Things to know before travelling to Nepal

The land of Himalayas, Nepal offers admirable natural beauty, majestic mountains, and some of the most incredible adventure activities. The country is most popular for trekking around the world. However, there are certain things that you must know before travelling to Nepal.

  1. Visa Process – It is quite easy to obtain a visa for Nepal. You can get a visa on arrival at KTM airport. Just enter your information at one of the kiosks, get a printed copy and go to the counter where you can pay the visa fee and get your visa. Usually, the fee for 15 days is $25, for 30 days is $40, and for 90 days is $100

  2. Nepal is super affordable – Travelling to Nepal is very cheap which is why it is one of the most popular destinations among people with all kinds of budgets. From a budget-friendly backpacker trip to a luxurious one, you can select as per your convenience.

  3. The duty-free allowance for Nepal – Plastic bags less than 20 microns thick, beef, and narcotics are banned from being imported in the country. Ammunition, firearms, radio equipment, and poppy seeds are also restricted. You can bring the following into the country –
  • 50g of gold ornaments and 100g of silver ornaments
  • 1.15 liter of wine or spirits or 12 cans of beer
  • 200 cigarettes and 50 cigars and 20g of tobacco
  • Medicine not exceeding Rs 10,000 in value
  • Fresh fruit not exceeding Rs 2,000 in value
  • Canned food not exceeding Rs 5,000 in value

4. Avoid drinking tap water – Water from the tap is unsafe for consumption and one must avoid drinking water directly from the tap, even if it is from the hotel you stay. Hotels generally provide free bottled water during your stay. Stick to bottled water which is available everywhere. Also, avoid eating pre-cut fruits and those washed in tap water.

5. Be prepared for changes in weather – Although the forecast is accurate, sometimes in Nepal, the weather can be unpredictable. It is thus advisable that you carry extra lightweight jacket along while travelling.

6. Power cuts – Occasional blackouts are common in Nepal given the country’s hilly terrain. Most of the outages are scheduled ahead of time and there are special cars that go around informing locals about the power cut.

7. Dress modestly and remove your footwear when entering a temple or a Nepali house – In Nepal, it is very important to dress respectfully particularly when visiting temples. Women should cover themselves up in areas such as shoulders, below the knees and chest, and men should wear full pants or trousers and no shorts. Also, remove your footwear before entering a house.

8. Beware of the monkeys – While you are visiting temples, you will encounter a lot of monkeys, especially if you are at Swayambhunath which is also known as the Monkey Temple. As such they are harmless but you must take care of your belongings as these monkeys like to steal shiny things and food.

9. Get to know people – In order to be more respectful to the people of Nepal remember not to touch them on the head as it is considered the most sacred part of the body. Also, do not point a finger or eat food with your left hand. Use your right hand to eat and hand-shaking.

10. It is not allowed to take Nepali Rupees out of the country – Make sure to exchange your Nepali currency while leaving as it is illegal to take the currency out of the country. Also, the Nepali currency is not accepted or exchanged anywhere else.

11. Benefit from bargaining – While shopping in Nepal, you can haggle for the price but always remember to do so in a respectable manner. We recommend visiting a few market stalls to understand the general price for an item and then negotiating suitably.

12. Trekking permit – You need a Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) card to trek in any of Nepal’s national parks. The card will let you go on hikes in the country. However, for some remote treks such as Dolpa, Mustang, and Kanchenjunga, you need to get specific permits. Also, trekkers who want to go alone should get registers at the Nepal Tourism Office.

13. Travel Insurance – A travel insurance is very important as it gives you cover against any unforeseen risks, natural disaster, cancellation of flights, losing your valuables, and in case of a medical emergency.

14. Nepal is quite safe – Nepal is ranked as one of the safest countries to visit. You will find that the local are courteous and friendly and tourism is an integral part of their economy. Whether you are travelling solo or in a group expect to get a warm welcome wherever you visit in Nepal. Female travellers also find it quite safe to visit Nepal.

15. The food here is delicious – Last but not least, the food is Nepal is lip-smacking, especially momos. Nepal’s version of dumplings are steamed or fried and filled with meat, veggies or cheese as per your preference. Besides this, you will find Indian and Tibetan influence in the Nepali cuisine. Dal Bhat Takaari is the national dish of Nepal which comprises of lentils, rice, and vegetable curry.

The history of Nepal dates back to more than 2,500 years. There are many worth visiting UNESCO sites and Nepali politics is also quite interesting. The country is a fascinating and diverse place with around 30+ ethnic groups. Majority of Nepal follows Hinduism while the country also integrates Buddhism and Animism. Visit Nepal to experience medieval cities, spiritual sites, magnificent mountains, jungles, travel nirvana and meet some of the friendliest people on earth.

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