5 independent reviews for Annapurna Circuit & Tilicho Lake trekking vacation

Reviews for Annapurna Circuit & Tilicho Lake trekking vacation

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review 16 Mar 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Getting on top of Thorung La Pass and the excitement, adrenaline pumping, amazing feeling. But the most memorable was meeting local people in the paradise that is Nepal.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Just make sure you make a little research on what you're going to see before setting off for the trek.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I hope the fees we pay go to conservation of those incredible mountains. As for local people, they run business to give service to tourist. The key is sustainable development...

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was incredible, amazing, breathtaking. Simply spectacular. Totally worth it, Nepal is a paradise, and its people are a big part of the good feeling you get there.

review 15 Mar 2013

I returned last week following my 17 day A.C trek and thought it might be useful to share some thoughts of the trip for the benefit of people who might be considering the trek and using this operator. I needed to be back in the UK at the start of March and chose this operator as reviews on various for them were positive and I was impressed with how promptly the operator always replied to my emails. Whilst I had not thought I would be trekking alone (+ guide and porter) I did so and in fairness was more than happy as it enabled me to go more at my speed than influenced by others and meant not having to share a room with someone who I might not have got on with etc (or vice versa!) My guide Krishna and porter Ali were helpful throughout with Ali never saying a negative word about my kit bag he was carrying and Krishna being especially on the early morning ascent to Thorong La Pass. He sensibly walked 40/50 paces then stopped for 30 seconds and then on again etc. At that altitude the pace was just right and we made it to the top in wonderful snowy conditions with clear blue skies at 8.30 am – a great memory to have. Walking days after the pass were shorter which I found a little frustrating (Muktinanth to Kagbeni and Kagbeni to Jomsom) as there was not much to do in most of the villages en route. From Jomsom we intended to fly to Pokhara and although the morning was clear and bright there was too much wind and the flight was cancelled. “No problem” says Krishna “We’ll just take the bus”. “OK” I said and never gave it a thought...BIG mistake! For the next 7 hours I endured the most petrifying bus journey I have ever experienced. Yes I was scared. Krishna never mentioned the road down the mountain would be similar to the new road from Bensisgar to Chame which we had seen whilst walking up the trail. A road is not the best way to describe the surface which in reality is a narrow very bumpy track with 400/500 ft drops to the river below for virtually the entire duration on the journey. Please be warned that if you are of a nervous disposition then this bus trip is not for you! You will need to rethink your itinerary. The hotel and food were all generally good (but take plenty of books as nothing to do in the evenings and be careful with ebooks as electricity not always available higher up in the mountains so recharging a problem) with 3 meals a day a surprisingly good choice although less so the further you go up but that there is anyone up there anyway to provide food and lodging is a big plus in itself. I am happy to recommend trekkers to this operator (based in Kathmandu) and the views of the mountains from Manang and beyond were just stunning. However the new “road” from Bensisgar to Chance and that down the mountain from Jomsom do mean that in some parts you have to walk on the new road as this has replaced the former trekking trails. I have to say not ideal from a walking point of view but it back to the original trails after Chame which I was grateful for. I think there is a way to trek back down from Jomsom to Pokhara (35 mins as against 7 hours on a bus and that is only to Beni!) Mid/late Feb was a great time to go. In the 17 days I must have seen no more than 30 trekkers including some who had turned back beyond Manang due to the depth of snow and the pass being blocked. Fortunately the Gods were with us as we got through in deep snow but glorious sunshine. In conclusion a very satisfactory experience in Nepal although personally I wish I had visited 5 or 10 years ago as the country is changing (new roads, hotels etc) to accommodate tourists but you can’t blame the Nepalese for wanting to cash in on their assets of the glorious mountains and scenery.

review 29 Aug 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Achieving my goal of finishing the trek

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Not to use this trekking company. I was not told this was the off season and I would not get to view the mountains which is a large part of the reason for doing this trek and I was charged full price I was able to talk to other tourists who were given a much better price because they knew how much it was really worth because they had talked to other tourist. So I came away feeling very stupid for being so trusting.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Due to being charged so much for my trek I was unable to afford to do much else. I ws still expected to tip my guide and porter. I found out that they received a fraction of the money I paid. I was was charged first rate for third rate accommodation. I could reccomend nepal as a trustworthy place to vist. It is also highly polluted by its own people there is rubbish strewn all along the trek

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Nepal is a stunning country but it is being undermined by pollution and corruption. There seems to be an attitude that its ok to overcharge tourists because they are seen as rich by comparison. I saved a long time to do tjid as it's been a dream of mine but I came away feeling cheated

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Jane, Thank you very much for the submitted your views in the responsibletravel.com . First of all we would like to remind you that you have purchased the package trip of Annapurna circuit trek as per your traveling plan and interest and we organized accordingly. You have received our fully services as per mentioned on the package list which we were deal with you on the purchasing period of trekking program. As far as the matter of views, it depends on weather condition, which times it would be cloudy or crystal or raining that depends on the nature of weather that is our beyond control. It can be changed at any time not only this month, it could be the period of Oct& November too. We are government authorized company, so its has more responsible to care and make the safety for all our valued clients during the trip,therefore those amount will be paying extra rather than free lands tourists (It means self walking on the trail at their risk) or organized trip with unauthorized companies because when they will achieve the problems like high altitude problems, sick,accidents etc during the journey, in this time, they will definitely realize why I came to alone on the trip or organized the tour with unauthorized company instead of authorized company. Finally, we assure you of our best service at all times and always put all our efforts to make the trip smooth and pleasant for all our valued clients. With best regards, Keshav Karki

review 25 Dec 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Beautiful vistas and sunsets over the Annapurnas. Meeting locals, and a whole host of animals, along the way. Rowing across the still lake in Pokara.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

The accommodation and facilities are very basic at times; be prepared not to wash for a few days! Diamox can be useful in treating altitude sickness, but it can also have really unpleasant side effects (not unlike altitude sickness!), so don't rely on it being the solution. We trekked solidly for 13 days, with no rest days; the relentlessness was tough at times.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

We were a very small group (just two of us, plus a guide and porter), and out of season, so it felt that we had minimal impact on the environment. Because it was end of season, some of the lodges weren't prepared to heat water or wood burners, so I guess that also minimised the impact on the environment. Our guide and porter were locals (well from the Everest region), so they benefited from our custom. Making use of the local lodges and restaurants felt as if we were putting money back into the villages.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was an amazing experience, but a tough trek. We were two fit young women, with trekking experience, and we still found the relentlessness of the 13 days walking pretty challenging. The guide and porter were amazingly patient and uncomplaining; the guide's English was good enough to be able to explain the basics and give us some history and cultural insights as we went along. I would only recommend this particular trip to people who were fit and/or had experience of trekking at altitude, and were happy with basic accommodation and sanitation. We went end of November/beginning of December and the nights were very, very cold, and there were few other tourists around. Whilst it was good to be away from the tourist trail, I'd recommend going slightly earlier in the season due to the conditions.

review 18 Jun 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Crossing Throng La in perfect weather - the highest pass in the world certainly has great views!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take enough local currency on the trek to cover the cravings for expensive chocolate bars - I never realised how good a Snickers would taste. The food on the trail is good but quite repetitive. Take rehydrating sachets and antibiotics to fight stomach upsets.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes but I think bottle of mineral water should be not be sold and tourists should be forced to fill up from more regular safe water filling stations. There is clearly a problem with plastic disposal.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Our guides and porters (Des, Ali and Daour) were amazing - they were so helpful and patient. They made the trip for us even though their English was not great.

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