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Running out of rupees, our Nepal budget

Posted by on July 24, 2013

When it comes to activities Nepal has it all, trekking, rafting, paragliding, bungee jumping the works, so after a couple of days planning our next 6 weeks we knew that we’d probably leave Nepal having spent more than we were hoping. After all, the activities we would be doing were at a fraction of the price to what you’d pay back home.

All daily prices below are for the 2 of us (for all the non mathematicians, if you want single cost- divide by 2!).

As a rule a bed in Nepal is pretty cheap, and even more so when trekking. Often when up the mountain, teahouses will offer you a free bed for the night in exchange that you will eat all your meals in the teahouse during your stay. So while this figure is pretty low, this isn’t a true representation as our food cost is overstated due to silly mountain food prices. Our average accommodation per day over our time in Nepal was 325 rupees (£2.36) with our most expensive room being in Kathmandu at 600 rupees (£4.34) for which you get a double bedroom with own toilet and hot shower, a real luxury!

As mentioned above, eating in the mountains is pretty expensive, and when you see sherpas carrying all the stock up you can appreciate why. With the Everest region being so high no crops can be grown after Namche Bazaar (Day 2 out of 20 of the trek) and everything has to be transported by sherpapower. While trekking, a Dal Bhat (rice, curry and veg) will cost between 450 and 600 rupees (£3.20 – £4.35) with 2 boiled eggs fetching around 250 rupees (£1.81). This may still sound pretty cheap but considering back in civilisation you can get a good main meal for less than 150 rupees (£1.08) the mountain food soon adds up, especially after a 10 hour trek.  Our average food spend per day was 1,805 rupees £13.08) our most expensive country so far mainly due to inflated mountain food.

Generally transport in Nepal is cheap, and is very comparable to India. For 600 rupees (£4.34) you can get a bus from Kathmandu for 5/6 hours to most places in Nepal. One of our biggest costs in Nepal was getting ourselves to Lukla (to the start of our trek)where you have to fly from Kathmandu, the alternative is a 12 hour bus ride down dirt tracks followed by a 5 day up and down hike, not really what we were after either side of our 20 day Everest trek. The flights to Lukla are fixed at $140 per person each way, but after having our outward flight cancelled twice we had to get a helicopter to Lukla in order to stick to our schedule which was $200 per person, however the extra $60 each was definitely worth paying. Altogether to get to/from Lukla to start/finish our trek we paid 49,840 rupees (£361). Our average daily spend was 1,569 rupees (£11.37) the main cost being the above flight.

It was good to reach a country with decent tasting beer, so while in Nepal we made up for lost time. Generally a  650ml bottle of beer will cost around 180 rupees (£1.30) more in a touristy bar/restaurant, and as much as 700 rupees (£5.07) if you want to sup one after a days trekking. Our average daily spend on beer was 714 rupees (£5.18)

Bottled water and soft drinks are pretty cheap in Nepal, a 1l bottle of water will cost around 20 rupees (£0.14) with a can of coke costing around 40 rupees (£0.29). However, again while trekking all drinks have to be carried up the mountain, so a bottle of water can cost around 200 rupees (£1.44), before trekking we bought iodine tablets which allowed us to collect water from streams/normal tap water, and purify ourselves saving us a fair amount of money. Our average daily spend on drinks was  421 rupees (£3.05).

This is where things get a little crazy, Nepal has so many activities to do, and we were determined to do all of it. Again, prices below are for both of us, some of our highest costs within these were:

Trekking guide for Everest (12 days until he got the can) – 31,320 rupees (£226.95)
Whitewater rafting – 8,000 rupees (£57.98)
Paragliding – 12,000 rupees (£86.96)
Bungee Jumping – 15,456 rupees (£112)
Chitwan Safari Guide hire/park fees – 6,300 rupees (£45.65)
Parcels posted home with souvenirs – 8,480 rupees (£61.45)

Our average daily miscellaneous spend was 3,603 rupees (£26.11)

So another month ticked off, and another dent in the bank balance, we’re happy with our time in Nepal doing everything we wanted ,and even though this may seem pretty high we’re 100% sure these activities will cost at least double when we get to places like Australia/New Zealand.  Our average daily spend for Nepal was 8,437 rupees (£61.13)

And for anyone interested in how much it would cost to hike for 20 days around the highest mountains in the world, we spent a total of 173,416 rupees (£1,256.64) which included all our flights, food, accommodation, sleeping bag hire, guide, and all other spend while up the mountain. 

One Response to Running out of rupees, our Nepal budget

  1. BigTP

    Love how this is now like an Affiliate site “Miss us and buy us a beer”. Brilliant!

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