Nepal tourism appoints son of Edmund Hillary to promote Everest mission

Nepal tourism appoints son of Edmund Hillary to promote Everest mission

After the Earthquake Nepal’s Everest missions has taken a back seat as people are weary to scale the peaks in fear of avalanches. The Nepal government on May 28, 2015 observed the international Everest Day marking the conquest of the world’s highest peak by Edmund Hillary and Tanzing Norgey Sherpa 62 years ago. The day was observed with intentions of reviving tourism in the country.

Peter-Hillary-son-of-Edmund-Hillary

In a bid to call back tourists the Nepalese Tourism Minister Kripasur Sherpa appealed to international tourists to visit the country. He assured them that there are still many safe and beautiful places which include heritage and cultural sites along with trekking trails that have remained intact despite the devastating earthquakes.

The minister looked for support from the private sector. He felt that together the public and private sector can rebuild the losses that Nepal has met with.

The mountaineering sector was suffering losses since 2013 when 16 mountain guides were killed in April 18. But the Earthquake in central and North-West Nepal was hit by the devastating earthquakes. The avalanche from the quake killed 18 people which had 5 foreigners and all expeditions had to be brought to a halt.The area is under grave threat owing to melting glaciers and continued avalanches. The country needs faith and support from international tourists and climbers to get things back in tempo.

Before the quakes thousands of climbers trekked the Everest each year providing employment to the Sherpas and bringing millions of dollars for the Government. If Everest mission should stop it would amount to grave losses for the government. So the government has appointed 19 goodwill ambassadors which include Peter Hillary, son of Edmund Hillary, Jamling Tenzing, son of Tenzing Sherpa, Junko Tabei, the first women Everest Summiteer from Japan and Reinhold Mesner, Italy, who climbed the Everest without oxygen for the first time. They will help promote tourism in Nepal.

Source: Travel And Tour World

Individual Everest permits also extended for 5 years

The government has made amendment to Mountaineering Regulations, allowing mountaineers, who took individual permits to climb Mt Everest in spring last year, to use the permit over the next five years.

Earlier, the government had extended validity of only group permits. But the decision had draw flak from mountaineers who said it was not possible for all members in the team to gather at the same time for the expedition. Minister of General Administration Lal Babu Pandit said that the cabinet has decided to allow individual climbers to use their climbing permits over the next five years.

everest_2008_1296

A total of 334 climbers of 32 expedition teams, including a Nepali team, had received permits to climb Mt Everest last year. The climbers, however, are required to pay US$ 1,000 to the Department of Tourism (DoT) based on the new royalty structure. The government reduced royalty fee for foreigners climbing Mt Everest from normal route, also known as the South East Ridge, to $11,000 per person from $25,000 per person with effect from January1, 2015.

All expedition teams called off their expedition after a deadly avalanche near Camp II of Mt Everest killed 16 Sherpa guides in April last year. “With the amendment in Mountaineering Regulations, we are hopeful that the number of mountaineers on Mt Everest will increase this year. We will see new climbers as well as those who had cancelled their trip last year,” Pushpa Raj Katuwal, chief of Mountaineering Section at DoT, told Republica.

According to Katuwal, the government has issued climbing permits to five teams so far. Meanwhile, DoT will send two liaison officers who will man the government’s contact office at the Everest Base Camp for the entire climbing season. The government has already prepared Terms of Reference (ToR) for the liaison officers.

“With this arrangement, we believe climbers will feel much safer. Also, they can get the required information in time,” he added. The liaison officers will provide weather updates, coordinate rescue operations in case of emergencies and settle disputes arising among climbing parties.

The government has changed climbing route slightly this year to avoid the where avalanche hit mountaineering workers last year. According to the department, climbers will have to deviate around 40 meters right of the regular trail which will extend the trip to Camp I by around two hours.

“In case the government reduces climbing permit fee in the next five years, we will refund the climbers accordingly,” Tulsi Prasad Gautam, director general of DoT, said.

Source: Republica

The world’s 8 most terrifying bungee jumps

The world’s 8 most terrifying bungee jumps

In 1988, daredevils AJ Hackett and Henry van Asch created the world’s first commercial bungee jump in Queenstown, New Zealand: the Kawarau Bridge Bungy at just 439 feet high. Think that’s a challenge? Think again.

bungeejumping-main

Close to 30 years later and however you spell it, bungee (or bungy) jumping continues to be a worldwide addiction for adrenaline lovers and for those looking to give themselves the ultimate challenge, with elevations reaching as high as 700 feet.

You can throw yourself over rivers, leap out into stunning gorges, or even hurtle from shaky suspension bridges that sway with the slightest breeze.

Take a look at some of the world’s scariest bungee spots. Go on. We dare ya.

Victoria Falls Bridge: Livingstone, Zambia/Zimbabwe

Sure, you may have taken a selfie, straddling the border of two countries — but how about bungee jumping between two countries? Risk-takers leap from the Victoria Falls Bridge, stretching between Zimbabwe and Zambia with Victoria Falls Bungee. Get ready to dive 364 feet and fall toward the crocodile-filled Zambezi River below.

Despite the bungee cord snapping for an Aussie tourist three years ago, the jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge is a must-do for the ultimate daredevil.

Action Valley: Cusco, Peru

Part of the thrill of this jump, operated by Action Valley, is that it lacks, er, what many travelers refer to as the appropriate safety measures that you might find elsewhere. A creaky, red cage wobbles back and forth as it brings you from the bottom of a valley in the Peruvian Andes to a deck 400 feet above ground. Whiplash included.

Nevis Highwire Bungy: Queenstown, New Zealand

At 439 feet, this is one terrifying bad boy, and so much of it lies in the buildup. A bus takes you uphill along narrow, winding roads (while your heart beats wildly, of course) until you arrive at the site, located deep within a canyon.

After a debriefing, a couple of jumpers pile into a cable car for a slow ride (pray it isn’t a windy day) to a pod hanging in the air smack in the middle of a canyon and suspended by cable wires. We hope you aren’t afraid of heights. The original bungee king AJ Hackett operates the Nevis.

Bhote Kosi River Jump: Tatopani, Nepal

It’s the Last Resort bungee. No, really. This heart-stopping option, situated 524 feet above Nepal’s Bhote Kosi River in a spectacular gorge, is part of the Last Resort outfitters, which also has other activities like whitewater rafting and provides accommodation.

Bungy Jumping in Nepal

Jumpers plummet face first from a suspension bridge toward the raging river below. Sound scary? We think so, too, but try to take in the scenery before you make the leap.

Europabrücke: Innsbruck, Austria

Translated to “Europe’s Bridge,” the Europabrücke Bridge bungee hovers 629 feet above the Sill River in the Wipp Valley and is a definite change of pace from exploring museums and churches. Rupert Hirner Bungy Jumping is the best option for those looking to take the plunge.

Bloukrans Bridge: Tsitsikamma, South Africa

Follow in the footsteps of legends including Kelly Slater, Prince Harry, and Andy Irons by doing the Bloukrans Bungy, the world’s highest commercial bridge jump at 708 feet high. Think you’re brave enough? Well, there is only one way to find out. The operator to use: Face Adrenaline.

Jump at Verzasca Dam: Tinco, Switzerland

Channel your inner James Bond with the 007 Jump, named for its cameo in in the movie GoldenEye. Located at Switzerland’s Verzasca Dam, this spy-worthy spot is 720 feet high and operated by Trekking Team. Beware: Stunt doubles are not included.

AJ Hackett Macau Tower Bungy Jump: Macau

The truly daring can challenge themselves to soar from the world’s highest bungee jump. At 764 feet, the AJ Hackett Macau Tower Bungy Jump is so high; you can see the Great Wall of China from the top. Just kidding. But you can basically see all of Macau as you spiral toward the ground.

Source: New York Post

Tourists from 120 countries trekked Annapurna Circuit in 2014

Tourists from 120 countries enjoyed the Annapurna Circuit Trek in 2014.

Junu Pun, tourism assistant at Dharapani check post of Annapurna Conservation Area project (ACAP), said the popular trekking trail received visitors from 120 countries from across the world in 2014. Last year, the trail had received visitors from 86 countries. “The popularity of Annapurna Region is growing with each passing year. We are getting visitors from across the world,” she added.

Annapurna Region

Data compiled by ACAP shows a total of 20,694 foreign tourists enjoyed the Annapurna Circuit Trek in 2014. The trek begins from Besishahar of Lamjung and concludes in Jomsom after crossing Thorong La Pass (5,416m). Last year, 21,207 tourists had completed the trek.

Tourism entrepreneurs say the popular trekking route is attracting visitors from across the world. “Not only the conventional markets, we have started receiving guests from new markets,” Ram Chandra Sharma, president of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) Western Regional Association, Pokhara, said.
Tourists from Sri Lanka, Syria, Pakistan, Mongolia, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Dominican Republic, Cambodia, Bolivia and Paraguay enjoyed the Annapurna Circuit trek in 2014.

“Word of mouth publicity is the biggest advertisement. It is good to note that tourists from new countries are coming here and promoting our products and services in their countries,” added Sharma.

France (2,702), Israel (2,687), Germany (2,042), United States (1,441), United Kingdom (1,317), Australia (1,095), Russia (859), Spain (849), Netherlands (812) and South Korea (691) were the top 10 countries in terms of number of visitors completing the Annapurna Circuit Trek in 2014, according to ACAP.

Source: Republica

Places to hang out in Kathmandu Valley

Places to hang out in Kathmandu Valley

There seems to be no place in the Kathmandu Valley that hasn’t been breached upon by the ambitious will of a domestic adventurer: That funky restaurant? Oh no, you went there last time with your peeps. That cool place to hang out? Nah, went there for a funny photo shoot with colleagues. Sometimes, it feels as if the Valley is the same old assortment of familiar people and even more familiar settings. But worry not. I guess looking for a needle in the haystack is even better for the true adventurer at heart. The Week, as usual, comes to your aid.

Newa Lahana, Kirtipur
This restaurant is famous for its spot on Newar delicacies and drinks.newa-lahana-kirtipur

To reach there, go past the Tribhuvan University Heights and take a right turn. With two and a half stories dedicated solely for food lovers, also find the place apt for hanging out with your friends and family. The views from the rooftop are ones that you shouldn’t miss. Look forward to a great experience at Lahana.

Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur
traditionally known as the city of devotees, Bhaktapur is always a supreme place to hang out in. With its old brick houses and lanes, any place you go there will be a treat to your eyes and senses. Take a look at the potter’s village, or even sign up for a pottery class! If you are in your walking shoes, then you can go for hiking around the famous Changu Narayan Temple. Although Bhaktapur is the smallest city among the three in the Valley, it still has a string of temples and places that are waiting for the right kind of visitors.

Bungamati/Khokana

bungamati_khokana
A bus from Lagankhel for 30-45 minutes – depending on the crowd in the vehicle – and you’ll reach this beautiful Newar village of Bungamati. Bungamati has grown to become a local tourist destination, with extended cultural events on auspicious days, and traditional music in full swing and the locals clad in traditional wears. If not, go for an evening to watch the sunset, from where you can also watch the Khokana valley in the right. Stroll around in the ancient hamlet where it seems time has decided to rest. This evening will definitely be memorable.

Nag Daha, Dhapakhel
Nag Daha is a big pond which, from afar, looks like a snake. It’s a haven for nature seekers: The pond with gentle water ripples surrounded by greenery is quiet and perfect for solace. To reach there, take a public vehicle from Lagankhel to Dhapakhel, and walk for a few minutes. The place even has a modest number of eateries if you’re looking to enjoy the place with food. If you’re lucky, you can even get a chance at boating. This will be a good opportunity for the legend seeker in you. This legendarily rich place may have some stories that you can share later on.

The Sankata Temple, New Road
If you’re tired of hanging around Basantapur and are looking for something less crowded, then you could give the Sankata Temple a visit. It has a big courtyard dedicated to it, and one can easily find a ‘chiya pasal’ along with a few other snacks. If you are really in the mood for local food, then seek the Sankata Restaurant which is hidden in a busy alley to the north of the temple. Aside from serving the regular lunchtime snacks, they have yummy baras that are worth dying for. The area is pretty big, with people doing their usual businesses. Sneak in for a laidback time with your buddies.

Source: Republica

TAAN promotes Nepal in Melbourne, Los Angeles, Denmark

TAAN promotes Nepal in Melbourne, Los Angeles, Denmark

Three separate delegations of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) promoted Nepal’s tourism products and services in Melbourne (Australia), Los Angeles (USA) and Herning (Denmark).

TAAN coordinated participation of Nepali trekking companies in these expos. TAAN Secretary Pasang Sherpa led Nepal’s delegation in Adventure Travel Show held in Los Angeles, USA on Febraury 21 and 22. TAAN member companies participated in the expo.

Trekking-expo

“Our stalls received around 700 visitors – most of them were buyers. Our participation was successful,” Sherpa said.

Similarly, Executive Member Vidya Hirachan led Nepali delegation in Adventure Travel Expo held on February 21 and 22. TAAN member agencies “Our participation was highly successful. There were lots of quality visitors,” Hirachan said. “Most of the visitors were interested toward trekking. Few sought information about expeditions.”

The expo, which saw participation of 120 countries, saw around 25,000 visitors, according to Hirachan.

TAAN delegations distributed promotional brochures, DVDs and maps to the visitors.

Similarly, TAAN member agency Sherpa & Swiss Adventure participated in Danish Travel Show held in Herning of Denmark from Febraury 20-22. The participation was coordinated by TAAN.