About Nepal

Motto: Mother and Motherland and Greater than Heaven

Official language: Nepali

Religion: Hinduism and Buddhism are the main ones. Other religions present: Islam, Kirant, Christianity, Animism.

Government: Federal Parliamentary Republic

President: Bidhya Devi Bhandari (2015)

Prime Minister: Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli (2015)

Area: 143,322 Km2 (55,337 sq. miles)

Population: 29,183,265

Capital: Kathmandu (1.015 million)

Time zone: UTC + 05:45

Currency: Nepali rupee

Official language: Nepali

Embassies and Consulates

Find your embassy or consulate here:

https://www.embassypages.com/nepal_es

Visa

It is easy and often cheaper to organize the visa at the airport in Nepal upon arrival. There is one electronic system for visa application: you will see some touch screens in the arrival hall, with this system you don’t need to carry passport photo, the computer takes a digital photo of you. And you need to fill the forms in the computer.

To avoid queues at the airport, you can fill up the electronic form online máximum 15 days before the arrival date to Nepal. This is exactly the same form you will need to fill up at the airport. So if you do it beforehand, you will safe valuable queuing time.

http://online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/tourist-visa

After filling up the forms you will be requested to pay at the counter:

Minimum of 15 days: 30 USD

30 days: 50 USD

90 days: 125 USD

Regardless of which visa you apply, if you decide to stay longer, you can always extend your visa at the Immigration Department filling up the form electronically in advanced (before arriving at the Immigration Department). And pay the correspondent fee on the counter.

http://online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/tourist-visa

Check the location and office hours here:

http://nepalimmigration.gov.np/

Currency

The currency in Nepal is the Nepali rupee. There are numerous ATMs and Currency Exchange houses especially in Thamel and Bouddhanath; the touristic centres of Kathmandu.

You will also find currency exchange at the airport with good rates.

During the trek, please, make sure you carry enough Nepali rupees with you. There are no ATM services of banks along the treks save for very few places and often they may be closed or have problems with internet connections. You also get charged a higher commission rate with altitude. Ask us if you have any doubts!

Vaccinations

There are few vaccinations recommended before flying to Nepal, although it may not be necessary to have any vaccination if you are not going to be visiting the Terai area (south of Nepal border with India). We do strongly recommend you to check with your Tropical medicine doctor in your country before flying to Nepal.

Recommended to have: Depending on where you travel in Nepal (check with your doctor first):
measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) Hepatitis B
diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis Japanese Encephalitis
varicella (chickenpox) Malaria
polio vaccine Rabies
your yearly flu shot Yellow Fever
Hepatitis A Tifoidea
Typhoid

Health

We recommend you to be careful with the water you drink in Nepal. Before drinking, use purification pills or boil water.

When eating in places where you are not sure about the hygiene, avoid ordering fresh food like salads, etc. Better to ask for cooked food; that guarantees that germs are killed during the cooking process.

Insurance

Travel with insurance. This is highly recommended and compulsory when trekking with us. You won’t have any problem to access medical services in Nepal with insurance. Make sure that your coverage is the right one and includes emergency medical evacuation and rescue in high altitude if you trek with us.

Traffic and pedestrians

You will observe that motor traffic in Nepal is different from many other countries. It is chaotic, yes, but there is a common driving language that all locals understand which you can learn pretty quickly if you observe how locals move in the streets. Pedestrians in Nepal don’t have any priority. So don’t be surprised if you are about to walk onto a pedestrian crossing and a car doesn’t stop. It is you that have to make sure that no cars are approaching or that the drivers of the cars have seen you. A trick: make eye contact with the driver and raise halfway in diagonal your arm as if you are pointing to the front wheels of the car to stop it. 95% of the cars should stop after this move. Try to cross the streets with a group of people; that makes cars stop also. Be patience, it’s not wrong, it’s different.

Bargain

Taxis are always negotiable. Ask someone local first to understand prices from one point to the other, at the hotel, for example, that way you don’t get cheated and you can bargain better.

To bargain is part of the culture. But you need to use your common sense. Use your intuition. Knowing when to bargain and how it is an art and requires time and experience in Nepal. Sometimes it is fair to bargain while shopping for a souvenir in Thamel. Sometimes it’s not adequate for example bargaining for your meal.

Weather

Nepal has 4 seasons, Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn.

During Summer it is the Monsoon season. It rains considerably, especially if you go to the Terai area in the South. Pokhara is one of the areas where there is more rain in the Monsoon season.

Leeches are very common in the treks when going through the forested area during monsoon times. Carry salt and the leeches will come out immediately. If you pull them out of your skin you may keep bleeding for a while because of the teeth and the anticoagulant poison inside your skin. No panic though, it’s a bit uncomfortable but similar to a mosquito bite.

Winter (December to February). It is cool and the sky is clear. Snow falls in higher elevations. There are amazing treks in the lower elevations that you can enjoy. When the sun shines it can become quite warm. Good time to trek to Mustang, Dolpo or Manang.

Spring (March to May). It starts to be warmer and the sky is clear. Wonderful weather to trek everywhere. And enjoy the blooming flora, specifically, you will see the national flower of Nepal in most of the trekking areas: Rhododendron.

Summer (June to August). It’s monsoon season. It is hot and it rains nearly every day, but usually evenings and nights. Morning time tends to be open and sunny and the views are spectacular when trekking. The vegetation is bright green and there are spectacular flowers blooming in high altitude like the Edelweiss. Perfect time to trek to Manang, Mustang or Dolpo.

Autumn (September to November). High season to trek. Best weather and open sky to great views. This is the season where Nepal celebrates Dashain and Tihar, some of the most important festivals.

The average temperature in Kathmandu during the four seasons:

Spring season ranges between 16-23 Degree Celsius (61-73 Degree Fahrenheit)
Summer season ranges between 23-25 Degree Celsius (73-77 Degree Fahrenheit)
Autumn season ranges between 15-24 Degree Celsius (59-75 Degree Fahrenheit)
Winter season ranges between 9-12 Degree Celsius (48-54 Degree Fahrenheit)