Nepal is a country rich in beauty and serenity and a must for people who want to see a country rich in natural beauty, ethnicity, hospitality and enchanting culture. Nepal is gifted with breathtaking and captivating locations with countless beautiful places to visit from Terai to hills to mountains.
Nepal is popularly symbolised across the globe, by the highest mountain in the world; Mount Everest. This small South Asian country is home to the world’s highest snowy mountains and an array of ethnic groups with vibrant cultures, religions, ancient history and languages. Nepal, a landlocked nation, situated between India and China, is one of a few countries in the world where such immense climatic and topographic diversity features so dramatically and is crammed into such a small geographical area.
The north is covered by enormous, snow-capped mountains with a cold alpine climate, the middle region is scattered with hills and has a mild climate, and the southern region is made up of the flat Terai with a very warm, humid and tropical climate. The Himalayan and hilly landscape have attracted adventure-seeking travellers for years, they come for mountaineering, climbing, trekking, hiking, mountain biking, helicopter sightseeing, paragliding, hang gliding and rafting. Nearly one-third of the total length of the Himalayas and eight of the world’s highest peaks are situated in Nepal.
Nepal is also rich in biological diversity and is home to a wide variety of flora, fauna and wildlife. Rich culture, art and history attract visitors each year, where they can see various religions coexisting harmoniously among the multitude of ethnic groups that form the people of Nepal.
The birth place of The Lord Buddha, holy Hindu sites, beautiful temples, stupas, mosques and churches, a number UNESCO heritage sites and the most mesmerising scenery you could ever feast your eyes on, all bring people flocking to the warm and welcoming republic of Nepal.
The population of Nepal consists of numerous racial, cultural, and linguistic groups that often are divided into three broad categories: Indo-Nepalese, Tibeto-Nepalese, and indigenous Nepalese. The Indo-Nepalese migrated from India over several centuries; they practice Hinduism, have Caucasian features, and speak Indo-Aryan languages. They have settled primarily in the lower hills and river valleys and the Terai. The Tibeto-Nepalese have distinctively Mongolian features and speak Tibeto-Burmese languages; these groups occupy the higher hills and mountainous areas. Different groups within this category practice Buddhism, animism, or Hinduism. There are scattered tribes of indigenous Nepalis, whose origins probably predate the arrival of Indo- and Tibeto-Nepalese peoples.
Hindu castes and Buddhist and animistethnic groups were historically collapsed into a single caste hierarchy. At the top are high-caste Hindus. Below them are alcohol-drinking (matwali) castes, which include Mongolian ethnic groups. At the bottom are untouchable Hindu castes that have traditionally performed occupations considered defiling by higher castes. The Newars of the Kathmandu Valley have a caste system that has been absorbed into the national caste hierarchy.
Historically, members of the highest castes have owned the majority of land and enjoyed the greatest political and economic privileges. Members of lower castes have been excluded from political representation and economic opportunities. The untouchable castes were not permitted to own land, and their civil liberties were circumscribed by law. Caste discrimination is officially illegal but has not disappeared. In 1991, 80 percent of positions in the civil service, army, and police were occupied by members of the two highest castes.
Nepalese people are kind and welcoming. They are gifted with the art of welcoming their visitors and making them feel comfortable and cozy. Rich in different dialects, Nepali is the mother tongue of Nepalese people. Apart from Nepali, Newari, Tamang, Magar, Limbu, Bhojpuri, Mathili, etc. are other languages spoken in Nepal. English language is widely spoken and understood in various parts of the country.
Nepal is a country where festivals are celebrated in the grand way. People belonging to different religions celebrate different festivals. Some of the most prominent festivals of Nepal are Dashain, Tihar, Shivratri, Lhosar etc. to name a few. Talking about religion majority of people are Hindus, followed by Buddhists, Islam, Christians, Sikhsand so on.
The customary greeting is to press one’s palms together in front of the chest and say namaste(“I greet the god within you”). Men in urban areas have adopted the custom of shaking hands. In the mainstream culture, physical contact between the sexes is not appropriate in public. Although men may be openly affectionate with men and women with women, even married couples do not demonstrate physical affection in public. Some ethnic groups permit more open contact between the sexes.
Hospitality is essential. Guests are always offered food and are not permitted to help with food preparation or cleaning after a meal. It is polite to eat with only the right hand; the hand used to eat food must not touch anything else until it has been thoroughly washed, for saliva is considered defiling. When drinking from a common water vessel, people do not touch the rim to their lips. It is insulting to hit someone with a shoe or sandal, point the soles of one’s feet at someone, and step over a person.
Clothing: In the hot Indian summers we recommend light cotton tops, shorts and trousers. If you are travelling to any of Nepal’s national parks, remember to pack some long-sleeved cotton tops for game drives. Practical colors to wear are khaki, beige and white. In the cold winter months temperatures may drop dramatically, so some warm clothing is essential. When visiting religious monuments and shrines you may need to cover up, so both men and women should pack some long skirts and pants. For women it is a good idea to throw in a scarf or shawl that you can use to cover your head and shoulders if required.
Most recommended seasons for trekking are autumn (Sept, Oct, Nov) and spring (March, April, May). In these seasons you will be rewarded by good weather, sunny and warm with clear sky and outstanding views. During monsoon (June, July, Aug) although there will be no problem for trekking, the issue could be of less visibility and rain. But, for a keen botanist, monsoon is blessing as the higher valleys, mountains and meadows blossom with flowers and abundant vegetation. You can trek in winter (Dec, Jan, Feb) also, only the issue is cold weather with snow-fall at higher elevations. The trekking routes are crowded during spring and autumn but during monsoon and winter the routes are not packed and you could enjoy rather best of nature.
However, because of effects of global warming the climate is changing world wide and there could always be possibility of exception in these weather patterns. In best seasons also there could be hoax of bad weather and sometimes even in adverse months; weather tends to be excellent for trekkers.
- The form of greeting in Nepal is “NAMASTE” and is performed by joining the palms together.
- Before entering a Nepalese home, temple, and stupa remember to remove your shoes.
- Be careful not to use your spoon, fork or a hand being used for your eating to touch other’s food, plate, cooking utensil or the serving dish. Do not eat from other people’s plate and do not drink from other people’s bottle or glass. It is considered impure by the Nepalese.
- Never touch anything with your feet. This is considered an offence among Nepalese.
- While traveling dress appropriately. Women should specially avoid dressing in skimpy outfits.
- Seek permission first before entering a Hindu temple. Many Hindu temples do not allow non-Hindus to enter.
- Leather articles are prohibited to be taken inside the temple precinct.
- Walking around temples or stupas is traditionally done clockwise.
- Take photographs only after receiving permission for the object or person being photographed.
- Public displays of affection between man & woman are frowned upon. Do not do something that is totally alien to our environment.
- Remember, many times, when a person shakes his head from left to right, he may mean, “Yes”.
- Develop a genuine interest to meet and talk to Nepalese people and respect their local customs.
- In Nepal, driving is on the right-hand side and there is a good road network with signage in English and Nepali. We recommend you to hire a car with a local chauffer for all the excursions. Self-driven cars can be arranged on request although it is not recommended as of the road conditions and routes in the country. International driving license would also be required for Self-Driven car.
- Nepal is a mountainous country but luckily for the traveler, it is extensively linked by public transport. All major towns and cities have airports. Even though the roads are not up to the international quality, we have roads in most parts of the country. The roads and highways help you well in getting to the places. You may travel to places using chauffeur driven cars.
- It is recommended to intake mineral bottled water; it is widely available at any location in Nepal
- Small backpack or tote bag for transporting items such as camera
- Calculator for currency conversions
- Combination locks for luggage—TSA approved if you plan to use them on international flights
- Camera and equipment: sufficient film, memory sticks or data cards, extra batteries, lens cleaner and all chargers
- Batteries for appliances and cameras, and a power surge cable to protect your laptop from voltage fluctuations
- Prescription medications—consider two sets, packed into different bags. Prescription medications should never be placed in checked luggage on international flights.
- Remedies for headache, heartburn, diarrhea, colds and allergies; eye drops, disinfectants, antibiotic and antihistamine creams (Familiar brands may not be available locally.)
- Contact lens solution and extra set of disposable lenses
- Chapstick and moisturizing lotion
- Sunscreen with a high SPF rating
- Facial tissues
- Address book for postcards
- Journal or paper and pen for trip notes
- Passport with visa(s); credit cards
- Keep a copy of your passport’s ID page and travel insurance policy in a separate location in your luggage.
- Prescription glasses and a copy of the prescription
Climate, Climatic conditions of Nepal vary from one place to another in accordance with the geographical features. In the north summers are cool and winters severe, while in south summers are tropical and winters are mild. Nepal has namely five major seasons: spring, summer, monsoon, autumn and winter. An average temperature drop of 6°C occurs for every 1,000 m gain in altitude. In the Terai, summer temperatures exceed 37° C and higher in some areas, winter temperatures range from 7°C to 23°C in the Terai. In mountainous regions, hills and valleys summers are temperate while winter temperatures can plummet under subzero. The valley of Kathmandu has a pleasant climate with average summer and winter temperatures of 19°C – 35°C & 02°C – 12°C respectively.
The Himalayas act as a barrier to the cold winds blowing from Central Asia in winter, and forms the northern boundary of the monsoon wind patterns. Eighty percent of the precipitation is received during the monsoon (June-September). Winter rains are more pronounced in the western hills. The average annual rainfall is 1,600 mm, but it varies by eco-climatic zones, such as 3,345 mm in Pokhara and below 300 mm in Mustang. An interesting fact is that there is no seasonal constraint on traveling in and through Nepal. Even in December and January, when winter is at its severest, there are compensating bright sun and brilliant views. As with most of the trekking areas in Nepal, the best time to visit are during spring and autumn. Spring is the time for rhododendrons while the clearest skies are found after the monsoon in October and November. However, Nepal can be visited the whole year round.
Here’s a brief view of the average temperatures and rainfall during peak summer and winter in three most popular tourist areas:
|MONTH||Jan & Feb||Mar, Apr & May||Jun, Jul & Aug||Sep, Oct, Nov & Dec|
|CLIMATE||Windy||Warm & Clear||Humid & Rainy||Cold & Clear|
|Average Maximum – Minimum Temperatures|
(In degrees Celsius; * Rainy Season)
Money: The Nepali currency is the Nepali Rupee, which is made of 100 paisa. Major currencies such as US dollars, British pounds and Euros are easy to exchange throughout Nepal. The international and domestic airports throughout the country will have money exchange counters, as should the larger hotels and resorts.
The average service worker in Nepal may not expect a tip, partly to be polite and partly due to the desire to save face. That being said, wages can be very low and many employees work seven long days a week to make ends meet. If service was excellent, you can tip 10% just to show gratitude. The tipping in Nepal is still not entirely customary and may even cause embarrassment in some instances, tips should be given in a discreet manner. Don’t showboat your generosity; instead, put your gift into an envelope or discreetly take the recipient aside. You may find that they simply stuff the envelope or gratuity into a pocket without counting or acknowledging it in front of you.
Tipping for meals: In Nepal, some hotels/restaurants already include service charges in the final bill. Therefore, it is not necessary to tip. If a service charge is not included in the total, 10% of the bill is perfectly acceptable for a tip. If a tipping box is available, it is best to use this so tips can be divided between all members of the hotel staff.
Tip to Bell boys: A tip of 50 rupees is sufficient for anyone who helps carry your luggage, such as a porter or bellboy. If you are traveling with a group, 10 rupees per bag is standard for tipping.
Tip for Spas: As a spa guest in Nepal, it is good ettiquette to tip spa staff, such as masseuses, between 5%- 10%. You may wish to tip a little extra if you received exceptional service.
Tip to Tour guide: Travelers will need to tip tour guides. The best way to decide on an amount is to base it on the quality of service you receive. For example, if you go on a 7-day trekking tour, it is recommended you give at least 500 rupees equivalent to 5 pound per day. Travelers should also tip porters who help carry supplies. However, they can only carry up to a certain amount. The best option is to pack only the essentials and leave the rest of your luggage at the hotel you are staying at or the local agent’s office.
Tip to Driver: Taxi drivers in Nepal do not expect a tip, but a small tip, such as extra change, will be greatly appreciated. For short taxi rides in town, it is unnecessary to tip.
The international dialing code for Nepal is +977.
Nepal has only one International Airport. Tribhuwan International Airport is located in capital
It is essential that you refer to your airline website (this is continually updated) for general information regarding any baggage restrictions, baggage allowances, seating etc. For example any 1 piece of luggage may have a maximum weight allowance.
Visa can be obtained on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, at border entry points in Kakadvitta, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Gaddachowki on Nepal-India border and Kodari on Nepal-China border. Visa can also be obtained at the nearest Nepal Embassy or Diplomatic Mission. Visa can also be obtained (renewal purposes) at Department of Immigration, Kalikasthan, Kathmandu.A valid passport and one passport -size photo with a light background is required. Immigration Department has not specified the size of the passport-size photo.
US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency
US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency
US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency
Gratis (Free) Visa:
- For first visit in one visa year (January to December), gratis visa for 30 days is available only for nationals of South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan & Sri Lanka. However, visa can be extended from the Immigration Department on payment of visa fee as specified above.
- Indian nationals do not require visa to enter into Nepal.
1. Where is Nepal
Nepal is landlocked country located in southern Asia couched between two Asian giants India and China. Nepal is geographically, culturally and linguistically diverse. The capital city of the country is Kathmandu, commonly known as ‘city of temples’ where we can explore traditional artistic beauty. Draped along the greatest heights of the Himalaya, Nepal is where the ice-cold of the mountains meets the steamy heat of the Indian plains. Moreover, it’s a land of yaks and yetis, stupas and Sherpas and some of the best trekking on earth. The Himalaya’s most sophisticated urban cultures took shape here, in the three great mini kingdoms of the Kathmandu valley- Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur – home to a world-class artistic and architectural heritage.
- What is Nepal known for?
Nepal is Known for Mt. Everest, highest peak in the world and Lord Buddha, who was the pioneer of Buddhist religion. Besides, among 14 eight thousand meters cross mountains in the world, eight are located in this naturally beautiful country. Nepal has been the focus of outstanding achievements in the world of peak climbing expeditions with the identification of more than one thousand peaks above 6,000 meters .Trekking through the Everest region offers astounding mountain views, an opportunity to take a glimpse into the life of world heritage sites, discovering variety of Himalayan flora and faunas, and an opportunity to explore the highest Buddhist monasteries in the world. Overall, Nepal is known for its hospitality and the local people believes in the mantra ‘Atithi Debo Bhaba’ (Guest are god).
3. Can I get Nepal visa on arrival?
Yes! Nepal visa is easily available up on arrival in the entry places. Make the process easier by downloading & completing the application form, having the correct USD cash and two passport photographs.
US$ 25 or equivalent Nepali currency
US$ 40 or equivalent Nepali currency
US$ 100 or equivalent Nepali currency
- Is the country politically safe and stable?
Nepal is one of the new democratic countries in the world with many active political parties, ideas, ideologies and leaders. As such there might be some disturbances in some parts of the country. But it does not and will not affect the daily life of the residents in the other parts. Life moves on as usual, unperturbed.
5. How to enter Nepal?
Nepal can be enter by two ways,
By air: Some of the major international airlines operating schedule services to Nepal are Royal Nepal Airlines, British Airways, Biman Bangladesh, China South West Airlines, Druk Air, Gulf Air, India Air, Thai Airways, Qatar, Pakistan Air, Jet Air and Singapore Airlines. By air, you will arrive at the Tribhuvan International Airport (only one international airport) located in the heart of Kathmandu City.
By Road: There are several entry points by land route mainly from Nepal / Indian borders; and China/Tibet Boarder.
Scheduled public as well as tourist buses run to and from Kathmandu. Traveling by bus is recommended if you can cope with 10 to 12 hours of long drive in return for a fascinating mountainous views and snail tail roads that meet above the clouds.
- Do you have Airport pickup facilities?
Definitely! We do have airport pick up facilities for our customers who have booked for our any packages. We don’t charge any money. As the time you booked your trip, you have to inform us.
- Who will be our guide?
Your guide will be a local Nepali, but a fluent English speaker. We can also provide guides who speak French, Spanish, Japanese, German or Italian, if you prefer. Most of our guides come from the mountainous regions of Nepal, above 3000 m. They are carefully selected on the basis of their appropriate experience, leadership skills and personal aptitude. With an objective of sustaining local communities Himalayan Glacier only employs staffs from the different groups of Nepal’s diverse ethnic community; including Sherpas, Gurung, Magar, Rai and Brahmin who have adequate knowledge about the culture, ecosystem, flora, fauna, geography, and history of Nepal. Moreover, we provide the guides who have gone through special training package programmee like Intensive Wilderness First Aid, Trekking Guide Training, Eco Trekking Workshop & Adventure Meet, Rock climbing, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering (for expedition leaders) etc, which are certified and approved by government of Nepal.
- What kind of weather (how cold does it get) can we expect during trekking?
Weather in the mountains is notoriously difficult to predict. At night it is generally cooler the days are warm. Winter (January and February) will be bit colder but the days can be quite beautiful and warm if the sun is out. There will be bit of snow during the month of January, February and December. It is also important to make sure that you can stay warm and dry in just about any conditions. Expect the unexpected!
- Average Temperatures in Nepal ( in Degree Celsius )
- Does your company help to arrange domestic flight, international flight, hotel bookings and other services?
We can take care of all domestic flights, hotel bookings and other services. However, we suggest you to arrange international flights from your home country, but we can provide assistance.
- What type of insurance should I need to have before coming to Nepal? Can I get insurance there?
No, you can’t get here. It is a condition of joining any of our trips that be protected against comprehensive expenses potential to incur due to medical issues or accidents (to include air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please be noted that we don’t arrange or sell insurance.
A relaxed trip will be far without good travel insurance. In the event of any sickness or injury, the cost of emergency treatment and evacuation is shocking. Therefore, travel insurance is strongly recommended for everyone who signs up with Himalayan Glacier . We strongly recommend that be careful while choosing a policy as some makes special exceptions for adventure travel. Before buying insurance make sure your insurance company is aware of the HGT adventure itinerary that you are going to undertake and is agreeable to cover all activities being undertaken in the trip. Such as if you are planning trekking or climbing/expedition in Himalayas your insurance must cover emergency air ambulance/helicopter rescue including medical expenses. For a group tours in urban areas, your insurance coverage of ambulance or helicopter rescue is not mandatory, however better to have with them too. You need to send us your copy of your insurance policy (e.g. your insurance certificate) or carry it with you while you come on the trip.
- Is Nepal safe? Is a woman traveling alone safe with your company?
Absolutely Nepal is safe for traveler. Firstly, Nepal is considered as one of the peaceful countries in the world (chances are it’s safer here than your home-country). Secondly, while you’re on one of our trips, we take personal responsibility for your well-being, a responsibility we commit very seriously.
- I’ve heard stories from friends about hygiene standards in Asia. Do I need to bring the economy-pack of Immodium?
We’re very used to preparing food for western constitutions and we can assure you all food is prepared to a very high standard of hygiene – probably higher than in your home country. And, when on a lodge trek, our guides always inspect the tea-house kitchen to ensure everything’s up to scratch. On the trail bottle water is available, but an environmentally unfriendly option. Instead we prefer water that has been boiled and then purified by tablet, which is ample precaution.
13. Is your company environmentally responsible?
Of course, we are and running a business doesn’t mean that we have the right to hamper environment. Our environmental record is better than any other trekking company in Nepal. In partnership with the Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP) and the Dhaulagiri Association France, we have spear-headed a number of successful clean-up campaigns and awareness programmee. While it’s sad fact that tourism is taking a toll on these stunning areas, we believe that the two can co-exist and committed to being a part of the solution.
- Are the foods & water in the lodges and camps hygienically standard?
Very good questions. Yes! Absolutely your foods and water are safe while you are in the lodge and camp trek. We served only when it is hygienically prepared on the lodge. Moreover, our guides are the cooks while you are on the lodge trek, they will checked the goods before preparing in the kitchen & make sure everything are Okay. Most of the cooks in the local teahouses are simply trained but experience has made them perfect. If the group requires our well trained 5 star class cooks with the crew even on the lodge trek we are more delighted to take with an additional cost. You will get boiled water in the lodges or you can purify with tablets and bottled sealed water in case of insufficient even though we are conscious about current environmental issues. On HGT’s camp crew we have good combination of Guides, Sherpas, Cooks, Kitchen staffs and Porters. Guides and cooks are technically, practically and theoretically well train where as kitchen staffs and porters are practically well train. While on the camping trek our best cooks prepares you with the varieties of foods, which is hygienically prepared. You will find out very rare repetition of food items on your entire trek duration. As far as drinking water is treated by boiling and water purification by medicine or with filtered.
- For tourists, what is there to buy in Nepal to take back home?
Actually there are so many things to take back home depending on your personnel choice. Nepal is well known for its handicraft materials, pashmina, Nepalese art and craft, and Nepali musical instruments like Madal and Banshuri are the items to purchase. Moreover, Nepali carpets are also best known among the tourist customers. And the best place to shop these goods is around the Thamel area.
- What to wear in Nepal?
Nepal has a wide range of climates therefore both light and warm clothing in casual and comfortable styles. In the mountain areas, warm woolen clothing is necessary while at lower altitude cotton clothing is ideal. Bring any stuff and you will always be wearing to your comfort. If you missed any of your clothes, don’t worry you can buy Nepalese garments
- Are there ATM facilities in Nepal?
There are many ATM machines in the Kathmandu and Pokhara Valley. ATM machines are slowly being introduced to other cities like Bhuwtal and Dharan.
What types of cards are accepted? Debit or Credit? Visas or Masters or Discovers or Dinners?
- Most popular cards accepted in Nepal are VISA, MASTERCARD and American Express. Both Debit and Credit Cards are accepted here.
- How to stay in good health when travelling Nepal?
Before coming to Nepal you are advised to take one or two vaccine for common diseases like Japanese encephalitis. When in Nepal, eat thoroughly cooked food. Drink only the reputed brand of bottled water, While in a trip our company will provide pour drinking water. Soft drinks like Coke, Pepsi are fine to drink. Avoid Fast foods and salads. If you are planning to travel during the period of June to September you may caught by Cholera. But this will not be a big problem if you will follow our advice like not drinking contaminated water like tap water and avoiding uncooked food. Wear a mask (if possible) when walking in the dusty and polluted streets, especially during the summer season in Nepal it can be tough to walk in the streets. Many private clinics and hospitals are open during the day. Drug stores near the hospital regions are open 24 hours (Bir Hospital, Teaching Hospital, Patan Hospital, etc). Of course the other rules apply; a) Quit smoking! b) Drink less.
- Can I bring my medication with me?
Yes, and make sure to bring prescriptions and the medications in its original containers to avoid custom inspection hassle.
- Are there any tourist police in Nepal?
Of course there is tourist police located near the Nepal Tourism Development Board’s Office. Also, there are complaint counters at the airport and Basantapur Durbar Square. Tourist police are specially trained in English and have detailed local knowledge to assist tourists. For security and travel related assistance, you can reach any of the officers from telephone 4-247041, 4-4268969 during 11 a.m to 5 p.m