Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Snow Leopard

      Winter is slowly sneaking up on us-- and with that brings the snow. Some of you may not be thrilled by this, but one Nepali resident sure is--the endangered and illusive Snow Leopard. It is estimated that there are 4,510-7,350 Snow Leopards left in the world--350-500 of which are in Nepal. Snow Leopards can be spotted in the Mustang, Dolpo, Humla, and Mugu regions of Nepal. This beautiful white and black spotted cat prefers the high altitude region of the country and can obviously, easily walk in the snow.

      The Snow Leopard averages around 1.8-2.3 m in length from head to tail and stands about 60 cm. tall. Their infamous long tail aids in balance along narrow cliffs and mountain paths--as well as aids in warmth, as the Snow Leopard likes to wrap the tail around it's face. The average weight of a female is around 35-40 kg. and a male 45-55 kg. They usually live 15-18 years and females will have 1-5 cubs within 100 days of gestation. Their mating season is in late winter--and the cubs are born in late spring, early summer. Cubs are independent from their mothers at 18-22 months.

      These animals are quite territorial, which is why they can become dangerous to villagers--especially small children. One Snow Leopard claims about 12 sq. km. of territory and will hunt animals 4x their size. They also feast on grass and twigs.

      Snow Leopards are threatened in Nepal and throughout Asia because of poaching and loss of habitat due to increased grazing land for domesticated farm animals. They are often poached for their pelts and bones for Oriental medicine. They are also hunted because they prey on local livestock and sometimes even kill a small village child who wanders too far. There are now many Snow Leopard Conservation areas throughout Nepal and efforts are being made to destroy snares, traps, and weapons used to kill these endangered animals. Awareness committees are also now in place to educate the local people on the severity of the issue of poaching Endangered Species.

      Keep an eye out if you're in the high mountainous regions of Nepal and you may just be lucky enough to spot one of these beautiful creatures.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Animal Friendly Dashain

Every year during Dashain, the biggest holiday/festival in Nepal, many buffalo, chicken, and goats are sacrificed in the name of Gods and Goddesses. This has been a long standing tradition in Nepal--especially in the Newar community--or those who are native to Kathmandu Valley. 

As you walk through the streets of Kathmandu today, you'll see many people carting their goats home and many people selling baskets full of chickens on the side of the road. This meat is eaten, and therefore not wasted--but the problem is not the consumption of meat--but rather the method and purpose of the sacrifice. 

No where in the religious texts does it say specifically to slaughter an animal to appease the Gods. The texts mention offering human flaws and habits to the the deities--and such things like fruit and vegetables are just as acceptable. It is only longstanding fear of the wrath of the Gods that allows these continued atrocities to occur. 

Only with knowledge, awareness, and faith in your Gods being kind, loving Gods--can Nepal move forward from this barbaric encrouchment on another living soul. 

Be responsible--be animal friendly--and enjoy your Dashain by celebrating life--not destroying it.   

                       Photo: Kasaiko Dashain,,Kasaiko Dasha,,,,,

Monday, October 15, 2012

NEW! Volunteer Trekking

Throughout history--extremes have proven time and time again to fail miserably. The key to happiness and success is balance.

In today's day and age, the time has come to balance our society. We must work together to help those in need, but not in the traditional ways we've been doing it thus far. Since WWII, the global community has made a huge push in foreign aide, in countries just like Nepal. These developing countries have since become reliant on the aide and the state of living has not improved--why should it, if everything is being provided from the outside?

There is a saying in the Christian faith--"Give a man a fish, feed him for a day--Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime." This statements rings ever true in regards to foreign aide. Foreign entities, who do not know the people, terrain, culture, or needs of the people, can not simply drop a load of money and disappear and expect change to happen spontaneously.

That is why we, at Trek Nepal Int'l, have decided to partner with local NGO's that are not only improving the quality of life for the villagers of rural Nepal--but are also educating the masses on eco-friendly and culturally responsible practices to promote lasting economic, environmental, and social success.

We believe, that if you come to enjoy a place, you should also give back--so that the next person after you can enjoy. By volunteering you will not only leave area you visit a better place for the next traveler, but you will also provide economic support and knowledge to local villagers that will ensure their livelihood for generations to come. You yourself will be blessed with the experience of a lifetime, while getting to explore the beautiful, remote parts of Nepal. Its a win-win situation for all that are involved.

Our first volunteering trekking experience is in collaboration with SADA (Social Awareness and Development Association) from the Baitadi (Far West) District of Nepal. You can work with everything from education, to women's health, to agro projects and sustainable development.

Whatever knowledge you have will be warmly welcome by the people of Far West Nepal and you will be warmly welcomed in the homes of the kindest people you can imagine.

For more information about volunteering in Far West Nepal--email Mira at:

Hope to see you in Far West Nepal--where we can make a difference that will last!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Stay in Shape in Kathmandu

In today's age of information and technology, it is widespread knowledge that living a healthy lifestyle is a must. The old drudgery of running on a treadmill, lifting some dumbells, or heaven forbid--doing crunches! has long since passed. People these days are looking for fun ways to work out, get in shape, and stay healthy.

Many people travel these days, but that doesn't mean they want to give up their active lifestyles. Often times, when travelling, you get caught up in the whirlwind of new foods, having a few drinks with friends and new acquaintences, and let's face it--being lazy. You work like a dog at home--and you want to come on holiday to relax, no? But once you get home and try to get back into your normal workout routine, you not only feel guilty about your lethargy--but you also find it difficult to get back into the swing of things, am I right?

That's why Core Fitness Studio Nepal is the perfect solution for you. Not only will you meet new people in these high tempo group workout classes, but you'll have fun doing and staying in shape while abroad. You can return home feeling relaxed and healthy--no guilty conscious--no extra pounds to work off.

Core Fitness Studio is located in Sanepa--not far from the tourist hub Thamel--and within walking distance from the new up and coming area "Jamel" --or Jamsikel. You can also walk to the beautiful ancient city of Patan from here. The studio is located in a fitness center, which used to be an old Rana Palace. The studio is huge and can accommodate large classes---so you're sure to make new friends!

Check out their facebook page and see what classes are running while you're here. They offer classes like Zumba, Total Body Workout, Belly Dance, Traditional Nepali Dance, etc..

 Come get fit at this fabulous new studio!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pranamaya Fall Yoga Retreats

                 The time of celebrations and festivals has come in Nepal—a time when everyone is excited, busy, and festive. Before, during, and after this busy time in Nepal it is always good to remember to relax your mind, body and soul.
                That is why Pranamaya Yoga retreats have a Fall schedule built exclusively for those with little time. In their 3-day yoga retreats, you will not only stretch and exercise your body—but you will also gain have an insightful look into Yoga Philosopy, as well as learn techniques to bring tranquillity to your everyday life.
                Pranamaya operates 3-day yoga retreats in two different locations, one being in Pharping @ Neydo Monastery Resort and in Namo Buddha at Namo Buddha Resort. These tranquil spots are the perfect platform for learning more about yoga and yourself.  You leave for your retreat from 1905 (just outside of Thamel, near Garden of Dreams) at 2 pm and return to the same location at 7 pm on the 3rd day. Each retreat runs weekly from Monday to Wednesday.

              The price of the retreat (in a group of 2 or more) is $275 USD. This price includes transportation from 1905 Restaurant, Accommodation, all Vegetarian meals, Expert Internationally Trained Yoga Instructors/Retreat Guides, Yoga Mats, and Diary & Pen to record your experiences and thoughts.
                Pranamaya can comfortably accommodate groups from 2-16 people. Single rate is available upon request.

The Schedule for the Retreat is as follows:

·         Departure Dates
    • 1-3 October Neydo Monastery Resort, Pharping
    • 8-10 October Neydo Monastery Resort, Pharping
    • 15-17 October Neydo Monastery Resort, Pharping
    • 22-24 October Namo Buddha Resort, Namo Buddha
    • 29-31 October Neydo Monastery Resort, Pharping
    • 5-7 November Namo Buddha Resort, Namo Buddha
    • 12-14 November Namo Buddha Resort, Namo Buddha
    • 19-21 November Namo Buddha Resort, Namo Buddha
    • 26-28 November Namo Buddha Resort, Namo Buddha
    • 3-5 December Neydo Monastery Resort, Pharping
    • 10-12 December Namo Buddha Resort, Namo Buddha
    • 17-19 December Namo Buddha Resort, Namo Buddha
Please feel free to contact us at to book your trip – OR come into either of our offices, located on Mandala Street next toOR2K Restarurant or next to Kathmandu Guesthouse.