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).
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.
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.