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The weather was wonderful and of course the views were amazing. We never met any other ’walkers’ which was a real bonus.
Keir and Ruth Woodward (UK) | Luxury Kathmandu Valley

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Do mobile/ cell phones work while on trek? Can I buy a Nepal SIM card and which is best network?

Over the last few years the mobile/ cell phone network has improved significantly in more remote areas of Nepal. There are now cell phone masts installed at Gorakshep so it is possible to get 3G connectivity throughout the entire Everest Base Camp trek.  The best network above Lukla on Everest Base Camp trek is NCell and below Lukla in Solu Khumbu Nepal Telecom (NTC) has most effective coverage. In other places such as east Nepal towards Tumlimgtar and west in Annapurna region Nepal Telecom is generally better than NCell.

It is easy and inexpensive to buy a local SIM card in Nepal and will save you a lot of money compared to using your own SIM card with associated high costs of international roaming. The best place to buy is in Thamel as there are several shops with owners who speak English to help explain how to install and load up credit. This is an easy process for example if you have an I Phone the shop can cut SIM to a micro SIM then after inserting 3G connection will happen automatically with no set up involved. Please note in order to get Nepal SIM card you will need to provide a photocopy of details page of your passport and one passport photo.

In more remote regions of Nepal such as on Dhaulagiri Circuit, Manaslu Circuit and Tsum Valley, Kanchenjunga Circuit, Upper Dolpo treks there will be no mobile/ cell phone coverage. On these trips we send a satellite phone with our groups for communications and our clients are welcome to use for personal calls and SMS texts if they like. If you are interested in joining one of our groups we will advise you on availability of cell/ phone coverage in the area you will be visiting on trek.

Please also note that it is important to consider fellow travellers when trekking in the Himalayas, it may well be important for you to keep in touch with friends and family back home however hearing phones ringing andmessages coming through all day whilst walking can be rather annoying and upsetting for others as they do spoil the solitude.

Technology is taking over our lives, for sure please keep in touch with those back home but do you really need to email/facebook all day every day? We recommend you take the time to appreciate your surroundings while you travelling in the majestic Himalayan mountains. These trips always whizz by and in no time you will be back home. All we ask from you is to be considerate to your team mates with your use of technology when trekking in the mountains.

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