For this trip you will require a visa for Nepal, a group visa for China and a permit for Tibet.
Nepal: The visa for Nepal is to be arranged by yourself. You can contact your local Nepalese embassy to arrange the visa in advance or you can purchase the visa on arrival into KTM International airport. Please check as this information is subject to change. Please note that a 'multiple-entry' visa will be required.
China: The group visa for China is arranged by Shoestring through our local agent. The cost is not included and will be added to your invoice. Please be sure to take one colour passport photo with you.
Costs are: 125 Euros/ £ 105/ USD 130 (prices per person)
Please note that a group visa cannot be issued in Kathmandu if travellers have previously visited any of the following countries: Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan.
Tibet: The permit for Tibet is arranged by Shoestring and is included in the tour price. Please send a copy of your passport to us at email@example.com no later than 4 weeks prior to departure*:
*The passport copy is also required in order to book your flight to Lhasa, again no later than 4 weeks beforehand. You should ensure that you have at least 6 months validity on your passport, beyond your intended return date.
HOLI PHAGUA - WHOLE OF NEPAL
The Holi feast of Phagwa or Holi is a colourful Hindu festival that is celebrated annually throughout India (and Nepal). This spring festival is the sign of the beginning of a new season and is known also as the harvest festival. It is also considered a victory party: the victory of good over evil.
The old Hindu story around the festival is about Narasimha, an incarnation of the great Vishnu killing Hiranyakashipu, the great demon king. On the eve of the Holi the scene of burning Holika is re-enacted all over India. Wood fires are lit and a living object such as a plant is given up. Rice is thrown into the fire, which is considered a symbolic expulsion of evil. The ceremony also includes prayer, music and singing.
The next day Hindus return to the scene of their fire and smear themselves with the ash. Then in the afternoon they sprinkle one another with scents, perfumes and dyes with different colours having different significances.
During these holidays there is an atmosphere of freedom and happiness. Make sure you bring some old clothes, because most likely you will not be spared and you too will end up buried under coloured powders!
This journey is classified as Category C
The difficulty of our trips varies greatly and the difficulty of any journey is subject to personal perception. To give an impression of the difficulty of a particular journey, we have developed a classification system.
Category A: Light travel for everyone to do. Short distances, good hotels, travel at a slow pace.
Category B: For everyone to do as well. Sometimes long distances. Good hotels and camping facilities, sometimes an adventurous overnight experience, travel at a normal pace.
Category C: Good to do for anyone who prepares themself well and is flexible. There are tougher parts of the journey, such as longer distances or walking tours. Several nights can be spent in basic accommodation.
Category D: A relatively difficult journey, travelling long distances, often primitive accommodation or tents, and challenging walking tours.
The Tibet and Nepal journey falls into category C. This trip can easily be made by anyone with normal fitness levels, but it is important to prepare well and have the right attitude: the travel times are long and the roads in Tibet are very bad and can be worsened by rain or snow. Furthermore the accommodation during some of the days in Tibet is very primitive and you may have to go a few days without a shower (there is a basin in the room). It is dusty on the roads and whilst in Tibet you are at an altitude of 4000 meters on average. The lack of oxygen makes you tired and it is quite possible that the first few days you suffer from a mild form of altitude sickness. Keep in mind you are going through developing countries, with a much lower standard of living than you are used to. It is possible the weather or a lack of proper road maintenance makes roads inaccessible and in such cases we may have to take an alternative route. This makes a flexible and positive attitude more important than physical fitness.
We know that travelling to remote corners of this planet has its effects. At Shoestring we really try to make an effort to keep our impact to a minimum. We try to avoid the use of plastic water bottles on our treks through Nepal and we do not dump our litter during our trips through Africa. All of our staff have been trained to take special care to ensure we make as little impact on the environment as possible.Furthermore we support a lot of local projects which are mostly related to clean drinking water or making sure that children get vaccinated against illnesses such as tuberculosis. On most tours you will be able to visit some of the projects we support through our local agents. Find out more about the different projects Shoestring are involved with, how you can make a difference and our environmental policies here
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