One of the best travel destinations in the world, Nepal is a dream come true for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike.
While the Himalayas to the north grant shelter to the lush hills, the plains cover the southern part of the nation. The Himalayan region houses some of the highest mountains in the world including Mt. Everest (8848.86m). The hills offer insight into remarkable culture and lifestyle whereas the Terai is a haven for diverse vegetation and wildlife.
Deep gorges, silent rivers, and peeking mountains will follow you wherever you go. With diverse geography and smiling faces, Nepal is a travel destination like no other. Not only that but you will also be entranced with the activities that you can enjoy in Nepal which range from climbing up the highest mountains in the world to exploring one of the oldest cultures in the world.
Country Visa and Entry Procedure
All travellers need to obtain a Tourist Visa to enter Nepal. You can get an On Arrival Visa at the Tribhuvan International Airport or land entry/exit points at Nepal-India or Nepal-Tibet border. Likewise, you can also procure a Nepalese Visa at one of the Nepalese Diplomatic Missions located abroad.
The cost of a Visa depends on the days of your stay; it costs USD 30 for 15 days, USD 50 for 30 days, and USD 125 for 90 days. You can find the information related to updated visa fees at the official website of the Department of Immigration at http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/post/notice-regarding-visa-fee-updates.
Likewise, you can also obtain a Gratis Visa if you are a SAARC national (except Afghanistan), a child below 10 years of age, a Chinese national, or an NRN. Find more information regarding Tourist Visas at the official website of the Department of Immigration at http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visa
Popular Destinations to Visit
The range of places to visit can change according to what kind of activities you seek. For cultural tours and sightseeing, you can’t miss out on the world heritage sites like Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, Swayambhunath, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, and Changunarayan.
The city of lights, Pokhara is also a lovely visit where you can enjoy the modern nightlife along with the magnificent view of the mountain ranges calling you out from above. Do not miss out on the holy site of Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Budhha, where you can find various historical monuments and religious shrines.
The lush jungles and their animals conserved under national parks and conservation areas are also one of the most popular destinations to visit in Nepal. Likewise, Annapurna Base Camp and Everest Base Camp are the most sought out trek destinations not only in Nepal but in the whole world.
Things to do in Country
Nepal welcomes all kinds of travellers with open arms. For thrill-seekers and adventurers, activities like rock climbing, white water rafting, bungee jumping, zip-lining, paragliding, and many more are there to provide you with a thrill of a lifetime. Likewise, expeditions and peak climbing trips are for mountaineers who wish to scale peaks above and below 6,500 meters respectively.
If you are looking for a peaceful journey then you need to worry not, you can enjoy your time with family and friends on small camping trips, cultural tours, and short hikes. Yoga and meditation can be enjoyed among many other activities help you find the perfect balance between your physical and spiritual being.
Do not miss out on the exquisite cuisine and the mouthwatering delicacies of Nepal. The local food will give you the taste of a unique blend of spices not found anywhere else in the world.
The symptoms of altitude sickness are seen generally above the altitude of 2,400 meters. Some of these symptoms are nausea, headache, and loss of appetite, breathlessness, and rapid pulse. Above all, you need to trek in a way that prevents altitude sickness. Thus, the key is to trek slow and steady. Make sure not to rush on your way to the top and give your body ample time to acclimatize.
If a trekker does fall victim to altitude sickness, the immediate remedy is to descend. Emergency helicopter flights and evacuations available on most of the trekking destinations. Make sure to plan with your travel agency to confirm emergency help in case you need one. You can also find porters along the trekking trails who might be willing to get you down immediately. Since anyone can fall prey to altitude sickness, all the trekkers must have appropriate travel insurance.
Travellers heading to Nepal must have travel insurance, especially, if they are travelling to higher altitudes. If you already have one or are planning to get one then make sure that the policy covers all the aspects of your travel.
As such, travel insurance must cover theft, personal loss, flight delays, and cancellations, along with any medical expenses. It will be beneficial to you if you get travel insurance with the policy of emergency helicopter evacuations. These are especially important if you travel to destinations like Everest and Annapurna regions.
Meals and Accommodations
There is a wide range of accommodation available in major cities like Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan. You can easily choose your accommodation from five-star hotels to simple lodges. While five-star hotels offer luxurious services, they are available at a hefty price. Likewise, the lodges offer basic services at a reasonable price. In cities, you will also find gourmet foods from all around the world as well as simple local food like Dal and Bhat thali set.
However, trekking routes, especially on higher altitudes, are not equipped with such modern accommodation and meal services. Most of your accommodations on a higher altitude trek will consist of simple lodges and tea houses. The food you will be provided will also be simple Dal, Bhat, and Curry.
Banking, ATM’s and Money
Nepalese Rupees is available as banknotes of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000. Similarly, coins of NRs 1 and 2 are also used across the country.
It is better to exchange money from your currency for the local Nepalese currency when travelling around Nepal. There are exchange booths available inside the airport or you can exchange your money at one of the exchange booths or banks in cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara. However, you should have an idea about the updated exchange rates as well. You can find this information at the official website of Nepal Rastra Bank at https://www.nrb.org.np/fxmexchangerate.php.
Similarly, ATM’s can be easily found in all the main cities which do accept some foreign debit and credit cards but they also cost you extra charges. When you travel to a higher altitude, the availability of ATMs, banks, and exchange booths all decrease. So, it is best if you carry out all the operations associated with these bodies while you are in the major cities.
Internet and Communication
Most of the hotels and restaurants in all the major cities provide free internet service as a complimentary service. Even free Wi-Fi is available in many public areas in the cities. However, Wi-Fi services are a rarity in rural areas especially when you trek to higher altitudes. In such scenarios, it is best to use cellular data for communication and internet access.
Mobile services in Nepal are exceptional even in higher altitudes. You will find good internet connectivity through data almost everywhere if you are using data from Nepalese mobile service providers. To use these services, you need to purchase a Sim card at any of the local Sim card distributors.
If at any time you can’t be connected through mobile phones then there is also the facility of landline telephones which you will find almost everywhere in Nepal.
Internal Flight Delays
Due to the sheer altitude and diverse topography, the Himalayan region of Nepal is prone to flight delays and cancellation. The unstable weather conditions and thick fog in these regions often cause the flights to be delayed or cancelled.
Depending on the season the frequency of flight delay can differ. You will experience lesser delays and cancellation if you are travelling in the autumn or spring seasons because of less adverse weather conditions. Monsoon is met with cloudy skies and heavy rains because of which there is also more chances of cancellation. Winter is also prone to delays due to thick fogs making it harder to safely land flights.
Health and Safety Including Traveling alone in Country
While Nepal is ideal for travel concerning the safety and security of travellers, we advise you to maintain contact with your embassy in Nepal. You can also inform the local authorities like Tourist Police about your travel itinerary. It also helps if you are well informed about the travel information from local newspapers and other new sources.
Trekking alone, majorly in higher altitudes, is not advised as there are great health and safety issues. While travelling to higher altitudes you need to be aware of altitude sickness as well. Make sure you have an experienced travel guide with you who can take you to safety in case of adverse conditions. Except for these travel issues, travellers need not worry about their security or other aspects. Nepalese people are friendly and will assist you in times of need.