come across gushing waterfalls, blooming rhododendrons and yaks grazing.
• The mountain slopes on the way to Chele La are covered in white poppy – a type of flower only found here and nowhere else in the world.
• The temperature at the top is pretty cold and staying long becomes difficult due to the altitude. Summers are chilling but clear and winters are blood freezing cold.
• One a clear day, one can view Mt. Jumolhari – one of Bhutan’s most sacred peak, standing tall at 22,000 ft.

Pack your bags and set out to travel Bhutan if you want to disconnect for a while only to reconnect again happier than ever. The serene landscapes, beautiful valleys, majestic mountains, pristine forests, soothing rivers, traditional lifestyle and warmest people makes Bhutan an experience worth every penny.

 

Bhutan street view

Bhutan – an all inclusive guide

 

Thimphu – A modern City in an ancient plate✓ Currency Bhutan

▪ Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN)
▪ 1 INR = 1 BTN (Indian currency has one on one mapping with Bhutan)
▪ All major International currencies such as U.S. Dollar, Pound Sterling, Euro, Australian Dollar etc are easily convertible.

Visa/Permit

  • Citizens of India, Bangladesh and Maldives with a valid passport need a permit available at the point of entry
  • All other International tourists need to obtain Visa, which can be processed online

Traveller’s safety index:

  • One of the safest place to be. Crime, petty thefts are minimal. Scores high in the safety Index.

Getting there

➢ Paro International Airport

Bhutan has only one International airport – Paro International Airport. National Air carrier of Bhutan – Druk Air operates regular flights to Paro mostly via Kolkata, India.

➢ By Train/Road – This is how we did it.

  • Pocket Friendly & full of experience.
  • Bhutan is accessible by roads via Phuntsholing – Known as the Gateway to Bhutan, it is the Bhutan side of the Indo –Bhutanese Border.
  • We took the following route to reach

Phuntsholing

  • Kolkata – Hasimara (Train) – Hasimara

    is a small town in West Bengal, India. The Indo – Bhutanese border is a 45min auto ride from Hasimara station.

  • Hasimara station – Jaigaon – (Auto) –Jaigaon is the Indian side of the Indo –Bhutanese Border.
  • Jaigaon – Phuntsholing – Just walk by!!

Important things to remember

Money Matters:

All International Debits/Credit Cards do not work in Bhutan. You might want to confirm with your Bank before travelling to Bhutan. Thimphu is the best place to stock up some currency as smaller villages and towns might not have ATMS.

WIFI/Network

  • Network connectivity is good in Bhutan except for remote valleys.
  • Most hotels in Thimphu and Paro have WIFIs but you wouldn’t find internet connection in the other smaller towns/villages.

When in Bhutan

Hog on the local cuisine

Chillies are an essential part of Bhutanese cuisine and hence needless to say Food in Bhutan is spicy. We tried a lot of local cuisines during our stay and following are the few must haves.

  • Red Rice – One of the staple foods of Bhutan. This is a variety of rice which tastes nutty and is a little grainy.
  • Momo – These heavenly Dumplings need no introduction
  • Suja – The Bhutanese Butter Tea. A Frothy butter drink, salty in taste. Different but worth the try.
  • If you eat non- veg, try Pork at any local restaurant

Hop around the local market

  • The best way to explore a country’s local culture is to visit its local markets. Phuntsholing, Thimphu and Paro are the prominent places to do some souvenir shopping.
  • Wooden Handicraft and Hand-woven Textiles are very good in Bhutan

Our one week Itinerary

Day 1: Hasimara – Jaigaon- Bhutan

Day 2: Entr permit and reach Thimpu

Day 3: Explore Thimpu

Day 4: Day trip to Punakha via dochula pass

Day 5: Thimpu to Paro via Chele la pass and Haa Valley

Day 6: Hike Tigers Nest

Day 7: Explore Paro

Day 8: Leave Bhutan

You can read the deatiled itinerary here:
theexploringeyes.com/a-week-in-bhutan/

Places we stayed in Bhutan:

  • Phuentsholing: Hotel Centinel
  • Thimpu: Hotel Tandin
  • Paro: Hotel Sonam

5 places you cant miss in Bhutan:

Tigers Nest, the cliffside monastery:

Tiger’s Nest is Bhutan’s most sacred religious site and one of the must places to visit in Bhutan. Also known as Paro Taktsang, Tiger’s Nest is a beautiful Monastery hung 900 meters above on a cliff overlooking the spectacular Paro Valley. As legend has it, Guru Rinpoche flew to this site on a Tigress’ back to subdue local demons after which he meditated there for months. Guru Rinpoche is said to be the second Buddha and the one to introduce Buddhism to Bhutan.

Haa Valley, Bhuan’s best kept secret:

One of the most beautiful valleys of Bhutan and our favourite pick has to be the Haa Valley. Approximately 65kms from Paro, this beautiful hamlet is Bhutan’s best kept secret.

The Valley is very close to the disputed Indo China Border in Doklam and hence was closed for tourists till 2002. It was made available for the public in 2002. Not many people know of it, as a place to be included in their Itinerary.

There are numerous ancient Buddhist temple around which makes the valley ideal for hiking. Few hike options are Yangthang – Hatey Hike, Bjungneydra – Kat – Sho, Gonpa Hike, Jyenkhakha – Jamtey Gonpa – Yangthang Gonpa Hike

Punakha Monastery and river rafting:

Punakha is around 80kms from Thimphu and is a 2-hour ride by road. Punakha monastery is one of the most scenic one along the river bank Pho Chhu & Mo Chhu River

If out of all the genres of travel, adventure is your true love, do not miss rafting in Punakha.
Imagine yourself flowing with the current, all drenched while watching few rare birds in their most natural habitat along with the beautiful Punakha valley at the backdrop. White water rafting is a different experience altogether. Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers in Punakha are famous for river rafting in Bhutan

·  A little or No experience is required for rafting on these rivers as there are certified experts who would guide you through out the course. Specific instructions are given before riding the boat and off you go for an amazing adventure.

·   The most memorable part of the course is the point where you can see the Punakha Dzong from the river. The Dzong looks beautiful at the backdrop while rafting across.

Dochula Pass:

Mountain passes are always beautiful because altitude nurtures tranquillity. Located at an elevation of 3100m, Dochula pass is a tale of bravery, valour, inspiration and spirituality. This place comes on the way to Punakha from Thimpu

This beautiful mountain pass is located on the way to Punakha from Thimphu and one of the most divine places to visit in Bhutan.

• It was built in commemoration of 108 Bhutanese soldiers who passed away in military operations of 2003.
• There are 108 memorial Chorten or stupas built in remembrance of every lost soul.

Chele la Pass: the highest motorable road in Bhutan

Standing on the highest possible road in Bhutan wrapped in clouds and prayer flags, Chele La is enthralling. Located at an altitude of 3810m, Chele la links the two Valleys of Paro and Haa

• Approximately 36kms from Paro and 27kms from Haa, Chele La is situated in between the two valleys.
• Because of its altitude, natural trail through forests with a view of Himalayas , Chele la is famous for Mountain Biking and Trekking in Bhutan.
• The drive to Chele La is through dense spruce forests. Depending on the season of visit, one may come across gushing waterfalls, blooming rhododendrons and yaks grazing.
• The mountain slopes on the way to Chele La are covered in white poppy – a type of flower only found here and nowhere else in the world.
• Temperature at the Top is pretty cold and staying long becomes difficult due to the altitude. Summers are chilling but clear and winters are blood freezing cold.
• One a clear day, one can view Mt. Jumolhari – one of Bhutan’s most sacred peak, standing tall at 22,000 ft.

Pack your bags and set out for Bhutan if you want to disconnect for a while only to reconnect again happier than ever. The serene landscapes, beautiful valleys, majestic mountains, pristine forests,soothing rivers, traditional lifestyle and warmest people makes Bhutan an experience worth every penny.

 

observation tower in Seattle

What to do in Seattle: a beginner’s guide

 

When it comes to the best cities in the US to visit, Seattle is a classic. It’s home to some of the best  grunge music ever created, the first ever Starbucks and possibly the best software developer to ever grace our lives, Bill Gates.

You might also know it for its role in movies and TV shows over the years including ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ and ‘Frasier’. And let’s not forget the ever-popular ’50 Shades of Grey’ trilogy, although most of that was filmed in Vancouver, Canada. We know. Our illusions were shattered too. But if you’re looking for a quirky American city to visit, there are plenty of things to do in Seattle so make sure it’s on your list.

things to do in seattle

1. Head to the MoPOP Museum

If you have a single geek bone in your body, head to the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) Museum. Exhibitions on music, film and sci-fi and horror change regularly. Previous exhibitions include the Guitar Gallery, Pearl Jam: Home and Away, and Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic.

2. Explore Washington Park Arboretum

Did you know that Seattle is known as the Emerald City? And no, it has nothing to do with ‘The Wizard of Oz’, although we’d argue that Bill Gates is a bit of a wizard himself! It’s so-called because it’s surrounded by so much greenery. So take a break from pounding the city streets and relax in the 200 acre slice of countryside on the shore of Lake Washington.

3. Get high

When researching things to do in Seattle, top of the list will likely be the Space Needle. No visit to Seattle is complete without it. The futuristic observation tower was built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Century 21 Exposition, to symbolise Space Age aspirations. Head up the tower for iconic views over the city, Puget Sound and Mount Rainier from 520 feet high.

things to do in Seattle

4. Go boating

If the best aerial view of the city is from the Space Needle, the best view from sea level is, well, from the sea. Jump on the ferry to Bainbridge Island for just $8.50 one-way and score incredible vistas. If you’re lucky, you’ll even catch a glimpse of some orcas!

5. Peruse Pike Place

Pike Place Market is another popular attraction on the list of things to do in Seattle, and for good reason. It’s a craft market, a fish market and restaurant hub. Opened in 1907, it’s one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the USA.

6. Go underground

It might seem strange that one of the best ways to see the city is to go under it but trust us on this one; one of the quirkiest Seattle attractions is an underground tour. The city’s streets were once 10 feet lower than they are now. Take a guided walk along the abandoned alleyways, learn the forgotten history of Seattle and see Washington’s largest city in a new light. Or… dark.

Credit: Rennett Stowe/Flickr

7. Be the 12th man

If you’re an NFL fan or a sports fan in general, get yourself to CenturyLink Field to catch Seattle’s team, the Seahawks. Even if you’re not, go anyway. The atmosphere at a Seahawks game is like no other team in the American football league. The whole city backs its team, so much so that the number 12 was retired in the 60s in honour of Seahawks fans. They’re now known as the 12th man (because there are only 11 players on the field).

8. Mt Rainier

Mt Rainier is the most glaciated and topographically prominent mountain in the USA. No we’re not entirely sure what this means either but we think it means it’s tall and snowy. In any case, you can do a road trip and reach it in a day for hiking, camping and skiing, depending on the season.

9. Eat your heart out

Want an excuse to sample Korean pork, crab, clam chowder, cupcakes, salmon, truffles, ice cream, cocktails and wine all in one night? Then a gourmet food tour of the culinary hot spots should be on your list of things to do in Seattle. As if you actually need an excuse though!

 

A couple sit on top of the rock

Loving Around The World: A Guide To Travel Relationships

 

Are you a fan of romance novels? The meet cute story threads on Tumblr that come with half fanfiction storylines and a lot less truth than they seem? Or maybe you’re just the kind to fall in love with travelling, and let that roll over to every aspect of your adventures?A Guide To Travel Relationships

Well whatever it is, falling in love is great, relatively easy, and an absolute blast while you’re abroad.

New foods to try, new places to visit, new people to meet…it’s easy to have a great time and make great connections. How do you start though? Is there a secret code or guide book that will help move things along?

I don’t think there’s any one answer to these questions, but I do have a pretty good set of rules (built from personal experience) that I keep to when I’m travelling that so far hasn’t lead me wrong.

So if you’re wanting to risk your heart strings…read on!

You get what you ask for

If you’re frequenting a place where a lot of tourist go, guess what? You’re going to get a lot of people, a mix of tourists and locals, who are looking for a hook up. Don’t believe me? Check out this kind of guide out there; it’s the easiest way to not be naive.

Now, having said that, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with dipping your toes into that pool of adventure (and worldwind mess it will be), but I do think it’s better to know what you’re getting into.

If you like to take it slow, try an outdoor market, a library, a cafe, someplace you feel really comfortable (and make sure it’s in daylight). People are much more themselves, and less influenced by lights, music, or drinks, during the day, so a real connection is much more likely.

Opt for friendship first

When you meet someone for the first time, and the sparks fly….well, that’s just the best scenario isn’t it? But just because you’re feeling someone, doesn’t mean you should head straight into it; my advice is to be friends first. Why would you waste precious time on a friendship when you’re travelling, right? Wrong. There’s so much to be gained from being friendly with someone, and you never know when you might reconnect.

And on the second hand, if you’re travelling with friends, and your collective mission isn’t to get as many foreign boyfriends as possible, then don’t make that your personal mission. Finding a travel buddy (or buddies) who really fits your style is hard, so don’t ruin it with one vacation where you went balls to the wall crazy over someone. Perspective is key, and when in doubt, go with the relationship you’ve had longer!

Some things will get lost in translation

When you come from a different place and start to interact with a new culture (or even an old culture, or one you’ve read a lot about), you’re going to run into some things you aren’t prepared for. Being a fly on the wall of a new place is easy, but getting into interactions and not making a misstep can be hard, or if not hard, certainly daunting.

Don’t fear. Some cultures are more relaxed; they like to flirt alot and they know it. Others tend to be more reserved, taking it slower or just not being so aggressive. There’s no need to take a guide to international dating with you wherever you go, just go with your gut. If you want to talk to her, just do it; if she’s into you, you’ll know it.

Nothing lasts forever

It’s just like a normal relationship (okay, even the ones that do last don’t really last forever…if you catch my drift…you know, because people don’t last forever), things end. And while it may seem premature, my advice with relationships while you’re travelling is to assume they have a sell by date.

Call me a nonbeliever, call me a hater, but in my experience it’s better to be pleasantly surprised than terribly disappointed when something doesn’t work out. When you’re on the road, you should be taking everything day by day, not just relationships; it makes your travel life a whole lot better.

Be carefree

Let loose—it’s dangerous advice right? Haven’t I seen Taken 1, 2, & 3, don’t I know the dangers of being too optimistic abroad? Please.

Hollywood gets a kick out of making the kidnap stories blockbuster hits (I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, I’m just saying it’s not the norm), but for me, it just hasn’t been the case while I’ve been travelling. Thailand, Poland, Alaska, Brazil, Australia, Japan…never had a moment where I felt like I was going to end up in a hostile situation.

So here’s my piece of advice: let yourself have a little fun.

Don’t go crazy or anything, but novels and movies and entire cultural and generational movements are written about experiences people have had while abroad, and if you want love to come into it, you have to put yourself out there a little. Seems dangerous, but for the most part, I think you’ll be okay.

Stick to your guns, and your plans

It’s easy to get waylaid because of a gorgeous boy (or girl)—who hasn’t been blindsided one way or another? But more than just wanting to change all your plans to accomodate whatever they’re doing, instead ask them to join in on what you’re doing (or offer to make some extra time for them after your plans are over if you’re on a set schedule).

Pro tip: Never cancel plans to be with someone, only make additional one.

You don’t want to one day wake up and regret the things you were supposed to do because you were lovesick and wanted to follow that person around like a puppy dog. If making plans lead to new adventures without cancelling on whatever you were already doing, I’m all for it.

Stay in touch

No matter how it ends, stay in touch. Facebook is one of those really great tools to utilize while travelling (duh!) because you just never know where a relationship will go. It will be tempting to end something that went south by hitting the “unfriend” button but truth is…you never know if you’re going to need them at all down the road. They can be useful for making connections if you’re ever in the area again, or if they come your way, it might be nice just to have coffee.

Not many people in this world were ever really in trouble because they had too many friends spread all over the world—so keep that in mind!

Have you fallen for the beautiful foreigner while on a 30 day backpacking extravaganza through Africa? Have tips on how to make it last, or how to avoid it, or how to just live in the moment?

Leave me a shout out, I’d love to hear from you.

Cheers!

 

green

Join the green scene! Our eco-friendly packing guide.

 

Are you a scruncher, folder or a roller?

Oi, mind out of the gutter! We’re talking about packing. More specifically, how you can be greener and more ethical with what goes into your backpack when you travel. 

Buzzkill guys, but by 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish. 

As travelers and all around decent human beings, we have a responsibility to protect the rivers, beaches, mountains and oceans that have given us so much unconditional and unqualified love over the years. Which means thinking about what you’re taking with you from your world, into theirs. 

The good news is, both big brands and start-ups are responding to travelers’ desires for more eco-friendly and sustainable travel gear. Here are just some of our favorite green products that are currently out there. 

STAnd up, Go Green, Do Good.

Refillable toiletry bottles

Those handy travel-sized toiletries that we love so much? Great for short trips and getting around the 3oz hand luggage rule, but a nightmare for the oceans and landfill sites where the miniature plastic bottles end up. Invest in refillable bottles instead. We love GoToob by Humangear. Fresh shades, BPA-free and a lifetime guarantee.

Mineral suncream

Some of the chemicals and parabens in sun-cream are not only bad for your skin, but also for the oceans and reefs that you swim in. Using a mineral-based sun-cream like JĀSÖN will not only protect your skin, but also the environment. There are no artificial colours or animal by-products, and the packaging is bio-degradable and packaged in recycled and/or recyclable containers. Now that’s hot!

Bamboo toothbrushes

That plastic toothbrush that you replace every six months? That toothbrush never disappears. The plastic can’t decompose, which means all your toothbrushes are out there in the world somewhere.

Go for a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush instead, like Humble Brush. Their ‘Go Humble, Give Smiles’ project also means that for every brush you buy, a child in need will receive a toothbrush, oral care or hygiene education. Plus, bamboo is naturally antimicrobial, so you won’t get any of that nasty bacteria that hang out on your plastic brush.

Refillable water bottles

Barbie was wrong, plastic is not fantastic. Rivers, coastlines and railway verges clogged with rubbish and plastic bottles are a familiar sight for many travellers. Which is exactly where your single-use plastic bottle will end up.

Take a refillable bottle away with you. We are OBSESSED with Dutch-brand Dopper. So many reasons… not least the dreamy shades of neon corals and cool aquas, BPA-plastic free bottles that are recyclable when you’re done, and a wicked ethos where 5% of the company turnover is pumped into their projects. Oh, and a removable cup that looks – to us – much like it’s designed specifically for wine.

Soaps and sanitizers

Just what the doctor ordered for every eco-warrior, there’s not a single occasion when we don’t have Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Organic Hand Sanitizer in our hand and man bags. Kills 99.9% of germs, smells incredible, and doesn’t strip your skin like normal anti-bac.

We’re also all over Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid soap. You can use this stuff for literally everything when you’re away – face, body, hair, food, laundry, dishes. It comes in ten lush scents, is made with organic and fair-trade ingredients, and is packaged in a 100% post-consumer recycled bottle.

Bamboo sarongs

We know what you’re thinking, another bamboo product. And what about the effing pandas, you monsters!

Okay, this does raise an important issue about checking that the natural products you’re buying are responsibly sourced. However, bamboo consumes much less water than cotton and doesn’t need high quality arable land to grow, which makes it much more sustainable. It’s also 60% more absorbent than cotton and it’s super soft (like a panda), making it the perfect travel accessory.

We love Karavan’s Bamboo Peshtemal. Bus blanket, top sheet, sarong, towel… you genuinely have to try one to appreciate how fast they dry out, way faster than a travel towel. Plus, they look sheet hot! Here at STA Travel HQ, they’re a staple for every trip.

Reusable tote bags

Did you know that carrier bags are illegal in Rwanda? Yep, totes ahead of the game.

You’re probably the kind of person that wouldn’t use a single-use plastic bag at home, right? So why would it be any different when you’re away? Take a foldaway reusable tote with you, also great for doubling as a beach and laundry bag.

Backpacks

The key to backpacks and being sustainable often comes down to longevity and not upgrading your backpack every few years. Find a size and shape that works for you, and you’ll have your beloved pack a lifetime. (On a personal note, this author’s Osprey side-loader is on its 20th year and just about to visit its 89th country. Old school).

However, there are also brands out there such as the mountain legends VAUDE, who now offer environmentally-friendly backpacks that are ethically produced and made from sustainable materials. Check out their awesome Green Shape eco-range.

Sustainable clothing

It’s perhaps fair to say that once-upon-a-time, if you wanted to buy ethical clothing, you had to be into a certain, look? We’re personally down with the whole boho hemp vibes, but if you’re not, brands like Patagonia, Lulu Lemon, and Tentree are doing sustainable gear that does good and looks good. Surfdome.com have a whole section of their site dedicated to gear that’s sustainable in some way.


We could go on…got your own eco-packing and green tips?

We want to hear them! Shoot us an email at blog@statravel.com 

Want to consume less and do good on your travels. Why not add in one of our conservation trips to your next big adventure? See here. Want to buy a eco-friendly gift for your friend? See our top picks