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Nepal Travel Tips
VisaNepal, with tourism as its pillar industry, is almost accessible for citizens all over the world. Nepal has brought online visa application system into operation since 2014. Tourists can stay in the country for 150 days at most in one year.
|Types of Visa||Countries|
|Visa required in advance||Afghanistan, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iraq, Liberia, Nigeria, Palestine, Somalia, Swaziland, Syria, Zimbabwe|
|Tourist visa on Arrival||Except countries mentioned above|
• Tourist visa free of charges: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and China (including Hong Kong and Macau).
• Citizens of Brazil, China, Russia and Thailand with non-ordinary passports such as diplomatic or service passports are not required to provide a visa.
Travel CostNepalese Rupee (referred to as Rs in the following text) is the official currency in Nepal, but U.S. Dollar and RMB are also accepted. The price of commodities is relatively low that 200 or 300 Rs is enough for a meal in most cases. The price of a rice set including vegetables, curry and soup charges from 80 to 350 Rs. 1L bottled mineral water charges from 12 to 60 Rs and 40 Rs for a bottle of cola in 250ml. As for accommodation, it costs about 400 to 700 Rs to stay in a hotel for one night, while highly acclaimed guest houses are relatively expensive and the payment is preferred in U.S. dollar, about 20 to 35 U.S. Dollars (including breakfast) for one night. What needs to be mentioned is that most guest houses and restaurants tend to charge extra 10% for their service, and 5 to 20 Rs is an appropriate tip. Bargaining is commonly seen, so it is negotiable about prices of most commodities.
It is advised that Rupee be exchanged on the arrival at the airport for it is supposed to tip the porter. In addition, authorized agencies for foreign currency exchange can easily be found in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Kathmandu, especially the busy Thamel area in its old quarters, is the best choice for currency exchange for its highest exchange rate throughout the country. Paying in cash is common, while credit cards are not universalized and they are merely used in upscale hotels, restaurants and shopping malls. Therefore, it is advisable to prepare more cash.
AccommodationHotels in Nepal are cost-effective, clean and well equipped with necessities in majority. Different options are available. Most budget hotels are densified in Thamel where various restaurants, bars and souvenir shops can cater to your appetite. Upscale hotels are all over the country, such as Hotel Manang in Thamel with private balcony, mini bar, shower, television, equipment for making tea and coffee, free wifi and air conditioner. Jewels of Manang Restaurant provides breakfast in Nepalese, Indian, Chinese and European styles.
Situated on the top of the mountain, Fulbari Resort in Pokhara is famous for its scenery. Fulbari Resort with red bricks, against sky and trees forms a magnificent picture. The swimming pool of the resort is built next to a canyon, with streams and springs running down along the winding path. A special zone is also set up for keeping rare birds.
FoodNepal is located on the boundary between India and Tibet, so its cuisines turn out to be diversified with both Indian and Tibetan flavors. Bustling Thamel is swarmed with assorted restaurants such as Dream Garden, Fire and Ice, Third Eye Restaurant, Helena's Restaurant, and New Everest Momo Center, in which top 5 special food, i.e. Dal Bhat, Samosa, Momo, Newar food and Chapati are supplied. Dal Bhat is similar to quick meal, in which Dal means beans and Bhat refers to rice. Nepalese are used to blending the fixings into rice with right hands while eating. Besides, due to their belief in Hinduism, beef is hardly seen in the menu. Instead, buffalo meat is offered along with chicken and mutton. Taken Nepal's poor sanitary condition into account, it is suggested not to drink running water and eat raw vegetables.
ShoppingNepal is hailed as shopping paradise for its souvenirs of numerous varieties like Nepalese-style artifacts, spices, embroideries, black tea and Gurkha knives. Thamel is the most celebrated business street in Kathmandu with artifacts, Thangkas and pashminas everywhere in Thamel. Other shopping streets like the Old Street in Bhaktapur which is famous for fictiles and woodcarving goods and the Lake Side Shopping Street in Pokhara which is filled with traditional artifacts are also worth visiting.
FestivalsMore than 50 festivals are celebrated in the country every year. Some important festivals include Holi, Dasei, Tihar and Buddha Jayanti. Holi celebrated in March is a festival covered with the color red, which stands for good luck and happiness. The local people throw red powder and balloons with red fluid to one another. Dasei is the grandest festival in Nepal. During its celebration in September or October, the whole nation will have a holiday for 10 to 15 days. Tihar lasts 5 days, in which people light oil lamps and set off firecrackers. The first day Nepalese pay tribute to crows, the second day dogs, the third day the goddess Lakshmi, the fourth day cattle and the fifth day people spot lucky mole for their brothers. Buddha Jayanti is a festival observed for the birth of Shakyamuni Buddha in May. Celebration activities in Kathmandu and Lumbini become the gathering of Buddhists from the world.
Do's and Don'tsDo's
It should be noted that you should take off your shoes before getting into temples and houses. You should walk clockwise when walk around a temple or a stupa. You should notice that you should get permission before taking photos. You can shake hands with men but say "Namaste" to women while greeting Nepalese.
Travelers are expected to pay attention to their dressing and women travelers who are scantily clad are not favorable in particular. Also, open intimacy between men and women are not appropriate. Physical contact with women or clergies or cross someone over his or her body are not favorable. Don't touch others' food or tableware with your knife, fork, spoon or hands. Don't touch the locals' belongings by feet, which is regarded as a serious offense. You'd better use two hands when receive or pass something and do not use your left hand eating or touching children. Goods made of fur and leather are not allowed to bring into temples. Also, beef is not allowed in Hinduism regions. What's more, Hindu temples are open to followers of Hinduism only, so people of other religions are not allowed to enter Hindu temples. Do not throw trash in fire for fire is considered holy. Another key point is that shaking heads means yes while nodding means no in many cases.
Power SupplyVoltage in Nepal is 220V or 240V and plug Type D with three round pins is used commonly, so travelers need to prepare a plug adapter. The whole country is in power shortage in dry seasons from October to May in the next year and 8 hours' power failure one day may be inevitable. Therefore, enough batteries and power banks are necessary.
Internet and TelephoneThanks to the large number of visitors, the network coverage is relatively high in big cities, especially in hotels and restaurants. It is more convenient to take your photo and photocopy of your passport to buy a temporary SIM card, Ncell for instance, which involves the fee of cellphone data.
Calling Code: +977
Alarm phone number: 100, 110, 130
Kathmandu Police Station: 01-4412780
Lalitpur Police Station: 01-5521207, 01-5521350
Bhaktapur Police Station: 01-6614708, 01-6614852
Emergency number in Thamel: 01-4429750
Emergency number in Chitwan: 056-20155, 056-20177
Emergency number in Lumbini: 071-20199, 071-20200
Emergency number in Pokhara: 061-20033