Things you should know before visiting Nepal:
1. Nepal is officially called as ‘Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal’.
2. Nepal is a South-Asian land locked country sharing border with Tibet (China) at northern and with India at eastern, western and southern side.
3. Capital city is Kathmandu. Rich in cultures, temples, palaces, museums with 7 UNESCO world heritage sites
4. Your international flight will land on ‘Tribhuwan International Airport’ in Kathmandu. Only international airport till date. There are many other entry points via land.
5. Never Trek alone. Always take a professional trekking guide from reputed trekking company with you.
6. Nepali is the official language and spoken all over Nepal. Also, English is well spoken around urban areas like Kathmandu, Pokhara mostly by young generations. While, no English at rural remote areas.
7. Most of the Nepalese approx 80% follows Hindu religion; however peaceful blend of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Kirat, Christians and others is experienced.
8. Nepalese rupee (NPR) is the local currency acceptable everywhere at Nepal. Foreign currencies can be easily exchanged at updated rates around city area. (Approx 100NPR=1USD)
9. Time zone is NPT which is 5 hours and 45 minutes ahead than GMT. i.e. GMT +5:45= NPT
10. Cow is the national animal and spotted even ahead of traffic. Drive cautiously on your left side.
11. International calling code to call Nepal is +977 and area code for Kathmandu is 01.
12. While hiring a taxi, insist to run on meter.
13. Get updates on Bands and Strikes on Nepalese Online Medias as no transportation is allowed during strike.
14. Marijuana is not legal in Nepal.
15. Dal(Lentil), Bhat(Rice) and Tarkari(Veggies) is most common served daily by Nepalese. Often called Dal Bhat power 24 hour. And momo is favorite street food.
16. Don’t display food in front of monkeys while visiting temples. They are expert snatchers.
17. Get yourself a free sim card at Nepal Telecom’s booth at Tribhuwan International Airport. To use in your gsm mobile phone while you are in Nepal. Recharge cards are easily available at local stores.
18. Emergency toll free number is 100, fire 101. Tourist Police(not toll free) : 4226359 / 4226403
19. Support local tourism by traveling responsibly.
20. Nepal is absolutely safe to visit after earthquake.
Best Time to Visit Nepal
Trekking in Nepal can be enjoyed all the year around, but the best season to trek in most of the trails of Everest, Annapurna and Langtang, Manaslu, area is spring (March to May) and autumn (mid September to December) as the weather is best and you can get clear views of mountain in these time of year. You can trek along the rain shadow area like Upper Mustang and Lower Mustang during monsoon season too. Monsoon does not affect these areas as these are rain shadow area.
Nepal Visa on Arrival
The easiest way to get Nepal Visa is to apply it online, get it at entry points of Nepal. As mentioned by Government of Nepal, Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Immigration, here are few advice for Online Visa Applicants:
In order to avoid long queues and unnecessary problems, kindly submit a complete Online Visa Application form to the Immigration Authority of Nepal in your first attempt! To do that, here are few things you need to prepare:
1. Please keep your valid passport at hand.
2. Ready a recent digital photograph (size: 1.5” x 1.5”) in your removable device to upload your photograph for the application.
3. Gather beforehand
a. A detailed permanent residence address, and
b. Detailed address in Nepal.
4. You need to provide telephone numbers—land-line and mobile.
5. You need to provide your email address too.
6. The submitted application will remain in the system for 15 days. After 15 days, the application will be deleted automatically from the system.
7. Once the application is successfully submitted, a receipt will be sent to your email immediately.
8. Print the receipt and keep it with you as you need to produce it before the Immigration Authority.
9. For your convenience, the deadline to contact the Immigration Authority will be mentioned in the receipt.
10. The receipt also mentions about the documents you need to produce before the Immigration Authority.
11. Please contact the Immigration Authority within 15 days after the submission of application.
12. For example, if you submit your extension application today, and your visa is expiring the next day, on the third day if you visit the Department of Immigration, you will have to pay late fee of that day. In order to prevent this sort of hassle, please submit your extension application on time and get your visa renewed before crossing the expiry date.
13. When you contact the Immigration Authority, please make sure you have the receipt and proper documents with you including the necessary fee.
14. No on arrival visa for country list - AFG,IRQ,CMR,GHA,SOM,SWZ,PSE,ZWE,NGA,ETH,LBR
Source and for more information:
What to Pack for Nepal
Choosing ‘what to pack and what not to’ is an important decision that you must take before traveling Nepal. And it plays a major role in making or breaking your holidays. Packing list varies individual to individual with trip type, altitude and activities involved, interests, trip duration, season, being the major determinants. It is requested that you take these lists only as a guide line.
It is very easy to hire or buy any travel gears at Kathmandu. Especially around Thamel, area, you can find these types of rental stores, shops adequately. From branded ones to locally made, you can choose among many. Also it is requested to pack light so that it won’t become a burden during your trip. You can easily store your excess luggage at hotel in Kathmandu at nominal rates. And while packing for the trek, pack below 15kgs per person in average as we provide 1 porter for 2 trekkers with max load of 30kg following the international porter protection group ippg rules. Here are the list of gears and equipments that you might want to have a look at:
4 seasons’ Sleeping bag
• Lightweight gloves
• Heavyweight gloves or mittens
• With a waterproof shell outer (Seasonal
• Thin, lightweight inner socks
• Thick, warm wool hiking socks
• Hiking boots with spare laces
• Camp shoes (sneakers and/or sandals)
• Gaiters for hiking in winter
• Sun hat or scarf
• Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
• Sunglasses with UV protection
• Light and expedition weight thermal tops
• Fleece jacket or pullover
• Waterproof and windproof shell jacket
• Under Garments
• Hiking shorts
• Lightweight cotton long pants
• Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
• Fleece or wool pants (seasonal)
• Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants
Toileteries And Personal Hygyeine
• Quick drying towel (medium sized)
• Tooth brush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
• Multipurpose soap/handwash
• Nail clippers
• Face and body moisturizer
• Feminine hygiene products
• Small mirror
• Wet wipes
Must Have Ones
2.Passport size photos (2 + copies).
3.Airline ticket (Please make a copy and provide us one just in case if you need to change the date of your flight).
Luggage Locks (2)
4.2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain) Refillable water bottle
Durable wallet / pouch for travel documents, money & passport.
• Lip balm. At least SPF 20, 2 sticks. A string taped to the stick is helpful, to hang around your neck and some are now being sold with a cord already attached. Handy as it avoids you from having to stop and look for it.
• Sunscreen. SPF 40 is recommended and should be relatively new since it loses its’ effectiveness over time.
• Pocket knife or small Swiss Army type.
• Water purification Iodine tablets or Polar-pure crystals.
• 2 bandanas.
Travel Insurance for Nepal Trekking
Travel Insurance is mandatory for Nepal Trekking. Travel Insurance provides financial protection that protects you from unexpected situations during your travel holidays. Whether you are looking for helicopter evacuation coverage or if you need to cover your medical bills of treatment; if you have proper travel insurance then it will very much reduce your risks and you can travel with free relaxed mind.
Similarly, in case of unexpected events that may severely impact on your travel plans, purchasing travel insurance will help you to protect yourself from those accidents. From cancellation of your trip to medical and evacuation services through air ambulance or helicopter, there are varieties of Travel insurance policies that you can purchase and it is equally important to understand what your insurance company will cover and what they don’t. You and your Travel insurance company must be aware of Icicles’s detail itinerary and information regarding your trip which helps you to select your right Insurance plan. While trekking at high altitudes in Nepal it is recommended that your insurance policy covers helicopter rescue and medical treatment expenses, whereas while travelling to Tibet the rescue and evacuation is only operated through road transport. So, helicopter rescue can be avoided in this case.
Therefore, we would like to request you to select the right Travel Insurance policy that suits your travel plan. And send us the copy of your travel insurance documents or simply carry along with you while visiting Nepal.
Travel Vaccinations for Nepal
Not only before visiting Nepal, in fact before visiting any foreign country first and foremost you must be healthy, fit and fine. And the major thing to be aware of is taking necessary precautions and preventive measures against diseases and illness. Before visiting Nepal, it is advisable to visit your doctor and take vaccinations as prescribed. Usually, you are advised to bring some vaccine for common flu and malaria. Always drink safe boiled purified water. Eat only cooked food and avoid fast foods. If possible always wear a mask especially during summer season while walking out in dusty roads. Most of the drug stores near hospitals are open 24 hours. And of course smoking and drinking alcohol is injurious to health.
Personal First Aid Kit
It is advisable to bring a supply of first aid items for your own personal use. Base this on the following list, plus any special medications you may require.
• Antiseptic cream.
• Insect repellent cream.
• Suncream and total bloc.
• Hard sweets.
• Painkillers: Aspirin, Paracetamol etc.
• Anti-diarrhoea (Diocalm or Immodium).
Health Requirements before Going to Nepal
The risks to health whilst travelling will vary between individuals and many issues need to be taken into account, e.g. activities abroad, length of stay and general health of the traveller. It is recommended that you consult with your doctor couple of weeks in advance of travel. They will assess your particular health risks before recommending vaccines and /or antimalarial tablets. This is also a good opportunity to discuss important travel health issues including safe food and water, accidents, sun exposure and insect bites. Many of the problems experienced by travellers cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other preventive measures need to be taken.
And while you are joining challenging treks at high altitudes above 3000m, make sure you are familiar with acute mountain sickness, its preventive measures and remedies. Make sure you stay fit, put physical exercises in your daily routine and make the most out of it while trekking around high altitudes terrains around Nepal.
Accommodations during Nepal Holidays
You should know in details of accommodation available before joining any trekking trips in Nepal. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, there are lots of hotels to choose. From basic lodges and guest houses with limited facility to star rated hotels with luxury suites and full course menus. Furthermore, on the basis of geographical location, facilities and availability there are mainly three types of accommodation. They are Tea house (Lodges), camping and homestays.
With number of visitors increasing annually, tea houses or lodges around trekking regions are also in growing numbers. Tea houses at different point of the trek provide room accommodation along basic local meals that are available over there. Although most of the tea houses and hotels in hilly and remote areas are hygienic, comfortable with basic facilities; some may be polluted. Don’t expect international standard facilities in remote areas where you might not get comfort of home. Most of the popular trekking regions like Everest, Annapurna and Langtang are well accommodated with tea houses or lodges.
In the similar way, camping can be experienced anywhere in around the region. Camping trekking is fully organized by our professional team of guides along cooks, porters with ultimate adventure guaranteed. Mostly off the beaten path trekking trips such as Narphu valley trek, Rolwaling trek, Dhaulagiri circuit trek, Kanchenjunga base camp trek etc.
If you are interested in home stays we can organize that too in local villages. Mostly homestays are organized in Manaslu with Tsum valley trek, Upper mustang trek and others.
Food on Nepal Treks
While in Kathmandu before embarking for trek it is recommended to get yourself antibiotics for stomach infections. Usually all the food and water provided on hotel and teahouses are safe and hygienic with some exceptions. Always drink boiled water or seal bottled water and avoid drinking the tap water and from other resources.
But at any rate, eggs, porridge, muesli and noodles are reassuringly familiar, and the basic pasta and rice dishes always on offer are at least filling. Goodies like chocolate and biscuits are always available, too. In highland areas you’ll be able to eat such Tibetan dishes as momo, thukpa and riki kur, and instead of porridge you might be served tsampa. At lower elevations, daal bhaat, chow mein, packet noodles and seasonal vegetables are standard.
Domestic Flight Delays and Cancellation
As we all know that Nepal is a beautiful Himalayan country with tough topographical surroundings; the only reason for cancellation of flights is harsh weather conditions to fly around challenging terrains. Because of these natural reasons, we can see the most of the flight delays and cancellation occurs during monsoon and cold season. On the other hand, during the months of spring, summer and early autumn, flight delays and cancellations are rare.
However, while visiting Nepal it is advice to plan for couple of (atleast one) extra days, so that even in case of flight delays and cancellation, there won’t be major change in your travel schedule. And if you are unable to arrange an extra day, then our representative from Icicles adventure will arrange you a helicopter evacuation during the time of contingencies. And you can claim the rescue charges later with your travel insurance company. Therefore travel insurance is compulsory, so that you can travel more freely.
Trekking in Nepal after Earthquake
Trekking in Nepal after earthquake is safe and still possible with rewarding experiences. Earthquake on April 25th with continuing powerful aftershocks had really shook hard but the natural beauty of Nepal is still untouched.
In the year 2016, Nepal has been recommended by international medias like rough guides, forbes, national geographic and trip advisor as one of the must visit country. Even prince Charles of wales visited Nepal and appealed international communities to Visit Nepal, it is absolutely safe and Nepal needs tourists more like never before. Therefore, choose Nepal holidays for your next vacation. Help Nepal recover from earthquake and enjoy best of nature, culture and adventure around foothills of Himalayas.