Ride & Raft 14 day package $2470 (USD)
Ride only package $1770 (USD)

Depart: Nov 5th from KTM
Return KTM: Nov 16th 2017

The riding
  • Around 10,000m ascent
  • 250+km on quiet, black-top (ish) roads
  • 20-30km ascents and descents
  • 5 days riding towards the highest mountains on earth
  • Thru tea gardens, pine forests, hamlets and farmland
  • Ridge top riding with huge Himalayan panorama
  • Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Jannu views
  • Fully supported (vehicle and crew)
The rafting
  • 5 days Grade 4 and 5 rafting
  • The Tamur – wild, beautiful, unpredictable
  • Some of the best guides and crew anywhere
  • Fully supported – great food, great craic!
  • Vibrant temple stops
  • Stunning beach camping
Making a difference

$10 from your trip fee goes towards rebuilding lives shattered by the 2015 earthquakes through NCRR

$10 also goes to giving women & children a brighter future through the Pasang Lamu Foundation

Useful stuff

Ride n Raft East Nepal

A two week adventure of ridiculous ascents on crazy roads; wild white water, temples; tea gardens and tongba!

  • 14 days/ 13 nights including 5 day’s road riding & 5 days’ rafting
  • Bike trip runs with a minimum of 4 people, max of 8
  • Super experienced team packed with practical wisdom, (tall tales and terrible jokes)
  • Lodge and camp accommodation
  • Meals, drinking water, transport all included
  • In partnership with Himalayan Single Track and Whitewater Asia

Ride n Raft – Essentials

Itinerary

Ride n Raft East Nepal Itinerary

Key: B = Breakfast; L = lunch; D = dinner included

Note: figures for daily kilometres, ascent and descent are approximate (all GPS devices vary so we’ve taken an average)

Day 1 (Nov 5th)

Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. We start with a briefing and drinks before heading out for dinner. The bikes and any extra kit start their journey overnight to meet us in the Far East.

Day 2 (Nov 6th)

Take the short flight to Bhadrapur in the Nepalese plains where we meet our bikes, gear and the support vehicles. We might choose to stay in the jeep through chaotic towns of the plains (15-20km)  then start riding where the tea plantations start and we begin the 20km + ascent to the mid hills and our overnight stop at Phikkal (1550m) (BLD).

Approx. 55km riding with around 2100m total ascent

Day 3 (Nov 7th)

Today is all about tea as we ride through and past the tea gardens of East Nepal. We start the day Nepali flat contouring around the ridge before the long descent, a mix of cheeky switchbacks and longish straights, down to the valley bottom at around 500m. Then drop down the gears for the long ascent to Ilam Bazaar and out hotel for the night.

Approx. 40km riding with around 1300m ascent / 1600m descent

Day 4 (Nov 8th)

Our longest day of riding with one big ascent followed by multiple small climbs. Rolling steadily uphill out of Ilam we drop down a couple of hundred meters to the first bridge and first ascent of the day. 800 vertical metres later we attain the green ridge tops and cooler air of Sakhejung. Hovering around the 2100m contour line we wend our way in and out of the valley sides with a gradual pull up to around 2400m.  The final 12km of the day are virtually all down as slide rapidly into Phidim. The town sprawls down the hillside. We’ll probably stop at one of the lower hotels at around 1100m.

Approx. 75km riding with around 2400m ascent / 2500m descent

Day 5 (Nov 9th)

A shorter day to recover from yesterday’s epic and to take in the magnificent scenery unfolding in front of us. Dropping down down deeper on down to the river Hewa, crossing the bridge we start the inevitable ascent through farms and jungle up to attain the ridge at around 1700m. The climb continues more gradually pulling up to a final elevation of around 2200m.  From here we should see Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Jannu and their sisters. A fine place to stop and relax for the night.

Approx. 35km riding with around 2200m ascent / 1100m descent

Day 6 (Nov 10th)

Our final day of riding. Leaving the cool of the ridge top we have a long stepped descent to the Kabeli river and the sun-baked slopes on the other side. It’s a 26km climb up to the District Headquarters at Taplejung. Checking in to the simple hotel after lunch the options are to ride or jeep further up to explore the Gurung gompa (monastery) and the airport at Sukhetar, or just relax, wander round the bazaar and check out the tongba joints.

Day 7 (Nov 11th)

Today we’ll head down to meet our raft crew and fellow paddlers at Dhoban. There are a few options – hike down through the fields (around 3 hours) or jump in the jeep. For anyone with a huge amount of energy we can take the jeep up to Phedi on the ridge above Sukhetar and make the very steep hike up to the Shiva temple of Phatibara at 3800m – on a clear day the views are tremendous! It’s around a 5-6 hike with 2 hours travel so requires a very early start. We aim to be at our campsite in Dhoban latest by 3pm.

Day 8 – 12

Rafting the Tamur with Whitewater Asia.

The truck will be returning to Kathmandu with bikes and extra kit.

Ride only: There’s an option to take the jeep back to Bhadrapur and fly to Kathmandu – this can be done in a single day.

Extensions: You can split the return journey to Kathmandu and take time to sightsee at: Maipokhari lake, a Ramsar site and pilgrimage area above Ilam; the tea plantations and Paradise Cottage eco-resort at Pashupatinagar; the national park at Koshi Thapu (7 rivers) famed for having 500 of Nepal’s 800 bird species plus the rare freshwater dolphins.

We’re also happy to arrange a trek up to Kanchenjunga Base Camp (start at Taplejung); trips to Pokhara (from KTM), Chitwan, The Last Resort or any other great destinations in Nepal. Please ask.

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Price Includes

Price Includes

All prices quoted in US Dollar

For groups of 4 to 8 people

Ride and Raft: USD 2470 pp on a twin sharing basis

Ride only (inc transfer to KTM)

USD 1770 pp on a twin sharing basis

Prefer your own room?

Single rooms in the group hotel are an additional $40 pp per night

We cannot guarantee single rooms in the local lodges along the way, but will do our best to accommodate your wishes. Lodge room single supplement is an additional $5 per night. Pay this at the end of your trip.

Single tent supplement: $50 for the trip

Extra nights

A night pre-trip or post-trip in the group hotel costs $50 per single room or $55 for a twin or double room on a B&B basis.

Extend your stay

There are many wonderful places to visit and things to do in Nepal if you have a few days free at the end of your stay.

Our most popular request is for some chill out time by the lake at Pokhara.

A three night extension to Pokhara driving out from Kathmandu and flying back with 3 nights B&B at a 3 star hotel costs USD $415 pp (Price based on minimum 2 people)

What’s included?

This is a fully inclusive trip package. We want you to feel secure that there’ll be no hidden charges or crazy expenses on trip.

Full Trip – ride + raft includes

  • Airport transfers in Kathmandu (pick up / drop off for your international flight)
  • 3 nights’ Kathmandu 3* hotel on B&B basis
  • Flight KTM – BDP / BIR – KTM with transfers
  • Truck support / bike carriage to and from ride start / end
  • Jeep support on the ride
  • All meals and drinking water on ride and raft (including snacks)
  • 10 nights’ camping / local lodge
  • Staff – river crew including international guide; bike leader + mechanic (salaries, insurance etc)

Ride only includes

  • Airport transfers in Kathmandu (pick up / drop off for your international flight)
  • 3 nights’ Kathmandu 3* hotel on B&B basis
  • Flight KTM – BDP / BDP– KTM with transfers
  • Truck support / bike carriage to and from ride start / end
  • Jeep support on the ride plus transfer from Taplejung to Bhadrapur (1 day)
  • All meals and drinking water on ride (including snacks)
  • 5 nights’ camping / local lodge
  • Staff – bike leader + mechanic (salaries, insurance etc)

Excludes

  • International flights
  • Insurance (this is mandatory and must include rescue and evacuation)
  • Meals and drinks in Kathmandu
  • Personal expenses such as re-charge, alcoholic and soft drinks, laundry etc

How to Book

To ensure your trekking holiday is right for you and in the interest of keeping a balance in the group we have a four step booking system:

  1. Complete the online booking form. Each person joining the trip must complete a booking form.
  2. To secure this with a deposit of $500 per person. Make your payment by bank transfer or card.
  3. Confirmation – we’ll send you confirmation of receipt of your booking form. We’ll also confirm receipt of the deposit payment once it lands in our account.
  4. We’ll send more detailed joining information at this point, gear list and some tips on how to best prepare.
  5. Four weeks before departure complete the Confirmation Form to tell us about your insurance package; your flights; any health issues; dietary requirements and any other info you think we should know about in order to ensure your well-being and comfort on the trip.
  6. Balance of payment: send the balance of payment in full at the latest four weeks before your departure date.

We run this trip with a minimum of four people. The trip is guaranteed to run when we have deposits from at least 4 people and booking forms from each person.

Please DO NOT book international flights until we have confirmed receipt of deposit and the trip is running.

Cancellations

If for any reason you need to cancel please contact us. You can read our Cancellation Policy here.

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What’s it like?

What’s it like?

The riding

There are some monster climbs on this trip – 20-30km of ascent over 1km plus vertical – and of course some equally huge descents as we pick our way through the deep valleys and steep ridgelines of the pahad (middle hills) into the Himalaya. You’ll need good endurance and strength – and the resilience to keep pushing it day in day out. Temperatures will range from baking hot to chilly up on the tops so being adaptable, well-prepared and keeping yourself well and happy are important.

An ability to keep your wits about you is a must as cows, chickens, goats, children, maybe the occasional monkey, motorbikes, local bikes, trucks and buses variously wobble / dash / hurtle / bumble and scuttle across, along and around the roads!

Bikes / road condition

We’ll be cycling on blacktop roads that are in, for the most part, a fair condition. This being Nepal though expect everything from joined up potholes, smooth new tarmac to long sections of dirt, rubble and boulders where landslides have taken the road out / it’s being repaired.

We recommend riding hard tail mountain bike with slicks / semi-slicks or a cyclo-cross or gravel bike.

We can rent mountain bike, helmet and tool kit etc to you in Kathmandu or bring your own bike

Ride support

We bring the bikes by truck from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur. The truck stays with us for the whole trip and will take the bikes back to Kathmandu. The truck will also bring camping gear and any extra kit you need for rafting etc over to the East. It will then take the bikes and any un-needed kit back to Kathmandu once we reach Taplejung / the raft site.

You can jump in the truck at any time during the ride if you’re tired or sick. For bigger groups we’ll also have jeep support in addition to the truck during the ride.

Crew – your trip will be led by an experienced rider and we’ll be bringing a mechanic along with us too. The trip leader is a qualified guide with extensive Himalayan experience and local knowledge. S/he is also qualified in Remote First Aid. And of course we’ve a driver and assistant.

Spares and repairs – we’ll bring a range of spare parts along with us, and, for larger groups, a spare bike. We will need to charge for any parts you use on your own bikes e.g. tyres, brake pads etc

What’s the food like?

Meals on trip are simple but tasty with a mix of Nepali and Western style dishes.

Dhal bhaat is the national dish – most Nepalese eat this twice a day everyday. It’s rice (bhaat), dhal (a thick lentil soup), tarkari (curried vegetables) and achar (spicy pickle). Sometimes its served with papad and dahi (curd).

Momos are also really popular. They are a kind of dim-sum or dumpling. Usually stuffed with veg or chicken or buff (buffalo meat – cows are sacred so you won’t find beef on the menu)

Here are a couple of sample menus for the ride section:

Breakfast
Museli
Omelet
Toast or Chapattis
Tea / coffee

Lunch
Noodle soup                                                    Chowmein
Fried potatoes                                                 Hot drink
Hot drink

On arrival at the lodge / camp
Tea / coffee / hot drink
Cookies

Dinner
Soup                                                                   Soup
Dhal Bhaat                                                        Pizza, chips, veg
Fresh fruit                                                         Hot drink
Hot drink

We refill your drinking water bottles at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

What’s the weather like?

As with many areas of the planet, weather patterns are changing quite significantly.

Autumn
Depending on when exactly the monsoon finishes October should have relatively stable weather and is generally dry. The last few years have seen late monsoon and some very wet conditions. November is usually characterized by blue skies and crisp, sunny days.

Temps in Ilam                                  9°C day                -5°C night

Temps at Dhoban                           8°C day                -11°C night

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Practicalities

Practicalities

Insurance: It is essential that you have appropriate travel insurance for this trip. Make sure your insurance includes helicopter rescue and evacuation. Clients without adequate insurance will not be allowed to join the trip. Previous clients have used the BMC (UK), Snowcard, WorldNomad and TravelEx.

In case of emergency your trip leaders will contact our office in Kathmandu. They will then contact your insurer to ask for pre-authorisation for any evacuation and treatment. Where possible we will ask you to contact the insurer directly. Usually insurers ask you to cover the costs upfront and then claim back for this. Some insurers will guarantee payment, some not. Be aware that helicopter evacuation can cost up to $5000 and must be paid before you leave Nepal.

Riding equipment and personal tool kits: we’ll provide you with a suggested gear list for both the ride and raft sections. Himalayan Single Track have excellent information on their site for riding in Nepal and recommended tool kits

Nepal country information and visas: for European, US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand visitors you can either purchase a visa in advance from the Nepalese Embassy in your home country of buy one on arrival at Tribhuvan Airport, Kathmandu. A 30 day visa currently costs $40pp payable in USD or Nepali Rupees. You’ll need a passport photograph and to complete the online booking form less than 15 days before you come http://online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/

Money: on tripyou’ll need approximately $250 in Nepali Rupees for miscellaneous expenses (approx. £180-200) and tips for the porters and staff (approx. $70pp).

It is not possible to obtain Nepalese rupees outside of Nepal. We suggest you use one of the many ATMs in Kathmandu. Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are equally acceptable for exchange in Nepal. There are ATMs all across Kathmandu where you can safely withdraw local currency, but you MUST inform your bank beforehand.

We also recommend you carry some additional hard currency with you ‘just in case’ – around $300 or equivalent.

Accommodation

For most of the bike trip we’ll use the best of the local guest houses available. There are a couple of sites we might prefer to camp so we’ll carry tents with us for these. The raft trip is a camping trip.

We provide tents for both the ride and the raft parts of the trip. You can bring your own sleeping bag and sleeping mattress with you or we can provide these for anyone who’d prefer to travel light (though we do recommend you bring your own sleeping bag liner – silk is ideal).

Food

For the ride we use a combination of local cafes and our own supplies. We’ll take dinner in the local guest houses/ cafes and snacks or light lunches along the way. Where possible we’ll also use local guest houses for breakfasts.

We’ll be carrying a whole bunch of snacks with us, and picking up fruit from the local bazaars. We’ll also have a simple kitchen set up for additional snacks and pasta frenzies!

On the raft trip all meals are prepared by the crew – and we strongly encourage you to help!

All meals on the ride / raft are included in the trip price. Kathmandu meals are not included.

Drinking water / drinks

We’ll carry boiled / sterilised water with us on the ride. The crew will sterilise water for you during the raft trip.

This is included in the trip price.

Beers and other drinks are not included in the trip price. We recommend asking the raft crew to buy your beers for you for the raft trip (they’ll get them in Kathmandu and bring them on the raft).

In case of domestic flight cancellation

Please be aware that flying in Nepal with unpredictable weather conditions can sometimes lead to flight delays or changes. Our agents always endeavour to make sure you reach your destination on time and will re-arrange your ticket to the next available flight. When encountering severe delays this may mean changing the trip itinerary or your international flights.

Who are ThamBikes?

ThamBikes is a brand of the Thamserku group. ThamBikes was co-founded by Jo Chaffer. Thamserku have been operating for over 28 years and are one of Nepal’s biggest and most respected operators. We have been working with international tour operators and clients since our founding days and have excellent relationships with agents in the UK, France, Spain, Germany and many other countries beyond. We and our sister group have the following companies:

  • Blue Sheep – for bespoke holidays
  • Thamserku Expeditions – high altitude climbing specialists
  • Thamserku Trekking – our logistics back bone
  • Thamserku Travel – ticketing and travel
  • Yeti Holidays and Kora Tour
  • Yeti Mountain Home – our chain of luxury lodges in the Everest region
  • Ker & Downey – our chain of luxury lodges in the Annapurna region
  • Hotels and resorts: Gokharna Forest Resort; Kasara resort (Chitwan); Jomson Resort;
  • Airlines: Yeti Airlines, Tara Air, Dynasty helicopters

Responsible Tourism

ThamBikes: As Sherpa people we have a great desire to protect our environment as ‘Guardians of the Himalayas’ while encouraging tourists to explore our wonderful world. We’ll help ensure that your visit will have a positive impact on local communities, and which will very much add to your experience.

Perhaps our largest contribution goes to the Pasang Lhamu Mountaineering Foundation established in 1993. Pasang Lhamu Sherpa was the first woman to summit Mount Everest although tragically she died on the descent. She holds a very dear place within our hearts here at Thamserku. The Foundation supports women and children’s development and education through training, school placements, sponsorship and much more besides. We have rebuilt 5 schools since the earthquake and currently support a hostel for blind children.

Since the earthquake we have also formed the Yeti Foundation – a collaborative effort by all of our group we kick-started with a $40,000 donation http://yetifoundation.org/

Himalayan Single Track team started Nepal Cyclists Ride to Rescue (NCRR) in the wake of the 2015 earthquakes. NCRR initially provided immediate aid and relief and then moved on to rebuilding schools and communities. Find out more about their work here.

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