Nepal Travel FAQs & Tips
The below FAQs are designed according to the many queries of our customers who are planning to visit Nepal in 2013. Here, we’ve got everything about Nepal travel, trying to assist you plan and organize your Nepal trip better.
If not finding the FAQs & tips you want here, please feel free to send us your questions, and we’ll try to answer your questions as soon as possible!
Know Before You Visit Nepal
- Is it safe to visit Nepal?
- Generally, it is quite safe in Nepal. The Nepalese accept that tourism is a mainstay of the economy, and are very welcoming. The Maoist-led government has warmly welcomed travelers from all over the world to visit Nepal in recent years.
- Do I need to get vaccinations before I visit Nepal?
- Nepal does not officially require any immunizations for entry into the country, but the further off the beaten track you go, the more necessary it is to take precautions. Travelers who have come from an area infected with yellow fever are required to be vaccinated before entering the country.
- What clothes should I bring?
- Depending on when you plan to travel, it's important to have the proper clothes and be prepared for unexpected weather. Fairly well worn hiking boots/shoes are a must! For tours between November and the first two weeks of March, bring a jacket suitable for zero degrees Celsius. Although it's often sunny and pleasant during the day, the trek to Poon Hill (3200 meters) in early morning will be cold. For tours at other times, please bring a jacket suitable for 4 to 6 degrees Celsius. Better to be on the safe side in preparation. The porters are available to carry the bulk of your items.
- Do I need to voltage adapter with me?
- Yes. Bring a universal plug and voltage adapter kit for your electronics. Nepal uses 220V.
- What is the country code of Nepal?
- The country code for Nepal is 977 and the area code for Kathmandu is 01, for Pokhara 061, Chitwan 056 and Lumbini 071.
- What is the time difference in Nepal?
- Nepali time is GMT plus 5 hours 45 minutes.
Traveling in Nepal
- What are some basic Nepali customs that I need to know?
- When visiting a temple, always circumambulate it is a clockwise direction.
- Take off your shoes before entering a temple or a Nepalese home.
- Entrance to some temples is forbidden, so look out for such notices.
- Seek permission to take photographs inside temples or of religious ceremonies.
- You can accept a handshake offered by either a male or a female but never offer your hand first.
- Show decency in dress and avoid any show of public affection.
- What are the cultural and natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nepal?
- There are many World Heritage Sites in Nepal, both cultural and natural, like Kathmandu/Bhaktapur/Patan Durbar Square, Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, hangunarayan, Lumbini and Chitwan National Park, etc.
- Where can I shop in Nepal? What souvenirs can I take home?
- In the major cities of Nepal, like Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Pokhara, Chitwan, Dharan etc, you will find well-resourced shopping malls. Popular among visitors are handmade apparels like woolen sweaters, jackets, trousers and caps. And the Pashmina shawl is a highly coveted item. Then there are ethnic and contemporary carpets, gems and jewelry, metal and wooden products, Khukuri (the curved metal knife, music CDs, Nepali paper products, pottery, spices, tea and Thangka paintings to take home.
- How much should I expect to tip?
- Tipping is a newly accepted custom in Nepal. Hotel, restaurant, touring and trekking organization staff members often make up for relatively meager wages with tips. But, it should only reward good work. Don't tip for short taxi rides in town or any service person you've bargain with. Groups might give a reasonable amount per day to a tip pool to be divided among the staff, generally relative to rank, for good service.
- Should I give money to the poor/destitute or beggars that I see in town?
- Do not give money to beggars that you see on the streets. Even though they look pitiful, your giving away of money encourages them only to beg for more. If you really care support one of many charity organizations working in Nepal.
- Can I drink the tap water? What health precautions need to be taken?
- Please use only bottled mineral water or boiled and filtered water only. Always wash your hands before eating. Do not eat unpeeled fruits or vegetables unless they have been thoroughly washed.
- Are there public toilets in Nepal? How are the toilets like in Nepal?
- Public toilets can be used for a small fee. But visitors are advised to use the toilets at the shopping malls, stores and restaurants which are cleaner. Always have some tissue paper and hand sanitizer with you at all times – and note that some of the toilets may require squatting.
- How are communication facilities in Nepal?
- Mobile coverage is wide in Nepal, even in the rural areas. Internet facilities are available in hotels and cyber cafes in all major cities. Apart from the urban centers, popular trekking destinations – the Annapurna and Everest region – also have modern communications facilities.
Nepal Tibet Tours
- Do you arrange Nepal Tibet tours?
- Yes, we arrange Nepal Tibet tours. There are the sample itineraries for the Nepal Tibet tour which you could choose according to your interests and it’ll depart at any time you want. Or you could customize Nepal Tibet tour, please feel free to let your travel consultant know and arrange it for you.
- Can we start a tour from Kathmandu and finish in Lhasa?
- Yes. Before you are coming to Lhasa from Katmandu, you must get a China visa from Katmandu no matter you've already got one in your country or not, this visa is called—China Group Visa, which is regulated in an official memo between China and Nepal. And the Tibet permit will be arranged by us in Tibet, we will also send the invitation letter to our local Kathmandu operator so as for your China Group Visa application.
- Is it safe to travel in winter time, especially from Katmandu to Tibet?
- The Chinese-Nepal Highway (Lhasa-Kathmandu) is often blocked in winter times due to heavy snow and is not easy to travel along. Flying is much more advisable.
Nepal Trekking Tours
- Do I need a guide during my trekking tours?
- Yes. You should never trek alone. There were solo trekkers reported missing in recent years. Always hire a guide or trek with other people.
- When are the main trekking seasons in Nepal?
- Trekking is still possible outside the main seasons and during the monsoon months (mid-June, July, August, mid-September) the rain-shadow areas of the upper Marsyandi and Kali Gandakivalleys, and Dolpo receive far less rain than the Khumbu or Annapurna areas. During the winter conditions can also be good although much colder, but be aware that on occasions in January, February and March the higher passes and valleys are sometimes unreachable owing to snow fall.
- What should I take?
- For trekking below 4000m, the day time temperatures in these seasons will normally allow visitors to be comfortable in a t-shirt and light sweater. Above 4000m a fleece jacket may also be needed. At altitudes above 3000-3500m, night time temperatures will be low (often down to around freezing), but a down jacket or staying tucked up comfortably in a warm tent or lodge will be enough to stay comfortable.
- Where can I accommodate during the trek?
- During our Nepal treks you'll stay in trekking lodges or guest houses. These are (very) basic Nepali lodges with just a couple of rooms with two separate beds. The lodges have running water but don't expect a hot shower. Blankets are available but we recommend bringing your own sheet bag. You can rent sleeping bags before you begin your Nepal trekking holiday in Pokhara or Kathmandu or if you'd prefer bring your own from home.
Safety & Insurance
- How to avoid and treat the high altitude sickness in Nepal?
- Travelling in Himalayan Region can be risky if the traveler doesn't take little actions to protect himself and if he doesn't know how to listen to the signals his body gives him. When someone goes in high altitude, it's normal that his body needs to acclimatize.
Normally he feels strange, he feels tired, he feels his breathe becomes shortest than before, and needs urinate frequently. It's is normal. The things he has to do to feel better are: be calm, walk slower, a modest increase of fluids, not to ascend more than 400 meters per day in sleeping elevation. Slowly he will see that the symptoms will disappear. If not the only thing he has to do is DESCEND.
- How do I get medication in Nepal in case of necessity?
- There are well-equipped general and specialized hospitals, nursing homes and private clinics manned by very competitive doctors in Kathmandu, Pokhara and other cities if you fall sick. Your hotel will provide good advice on the matter.
- What should women travelers pay attention to?
- Generally speaking, Nepal is safe country for women travelers. However, women should still be cautious. First, dress modestly, wearing clothes that cover the shoulders and thighs. Second, never to travel off the beaten track nor to hike or trek alone with a local guide.
- Do travel agencies provide travel insurance?
- It is compulsory that travel operators must buy travel agencies' liability insurance for their clients. But we also highly suggest clients to buy insurance on their side as the Nepalese insurance does not cover a wide range as the foreign insurance covers.
- What are the useful telephone numbers in case of emergency?
- Police (Emergency): 100
- Fire Brigade: 101
- Ambulance: 102
- Tourist Police – 4211293/4247041
- Ambulance, Red Cross: 4228094
- Tribhuvan International Airport: 4472256/4472257
- Night Taxi: 4224374
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Questions & Discussions
Following are latest questions and answers from our webusers and customers. You can learn many useful information from the discussion and cases. You can also join in the discussions or ask your own question. Our experts will help you ASAP.
Thanks for your question. Nepal is a very friendly country for tourists. Culture and etiquette in general is fairly relaxed. However, you are advised to pay attention to the following notes and show your respect for the country while you are visiting.
1) Learn to say "Namaste" perhaps the most important phrase while greeting;
2) Dress conservatively no matter how hot it gets, especially in the rural areas;
3) Don't give cash to street children, and you can visit local charity organization if you really care about the poor’s life;
4) Use your right hand for nearly everything, and eat or pass food with right hand only;
5) Do not enter the Hindu Temples or kitchen, unless you are a Hindu.
Have a nice journey in Nepal!