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How do I get to Nepal?
Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu is the only international airport in Nepal. The national flag carrier, Nepal Airlines, and other international airlines directly connect Kathmandu with major cities around the world. Also Nepal has surface connection with India in various border whereas From Tibet Nepal can be entered from Nepal-Tibet Border fro Friendship Bridge at Kodari.
Do I need a visa to enter Nepal?
All foreign nationals, except Indians, need visas to enter Nepal. Multiple entry visas for 15 days (US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency), 30 days (US$ 40) or 90 days (US$ 100) can be obtained from any Nepalese embassy or consulate. You can also get a visa on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport , Kathmandu or at the Immigration Office at the entry points of Nepal. Tourist visas can be extended for a period of 120 days at the Immigration Department in Kathmandu or Pokhara. However, nationals of the following countries will not get visa on arrival at the immigration entry points of Nepal: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iraq, Liberia, Nigeria, Palestine, Somalia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. They need to obtain visas from Nepalese embassies or diplomatic missions in their respective countries prior to their arrival in Nepal. Gratis (Free) Visa for 30 days is available only for nationals of South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka for the first visit in one visa year (January to December). However, a visa fee is required for its extension beyond the 30 days.
Where do I apply to get my Visa?
You can apply and obtain visa from the Nepalese Embassy or diplomatic missions in your country or you can easily apply and obtain visa at Tribhuvan International Airport or any other entry points of Nepal.
What are needed to get a visa?
A valid passport and one passport size photo with a light background . Immigration Department has not specified the size of the passport-size photo. Visa can be obtained only through payment of cash in the following currency : Euro, Swiss Franc, Pound Sterling, US dollar, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, Hong-kong dollar, Singapore dollar and Japanese Yen. Credit Card, Indian currency or Nepalese currency are not accepted for payment of Visa fee.
What to wear?
Light, loose garments are recommended in spring (March, April and May) and summer (June, July and August), while woolens and jackets or similar warm clothings are needed from November to February.
What is the currency of Nepal?
The Nepalese currency is the rupee and is divided into 100 paisa. Bank notes come in denominations of Rs. 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000. Coins are of 1, 2 and 5 rupee denomination.
Where can I exchange my money ?
It is illegal to exchange foreign currency with persons and organizations other than those authorized such as banks, hotels and licensed money changers. Nepalese banks do not accept Indian currency of denomination of Rs. 500 and 1000. You will find the exchange rates for different currencies in the Nepalese papers. In order to exchange surplus rupees at the time of your departure, please retain your encashment receipts.
Are there ATMS in Nepal?
There are ATMS in Kathmandu, Pokhara and other big cities in Nepal that accept AMERICAN EXPRESS, VISA and MASTERCARD.
Are credit cards accepted in Nepal?
Major hotels, restaurants and curio shops accept VISA and MASTERCARD. You can contact the banks for credit card services.
If I run out of money, how do I get access to more funds?
You can draw funds against your AMERICAN EXPRESS, VISA and MASTERCARD cards in Kathmandu. The service premiums for doing this, however, could be high. You can also have money wired directly to Kathmandu through any major bank within two to three working days.
Is the international driving license accepted in Nepal?
Yes
What inoculations are recommended before visiting Nepal?
Although specific immunization is not required to enter Nepal, it is, however, best to protect yourself against diseases such hepatitis, meningitis and Japanese encephalitis. Malaria has been reported in the Terai plains of Nepal, so take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes. Please notify the authorities or the hotel of any symptoms of bird or swine flu or any endemic.
What health precautions need to be taken?
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.
When is the best time to travel in Nepal?
Because of its elevation, Nepal can be divided into three zones – the high mountains, the mid-hills and the flat plains called the Terai. The Everest, Langtang and Annpurna trekking destinations in the mountains are cool throughout the year. The mid-hills, including Kathmandu and Pokhara, are cool except in the summer months from May to July. Temperatures in these cities during the summer remain much cooler than in many cities of the region. Lumbini, Chitwan and Janakpur in the Terai plains are hot in summer (March –July) but cold in winter (December-February). So if you are going trekking, the best months for walking are between September and November and between February and May when the weather is fair during the day and the temperatures do not drop rapidly during the night.
If I need to see a doctor, where can I do so?
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 is Acute Mountain Sickness and how do you prevent it?
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is caused by thin air at high altitudes starting from 3, 000 meters upwards and may even lead to death. The main precaution that needs to be taken while trekking is not to go up too high too fast. So the body should be given enough time to acclimatize. If you suffer from initial symptoms like headaches, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, inability to sleep, swelling of the face, hands and feet and loss of appetite, descend to a lower elevation immediately, and seek medical help.
Are there clinics to treat AMS on trekking routes?
The Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA), a non-profit organization that works to prevent casualties from AMS, operates a permanent aid post in Manang which is managed by volunteer doctors from HRA. It also operates a small aid post in the Khumbu village of Pheriche at 4,280 m during the trekking season by volunteer doctors. HRA also operates a camp at Everest Base Camp during the mountaineering season.
Is travel insurance necessary to go trekking in Nepal?
Helicopter services are available should you fall sick or meet with an accident while trekking. However, such rescue services are expensive. So comprehensive travel insurance is advised to cover emergencies like helicopter rescue and medical treatment.
How safe is Nepal?
It is safe to take a walk around the city from morning to late evening until the shops are closed. But you are advised not to trek alone. Trekking with a guide from a registered agency is the best security. Do not display your cash or expensive items. Always lock your room and baggage. The Tourist Police at Bhrikuti Mandap is there to help you with security and travel-related problems. If any valuable item is lost, you can contact the Tourist Police to prepare documents for theft to claim insurance.
Are there public toilets 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.
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.
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.
How do I get around in the cities and to other destinations?
There are metered taxis, buses, battery-operated three-wheelers and rickshaws in the cities. Long routes are served by buses. Nepal does not have a railway system connecting cities. The only other travel option is by plane, and Nepal is well connected by air. There are Intercity Tourist Buses to popular tourist destinations like Pokhara, Chitwan and Lumbini from Kantipath in Kathmandu, while you can board a bus to Jiri and Dhunche at the New Bus Park.
How reliable is the post office in Nepal?
The post office is reliable. Express Mail Service (EMS) is available at the General Post Office located at Sundhara near the Dharahara tower in Kathmandu and at Thamel, Basantapur and airport postal counters in the capital. Kathmandu has the only Post Restante of the country.
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.
Accommodation
There is accommodation ranging from 5-star chain hotels and resorts to comfortable lodges in Kathmandu and major tourist destinations. The hotels offer specialty restaurants, conference facilities, exclusive health clubs and business centers. You also have the option of home-stay where you can stay in local houses with the local people and enjoy their traditional food.
What kind of food is available in Nepalese restaurants?
Kathmandu is a melting pot of international cuisine. Dining out is, therefore, a pleasure. The Nepali staple is rice, dal (lentils) and curry. Apart from Nepalese cuisine, there are restaurants serving Continental, Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, Italian and Korean food. Fast foods like burgers, pizzas are found everywhere. There are two KFC outlets in Kathmandu.
What souvenirs can I take home?
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. There are exclusive showrooms at Durbar Marg, Asan, Thamel, Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar Square area which specialize in these items.