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Nepal is a beautiful country that has a lot to offer in terms of history, art, natural beauty and biodiversity. Traveling to Nepal means experiencing a fascinating culture, a wonderful trip that thousands of people from all over the world pursue every year. In 2016, it made my personal top ten travel wishlist. It is as rich in culture as it is in its abundance of the cerulean Himalayas and natural quintessence. Nepal is home to many of the world’s tallest mountain peaks- including Mount Everest, the highest mountain on the planet – for many the main reason to travel to Nepal. No matter if you plan to do the popular Everest Base Camp trek or to explore Nepal beyond Everest, read on for the ten best Nepal travel tips for an easy and convenient travel experience.
1 How to plan a trip to Nepal
It is recommended to arrive in Nepal at least with a rough plan of your travels there, since you may have to book flights or buses in advance. The most famous adventure to do in Nepal is of course trekking, especially the Everest Base Camp Trek and if you are planning to do a trek, you usually have to book months in advance. Depending on how much time you have in Nepal, I suggest looking up Nepal itineraries, for example this two-week Nepal itinerary or these itineraries for 2, 3 or 4 weeks backpacking in Nepal.
2 Carry Nepali Currency
When traveling to Nepal, you have to use Nepalese Rupees. Don’t count on using your credit card in Nepal – you will have to make sure to always have enough cash on you. This includes tips for porters and other service staff – these are usually paid in Nepalese rupees, not in US Dollars. Since ATMs aren’t widely available in Nepal, I recommend taking out money right upon arrival. There is an ATM outside the airport in Kathmandu. One of the most important Nepal travel tips: Look up the current exchange rate from your local currency to Nepalese rupees BEFORE your trip. Kathmandu also has many money-exchange centers where the currency can be exchanged easily, if you prefer exchanging cash.
3 What to pack for Nepal
One of the most important Nepal travel tips: pack light! Only packing the absolutely necessary things for Nepal travel lets you enjoy the trip without having to worry about the excess luggage all the time. Moreover, if you are planning to trek in the Himalayas, it is best to carry as light a luggage as possible. There are no developed roads or air transport facilities in the Himalayas of Nepal; trekkers and hikers backpacks or extra luggage are carried by porters or yaks/donkeys on the Himalayas. Here’s an excellent packing list for Nepal – including everything you need to bring from home and everything you can buy in Kathmandu.
4 Visa for Nepal
You can acquire Nepali Visa upon your arrival at the airport. It can be purchased according to the duration of your stay. Currently, visas for Nepal are available in multiple options- valid for 15, 30 or 90 days. A valid passport and passport sized photograph along with the visa fee are required for acquiring the visa at the airport. Credit cards are not accepted, thus it is best to carry USD, Pound, Euro or any other valid currency to pay for the visa.
5 Electricity in Nepal
Electricity facility is available at all parts of the guesthouses and lodges in the Nepali Himalayas while trekking/hiking. Nepal operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz. There are three different power plugs: Type C, D and M. In the cities as well, the hotels do provide electricity facility, sometimes with free WiFi as well. Nevertheless, it is best to carry a universal travel adapter with you wherever you go, as most of the sockets and power outlets in Nepal are designed this way.
6 Safety and Insurance
It is best to be insured while traveling anywhere, and Nepal is no exception. Nepal is a safe place to travel for the most part, but still- group trekking is advised for solo female travelers. It is also a safety precaution to register with your local embassy while in Kathmandu. Having travel insurance is a reassurance, and it is also mandatory to have it while partnering up with most major travel agencies of the country as well. It is also important to make sure that the travel insurance covers all of the options, like Helicopter rescue and emergency evacuation while you are trekking/hiking in Nepal.
7 Festivals and Celebrations in Nepal
Nepal is a country where many different people of different ethnicities and religions live together in harmony. As such, Nepal experiences many festivals and celebrations all year round. The nation experiences well over 50 festivals during the entire year. The Nepali people celebrate the festivals with vigor and enthusiasm, thus significant places of worship and religious places are swarmed with pilgrims and devotees. Some of the major festivals that Nepal celebrates are the Nepali New Year and the Festivals of Colors- Holi. Cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara are great places to be during the festivals as the cities come alive with merry-making.
8 A Rough Budget for traveling in Nepal
Nepal is a relatively cheap country to travel to. You can travel Nepal comfortably at even $25 to 30 a day, but of course it varies according to the place, the services and on the traveler himself. Expenses while traveling to Nepal mostly include the accommodations, food, transport or tours, extra fees like TIMS or park entries and other daily miscellaneous.
9 Food and Drinking Water in Nepal
The major staple food of Nepal is considered rice and lentils. It is found everywhere, and is the most convenient form of nutrition while trekking at remote locations in the Himalayas. At most parts during Nepal Travel, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods are available. The tap water is not advised to be drunk directly. Bottled or boiled water are advised to be drunk. You can use water-purifying tablets as well while trekking.
10 A Reliable Travel Agency in Nepal
This is, despite being the last of my Nepal travel tips, a very important one! It is absolutely crucial to choose a reliable travel agency for a good Nepal Travel experience. Make sure that the travel agency is a genuine company registered with all the important government organizations- like Nepal Tourism Board and TAAN. Using the services of an unregistered travel agency can cause troubles and bring unnecessary hassles.