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Nar Phu guide and permits.

Cambridge, England...
Level Contributor
30 posts
33 reviews
Nar Phu guide and permits.

Hi

We (two guys) are looking at doing the Nar Phu valley trek as an extension to our trip. That would be mid to late September.

We will be travelling independantly where possible and will continue on the Annapurna circuit.

I understand that we need a 7 day restricted area permit and guide. Accepted that the guide may have travel expenses on top of their fee.

There are many companies offering various packages in Kathmandu or Pokhara. However our requirements are very simple.

In real terms we need a permit and guide for the 7 days but naturally understand we need to cover additional charges including the guides transportation.

According to government rules we need to arrange our restricted area permits through an agency.

Is it then possible to hire a guide on a daily rate (approx $25-30 day) from Besisahar and throughout the Nar Phu trek? Does this have to be through the agency that organise the permits?

Anyone done this?

Any other advice on the most practical or economical way to go about this.

Thanks.

33 replies to this topic
Cumbria
Level Contributor
5,916 posts
43 reviews
1. Re: Nar Phu guide and permits.

In a word Yes – But you will have a “Service Charge” to pay (One way or another, either as an itemized item in the breakdown of the costings of your trek, or hidden away somewhere like extra guide salary or transportation costs etc. – Strangely enough, I have just covered a similar question on https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g424…

You will also have to pay for the guides time to get back from where you split off to where you hired him from as well as his transportation costs – But you need a guide and to go through a TAAN Registered Agent to get your Restricted Area Permit.

Good Luck and Happy Safe Trekking

Rob

Travel Pages including Nepal blog https:/…

Sheffield, United...
Destination Expert
for Nepal
Level Contributor
14,919 posts
56 reviews
2. Re: Nar Phu guide and permits.

Hi Soupinmyfly

Some comments bearing in mind I have not trekked in a restricted area:

Restricted Area Permits can only be obtained in KTM or Pokhara, not Besisahar. They are issued by the Immigration Dept. and only an agency representative can obtain them. They will need copies of your passport ID page and visa (showing that it will be current for the dates applied for) and passport photos. I'm not sure of the particular guide's name is on the permit but I doubt an agency will obtain the permit for you and then allow you to find your own guide at Besi (and few licensed guides hang around there looking for work anyway).

It's possible to arrange the guide and permit and then meet them at Besi but I'm not sure of this is an advantage in your circumstances.

Others who have gone through the process and the guides & agents who post on here will give better information.

scoodly

Cambridge, England...
Level Contributor
30 posts
33 reviews
3. Re: Nar Phu guide and permits.

Thanks ITA

That inspires confidence.

The issue really is finding a better rate for that excursion in to the valley. There is no problem with a suitable admin surcharge on top of the standard fees and always very happy to support local communities.

Incidently and looking at that thread on Mustang I have trekked ‘solo’ with a guide in a restricted area. Agencies work together to find a solution but ‘ghosting’ is a workaround.

Cheers

P

Cambridge, England...
Level Contributor
30 posts
33 reviews
4. Re: Nar Phu guide and permits.

Cheers Scoodly (again)

It might amount to trudging around the agencies in ktm and finding the man with a spare guide up his sleeve that can and wants to say yes.

P

Sheffield, United...
Destination Expert
for Nepal
Level Contributor
14,919 posts
56 reviews
5. Re: Nar Phu guide and permits.

You're welcome, good luck sorting it all out. I hope you do not have to pay too high a service charge for the permit sans guide.

scoodly

Edited: 06 August 2018, 00:31
Cumbria
Level Contributor
5,916 posts
43 reviews
6. Re: Nar Phu guide and permits.

No Problem Soupinmyfly – Pleased to be of help :-)

Good Luck

Rob

Edited: 06 August 2018, 03:56
Cumbria
Level Contributor
5,916 posts
43 reviews
7. Re: Nar Phu guide and permits.

Sorry – Messed up the above post

You can cross reference the restricted area permit fees on the TAAN site at www.taan.org.np/pages/trekking-permit-fees

Then you will be able to see what size Service charge the agent is levying

I also don’t know if you are aware that it could take around a week for an agent to get your special area permits, so you will have to factor the cost of that into your calculations !!

Good Luck

Rob

Cambridge, England...
Level Contributor
30 posts
33 reviews
8. Re: Nar Phu guide and permits.

Thanks Rob.

A week to arrange?! I certainly did not appreciate that and will try to organise via an agent in advance. It only took a day to obtain a Manaslu/Tsum valley permit. But then that was in March last year and possibly a little less busy.

The bottom line will be to drop the idea. There are so many great things to do and lots of other side trips planned.. as well as a first visit to ABC. Exciting just to think about it!

As an aside I have been wanting to visit Mustang for some time. But at $500 just for the permit before anything else.. well that is just a lot. It is an exclusive place to visit. Maybe that us a good thing from the conservation point of view. I found I can wander around Ladakh for very little outlay.

I get the terrible feeling that Nepal is heading in Bhutan’s direction in terms of expense and visitor restrictions.

Last week a working party on ‘helicopter evac scams’ slipped in a recommendation that all trekkers above 3000m should be accompanied by a guide. With tourist numbers doubling this last year I think the agents are rubbing their hands in anticipation of a tourist gold rush.

Thanks for the advice. Wether we make the Nar Phu valley or not it is going to be a truly wonderful experience.

P

Edited: 06 August 2018, 04:35
Espoo
Level Contributor
2,664 posts
9. Re: Nar Phu guide and permits.

NarPho is a magical place not to be missed. It is impossible to compare it with ABC or some other side trips AC offers. Especially Phugaon is quite unbelievable, hidden so close to the AC and still hardly nobody goes there. So go there or be forever damned!

Surrey.
Level Contributor
2,166 posts
10. Re: Nar Phu guide and permits.

OP: I have not trekked in a restricted area, but am again looking at Manaslu, as a solo trekker with one of the guides I trek with.

AFAIK the restrictions in the restricted areas have been in place for many years - occasionally there is talk of easing them, but nothing much seems to happen.

Re making guides mandatory for non-restricted areas - this proposal comes up just about every year, causes lots of concern, then nothing happens. Amongst other things, I very much doubt there are enough competent, experienced guides. 'Brand Nepal' could be badly damaged, for many years, if unthought through changes to the rules are made.

I am assume you are aware that if you trek with a guide, there is no need at all to do so on any form of all-inclusive basis, restricted area or not. You can trek with staff engaged on a "daily rate" basis - I have done this for my last 9 treks in Nepal, and it has worked really well for me.

Ark is a very experienced trekker, so well worth giving careful consideration to his views re Nar Phu.

Re ABC: the sanctuary itself is good, the walk in and out from Chomrong is a bit of chore (I have done it twice) - the trees restrict the views. I suspect it will be very, very busy by the time you get round there. I would strongly suggest focusing any spare time on the north side of AC. If you don't do Nar Phu, do look at doing Kang La (great views from the top, been to the top twice - few it seems consider KL), Tilicho lake (much better than ABC in my view, including the walk in and out) and Dzong/Kagbeni - you can now walk a little way into Mustang proper, north of Kagbeni.

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