When I reached the checkpoint at Rara National Park, I came to know from a on-duty Army, approximately 70,000 visitors were recorded in the last six months. But, it really excited me, because only 3-4% of the total visitors were foreigners.
So, when domestic tourism is flourishing so much, why isn’t Nepal Tourism Board or whatever organization concerned is taking any substantial action to promote domestic tourism.
See, lets do a rough maths.
Let’s assume 95% visitors were Nepali, that makes 66500.
Let’s assume, 1 person spends 1 day on average at Rara Lake, that is 3 meals at the hotel, assuming Nrs. 250 per meal =Nrs. 750/- + Nrs. 700 (Overnight Stay on sharing basis) = Nrs. 1450/-
So, 66500 people spending at average of Nrs. 1450/- makes Nrs. 9,64,25,000/-
Thus, I think, some long term plans are really needed to flourish the domestic tourism.
Friends, if you don’t have these three things that I am going to say, please don’t even think to plan a trip to Rara Lake.
Yesterday, I was talking to a friend of mine, it had been over a year we hadn’t talked over the phone, and at one point he was telling what’s up with you, you’re travelling so much? how do you even manage to do so? And as I explained him, I remembered that I hadn’t posted this blog even when its almost a month I went to Rara. So, today, here I decided to finally complete it.
First and foremost, as the title says, I don’t really want you to go to Rara Lake. You might be wondering why I am saying this, but trust me, I’ll prove you in a while.
You need these three things:
1. A lot of time
You see a lot of wonderful images of Rara Lake, and some luring sponsored advertisement by the Travel Agents on Facebook, and you call one of your friend and decide to take the cheapest package. But, wait, as cheap and easy it sounds, there are a lot of hidden glitches in the trip, like, ‘your lunch is not covered by the package’, for instance.
So, I think ideally, you will need these many days to go, explore and return back home safely from Rara Lake.
Option 1: By road
Day 1: By road, Kohalpur
Day 2: By road, Somewhere between Surkhet and Mugu
Day 3: By road, reach Rara Lake
Day 4: Experience the wonder of Rara Lake
Day 5: Return Back by road, reach somewhere between surkhet and Mugu
Day 6: By road, reach Kohalpur
Day 7: Reach Home
Option 2: By Flight
Day 1: By road or Flight, Nepalgunj or Kohalpur
Day 2: By flight, Land at Talcha Airport, 5 hours trek to reach Hotels at Rara Lake
Day 3: Experience the wonder of Rara Lake, by trek or Horse riding, Over night at Talcha Airport
Day 4: By Flight, arrive Nepalgunj, head towards your home
Day 5: By road or Flight, reach your home!
Also, let me give you some details of fare:
KTM- NEPALGUNJ: BUS; Nrs. 1300/-
: Flight; Nrs. 9800/- (If not issued on time)
NEPALGUNJ-TALCHA : Flight; Nrs. 8700/-
TALCHA-NEPALGUNJ : Flight; Nrs. 4500/-
NEPALGUNJ-KTM: Flight; Nrs. 9800/- (If not issued on time)
So, mathematically, if you use road transport, you would be saving a lot of money, but will cost you a lot of days. And, if you choose flight as a mode, you will save a lot of day, but it will curse your pocket! So, be wise!
2. You need to have people EVERYWHERE
By everywhere, I mean everywhere. You don’t have connections in the Airlines, you don’t get a flight ticket. You don’t have connections in the hotel, you don’t get a space to rest. You don’t have connections in the bus, you don’t get to drive.
I would want to share an instance. We reached Kohalpur on Oct 22, and as per discussed, we were flying to Talcha Airport on Monday, Oct 23, 11 AM. We reached the airport at 9:30 AM and came to know that our flight had been rescheduled for Tuesday, Oct 24, just because someone from Tara Air decided to swap our tickets with their people. Then, frustrated, we headed to Chisapani, a wonderful place which serves wonderful fish!
On Oct 23, when we reached Talcha Airport at around 12:30 PM, as soon as we landed, a guy reached to us and we had a conversation:
He: Are you people returning back tomorrow?
Me: Yes, we have return flight for tomorrow, but where are we staying tonight?
He: Village Heritage Hotel, I have booked rooms for you people there..
Me: What if we don’t like the place and stay in a different hotel?
He: There are only two hotels, If you don’t stay at Village Heritage hotel, you will be unable to fly back tomorrow!
He: Both Tara Air and Village Heritage Hotel is handled by Visit Karnali Travels & Tours, so if someone has to fly through Tara Air, should stay at Village Heritage, and vice versa.
Me: What The Fuq?
3. You need a shit load of cash
The place is very very expensive. I mean, who would want to pay Nrs. 600 for a bottle of beer? I wouldn’t! Besides, I bet spending Nrs. 2400 to stay in a tent for 3 people is very very bad idea, since the temperature hits Zero(0) degrees at night, or even less. I mean, who would want to spend Nrs. 450/- for a very tiny bowl of chyangra ko soup with literally no existence of chyangra?
Oh, and wait, even if you have a shit load of cash with you, you wouldn’t be able to spend, because there’s literally no place to eat or so.
Besides all the bullshits you experience, the most important thing that you will be acquainted with is the Majestic Rara Lake, the biggest Lake in Nepal, of whose beauty I didn’t talk about in this post.
Oh and yes, about why not to go to Rara Lake, unless these problems of syndicate and poor bureaucracy solves, I see no point to be happy about reaching the biggest lake of the country! 🙁
Keep Travelling to keep your soul alive!