If you’ve ever dreamed of hiking Nepal’s Annapurna circuit, long hailed as one of the most amazing trails in the world, you’d better get your Nepal visa and book a trek.
By 2012, a road will be open along the Marsyangdi Valley side of the trail. There’s already a road on the other side, shrinking what was once an epic 17-day trek to 11 days. When the new road is complete, hikers can look forward to a much less epic 4-day trek away from the road.
Of course, you can still walk on the road, but competing with vehicles and the dust and fumes they create makes the trekking experience much less enjoyable. New York Times reporter Ethan Todras-Whitehill walked the entire 17 day route in March, including the part that coincides with the existing road. Lest you think that fears about the impact of the road on the trek are overblown, he reported that the sections shared with jeeps were much less pleasant, filled with dust and absent the company of other trekkers:
But I would be lying if I said that every time I saw a jeep or a bus picking up passengers, I wasn’t tempted to jump on and end what, as we coughed in the dust of motor vehicles, was beginning to feel like a pointless exercise.
Of course, the road won’t take away the breathtaking scenery of the Himalayan mountains, and it will no doubt make life easier for the local people. However, if you want to hike the Annapurna circuit without the cars, you should go soon.
To go, you’ll need a valid passport and a Nepal visa. You can obtain your visa on arrival at certain entry points, including the international airport in Kathmandu. You can also apply ahead of time, saving you some time and hassle when you get off the plane. For more details, see Nepal Visa Requirements for Tourists
Apply for your Nepal visa today!