In Delhi, Bangkok and Kathmandu, consider all tap water unsafe. Do not drink or brush your teeth with tap water unless you have purified it with iodine. Bottled water is available in most Asian cities and should be your first choice. Keep your mouth closed in the shower! Do not use ice cubes; freezing does not kill bacteria.
Do not eat uncooked food or food bought from sidewalk vendors. Be wary of uncooked food, especially salads, and unpeeled fruids or vegetables. Custards, pastry creams, yogurt and unboiled milk should be avoided where refregeration is unreliable. Shellfish should be avoided. Hotel food is usually safe. Overall, be very conservative about what you eat before the trek. If you feel you must experiment, save it for the last few days of the trip.
On trek, our camp crew is well trained in hygienic practices, drinking water is always boiled, and the food you are served is clean and safe. Treated washing water is put out before every meal; use it to wash your hands before every meal. Do not eat food dropped on the ground.
Adequate fluid intake is important, especially on high altitude treks. Make sure you drink an adequate supply of liquids. You are responsible for treating your own drinking water, preferably with iodine crystals or tablets or by using a good filter. During the day you will be filling your water bottles with water from villages pumps or small streams. In the evening, you can bring your water bottles to dinner, where they will be filled with boiled water (for use the following morning) as it will cool overnight. On trek, do not drink from streams, no matter how clear they look.
The change of diet, climate and just the fact that Nepal is a very undeveloped country make some stomach upset almost inevitable. As seasoned trekkers will tell you, it’s all part of the Nepal experience!
Meals on treks are nourishing and plentiful, a blend of Nepalese and Western dishes prepared by our well-trained cooks. Breakfast is normally a light meal of porridge or granola, with hot milk, tea, coffee, or chocolate and biscuits or cookies. This gives us a quick morning start for the best walking hours. Eggs, pancakes or French toast may be served when we have a short day’s trek ahead. We stop for full hot meal at lunch: potatoes, eggs, curried vegetables, cheese, local style breads, fruit, tea, hot chocolate or fruit drink.
After a day’s trekking, dinner is a highlight, consisting of: soup; a main course which may be a tasty noodle dish, Nepali mixed vegetables, lentils and rice, meat, vegetables, and potatoes or stew, and dessert. On most treks, meat (chicken, mutton, water buffalo, or yak) is served every few days, depending on availability in local villages. Tinned meat, salmon or sardines are occasionally served.
Dessert is usually canned or fresh fruit, and some of our more enterprising cooks will occasionally produce a delicious cake.
In the villages you may purchase sweets, biscuits, chocolate, fruit, soft drinks and beer. Availability varies from area to area.
If you are partial to special treats -liquorice, candy bars, trail mix, etc. – it is a good idea to bring them with you. A variety of sweets, nuts, and dried fruit can be purchased in Kathmandu.
Please let us know immediately if you have a restricted diet. We will try to accommodate you. However cultural differences and limitations can make it extremely difficult and at times impossible to accommodate your restrictions. It is important to bring a flexible attitude and supplemental foods to ensure your dietary needs are met. Please inform your trip guide at the beginning of the trip of any special food requirements.
Your guide will recommend sage, good restaurants in Kathmandu, but we still urge you to avoid restaurant water (even if they say it is boiled) and ice, salads and ice cream. Tipping has come to be expected in the nicer Kathmandu restaurants, from 5-10% of the bill depending on the quality of the restaurant and the service.
We recommend use of iodine tablets or crystals for water purification. They are available at most outdoor or camping stores. Potable Aqua is a commonly sold brand. Halazone is not effective. A good filter may also be used but is not always convenient.