A couple of our friends invited us to tag along on their journey to Nepal. They had booked through Welcome Nepal Treks, a Kathmandu-based tour company that takes the guesswork out of touring Nepal by providing your lodging, meals, transport, and personal tour guide all in one.
Hari, the owner of Welcome Nepal Treks, was a very gracious and hospitable host. Upon our arrival at his hotel (Kathmandu City Hotel), we were treated like family. This is the starting point for the majority of his tours and treks. The rooms were very clean, complete with your own flush toilet and a hot shower (both of which are a luxury in Nepal) and we also got a hearty breakfast of eggs, toast, and potatoes. The staff at the hotel were very hospitable as well and made sure we felt comfortable during our stay and had everything we needed taken care of.
We had all of our transport to and from our various destinations accounted for, as well as an experienced trekking guide and porters to lead us on our five day hike through the Himalayas. It was nice to have someone else plan the itinerary so we could simply enjoy the trip and scenery. As we trekked up our designated route to Poon Hill, we would stop at various guesthouses to stay overnight and fuel up. Our lodgings and 3 square meals were all included (save for snacks, sodas, booze, and bottled water.) Many guesthouses included a duvet and pillow, but not all. So, it's best to pack a sleeping bag just to be safe. Most guesthouses were pretty clean and the food was always delicious!
Our trip with Hari's company also included a stay in Chitwan National Park, where we visited the elephant breeding centre and Tharu Culture Centre. Again our food and lodgings were inclusive. The lodge we stayed at (Jungle Crown) was extremely well kept and clean, complete with a full service far (booze was again not included) and a refreshing outdoor pool. We were within walking distance of the local sarafi/elephant area. My only complaint was that this particular resort catered to guests from western countries, so a lot of the food was their take on American/UK cuisine. It wasn't done very well for one and I would much prefer to enjoy the local fanfare (curry, rice, dal bhat) to truly get the Nepali experience.The staff were all very friendly and helpful however.
Upon our return to Kathmandu City Hotel, Hari treated us to a spectacular meal prepared and served in the traditional Nepali style at a nearby restaurant. It was so delicious and the restaurant had a stage presentation of some of the cultural songs and dances from the natives of Nepal.
We asked Hari if he would arrange transport to the airport for our flights home the next day. He graciously provided this as well as a guide to give us a mini tour of the two largest temples in Kathmandu in the morning before our flights left the city. It was a wonderful way to end our trip and the guide he had provided was so congenial and knowledgeable. What a great and unexpected service to provide to us!
If you're thinking about visiting this lovely country, I highly recommend you book a tour through Welcome Nepal. You will be able to see and do more during your visit than if you were to plan out the entire vacation on your own. Plus, Hari's prices for the entire two week trip were quite reasonable.