Hello! I'm really keen to ensure the porters are properly rewarded for their remarkable efforts but I've been told the caste system in Nepal ensures they actually receive only a small part of the tips provided. We're budgeting on £3/day for tips but I've also heard that porters receive £6/ day in wages (despite an agency charge of £15/day). It looks to me as though the tip is actually a pretty large part of the wage rather than a discretionary tip. Can't be shrill about this as the position in the UK has only relatively recently improved (basic wage of £5/hr).
Any thoughts out there (- sadly too decrepid to carry my own kit!)?
The tips go directly to them, and a member of the group does it in front of everyone on
the end of the trip to make sure. The leader told us last year, they actually are pretty well paid but of course the tips help. I did this trip last year and loved it , and the guys work so hard you will want to pay them 10 times what they make. BTW carrying your own bag, not an option and you will understand when you see these trails..Enjoy the trip,,it is beautiful....Steve
Hi, we are going on the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek on 14 October 2011, just wondering what to budget for tipping the team leader. Any suggestions?
Hi, I've done a few trips in Nepal and it usually works like this:near the end of the trip your main leader will give you a list of all the assistant guides/porters etc. on your trip (or you should ask for one) with suggested amounts - which someone then needs to work out and collect from the rest of the group (plus/minus as people wish). The amount in the trip notes is pretty accurate but if you are a small group it will work out at a bit more. The best etiquette is to have some envelopes so you can divide the money up as per the list (at least in the same proportions) and then present them to the guides etc. on the last night (ideally with 2 hands and a few words). You might find you need to do this twice, once for the porters etc. but only give the leader his once you are back in Kathmandu. For the leader himself, we've usually done it slightly differently with no set amount and everyone privately putting in to an envelope what they feel comfortable with - I guess the average on the (3 week) trips I have been on has been around 1000 rupees from each member of the group but some put a lot more and some a little less. A bit less for a 2 week lodge trip might be appropriate: you will be able to gauge whether this is about right from the list you get for the assistant guides/porters etc. Don't worry about it too much: the leader will help the group with the other tips and you can't really get it too wrong with the leaders. Have fun!
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