Trek Along The Great Himalaya Trail (GHT)

Commercial trekking on the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) has begun. Two private companies- Nepalese and Australian- are jointly marketing this product. Nepal government had introduced GHT as a new product to during the inauguration of Nepal Tourism Year 2011 on Jan. 14. GHT is 4,500 km long and passes through Pakistan, the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, India, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar. The Nepali section of the GHT extends  from Darchula and Humla in the west to Kanchenjunga in the east, and takes some 157 days to trek.The trek in Nepal is divided into seven sections of 18-34 days each. As most people won’t have sufficient time to complete this adventure at one go, the company has devised seven treks that can be linked to make up the full traverse. The trip will be offered each year so that adventurers may choose to undertake the entire GHT over a number of years.

Civil Servants to Climb Mt Everest

A group of Nepalese civil servants are preparing to climb Mount Everest this spring. The team including  15 government employees are participating in possibly a first of  its kind expedition to Mount Everest. The team has already received training in mountaineering from Nepal Mountaineering Training Academy. For the expedition, the government has allocated a budget of Rs 300 million.  The expedition is slated to begin on the first week of April.

Everest

Uniform Fares for Helicopter Charters

According to a news item in “The Himalayan Times” there will be uniform fares for helicopter charters in Nepal from March 1, 2011. All private helicopter service companies have agreed to charge a uniform fare of $2,500 in tourist season and $2,200 during off-season.

Nepal to issue Visa Fee waiver for Chinese Tourists

As Nepal has been receiving a good number of visitors from China and India, the country is planning to  waive off visa fees for Chinese tourists for the year 2011. The government hopes this will help them  achieve NTY 2011’s target of  bringing in 1 million tourists to Nepal.

At the 18th National Convention of Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) held in Kathmandu, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Sharat Singh Bhandari stated that efforts  were on to offer free visa entry facility to the Chinese tourists.

Yomari Punhi & Udhauli Festivals Observed

On Tuesday (21st December 2010) two post- harvest festivals were celebrated by Nepal’s ethnic communities. While the Newars celebrated Yomari Punhi, the Kirants celebrated Sakela Udhauli.

yomari

Yomari Punhi is a post harvest festival celebrated by Newars which falls on the full moon day in the Nepalese month of Mangsir. During the festival Goddess Annapurna(the Goddess of Food Grains) is worshipped and sweetmeats are prepared from the newly harvested rice. Yomari – a sweetmeat of rice flour shaped like a fig and filled with jaggery and sesame seeds is prepared. This delicacy is the chief item on the menu during Yomari Punhi.

During Udhauli festival (which runs for 15 days),  the Kirant community offer prayers to Goddess Nature for good crops and protection from natural calamities. They worship Chandi or Goddess Durga by performing Chandi Nach.

Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival (9th – 13th Dec, 2010)

The 8th Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival (KIMFF) began yesterday in Kathmandu. Organized by the Himal Association, the festival will run till 13th december 2010. Movies will be screened at the Rastriya Sabhagriha and NTB‘s auditorium.

kimff-poster

During the festival, a total of 62 films from 35 countries will be shown. The films to be showcased deals with issues as diverse as environment, conflict, globalization, wildlife, lifestyle, culture, climbing, gender and development. 20 films will be screened in the international competition category, 36 in the international non-competitive category, and six films in Nepal Panorama category. The three best entries in the international competitive category will recieve cash prizes of $1,500, $1,000 and $500. A three-member jury comprising British climber and author Terry Gifford, Chinese filmmaker Li Wenming and British climber David Durkan will be selecting the winners. A photo exhibition “Manang: 30 Years After” by Czech photographers Michal Thoma and Zdenek Thoma and slide presentation/lecture, film-making workshop, animation workshop and alternative book exhibition will also be held during the event.

International Civil Aviation Day Observed

7th December is celebrated globally as International Civil Aviation Day. In Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) in association with Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) and Airline Operators Association of Nepal observed the day by organising workshops and a flag raising ceremony. The theme for this year’s (2010)  celebration was – “ Safety, Security & Environment

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a UN body, adopted December 7 as the International Civil Aviation Day in 1994 to mark 50 years of its inception. The purpose of the global celebration is to generate awareness of the importance of international civil aviation in the social and economic development of member states, and of the role of ICAO in promoting the safety, efficiency and regularity of international air transport.

Thai Airways’ 42nd Anniversary in Nepal

Thailand’s national airline, Thai Airways is celebrating the 42nd anniversary of its operation in Nepal this year. To mark the occasion top ten passenger sales agents and five cargo agents in Nepal were awarded. Thai Airways had first launched its Bangkok – Kathmandu flights in the year 1968.

thai-airways