Nepal Travel Guide
- Nepal Travel Guide
Nepal is a dreamland rich in bio-diversity, geographical variations with cultural features. Nepal is not only the home of world’s highest peak, it is also home of historical monuments and cultural heritages some of which are enlisted in UNESCO world heritage site. In fact, worlds are not enough to describe Nepal but you can experience it first hand. Wildlife in Nepal includes one-horned rhino, Asian tigers or royal Bengal tigers, varieties of birds, also rarely found in other destinations.
Kathmandu - the city of temples - is very rich in cultural heritages. Historical Pagoda and monasteries, temples are dedicated to both Hindus and Buddhists. You can witness the living Goddess - Kumari in Kathmandu.
Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha - the founder of Buddhism, is located in the Kapilvastu district of Nepal.
Nepal is a famous destination for outdoor activities, trekking, and adventures since the first step of travel in the world. Trekking in remote villages, explorations through barren lands in the Himalayas, wildlife safari in the dense forest is an incredible experience of a lifetime.
The scenery, landscapes, mountains, beauties from rhododendron forests to lake glaciers will always mesmerize you.
History & Geography
The history of Nepal begins with the rulers Kiratis - who first started to rule Nepal. Later after this, The Malla age is regarded as the golden era of Nepal. In this period in Nepal - a number of temples, arts, historic monuments were built. Kathmandu valley was divided into three states: Kantipur, Patan and Bhaktapur. During this age, Nepal was divided into 22 states in far western region and 24 states in western region.
In 1768, Shah King Prithvi Narayan Shah ruled and unified the 22 and 24 states of Nepal to a single nation. Since then, the Shah dynasty ruled Nepal up until 2006. Gyanendra Shah was the last ruler of the Shah dynasty.
Nepal is a small landlocked Himalayan country located in South Asia. Nepal has its neighbour China to the north and whilst India surrounds all the other sides. The total area of Nepal is 147181 square kilometer. Nepal lies between latitude of 26’ 22’ and 30’ 27’ North and the longitude of 80’ 4’ and 88’ 12’ East. Nepal is about 880 km long in east-west and 145 - 241 km long in north-south.
Geographically, Nepal is divided into three regions - Himalayan, Hilly and Terai.
1. Himalayan Region
Himalayan region covers northern part of Nepal. This region lies at above 4700 meters altitude. This region covers 15% of total area of Nepal. Snow falls almost every season. and is also home to the major mountains such as Mount Everest, Annapurna, Kanchenjunga. Beyond this, you will have a chance to explore lake glaciers, national parks. Visitors can get to know about local cultures and lifestyle of legendary Sherpa locality of this mountainous region.
2. Hilly Region
Hilly region covers 68% of total area of Nepal. This soars Himalayan region to the north and Terai region to the south. This region covers beautiful valleys and landscapes. The valleys of Kathmandu and Pokhara also lie in this region. Kathmandu is known for cultural heritages and historical features like Durbar Squares, Pashupatinath temple and many more. Pokhara is world famous for its name - ‘the City of Lakes’ that offers great views of mountains and lakes like Phewa Lake, Begnas Taal and many more.
Besides these, the hilly region has many places to explore, tour, and adventurous activities like rafting, paragliding, bungee jumping, and jungle safari which always gives you a memorable trip of a lifetime.
3. Terai Region
Terai region is the lower part of Nepal. It is a plain region with dense forests and wildlife. This region has cultural sites like Lumbini - Birthplace of Buddha, Janaki Temple in Janakpur. Chitwan National Park is world famous for one-horned rhino and Jungle Safari. The Terai region is mainly responsible for providing food to the rest via agriculture.
Nepal has a total population of around 28 million with different cultures, ethnic groups, lifestyles, and own local languages and rituals.
Brahmins and Chhetris dominate the total population in terms of number. Most of them are follow Hinduism. However, there is no solid fact about religion in society. Sherpa - the legendary group of people live in the Himalayan region. They have been considered as ‘snowmen’ as they mostly have capability of roaming and conquering the mountains and snow-regions.
Tamang and Gurung are known for bravery. They live in western part of Annapurna region and eastern part of Nepal as well. They have worked as Gurkha soldiers along with Magars and Chhetris.
Newars have the majority of the population in the Kathmandu valley. Most of them have the culture of entrepreneurship and running own business.
Tharu group has the majority in Western part of Nepal. They are specialized in fooding and lodging. Tharus, Yadavs live in Terai region.
The mother tongue of Nepalese is Nepali, and hence the national language as well. However, there are more than 70 languages spoken in Nepal. English and Hindi is spoken by most people.
Culture and Tradition
Nepal is rich in culture and tradition. Each group has its own local culture and tradition. Welcoming and respecting a guest is the culture of Nepalese.
You will have more chances of shopping and be getting new things as more as you explore. Besides these, the major cities are known for shopping zones for big-market goods.
Villages and remote area have culture of sharing items of own goods. You will have chances of having local items from local people. Those items represent local society and cultures. Major cities like Kathmandu, Pokhara, Biratnagar have enough shopping sites for clothes, accessories, gadgets. Apart from this, you can get local products like Thanka, Khukuri, Pashmina,Nepali dress, traditional jewelleries in Thamel, Ason.
Our guides will always help you find the best items as your needs.
Events and Activities
As different group of people and ethnic groups live in Nepal, it is a great experience to observe each festival celebrated. They have different culture and festivals. You can experience trekking, hiking, tours. Besides these, there are different events organized during the festivals and cultural features.
Night life in Kathmandu is entertaining - full of fun. Cities like Thamel, Durbarmarg come alive at night with events, festive programmes at bars and clubs. You have enough options to get relaxed and entertained.
Banking and Forex
You can have banking services in most cities. Banks are open from 10:00 to 14:00 from Sunday to Thursday and till 12:00 on Friday. On Saturday and public holidays, banks remained closed. Traveler's cheques are accepted at many banks. Transactions through credit cards are easier in Nepal. However, we do not recommend exchanging foreign currencies personally.
These days, ATM service seems easier and common for everybody in any city. Credit cards are accepted at large scaled hotels and shopping centers. Visa, MasterCard, American Express are widely accepted. American Travelers Cheques are also accepted.
Currency in Nepal is Nepalese Rupees. 1 Rupee is equivalent to 100 Paisa. Indian currency rate in Nepal fixed, which is 100 India Rupee is equivalent to 160 Nepalese Rupees. Other currency rates keep changing. Please refer to NRB Forex Exchange rate for more Forex information.
Environment and Pollution
Nepal has clean, beautiful environment. It is rich in natural beauty and greenery. As tech-life advances environment in urban areas started degrading. Mostly, Kathmandu faces the problems of pollution these days while village life and country sides are still clean and rich in natural beauty.
During summer mosquitoes may bother in Terai region but shouldn't be worried too much as some few measures of precaution will get you rid of the flies.
You should not worry about hospitals. City areas have well-equipped hospitals while remote areas have basic primary health centers too.
Roads and Transportation
Roads in Nepal vary with locations. Some are the clear wide highway, some are graveled and some are muddy and narrow. Some roads in the Himalayas are perilous. In the city areas, during office time (9-5) - there may be heavy traffic.
The means of transportation in city areas are easy. You have choices to travel: public bus, taxi, rickshaw, bikes or vans.
You can travel by public bus in almost major cities. For local transportation in the city, this choice is easier and cheaper. For long routes too, you can get public buses at convenient fares.
Taxi or Van:
Meter taxis are commonly in operation in Nepal. Night Taxi Services are also operated in major cities. Those night taxi fares are a bit higher than the day services. You can hire private cars and vans from any agency and hotels.
Motor cycles are available for hiring in major cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara. The hotel agents or travel agents will help you find the best motorcycle for you.
Rickshaw ride is full of fun, and it is green. Rickshaw riding is cheaper than taxis. It is great fun to ride-on rickshaws and roam through the valley streets.
In city regions, communication is simple and cheap. If you want to enable your cell phone operating in Nepal, firstly you should contact your network service provider for international roaming service. You can get SIM card in Nepal by contacting a travel agency.
There is no reliable internet service in remote villages. However, some cyber cafes have provided internet service which is a bit slower than city Internet service. All mobile carriers provide GPRS internet packages that have covered almost all over Nepal.
You have multiple options from a simple non-star hotels to five-star hotels, tea houses to resorts for accommodation. You can experience star hotel services in Kathmandu, Pokhara and some other big cities. You have the choice of lodging and accommodation at guest-house, non-star hotels, tea-houses, camping houses during the trek.
Nepal has varying weather and climate conditions. Hence, you are recommended to carry on both warm and cool clothes. In mountain region and high altitude areas, warm jacket & trousers are needed. While in Terai region, cotton clothes are ideal. You can bring clothes of your styling that suits climate and weather conditions.
Health and Safety measures
You must take safety measures for your health and safety. You have to be cautious about your foods. Only eat hygienic, fully cooked food at clean kitchens. Water in monsoon season may become contaminated, hence consider drink boiled or treated water. Avoid stale and fast foods as much as possible. Government hospitals and private clinics are open during day. Emergency services are open 24 hours a day.
Passport and Visa
Visa is required for foreigners except for the Indian nationals. Visa is granted at Embassy of Nepal or consulate in abroad. You may also obtain an on-arrival visa at Tribhuvan International Airport or at Immigration Office on your arrival in Nepal.
You must hold a valid passport issued by your government to visit Nepal.
An on-arrival visa is valid for 15 days, 30 days or 90 days. To obtain an on-arrival visa, you must have a passport valid for at least six months and you need to submit 2 passport-sized photos.
Note: Chinese nationalities, SAARC nationalities, and children under 10 years need not have to pay visa fees.
Tourist Visa Extension
You can extend visa by paying visa extension fee. Visa can be extended up to 15 days by paying US $ 30. For more than 15 days of visa extension, you may pay US $ 2 or equivalent Nepalese currency. Tourist visa can be extended up to 150 days in a year.
For Visa fees and more information about Visa, please visit the government website of Nepal for Visa.
To apply for a Visa, please go to the following link:
Kathmandu is connected with India by Terai highways. There are easy bus shuttle services from all border points. Direct Delhi - Kathmandu bus service is on operation. Bus service from Lhasa to Kathmandu is only available during the less snowing season.
Tribhuwan Internation Airport located in Kathmandu is the only international airport in Nepal. Nepal Airlines is the national carrier of Nepal. Many international carriers operate flights to/from Kathmandu.
Travel insurance is essential for travelers to go for tours, trekking or climbing. Travel Insurance should cover protection policy for personal injuries, medical expenses, emergency rescues, ambulance service, and death.
For more details, see Travel Insurance.
Cultural & Historical Tours
Hiking & trekking
Sightseeing, Hiking, Excursion & Trekking
Hiking & trekking
Trekking, Hiking, Sightseeing, Excursion
Trekking, Hiking, Excursion & Sightseeing