1. You Might Fall in Love With Dal Bhat
There’s quite a variety of food available in the teahouses in Nepal, which includes fried rice/noodles, instant noodles soup, momos (Tibetan dumplings), and even steak and fries. However, the main delicacy for the locals is Dal Bhat. Dal is a soup made from lentils and/or other types of beans with herbs and spices. Bhat basically means steamed rice. It is often served with a side of cooked vegetables.
Despite its simplicity, Dal is high in protein and fibre – that’s what powers your superhuman porters and guide, so it would for you. The soup helps to keep you hydrated and when mixed with the rice adds flavour and makes it easy to digest. The best part of ordering Dal Bhat is that you can ask for more rice and dal at no additional charge so you can eat as much as you can.
2. You Stop Noticing That You Haven’t Showered
You could take a hot shower if you pay for it but it’s probably not the same as the hot shower you imagine you are having at home – the water might not be that hot or it may come in a bucket.
Either way be prepared to keep up with your personal hygiene in a different way. Wet wipes or a quick dry towel with a bucket of cold water can do the trick. Powder can be great especially for area that tends to sweat a lot (and your feet especially). If you are concerned about your hair, you can try dry shampoo.
After the first few days of trying to get used to it, you will stop noticing you haven’t showered and simply enjoy how simple life is up in the mountains. The best alternative is to walk slow so that you don’t perspire; and it’s a great way to combat altitude sickness too.
3. Take It Slowwwwww
Walking slow with regular stops especially during your ascent will help you to get used to the altitude better. You can time your step with your inhale and exhale thereby regulating yourself to not go faster even though you can.
By slowing down to enjoy the moment, you’ll end the journey with a lot more friends and more interesting stories.
4. You Can Get Dehyrated
It’s easy to get dehydrated at altitude and in the cold. If your bottle is hidden in your bag, you will be more likely to leave it inside and not take it out.
So help yourself by having a bottle holder that makes your bottle accessible or a hydration bladder. Regular intake of water helps to prevent altitude sickness too. Bring some hydration salt packets where you can add to your water when needed.
5. Help Save the Planet by Bringing Water Purification Tablets
Instead of buying bottled water, bring along your own water bottles and use water purification tablets. This way, you help reduce the amount of waste generated in the mountain villages that you pass through.
They are easy to get in Singapore (pharmacies and outdoor shops will have them) and in Nepal. The tablets dissolves and disinfects water in about 15 to 30 minutes, so it’s a good idea to get them going before you leave your water fill up point (not when you want to drink your water).
6. You Will Learn About Theory of Time Relativity in Nepal
You are in Nepal which means everything runs on Nepali time. Also, you are on a holiday, even if it’s a trekking holiday, you should take any time you can to relax.
So if your guide tells you the plane/ bus is delayed or that your meal will take another hour, tell him that’s great and dive into the next chapter of your book, turn around and talk to the other trekker in the guest house or just close your eyes and take a quick snooze. Whatever it is, enjoy it, because no amount of rushing or being upset can make a difference.
There you go, 6 things no one told you about Nepal. Now that you know the secrets, go and have a time of your life!