Nepal is a fairyland to the travel mongers and inquisitive souls keen to unravel the history of a culture. It is located in Southern Asia, between China and India. Nepal is famous for its natural beauty, high mountains, ancient traditions, and culture. Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, along with numerous others, lies in Nepal. From fertile plains and subtropical forest to foothills, gorgeous landscapes, and epic trekking trails, Nepal has it all. Being such affluent country in terms of natural resources and cultural lavishness, the huge amount of Nepal’s economy depends upon tourism. Kathmandu, Pokhara, Muktinath, Manang, Ghorepani, Everest, and Annapurna Base Camp are some of the famous tourist destinations in Nepal.
2. Visa Information
You need to have an official visa before entering Nepal. You can obtain a tourist visa at nearby Nepal Embassy in your country. While entering Nepal via air travel, you need to have a valid passport of at least six months. After entering Tribhuvan International Airport, you need to fill up a visa form at the immigration entry point. For that, you need to provide two passport size photos and pay the visa fees in cash. The visa criteria and procedures vary according to the country to which the tourist belongs. The information can be referenced at the official website of Nepal Immigration Department at http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visa. These rules are to be followed strictly and must be adhered when entering Nepal.
3. How to reach Nepal
You can enter Nepal either via air or overland travel. You can take a direct flight to the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. You can also enter Nepal from India and China (Tibet) via various routes that include checkpoints at Birgung, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Gaddachauki, Dhangadi, Kakarvitta, Kodari, and Kerung. These checkpoints are where your official documents have to be presented in order to obtain approval to enter Nepal.
4. Popular Destinations to Visit
Nepal is widely famed and revered o great accounts for being one of the most prosperous countries concerning natural beauty, exotic travel destinations, and cultural diversity. As such, Nepal has lots of popular destinations to visit such as, Kathmandu- the capital of Nepal (includes sightseeing of 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites), Pokhara- a beautiful lakeside city with a glorious view of snow-capped mountains, Chitwan National Park, Lumbini, and Ghandruk remain the popular tourist destinations for their luxurious treatment while offering brilliant display of cultural and natural heritage.
However, trekking and adventures associated with the Himalayas are the ones most notable options when traveling to Nepal. Annapurna Base Camp, Everest Base Camp, Langtang, Manaslu Circuit, Kanchenjunga Base Camp, Poonhill, and Dolpo are few of the prominent destinations in the country. Also, abode to the Himalayas, Nepal, offers outstanding peaks to climb such as Mera Peak (6461m), Lobuche Peak (6119m), Pisang Peak (6019m), Yala Peak (5500m), and Island Peak (6189m) to name a few. Similarly expeditions to Everest (8848m), Kanchenjunga (8586m), Dhaulagiri (8167m), Annapurna I (8091m), Ama Dablam (6856m), and many other mountains above 6500 meters offer lucrative packages as well.
5. Things to do in Nepal
After your arrival at TIA, you can first start off with the sightseeing of UNESCO World Heritage Sites which includes Pashupatinath temple, Swayambhunath, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Boudhanath and so on. You can go for a jungle safari at Chitwan National Park. Everest mountain flight, Paragliding in Pokhara, Bungee Jumping at Bhote Koshi River, rafting at Trishuli River, Canyoning, and zip-lining are very popular here. Tours and hikes around the major cities also garner great interest from the travelers.
However, ventures in Nepal are seldom complete without the mighty Himalayas and the illustrious trails leading to those peaks themselves. Trekking, Peak Climbing, and Expedition are the most preferred mediums of traveling to the peaks. Annapurna Base camp Trek, Everest Base Camp Trek, and Ghorepani Poonhill Trek among Trekking, Island Peak (6189m), Mera Peak (6461m), and Chulu (6416m) among Peak Climbing, and Everest, Kanchenjunga, and Ama Dablam (6856m) among Expeditions are some of the famed ones in their respective categories.
It goes without saying that Nepalese are one of the most amicable people you can hope to meet. All credits to their cultural upbringing where guests are treated like gods. They are sure to offer help of any kinds if you find yourself in a pinch during your travel in the country. Also, these people also love to enjoy their meal and hence have a great array of delicacies. The staple food of Nepal is Dal (grain gravy), Bhat (cooked rice), and Tarkari (spiced curry). In between two main meals, snacks such as Chiura, flatbread, milked tea and organic vegetables are generally eaten. Nepal is also famous for spicy foods such as Newari food, Pani Puri and Chat pate. Similarly, momo is the unofficial national food of the country which is enjoyed with great joy throughout the country. One thing tourists might need to know is that the country is predominantly composed of Hindu population and thus cow and its derivatives are not found anywhere in the country. You can find a huge diversity in culture in Nepal. From Brahmin and Chhetri to Tharu, Magar, Sherpa, and Newar, all kinds of ethics have a large settlement here. However, these ethnic groups have created such an ideal ambiance that the harmony among these communities is one to rave. These ethnic groups have their own culture setting up a standard among the people living in Nepal. Tourists have to care enough to respect these cultures and on doing so they can enjoy Nepal even more.
7. Banking, ATM’s and Money in Nepal
The official currency of Nepal is the Rupee (NRP). Banks are available in most of the trekking trails which helps the tourists to have better options for cash deposit and withdrawal. ATM’s are the best way to withdraw money as it also accepts international credit cards (Visa and MasterCard). You can even get the help of popular banks in Kathmandu like Nepal Rashtriya Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Himalayan Bank, Nabil Bank, and Everest Bank to name a few. While trekking, ATM’s are available in only large trekking towns like Namche Bazaar and Jomsom, however, they are not always working due to various weather conditions. While dealing with money exchange, Kathmandu and Pokhara are the best places to do it. You can easily exchange your currency to Nepalese currency in Kathmandu (Thamel area), Pokhara, and Chitwan as well as banks which are spread thickly around the country when you are on your trips. You should be wary of unauthorized money exchange counters which offer similar services where you might not get a fair deal. It is advised to always reach to the authorized bodies when it comes to currency exchange and withdrawals. You can consult the official website of Nepal Rashtriya Bank for information on the rates of currency exchange at https://www.nrb.org.np/fxmexchangerate.php
8. Internet & Communication in Nepal
The use of Internet and Communication has increased rapidly in the past few years. You can get a smooth internet and communication facility throughout the country. Even tea houses in the trekking trails offer internet connectivity and communication services. Wi-Fi services are also provided at most of the hotels, restaurants, and tea houses. Similarly, you can opt to use data communication to stay connected to the internet on a continuous basis. Ncell and NTC are the telecom giants in the country which provide different offers of communication and data connection. You will have problems of internet and communication only in the most remote regions in the Himalayas. The country code for Nepal is +977.
9. Traveling Alone in Nepal
Lone travelers are greatly allured by the tremendous exploration opportunities in Nepal. As such, the country also offers exquisite trips and activities for such keen souls. Traveling alone has its perks and also comes with some drawbacks. The traveling environment in the country has been placed under great scrutiny so that the travelers do not face any hassle and discomfort during their travel. Traveling alone too is available and possesses no risks when the minor details are taken care of. A lone traveler must be wary about the hacks of traveling solo and must be prepared to face unpredictable situations. Besides these, from the safety perspective, traveling alone in Nepal is perfectly viable.
10. Safety and Security
Nepal is one of the safest countries to travel to and boasts a healthy environment for any travel related acts. The warm welcome and hospitality of Nepalese people are commendable and heart-warming. They are friendly in nature and are welcome to requests of help on any condition. This helps the traveler to be secure about his/her needs and cautious about the unforeseen circumstances while on the trip. However, the obvious precautions need to be taken into account. Travelers should be cautious to take proper care of their belongings and cash money only at authorized dealers.