Nepal is a rich, beautiful and diverse country; from snow capped mountain ranges to temples and monasteries. Its landscape and culture provide an abundance of possibilities for the traveller. Nepal is a developing country; which means it is continuously evolving and adapting to its new circumstances and environmental changes. Nepal’s charm and laid-back nature of acceptance for these changes is what we, as visitors need to respect by accommodating to any changes should they arise.
How many participants will be on the retreat?
Yoga for the Soul is accepting a minimum of 7 and maximum of 12 participants which allows for individualised attention during the yoga sessions. Along with a more fun and relaxed environment to get to know your fellow travellers.
How much yoga experience do I need to attend?
This trip is suitable for those with all levels of yoga experience.
What is the level of fitness required?
A moderate level of fitness is required. This is an active Yoga Retreat, which includes at least one yoga class per day and an average of three hours daily walking or trekking in low lying mountain regions to pilgrimage sites and sometimes across uneven terrain.
What will the food be like in Nepal?
Yoga for the Soul provides a wholesome vegetarian menu. You’ll enjoy a mix of Eastern and Western food. The traditional Nepali staple dish - dhal bhat and more westernised food. Not to forget your opportunity to explore Pokhara’s culinary offerings on your free day.
Most breakfasts will have bread, fresh fruit, muesli or porridge, yogurt, eggs, and potatoes, along with tea and coffee.
Lunch and dinners will be a variety of the traditional Nepali Dhal Bhart which is a flavoursome Nepali dish which consists of dhal (lentils) cooked with spices and herbs and is accompanied with vegetables and bhat (rice). However, some meals will be had in cafe/restaurants which offer a western menu.
When should I arrive in Nepal?
Best to arrive two days prior to settle in and get over the jet-lag. Pre accommodation at our first hotel Kathmandu can be booked for you.
I personally fly Thai Airlines from Australia and spend one night in Bangkok at Best Western Premier Amaranth Suvarnabhumi Airport
which I find much better for jet-lag and far more civilised than a long haul flight and arriving exhausted...😀
How do I get to Kathmandu?
Several airlines offer services to Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport. On arrival we'll have a driver pick you up…so sit back, enjoy and let us take care of the rest…
Georgina Grandi is a Personal Travel Manager at Travel Managers and can take care of all your travel arrangements, offering competitive pricing on airfares and travel arrangements to Kathmandu and beyond.
Airlines servicing Kathmandu from Australia and New Zealand are:
Thai Airways, China Southern Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand. Airfares also available from other countries.
As some airlines may require a stopover consider one of the great stopover packages, if interested include details on your Travel Booking Form to Georgina.
A 10% Discount on Travel Insurance - is offered to all “Yoga for the Soul Retreat ” participants when purchased through Georgina Grandi.
Travel Insurance is covered by Allianz Global Assistance
Am I required to bring my own yoga mat and cushion?
Yes. An inflatable meditation cushion is also recommended.
Either bring your own or you can order through me.
- A 6mm TPE light weight yoga mat can be available on arriving in Nepal: AUD$35
- Mobile Meditator Inflatable Cushion: AUD$49.99.
What clothes do I need to bring, do I have to cover up in religious areas and in temples?
We advise to respect the local traditions and therefore make an effort to dress more conservatively than we would in the west. It is advised to have arms, shoulders and legs covered, and not to wear tight fitting or see through clothing.
For women, longer tops covering the buttocks with a short or long sleeve worn over pants or a long skirt and a shawl. On final payment you will receive a "what to bring list".
Please note sleeveless tops/dresses aren't recommended, short or long sleeves are advised.
Am I required to bring walking boots?
We will be trekking in mountain regions and across different terrains; it is advisable to wear footwear that is suitable for these occasions, runners with a good tread would be suitable. At times you will be trekking and walking up to three hours at a time.
Should I bring backpack or a suitcase if we are trekking?
A backpack is provided for the trek and carried by a porter. We advise that you bring a daypack.
Mountain Design sell a fabulous 17 or 20ltr running pack which I love! Called Salomon Agile (I think).
What levels of altitude will we be travelling to?
The highest altitude we travel to will be, 1750 metres at Namo Buddha. Generally there shouldn’t be need to be concerned about the effects of the altitude. Keeping hydrated is important and if you are concerned please discuss this with your doctor.
Will there be a guide with us at all times?
No, guides will be with us when visiting pilgrimage sites all with their own specialised knowledge. A different guide will join us at Nammo Buddha, a specialised trekking guide on the yoga trek and a local knowledgable guide in Bandipur.
Is the water safe to drink in Nepal?
It is recommended to only drink bottled water.
When we have spare time is it safe for woman to walk around alone?
This depends on the location and the time of day. It is best to use your common sense and instincts when venturing out. Safety in numbers really, Nepal is a beautiful gentle country, however, always better to be vigilant.
Are there ATM’s?
Yes, there are ATM’s in Kathmandu and Pokhara. It is advised to have sufficient funds to cover your personal expenses in the other areas. The maximum withdrawal from an ATM is around USD $200 per day, therefore advised to have extra cash. Travellers cheques aren’t always excepted.
Is there WIFI / Internet connections available?
Wifi is accessible at hotels, cafes and restaurants, however it can be painfully slow!!
What is the accommodation like?
We have endeavoured to accommodate you in charming traditional Nepalese accommodation, without compromising your comfort. Have a look at the hotel photo in the itinerary of all the hotels you will be staying at.
Am I able to request a single room?
Yes, however, it is based on availability along with a single supplement of USD $500.
Can I choose who I share with?
If you are travelling with a friend then yes you are able to share with a friend. Please state this on the registration form. If you are happy to share with someone we will endeavour to do so with someone of the same sex.
Where are the yoga classes taught?
You have the opportunity to experience and practice yoga in a variety of different locations including Gompa rooms, lakeside studios, rooftops and grassy knolls that can provide an additional challenge of uneven surface! Also remember to dress warm for these locations.
Will I be travelling in areas that are deemed unsafe?
We are travelling to well travelled areas, with reputable guides. Being a smart traveller is advised, by purchasing travel insurance and paying attention to your personal items once there.
From time to time illegal roadblocks and enforced national or local strikes (bandhs) can occur without notice. At these times, transport can be disrupted taxis are not usually available. If this were to occur we may need to modify the itinerary and extend our stay in one of the beautiful locations and continue to enrich your yoga/meditation practice and experience of the local culture.
Do I require any immunisation to travel to Nepal?
It is the personal choice of the individual to choose whether to have immunisation or not. We do advise that you seek medical advise from your local doctor or travel clinic at least a eight weeks before departure for the latest information. There are some vaccines you should consider for your own health and safety.
Here is a link to assist you.
Do I require a visa to visit Nepal?
Yes, the easiest way is to get your visa is on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Currently it is US$25 for 15 days and US$40 for 30 days. Bring some extra passport-size photos along for your visa application.
Visa can be obtained only through payment of cash in the following currency: Euro, Swiss Franc, Pound Sterling, US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Singapore Dollar and Japanese Yen.
Credit card, Indian currency and Nepali currency are not accepted as payment of visa fee.
Please refer to the following website for the latest information and costs on visa requirements for Nepal.
Am I able to opt out of any of the excursions?
Yes, however, we will be moving from one location to another, therefore, you will still need to travel with the group on these occasions.
Can you please provide an outline of the overall expected costs and inclusions for the trip?
- Upon booking a non-refundable deposit of USD $600 is required
- Each guest is required to purchase their own flight ticket, insurance, visa and personal items.
- If you require a single room then a single room supplement is required of USD $500
The trip includes virtually everything with the exception of four meals and your beverages, laundry, souvenirs and gifts, any phone calls and any other personal services you may choose to have that is not stated on the itinerary. Gratuities are covered or drivers, porters and restaurants, however we do suggest you allow around US$110 for guides tips. A full list of what is and isn’t included is detailed at the bottom of the itinerary.
Are all food and beverages included in the pricing?
All meals with the exception of four are included in the price. Beverages other than those listed in the itinerary are not included in the price of the trip. You can expect to pay around USD $0.30 to USD $2.00 for water and soft drinks, tea and coffee can start as cheap as USD $0.60 cents up to USD $4.00
How much does a massage cost?
There is one massage included in the price of the trip. However, if you choose to have additional massages, here is a guide. A very good standard massage through to a more luxurious package would cost roughly USD $25 to USD $100.
What other activities can we do, outside of the itinerary?
There is the option to paraglide in Pokhara US$100 or take a scenic flight US$200+. You may choose to have a massage, go shopping to buy a couple of souvenirs, CD’s and clothing for yourself. As far as additional activities, please be mindful the retreat is pretty full.
Upon arrival in Nepal, are airport transfers included in the price?
Yes, airport transfers to/ from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu are covered in the package. Please refer to the itinerary.
How much spending money do you advise I take?
Daily expenditure can be from as little as $10, this will cover the costs for your water a cup or two of tea and tips (optional, however encouraged).
In relation to the gratuities it is personal discretion how much you wish to tip. For waiters, porters, drivers are covered in the trip cost. Guides however aren't, we advise that you allow for approximately USD $110 for guide gratuities. Allow for additional personal expenditure e.g. laundry USD $1 per kilo, gifts, souvenirs etc.
Past experience shows everyone loves to SHOP and goes home with bags splitting at the seems. So have your credit card ready and either bring cash to exchange or withdraw from the ATM.
I understand that I need to purchase travel insurance. Do you have a provider you have worked with and are comfortable with?
Yes, it is the responsibility for each participant to have their own travel insurance. We recommend you shop around and locate the best insurance to suit your needs. It can be purchased through a variety of channels from specialised insurance brokers, or direct such as Southern Cross Travel Insurance or travel agents - Georgina Grandi and banks.