Explore Nepal’s capital city Kathmandu, an unforgettable melting pot of Hindu and Buddhist culture. Wander around the local market and bazaar; explore wealth of Hindu and Buddhist sites, charming towns like Bhaktapur with well preserved architecture from 12th Century.
Take a panoramic flight to Lhasa with the best view of Mount Everest and other Himalayan ranges. Delve into Lhasa and its surrounding beauty including Dalai lamas Potala palace, Jokhang Temple, Yamdrok Lake and many more.
Take another spectacular flight to Paro. Enjoy the Shangri-la of Bhutan, the country of happiness of its peaceful Buddhist atmosphere.
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Nepal- a sandwitch country in Southern Asia, between the himalayan country Tibet and India near bhutan. Nepal has eight of the world's 10 highest peaks, including Mount Everest - the world's tallest - on the border with Tibet, and and Lumbini, the birth place of lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Nepal recently was declared a republican state and has abolished the monarchy.
Nepal is divided in three regions
1- Himalayan regions
2- Hilly Regions
3- Terai Regions
Nepal, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas lies between 80 degree 12' east longitude and 26 degree 22' and 30 degree 27' north latitude. It is bounded on the north by the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China; on the east by Sikkim and West Bengal of the Indian Union on the south by Indian States of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and on the west by Uttar Pradesh of Indian Union. The length of the Kingdom is 885 kilometers east-west and its breath varies from 145 to 241 kilometers north-south. Climatically, it lies in the temperate zone with the added advantage of altitude. With an area of 147,181 square kilometres (56,827 sq mi) and a population of approximately 32 million, Nepal is the world's 93rd largest country by land mass and the 41st most populous country. Kathmandu is the nation's capital and the country's largest metropolis.
Nepal has a rich geography. The mountainous north has eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including the highest point on Earth, Mount Everest (Everest Base Camp Trekking), called Sagarmatha in Nepali. It contains more than 240 peaks over 20,000 ft (6,096 m) above sea level. The fertile and humid south is heavily urbanized.
By some measures, Hinduism is practised by a larger majority of people in Nepal than in any other nation. Buddhism, though a minority faith in the country, is linked historically with Nepal as the birthplace of the Buddha. Many Nepali do not distinguish between Hinduism and Buddhism and follow both religious traditions. There are 3 different buddhist traditions: Himalayan Buddhism, Buddhism of Kathmandu Valley (Kathmandu Tour 01-05 Days)(mostly Mahayana and Vajrayana), and also the Theravada Buddhism.
A monarchy throughout most of its history, Nepal was ruled by the Shah dynasty of kings from 1768, when Prithvi Narayan Shah unified its many small kingdoms. In 2006, however, a decade-long People's Revolution by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) along with several weeks of mass protests by all major political parties of Nepal culminated in a peace accord, and the ensuing elections for the constituent assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of the abdication of the last Nepali monarch Gyanendra Shah and the establishment of a federal democratic republic in 28 May 2008. The first President of Nepal, Ram Baran Yadav, was sworn in on 23 July 2008.
You do not need change money to Nepalese rupees at the airport when you arrive, there is often a long line, so it's often best to wait and change money at a bank. The exchange rate is fixed daily by the national bank in Nepal. In the begining of 2015 it was about Rs 101 to the US dollar; one rupee is a little less than 1.0 cents US. For the latest exchange rates ask us.
After you clear immigration and customs, you will exit into a rumpus of overzealous taxi drivers and hotel touts. If you have arranged your trek through an agent in your own country, there will be a representative to help you through the crowd and take you to your hotel. If you are on your own, you can arrange transportation at the limosine counter that is just outside the customs area. Otherwise look for a meter taxi; if the driver agrees to use the meter, the task is straightforward: pay the amount shown on the meter (although there is sometimes a surcharge if the rates have recently changed). Taxi drivers often cover the meter with a rag and ask for a higher price. In this case, the price is definitely negotiable; bargain the cost before you start. For a ride to most hotels in Kathmandu, you should pay somewhere between 150 and 200 rupees.
Check-in For The Trekking
As soon as possible after you arrive in Kathmandu, you should check in with the trek leader or representative of your trekking agent to receive detailed information about the trek and to assure that all formalities, such as trekking permits and visa extensions, are completed. You must leave your passport with the trek outfitter in Kathmandu Treks while they process your trekking permit.
Reconfirmation of International Tickets
Your onward flights must be reconfirmed 72 hours before departure or the airline will cancel your reservations. You can do this yourself before the trek, though it's best to you allow your trek outfitter to reconfirm your flights while you are trekking. If you wish to avail yourself of this service, you must also leave your international air tickets in the custody of your agent during the trek. It will simplify administrative procedures if you deliver both your passport and plane tickets to the agent at the same time.
A Word of Caution: Flight Delays
Everest treks are dependent upon flights to the small (1500 foot runway length) STOL (short takeoff and landing) airstrip at Lukla, elevation 9,200 feet. There are no navigational aids at Lukla. All takeoffs and landings are contingent on a cloudless approach. Clouds can come in so fast that planes sometimes land in clear weather, load up, and have to spend the night for lack of visibility for takeoff!
Not only because of weather, but also because of other operational complications, flights are often delayed or cancelled. This can become a continuing delay going on for several days. Therefore, you must be prepared (bring a good book to read) for long waits at the airport in both Kathmandu and Lukla. It often happens that either the start or the finish of the trek (or both) is delayed by one, two, three, or more days because of cancelled flights. Although everything possible is done to avoid delays and to get you on the next flight if yours is cancelled, you must be prepared for delays. You should allow at least three or four days in Kathmandu at the end of your trek to provide a cushion for flight delays before any onward reservations or other travel plans. If the start of an Everest trek is delayed so long that it upsets your onward travel schedule, you should consider an Annapurna or Langtang trek as an alternative. If you choose not to do this, you are welcome to wait in Kathmandu for as many days as it takes to get a flight to Lukla.
The weight limit on domestic fights is 15 kg (33 pounds) including hand luggage. Because the aircraft are small, it is often impossible to carry extra baggage even if you are willing to pay for excess baggage. Please do not burden yourself with too much luggage.
Trekking is an opportune time not only to learn about another country and other peoples, but also a time to perceive and stand back from our own lives and look at ourselves, our perspectives, our home country and people. In our catharsis, we are reassured that the world and life do indeed make sense and that we are able to cope with the problems of mankind. The lure of this ancient and remote Kingdom, of the views of the highest mountains in the world, of the friendly and indomitable people, and the spirit of adventure of trekking in the Himalaya combine to attract people from all over the globe. It is an experience many, in fact, end up repeating. We have come to touch the earth at the heights of its beauty and to mingle with and become people whose lives are shaped thereby.
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Nepal's climate varies with its topography and altitude. It ranges from the tropical to the arctic. The low-land Terai region with its maximum altitude to approximately 305m, which lies in the tropical southern part of the country, for instance, has a hot and humid climate that can rise above 45 Degree Celsius (113 Degree Fahrenheit) during summer. The mid-land regions are pleasant almost all the year round, although winter nights are cool. The northern mountain region, around an altitude above 3,300m has an alpine climate with considerably lower temperature in winter as can be expected.
Nepal has four climatic seasons.
Spring (between March – May): The temperature is mildly warm in low lands while moderate in higher altitudes with plenty of opportunities to have tryst with the mountain views. It is also the time for flowers to blossom and the national flower of Nepal – rhododendron sweeps the ascending altitudes with its magnanimous color and beauty.
Summer (between June – August): This is also the monsoon season in Nepal. The weather is hot and wet at times. It rains almost everyday with occasional thunderstorms in the evening. The rain spreads the pleasantness around with lush green vegetation.
Autumn (between September – November): This is the best tourist season in Nepal with the summer gone by and the winter to set in. The weather is highly pleasant so are the mountain views. This is the peak season for trekking as mountain views are guaranteed so better book your flight in advance. This is also the season of festivities as Nepal celebrates the biggest Hindu festivals Dashain followed by Tihar.
Winter (between December – February): The weather is cool and the sky is clear with occasional snowfalls at higher elevations. This season is good for trekking in lower elevations. The morning and night is cold and the days are warm when sunny.
Temperature & Rainfall
Nepal is the country of extremes. The low-land plains of the Terai can have tropical temperatures and also the mosquitoes. The Himalayas can get to sub-zero temperatures, but the sun blaze can bring some warmth during the day, even in the mountains. The temperature of Kathmandu goes below 1 Degree Celsius (34 Degree Fahrenheit) in winter and rises to an average of 25 Degree Celsius (77 Degree Fahrenheit) in summer.
The average temperature in Kathmandu during the four seasons:
* Spring season ranges between 16-23 Degree Celsius (61-73 Degree Fahrenheit)
* Summer season ranges between 23-25 Degree Celsius (73-77 Degree Fahrenheit)
* Autumn season ranges between 15-24 Degree Celsius (59-75 Degree Fahrenheit)
* Winter season ranges between 9-12 Degree Celsius (48-54 Degree Fahrenheit)
During the rainy monsoon season between June to August, it rains to an average between 200-375 millimeters in Kathmandu. There is occasional rainfall during the other seasons too. In an average, 1300 millimeters of rain falls in Kathmandu every year.
Travel Tips: Monsoon in Nepal is not the typical monsoon of Asia. Rains usually occur during the night-time leaving the sky clean and clear by the morning making the Himalayan view even more dramatic. Some parts of the Himalayas in Manang, Mustang and Dolpo are in rain-shadow areas; the mountains are high enough to block the clouds. Tibet's high travel season also corresponds to Nepal's monsoon.
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Notes To Be Remenbered
Entry Procedures & Visa Rules
a. Tourist Visa
Visa Facility Duration Fee
Multiple entry 15 days US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 30 days US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 90 days US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency
b. Gratis (Free) Visa
• Gratis visa for 30 days is available only for nationals of SAARC countries. However, for extension of visa for SAARC nationals, the rule is same as that of other nationals.
• Indian nationals do not require visa to enter into Nepal but Need to carry Passports to travel by Air.
For Visa Extension:
Tourists can stay for a maximum of 150 days in a visa year (Jan 1 to Dec 31) extending the visa at the rate of 2 US $ per day. However, a minimum amount of 25 US$ has to be paid for a period of 15 days or less.
(For further information, please, contact Department of Immigration, Kalikasthan , Kathmandu, Tel: 00977-1-4221996/ 4223590/ 4222453, Web: www.immi.gov.np )
All baggage must be declared and cleared through the customs on arrival at the entry point. Personal effects are permitted free entry. Passengers arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) without any dutiable goods can proceed through the Green Channel for quick clearance without a baggage check. If you are carrying dutiable articles, you have to pass through the Red Channel for detailed customs clearance.
Apart from used personal belongings, visitors are allowed to bring to Nepal free of duty: cigarettes (200 sticks) or cigars (50 sticks), distilled liquor (one 1.15 liter bottle), and film (15 rolls). You can also bring in the following articles free of duty on condition that you take them out with you when you leave: binoculars, movie or video camera, still camera, laptop computer, and portable music system.
The export of antiques requires special certification from the Department of Archeology, National Archive Building, Ram Shah Path, Kathmandu. It is illegal to export objects over 100 years old, such as sacred images, paintings, manuscripts that are valued for culture and religious reasons. Visitors are advised not to purchase such items as they are Nepal's cultural heritage and belong here.
For more information on customs matters, contact the Chief Customs Administrator, TIA Customs Office (Phone: 4470110, 4472266).
Foreign Currency and Credit Cards
Payment in hotels, travel agencies, and airlines are made in foreign exchange. Credit cards like American Express, Master and Visa are widely accepted at major hotels, shops, and restaurants. Remember to keep your Foreign Exchange Encashment Receipt while making foreign exchange payments or transferring foreign currency into Nepalese rupees. The receipts may be needed to change left-over Nepalese Rupees into hard currency before leaving the country. However, only 10 percent of the total amount may be converted by the bank. ATM is widely in use in Kathmandu.
Major banks, hotels and exchange counters at Tribhuvan International Airport provide services for exchanging foreign currency.
Exchange rates are published in English dailies such as The Rising Nepal, The Kathmandu Post and The Himalayan Times. Nepalese Rupees are found in denominations of Rupees 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are found in denominations of Rupees 5, 2 and 1. One rupee equals 100 paisa.
Time and Business Hours
Nepal is five hours 45 minutes ahead of GMT.
Business hours within the Valley: Government offices are open from 10 am to 5 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday and close at 3pm on Friday in the Kathmandu Valley. During the winter, they close at 4 pm. Most Business offices are open from 10 am to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday. Embassies and international organizations are open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. Most shops open after 10 am and close at about 8 pm and are usually closed on Saturdays.
Business hours outside the Valley: Government offices outside Kathmandu valley open from 10 am to 5 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday. On Fridays they remain open until 3 pm. Banks are open from Sunday through Thursday from 10 am to 3 pm. On Fridays, banks remain open until 12 pm only. Business offices are open from 10 am to 5 pm Sunday through Friday. Recently many private banks have re-organized to have different branches open at various different times making banking hours longer. If one branch is closed another will be open.
Holidays: Nepal observes numerous holidays, at the least a couple in a month. So please check the holiday calendar. The longest holiday in Nepal is during the Dashain festival in late September or October. Government offices observe all the national holidays and banks observe most of them. Businesses observe major holidays only.
Postal Services: The Central Post Office located near Dharahara Tower, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday. The counters are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and provide stamps, postcards and aerograms. Post Restante is available Sunday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Express Mail Service (EMS) is available at GPO and at Thamel, Basantapur and airport postal counters.
Telephone Services: Telephone and fax services are available at the Nepal Telecommunications Corporation at Tripureshwar. Hotels and private communications centers provide long distance telephone and fax facilities. For calling from outside, country code for Nepal is 977 and the area code for Kathmandu is 1.
Internet Services: There are countless Internet cafes and communication centers have opened up in the Valley and around the country. Visitors only have to find a place they are most comfortable in to use the facilities to keep in touch with home. Internet services are also offered by hotels.
Media: Nepali media has made a gigantic leap ahead in just a few years time and what used to be a controlled and tight knit community, is no more. The government audio and television news networks are Radio Nepal and Nepal Television respectively. However, numerous FM radio stations and regional television stations are dominating the market. Major Nepali daily newspapers are Gorkhapatra and Kantipur, while the English dailies are The Rising Nepal, The Kathmandu Post and The Himalayan Times. A number of other newspapers and magazines are also available.
Electricity: Major towns have electricity and the voltage available is 220-volts and 50 cycles. Load shedding is a seasonal phenomenon during the dry season and eases off once it begins to rain. However, most major hotels have uninterrupted power supply through their own generators.
You can find everything that is produced in the valley in Kathmandu (Kathmandu Tour 01-05 Days), but you may be able to find a better selection at cheaper price at the place where they are made. If you are purchasing a higher price item, it is a good idea to shop around, as quality and price vary greatly and Nepali and Indian (they run many of the shows) are good at the hard sale. It is best to buy just before leaving. You can expect to pay a price above what the local pay, but it should be a reasonable mark up, say not more than 10%.
In Bhaktapur they make Thanka painting, woodcarvings and pottery; in Patan, metal statues; in Jawlakhel, south of Patan, they make Tibetan carpet; and in Thimi, masks and pottery.
Basantapur Square has a good amount of street stalls selling Tibetan goods and other handicrafts. Most of the Tibetan items are not made in Tibet, but are made by the local Tamangs. Many of the items are made to look like antiques, but most are no more than a month or two old. When bargaining this can be taken into consideration.
Amrtia Craft Collection in Thamel has a good selection of handicrafts at fixed prices.
The Babar Mahal shopping center, near the Singh Durbar government offices, contains about ten high-end shops that sell high quality items.
A good place to find handicrafts is in Kopundol, which is on the road between to Bagmati Bridge and Patan. There are several shops such as Mahaguthi, Women Entrepreneus Association (WEAN) and Dhukuti, who work with underprivileged and minority people. Mahaguthi also has a shop in Lazimpat.
Many antiques from Tibet are sold in Kathmandu. There are several shops on Durbar Marg and some of the items can be expensive. The Potala Art Gallery and the Ritual Art Gallery are worth visiting.
Many items are sold including carpets, thangkas, carvings, clothing, jewelry and religions items.
The main place to find thangkas is near Durbar Square. The Indigo Gallery at Mike’s Breakfast in Naxal has a good selection, as does Tibetan Thangka Treasure, near KC’s Restaurant in Thamel.
Jewelry & Gems
There are many jewelry shops in the Thamel and Durbar Square areas, and on Durbar Marg and New Rd. Most of the gems and jewelry come from India, but some is made locally.
Silver jewelry is usually very cheap compared what you will get at home. You can have silver jewelry custom made at very low prices, sometimes is just a day or two. The labor is extremely cheap for making silver jewelry. You should set the price before the work begins.
Purchasing gems can often be risky. If someone tell you that you can resell the gems and make a profit, don’t even talk to them. If it could be done they would do it themselves. You may be told that a gem is a particular variety, but you often will be often a different gem.
Noor Gems on Durbar Marg is an established shop.
Kathmandu is the best place to find clothes in Nepal.
There are many shops selling and making embroidered T-shirts. Quality can vary greatly, so it pays to shop around. I went to around thirty shop and only about five did a really quality job. You can often have your own custom design made or have then embroider what you want on your own jacket and shirt.
Tara Boutique, with a shop on Durbar Marg and another one on Tridevi Marg near Thamel, makes beautiful hand-printed women’s silk clothing.
Many shops have western fashions, mainly shirts.
There are some good shops on Durbar Marg and on New Rd. Curio Arts on Durbar Marg has a good selection. You should really shop hard, as it is difficult to buy properly.
There are a number of shops selling Rajasthani and Gujarati clothing and embroidered items. The prices are a good deal more expensive then you will find in India.
Because of the problems in Kashmir many Kashmiri have come to Nepal and send Kashmiri handicrafts such as papier mâché, shawls, carpets and tapestry. Prices are fairly reasonable. Of course prices would be cheaper in Kashmir, but it is not a good idea to visit Kashmir at the present time.
Cottage Crafts, on the ground floor of the Sanchaya Kosh Bhawan Shopping Centre, opposite the immigration office, is an established place with standard prices.
In Thamel there are several small supermarkets that sell food such as cheese, nuts, dried fruit and imported items. The Best Shopping Centre, at the end of Tridevi Marg, on a corner where it narrows and reaches Thamel.
The Bluebird supermarkets have several branches a good selection of goods. There is one in Lazimpat, on the right hand side of Kantipath, about 1km from Thamel and another near the Blue Star Hotel, near the bridge over the Bagmati River to Patan.
Nepal is heaven for the shoppers. The product ranges from the locally made handicrafts to the cheap Chinese and Japanese electronic items. Among the handicraft items you can buy clothing such as Kashmiri Shawls and Wrap-around as well as Tibetan Robes and Kurtas. The ladies can go for beautifully embroidered and comfortable to wear Kaftans. These items are downright cheap but you have to learn the art of dickering and bargaining before you venture to Nepal. Kathmandu also offers you handicraft items such as miniature paintings, stone idols, bronze busts and junk jewelry.
Patan and Bhaktapur are famous for their bronze and copper works and has various items on offer. You can go for miniature bronze busts and idols. The bronze Buddha idol is a must buy. You can also buy tiny Khukri, as the real one is not allowed on airlines. At Pokhara, you can buy Gorkha insignias such as banners, flags and medals. Pokhara is also famous for Newari artifacts. These artifacts are very beautiful and reflect the cultural contribution of vibrant but otherwise marginalized Newar race.
In border cities such as Bir Gunj, Biratnagar and Janakpur you can go for cheap electronic items. Most of these electronics items are Chinese, Korean or Japanese make and are cheaper than their German clones. Nevertheless, the German makes are more durable and therefore trustworthier. Apart from that you can buy Buddhist paraphernalia in Buddhist sites of Kathmandu and Lumbini. Try for the Tibetan one, as they are the most authentic.
The normal tipping amount in Nepal, range between 10 to 15 % of the final billed amount. Tip generously in hotels and restaurants. The same stand true for guards at shops and showrooms. These small tips can save bigger problems at times.
|Average Minimum Temperatures (°C)||Average Maximum Temperature (°C)||Average Temperature (°C)||Average Precipitation/ Rainfall (mm)||Wet Days (>0.1 mm)||Average Sunlight Hours/ Day||Relative Humidity (%)||Average Number of Days with Frost|
|Weather in January||1||18||9.5||7||1||7.2||79||11|
|Weather in February||3||21||12||16||5||9.0||71||3|
|Weather in March||7||24||16||36||2||8.4||61.0||0|
|Weather in April||11||28||20||52||6||7.7||53||0|
|Weather in May||15||30||23||99||10||7.4||57||0|
|Weather in June||19||29||24||198||15||6.2||73||0|
|Weather in July||20||28||24||378||21||4.4||81||0|
|Weather in August||19||28||23.5||345||20||5.1||83||0|
|Weather in September||18||28||23||168||12||4.4||82||0|
|Weather in October||12||27||20||37||4||8.1||79||0|
|Weather in November||7||23||15||5||1||8.1||85||0|
|Weather in December||2||20||11||2||<1||8.1||80||5|
Nepal is a land locked, mountainous kingdom in southern Asia. It is located between India and China. The capital of Nepal is ‘Kathmandu’.
Nepal is known for Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, spectacular natural beauty that can be seen in its land specially hilly regions, known as the birth place of Lord Buddha, and the Hindu Goddess Lord Sita. Also known as the home of Gurkha Warriors. It is also known as a country with abundant Natural Water Sources.
Nepal’s national language is called Nepali. It is written in Devnagri Script. This script is the same as the one used in Hindi language – the national language of India. There are more than 106 different spoken languages in Nepal.
It is called Namaste or Namaskar. You can say the greeting in words as well as do it using a gesture. Join your palms together and bring them close to your chest and about 5 to 7 inches below your chin. The word Namaste has many meanings such as Hello, How are you?, I am glad to see you, nice to meet you, good morning, etc.
Sayau thunga phoolkaa haamee yautai mala nepali
Sarwabhauma bhai phailayakaa mechi mahakalee
Prakritekaa kotee kotee sampadako aachala
Beerharukaa ragatale swatantra ra aatala
Gyanbhumee shantebhumee tarai pahaada hemaala
Akhanda yoo pyaro hamro matrebhumee nepal
Bahul jaate bhashha dharma sanskritee chhan besaala
Agragame rastra hamro jaya jaya nepal
We are hundreds of flowers, the one garland – Nepali
Sovereign, spread out from Mechi to Mahakali.
Amassing nature’s millions of resources
By the blood of heroes, independent and immovable.
Land of knowledge, land of peace, Terai, hills, mountains
Indivisible this beloved, our motherland Nepal.
The diverse races, languages, faiths, and cultures are so extensive
Our progressive nation, long live Nepal.
Currency is spelled as Nepalese Rupees or Rupee (Rs) or in short NRS. 100 Paisa equals 1 Rs. Nepali Notes are 1000, 500, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5, 2, and 1 rupees, and coins are rarely used.
Nepalese are friendly and hospitable by nature. Travelers count Nepalese among the best friends in the world. Nepalese respect Guests as God. And there is a popular phrase every Nepali knows, it says : “Guest equals God”. A part of the reasons why people revisit Nepal is because of the friendliness and warmth of Nepali people.
Your money goes far in Nepal. To find out just how much, have a look at the exchange rates. The only cost is the cost of getting to Nepal, the rest is cheap
So you found this country tiny? Hold your breath and discover what it packs! You can do so much only in Nepal.
Best time to travel to Nepal is August to November, and February to July.
Traveling to Nepal. Exercise caution when traveling to Maoist affected areas mainly remote parts of Nepal which includes Gorkha, Palpa, Nawalparasi, Syangja, Banke, Dang, Surkhet, Kalikot, Rukum, Jajarkot, Rolpa, and Salyan.
Take off your shoes before entering a temple or one’s home
Ask for permission before entering a Hindu temple
Taking photographs inside the most temples are considered illegal
Ask for permission before taking photographs of objects, and including Nepali people.
Nepali people are friendly by nature. Have a genuine interest in them. Talk to them. Be friendly as you travel..
More on Customs
Gambling is illegal in Nepal. There are numerous Casino in the Capital Kathmandu, which are mostly open to Tourists only. Some of the casino have video games, slot machines, and they are open 24 hours
Prostitution is illegal in Nepal
International Driving license is valid for driving in Nepal
Night life in Nepal is almost dead in comparison to other parts of the world.
Visa is required to enter Nepal, and it can be obtained at the point of entry such as Kathmandu Airport
Trekking permit is only required to trek in the restricted areas. Before trekking, you should register with your country’s Embassy or Consulate located in Nepal. They will also help you obtain trekking permit, if required.
Most popular foreign purchases are Nepali handmade papers, Thankas-Tibetan Paintings, Pashmina, Kukuri / Knives, jewelries, Nepali national dress, cap, and Nepali Carpets.
Nepali time is GMT/UTC plus 5 Hours 45 minutes. Area code for dialing to Nepal: Country Code: 977 Kathmandu City Code: 1 (e.g. 977 1 478111 First three digits is the country code, second is the area code, the last digits are telephone numbers. Current Time of Kathmandu | City Area Codes
Nepal uses 220V, 50HZ Electricity.
Yes, in Kathmandu and Pokhara. International credit cards (Master Card, Visa Card etc ) are also accepted in all leading hotels, shopping centers, bars and restaurants in Nepal.
No. The distillate marijuana and hash are sometimes consumed by some Nepalese during the Holi as part of the colorful festive season. Various sweet products containing the drugs are available in hidden shops! during the festive season which permits some to celebrate the Holi season. Some evidence support that Marijuana and hash are frequent to some Holi monks, priest residing in temples like Pashupatti and Boudha. It is ILLEGAL to grow, buy or sell drugs in Nepal.
By Air: all major international airlines operate in Nepal. By Road: From Nepal India borders : Kakarvita, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, Nepalganj, Dhangadhi and Mahendranagar
Nepal does not require any specific immunization for visitors. It is however best to have vaccine before coming to Nepal. Your doctor can advice you on the type of vaccine to be taken to travel to third world countries like Nepal.
Enter Nepal with one or two vaccine taken for common diseases like malaria. When in Nepal, eat thoroughly cooked food. Avoid salad. Drink only the reputed brand of bottled water. Soft drinks like Coke, Pepsi are fine to drink. Avoid Fast foods. Wear a mask (if possible) when walking in the dusty and polluted streets, specially during the summer season in Nepal it can be tough to walk in the streets.
In the mountain areas, warm woolen clothing are necessary while at lower altitude cotton clothing is ideal.
You are permitted to carry one bottle of spirits and two bottles or 12 cans of beer free of duty, also includes personal items such as binoculars, cameras, film stock, record player, tape recorder, transistor, and radio. It is illegal to export antiques; objects like metal statue, sacred images, paintings, and manuscripts.
There are upto 10 years (grades) in a high school, followed by a 2 year for secondary higher education. The final examination known as School Leaving certificate (SLC) given on the final year of 10th grade of high school decides whether one will make it to the colleges or not.
Old, Poorly maintained, Crowded, Unregulated Traffic.
The popular FM stations are Kantipur FM 96.1 and Hits FM 91.2 Nepal. FM radios in Nepal have a very short history, most have gained popularity by introducing a balanced mixture of Nepali, English and Hindi music. Most commercial FMs have 50% of the programs in English and the remaining in Nepali and Hindu
No. Nepal does not have a law that requires all children to attend school after a certain age. Where can I get Nepali News off the main stream line?
Finding Nepali news off the beaten tracks is still a challenge. These days Nepali blog sites have better news coverage.
A Tourist Police is located near the Nepal Tourism Development Board’s Office.
Yes. Visa Information
Nepali food is called Dal Bhat Tarkari which is Lentil sauce, Rice, and Curry in English. Rice is the basic food of Nepal.
Annapurna region. Here one gets excellent views of the mountains, valley and the remote parts of Nepal where easy to moderate trekking skills are required. And another popular trekking region is the Everest and Langtang where every trekking limits are broken everyday!
Legal age for marriage in Nepal is 18 for both men and women.
Contact your service provider and check if Nepal country is included in their `Global roaming’ package.
Commercial courier companies such as DHL, UPS, and FED-EX have their office in Nepal and can guarantee express delivery to and from Nepal with in 5 to 10 business days
Yes. Make sure to bring prescriptions, and the medications in its original containers to avoid custom inspection hassle.
Yes you can. Remember not all airlines offer shipment of animals in cabin or as checked baggage.
Melodic. Moving. and Folk. The real Nepali music is the folk music where local voice and lyrics, together with flute and traditional drum known as Madal is used in music compositions.
Two triangles being attached to a vertical line – the only flag of this shape in the entire world!
Common gift items are watches, jewelries, clothes such as t-shirts, caps, jackets, electronics such as camera, CD-players, and money is also a common gift item here. You won’t be able to give gift-cards (i.e. shopping cards) in Nepal as they are not widely used. If buying electronics products make-sure they can operate in 240 Volt, 50MHZ (Nepal’s Electricity Standard). If you are visiting Nepal, try bringing items from your country which are unique, such as national flags, t-shirts and caps (with your national flag on it!), music CDs, books, etc!
One is considered untouchable based on the cast under which he or she was born. Someone claims to be superior claiming others inferior. For example, those who make the best knives in the world, the Kamis are considered untouchables in rural parts of Nepal!
The Himalayan kingdom of Nepal is a land of scenic mountains, time-worn temples and some of the best walking trails on Earth. It’s a small country, but it’s rich in scenic splendour and exotic cultures. The people of Nepal are as diverse as their country and represent distinct cultures and races. Though they speak a variety of tongues and practice different religions, they are the friendliest people that you would ever meet.The kingdom has long exerted a pull on the Western imagination and it’s a difficult place to dislodge from your memory once you return. So, wait until you’re actually here in Nepal.
As a traveller, there are endless number of surprises Nepal has to offer you. Kathmandu Valley with its thousands of Hindu temples, Buddhist stupas, stunning architecture and rich pageantry can be quite beyond words. If you are careful enough not to get entangled in the superficial facade of a fastly “modernizing” capital city, Kathmandu probably offers you as exotic and urban experience as you can get.
Beyond Kathmandu, its another world altogether. Most travelers to Nepal want to check out the truly spectacular Himalayas along with the higher hills. A few go there to scale the high mountains, but many are nature lovers who trek along landscapes filled with deep valleys, lush forests, snow trails, terraced fields, and above all, the most hospitable people. See the FAQ on Trekking for more.
Travelers to Nepal also love making a safari trip to one of the National Parks in Nepal. The most popular one is the Chitwan National Park in the southern plains which hosts a diverse wildlife reserves including the rare Asian one-horn rhino.
In order to fly directly to Nepal from your home country, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu is the only international airport in Nepal. TIA has direct airlink with Osaka, Shanghai, London, Frankfurt, Hongkong, Singapore, Bangkok, Delhi, Dubai, Bombay and Calcutta. Lufthansa, Royal Nepal Airlines (RNAC), Air India, Singapore Airlines, Thai are the airlines that carry most of the foreign travelers into Kathmandu; and if you buy tickets from any other airlines, you will probably connect with one of these airlines for the final leg of your flight.
Alternatively, if you have time and enthusiasm, traveling overland to Nepal via India is an option. British overland travel operators can take you from London to Kathmandu on a six to eighteen week trip for anywhere between $1200 to $ 2500 depending upon the nature of your trip. You will travel from continental Europe through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to Nepal. For specific details on traveling overland from India to Nepal, read below.
Anyone who has done any traveling on air can tell you that one can never say for sure how much they cost. However, an economy class round trip ticket to Nepal from North America, should cost between $1400 to $1700 depending on what airline you fly and when. From western Europe, the fare should be about the same too. From most of East Asia, the cost is about $300 for one-way. If you are flying into Nepal from India or other South Asian cities, one-way fare would be between $100 to $200: Delhi ($150), Varanasi ($80), Bombay ($200), Calcutta ($100), Karachi ($150), Dhaka ($80). These figures are only estimates, and you should check with your travel agents for details.
It’s not a bad idea to tag along with organized tours though it can cost many times more than a self arranged trip. Nevertheless, since Kathmandu is a small city and can be explored easily without organized tour, I recommend people to do self-visit to different places in Kathmandu.
The weather is probably the best guide for deciding when to plan your trip to Nepal. October and November are considered the best times of the year. The monsoon will have just ended, and clear skies with optimal temperature will prevail. The main festivals of Dashain and Tihar (Hindu equivalent of Christmas in terms of festivity) fall during these months. However, this is also the busiest tourist season, and the main tourist centers and trekking trails tend to be crowded with travelers like you. The tourist flow ebbs a little, but not significantly, between the winter months of December and mid-February. It catches up once again between mid-February and mid-April. From mid-June to early October, it’s the monsoon, during which time it rains almost everyday and most of the Himalayas are hidden behind the clouds. Check the weather section of this FAQ for more details on weather. In short, plan to visit Nepal between October and May, keeping in mind that October-November and February-March are the best times (but crowded with other travelers).
You can fly between Delhi and Kathmandu for about $150 with NAC or Air India. The actual flight time, not counting the endless delays and cancellations, is only a little more than an hour. However, note that Delhi-Kathmandu-Delhi flight is very busy and without proper reservations (or proper strings to pull) can be booked weeks in advance. Make your reservations and buy your ticket well in advance.
Alternatively, you can travel overland to Nepal from India. Buses are usually the quickest and easiest form of transport for this. There are three main crossing points: Sunauli-Bhairawa, Birganj-Raxaul and Kakarbhitta-Silguri. The Sunauli border crossing is the best one from Varanasi, the Birgunj crossing is the easiest from Calcutta; and Kakarbhitta is the best crossing from Darjeeling. These trip can be quite long and stressful, both in terms of time (it takes about two days and nights) and what you may go through during the trip (with tickets, safety, weather, border harassment etc). Not recommended for those people who want to have carefree travelling.
If you plan to enter Nepal in a car, make sure you have a carnet de passage en douanes. These are required to exempt you from customs duty for three months. You may also be required to pay a fee for each day that your car is in Nepal. As in India, in Nepal, vehicles are driven on the left side of the road.
The crossing between Nepal and Tibet via Kodari is only open to organised groups but not to individual travellers heading north. Be prepared with alternative plans if you’re thinking about using this route, because landslides regularly make it impassabe during the monsoon.
The width of Nepal is only about 200 km on average, but within this short distance the altitude of the land rises from lowly 60m to all the way up to above 8000m.Hence the weather depends upon the altitude of the place in Nepal. However, in general Nepal has four climatic seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Spring starts from March to May. The temperature of this season fluctuates between 20* C to 30* C(68* F to 86* F). Summer starts from June to August. These are also the pre-monsoon months with occasional evening-thunderstorms and hot temperature. Autumn starts from September and ends by November. During this period, the climate is dry and mild with temperature fluctuating between 20* C to 30* C (68* F to 86* F). Winter starts from December to February. The morning and evening are very cold while the afternoon is pretty sunny. The temperature during these months rises from 15* C to 20* C (59* F to 68* F). For detail information on temperature and rainfall, check the Weather Chart.
A travel/trek guide book is best for more information. Maps are available in bookstores around Pokhara and Kathmandu.
Though in general, you are not likely to face any emergency, you can never tell. Once again, a good book on trekking will give you details on what to do in case of emergency. In cases of non-urgent situation, you may have to be carried to the nearest health-post or airfield. If the situation is more serious, send word to the nearest village with radio service for a helicopter evacuation. It costs in the neighborhood of $1200 – $2000 for a helicopter evacuation, and generally a guarantee for payment is required before the helicopter actually takes off. Registering with your embassy can greatly speed the process.
The staple food of Nepalese people is “daal, bhaat,tarkari” (lentil soup, curried vegetables with rice). Tarkari or curried vegetables can be bit spicy, hot and oily to people who are not used to eating spicy, hot and oily food. To avoid any stomach problems or diarrhoea in Nepal, I would suggest any foreigners to stick with their normal spiceless food. Daal and Bhaat are not spicy, so go ahead and taste them. For tarkari, I feel you should gradually try it in very less amount. Another thing that one should be aware of while arriving in Nepal is Drinking Water. Drink only bottled mineral water unless you are sure that the water is boiled and filtered.
In Kathmandu and Pokhara, you can also find plenty of restaurants that offer International Cuisine such as Italian, Chinese, Thai, Mexican, Indian and so on. In Kathmandu, you should try Newari cuisine: the Newars (original inhabitantsof Kathmandu Valley) have a very rich history of culinary art. Another food that you shouldn’t miss to eat in Nepal is “MOMO”. Momo can be both vegetarian and non-vegetarian types. Unless you are a veg person, I would recommend you to taste Non-veg Momos. You can find this food in any Nepalese restaurants and I would like you to discover this new food by your own during your visit to Nepal. However, besides these primary tourist hubs, you may not have much in terms of dietary choice. Trekkers will probably end up eating “daal, bhaat, tarkaari” (lentil soup, curried vegetables with rice) for every major meal.
Since Nepal is a Hindu Kingdom, beef is strictly prohibited among both the Hindus and Buddhist. Hence it is little bit difficult to find restaurants that offer beef.
For drinking, Nepal produces over half a dozen of larger and light beers. Dark beer is available. An amazing variety of other hard liquor such as rum, whiskey, gin, vodka etc. is also produced in Nepal.Imported liquors are available at exorbitant prices. You will also come across a few types of Nepalese home brewed alcohol called “raksi” or “ayla” along your trekking routes. Bottled water is available everywhere, and should be the only water you drink. Coke, Pepsi and other major international brand name sodas are also available.
Eating out in Nepal is generally very reasonable. For about $3, you can buy a good dinner (excluding drinks) in a restaurant of the main tourist centers. A 750ml bottle of beer costs you about $1.75 in a restaurant, and $1.50 if you just buy it off a store. Other Nepalese made hard liquors are quite cheap. If you want an imported alcohol, however, expect to pay an exorbitant price. Sodas such as Coca-Cola, 7UP, Pepsi cost about $0.20 in shops. All these prices are for most of the road-accessible areas of the country. But as you move further into remote areas, the prices rise. For example if you are in Naamche Bazaar in the Everest region, the price can be as much as seven or eight times higher. For an average budget traveler, $10 will be enough for all your daily expenses on drinking and dining.
I am a vegetarian.
There is no problem in this. There are many vegetarian restuarants. And even if you drop into normal restuarants, you can easily get vegetarian food. Just for your information, Vegetarian in Nepal means non-consumption of both meat and egg. Milk and other animal product is allowed.
In general, yes. But, it’s always good to take sensible precautions in order to avoid any health problems.No matter how tempting –and it can get very tempting after a long trek– avoid drinking any other water than bottled water. If you have to drink non-bottled water, purify it with iodine or chlorine tablets (available readily in most drug stores in Kathmandu). Asking for bottled water in restaurants is always a best idea.
Do not eat roadside food that is exposed in the open air. Avoid buying and eating raw and unpeeled fruit and vegetables. Other than that, it is fine to have boiled, fried or properly packaged food items. Read the FAQ on Health and Insurance for details on what to do in case of health problems.
Though Nepal is not any more unsafe than any other developing country, update your preventive inoculations. Injections against meningitis, tetanus, hepatitis B, typhoid, perhaps cholera are recommended. Vaccination against rabies (which is quite rampant in Nepal) can be good but it is too bothersome and expensive to be worth the trouble. Just keep yourself safe from stray dogs and monkeys.
As said, prevention is better than cure, it’s highly recommended that you bring medicines for common illness like nausea, vomiting,cold and flu when you come to Nepal. Though there are many pharamacy shops in Kathmandu and Pokhara, it’s worth carrying some basic medicinal stuffs like insect repellent, sunscreen, lip balm, eye drops, bandages and so on.
Almost all good doctors and all well equipped hospitals and clinics are in Kathmandu. Visiting a doctor in a clinic is probably better than going directly to a public hospital. Hospitals in Kathmandu can be very crowded with the whole country coming there for medical treatment. Private “nursing homes” and clinics are plentiful in Kathmandu. Elsewhere in the country, there is not much of a choice: you can at best get a service that may pull you through until you reach Kathmandu.
Oh yes, some sort of travel insurance is highly recommended. Most travel insurance covers emergency flights, medical expenses, and theft or loss of possessions. The insurance premium in general is between $50 to $75 for a two week period, and progressively less for longer periods. It’s a price worth paying. If you plan to go rafting or trekking, make sure your insurance covers these “dangerous activities.” Remember to keep your receipts to make claims. In order to make claims on lost or stolen items, you will need a police report issued in Nepal by the Interpol Section of the Nepal Police