Nepal travel information …
Bordering with China and India, Nepal is a landlocked country located in South Asia. Within a span of 147,181 sq. km., Nepal has a diverse population of 31 million. Nepal is one of the richest nations in terms of bio-diversity and geographical variation. In terms of geography, Nepal is divided into three regions: the Himalayas, the hilly, and the Terai plains. The Mount Everest (8848m) in the Himalayas, lush hills in the middle and agriculturally rich lands in the Terai adorn the country. Nepal offers different aspects of natural and cultural insight within its lands. From historically rich destinations to remote settlements, Nepal offers a diverse travel experience. Once ruled by the Shah Dynasty and, now, a federal republic nation, visiting Nepal is a walk through the pages of history itself. Kathmandu is the capital of the country and boasts of several sites of immense cultural riches.
- Visa Information
The Tribhuvan International Airport is the only airport in Nepal and also facilitates tourists with visa-on-arrival. The procedure is pretty simple and quick. For an advance visa issue, one can receive them at the Nepalese Diplomatic Missions stationed in their country. The visa obtained on arrival is termed as “Tourist Visa”. The current visa fee is 25 USD for 15 days, 40 USD for 30 days and 100USD for 90 days. Changes can be made on the visa category if you wish to stay longer by producing required documents to the Immigration Office.
For the tourist visa, one has to fill in the arrival card or fill in the Online Tourist visa in advance. On Arrival Visa requires payment at the bank located at the airports. These visas are also available at the land entry points at Kakarvitta, Birgunj, Kodari, Rupandehi, Banke, Kailali, and Kanchanpur. The official website of the Department of Immigration has detailed information regarding the matter. Head to the website at Nepal Immigration.
- How to Reach Nepal
Nepal is easily accessible via a well-connected network of airports. Railways and Roadways are options too but that requires getting to India. The sole international airport in Nepal, Tribhuvan International Airport, located in Kathmandu, is the main entry point via air. Nepal Air conducts flights all over the world and is the main flight operator for Nepal. However, one can fly with several other airlines like Air Arabia, Air China, Etihad Airways, Silk Airways, Fly Dubai, Jet Airways, Oman Airways, Qatar Airways, etc.
Getting to Nepal via road requires border crossing from India. The points available for the crossing are Raxaul-Birgunj Crossing, Sunauli-Bhairawa Crossing, Siliguri-Kakarbhitta Crossing, and Banbasa-Mahendranagar Crossing. The only cargo and passenger train to get to Nepal operates between Sirsiya to the Indian town of Raxaul.
- Popular Destinations to visit
Nepal, as a tourist destination, has a lot to offer. From adventure sports to leisure activities and mountaineering ventures, Nepal offers a wide range of refreshing experiences. Some of the major destinations for tours in Nepal are Lumbini (the birthplace of Buddha), the capital city Kathmandu itself, Pokhara (the beautiful city of lakes), and Bandipur. Everest region, Langtang Valley, Rara Lake, Manaslu Conservation Area, and Annapurna Conservation Area, and Upper Mustang are excellent trek destinations.
Similarly, Sarangkot for paragliding, The Last Resort for bungee jumping, and Mustang for motorcycle tours are great as well. Chitwan National Park, Bardia National Par, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, and Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve are great escape to witness the richness of the country in terms of wildlife and vegetation. Kathmandu and Pokhara are excellent destinations to chill and relax as well.
- Things to do in Nepal
Nepal is one of the best and most popular trekking destinations in the world. Needless to mention, the country offers a wide range of trekking route diversity along some of the most remote villages and the highest mountain ranges. Some of the most popular treks are Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Manaslu Circuit Trek, Langtang Valley Trek, Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek, Upper Mustang Trek, and many more.
Some of the major go-to destinations for jungle safaris and exotic bio-diversity are Chitwan National Park, Bardiya National Park, and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. During your stay at cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara, a sightseeing tour alongside some cultural heritages and markets is a refreshing experience as well. Bungee Jumping, White water rafting, Rock Climbing, Paragliding, and Canyoning are few other adventure sports in the country. With all of these adventures scattered all over Nepal, there is a never-ending list of things-to-do in Nepal.
Rich in cultural diversity, Nepal as a country is a home to several ethnic communities and people. Ethnic races of Brahmins, Chhetri, Magar, Gurung, Sherpa, Tharu, Thakuri, Newar, and many more reside in Nepal. Tourists in Nepal can enjoy the unique culture and values that each ethnic group offers. Hindu is the prominent religion in the country followed by Buddhist, Christian, Islam, and others.
Some of the most authentic food to look out for during your stay in Nepal are Thakali, Newari, and Tibetan influenced cuisines. Rice and high carb dishes (Dal Bhat Tarkari) is the main food course in most of the hilly and Terai regions. Thalaki food is the one to look out for as it will be the food during your stay in Nepal for most of the time. Momos and Newari foods are also the other exciting cuisines. Tibetan influenced food is found around places like Swayambhunath, Boudhanath, and other places that are influenced by Tibetan culture.
- Banking, ATM’s and Money in Nepal
The official currency is Nepalese Rupees (NRs). Banknotes of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 are available whereas coins of 1 and 2 are available in the country. There are plenty of banks and ATMs in cities and some rural areas of Nepal. While the number of banks and ATMs are considerably higher in cities and urban areas, there are some reliable banks and ATMs in remote areas as well. As most of the transactions in Nepal are done using cash, we recommend you to carry cash when you travel. However, some high-end hotels and shopping malls accept cards as well.
As for exchanging your currency into Nepalese Rupees, there are plenty of authorized dealers to provide the service. While doing so, be updated on the rates of exchange to get a fair rate. Nepal Rastra Bank provides this sort of information at its official website.
- Internet & Communications in Nepal
Most of the cities in Nepal provide excellent internet and communication services. Wi-Fi is also a popular means of getting connected to the internet. Wi-Fi is even available in many public places across the country. There are privatized and government service providers that are working 24/7 for reliable internet and communication. Sim cards are reliable ways of accessing the internet and telecommunication corporations like NTC and Ncell offer Sim cards at a reasonable price. The villages in popular destinations of Nepal have Wi-Fi for the visitors as well.
Telephones, Television, Newspaper, and Radio are few other means of communication. These means are overshadowed by the usage of the internet and smartphones but offer great and reliable connectivity. The country code of Nepal is +977. Newspapers are available on daily, weekly, fortnight, or monthly basis.
- Traveling alone in Nepal
The country and inhabitants are considered to be some of the most welcoming individuals in the world. The people in the country are always respectful to tourists and offer warm hospitality. Being around the cities is easier than being in rural areas. With a more managed and accessible environment in the cities, getting along requires less effort.
Language and cultural barrier are one of the major challenges of traveling alone in Nepal. The official language of Nepal is Nepali; however, English is also widely spoken. Similarly, Nepal is marvelously bounded by cultural norms and values. With the exceptions of some culturally immoral behavior, people will find no trouble to travel across Nepal. Nepal is also safer than most of the countries when it comes to solo travel. Even Solo trekking is legal in Nepal excluding some of the high-risk destinations. However, hiring a guide along is highly recommended when it comes to trek and going through rural areas. Other than that there is no discrimination or difference in services provided to a solo traveler. The people are friendly and socializing is a lot easier. Part of this is due to the Nepali society’s openness to all cultures and religions.
- Safety and Security
Nepal always has been a safe destination for tourists all around the world. The trekking and remote area exploring is guided by travel and tour operators that ensure the safety of the traveler. People in Nepal are open to a new culture and adapt to them. Nepal and Nepalese have established safe grounds for tourists to travel to. Major areas of Nepal are policed and patrolled. There is even a special branch of dedicated Tourist Police in Nepal to assist travelers. You can know more about their services at Welcome Nepal. This greatly helps the travelers in their journeys. Cities and major rural travel realms hold good security arrangements managed by the authorities. With proper and managed travel plans, Nepal is as safe as it gets when it comes to traveling.