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Hiring a guide for the Poon Hill Trek

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singapore
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Hiring a guide for the Poon Hill Trek

Hi,

I'm arriving at KTM on 23 Dec and plan to do a Poon Hill Trek(around 25 Dec) and would like to check if it's a better idea to book a local guide at Kathmandu/Pokhara or should I book online before arrival?

Also, any recommendations on local guides would be appreciated! I've did some research online and found that there's plenty of agencies charging $500 USD or more per person for a 4-5 days Poon Hill Trek. On the other hand, I've read quite a bit of reviews that the trek can actually be done at a much cheaper price (considering $20/meals, $20/porter $5/accommodation a day). However I'm having difficulty finding such guides online and wonder if they can only be hired at KTM/PKR?

Sheffield, United...
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1. Re: Hiring a guide for the Poon Hill Trek

Hi

In brief, it's better to book a local guide in Pokhara.

It's usually cheaper to book in Nepal and there are other advantages too; you get to meet the agent and guide before committing to see if you trust the agent and can meet potential guides to check experience, skills and howell you can communicate and get on. Hiring in Pokhara also means you do not need to pay for the guide's travel time and costs from and to KTM (most people start the PH trek from Pokhara). There will be plenty of guides available at that time and it does not take long to make tha arrangements.

You might want to contact a few recommended agencies and guides on advance to start negotiations (but don't commit until there). I donlt have a recommendation but Pokhara based agencies are listed here:

http://www.taan.org.np/chapter-member

Without knowing further details, $500 or more for a 4-5 day PH trek is expensove but not untypical of internet quotes. The cost of a PH trek breaks down something like this:

TIMS card - $10 plus a possible service charge of a few dollars

ACAP ticket - about $30

Food and accommodation - about $25 per day is enough for a plentiful and varied diet staying in standard lodges. It's always cheaper to pay for your own food and accommodation as you go rather than paying for a package.

Guide - $25 per day including food and accommodation.

Porter - $15 per day as above.

Bus/taxi to the trail is the only other cost but I'm not sure of the current cost - a few hundred rupees by bus I guess. You pay for the guide too.

So for a 5 day trek with a guide that's about $300.

It might be possible to hire a guide for less than $25. A porter/guide will cost about $20 per day and he will carry your pack and fulfil the role of a guide to a basic level - a good value option for some people but always check skills. If you fid trekking bussies the cost of the guide is shared...

Good luck.

scoodly

Cumbria
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2. Re: Hiring a guide for the Poon Hill Trek

Scoodly has already got this thread well covered and the only snippet that I can add is a word of caution on hiring your Porter/Guide.

If it were me then I would go through a TAAN registered agent and make sure that he is fully insured as if you hire someone on the street (or sometimes through your hotel) then he won’t have insurance and therefore you are responsible in case of accident or illness

Also, when hiring out “Staff” the secret of a successful trek is to set the ground rules Before you leave for your trek and these rules should include

1) Always interview your “Staff” Before you go trekking with them, Preferably get them to give you a walking tour, Then they are away from the office, will be able to talk freely and you will be in a better position to judge their ability to communicate, character and if you are going to be able to get on well enough with them on your trek.

2)Ask if he has already trekked the route you are going on and how many times

3) Tell them that You Always retain the final say where you will stay and where and when you will eat.

Personally I am Happy to look at places recommended by my “Staff” (As I am aware that some places look after Nepali’s a lot better than others, better accommodation as well as better / cheaper food for them + if they get a little kick-back then as long as I am happy with the standard as well as the price that I am paying this doesn’t bother me)

4) I also mention to them that as long as I am happy with their services then they will get a Good Tip – I think this clears the air and gives your “Staff” that extra incentive to ensure that you are well looked after.

5) The agent that I use provides all his “Staff” with a mobile phone – I also think this is an excellent idea so that if there is a problem then (providing you have a phone Signal) these can be Quickly sorted out.

6) Before I start a trek is to have a rough schedule, then I know approximately how many days I will be trekking for, to this I usually add one buffer day, so If all goes according to plan I am usually back from my trek one day ahead, With this the agent that is use I can claim one days fees back, but in reality, as I have always been happy with my treks, I have never done this, but have ensured that my “Staff” are still paid the extra day.

Another system that the agent I use has is that if you want to extend your trek, if it takes longer than originally anticipated or if for what ever reason you are delayed then you can pay your “Staff” direct. This works well for everyone as the “Staff” in actual fact get more money as there is no agents commission deducted and as the agent has already had his cut he is (Or should be) happy as well.

7) It is also worth making 100% sure that your “Staff” are insured and that the agent is making sure that their clothing is up to the standard for the area / season you are trekking in.

It may sound like a bit of a list – But personally I think it is well worth that little extra effort at the beginning of your trek to help minimise potential unforeseen problems later :-)

Good Luck and Happy Safe Trekking

Rob

Edited: 3:06 pm, November 24, 2013
Brussels, Belgium
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3. Re: Hiring a guide for the Poon Hill Trek

A guide is not needed at all. It's very (exceedingly) touristy.

Kathmandu, Nepal
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4. Re: Hiring a guide for the Poon Hill Trek

Hello,

Lots of useful information posted already, you can hire a guide from Pokhara which is quite cheaper than hiring from Kathmandu or so. You can hire guide only for the services and pay for your foods and accommodation on your own. In general, your permits, transportation and guide will be arranged by the agent where you will be paying for your personal expenses and meals + accommodation on your own.

uk
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5. Re: Hiring a guide for the Poon Hill Trek

$500USD is way too much.

I have a few quotes for exactly the same trek (4 days) and got quoted $180 for everything other than accomm/food+ flight to Pokhara.

Spirit of Himalayas who were recommened on here quoted me $522 all in.

One guy is quite pushy asking to book my hotels/flights as he will get a better rate and emailed me a couple of times..im 90% sure he is ok but its a bit off putting.

I cant decide whether to book my own flight and try finding someone in Pokhara.....my main issue is I am on a tight timeframe so only have less half day to find someone in Pok and would rather not waste it negotiating. Its difficult to know whether to trust anyone online.

Has anyone heard of Himalayan Planet Adventures (who quoted me the $180 and had clearest reply back) or Mountain World Treks (Saligram Aryal)?

thanks

Toowoomba, Australia
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6. Re: Hiring a guide for the Poon Hill Trek

My husband and I ( 60 something independent travelers) did the Poon Hill - Gandruk- Landruk trek in mid May 2013. We went with a guide called Ambar "Amore" Chettri who was really good. We found him in Pokhara through a third person but he can be booked on the web "amoretrek@hotmail.com". His prices were quite reasonable and we actually went on two treks with him (also Annapurna Skyline Trek) and he helped us in very many ways. we found him friendly, trustworthy, helpful and very friendly. We met his family - Shanti, Kamana and Utsav and really I would have no hesitation recommending him and his work. He has been trekking for years and knows the whole area very well and is willing to design a trek to suit (and carry yur pack). Go with this man, you will be happy.

7. Re: Hiring a guide for the Poon Hill Trek

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8. Re: Hiring a guide for the Poon Hill Trek

I was in Pokhara in Jan/Feb 2015, and I truly enjoyed my time with Amore, who was highly recommended by two of my friends who just visited Nepal in Nov 2014.

Amore is a fantastic guide - not because he's really friendly, or knowledgeable, or even because he's so helpful. It's because he really cares, and is someone you can rely on, but more on that later.

If you're looking to trek, bungee jump, paraglide, water raft or do almost anything else, Amore can help you arrange it. He'll exchange money for you at a good rate, plan your trip, and even recommend potential proposal places ;)

On our Poon Hill trek we had a really wonderful time. He was ever so friendly and cheerful, making sure all our needs were taken care of. Once he even danced and sang and played the drums, all because of a random comment we made, that some music would be nice (while warming ourselves around a fire in a guesthouse). All of the above makes him one of the best guides you could ever hope for, but the real clincher was when my fiance fell sick the night before our trek was supposed to start. Amore visited every day, and even traveled to our hotel at night to bring him to the hospital when he didn't seem to be getting better. We ended up delaying our trek by 3 days, but even then Amore told us he wouldn't take any extra money at all.

If you're ever in Nepal and would like to get a guide / travel planner, Amore is the man for you. You'll definitely be in good hands :) Email him at amoretrek@hotmail.com, or find him on facebook "Amore Kc". To find out more about Amore and the great services he provide, check out his website: http://www.amoretrekking.com/ !

Toowoomba, Australia
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9. Re: Hiring a guide for the Poon Hill Trek

Yep, Amore is a great guy and a caring guide and friend. He is very honest in his dealing and knows the pathways of his country very well. I would not hesitate to hire him again if I go back to Nepal.

10. Re: Hiring a guide for the Poon Hill Trek

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