Thursday, December 8, 2022
Nepal travel guide - Travel S helper

Nepal

travel guide

Nepal, formally the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked South Asian nation with a population of 26.4 million. It is a multiethnic country whose official language is Nepali. Kathmandu is the capital and biggest city of Nepal. Nepal is a secular parliamentary democracy.

Nepal is bounded on the north by China and on the south, east, and west by India. It has a short Indian corridor with Bangladesh and is separated from Bhutan by the Indian state of Sikkim. Nepal is situated in the Himalayas and is home to eight of the world’s ten highest peaks, including Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak. Its Madhesh area in the south is rich and humid. The nation has an area of 147,181 square kilometers (56,827 square miles), ranking it 93rd in terms of land area. Additionally, it is the world’s 41st most populated nation.

Nepal is endowed with a rich historic cultural legacy. Nepal is initially mentioned in Vedic literature, the period that gave birth to Hinduism, the country’s main religion. Nepal was the last Hindu kingdom in the world. Siddharta Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, was born in the southern Nepalese town of Lumbini. Tibetan Buddhists, Muslims, Kiratans, and Christians are the major minorities. Nepalese are also referred to as Gurkhas. They are renowned for their valor throughout World Wars I and II.

The early modern Kingdom of Nepal was founded in the 18th century by the Shah dynasty, after Prithvi Narayan Shah’s unification of many kingdoms in the area. Nepal is one of the few nations in Asia that has never been colonized. Nepal became a British Empire ally after the Anglo-Nepalese War and the Treaty of Sugauli in 1816. Between 1951 and 1960, when King Mahendra implemented the panchayat system, a multiparty democracy developed. King Birendra reinstated parliamentary governance in 1990. Nepal was afflicted by a decade-long Maoist insurgency and huge demonstrations against autocratic King Gyanendra in 2005, which resulted in the monarchy’s overthrow in 2008. In 2015, the country’s second constituent assembly adopted a new constitution. In contemporary Nepal, the major political parties are communists, social democrats, and Hindu nationalists.

Nepal’s government is a representative democracy comprised of seven constituent provinces. Nepal is a developing country, coming in at 145th on the 2014 Human Development Index (HDI). The nation is undergoing a difficult transition from monarchy to republic. Additionally, it has a high rate of hunger and poverty. Despite these obstacles, Nepal is making steady progress, with the government pledging to lift the country out of the least developed country category by 2022.

Nepal has pacts of friendship with India and the United Kingdom. It is a founding member of SAARC and hosts the organization’s permanent secretariat. Additionally, it is a United Nations and BIMSTEC member. Nepal is strategically significant owing to its proximity to Asia’s two superpowers, China and India. Additionally, it is significant for its hydropower potential.

Flights & Hotels
search and compare

We compare room prices from 120 different hotel booking services (including Booking.com, Agoda, Hotel.com and others), enabling you to pick the most affordable offers that are not even listed on each service separately.

100% Best Price

The price for one and the same room can differ depending on the website you are using. Price comparison enables finding the best offer. Also, sometimes the same room can have a different availability status in another system.

No charge & No Fees

We don’t charge any commissions or extra fees from our customers and we cooperate only with proven and reliable companies.

Ratings and Reviews

We use TrustYou™, the smart semantic analysis system, to gather reviews from many booking services (including Booking.com, Agoda, Hotel.com and others), and calculate ratings based on all the reviews available online.

Discounts and Offers

We search for destinations through a large booking services database. This way we find the best discounts and offer them to you.

Nepal - Info Card

Population

30,034,989

Currency

Nepalese rupee (Rs, रू) (NPR)

Time zone

UTC+05:45 (Nepal Standard Time)

Area

147,516 km2 (56,956 sq mi)

Calling code

+977

Official language

Nepali

Nepal | Introduction

Geography Of Nepal

From south to north, Nepal is split into elevation zones:

  • Outer Terai – Northern India’s level plains are a cultural and linguistic expansion. Nepali is less widely spoken than the Hindi and Maithili languages Awadhi and Bhojpuri. This zone includes Lumbini (the birthplace of Lord Buddha) and Janakpur (the birthplace of Hindu Goddess Sita). Dhangadhi, Nepalgunj, Bhairawa, Butwal, Birgunj, Janakpur, and Biratnagar, for example, are more like transit hubs and border towns than tourist attractions. Nonetheless, the Terai may provide chances for close encounters with traditional Indian culture that are becoming less common in India.
  • Siwalik Range or Churia Hills – the lowest and westernmost series of foothills, rising to approximately 600 meters (2,000 feet). It stretches from east to west throughout the nation, although there are numerous gaps and subranges. Soils are poor, and there is no agriculture to speak of. There are no established tourist attractions, but the woods are untamed, and the small community of primitive hunters and gatherers is one of a kind.
  • Inner Terai – Between the Siwaliks and the higher foothills to the north are vast valleys. The biggest valleys are the Dang and Deukhuri valleys in the Mid West, which provide chances to learn about Tharu art and culture. Another of these valleys is Chitwan, south of Kathmandu, which is home to the Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where tigers, rhinos, crocodiles, deer, and birds may be seen. These valleys were formerly malarial and sparsely inhabited by Tharus who had acquired resistance and created architectural and behavioral adaptations to minimize exposure to the most deadly nighttime insects. Mosquito control using DDT in the 1960s allowed people from the hills to enter the lowlands, clearing forests and displacing and exploiting Tharus. Nonetheless, the most isolated sections of these valleys retain a Garden of Eden feel, with endless fields, meandering rivers, and intriguing aboriginal peoples.
  • Mahabharat Range – Except for small transecting valleys, a conspicuous foothill range runs from east to west throughout the nation, with heights reaching up to 3,000 meters (10,000 ft). The steep southern slopes constitute a cultural and linguistic crossroads between lowland and Pahari (hill) cultures and languages, which start along the crest and softer northern slopes. From nearly everywhere on the summit, there are panoramic views of the upper Himalaya in clear weather. Daman and Tansen are appealing tourist sites despite being underdeveloped in comparison to India’s ‘Hill Stations.’
  • Middle Hills – Valleys and hills up to 2,000 meters north of the Mahabharat Range (6,500 ft). are mostly populated by Hindus from the Bahun (priestly Brahmin) and Chhetri (warriors and kings) castes who speak Nepali as their primary language. The hill tribes from whom the British recruited Gurkha troops while the soldiers’ families cultivated crops suited to temperate temperatures are mostly Magar, Gurung, Tamang, Rai, or Limbu further up where it gets too cold to grow rice. These ethnic groups’ men may also work as porters or herders, bringing their flocks into the high mountains during the summer and into the lower valleys during the winter. With streams and terraced fields, beautiful towns, a diversity of ethnic groups wearing unique clothing, and vistas of the high Himalayas from high places, trekking across the highlands is unremittingly scenic.
  • Valleys – Kathmandu and Pokhara, to the west, are located in vast valleys in the highlands. Historic neighborhoods, temple complexes, pagodas, Buddhist stupas, palaces, and bazaars dot the Kathmandu Valley, which was developed long before the arrival of the first Europeans. Newar farmers, merchants, artisans, and government employees make up the majority of the population. Newar culture is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Buddhist influences. Unfortunately, views of the Himalaya are obstructed by a series of hills to the north of this valley. Pokhara has fewer urban attractions but offers spectacular views of the neighboring Annapurna Himalaya. The Newar population in Pokhara is limited to bazaars. Upper caste Hindus, whose origins were most likely Khas peoples from far western Nepal, rule elsewhere. Both valleys provide great chances to see Nepal without having to do hard hiking. In the highlands, narrower valleys around streams and rivers are significant rice-growing areas. Only a small portion of this land is available, and the most of it is held by higher caste Hindus.
  • Lekhs – Snow sometimes occurs over 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) in the winter and lasts days or weeks, but evaporates in the summer below approximately 5,500 meters (18,000 ft). The treeline is approximately 4,000 meters high (13,000 ft). Summer pastures are utilized in this zone, but not year-round living.
  • The snowy high Himalayas rise abruptly north of the lekhs along a fault zone to heights of over 6,700 m (22,000 ft) and even over 8,000 m. (26,000 ft). Himalaya means ‘abode of snow,’ and it is an abandoned mountain range. The valleys between the peaks are populated, particularly along trade routes where rice from the lowlands was exchanged for salt from the Tibetan Plateau, as well as other commodities. Since China conquered Tibet in the 1950s, trade has declined, but catering to trekkers and climbers has become an economic powerhouse. Although the people who live along these roads have Tibetan roots, they generally speak fluent Nepali.
  • Trans-Himalaya – Peaks north of the highest Himalayas in central and western Nepal are lower and gentler, with most being about 6,000 meters (20,000 ft). Below 5,000 m, there are valleys (17,000 ft). People that are basically Tibetan and have adapted to live at considerably greater altitudes than other Nepalis occupy these areas. Because roads have not yet reached thus far, travel is either costly by plane or difficult on foot. Nonetheless, it is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to immerse yourself in a historically important and appealing culture in breathtaking surroundings.

River basins

These are significant geographic divides as well. In Nepal and other areas of the Himalaya, the Mahabharat Range is a significant hydrologic barrier. In a few small valleys, south-flowing rivers combine in candelabra formations to burst through this mountain. Because travel within these candelabra drainage systems is generally simpler than between them, large gaps between river systems have traditionally served as significant political, linguistic, and cultural barriers.

Climate In Nepal

Although a year was historically divided into six different climatic periods: Basanta (spring), Grishma (early summer), Barkha (summer monsoon), Sharad (early autumn), Hemanta (late autumn), and Shishir (late winter), Nepal has a monsoonal climate with four major seasons (winter).

  • From June through September, the Himalayas have heavy monsoonal rains; nevertheless, the rains are generally milder than in Kathmandu, and the mountain tops are often covered by clouds. Rains in the Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara last an hour or two every two or three days during the monsoon season. Rain purifies the air, makes the streets cleaner, and cools the environment. If you come, bring an umbrella, and expect lower hotel prices and fewer tourists.
  • The weather is clear and chilly from October to December, and there is less dust in the air after the monsoon, making this an excellent season to explore the hills and mountainous regions.
  • Kathmandu is frigid from January to March, with nighttime temperatures as low as 0°C (32°F) and severe cold at higher elevations. Although it is extremely cold, winter hiking is possible in places such as the Everest region, and snowfall may prevent ascending above 4,000-4,500 meters (13,000-15,000 feet). Because it remains below 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) and has expected minimum temperatures of -10°C (14°F), the Jomosom trek is a feasible choice (and much better chances of avoiding heavy snow.)
  • The Himalayas are covered with blooming flowers from April through June, with rhododendrons in particular adding a splash of color to the landscape. Temperatures in the Terai may reach or exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), whereas Kathmandu is about 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). This is the best time to go mountain climbing.

The following is a broad guide of seasonal conditions:

Temperature and rainfall data for key sites throughout Nepal have been collected since 1962, and their averages are used to analyze the climatic trend.

Language In Nepal

The language variety of modern-day Nepal is equal to its biological and cultural richness. Nepal has an unusually high number of surviving languages for a nation with such a limited geographical mass, many of which are relics of the old Asiatic cultural fusion in the area. In one nation, Nepal boasts more different and unique languages than the whole European community.

Nepal’s official language is Nepali. It’s linked to Hindi, Punjabi, and other Indo-Aryan languages, and it’s written in the Devanagari script (like Hindi), which comes from the Sanskrit language. While most Nepalis speak some Nepali, a significant portion of the population speaks a language other than Nepali as their mother tongue, such as Tharu in Chitwan, Newari in Kathmandu, and Sherpa in the Everest region.

Despite the fact that Nepal was never a British colony, English is widely spoken among educated Nepalis. Even if you just know a few words of Nepali, it’s enjoyable and helpful to learn a few phrases, particularly outside of the tourist area and when trekking (porters often speak very little English and the inquisitive children in the tea houses are delighted to hear a few words of Nepali from their house guests). Nepali has to be one of the simplest Asian languages to learn, and the tourist who makes the effort is unlikely to make worse mistakes than many locals who speak a different first language. Locals are also willing to assist you in improving your language abilities.

A startlingly high number of Nepalese mother languages are critically endangered, and within a generation, they will most likely be relegated to symbolic identification markers.

Internet & Communications in Nepal

Internet access is quickly expanding, with the most prevalent availability in Kathmandu (particularly in Thamel and around the Boudha Stupa in Boudhanath) and Pokhara. Most hotels and resorts in those two cities will provide complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access. Many eateries will follow suit. In more and more communities, Internet access will be accessible in certain lodges, typically through Wi-Fi. At 2013, for example, Wi-Fi was provided in Jomsom and Muktinath lodges. However, in some of the most isolated communities, there may only be an occasional Internet café. For example, Chame (on the Annapurna circuit) offers an Internet café that charges NPR15 per minute for protected Wi-Fi. Even more distant communities may get Internet access through satellite, but it is very expensive, costing over NPR100 per minute.

Mail may be picked up at numerous guesthouses or at Everest Postal Care on Tridevi Marg, just across from Fire & Ice. Calls are best made from any of Kathmandu’s international phone offices. NPR1-2/min is typical for voice over internet (VOI).

Mobile phones

In Nepal, there are two major mobile carriers. NTC (Nepal Telecom Company) is a government-owned company, whereas Ncell is a commercial company (previously called Spice Mobile and Mero Mobile).

Tourists may purchase SIM cards for about NPR200 from both carriers in Kathmandu and other major cities. You’ll need to bring a passport picture, fill out a form, and photocopy your passport and visa page.

Ncell SIMs are available in a variety of shops, but are best purchased from official Ncell outlets in Birgunj or Kathmandu. If necessary, micro SIMs may be cut for free.

NTC SIMs – NTC SIMs are often only available for purchase at their official locations. They often run out of SIM cards, and you may have to wait up to 10 days for one to arrive. They also don’t make their coverage maps public. They do, however, have better distant coverage than Ncell, especially on the Annapurna Circuit hike.

Electricity

A three-pronged triangle is the typical Nepalese electrical outlet, although many have been modified to accommodate European and North American plugs. Adapters that alter the form of the plug may be bought for about NPR100 in Kathmandu, and some come with built-in fuses. For inexpensive electrical adapters, go to Thamel or the Kumari Arcade in Mahaboudha, near Bir Hospital in Kathmandu.

Outside of large cities, electricity is limited. Solar-powered lights are often only accessible for a few hours in the evening. Many tea-house excursions, including the Everest base camp climb, charge 100-200 NPR per hour to charge electronics. A bayonet light to electrical power plug converter is an option, however they only function when the voltage is high, and they frequently won’t operate with low-power solar systems found in the highlands.

If you have gadgets that will need to be charged on a regular basis, you may want to invest in a small solar panel and battery pack ahead of time.

Economy Of Nepal

Nepal’s gross domestic product (GDP) was projected to be more than $17.921 billion in 2012. (adjusted to nominal GDP). Agriculture contributed for 36.1 percent of Nepal’s GDP in 2010, services 48.5 percent, and industry 15.4 percent. While agriculture and manufacturing are shrinking, the service sector is growing in importance.

Agriculture employs 76% of the workforce, followed by services (18%), manufacturing, and craft-based industries (6%). Tea, rice, maize, wheat, sugarcane, root crops, milk, and water buffalo meat are among the agricultural products produced in the Terai area, which borders India. The processing of agricultural products such as jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain is the mainstay of industry. Its roughly ten million-strong workforce faces a serious labor shortage.

Political instability continues to have a negative impact on Nepal’s economic development. Despite this, real GDP growth is expected to rise to almost 5% in 2011–2012. This would be the second-highest growth rate in the post-conflict period, behind the 3.5 percent growth rate in 2010–2011. Agriculture, building, finance, and other services are all sources of development. Since 2010/2011, spending driven by remittances has contributed less to growth. While remittance growth dropped to 11% in 2010/2011 (in Nepali Rupee terms), it has subsequently accelerated to 37%. Remittances are projected to account for 25–30% of total GDP. The rate of inflation has dropped to a three-year low of 7%.

Since 2003, the number of impoverished individuals has decreased significantly. In the last seven years, the number of individuals living below the international poverty line (those earning less than US$1.25 per day) has decreased by half. The proportion of impoverished individuals fell from 53.1 percent in 2003/2004 to 24.8 percent in 2010/2011 on this metric. Poverty fell by one-quarter to 57.3 percent with a higher poverty threshold of US$2 per capita per day. The income distribution, on the other hand, remains very unequal.

According to a recent survey, Nepal, along with Rwanda and Bangladesh, performed exceptionally well in reducing poverty, with the percentage of the population living in poverty falling to 44.2 percent in 2011 from 64.7 percent in 2006—a drop of 4.1 percentage points per year, indicating that Nepal has improved in areas such as nutrition, child mortality, electricity, improved flooring, and assets. If the present pace of poverty reduction continues, Nepal is expected to half its current poverty rate and eliminate it entirely over the next 20 years.

Nepal’s beautiful scenery and varied, exotic cultures provide significant tourist potential, but the country’s development has been hampered by political instability and inadequate infrastructure. Despite these issues, the number of foreign visitors who visited Nepal in 2012 was 598,204, up 10% from the previous year. In 2012, tourism generated almost 3% of national GDP and is the second-largest source of foreign revenue after remittances.

Unemployment and underemployment affect almost half of the people of working age. As a result, many Nepalese people migrate to other nations in quest of employment. India, Qatar, the United States, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Brunei Darussalam, Australia, and Canada are among the countries visited. The Gurkha troops, who serve in the Indian and British forces and are highly regarded for their skill and courage, provide Nepal about $50 million each year. The overall remittance value was approximately $3.5 billion in 2010. Remittances accounted for 22.9 percent of the country’s GDP in 2009.

A tight connection with India is based on a long-standing business agreement. The United Kingdom, India, Japan, the United States, the European Union, China, Switzerland, and Scandinavian nations all provide assistance to the country. The poverty rate is high, with a per-capita income of about $1,000. The wealth distribution in Nepal is similar to that in many developed and developing countries: the top ten percent of families own 39.1% of the national wealth, while the bottom ten percent own just 2.6 percent.

The government’s budget is about $1.153 billion, with $1.789 billion in spending (FY 20005/06). For many years, the Nepali rupee has been pegged to the Indian rupee at a rate of 1.6. The underground market for foreign currency has all but vanished since exchange rate restrictions were loosened in the early 1990s. After a period of greater inflation in the 1990s, the inflation rate has fallen to 2.9 percent.

Nepal exports $822 million in carpets, textiles, hemp, leather products, jute goods, and grain. Imports of US$2 billion in gold, machinery and equipment, petroleum products, and fertilizer are the most common. Its major export partners are the European Union (EU) (46.13 percent), the United States (17.4 percent), and Germany (7.1 percent). The European Union has emerged as Nepal’s biggest consumer of ready-to-wear clothing (RMG). “EU garment exports accounted for 46.13 percent of the country’s overall garment exports,” according to the report. India (47.5 percent), the United Arab Emirates (11.2 percent), China (10.7 percent), Saudi Arabia (4.9 percent), and Singapore are Nepal’s top import partners (4 percent ).

In addition to the country’s landlocked, harsh terrain, few tangible natural resources, and inadequate infrastructure, the country’s economic growth and development has been hampered by an ineffectual post-1950 administration and a long-running civil conflict.

Entry Requirements For Nepal

Visa & Passport

If you are traveling from India, be in mind that the 500 and 1000 rupee notes are not recognized in Nepal since their distribution is banned.

Tourists from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka may remain in Nepal permanently without a visa since they are members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

Visas are needed for citizens of Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine, and Afghanistan.

Tourist visas are now available on arrival at Kathmandu airport and specified border checkpoints (see below) for citizens of several countries at a fee of:

  • US$25 for 15 days
  • US$40 for 30 days
  • US$100 for 90 days

In a visa year, a tourist visa may be issued for a maximum of 150 days.

Other convertible currencies like as Euros, Pounds sterling, RMB, and Australian dollars may be used to pay for this on arrival, but US dollars are always preferred, and certain minor entrance points (such as Birgunj) may only take USD, while Kodari only accepts USD and RMB.

All tourist visas are now “multiple entry” visas, which enable numerous entrances and departures throughout the validity period.

Volunteering whilst on a tourist visa is absolutely forbidden unless you have authorization.

You will need to submit a current passport size picture to attach to the visa form, in addition to the visa form, the disembarkation form, and the money, when you arrive. It’s worth noting that there is a photobooth right before immigration, but it’s pricey, so bring your picture for the visa form instead. If you don’t have a picture, you may pay an additional $5. (at least in Kodari).

Make sure you complete the VOA form as well as the arrival card. If you arrive in Nepal by aircraft, you will most likely be given an arrival card before boarding the plane at Kathmandu International Airport, but the visa application form (also known as the long form) is only accessible at the arrivals hall. Before you join any of the lines, choose one up and finish it. If you print and fill out the VOA form before arriving in Nepal, you will save a lot of time. If you arrive by aircraft, there are facilities for taking passport-sized photographs at the immigration counter at the airport, but it saves a lot of time if you prepare the photos ahead of time. Visa costs are waived for SAARC nationals. Departure cards are only given out after you depart Nepal, not when you arrive. To complete the departure card, you’ll need your passport and your entrance visa.

To extend your tourist visa, take your passport and another picture to the Nepal Immigration Office in Kathmandu or Pokhara, and pay USD2 for each day you wish to remain beyond your visa’s expiration date, up to a maximum of 150 days per year.

How To Travel To Nepal

Get In - By plane

The sole international airport in Nepal is Tribhuvan International Airport, which is situated immediately east of Kathmandu’s Ring Road. Despite the fact that Nepal is a popular tourist destination, most flights from anywhere will make a stop in Asia or the Middle East along the route. As a result, whether you’re traveling from Europe or North America, anticipate lengthy travel hours.

With the improvement in political stability in recent years, more airlines have begun to provide flights to Nepal.

There are just a few amenities in the terminal building. There includes an immigration hall, a customs desk, a tourist information booth, and a currency exchange counter where new visitors may get their visas. After regular planes arrive, the latter may only have services accessible for a brief period. A number of airline ticket desks, an immigration area where your visa and exit card are checked, a security section where passengers and their luggage are searched or scanned, and numerous departure lounges are all located in the departures area. There is a modest shop concession where you may purchase beverages and snacks.

It is possible to have passport pictures taken and immigration forms picked up at tables in the rear of the arrivals area, however your immigration process will be sped considerably if you bring some of your own passport photos and completed visa papers downloaded from Nepal Immigration. Although you may get an immigration card on your trip, you will still need a long form visa application, which you may obtain either online or at the airport’s arrivals hall. Joining any lines is pointless until you have your application form, passport pictures, and visa payments in hand.

Visitors may find it more convenient to conduct currency swaps in the city where they are staying. Thamel, for example, offers a plethora of currency exchange booths with reasonable prices and fast and efficient service. Visa costs may be paid in most major currencies at the airport, although US dollars are preferable.

All “representatives” of the tourism sector are obliged to stay 10 meters away from the front entrance of the airport. Many will be screaming and waving big placards in an effort to get you to hire them as your guide, cab, hotel, or baggage carrier. Before crossing the line, make your decision. Be warned that when you exit the airport’s immigration area and retrieve your baggage, someone with a luggage cart will most likely approach you and offer assistance. This person will accompany you to the exit doors from the airport and to your transportation, unless you insist to carrying your own baggage and luggage cart, and will then demand a gratuity. Even in a foreign currency, having some small denomination notes or coins to use as a tip is helpful. Tipping may be problematic for many tourists who come with just travellers checks or high denomination banknotes.

If possible, book your first night’s lodging ahead of time and request that someone from the hotel greet you. Complimentary airport transportation is available at many hotels and guest homes. It’s conceivable that if you’ve made plans with a trekking agency, they’ll pick you up from the airport as part of the package. If you’ve made such arrangements, someone from your hotel or trekking organization will be wearing a placard to identify themselves. If you are new to Nepal, and particularly if you are coming late at night and are unfamiliar with the city and how things operate in Nepal, any of these two later alternatives are excellent possibilities.

Taxis can be booked before you leave the premises, but if you’re prepared to haggle, you may be able to obtain a better deal. The ideal approach is to agree on a fee with the driver ahead of time. A cab trip to Thamel or Boudha should cost less than NPR500, although this is not always the case. Otherwise, book a cab at the airport’s pre-paid kiosk. This will almost certainly cost more than a fee negotiated outside, although it may save time.

A strike is the only other scenario that might make getting to the city more difficult (bandh). These are less frequent today than they were a few years ago, although a coalition of political parties called one during the week running up to the November 2013 elections. Strikes tend to impact cabs less later in the evening than during the day, and in any event, if you’re coming, there’s not much you can do except wait and watch what happens. It’s a good idea to check whether any strikes have been called before going and make plans accordingly. A journey to the airport in the morning or evening may be a viable option. Your hotel or hiking company may be able to assist you as well.

Get In - By car or motorcycle

Renting a vehicle with a driver is simple in Nepal; but, you’ll need to negotiate to obtain a good deal. If you visit during the summer, you should rent an air-conditioned vehicle. Hiring a vehicle without a driver in Nepal, as well as renting a car in India and driving it over the border, is virtually unheard of.

Many tourists arrive on Royal Enfield motorbikes from India. Foreigners are required to pay customs at the border, although the majority do not. It’s simple to sell the bike in Nepal since other tourists are searching for motorcycles to go back to India.

If you’re traveling from India, you’ll discover that driving in Nepal is far less stressful. The roads are fantastic, and the new east-west highway, which is now being built with Japanese assistance, will offer up new locations for anyone interested in seeing Nepal on a motorcycle.

Please verify the current condition of gasoline before renting a motorcycle. There were gasoline supply issues in late 2009, which may leave motorcyclists stranded. Unless you lease a Royal Enfield, a bike rental should cost about NPR500 per day (Pulsar, Hero Honda, scooter).

Tourists are also infamous for attempting to charge huge sums of money for ‘damage’ that may or may not have been caused by you while returning the bike. As a result, be careful to do a full damage assessment before leaving, and report any attempts to defraud you to the local authorities if the hirer tries to defraud you on your return.

The greatest way to see Nepal on a motorbike is to enter through the Banbasa-Mahendra Nagar border crossing. Just beyond the border crossing, the Mahendra Highway (built with India’s help) is a blast to ride.

To cross the border, you must pay a daily toll of NPR120 and a one-time transport permit of NPR50; the police may request these two papers at any moment throughout your journey.

Get In - By bus

There are five tourist-friendly border crossings. Sunauli-Bhairawa is the nearest border crossing to Varanasi, Raxaul-Birganj is the closest to Patna and Kolkata, and Siliguri-Kakarbhitta is the closest to Darjeeling. In Nepal’s far west, the Banbassa-Mahendrenagar border crossing is the nearest to Delhi. The Bahraich-Nepalganj border is the nearest to Lucknow, which is the most accessible destination from Delhi by air or rail.

Independent travelers are permitted to enter Nepal through Kodari, but only organized groups are permitted to enter Tibet via Kodari.

Get In - By train

Between Sirsiya in southern Nepal and Raxaul in India, cargo and passenger trains run. Foreigners, with the exception of Indians, are not permitted to enter the border. In Janakpur, the internal railway network is restricted to a few kilometers.

How To Travel Around Nepal

Domestic flights – Domestic airlines in Nepal, such as Yeti Air, Tara Air, and Nepal Airlines, provide regular flights to a variety of locations across the country. Biratnagar, Nepalganj, Lukla, Pokhara, Simikot, Jomsom, Janakpur, and Bharatpur are among the destinations to and from Kathmandu. There are a number of on-line booking agencies that can make reservations, accept payment (credit/debit cards/Paypal), and then deliver e-tickets to those outside of Nepal. If you’re purchasing tickets while in Nepal or traveling on short notice, you’ll need to be flexible with flight schedules and dates since aircraft are often completely booked months in advance. It should be noted that weather-related cancellations and delays do occur. Simply take the following aircraft if you have time.

Microbuses have recently become extremely popular. They have a capacity of 10-12 people and provide excellent service. Because of its speed, it has nearly completely supplanted local bus service. Apart from the previous few lines, Micro Bus has developed a number of new routes and currently has a wide coverage area. The fare is higher than that of local buses. Tourists should be warned that microbuses are often driven at high speeds and with little care, and have been responsible for a significant number of traffic accidents in Nepal. Microbuses should be used with care.

Local buses are inexpensive, despite the fact that the system may be complicated. People and domestic animals such as goats, ducks, and other animals may throng them at times. Some buses will not leave until they have reached a specific capacity.

Tourist bus: Make a reservation at a travel agency in Kathmandu or Pokhara a few days ahead of time (or your hotel will book for you). Although it is a step up than local buses (no goats, everyone gets a seat), it is not much safer. The most dependable firm is “Greenline,” which runs excursions between Kathmandu, Chitwan, Lumbini, and Pokhara.

Rickshaw – If you don’t have much baggage and don’t mind getting thrown about, this is a good option for short excursions. Before you go in, haggle, and don’t be scared to walk away and try something else.

Tempo – There are two kinds of tempo. One is a 10-to-13-passenger three-wheeled electric or propane-powered microbus. They operate on several routes around the city and cost from NPR5 to NPR12. The second option is a newer Toyota van that runs the same routes for a little higher fee and is a little quicker and safer. Expect a large crowd.

Taxis – There are two kinds of taxis: “private,” which runs from the airport to upscale hotels, and “10 Rupee,” which does not leave until it is completely filled. When negotiating for a fee, keep in mind that taxi drivers have been struck particularly hard by the gasoline shortage, with lines forming overnight to obtain 5 litres of gasoline at double the market price. So be compassionate, but don’t be taken advantage of. Offer to pay’meter plus tip,’ 10% is more than plenty.

The old-fashioned street cable-car that operated from Kathmandu (near the stadium) to Bhaktapur is now closed owing to “non-existing maintenance” and the fact that none of the drivers paid for the electricity.

Whether it’s a custom or vintage motorbike, the choice is yours. Hearts and Tears in Pokhara, run by a European couple, offers training, guided excursions, and rental of 350cc and 500cc Royal Enfield motorcycles. Himalayan Enfields (behind the Israeli Embassy on Lazimpat) sells and rentals excellent motorcycles in Kathmandu, as well as doing maintenance. Off the ring road at Balaju Industrial Estate is the official Enfield dealer in Nepal.

Another option is to hire a little motorbike in the area. It’s also available for rent in Thamel. With the current gasoline crisis, renting a motorbike has become an expensive option, depending on availability. In addition to the rental price, 1 litre of gasoline costs NPR120-250 (NPR300-800).

Bicycle – You may hire a bicycle to go about Kathmandu for a fairly cheap fee (NPR500-5000), depending on the condition or quality of the bicycle and the length of the rental term.

On foot – despite the fact that automobile highways are expanding into the countryside, many locations are still only accessible by foot (or helicopter).

Destinations in Nepal

Regions in Nepal

Officially, Nepal is split into 14 administrative zones and five development areas, however travelers may find the conceptual classification below (based on the country’s elevation) more convenient. In order from north to south:

  • Himalayas
    Mount Everest, Annapurna, Langtang National Park, and The Great Himalaya Trail provide many possibilities for sightseeing, hiking, and other adventure sports.
  • Kathmandu Valley
    This region, which includes Kathmandu, Boudhanath, Patan, and Bhaktapur, is located in the center of Nepal and serves as a cultural crossroads with many holy temples and monuments.
  • Middle Hills
    The Hill Region (Pahar in Nepali) is mostly situated between 700 and 4,000 meters above sea level. The Mahabharat Lekh (Lesser Himalaya) separates this area from the Terai Range, forming a geographic midpoint between the Terai and the Himalayas. It contains the beautiful Pokhara valley, which is a popular starting point for outdoor activities in the region.
  • Western Tarai
    Chitwan National Park and Bardia National Park are located on the western side of the Terai mountain range.
  • Eastern Tarai
    Biratnagar, Nepal’s second biggest municipality, is located in a densely populated region.

Cities in Nepal

  • Kathmandu — With its Hanumandhoka Durbar Square and the stupas of Boudhanath and Swayambhunath, Kathmandu is Nepal’s capital and cultural center.
  • Bhaktapur — Bhaktapur is a well-preserved ancient city, as well as a pilgrimage and pottery-making center in Nepal; no motorized vehicles are permitted.
  • Biratnagar — Biratnagar, near Dharan in eastern Nepal, is an important agricultural center and a hotbed of political activity.
  • Birgunj — Birgunj is a mid-southern Nepalese commercial hub that connects India and Nepal.
  • Janakpur — The 500-year-old Janaki Temple may be found in Janakpur, an ancient religious center.
  • Namche Bazaar — Namche Bazaar is a Sherpa hamlet popular with hikers in the Solu Khumbu area.
  • Nepalgunj — Bardiya National Park and Banke National Park are both near to Nepalgunj, the major center for the Mid- and Far-Western Development Region.
  • Patan — Patan is a lovely, ancient city. UNESCO recognized Patan Durbar Square as a World Heritage Site in 1979.
  • Pokhara — Pokhara is a beautiful lake-side town that is quickly becoming a popular tourist destination owing to its beauty, adventure sports, restaurants, hotels, and live music scene.

Other destinations in Nepal

Nepal has long been a haven for traveling ascetics and tantric yogis, sandwiched between the Himalayan snow peaks and the raging Ganges plain. As a result, the nation is home to a plethora of holy places and natural wonders:

  • Annapurna – Nepal’s most popular hiking area, home to the world-famous Annapurna Circuit.
  • Chitwan National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to tigers, rhinoceroses, and other jungle wildlife.
  • Daman is a small mountain hamlet with panoramic views of the Himalayas, which are particularly beautiful at dawn and sunset.
  • Haleshi (Tibetan: Maratika) is the location of a mountain cave where Padmasambhava gained enlightenment.
  • Lumbini is the holy birthplace of Buddha Shakyamuni.
  • Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, is located in the Khumbu area.
  • Nagarkot is a hill station one hour from Kathmandu with spectacular Himalayan views.
  • Parping is home to many holy caves connected with Tibetan Buddhism’s founder, Padmasambhava.
  • Tangting is a lovely and little-known traditional Gurung hamlet with a spectacular view of the Annapurna mountain.

Accommodation & Hotels in Nepal

For a double room, budget lodging in Nepal varies from about NPR250 to around NPR750. You should negotiate since the rates you are given at first are not set. You may receive a significant discount if you stay for a longer length of time. Sheets, blankets, towels, and anything else except a bed and a door are typically not included in cheaper rooms. Even if you’ve been there before, most cheap hotels and guesthouses offer a variety of rooms, so double-check what you’re receiving. At Kathmandu, a double room in a three-star comparable hotel (with air conditioning, a bathroom, Internet connection, and satellite TV) costs about USD15 (NPR1,500). In Nepal, lodgings are likely to be the lowest portion of your spending.

If you want more luxury accommodations, the finest hotels are comparable to four-star hotels in Western nations (unlimited access to swimming pool or whirlpool, no power outages, room service, very good restaurant and buffet breakfasts). Expect the price to skyrocket (circa 50USD for a double or 100USD for an apartment, even more in Kathmandu). All rates are typically set in these hotels. Some luxury hotels in Kathmandu require guests to go through a security check before entering.

Things To See in Nepal

Mount Everest, the world’s tallest peak, is arguably Nepal’s most renowned sight, and the nation is covered with towering mountains.

The 2015 earthquake caused significant (and possibly irreversible) damage to a number of UNESCO monuments. 
In Nepal, there are four UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

The Kathmandu Valley, which includes not only the city but also the towns of Bhaktapur and Patan, as well as Sagarmatha National Park, Chitwan National Park, and Lumbini, Buddha’s birthplace.

Things To Do in Nepal

Mountain biking

Mountain riding in Nepal is a fun and sometimes difficult activity. There are many famous bike routes in Nepal that are now operational. They are as follows:

  • From Balaju in Kathmandu, the Scar Road leads to Kakani, Shivapuri, and Budhanilkantha in northern Kathmandu.
  • The journey from Kathmandu to Dhulikhel begins in Koteshwor in Kathmandu and continues via Bhaktapur, Banepa, and Dhulikhel. Continue on from Dhulikhel to Namobuddha, Panauti, and Banepa.
  • The Back Door to Kathmandu begins at Panauti and continues through Lakuri Bhanjyang, Lubhu in Lalitpur, and finally Patan.
  • The journey from Dhulikhel to the Tibetan Border begins at Dhulikhel and continues along the Araniko Highway, stopping for the night along the route.
  • The Rajpath in Kathmandu runs from Kalanki in Kathmandu to Naubise, following the Prithvi Highway. Then it’s on to the Tribhuwan Highway, with an overnight stop in Daman. Ride downhill to Hetauda from there, with the option of continuing on to Narayangarh or the Indian border.
  • Hetauda to Narayangarh and Mugling begins at Hetauda and continues to Narayangarh along the Mahendra Highway. Take a detour to Sauraha, which is close to Taandi.
  • The journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara begins in Kathmandu and continues via Naubise, Mugling, and Pokhara.
  • Pokhara to Sarangkot and Naudanda is a road that runs from Lakeside Pokhara to Sarangkot and then to Naudanda. Ride downhill to the highway from there.

Bike riding is ideal between mid-October and late-March, when the atmosphere is clear and the temperature is moderate: warm during the day and chilly at night. Riding is feasible during other times of the year, although caution should be used while biking during the monsoon season (June to September) since the roads are slick. Biking may be done on your own or with the help of Nepalese biking businesses.

You can rent mountain bikes of nearly any quality, but if you’re going on a longer or more difficult ride, bringing your own saddle is a smart idea. Daily rental prices varied from USD3 for a basic bike to USD30 for a western bike with suspension in late 2009.

Motorcycling

Nepal has some of the finest motorcycle roads in the world because to its topography and climate. The traffic is a bit clogged, but not too so, and the speeds are moderate. Even though you may never be stopped by the authorities as a tourist on a bike, you will need an international driving license in Nepal.

Motorcycle touring is maybe the finest and most unique way to see the nation. Beginners should avoid Kathmandu, but the remainder of Nepal is breathtaking. The most well-known names in the business include Hearts and Tears Motorcycle Club, Wild Experience Tours, and Blazing Trails Tours. They specialize on motorcycle tours and have an impressive collection of unique motorcycles. Professional setups with imported safety equipment, systematic training, and well-organized group excursions are available.

Canyoning

Many canyons (khola in Nepali) have been prepared for organized descents since the Nepal Canyoning Association was established in 2007. The 2011 IRC (International Canyoning Rendezvous) was held in the Annapurna region’s Marshyangdi River basin. At least 30 canyons have commercial businesses that arrange descent trips. The Nepali canyons provide magnificent views of the valleys and rice fields below, as well as a variety of difficulty and water level combinations. The majority of canyons are only accessible on foot from adjacent highways, via trails used by people for agriculture, or to go to their houses. The “Himalayan Canyon Team” outfitted one of the world’s longest and most challenging canyons, the Chamje Khola, in a trip in 2011.

Canyoning

Elephant rides, jungle paddling, nature hikes, and bird watching are all available at Chitwan National Park, as well as more daring tiger and rhino viewing. There are also a number of lesser-known parks, such as Bardiya and Sagarmatha.

Food & Drinks in Nepal

Food in Nepal

Daal-bhaat-tarkaari is the national dish of Nepal. Spicy lentils are poured over boiling rice and eaten with tarkari, or spiced vegetables. This is served two times a day, at 10:00 and 19:00 or 20:00, in most Nepalese households and teahouses. If rice is limited, aata (cornmeal mush), barley, or sukkha roti (whole wheat ‘tortillas’) may be substituted. Dahi (yogurt) and a tiny serving of ultra-spicy fresh chutney or achaar may be served with the meal (pickle). This dish is traditionally eaten with the right hand. Freshwater fish is frequently accessible near lakes and rivers, and curried meat, goat or chicken, is an occasional treat. Beef is prohibited since Hindus consider animals to be holy, although it is nevertheless available for a premium price in certain high-end restaurants, owing to the fact that it is imported from India. Some people eat buffalo and yak, while others think they’re too cow-like. Some tribes consume pork, but upper-caste Hindus do not. Vegetarian groups and tribes exist in the United States, much as they do in India.

A variety of snacks may be offered in addition to the major morning and evening meals. Tea with milk and sugar is an excellent pick-me-up. Although maize may be cooked and partly popped, it is not popcorn. This is known as “kha-jaa,” which means “eat and run.” Rice may be steamed and crushed to make “chiura,” which is similar to raw oatmeal and can be eaten with yogurt, hot milk and sugar, or other flavors. Sweets made with sugar, milk, fried batter, sugar cane juice, and other ingredients can occasionally be obtained, as may fritters called “pakora” and turnovers called “samosa.” Make certain that such delights are either freshly prepared or fly-free. Otherwise, flies would settle on the human excrement that litters the streets, then on your meals, turning you into a walking medical textbook of gastrological disorders.

Different ethnic groups typically have their own specialities as a result of Nepali society’s multi-ethnic character, varying degrees of adherence to Hindu dietary standards, and the great variety of temperatures and micro-climates across the nation.

Newars, a Nepalese ethnic group that originated in the Kathmandu Valley, are food lovers who lament that eating is their demise, while Pahari Chhetri is believed to be downfall by sexual excess. The cuisine in the lush Kathmandu and Pokhara valleys typically includes a wider range of products, especially vegetables, than that of the hills. As a result, when compared to Nepal’s other indigenous regional cuisines, Newari food is very unique and varied, therefore keep an eye out for Newari eateries. Some even include cultural performances, making it a great opportunity to eat well while learning about Nepalese culture.

The Terai lowlands’ cuisine is almost identical to that of India’s neighboring regions. Tropical fruits produced locally are offered alongside subtropical and temperate temperate crops grown in the mountains. In addition to the usual bananas (‘kera’) and papayas (‘mewa’), jackfruit (‘katar’) is a local delicacy.

Some Tibetan foods, especially those from the Himalayan area, are somewhat spicy. Momos, a meat or vegetable-filled dumpling akin to Chinese pot-stickers, are one of the delicacies to search for. In the last several decades, momos have grown very popular. Momos are virtually ubiquitous in Kathmandu and other Nepalese cities, whether in a large hotel or a tiny eatery. Other delicacies include Tibetan Bread and Honey, a fluffy fried bread with a thick raw honey filling that’s perfect for breakfast. Potatoes are the Sherpa people’s main food in the Himalayan highlands. Potato pancakes are a popular local cuisine (rikikul). They’re best served hot off the griddle, with dzo (female yak) butter or cheese on top.

Pizza, Mexican, Thai and Chinese cuisine, and Middle-Eastern cuisine may all be found in Kathmandu’s, Pokhara’s, and Chitwan’s tourist areas. Eating local cuisine can save you money if you are on a budget.

Keep in mind that many small restaurants are not equipped to create a variety of meals; stick to one or two dishes if you don’t want to wait while the chef attempts to make one after another on a one-burner stove.

Eat solely Nepali rural goods as much as possible. It will assist them financially if you exclusively eat items made in the community.

Drinks in Nepal

Alcohol

  • Raksi is a transparent beverage with an alcohol level comparable to tequila. It’s typically brewed “in house,” which gives it a unique flavor and intensity. This is by far the most affordable beverage in the nation. It is often given in tiny, ceramic cups (Salinchha in Newar language) that contain less than a shot on special occasions. It’s a great mixer for fruit juice or seltzer. It may be referred to as “Nepali wine” on menus.
  • The hazy, mildly alcoholic drink jaand (Nepali) or chyaang (Tibetan) is often referred to as “Nepali beer.” Rice is the most common ingredient, especially in Newari culture. Even if it isn’t as strong as raksi, it will nonetheless have a significant impact. This is often served to visitors in Nepali households, diluted with water. Before consuming this beverage, ask visitors whether the water has been sterilized for your safety.
  • Beer manufacturing is a developing business in Nepal. Some local beers are being exported, and beer quality has improved to meet international standards. In metropolitan regions, international brands are popular. Two well-known local brands are Everest and Gorkha.
  • Cocktails are mostly available in the tourist regions of Kathmandu and Pokhara. A number of pubs, restaurants, and sports bars offer watered-down “two for one” beverages.

Tea

Although not as well-known globally as Indian brands, Nepal has a sizable organic tea sector. The majority of the plantations are in the east of the nation, and the kind of tea cultivated is quite similar to that grown in Darjeeling. Dhankuta, Illam, Jhapa, Terathhum, and Panchthar are well-known types (all named after their growing regions). Over 70% of Nepalese tea is exported, and the tea you see for sale in Thamel is just the scrapings from the bottom of the barrel, while serving as token memories.

  • Boiling milk with tea (with or without sugar) is known as milk tea.
  • Chai is tea with milk added to it, as well as ginger and spices such as cardamom.
  • Suja is a salty tea prepared with milk and butter that is exclusively found among Tibetan, Sherpa, and a few other Himalayan communities.
  • Wild flowers from the Solu Khumbu area are used to make herbal drinks. These teas are usually exclusively offered in high-end restaurants or those owned by Sherpas from the Solu Khumbu in Kathmandu.

Water

Water that you may drink without becoming sick is uncommon due to a lack of water treatment and sewage treatment facilities. It’s best to presume that water that hasn’t been chemically treated or boiled is dangerous to drink, which is one reason to stick to tea or bottled water. In many towns and villages, filtered, purified water may be available for purchase. Along the Annapurna Circuit, the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) has set up a number of clean water stations where visitors may buy water at a reasonable price.

Money & Shopping in Nepal

The native currency is the Nepalese rupee (NPR).

Although Indian money is accepted in Nepal (at a 1.60 Nepalese rupee to 1 Indian rupee official exchange rate), the INR500 and INR1,000 currency notes are not accepted. In Nepal, it is prohibited to carry Indian rupee notes of 500 and 1000 rupees.

In Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan, Nepalgunj, Janakpur, Lumbini, and many more important cities, you may withdraw cash from ATMs or use credit cards. Depending on your bank, you may be charged a service fee. In such places, there are currently a large number of ATMs that are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Keep any currency exchange and ATM receipts since you’ll need them to convert back to your home currency at the airport bank. If you don’t have them, they will refuse to convert your currency and instead recommend that you go upstairs to the Duty Free store, which isn’t a certified money changer. Outside of the main cities, traveler’s cheques may be helpful.

Festivals & Holidays in Nepal

Nepalese government offices and most private companies are open six days a week, with the exception of Saturdays. International organizations operate under their own set of regulations, and most of them are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. The Nepal Gazette publishes the government holidays for the following year. Nepal observes a variety of religious and secular festivals. Most government offices and commercial institutions are closed on these holidays, but privately held companies are not required to shut, and international organizations are free to follow their own schedule.

Some of these events are unique to a certain area, religion, or gender. In Nepal, for example, a specific holiday may be restricted to women exclusively.

Vijaya Dashami is the longest continuous public holiday in Nepal. This festival has six days of vacations, starting with Fulpati and ending with Duwadashi. This festival includes the Ghatasthapana and Kojagrat Purnima vacations, which are distinct from the six-day holiday. These festivals are observed on the basis of lunar dates, also known as tithi, and may not always occur on the same calendar day each year. Bikram Sambat calendar dates are used to commemorate holidays like as Loktantra Diwas (Democracy Day) and Republic Day.

Traditions & Customs in Nepal

With hands together and fingers up, greet individuals with a warm Namaste (or “Namaskar” formal version – to an elder or high-status person). It’s used in lieu of greetings and farewells. It should only be spoken once per person, each day. ‘The divine in me salutes the divine in you,’ says the least watered-down definition.

Feet are seen as filthy. Do not point the soles of your shoes towards people or religious symbols. Avoid stepping over someone who is sitting or laying on the ground. Be aware of when it’s OK to take off your hat or shoes. Before entering a residential building, it is customary to remove your shoes.

Because it is used to wash after defecating, the left hand is considered dirty. In place of toilet paper, many Nepali hotels and guest houses feature bidet attachments, similar to a kitchen sink sprayer. Touching someone with your left hand is considered impolite. With the right hand, you should probe, take, and give something.

In a clockwise manner, circumambulate Buddhist shrines and temples, chortens, stupas, mani walls, monasteries, and so on. There is no such tradition in Hindu shrines and temples.

Smile, joke, and be pleasant while negotiating over costs. Allow for a fair profit margin. Don’t be a miser and criticize excellent workmanship; it’s far better to bemoan the fact that you can’t afford such opulence.

Non-Hindus are not permitted to enter specific areas of several Hindu temples. Be aware of this and respectful of it, since they are religious sites, not tourist attractions.

Being a non-Hindu is considered somewhat ‘impure’ by some Hindus. Allow someone to pour the water into your drinking container instead than touching the containers. Avoid handling food that will be consumed by others. Before entering someone’s home, be sure you’ve been invited. You may only be allowed to sit on the porch or in the yard. Shoes are often placed on the front porch or in a designated location near the entrance.

Hands should be washed before and after eating. If you’re not left-handed, just use your right hand to touch food.

Culture Of Nepal

Folklore is an important element of Nepalese culture. Traditional stories, such as tales of love, affection, and wars, as well as tales of demons and ghosts, are based in the realities of day-to-day living and therefore reflect local lifestyles, culture, and beliefs. Many Nepalese folktales are performed via dance and song.

The majority of homes in Nepal’s rural lowlands are constructed of a compact bamboo structure with mud and cow-dung mix walls. These homes are cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The majority of houses in the hills are constructed of unbaked bricks with thatch or tile roofs. Construction shifts to stone masonry at higher altitudes, and slate may be utilized on roofs.

Nepal’s flag is the world’s only non-rectangular national flag. The Nepalese constitution includes guidelines for making a geometric flag. The color red in the flag represents victory in battle or bravery, according to its official explanation, and is also the color of the rhododendron, Nepal’s national flower. Aggression is also represented by the color red. The blue border of the flag represents peace. The curved moon on the flag symbolizes Nepal’s serene and calm character, while the sun signifies the warriors’ aggression.

Holidays and festivals

Nepal has the most public holidays in the world, with 36 days in a year. The Nepali year starts on the first of Baisakh, according to the country’s official Hindu calendar, the Bikram Sambat, which occurs in mid-April and is split into 12 months. The official weekly holiday is Saturday. The National Day (28 December), Prithvi Jayanti (11 January), Martyr’s Day (18 February), and a combination of Hindu and Buddhist festivals such as Dashain in October, Tihar in mid-autumn, and Chhath in late autumn are the main yearly holidays. During Swanti, the Newars hold the Mha Puja ritual to commemorate the lunar calendar’s Nepal Sambat’s New Year’s Day. In Nepal, Hindu holidays predominate.

Cuisine

Dal bhat is a traditional Nepalese dish. Dal is a lentil soup that is eaten with boiling rice, tarkari (curried vegetables), and achar (pickles) or chutni (spicy condiment made from fresh ingredients). It includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Cumin, coriander, black pepper, sesame seeds, turmeric, garlic, ginger, methi (fenugreek), bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, chiles, and mustard seeds are all popular spices used in cooking with mustard oil. Momo is a steamed dumpling with meat or vegetable fillings that is popular in many parts of Nepal as a quick meal.

Sports

The most popular sport in Nepal is association football, which was first played in 1921 under the Rana monarchy. The Dasarath Rangasala Stadium, the country’s sole international stadium, is where the national team plays its home matches.

Since the past decade, cricket has grown in popularity. Nepal has played its home matches at the Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground since the team’s inception. Since then, the national side has won both the ICC World Cricket League Division Four and the ICC World Cricket League Division Three, qualifying for the 2014 Cricket World Cup Qualifier. They also qualified for the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, which is the furthest the team has ever progressed in an ICC competition. The International Cricket Council (ICC) granted Nepal T20I status on June 28, 2014, after the country competed in the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 and performed well. Before earning the designation, Nepal had already played three T20I matches, since the ICC had already declared that all matches at the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 would be T20I. Nepal qualified for the 2015 ICC World Cricket League Division Two by winning the 2014 ICC World Cricket League Division Three in Malaysia.

Nepal qualified for the 2015–17 ICC World Cricket League Championship by finishing fourth in the 2015 ICC World Cricket League Division Two in Namibia. After finishing third in the round-robin round, Nepal was unable to gain promotion to Division One and qualify for the 2015–17 ICC Intercontinental Cup. Basanta Regmi became the first bowler in the World Cricket League to collect 100 wickets. He was able to do this after getting two wickets against the Netherlands throughout the tournament.

Stay Safe & Healthy in Nepal

Stay Safe in Nepal

Strikes (“bandas”) and protests do occur from time to time. Some establishments shut, although many exceptions are made for visitors, who are generally well-liked. Inquire about strikes at your hotel or read Nepali newspapers in English.

After signing a comprehensive peace deal with the government in 2006, the Maoist insurgency came to an end.

The government is now in the hands of the Nepali Congress, which won the 2014 election. Tourists are now considerably safer than they were previously due to the shift in administration. Travel to the hiking trails and other tourist attractions is safe. If your nation has an embassy or consulate in Nepal, inform them of your location and intentions, and take any cautious advise they may give carefully.

Pickpockets are uncommon in Nepal’s cities, which are safer than most. However, don’t flaunt your money or make excessive shows of riches.

When using public transportation, use caution. The roads are small, steep, twisting, and often congested. Domestic flights operated by a private business are safer than driving on public highways. Before and during the monsoon season, when the mountains are typically clouded over, the dangers of flying are highest.

If you are severely wounded or ill in an area where there are no roads or airports, medical evacuation by helicopter may be your only option. Companies who provide these services may refuse to provide them if there is no assurance that the bill will be paid, therefore check into medical evacuation insurance. You may inquire whether your embassy or consulate provides payment guarantees.

Stay Healthy in Nepal

Minimizing gastrointestinal issues – These are prevalent in Nepal since most people still don’t have access to proper sanitation. They vary from self-limiting diarrhea where dehydration is the primary danger, through chronic intestinal parasites, amoebic dysentery, and giardiasis that need medical attention, to life-threatening diseases like cholera and typhoid. Even for ordinary intestinal flora, it takes approximately a year and several painful episodes of stomach issues to get used to it, so visitors planning shorter visits should take extra care. Filter or treat your own water, use bottled water after double-checking the lid (limit bottled water usage since there’s no place to dispose of old bottles), or stick to drinks prepared from fully boiled and filtered water. Tea and coffee from tourist-oriented cafés are ‘usually’ safe.

Consider being immunized and receiving preventive therapy. You may get typhoid, cholera, hepatitis, malaria, and even rabies. Read the page on tropical illnesses and talk to your doctor about your trip plans.

It’s either safe sex or no sex. Human trafficking occurs because Nepali women are sought after in India and the Middle East. When health problems become a liability, victims may be permitted to return home and continue ‘working’ for as long as feasible. STDs are becoming more common, and the government has not always been aggressive in terms of treatment and public awareness. You have a limited possibility of learning about a potential partner’s sexual history unless your Nepali is very proficient.

Altitude sickness is a condition that occurs when you are above Base camps and passes in the Himalaya are typically higher than Mount Blanc or Mount Whitney because permanent snow lines are between 5,500 m and 5,800 m (18,000 ft and 19,000 ft). This puts even the most experienced mountain climbers at danger of life-threatening altitude-related medical problems. Choose routes that do not travel high, such as Pokhara-Jomosom, or routes and trekking organizations that provide gamow bags or other therapy, and sleep no more than 300 meters (1,000 feet) higher each day to reduce risks. It’s best to do daytime conditioning climbs that drive acclimatization, then return to a more acceptable height at night, according to the “climb high, sleep low” adage.

Hypothermia is a possibility, particularly if you’re hiking in the spring, fall, or winter to escape the heat at lower altitudes. When the temperature in the Terai is a pleasant 30°C (85°F), the temperature at that base camp or high pass is likely to be in the teens Fahrenheit or -10°C (14°F). Either be ready to walk and sleep in these temperatures (and make sure your companions, guides, and porters are as well), or choose for a lower-altitude trip. Daytime temperatures at 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) are expected to be in the 40s Fahrenheit, or 5 to 10 degrees Celsius.

Rabies – Because dogs are not vaccinated, they often get this deadly illness from other dogs or wild animals. Every animal has the potential to be endangered. Because dogs are ritually polluted and frequently mistreated, determining whether a dog attacked you because it is worried of humans or because it is rabid may be difficult. Before visiting Nepal, you should get a rabies vaccination, although this does not guarantee your safety. Keep an eye out for mammalian behavior that seems confused or aggressive, and go as far away as possible. No matter how adorable a dog, cat, or pig is, do not touch them. Keep a safe distance from monkeys, particularly at Kathmandu’s Monkey Temple (Swayambunath). Seek medical help if you’ve been bitten or if you’ve been exposed to saliva. You may need a longer course of injections to get a greater degree of protection than standard immunization.

Snakebites are more common in hot weather and at altitudes below 1,500 meters (5,000 ft). Poisonous snakes are very widespread, and they kill thousands of people every year. People in the area may be able to distinguish between dangerous and non-poisonous plants. When cobras are irritated, they lift their bodies in the air and spread their hoods; itinerant snake charmers are likely to have specimens for your viewing pleasure. Vipers, like poisonous snakes in North America, have triangular heads and robust bodies. Due of their benign look and highly powerful neurotoxic venom, kraits may be the most deadly. Kraits are very quiet during the day but become more active at night, particularly near homes where they hunt rodents. Krait bites may be painless at first, merely producing numbness. Numbness may develop to fatal paralysis without adequate antivenin, even with bites from tiny, apparently innocuous species. Protect yourself by wearing appropriate shoes and pants rather than sandals and shorts. When going outdoors at night, be careful where you place your feet and hands, and carry a light. Sleeping on raised mattresses or on second floors may help keep nocturnal kraits at bay.

Asia

Africa

South America

Europe

North America

Read Next

Kathmandu

Kathmandu is Nepal’s capital and biggest municipality. Kathmandu Metropolitan City has a population of 975,453 people and covers an area of 49.45 square kilometers...