Officially the highest country on Earth, lofty Nepal is commonly referred to as the “roof of the world.” That seems like a fitting moniker for this Himalayan nation, where soaring, snow-capped mountains disappear into the clouds like stairways to heaven.
Mount Everest is the star attraction. Tourists come in their droves to climb, hike and admire the world’s tallest peak, which flirts with the stratosphere at 8,848m (29,029ft). But this charming country is much more than just mountains.
The birthplace of Gautama Buddha, Nepal is an important pilgrimage site for millions of Buddhists, who come from far and wide to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lumbini, a temple complex where Buddha once lived.
Holy places abound in Nepal, but not just of the Buddhist variety; Hinduism has a strong foothold in the country and there are many Hindu temples scattered across the country (though some have been severely damaged by the 2015 earthquakes).
Also hit hard was the Nepali capital, Kathmandu, which is encircled by soaring mountain ranges. A beautiful, bustling city it stands at a cultural crossroads between India and China, whose influences can be seen in the architecture and tasted in the cuisine. Meanwhile, a Western vibe prevails in the lively Thamel district, which is lined with bars.
Kathmandu is a good starting point for travelers venturing into the jungle at Chitwan National Park, which is home to Bengali tigers, crocodiles and one-horned rhinos, plus myriad bird species. Phewa Lake is another draw for tourists, as are the hiking trails in the Himalayas.
Wherever you go though, wide smiles will be there to greet you; Nepalese people are amongst the friendliest in the world and it’s not uncommon to be invited into a stranger’s home for tea.
Sitting atop the world, Nepal is just one step away from heaven – and for those who have discovered the country’s many charms, it feels like it too.
Passports and Visa
Almost all foreign nationals including U.S., U.K., Australian and Canadian citizens wishing to enter Nepal must have a passport valid for six months beyond the date of entry, and also a visa. 30-day visitor visas are issued at the airport on arrival. A tourist visa can be extended from the Department of Immigration for a total of 120 days.
Safety in Nepal
Since the Maoist rebels joined the Nepalese government the country has been relatively peaceful and safe, but check the latest situation prior to arrival and exercise caution. Avoid public demonstrations, which can turn ugly. Frequent strikes are an inconvenience rather than a risk, since all transportation often stops, and shops and restaurants close. Blackouts are part of daily life throughout the dry season. Due to a lack of streetlights, be wary of opportunistic crime in the dark, and watch out for potholes. Always keep an eye on belongings. Violent crime is rare, but pickpockets are not, especially in crowded area. Keep valuables about your person in a money belt, or store them in a hotel safety deposit box.
Costs are very low in Nepal compared to Western standards but prices jump in tourist areas. Bargaining is less a part of life in Nepal than in India, so the cost of food and other goods should not be contested. This is less the case in tourist areas where you may feel you are being overcharged. There are banks and ATMs all over the city, but they do not always work, so try to keep a reserve of cash with you. Licensed moneychangers all over the city usually offer competitive rates. Credit cards are usually only accepted in some mid-range and most top-end hotels and restaurants.
Currency in Nepal
The national currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (Rs.), which divided into 100 paisa, although you are not likely to encounter the latter. Bills come in 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 rupee denominations. Coins come in 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 paisa, and 1, 2, 5 and 10 rupee denominations. At this writing, the exchange rate was Rs.87 to $1.
A sales tax (VAT) of 13% is added to non-essential goods and services in Nepal. VAT is added to hotel room rates, and mid- to upper-end hotels often have a 10% service charge. Both charges are usually included in the rate quoted.
Tipping is not compulsory in Nepal, but is expected by pretty much everyone who might provide you with a service. Tip waiters in restaurants and taxi drivers (unless their meter has been rigged) 10-15% of the bill. Tip hotel porters Rs.20-50 depending on the class of hotel.
The standard of public healthcare in Nepal is mediocre at best. Avoid government hospitals if possible but few of them are quite ok. Makes sure your insurance covers the costs of private clinics, as these have relatively high standards and English-speaking doctors.The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends vaccinations against adult diphtheria and tetanus, hepatitis A and B, and also typhoid. Malaria is not usually an issue in Kathmandu, but you may to wish to consider taking precautions anyway. Definitely take precautions if visiting any rural areas. Do not drink water that has not been boiled or purified in some other way. Be wary about how salads are washed and avoid ice, unless you are certain the water is safe. Use boiled and filtered water for brushing teeth. This is less essential in the city’s better hotels. Some animals including the monkeys at Swayambhunath temple may be carriers of rabies. Visit a clinic immediately if bitten, even if you have been vaccinated beforehand.
Nepal is a Hindu nation with a significant Buddhist minority. Men and women should dress conservatively. Women should always wear a long skirt that covers the legs and men should always wear a shirt; a man walking around topless is considered extremely rude and disrespectful. Religious etiquette requires you to pass prayer walls on your right—watch what others do. You should also make a donation if visiting a monastery or temple. Do not point the soles of your feet at anyone as this will cause offence. When eating, do not handle anybody else’s food, and only pass food containers etc. with your right hand. Never touch the head of a Nepalese person.
How can I get visa of Nepal?
It is really easy to get Nepali visa for travelers when they arrive in Kathmandu. All you have to do is fill up the form when you arrive in Kathmandu airport than you need two p.p size photograph than within few minute you will have your visa stamp. Here is the price list of visa:
15 days Nepal visa cost: 25 USD
30 days Nepal visa cost: 30 USD
3 month Nepal visa cost: 100 USD
Which is the best month to travel in Nepal?
If you are able to make your holiday in winter and spring that would awesome because winter season means sep to Nov, and spring means march to June, if you travel in these months you will have clear weather, no rain, no snowfall, and also We don’t get natural disaster so for many prospective winter season and spring season is the best to travel in Nepal.
How long does it take to Thamel from Kathmandu TIA airport?
It is not so far to go to Thamel area which is center of tourist area and it has many hotels, restaurants, lodges, home stay, and hostel so no. this is the reason why many travelers used to go to Thamel instead of other parts of Kathmandu. It is 30 minute drive by private transport to Thamel.
What kind of food can i have in Nepal?
There are many restaurant in Nepal as per your interest either local typical restaurant or western style restaurant all type of foods you can get in Kathmandu. Even you can try KFC Which is located in Durbar marg. Especially if you visit Thamel area you can have easily Nepali authentic food, continental food, western, Indian , Thai almost all type of food you can have within a small area boundary which is Thamel.
What kind of trekking equipment do I need to bring?
You can bring your equipment from your own country if you have already otherwise you can buy or rest in Nepal which is much cheaper than your country as well as you don’t have to carry all the why where ever you travel so try to bring what is just essential.
Trekking equipment list:
Generally if you bring those equipment you can make your trek easily.
What kind of accommodation do I get during the trek?
During your trip in the mountain in Nepal you will get twin sharing bed room privately and most of the tea house have a comfortable bed, pillow and hot water for shower but the shower room will be sharing with all guest who ever staying in the lodge.
How much does it cost for Everest base camp trek.
Everest base camp trekking is a popular trekking destination in Nepal takes 12 days from Kathmandu go and back including both way flight to Lukla. Generally it takes 12 days and it cost 1150 USD per person which includes the both way flight, porter, guide, their all expenses, permit, grounded transport, 3 night hotel in Kathmandu. Airport picks up and drops.
How much for Annapurna base camp trek?
Annapurna base camp has few option for the price if you follow the trail to ABC through Ghorepani it takes 10 days to go and back it cost 750 USD per person. And you will get all essential service regarding to your trip. More details of this trip is here.(http://safeholidayadventure.com/activities/low-cost-annapurna-base-camp-trekking/