Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where is Nepal?

The country Nepal is pronounced as NAY PAHL. It is a land locked mountainous kingdom in southern Asia, located between India and China.

 

Currently over 26 million people of different races and tribes, living in different regions, wearing different costumes and speaking different languages occupy a total of 147,181 square kilometer (885 km east to west, and 193 km north to south) of this tiny country.Nepal is one of the world's poorest countries, about half the population of Nepal lives below the poverty line.

 

Nepal is a little larger than North Carolina state of America. Nepal is geographically, culturally, and linguistically diverse. The capital of Nepal is 'Kathmandu' but many love to call it by the name Catmando or Woodmandu or simply by the name `city of temples'. Nepal is a kingdom of Himalayas, artistic monuments, exotic wildlife, and a unique harmony of diversified cultures. Nepal attracts visitors for casual holidays, tours, and adventure activities including `Everest Expedition'. Nepal is also popular for having it's land the birth place of Lord Buddha, and birth place of Lord Sita. Agriculture and Tourism are two important revenues that keeps this nation exist.

Is Nepal a small country?

Nepal is a land-locked country, it has no oceans or seas bordering it. Bordering countries are India and China, both of them are the biggest countries in the world.Nepal looks tiny on the map. But we say "Nepal is small on the outside, but it is big inside! If you look at the area of the country, it appears small.

What is Nepal country known for?

Nepal has the birth place of Lord Buddha at Lumbini, which is located at the lower part of Nepal known as Terai, near the Indian border of Raxaul. Nepal also has the birth place of Hindu Lord Sita, located at Janakpur also at Terai region. Nepal is also known by the world as having the highest summit Mount Everest, which is 8848 meter tall. Nepal is also known by the legendary warriors, the Gorkhas who fought in world wars with their unique knives known as Khukuri. Gorkhas would fight against the guns in batel and their bravery was of remarkable one.

 

Nepal is the only Hindu Kingdom in the world. Nepal is a natural beauty, here water and natural resources are plentiful.

What is the Capital of Nepal?

Kathmandu is the Capital of Nepal

What is the common form of greeting in Nepal?

Common form of greeting in Nepal is called `Namaste' or `Namaskar'. Namaskar is used in a formal conversation while Namaste is often used in informal communications. Namaste is pronounced as "Namastay", and it is both a spoken greeting and a gesture.

 

Proper way to say and use a gesture is to put your palms together and bring it about few inches below your chin or how ever feels comfortable, with head gently bowed, you say "Namastay".

In Sanskrit language "Namas" means becoming silent, bending, and humbly submitting, and "Te" means "to you". Thus, namaste means 'I bow to you'. Did you know that Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages of the world which is still active! The word Namaste has many meanings such as Hello, How are you?, I am glad to see you, nice to meet you, good morning, i bless the divine in you, good bye, see you again.

What's the currency of Nepal?

Nepalese currency is spelled as Nepalese Rupees or Rupee (Rs) or Nepali Rupee, and in short it is written NRS or RS. 100 Paisa equals 1 Rs. Currently Notes of the following denominations are used: 1000, 500, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5, 2, and 1 rupees. Coin hasn't been popular in Nepal and hence is almost always ignored in business. The coins of the following denominations can be found: 1 paisa, 5 paisa, 10 paisa, 50 paisa and 1 Rs, 2 Rs, and 5 Rs. It is recommended that you travel with smaller notes in less populated areas, while large notes are easily accepted else where.

What is Nepali Food like? How is it cooked?

Nepali food is called Dal Bhat Tarkari which is Lentil sauce, Rice, and Curry in English. Achar (the pickle) makes it a complete dish. Generally speaking Nepail food is really the rice which is eaten twice a day as a lunch and a dinner. Most people have just tea for break-fast. In cities, use of bread, scrambled and boiled eggs are common form of break-fast. Nepali Tea is made by boiling loose tea in a pot with water, milk and sugar.

When is the best time to travel to Nepal?

When traveling abroad, climatic factors always remain an important issue. Your best time for Nepal is October to November or February to April. Visit Nepal during October to November, as this is the time when you can expect better visibility, the air is fresh, and the weather is perfect and that the Nepalese most important festivals(Dashain & Tihar) are marked during that season . May to June is also a good time to travel although the weather is hot and dusty- you can live with that; wear a mask and a Nepali Topi (Cap) and learn how Nepalese get along with this period. December to January is the winter season in Nepal, which is also a good time to travel; the climate and visibility is good. Snow jackets and sweaters are recommended. Mansoon starts from Mid June to September; traveling during this period is not advisable unless you are the one who loves best in everything or finds best from anything. Just bring your raincoat during that season, and have a blast!

Nepal Climate or Nepal Seasons

Season Times:

- Winter in Nepal : December-February,

- Spring in Nepal : March-May,

- Summer in Nepal : June-August,

- Autumn in Nepal : September-November.

About Weather of Nepal

The weather in Nepal varies from sub tropical to meditation. The capital, Kathmandu reaches below 1 Degree Celsius (34 F) during the winter and rises to an average 32 Degree Celsius (90 F) during the summer. Most Nepalese do not have heating and air conditioning system and hence the temperatures are more uncomfortable during extreme seasons. Most hotels and lodges are equipped with Heater and Air Conditioner. The temperature during the winter also rises to 15 to 20 degree Celsius during the day. The Terai region has temperature some what equivalent to that of Delhi / India where temperature can reach upto 44 Degree Celsius (111 Fahrenheit ) during the summer season.

How safe is Traveling to Nepal?

The Facts

Official records show that more than 14,000 people have died in the ongoing war between the Nepali Maoists and Nepali government. During 10 years of fighting, there was only one incident of tourist being killed, but the tourist was appeared to be in wrong place at the wrong time. Traveling to Nepal is Safe and in fact safer than traveling to most cities like London and New York City. Maoist's war is only with the Nepali Government, but not with tourists. Guest equals God - is the tradition of Every Nepalese and everyone welcomes guests in their land, and in their heart. Visiting Nepal is safe.

 

Nepal has Tourist-Police patrolling most cities in Nepal offering immediate help to tourists. Tours and Travel operators have added extra security measures in their travel plans. Most hotels are equipped with extra security guards and are in immediate contact with the local police in case of emergency. Traveling to Nepal is safe. Much of the media hype scaring people to visit Nepal has failed because Nepal is so beautiful it will attract you - Nepal is a magnet!

 

As with any safety, precaution is the first rule. Avoid being near demonstrations, return to your hotel early in the evening if you can, Do not carry expensive gadgets when traveling. Avoid wearing jewelries and other wears, Use a guide from a trusted travel agent or tour operator. Visit only the trekking / tour areas marked `safe' by your travel agent. Avoid road travel if possible otherwise have someone from your travel company with you. If you must travel by road, avoid traveling in the night time. Do not talk about politics, about the king, about the Maoists while you are in a restaurant or in other public places - After all, all you want to talk about is the beautiful mother nature Nepal but not the silly and ruthless rulers. Talk all you want about the real everyday hardworking poor but happy Nepali people. And also follow your own rules of safety

Do I Need a visa to enter Nepal ?

Yes. All visitors require VISA to enter Nepal. Tourist Visa is available from entry point such as from airport terminals like Kathmandu Airport or by land through immigration offices located at the borders or through the Royal Nepalese Embassy located near your region.

Can I Get Tourist Visa from the Airport ?

Yes, but make sure to bring a valid passport and two passport size photos.

Do I need to obtain Permit before trekking ?

Trekking permit is only required to trek in the restricted areas such as Dolpa, Kanchanjunga. Permit can be obtained easily from the Tourism Department, located at Thamel, Kathmandu. Application can be submitted after your arrive in Nepal. The permit is not required to trek in areas such as Everest, and Annapurna. Following restricted areas require trekking permit, and they are open for trekking in a group not individually. So permit for individual trekking in these areas will be denied, also you are only allowed to trek in the areas you are permitted. Obtain multiple trekking permits should you wish to trek in multiple places. Please note: To visit national parks located in the trekking areas, you will be required to pay a separate fee which is not more than Rs 2,000 (payable in Nepalese Rupees), at the national park.

Annapurna, Everest, and Langtang : No Permit Required

Mustang and Dolpo : US$ 700 for the first 10 days and $70 per day thereafter

Manaslu : US$90 per week

Humla : US$ 90 per week. $15 per day thereafter

Is Trekking Permit different than Mountain Climbing Permit?

Yes indeed. Trekking permit is only limited to trekking in the designated areas but not for peak climbing.Mountain climbing or peak climbing is a separate permit issued by the Nepal Government. Here are the fees:

 

• 1 to 4 people : US$ 350

• 5 to 8 people : US$ 350 and $40 per person if more than 8

 

Please note: All peak climbing permits are valid for a month and it only takes account of the time you spend climbing a peak / mountain, but not the time you spend in getting to the base or return from there. Permit requires everyone in the group to have insurance, and the group be accompanied by a certified guide from the Nepal Mountaineer Association.

What is the Electricity System in Nepal or Will my Lap top work in Nepal ?

Nepal's Electricity is 220 Volt and 50 MHZ (50 Cycles per Second). Electric Plug is two or three round prongs, but not flat prongs as found in use in the United States or in other countries. If your electronic uses 110 Volt 60 MHZ electricity, you will need a voltage convert.

 

We have heard that people visiting Nepal have had their hair driers blown up, lap tops fried and electric razer gone crazy! Voltage converters and plug adapters are available in stores near you or in shopping centers in Airport Terminals. Your hotel manager can also help you with this issue.

 

Nepal's electricity is not smooth. Voltage fluctuation is very common and it is advised that you use a robust power surge protector for your electronics.

 

Nepal does not produce enough electricity so there are seasons when power may be disrupted for hours - they call it load shedding. Keep in touch with local newspapers or your hotel reception about the hours power may be off. Also Nepal's electricity goes on and off randomly all the time. If you are working on the computers found in the hotels, make sure they have UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) otherwise save your work every now and then

For Tourists, what is there to buy in Nepal to take back home?

There is just so much actually! You will not want to take back home electronics or computers, but Pashmina, and Nepalese arts and crafts, and Nepali musical instruments such as Madal and Banshuri are your best bet. Nepali Carpet is also among popular purchase by tourists.

 

Most popular foreign purchases are (a) Nepali handmade papers (b) Thankas-Tibetan Paintings (c) Pashmina (d) Nepali Kukuri / Knives (e) silver jewelries (f) Nepali Cap; Topi (g) Nepali dress (h) Nepali Carpets also Fashion clothes, garments and accessories.

 

Where to buy them? : You can buy them from tourist shops scattered throughout Nepal. Most popular shopping place for tourist is Thamel street. Check that place out for shopping for your loved once back home before you leave Nepal!

How to enter Nepal?

By Air: Some of the major international airlines operating scheduled services to Nepal are Royal Nepal Airlines, British Airways, Biman Bangladesh, China South West Airlines, Druk Air, Gulf Air, India Air, Thai Airways, Qatar, Pakistan Air and Singapore Airlines. By air, you will arrive at the Tribunal International Airport located in the heart of Kathmandu City.

 

By Road: There are several entry points by land route mainly from Nepal / Indian borders; a) Kakarvita, b) Birgunj c) Bhairahawa d) Nepalganj e) Dhangadhi f) Mahendranagar Scheduled public as well as tourist buses run to and from Kathmandu. Traveling by bus is recommended If you can cope with 10 to 12 hours of long drive in return for a fascinating mountainous views and snail tail roads that meet above the clouds.

Are there ATM facilities in Nepal?

There are many ATM machines in Kathmandu and in Pokhara. ATM machines are slowly being introduced to other city like Butwal and Dharhan. In Thamel street alone, there are three machines, including one in the Kathmandu Guest House. International credit cards (Master Card, Visa Card etc ) are accepted in all leading hotels, shopping centers, bars and restaurants in Nepal. Travelers cheques are also accepted here.

What type of cards are accepted ? Debit or Credit ? Visa or Masters or Discover or Dinners ?

Most popular cards accepted in Nepal are VISA, MASTERCARD and American Express. Both Debit and Credit Cards are accepted here. American Travelers Cheques are also accepted in most Banks, Hotels, and Travel companies.

What are health requirements to visit Nepal?

Nepal does not require any specific immunization for visitors. It is however best to have vaccine before coming to Nepal. Your doctor can advice you on the type of vaccine to be taken to travel to third world countries like Nepal.

How to stay in good health when traveling in Nepal?

Enter Nepal with one or two vaccine taken for common diseases like malaria. When in Nepal, eat thoroughly cooked food. Avoid salad. Drink only the reputed brand of bottled water. Soft drinks like Coke, Pepsi are fine to drink. Avoid Fast foods. Wear a mask (if possible) when walking in the dusty and polluted streets, specially during the summer season in Nepal it can be touch to walk in the streets. Many private clinics and hospitals are open during the day. Drug stores near the hospital regions are open 24 hours (Bir Hospital, Teaching Hospital, Patan Hospital, etc). Of course the other rules apply; a) quit smoking! b) drink less.

What to wear in Nepal?

Nepal has a wide range of climates so take both light and warm clothing in casual and comfortable styles. In the mountain areas, warm woolen clothing are necessary while at lower altitude cotton clothing is ideal. Bring any stuff and you will always be wearing to your comfort. If you missed any of your clothes, don't worry. Buy Nepalese garments; a snow jacket, a pair of pants, and a t-shirt for under fifty bucks!

Are there any Tourist Police in Nepal?

A Tourist Police is located near the Nepal Tourism Development Board's Office. These tourist police are specially trained in English and have detailed local knowledge to assist tourists. For security and travel related assistance, you can reach any of the officers from telephone 4-247041, 4-429750 during 11 a.m to 5 p.m

Can I get a visa from the Kathmandu Airport ?

If you have left your home country and/or you don't have time to visit Royal Nepalese Embassy in your region, you can obtain visa from the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu or from any entry point in Nepal. Just make sure to bring your a few sets of passport size photo.

Can I bring my medications with me?

Yes. Make sure to bring prescriptions, and the medications in its original containers to avoid custom inspection hassle.

Can I bring my pets for an extended stay in Nepal?

Yes you can. Remember not all airlines offer shipment of animals in cabin or as checked baggage. All careers permitting animal shipments require health certificates for your animals, which are also checked at each airport terminals. Check for PET permits with your airline and with any airlines in your transit to Nepal.