Tag Archives: Nepal

Meet Our Local Guides: Nepal

Meet Our Local Guides: Nepal

In our series on our Local Guides, today we travel to Nepal!

We have two amazing adventure experiences in Nepal – trekking to Everest Base Camp and travelling through the foothills of the Annapurna region. The unique views of the Himalayas are the star of these two treks and our local guides make sure they don’t go unappreciated.

Meet Kalpana

Kalpana is from Sindupalchowk, a mountain village in central Nepal.

She leads treks through the foothills of the Annapurna region, introducing her group of adventurers to the majesty of the Himalayas.

Always up for a challenge, Kalpana says trekking the foothills of Annapurna has made it her favourite destination.

She also likes to think of herself as a lifelong learner and loves the idea of being “like a chameleon” to her natural surroundings.

For Kalpana, it is the rich geographical and cultural diversity of Nepal has always fascinated her.

But exactly why does she do what she does? Kalpana feels she can inspire others to fall in love with Nepal just as she has.

Meet Gopal

Gopal is from Nepalgunj in Nepal.

It was an interest in mountaineering and trekking that inspired Gopal’s career as an adventure guide, having worked as a trekking guide since 2005.

He has completed some amazing climbs in his lifetime, including some of the highest peaks in Nepal – Island Peak and Mera Peak.

This passion is the reason he continues to successfully guide groups to Everest Base Camp and across the Annapurna region –  so the adventurers in his group can experience the raw beauty of the Himalayas.

Find out more about our upcoming Nepal adventures here.

Dreaming of Everest: How One Nepalese Woman is Breaking Down The Barriers

By Denise Beecroft

In April 2018, I travelled to Nepal as part of a ‘Trek for Rights’ fundraising trip for UN Women. The trip involved a visit to the nation’s capital Kathmandu, a flight to Pokhara and a 6-day trek in the Annapurna region. We walked up hills and through villages. We breathed the fresh air and took in the amazing sights.

Our local tour leader was Kalpana Bhattarai. A true adventurer with a strongly independent streak, Kalpana loves the mountains and the responsibility of introducing travellers to the beauty of her home country. 

Having a woman as the head of our ‘almost’ all-women group made total sense, but was unusual in Nepal.

Though many women have embraced a career in tourism, not many have been willing to take on a tour leader’s responsibilities. Social norms, parental expectations and a preparedness to be away from home for weeks at a time, has stopped a lot of women getting into this field.

Nepal is a very male-oriented society and when Kalpana started working as a guide, she received some resistance from the male crew, not used to taking orders from a woman. Once they realised that she knew her stuff, they settled down. These days, the trekking team is like a family, each feeling reassured that they’re playing an important role.

Kalpana has worked in tourism now for around 7 years. It wasn’t a career her parents imagined, although her grandfather may have had an inkling. He was a renowned astrologer who used the position of the stars to look into a person’s future. When she was young, he predicted that she would travel and earn her living in ‘foreign currency’.

Kalpana described her parents lovingly. Her mum, though illiterate, had resisted an early marriage and her obligation to live with her parents-in-law at a young age so that she could earn her own money. Her father wanted an education for all of his children. Though he sometimes worries about Kalpana’s choice of career, he is very supportive of his eldest daughter.

Like her older brother who has excelled in science on the international stage, Kalpana has gained some solid qualifications including a Bachelor Degree in Finance and an MBA in Entrepreneurship. But a desk-bound job in business is not part of her picture.

Kalpana now works for Royal Mountain Travel who are the local team for companies like Inspired Adventures. They’re a bit different from other trekking companies because their trip accommodation is often in community homestays rather than in the traditional ‘tea houses’. In this way, they try to deliver a more ‘authentic’ travel experience while supporting local communities more directly, especially women.

Kalpana loves working as a tour guide for many reasons. She loves getting fit and the experience of walking through her country. She loves working with her team of porters and the trek support crew. She thrives in nature, taking particular interest in the plants and birds that she sees along the way. She loves meeting people from all over the world and introducing them to her country and Nepalese culture.

She is a believer in stepping out of her comfort zone, testing herself physically and mentally.

Kalpana was recently recognised for her work in tourism. She was rewarded with a trip to Amsterdam where she met with other tour guides from around the world.

“I love to encourage other women to try something different. They shouldn’t always do what society expects them to do – settle down early and have a family,” Kalpana explains.

“My big dream is to climb Everest. It’s going to be hard work and it’ll take a lot of money, but it’s something I think about every day.”

At one stage during our trek, a ‘misunderstanding’ about accommodation meant serious negotiations were required with one local community leader. Kalpana kept her cool and made sure her crew and travellers were accommodated comfortably as arranged.

Kalpana’s honesty and openness – and her amazing smile – is one of the many things I’ll remember about my trip to Nepal.

It was also wonderful to meet six of the women who have benefitted from empowerment programs run by the local office of UN Women.

Like many of my fellow travellers, at the end of this Nepalese adventure, I was already planning the next one.

Denise lives in Sydney and has her own marketing and copywriting business. She travelled to Nepal in April 2018 with Inspired Adventures, helping to raise funds for UN Women projects to empower women and girls.

Feeling Inspired?

Join an Inspired Adventure to raise funds for women and girls! Check out our Adventure Calendar for current departures.

Adventurer of The Month: Sam Kaytar

Sam Kaytar

Cause: ShelterBox Australia
Adventure: ShelterBox Australia Nepal Trek 2018

As our Adventurer of the Month, Sam has scored herself a $100 Paddy Pallin voucher! To be our next month’s winner, make sure you’re uploading your journey to social and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired.

What motivated you to take on your Inspired Adventure?

I’ve always committed myself to charity work, but I was looking for something that was going to challenge me mentally and physically. I was looking for something completely different to what I’ve done before, and Nepal certainly is it! I also love the outdoors!

How are you feeling about the challenge ahead? Have you ever been to Nepal before?

I’ve never been to Nepal before, however it certainly has been on my list of places to see. I’m extremely excited and also a little nervous. I’m certainly fit, but being in a different altitude is what may be challenging to me.

What have been some of the highlights of your Inspired journey so far?

The highlight so far for me has been the amount of wonderfully kind, generous and supportive people that have contributed to my cause/journey in various ways.

The beautiful thing also, is hearing other people say that “it’s one of the things I’d like to do but I never seem to get around to doing it”, followed by some of them being inspired to look into completing something similar.

"I’ve always committed myself to charity work, but I was looking for something that was going to challenge me mentally and physically."

Do you have any tips for other people currently training for their Inspired Adventure?

I think the best advice would be to talk to people who have done something similar, and putting a set plan in place for training. Websites have also been a great go-to, such as Smart Traveler, and being a nurse I also love Travel Dr to help ensure you’re ready for your trip and also medically educated and vaccinated.

Have you noticed any changes or transformation in your life since taking on your first adventure?

The changes I’ve noticed personally is with being persistent with my training goals and challenges. It has given me great drive and determination both mentally and physically.

What advice would you offer to other people looking to complete a challenge like this?

Don’t hesitate at the idea of the challenge. Fully commit yourself and put a set plan in place. Otherwise one day it will be one of those things you wish you would have done!

unnamed (10)

Become our Adventurer of the Month to win a $100 Paddy Pallin voucher

Take a picture whilst on your adventure or when you’re training and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired and your adventure hashtag. The most exciting use of the hashtag, with an adventure, and fitness focus will be our Adventurer of the Month – it’s that easy!

A delicious Nepalese momo recipe to try at home

Set against the backdrop of the spectacular Himalayas, Nepal has a rich variety of dishes to offer anyone lucky enough to pay a visit. Nepalese cuisine is known to be generally healthier than most other South Asian cuisine, relying more on lean meats and vegetables to create flavoursome dishes inspired by the country’s rich spices and fresh produce.

Momos (dumplings) are a very popular dish in Nepal and are surprisingly easy to make at home. These dumplings can definitely be customised to your taste and you can add any vegetables or meats you prefer. Why not try this one for yourself?

Making the dough

Mix 3 cups of flour with ¾ cups of water. Knead the dough with your hands to get a smooth and doughy consistency.

Making the filling


2-3 cups of flour
¾ cup of water
2 tsp fresh minced ginger
2 finely chopped onions
2-3 cloves of garlic finely minced or crushed
400g beef mince or other choice of meat mince
400g cabbage finely chopped
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp of your choice of broth

Combine ingredients ginger, onions, garlic, beef and cabbage into a bowl and mix together. Use your hands to mix and evenly distribute the mince. Then add soy sauce and broth to the mixture, stir and set aside.

Making the momos

Once your filling is ready, get the dough you prepared earlier and use a roller pin to create a very flat, thin sheet of dough. Use a circular pastry shaper that’s roughly 6-10cm across to cut the dough. Place the circular dough in the palm of your hand and add a dollop of the filling in the centre. Fold the dumpling carefully in pleats around the sides to close it. You can see how this is done in the video below:

Cooking your momos

You can cook your momos any way that you like, in Nepal they are usually steamed. Add your momos to a steamer and line them up without touching each other. Steam for about 10-15 minutes. If you do not have a steamer, you can also boil them, by adding them to boiling water and leaving them for 5-8 minutes or until they float to the surface.

You can also fry your dumplings if you prefer the light crunchy texture. Remember, if you want to make vegetarian momos you can simply swap the meat for cabbage and tofu. Momos are best served hot with hot lime relish sauce. You can also use a tomato-based sauce which is also popular in the region. We hope you enjoy this simple momo recipe that will bring the delicious aroma of Nepalese cuisine into your home.

Feeling inspired?

You can check out our adventures to Nepal.


Urgen’s story of hope and strength

“No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is – if we lose our hope that’s our real disaster “ Dalai Lama

Meet Urgen

Life comes with its fair share of challenges and obstacles. However, very few of us will be tested like Urgen Kalden.

A Tibetan born in Nepal, the opportunity for a better life lead Urgen to move to the United States, where she now lives in New Jersey with her family. With a positive attitude and rare enthusiasm for life, this wife and mother tells her story in the hopes of bringing awareness to burn victims in Nepal.

In September 2013, while cooking, her pan caught fire. As she rushed to put it out, the hot oil spilled causing third degree burns to 35% of her body, and left her face permanently scarred. Bedridden for six weeks, Urgen’s sister gave her Turia Pitt’s book ‘Everything to Live For’. Turia’s story gave her strength to see beyond her burns and the knowledge that when tragedy strikes, a positive attitude can make all the difference.

Urgen’s face took a year to heal. She had to learn to walk, eat and move again. She admits her frustration at not being able to do certain things by herself, like bathing, combing and dressing. However, this didn’t dampen her spirits, as she was able to accomplish all these things again with her family and friends by her side.

“I am very lucky” she says, “I have the support of my family. When I saw my two beautiful kids, my son back then was 15 and my daughter 11, smiling and telling me not to worry about them, that they are studying hard. Those two gave me motivation to feel better every day. My husband always visited me after work and on weekends. Sitting beside me praying… I never once had any negative thoughts, what happened to me was my mistake, but that doesn’t mean I blame myself. It was just an accident.”

She has found the strength to not simply continue living life as before, but to make an impact. Her compassion and desire to help others has allowed her to get through her most difficult times. She believes living a life of kindness and compassion is the best way to overcome challenge and become a stronger person. “My attitude to life is more positive now. I don’t mind my scar and people staring.” Urgen admits the recovery from burns is long, and mental as well as physical, but that having another chance at life and the ability to make a positive impact to others is what matters.

This year, Urgen hopes to scale the heights of Everest Base Camp alongside Interplast ambassador Turia Pitt. Joining her will be a whole team of Interplast supporters, who are taking on the challenge to raise funds for this important charity. So far, Urgen has raised an incredible $10,252 for Interplast, through a successful dinner party event and games. She is humbled by the support of her friends and family.

The journey back to her former country will be an emotional one. It has been 10 years since she has been back to Nepal, where her mother, father and brother still live. She hopes to bring burn awareness to the people of Nepal, and help those who are in need of surgical services performed by Interplast surgeons.

After the accident that changed her perspective on life, her advice is simple, “be kind to others. And don’t worry about tomorrow – live for today”.


Nepal earthquake two years on

Nepal continues to rebuild and recover in the aftermath of the earthquake in 2015. The earthquake claimed nearly 9,000 lives, left many without jobs and destroyed more than 500,000 buildings. Two years on and the devastation lingers, however progress is being made.

Many of our charity partners, including Baptist World Aid, Oxfam, UNICEF, Caritas, and UN Women, responded to the emergency in April 2015 and are still engaged with the recovery efforts.

Just this month, the team taking part in Oxfam’s Journey to Nepal, completed an Annapurna trek to raise funds for the ongoing recovery efforts. They also had an opportunity to visit Virkot, one of the villages heavily affected by the earthquake.

“The devastation from the earthquake was evident as we drove through Kathmandu to the remote Virkot community. Kathmandu was still full of loose bricks, dust, half-collapsed buildings, and scaffolding everywhere but it was inspiring to see just how much progress had been made in this community since April 2015,” says Danny, the Inspired Adventures team leader with the group. “The villagers were excited to show our group around their rebuilt homes which were re-engineered to resist future shocks. Cash for work programs had also provided new road access, water pumps and toilets for their community. We were hosted for lunch outside one of their new homes overlooking the valley below. The whole team felt very grateful for the efforts of Oxfam and the other incredible on the ground NGOs who have aided communities like the one we were in since the earthquake.”


In addition to the International NGOs, there are many local organisations working on the rebuild. For example, local Kathmandu hotel Dwarika’s established a foundation that has managed Camp Hope, a camp for earthquake survivors who lost their homes in the disaster. Many of their residents came from Sindhupalchowk, where over 80% of houses were destroyed.

The project also aims to introduce new earthquake-resistant homes with added eco-features like rainwater harvesting, solar power, biogas systems and organic agriculture. You can learn more about the program here. Tourism has historically formed a large part of Nepal’s economy and you can help by visiting now and supporting local business. And of course, our charity partners’ efforts continue and donations will help those still waiting for their homes and lives to be rebuilt.

Feeling inspired?

Check out our latest adventures to Nepal with Caritas and UN Women and see how you can give back.


Adventurer of the Month – Carole Labram

Carole Labram

Cause: Interplast
Adventure: Turia’s Everest Trek 2017
Fundraising Page: Turia’s Everest Trek
Social: @calabram75

As our Adventurer of the Month, Carole has scored herself a $100 Paddy Pallin voucher! To be our next month’s winner, make sure you’re uploading your journey to social and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired.

What inspired you to take on your Inspired Adventure with Interplast?

I’ve always had a fascination with Everest and what better way to see it than with a group of like-minded people all raising money for a wonderful life changing cause!

How are you feeling about the challenge ahead? Have you ever been to Everest Base Camp before?

I’ve never been to Everest Base Camp or Nepal for that matter.  I’m feeling so excited about the trek, the physical challenge itself but the seeing the stunning scenery, the Nepalese people and culture and meeting new people.  I have to say the bit I’m nervous about is the flight into Lukla, not the trek itself!

What have been some of the highlights of your fundraising experience so far?

Having to make 51 dozen shortbread biscuits before Christmas, which raised over $500, I didn’t think my shortbread would be so popular.  I’ve also been amazed by the generosity and support of complete strangers 🙂

"I can do anything I set my mind to!"

What have been your biggest challenges in taking on an Inspired Adventure? How did you overcome this?

My biggest challenge has been putting myself out there to fundraise, in particular approaching companies for sponsorship.  I’m an introvert by nature so it has pushed me out of my comfort zone.  I overcame it by setting myself smaller goals and initially meeting with people I knew, that way after several positive experiences my mindset changed and I could approach others.

Have you noticed any changes or transformation in your life since taking on your first adventure?

I now have a belief that I can do anything I set my mind to!

What are you most looking forward to about your upcoming adventure?

Watching the sunrise over Everest and making memories that will be with me for a lifetime.

What advice would you offer to other people looking to complete a challenge like this?

Do your research, find an organisation that matches your values and go for it!  Be prepared to challenge yourself physically and mentally in the preparation and reap the rewards when you go on your challenge.

unnamed (10)

Become our Adventurer of the Month to win a $100 Paddy Pallin voucher

Take a picture whilst on your adventure or when you’re training and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired and your adventure hashtag. The most exciting use of the hashtag, with an adventure, and fitness focus will be our Adventurer of the Month – it’s that easy!


Richard’s story: Inspiring hope for girls in Nepal

When Richard Assef learned about Plan’s Trek for Girls, he knew right from the beginning that he wanted to be involved. As a parent of a girl who lost both her biological parents in war-torn Lebanon, he understands firsthand the devastation, and loss of hope it can bring to someone so young. War creates separation, poverty and a sense of helplessness over one’s future, but that doesn’t have to be the end of the story.

Richards’ daughter was born in Lebanon. “My wife and I always wanted her to have every opportunity possible to be whoever she wanted to be, to do whatever she wanted to do and do so with dignity and without fear of provocation or retribution. But we also wanted her to understand how hard and difficult life can be, for girls like those in Nepal.”

For Richard, this fundraising challenge was about showing empathy for those in need, and those suffering from persecution and understanding how to help them.

Group Nepal trek for girls

Richard has been a supporter of Plan International for over 30 years. He and his wife have sponsored a child in Nepal named Parbity who they were able to meet in person last year, on the trek project visit. The Trek for Girls took Richard and other Plan supporters across Annapurna, among the stunning Himalayan Mountains and gave them the opportunity to see firsthand the work Plan does to help those in need.

The aim of the project visit was to help girls in need of education, opportunity and recognition. Women are a driving force in any community and their contribution is as important as any in improving the living standards of its people and helping them escape the cycle of poverty.

The devastating news of the earthquake meant that it became even more critical to get involved and do what they could to assist the people in Nepal to rebuild their lives. “I am confident that when given the opportunity [girls] will grasp it to improve their lives; the lives of their families and the lives of the wonderful people of Nepal,” he says.

We are very pleased to say that Richard has raised just over $24,000 for Plan International, and this money will go towards Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign, to unleash the incredible potential of girls to create a better world!

To prepare for the challenge, Richard attended our Inspired training treks. “The practice treks organised by Inspired Adventures were very useful not only for inexperienced trekkers like me but to meet and get to know some of the people you were about to trek with.”

Richard says the challenge and project was one of the most rewarding things he has ever done, and encourages anyone wishing to take on a challenge. “Don’t delay,” he says, “do it as soon as possible; it will change your life for the better!”

Before taking on the trek, Richard personally thanked all 130 donors with an individual email. When he returned he caught up with many of them to thank them in person and share his experiences.

It is Richard’s dedication to his cause that allows Inspired Adventures to continue to encourage people to take on challenges for the cause they are most passionate about.

Nepal trek for girls
Nepal trekking

Feeling inspired? Check out our calendar and find your adventure!


Food files: Nepalese teahouses

So, you’re going trekking in Nepal! That’s amazing. The mountains, the scenery, the people – it’s all incredible and you will have the time of your life.

Even though you are so excited and can’t wait for the adventure, I bet you are a little worried about the food … Maybe just a tad? Well, it’s your lucky day, because we’ve been there and created this handy guide on how to dissect a Nepalese teahouse menu! You’ll be a pro in no time.

How does it work?

Each night on your trek, you will be staying in local teahouses. Originally, teahouses were a place for hikers and mountain climbers to drink some tea (obviously), eat and sleep for free overnight (usually on the floor). Nowadays, it’s a bit more formalised and you book rooms or beds for a small charge with an expectation that you eat your meals at the teahouse. Most teahouses are family run, which means you get an amazing insight into the local culture.

So how does it all work? When you arrive at your teahouse each day, you’ll be given a key to your room and you can go dump all your things. Depending on your pace and how long you walk that day, you are usually there in the mid-afternoon so you’ll have a tea to relax. There are SO many options for tea – my personal favourite was Honey, Lemon and Ginger (which was sometimes spelt Zinger or Ginzer in the menu).

Usually, you put your order for dinner in by either 5.00pm or 6.00pm so the kitchen can prepare. You’ll let them know what time you want to eat – most people eat around 6.30pm – 7.30pm. There will be little notebooks that you can write down your order in with your room number on the top. You will also order your breakfast on the same page before you go to sleep and specify the time you want to eat in the morning.


I absolutely loved the options for breakfast! There was so much to choose from and I figured that since I’m here trekking and not just lying by the pool drinking cocktails, I was allowed to have some slightly unhealthier (but yummier) options!

My go-to was often porridge. Sometimes I’d have apple on top, sometimes just honey and cinnamon. It was easy to digest as well when I started to lose my appetite at higher altitudes.

My treat option was french toast! One day I even had it twice – once for breakfast and then again for second breakfast (yes, that’s a thing) in the mid-morning. If you trek to the Everest View Hotel (which is a beautiful view point of Everest a couple of hours walk from Namche Bazaar), make sure you have a coffee and french toast – it was literally one of the best things to ever happen to me.

You can also have eggs – fried or omelette are the most common. I also had toast with honey quite a few times.

Nepal teahouse breakfast: Porridge
French Toast Nepal

Lunch and Dinner

Dal Bhat is the go-to meal in Nepal. Locals will often eat two or even three meals of Dal Bhat per day. It will differ from teahouse to teahouse but generally, it’s made up dal soup, rice and usually a small mix of veggies in a curry style sauce. You will usually have pappadums or roti on the side too. It’s delicious and the bonus is that you will likely be served seconds … and thirds. No one’s judging!

Other than Dal Bhat, there are SO many options again. Most of the menus are very carb heavy – lots of potatoes, soups, noodles, rice dishes, pasta and of course, momos!

Sometimes you’ll even come across pizza or amazing dishes like Lasagne on the menus! If you are trekking with a guide, they will usually always tell you what the best food options are at each teahouse as they all have their specialities! One day in Tengboche, we were recommended the Lasagne and it was incredible (see the pic!)

*Handy hint* If you are hiking to Everest Base Camp, it’s best to avoid meat. All meat is flown into Lukla and then carried by porters or yaks, so you can pretty much guarantee it’s been out of a refrigerated environment for some time.

Lasagne Nepal
Nepal Teahouse Blog Dal Bhat

The costs

The prices at the Teahouses are much cheaper than you are used to in Australia. The rule of thumb is it will get more expensive as you climb higher.

For breakfast, you are looking at around 300-450 rupees per meal ($3-$4 AUD). For lunch and dinner, it will cost you anywhere from 400-900 rupees per meal (depending on what it is). That’s about $5-$12 per meal. So if you are taking the most expensive option it would be about $28 a day for your food and then including any snacks you get for morning or afternoon tea. Tea is about 80-120 rupees. I budgeted about $35-40 AUD per day for food/drink and it worked out well.

Nepalese Menu
Nepalese Menu

So there you have it! Trekking through Nepal is an incredible experience, and staying in the local teahouses makes it that much better because you really get to live like the locals, as well as learn more about their customs and culture. So next time you’re in Nepal, make this your new mantra:

Don’t eat the meat, try the french toast, drink all the teas and have fun! 

Feeling Inspired?

Check out our upcoming Nepal treks to Everest Base Camp or Annapurna!


Annapurna vs. Everest Base Camp – which one is right for you?

So you’ve decided you want to visit Nepal. Tick. You want to take on a life-changing trek. Tick. You want a challenge but also awe-inspiring scenery. Tick. You want amazing food, local culture and history. Double tick. Do you trek the Annapurna or Everest Base Camp (EBC) trail? Error: answer unknown.

Fear not inspired adventurers! We’re here to rescue you with our guide to choosing which trail is right for you. The main thing to take away from this guide? Both trails are absolutely stunning and your life will be irrevocably changed no matter what you decide.

Are you ready? Let’s get to it!

How easy is it to get to?


If planes and runways aren’t your thing, this factor alone might make your decision that much easier. The only way to get there? A spectacular (albeit tinsy bit scary) flight to the tiny airstrip of Lukla. The mountain views are incredible … just don’t look down.


To get to the Annapurna region is easy. You can either choose to travel by bus or via a short flight from Kathmandu (no tiny airstrips required – winning!) to Pokhara, the gateway to Annapurna.

Ghandruk village in the Annapurna region, Nepal, HDR photography
Annapurna mountain, Annapurna conservation area, Himalaya, Nepal

What's the trekking terrain like and how difficult is it?

In short, the EBC trek is definitely more of a challenge than the Annapurna circuit. Why? The biggest factor is altitude. By day 2 on the EBC trek, you are at 3,420 feet above sea level. You reach this altitude on day 6 on the Annapurna circuit. Trekking is much harder at higher altitude because the density of the air decreases, which means less oxygen is available.

There are also a bunch of ascents on the EBC trek, whereas the Annapurna circuit sees you trekking on flatter stretches that don’t leave you gasping for breath. However in saying that, what goes up must come down and on the EBC trek, you come back down the way you came. On the Annapurna circuit, you start and finish in two different places which potentially means more variety in terrain and scenery.

Sunrise in Himalaya mountains, view from Sarangkot, Nepal
view of everest from gokyo ri with prayer flags - Nepal

What's your scene?


For incredible mountain vistas where you pinch yourself because you can’t believe the views are real, you can’t go past trekking to EBC. And, if you’re hiking in the dry seasons (the best time to hike), it’s possible you will catch a glimpse of the mighty Mount Everest on your second or third day of your trek. On the Everest trek, your days are spent at higher altitudes and therefore you are constantly surrounded by massive glacial mountains for most of the trek.


On the Annapurna circuit, the scenery is certainly much greener and more varied as you trek from emerald rice terraces to a high glacial pass and on to the arid landscape of the Tibetan plateau. Basically, if it’s huge, imposing and stunning mountains you’re after … the Everest trek is the one for you, but you’ll pay for it with aching thighs and calves. But if you’re after something a little flatter, greener and lush, consider the Annapurna circuit.

Everest_Caravan Yak going to Everest - Periche_shutterstock_100122554
Annapurna South from Trek near Jhinu Danda_shutterstock_88868551

The extras: communities, accommodation, food and price

The culture

As you trek to Everest Base Camp you can certainly feel an unwavering pull of spirituality. Tibetan traders often visit the village of Namche Bazaar, as they’ve done for centuries. The Annapurna circuit will take you through various rural settlements where small farming communities reside. Whilst religion is still present here, there is more of a ‘local’ flavour than what you’ll find trekking to EBC.


Accommodation is pretty similar along both trails, however, the biggest difference is the bathrooms. Lodges on the Everest route more often than not contain a shared indoor bathroom, whereas on the Annapurna circuit you’re looking at pitch-black bathroom trips into the woods. Western toilets are the norm on the Everest Base Camp trek, while you might only come across one or two on the Annapurna circuit.

Annapurna, Nepal
Everest region, Nepal


There also isn’t much of a difference between the food you eat on either treks. However, you’re more likely to get more veggies on the Annapurna circuit.


There are a few reasons why the EBC trek costs more than Annapurna. 1) Higher elevations 2) It’s a bit more “luxurious” (well, as luxurious as you can get on a mountain) and 3) Everest just has a bigger brand name. Everything about Annapurna is more affordable, including food and transportation to and from the starting point.

The crowds

It really depends on the season but as a general rule of thumb, the EBC trek is usually much more crowded and large groups are common. The Annapurna circuit generally features hikers in pairs or small groups and is not nearly as busy.

So there you have it! Hopefully our guide has made it a little bit easier to decide which trek you should choose but as we said, no matter what, a trip to Nepal will be life-changing in so many ways and you can’t go wrong with either trek. Good luck!

Related articles:

Feeling inspired?

Check out our upcoming Annapurna and Everest Base Camp challenges!

For more informative stories like this, sign up for our monthly eNews

You'll be kept up to date with all our best and newest articles on travel, world news, philanthropy and lifestyle.