Set on a hilltop to the west of Kathmandu, Swayambhunath is the second most important shrine in the Kathmandu Valley after Boudhanath. Due to the resident monkeys that inhabit parts of the temple, it is more affectionately known as the Monkey Temple. The Swayambhu Stupa, painted with the eyes of the omnipresent god, forms the centerpiece of the temple complex. It was originally a prehistoric cult site, but the temple complex dates to the 5th century. Swayambhu plays a major part in the lives of the Vajrayana Buddhists of Northern Nepal and Tibet, but especially of the Newari Buddhists of the Kathmandu Valley.
Advices : Sit at either the front or back of the plane on the left-hand side when flying to Lukla for best views. The Himalayas are on the left and the front and back are not obscured by the wings of the plane. Sit here for your first glimpse of Mount Everest before your trek. It will help to build the excitement and the view is awe-inspiring.
Get the Right Gear. There are many parts of your gear that are essential for your trek into Everest Base Camp, and I am not going to go through every piece of gear you need for the trip. Click on the link and view our packing video. I am just going to highlight some of the specific pieces that I found to be essential. First of all, your feet are one of the most important parts of the body to take care of when trekking. Never skimp on footwear when you are going to be walking multiple hours a day, for twelve days in a row; your feet need to be comfortable and dry all the time. Buy a good, sturdy, waterproof pair of trekking boots and make sure that you break them in before you leave for Nepal. Number two, buy yourself a good down jacket, remember a good down jacket needs more down. The fill of the jacket is only the quality of the down. Don’t base your purchase on the fill of the jacket. Remember that every brand and style is different and if you are questioning your down coat, make sure to ask the advice of a professional before the trip as this piece of gear can be essential during the cold nights and mornings on the mountain. Usually the tea houses are quite cold higher up the trail and I found that I wore my down jacket every night during dinner. More info at Everest base camp trek.
We recommend : Have a good first aid kit. Diamox is a must for altitude symptoms. Follow the directions and take 1/2 of a 500 mg tablet twice a day. Make sure to have decongestants, Advil or your choice of pain reliever, lip balm and sunscreen is a must. I had a woman give me salve for my sinuses to moisten them. My nasal cavities dried out and I suffered from severe nose bleeds which were quite scary. I will always have a lubricant for my nose from now on.
Go with an Established Tour Company – You probably think I threw this in here just to give our own company a plug so it’s probably better to relate it with a story. My aunt went on a trek to Everest a few years back and decided not to use our company because it cost $50 more than the independent guide she found. Everything went well until she got back to Lukla where bad weather was limiting the number of flights going out. Our good relationships with the locals meant we were able to get our clients on some of the flights. On the other hand, my aunt was stuck for 2 days and missed her international flight making that $50 look like a lot less of a bargain. She told me this after the fact otherwise I would have tried to help but it’s a good story since it highlights how important having good local relationships is and it’s just one way of many an established company can add value.
Adventure Great Himalaya Treks & Expeditions is registered by the Nepalese government to ensure the best possible experience. We are committed to the safety and well-being of our staff and clients. We hire only the best trekking and tour guides who are familiar with travelling in Nepal. All our staff members go through a thorough vetting process and are fully trained and insured. We take special precautions to make sure that all of our team members are well-equipped to handle any situation. Our expert guides are well-trained and familiar with the culture, history, flora and fauna, and first aid help. So you can rest assured that you will be properly taken care of during your trip. More details at https://www.adventuregreathimalaya.com/.