PermitsA special Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is required for visiting the Kangchenjunga region. This permit requires that you have a registered guide and a party of two or more. The fee is US$10 per person per week up to 4 weeks, thereafter US$20 per person per week, and this permit must be arranged by a trekking agency in Kathmandu. You also need a Kangchenjunga Conservation Area (KCA) entry permit which costs Rs2000 (approx US$20) per person. It is possible to buy this at the Police Checkpoint in Taplethok though much easier to get beforehand in Kathmandu. You will need 4 photos per person for the permits and to show your passport (not a copy). Allow one day in Kathmandu to get the permits sorted. TIMs: Unless you are continuing to the Khumbu (which is a great trip if you have the time), the Restricted Area permit means that you do not need a TIMS card (Trekkers Information Management System) as well.
Local agentsOne way to short cut some of the bureaucracy is to have a Nepalese agency take care of the logistics. A good agent will be able to navigate the permits, provide a reliable, trained and licensed guide and source porters if you need them. Note if booked through an agent check that the porters have insurance. Other jobs an agent can do for you to make life easier are: booking plane tickets (you pay the same price, the agent receives a commission), transfers to and from the airport in KTM; jeep travel from Taplejung to Tewa (and back); rental of equipment .... and lots more. We have used Chhurim Treks and Expedition Run by Chhurim Sherpa, a Ghunsa woman who's family still live in the village (she's also the first woman to summit Everest twice in the same season!) Nepal Sanctuary Treks Thamserku Trekking
PortersIf hiring porters locally (in Taplejung) do make sure to check that they have suitable clothing and footwear for the trip. This is a legal requirement and it's your (or the agent's) responsibility. You must (by law) also provide insurance for them. Find out more about ethical porter-client contracting at Porters Progress UK Note that porters in this area are notoriously hard to find. They are also, in our experience, from extremely poor backgrounds so very likely to turn up only in chappals, t-shirt and leggings (with no extra clothes). They may bring their own rice etc with them to save money. Expect to pay around 1200NPR / day. The porters will cover their own food and lodging costs from this. On rest days they'll usually help out in a lodge to earn their food.
Clothing requirements: boots, socks, gloves, warm hat, sunglasses, warm (waterproof) jacket, overtrousers