Before You Go
Before travelling to Nepal, it would be really helpful if you read little bit information about Nepal and where you are planning to go. In order to assist you, we have placed some information below for your information.
Nepal has a unique and interesting history. According to Gopal Vansawali, the genealogy of Nepalese monarchy, the earliest settlers in Nepal were Gopalas, followed by Mahispala, followed by Kirata. Tibeto-Burman people probably lived in Nepal 2,500 years ago. However, there is no archaeologic evidence of Gopala, Mahispala or Kirata rulers other than later documents (Lichchavi and Malla era) mentioning them. Later the Licchavi dynasty went into decline in the late eighth century, probably due to Tibetan dominance, and was followed by Thakuri era, from 879 CE (Nepal Samvat 1), although the extent of their control over the country is uncertain.
Nepal has multiple spoken languages which is recorded more than 101 different spoken languages. Among them Nepali is the national and official language of Nepal.
Nepal is of roughly trapezoidal shape, 800 kilometers long and 200 kilometers wide, with an area of 147,181 km2 and it situated between latitudes 26° and 31°N, and longitudes 80° and 89°E.
Nepal is divided into three physiographic areas: Mountain region (4000 meter and above altitude), Hill (800-4000 meter altitude) and Terai (less than 700 meter altitude).
The Mountain Region is situated in the Great Himalayan Range, makes up the northern part of Nepal. It contains the highest elevations in the world including 8,848 meters (29,029 ft) height Mount Everest on the border with China. Seven other of the world’s eight thousand meter peaks are in Nepal or on its border with China: Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Kanchenjunga, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu.
Nepal has five climatic zones, broadly corresponding to the altitudes. The tropical and subtropical zones lie below 1,200 meters, the temperate zone 1,200 to 2,400 metres, the cold zone 2,400 to 3,600 meters, the subarctic zone 3,600 to 4,400 meters, and the Arctic zone above 4,400 meters.
Spring (between March – May): The temperature is mildly warm in low lands while moderate in higher altitudes with plenty of opportunities to have tryst with the mountain views. It is also the time for flowers to blossom and the national flower of Nepal rhododendron sweeps the ascending altitudes with its magnanimous color and beauty.
Summer (between June – August): This is also the monsoon season in Nepal. The weather is hot and wet at times. It rains almost every day with occasional thunderstorms in the evening. The rain spreads the pleasantness around with lush green vegetation.
Autumn (between September – November): This is the best tourist season in Nepal with the summer gone by and the winter to set in. The weather is highly pleasant so are the mountain views. This is the peak season for trekking as mountain views are guaranteed. This is also the season of festivities as Nepal celebrates the biggest Hindu festivals Dashain followed by Tihar.
Winter (between December – February): The weather is cool and the sky is clear with occasional snowfalls at higher elevations. This season is good for trekking in lower elevations. The morning and night is cold and the days are warm when sunny.
Best time to travel to Nepal
The best time to travel to Nepal is in autumn (Sept-Nov). At this time of year the skies are clear with the gone monsoon. Pleasant weather, excellent mountain views are some of the highlights of this season. Spring (March-May) is another season that tourist flows in; if you live colorful flowers then this is the best time to walk along the mountain trials. These trails are covered with different spices of flowers, including exotic wild orchids. The best thing to travel at this time is the flowers and greeny along the trial with a majestic view of the mountains as your back drop. During Monsoon (June-Aug) tourist comes to visit Mustang, Dolpo and Tibet as rest of Nepal is wet and hot.
The Standard of Nepal is 5 hours and 45 ahead from GMT. Adjust your time with Nepal time. (http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/time-zone/asia/nepal/)
Currency & Banking
The National Currency of Nepal is Nepalese Rupees [Denoted by Rs.]. Nepalese Rupees are found in denominations of 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and Coins are found in Denominations of Rs. 1, 2, 5 & 10, 25 and 50 paisa. One rupee equals 100 paisa. Foreign currency can be exchanged in most of hotels, banks and at money change counters. The exchange rates are determined by Central Bank of Nepal (http://www.nrb.org.np/). The major currencies like Euro, US dollars, pounds, Yuan are accepted in Nepal. Convert your currency to Nepalese Rupees. Also in most hotels business houses such as hotels, tourist shops, restaurants accept the Credit card, Mastercard, Visa Card, Maestro etc at 3-5% bank surcharge. Also Traveler’s cheque are exchanged in banks, exchange counters etc. Hence, for the trekking, we would like to recommend bringing Nepalese Rupees which will very easy for monetary transaction because during the trekking, there might not be banks to exchange. Also it will very easy for you, if you bring small changes even Rupees. If you need any assist for money exchange, Trekking Experts will assist you.
ATM/Cash Machines: Major commercial banks of has cash machines/ATM counters where you can get cash. Mainly in Kathmandu and Pokhara all have a cash machine where you fill your wallet 24 hours a day using your normal bankcard or Master Card / Visa.
Any traveler can get visa in Nepal upon arrival by submitting visa application form from Tribhuvan International Airport or any immigration/border counters.
Nepal is landlocked country and your trekking area might be the remote place in terms of geographic structure. Unexpectedly if there anything happened during trekking like accident, sickness due to high altitude or what else, you need to contact us for any emergency case. Please do not forget to note down the name and contact number of your tour operator. During the trekking, we’ll be in contact with your guide/Sirdar. But it will be safe if you have our office number, emergency contacts, you can call anytime from anywhere if you’ve any problem, need assistance etc. Telephone number of Trekking Experts is +977 9841027075 / 9801068064.
Communication & New media
There are 3 local telecommunication operators in Nepal (Nepal Telecom, Ncell, and UTL). They provide the services of ISD, STD, telex, Fax, Telegraph and GMS mobile services. Normally some European GSM Mobile networks work here in Nepal if you’ve International Roaming services. Or you wish to use local Nepali GSM Mobile; you can buy from nearest communication center. In Nepal, now most of the places have GSM Mobile Network Coverage.
There are several daily, weekly and monthly news papers in Nepal in Nepali and English language. In Nepal for the information and news there are vary English daily newspapers like The Himalayan Times, The Kathmandu post, The Rising Nepal etc. Similarly you’ll find weekly, daily and monthly English magazines. Some radio station, Tele vision networks broadcast the news in English in a specific time.
Electricity in Nepal
The main voltage in Nepal is 220 volts AC (50Hz). There are many electrical sockets are use in Nepal including European two-pin , 5-amp to 15-amp three-pin designs. So, we suggest you please bring multi-standard sockets and adopters. During the trekking, some places only we found the electricity. Rest of places you’ll finds the solar system for lights (DC).
There are many star hotels in Kathmandu, Pokhara and also budget hotels, guest houses are also available in Nepal. For more about hotels and its category in Nepal, please click here>>
Central Post Office of Nepal is located near Sundhara or Bhimsen Tower is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday through Friday. Post facility is available Sunday through Friday.
Please do not drink water of tape etc without checking whether tap able or not. We strongly suggest you to drink purified or bottled water for safety.
Provisions for exporting old things from Nepal
It is illegal to export anything older than 100 years. Please do not take any religious objects (prayer stones, statues, temple ritual objects, prayer flags, etc.) away from sacred sites and discourage others from doing so. Most Nepalese don’t mind being photographed, but some do. Ask first, especially if photographing ceremonies or older people. Paying for a picture reinforces a hand-out mentality. Try instead to establish a friendly rapport with a few words or gestures.
Daal Bhat is Nepal’s typical food which you can find most of all the restaurants. Beside that you can have taste foods like Indian, Continental, Chinese, Tibetan, Italian etc. in some specific restaurants and hotels. For reservation or what else, you can take help from tour operator.
Some Ideas before you travel to Nepal:
To show appreciation and respect, use two hands rather than one when giving or receiving something, even money. Hindus, avoid touching women and holy men the traditional palms-together “Namaste” greeting is preferable. Don’t eat with your left hand and nor eat beef among Hindus Try not to step over or point your feet at another person, a sacred place or a hearth. Remove your shoes when entering a home, temple or monastery (and leather items in Hindu temples) and avoid smoking and wearing scant dress in religious settings. Do not offer food from your plate, nor eat from a common pot, and avoid touching your lips to a shared drinking vessel. Please do not kiss or anything related to sexual activities in front of people .Please wear cloths with covering the legs especially for women.
Tipping is not obligatory just like anywhere in the world. However if you like the service and want to thank them this is another good way to do so. The following is recommended as a guideline:
In Kathmandu 20-50 Rs for bellboys, waiters and porters is appropriate. At the end of a trek, if your group thinks that the staff has done an outstanding job, a group tip would be greatly appreciated. Normally tip is given at the end of the trek and this is best done as group rather than individual. Most groups will give the tips with a bit of ceremony on the last evening to mark the end of the trip. Your Group Leader or guide will advise you in more detail regarding this matter. As a guideline, we recommend that each group member contributes around $ 75-100 (rupee equivalent) and then it is shared amongst the team.