AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Langtang Trek: Costs


Posted on Mar 16, 2014

Note 1: We hired a porter for this trek. The going rate for a porter is $15 per day. Note 2: Porters/guides require an almost compulsory 15-20% tip. Note 3: All prices are in Nepalese Rupees. Note 4: At the time of writing 100 NPR = $1.01 = £0.61 (which I round to $1 & £0.60). Note 5: You can pay the real price for the bus ticket by buying it yourself from the bus station at Maccha Pokhari (in Kathmandu), most hotels will charge between 500-700 per ticket for the local bus. Note 6: I have put breakfast as part of the daily cost for each previous day. This is because the evening meal and breakfast is paid the following morning to the lodge marked from the day before. Note 7: On the second day we bought boiling water for our hydration sacks. Towards the end we topped up a hydration sack with a bottle of water. At all other times we used the lodge water supply (for free) and chlorine tablets for purification. Note 8: Due to not feeling well we both skipped an evening meal once and both skipped a breakfast once, bringing down costs to an artificial low. Note 9: Until the final days we bought no chocolate or fizzy drinks. No alcohol for the entire trek. Note 10: Take off the cost of the porter and the Jeep (or get a better deal) and large savings can easily be made. Note 11: We did this trek in mid March and all guest houses asked us to name our price for the room. Others told us they paid nothing for their room, we could probably have had free rooms if we’d asked. Note 12: If you don’t eat in the lodge where you are sleeping at least 1,000 NPR will be added to the price of the room. Guaranteed! Summary of daily costs Day 1: 3,470 NPR Day 2: 2,550 NPR Day 3: 3,580 NPR Day 4: 200 NPR Day 5: 450 NPR Day 6: 8,200 + 2000 NPR Day 7: 2,680 NPR Day 8: 3,240 NPR Day 9: 880 NPR Accommodation + food: 27,250 NPR/$275/£165 Porter + tip: 17,000 NPR/$172/£103 Jeep: 7000 NPR/$71/£42 Total: 51,250 NPR/$518/£311 Average / 9 days:$57.50/£34.50 per day Day 1: Kathmandu – Syabrubesi Taxi to bus station: 340 NPR Bus tickets for 3 people: 1500 NPR Accommodation: Buddha Guest House Double room: 500 NPR 24/7 hot shower Power sockets in room WiFi Lavazza Coffee Clean Good beds Carpet Slow food service Front desk not always available Evening meal Small pot of ginger tea: 180 NPR Dal Bhat x2 : 600...

Read More

Hanoi: A Haggler’s Paradise


Posted on Dec 3, 2013

Getting the hang on haggling is difficult for us. In the UK generally the price on the shelf is the price you pay. No questions, no hassle, no worry about fairness and did someone else pay less than you. Here every price, for every product is a negotiation. Last night at the train station the toilets had a charge. (Don’t get me started on a rant about charging for toilets. I have no issue with fees for optional stuff, but you have no option with the toilet, if you have to go you have to go and that shouldn’t be charged). I paid 3000 dong (10p). Annemarie went and he asked for 4000 dong. She had to demand 3000. I paid 15,000 dong for a 500ml bottle (well over the normal price) at the train station last night (stupid me didn’t haggle). Today at a stall we asked the price of water (500ml bottle), she wanted 15,000 dong for it. We refused. Around the corner we got 1.5L for the same price. Bargain. Many women were wandering around Hanoi selling bits n bobs. A particular item that was been sold (won’t mention them as they are heading to the UK for Christmas) we had turned down a few times from sellers in the street. I then mentioned to Annemarie that I actually thought they were OK and maybe we should have bought them, she agreed. Within one minute another seller had come over. “120,000 dong each.” Hmmm, we think about it. “100,000 for two,” I reply. “Too low,” she cries, “120,000 each.” “120,000 for two.” “150,000 for two.” Heh, defeat for her is just a matter of time now I know she’s willing to drop her prices so far so fast. “120,000 for two,” I  repeat. “130,000 for two,” she’s dropped again. “120,000 for two,” I state again. “OK”. There was a few more exchanges than that, but that was the gist anyway. I got the product that I wanted for half the price she was offering. I have no idea if that is a good price or not, but I’m getting better at haggling. Just saying no can often prompt a reduction in price. Starting to walk away generates even more of a reduction. And that is without any effort. I have read some people account of haggling and they do it for fun. They actually enjoy this. I hate it! I hate both having to demand a lower price and spending time negotiating (my personality type was about 90% introverted on personality tests); not to mention the nagging doubt that I’ve just been ripped off, or at...

Read More