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Thread: Oct/Nov 2016: Poon Hill & ABC TREKS: Our costs and experiences

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    British Columbia, Canada

    Post Oct/Nov 2016: Poon Hill & ABC TREKS: Our costs and experiences

    Sorry for cross-posting....

    Just completed our Poon Hill and Annapurna Base Camp treks, and thought people would be interested in our costs.

    FYI: We are a couple in our lower 60s who trekked independently (no guide & no porter... this was our 13th trek). Our costs do NOT include any drinks such as coke/sprite and no alchohol, and NO water purchased (we use a Steripen to treat water) . We had a LOT of various teas (black, milk, masala, mint and lemon tea). We only once paid for WiFi (100 rupees for 24 hrs at Snow View Lodge, which was good, in Ghorepani). Our NCell cell phone proved nearly useless for calls/data. Most days, we had a shower (all except for 3 nights up at DeCarli /MBC).

    Length of trek: 12 nights/12.25 days
    Total cost for 2, excluding transport, ACAP & TIMS (N rupees) : 35,805
    Daily cost average (12.25 days) : 2923 N rupees/day or C$37.47/day or US$28.38/day

    Transport costs:
    Pokhara to Nayapul: 2000 rupees (private car)
    Siwai to Pokhara: 4000 rupees (taxi)

    Crowding issues?
    We had no problems getting rooms on the Poon Hill route, including Tadapani and Chomrong. We had lots of choice and were pleasantly surprised.

    We avoided going all the way up Poon Hill as there were apparently 500 people up there that morning (yikes!). Views are great only 30-50% up the Poon Hill trail, and views on the ridge on way to Deurali/Tadapani just as good but without the crowds.

    ABC above Chomrong: crowding at lodges is a REAL PROBLEM above Chomrong. Most lodges filled up by mid to late afternoon (and sooner). We always tried to arrive by 1pm, but still had problems in Deurali and MBC. In Deurali, we arrived about noon, and got the last 2 beds in "dorm" room (5 beds squeezed into a tine room). That lodge then filled up the dining room for sleepng (to their credit, the lodge did their best for all and served very good food). Given the crowding, we asked the lodge didi (who was very helpful) to book for us (and 2 other couples) up at MBC lodges. After 3 phone calls (note: NOT cell phones as they don't work on ABC), she secured reservations at 2 lodges. Next day, we arrived MBC before noon, and we told at the lodge we had booked that they were full. Huh? (The other 2 cles, happily, were fine at the other lodge.... ) AFTER some "discussion" and significant "shaming" regarding their behaviour, our lodge relented and gave us our room. (Turned out, they wanted to rent room to 4-5 people rather than just the 2 of us. But a reservation is a reservation!) We then stayed 2 nights, ate lots, and, so typical in Nepal, everyone was friendly with absolutely no hard feelings and no further issues).

    Single/solo trekkers had problems above Chomrong because lodges don't like to rent rooms with 2+ beds to only one.

    ABC lodges do have working phones (not cell-based) so it is highly recommended to phone ahead an book a room (as above story indicates, this is not foolproof). IF you have hired a guide, you should expect your guide to do this for you!

    Overall, we had a good trek. The views up at ABC truly are stunning. However, we were generally underwhelmed by the ABC trek: it was a ton of work (SO many up/down stairs), plus poor quality trails) for zero culture (no villages above Chomrong) and so-so mountain views until ABC. A lot of work for approx. 1-2 hours of great views. We have no doubt that the Annapurna Circuit (which we have done 4 times), even if only up to Manang then return, is a far better trek (in terms of the trail conditions, mountain views, and diversity of villages and cultures).

    (Poon Hill trek, which we've been on several times previously, was a pleasant surprise, given it was the busy season.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Seattle, USA

    Default Re: Oct/Nov 2016: Poon Hill & ABC TREKS: Our costs and experiences

    Just came back from a trip to ABC starting and ending at Pokhara.

    Total length of trip - 5 days, 4 nights. 3 days up, 2 days down. Seems fast maybe, but I didn't feel particularly rushed and usually stopped for morning and afternoon teahouse breaks in addition to a fairly leisurely lunch. No porter, I carried all my own kit, but I did employ the services of a local guide who I've known for many years.

    For the teahouses, I ended up spending almost exactly 2000 NPR per day, including the room charge. I ordered whatever I felt like eating from the kitchen other than beer/alcohol. I wasn't trying to stick to a budget, it just worked out that I spent almost exactly 2000 NPR per day. More than it used to be, but still a bargain by most standards.

    I spent 1500 NPR for a taxi from Damside to the start of the trek, and 3500 for a taxi at the end of trek from a point on the road above Kimche toward the end of the road that's under construction to Ghandruk. That 3500 was well spent, it's not an easy road for taxis, and it could have been a long uninteresting walk otherwise.

    It's always a challenge as a solo trekker to find space in the tea houses, but this was another time when I was grateful to have the services of a local guide. It didn't matter what time we got to a village - and for most I was arriving fairly late in the day - toward dusk - given the shortened schedule of my trek - he was always able to work out reasonable accommodation at a fair price. I know I would not have been so lucky if I'd been trying to find lodging on my own. I saw other solo trekkers and even pairs of trekkers being turned away, so it really does make a difference to employ and work with local guides. Even though he doesn't make a lot of treks to ABC, it was amazing to me how many people he knew on this trek. Of course there are many other advantages - some to me - some to him - of employing local people.

    My total cost for my "Instant ABC Trek" was NPR 8000 for the tea houses, NPR 5000 for local transport, or 13000 NPR. Plus the cost of my guide. Plus the ACAP permit which I think was around $25 USD.
    Last edited by seaclimber; 14th December 2016 at 08:50 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    Default Re: Oct/Nov 2016: Poon Hill & ABC TREKS: Our costs and experiences

    thanks Landfal.

    Ignore my question on the other forum, as you have already answered it. I went in the region in January, and it was not crowded. But I guess October would be.
    Going to Gokyo/Renjo La in April. I think it will be crowded, but Ke Garne.

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