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Nepal Travel Guide

10 Fun Facts about Nepal

  1. Nepal is home to the world’s highest mountain, Everest at 8848m
  2. Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal
  3. Yet, the elusive snowman is believed to roam the mountains of Nepal
  4. Nepal has the thickest concentration of World Heritage Sites
  5. Dal Bhata Tarakari: A type of dumpling which is a very popular dish here
  6. Nepal has a diverse population with more than 80 ethnic groups and 123 different languages other than the national language- Nepali
  7. Kathmandu is also called as a living cultural museum because there are seven UNESCO’s World Heritage sites inside Kathmandu valley.
  8. Nepal is the only country which has a triangular flag with two triangular shapes stacked on one another, the upper triangle consists of the moon, and the lower triangle consists of the sun.
  9. Kumari being worshiped by thousands of Hindus and Buddhist is the living goddess of Nepal.
  10. Nepal is a mountain  and hill country

Entering Nepal

a. By Air

There are twelve major international airlines linking to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The Royal Nepal Airlines (RA) is the national flag carrier of Nepal with flight connections to Delhi, Mumbai in India; Bangkok in Thailand; Osaka in Japan; Hong Kong, Shanghai in China; Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia; Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and Singapore. Other international airlines connecting Kathmandu to other parts of the world are Biman Bangladesh to Dhaka in Bangladesh; China Airlines to Lhasa in Tibetan Autonomous Region of China; Druk Air to Paro in Bhutan and New Delhi in India; Gulf Air to Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates; Indian Airlines to Delhi, Kolkata, and Varanasi in India; Qatar Airways to Doha in Qatar; Thai International to Bangkok in Thailand.

b. By Land

Nepal shares borders with India on three sides and China on the north. Therefore, if you want to enter Nepal via road you will have to come through either India or Tibet (China). The entry points to Nepal from India are Kakarbhitta, Birgunj, Belhiya, Bhairawa, Nepalgunj, Dhangadi and Mahendra Nagar. The Kodari Pass in Nepal-China border is the entry point to Nepal from China. Tourists entering Nepal by land must also carry their passports.

Passport and Visa Information

Visas are available on arrival at the international airport in Kathmandu and at all land border crossings that are open to foreigners, as long as you have passport photos to hand and can pay the visa fee in foreign currency (some crossings insist on payment in US dollars). Your passport must be valid for at least six months and you will need a whole free page for your visa.

Travel Insurance

A travel insurance policy that covers theft, loss and medical problems is best for traveling in Nepal. There are a wide variety of policies available, so check the small print carefully. Make sure are covered for adventure activities and high altitude. Since you reach above 4000 meters on quite a few treks in Nepal, it is best to choose a policy that covers medical and emergency repatriation, including helicopter evacuation for trekkers and general medical evacuation. Also, understand that most medical treatment and facilities/hospitals must be paid for at the point of delivery of the patient. So it’s wise to choose a policy that pays doctors or hospitals directly rather than you having to pay on the spot and claim later.

Currency

The Nepalese Rupee is the currency of Nepal. Our currency rankings show that the most popular Nepal Rupee exchange rate is the NPR to GBP rate. The currency code for Nepalese Rupees is NPR.

Banking and Foreign Exchange

Payment in hotels, travel agencies, and airlines are made in foreign exchange. There are plenty of cash machines or ATMs in cities and most will accept cards issued by any of the major international banking networks (Plus, Cirrus, etc.). The majority of ATM’s currently have a maximum withdrawal amount of 10,000Rs (although you can make repeated withdrawals).

Major Credit Cards such as Visa, MasterCard, JCB and AmericanExpress, are readily accepted at most tourist class hotels, restaurants, airlines, and major tourist merchants. Again there is always a transaction fee for processing the cards (this charge is enforced by the banks and not the merchants so please don’t ask for a discount to remove this) and this is usually around 4% (although American Express Fees are considerably higher at around 7%)

Electricity

In Nepal 220-240 volts/50 HZ power is used. Sockets usually take plugs with three round pins. The plugs can be both small and large in size. Some sockets take plugs with two round pins as well.

The Climate in Nepal

The seasons in Nepal are pretty much the same as Europe, opposite of the Australian seasons. In January it’s cold, while in July you could make do with shorts and a t-shirt. The climate of Nepal is moderate which means the winters are dry and the summers are hot. But because of the huge range in altitude and landscape, the climate of Nepal differs significantly throughout the country.

Generally, the monsoon season lasts from around the end of June to the end of August. About 80 percent of the rainfall occurs during this period throughout the country but the remainder of the year is dry. Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are the most pleasant seasons. Winter (December, January, and February) temperatures drop down with a high level of snowfall in the high mountain areas.

Summer, monsoon and late spring temperatures range from 28ºC (83ºF) in the hills to more than 40ºC (104ºF) in the Terai (southern plains). In winter, average maximum and minimum temperatures in the Terai range from a brisk 7ºC (45ºF) to a mild 23ºC (74ºF). The central valleys experience a minimum temperature but not often falling below freezing point and a chilly 12ºC (54ºF) maximum during the winter.

Kathmandu Valley has a mild climate most of the year. Summer temperatures range from 67-81°F (19-27°C), and in winter temperatures are between 36 and 68°F (2-20°C). During the monsoon season in August, the average rainfall is between 7.8-14.7 inches (200-375mm) in Kathmandu. May and June can be very hot and humid until the monsoon rains. In spring (March to April) and autumn (October to November) the temperatures are pleasant with occasional short bursts of rain, while November to February is dry, but can be very cold, especially at night.