In terms of crime and personal safety, Nepal’s hills are probably among the safer parts of the world. Travellers occasionally report luggage stolen or rifled on a bus to the roadhead, a tent or bedroom looted, or boots vanishing from outside a bedroom. And during the Maoist conflict, many trekkers encountered groups of gun-toting Maobaadis (Maoists) and were “asked” to contribute to the cause.

With the end of the insurrection, and the return of police posts, however, violent crime has again become unusual, though inevitably every year there are a few muggings-with-menace and attacks (including sexual assaults). Due to its accessibility and the volume of tourism, the Annapurna region has a slightly worse reputation than other areas, and there have been sporadic incidents in the Birethanti–Ghandruk–Ghorepani triangle.

Trekking alone increases your risk of attracting unwanted criminal attention, and massively increases the potential seriousness of any injury. If you are travelling on your own, consider joining up with a group or hiring a guide – and if you must walk alone, take a telephone with you and leave information concerning your route ahead with lodges as you go. The simplest way to do this is to leave a note (with your full name) in the lodge’s order book for meals – this also functions as the bill, so is kept carefully.

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