Nepal in Glimps
Nepal is a landlocked country located in South Asia with an area of 147,181 km² and a population of about 28 million. It is in 93rd position in world’s largest country in land mass and is in 41st position in the populated country. It is located between the two big countries China in the north and India in the south, east and west. Nepal is separated from Bangladesh and Bhutan by the narrow Indian Siliguri Corridor and the Indian state of Sikkim respectively. Kathmandu is the capital of the country which is the largest metropolis. Nepal is a secular country and people here follow different religion Hinduism, Buddhism, Kiratism, Islam, Christianity and some people even say they are both Hindu and Buddhist. Thus, with respect to every religion, there are public holidays in the main festivals of each religion.
People living in Nepal are Nepalese and the national language is Nepali even if there are other local languages according to the community Nepali is mostly known by all. Economically, our country known as developing country is very poor as ranked in 145th position among 187 countries in HDI.
So, not being an expensive country it is very easy to settle in and very favorable for vacation with its beautiful natural beauty and affordable costs. These are the basic information you can know about Nepal. Traveling to Nepal and working here and settling down may not be the first idea that pops up in your head but it depends on people. There are many who are citizens of Nepal already who once came to travel to Nepal.
As per everyone’s knowledge, Nepal has been affected by the earthquake on 25th April 2015 of 7.9 rectors. Many religious and traditional places have been devastated completely. So, there might be not much to look at like earlier in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur but we are working on reconstructing our legacy. Apart from Kathmandu and Bhaktapur nothing has changed so one can visit Nepal and experience the same beauty as in the old days.
Now, the information here is of 2017 and everything is subject to change. In the coming years, some information can be changed. So, here are some details of the trip you want to make to Nepal.
- Visa Procedures and Flight to Nepal
- Customs and clearance
- Arrival and Lodging
- Food and clothes
- Money Exchange
- Responsible tourist
- Weather changes
- Getting along with Nepalese
- Be aware of Thugs and Frauds
- Things necessary to bring in Nepal
- Mobile phones and network
- Transportation in Nepal
- Getting a SIM card and important phone numbers
- Internet use and connections
- Market in Nepal
- Banking and Finance in Nepal
- Health Issues and Guidance
- Places to Visit in Nepal
- Adventures in Nepal
- Expenditure in Nepal
- Problems and Annoyances
- Going back
These are some of the things that you can know before coming to Nepal. Let’s look at them in details:
Visa Procedure and Flight to Nepal
- Do I need a Visa to come to Nepal?
When you decide you want to come to Nepal, you need a visa. Indian nationals do not require a visa however they must have proof of their identity along with them. For other nationalities, visa can be obtained at Nepalese embassies or consulates. If not, one can get the visa in the border or at the Tribhuwan International Airport itself which requires two passport-sized photos of yours. But the nationals from Nigeria, Palestine, Somalia, Swaziland, Afghanistan, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iraq, Liberia and Zimbabwe cannot get the visa at the immigration entry points of Nepal and have to apply for the visa in the Nepalese Embassies or diplomatic missions in their respective country.
- How much do I have to pay for the visa and how long will it be valid?
If you want a visa for 90 days that is single entry visa you have to pay US$100 and an additional amount to be paid for double entry or multiple entry visas. Similarly, you can renew your visa for US$40 which gives another 30 days of stay in Nepal. However, from the fifth-month stay, you have to visit the immigration office and pay the amount with the proof of your departure and on the payment of the fee, you can extend 120 days of your stay.
- Can I pay visa in my national currency or the Nepalese currency itself?
Visa fee is accepted only in the form of US dollar, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, Hong-Kong dollar, Euro, Swiss Franc, Pound Sterling, Singapore dollar and Japanese Yen. Nepalese currency, Indian currency, and credit cards are not acceptable for the payment of visa fees.
- How should I book the flight?
Tribhuvan International Airport is the only international airport in the country. So, one can book the ticket online on the various website. Varying from countries to countries it might take 5 hrs to 12 hrs by flight to reach Kathmandu.
- Do I have to pay any tax on departure?
The departure tax is now included in your air fare. So you don’t have to pay any airport tax or tax on departure whether you are from Nepal or you are foreigner traveling back to your home country.
Customs and Clearance
- What to do at the custom?
You have to clear your luggage and baggage through customs. Personal articles are permitted free entry. If you haven’t brought dutiable goods you can go through the green channel for a quick check but if you have brought such goods then you have to pass through the red channel where your luggage will be checked thoroughly.
- What are the things I can take to Nepal?
You can bring free of duty cigarettes, cigars, alcohol, film rolls, computer, laptops, musical instrument, cameras, movies and other portable systems. The import of marijuana and other such drugs are strictly prohibited and can be charged for such behavior. So, you have to careful in bringing the right thing in your journey.
Arrival and Lodging
- How will I find a hotel?
Once you are through the customs now you have to go to a lodge or hotel to rest and unpack your bags. One can book the hotels online which renders pick up facility and one do not have to wander around much. If not, there will be transportation means in the airport which can take you to your desired place. If you do not have any idea you can just ask them about the area and reach your hotel.
- Do I need to be alert for any other things in my hotel?
After you reach your destination that is a place to stay, you should check all the things according to your need. Does it have everything it said on the internet? You should look for the secure place as to be secure from any natural calamity like earthquake which destroyed many lodge and hotels in Thamel areas lately. So, select a secure and strong building to stay in. After you are sure of your stay you can unpack your bags and plan further.
Food and Clothes
- How should I maintain my diet?
Nepal has different climate in different months and one should be very careful about eating. During this time of the year, it is very hot and one should be careful about eating in hotels and check the food properly. As you are staying in a lodge you can check the kitchen and see if it is properly cleaned and hygienic. To avoid dehydration always carry a bottle of water while sightseeing and walking in the afternoon.
- Is there anything I need to take care of while I dress?
Similarly, dressing as per the climate is very necessary and should be careful about one’s personal hygiene. It is always preferable to carry a mask with you as there is chance of getting swine flu and you will protect yourself with the dust and foggy gases from the vehicles. It is a good idea to carry a pocket hand sanitizer with you as the toilets in Kathmandu are not clean and sometimes they might be too difficult to find as well.
- How can I exchange my money?
Currency exchange is easy as there are many banks, hotels and exchange counter in Tribhuwan International Airport rendering this service. You can exchange your money through any authorized organization in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
- Can I use Indian currency?
The Indian Currency of IC 500 and IC 1000 are not used in Nepal. The exchange of money among individual and unauthorized organization is strictly prohibited.
- Do I need the receipt after the exchange?
After you exchange your money, do not forget to keep the encashment receipt with you all along as it is needed when you have to exchange the remaining Nepalese currency while returning your country.
- Where can I find the exchange rates?
The exchanged rates can be found in English newspaper and you can check the rate yourself.
- I do not want to be a burden during my visit, how can I help in responsible tourism?
Before you start your journey to Nepal, we humbly request you to be a responsible tourist and respect the belongings of our country as much as you respect yours. Someone said “leave only footprints and take only photographs”. Leave us your memories and take our memories with you. Help us take care of you and take care of us as well. You can help us by not doing the following things and being a responsible tourist:
- A) Manage your litters and maintain cleanliness around the places you visit. Even if others do not, initiate it with you and look for the change to happen
- B) To avoid trampling and other negative environmental impacts use prescribed routes, camping sites and places meant to be rest.
- C) Minimize the use of firewood and use alternative source of heating to avoid deforestation and bury the source of fire properly which might cause fire in the forest.
- D) Prefer the service of a porter and local guides to know more about the culture and community of Nepal.
- E) Respect the cultural, traditional and religious values of the country as it is directly linked with the people living in the country.
- F) Right use of the resources can help the people in rural area get to know with the new technology.
G) Use of Marijuana and drugs in public place might get you in problem as well as affect the younger minds.
- What are the best tourist season and why?
September-November and February-March are the two best tourist season in Nepal on the basis of best weather and visibility periods. September-November is a dry season and visibility is excellent. This season is perfect for mountain views and trekking as there is no risk of leaches while trekking. The season is festival season and you can no more about the culture of Nepal as well. Similarly February-March is a bit cold and is favorable for hiking and expedition
- Is there off season in Nepal?
May to September is the monsoon season and the travel agencies takes break during this season. So, you can easily bargain with the stay of your lodge during these seasons and is cheaper too. However, you can visit at any time as it is the best place to pack your bags and visit.
Getting Along with Nepalese
You will find Nepalese people friendly as we respect the tourist visiting our country and regard tourist as god “Atithi Devo Bhawa”.
- What are the common etiquettes that can be of some help?
Some of the common etiquettes are:
- Use “Namastey” as a form of greeting by joining your both palm. It has a very spiritual meaning which says I salute your god within you and you salute mine. Handshakes are preferable only when offered, do not offer handshake yourself.
- While entering a temple or anyone’s house in Nepal, do not forget to take off you shoes. Any item of leather is forbidden in some temples.
- It is nice if you learn some basic Nepalese terms and gestures. Like, nodding head means ‘yes’, shaking your head means ‘no’ and slight dangle of your head means ‘OK’.
- Some Hindu temples might prohibit the entry of any other religion as part of a tradition. When you visit a temple, always circumambulate in clock-wise direction.
- Touching any person or thing with feet is regarded sin and food material touched by your mouth is impure and do not offer any food from your plate as it is bad manners in Nepal.
- Taking photographs is strictly prohibited in many temples and other traditional places. So seek permission before doing it.
- Decency in dress and avoid the displays of public affection while you are here.
- Do I need to learn Nepali?
It is not necessary to learn the whole language but in order to communicate with the local people you can learn some of the parts. You will be with a guide which will make the communication better.
Be aware of Thugs and Frauds
- Are there thieving in the hotels?
When you are new in a country, people try to take advantage of you. The hotels and lodge owners try to over rate the price of the hotels to the foreign tourist and some might also take away valuable things from your luggage. So, it is better to book proper hotel and check the security before you decide to stay. Always lock the door and keep your baggage safe before leaving the hotel. Do not display your valuables or any expensive items as it might be robbed.
- How safe is Nepal?
You are advised to take a registered guide with you while you trek. Try not to trek alone and even if you do be aware of any unusual things around you. Walking late night in the city area might be risky as there are many drug addicts who wants money and can do anything for that. So, you have to be careful about that. There are risks of wild animals in dense forested areas so you have to be in group during such expeditions.
- What are the things I can be aware of?
There are people who might do tricks on you and take your belongings. You are a foreigner and it is obvious for anyone to look at you again and again and surround you. At such times be aware of your belongings and try getting out calmly.
- Can shopkeeper in market be frauds?
The perfect place for frauds to be in is market areas. Not all the shopkeepers are fraud but most of them know you have enough money and they try to over rate the price of the thing. They try to pamper you in buying a small thing in too much of a value. So, be aware of such incident. In market areas there are many pick pocketing and robbing and running away incident. So be aware of such frauds who might hover around you in the crowd.
- Where should I contact incase of theft or loss of my belongings?
Any security or travel-related issues can be reported at Tourist Police in Bhrikuti Mandap, Kathmandu by preparing documents to claim insurance. Contact Number- 97714247041
Things necessary to bring in Nepal
- What do I need to be bring in Nepal?
There is nothing in particular except for your personal items and things of need from clothes to other items. One should bring your MASTER CARD along with you in times of emergency which can be of help.
- Can I bring my license?
An international license is accepted in Nepal so you can bring your license with you.
- Can I bring my cell phone?
You can bring your cell phone along with you but you might have to unlock it as it might not work here. So, you can buy a regular handset while your stay in Nepal and prefer cheaper one like Nokia 1100.
- What are the things I should not bring?
Any weapon or harmful objects are strictly prohibited at the customs itself. Some might bring drugs along with them to have fun in Nepal which might not be a good idea.
Mobile Phones and Network
- How good is the network coverage in Nepal?
Mobile network coverage is very good in Nepal and is spread throughout the country. The major network service providers are NTC, Ncell, CDMA, UTL and Landline Services (PSTN). NTC is the oldest service provider and has large number of customers running under the government. Ncell, CDMA and UTL are company based network providers. Ncell is mainly known for its different kind of schemes and facilities and has wide range of network coverage. CDMA and UTL are popular for its network coverage for rural areas where there is no 3G network. Similarly, PSTN service is available throughout the country and is present in city areas along with some rural areas too.
- I know the area codes, how do I call?
If you are in the country and you have to call Pokhara then dial
If you want to call Pokhara from another country then dial
00+Country code+city code+phone number = 00 977 61 123456