Nepal Travel Guide is created to provide you with the essential information to plan your Nepal holiday. The questions and answers listed here are a general guide to assist you planning and organizing your trip. We hope you will find enough information for your upcoming visit to Nepal. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us
In order to travel to Nepal you need to obtain a Tourist Visa. Additionally your passport needs to be valid for at least another 6 months.
• Apply for a visa at the Nepalese Embassy or Consulate in your home country before traveling to Nepal.
• The easiest way is to apply for the visa upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport. You need to fill out an application at the airport (have a pen ready), bring two passport pictures and cash. The most common currencies like USD, Euro, Pound are accepted. Change will be given in Nepali Rupees. Children under the age of 10 still need a visa, but there will be no charges. First fill out the form, then pay at the payment counter and with the payment slip go to the immigration officer. Be aware of the different counters as there are specific ones for longer visas or SAARC nationals or Indian citizens.
• Recently there were automatic machines installed at the airport where your passport will be scanned, a picture taken via webcam. You would need to fill in the rest of your information on this computer and at the end of the process you will receive a receipt. With this receipt you would need to pay the visa fees and then continue to the immigration officer.
• 2 weeks prior you travel to Nepal you could also apply online for your visa. Follow this link: http://www.online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/tourist-visa
TRAVELING OVERLAND TO NEPAL
If you are traveling overland to Nepal, you can get an arrival visa at the following entry points:
Eastern Nepal – Kakarvitta, Jhapa
Central Nepal – Birjung, Parsa
Northern Border – Kodari, Sindhupalchowk * / Rashuwagadi, Rashuwa *
Western Nepal – Rupandehi (Belhiya, Bhairahawa)
Mid-western Nepal – Banke (Jamuna, Nepalgunj)
Far western Nepal– Kailali (Mohana, Dhangadhi) / Kanchanpur (Gaddachauki, Mahendranagar)
- Because of the devastating earthquake of April 2015 in Nepal, the northern border area was hardly hit. So please check with the immigration office for the status of this entry points
– Up to 15 days: $30
– Up to 30 days: $50
– Up to 90 days: $125
If you want to extend your visa for 15 days or less, visa extension charge is $45 or equivalent convertible currency. You can extend your visa at the immigration office either in Kathmandu or Pokhara. If you want to extend the visa for more than 15 days, $3 will be charged per day after 15 days. Be aware that you can only stay 150 days per calendar year (counted as January to December) on a Tourist Visa.
It is no problem to exchange the most common currencies at any exchange counters in Kathmandu and Pokhara. You can also withdraw cash at an ATM with your international credit card and your personal PIN in various cities and towns of Nepal. You should inform your bank of your travel to Nepal in order to avoid them freezing the account. Debit cards are not advised. Many banks are limiting the withdrawal to 10.000 or 15.000 NPR (around €70 to €110), however we have good experiences with NABIL bank where you can withdraw up to 35.000 NPR (around €250). For any withdrawal the Nepali bank will charge you around 500 NPR (around €3) for each transaction no matter what amount. Before you go on any trekking tour, have enough cash with you as there won’t be many possibilities to exchange or withdraw money in the mountains.
Nepal is a safe country to travel. As on any other travel it is always advised to be cautious with your valuables. Very common are sudden strikes or Bandhas where roads could be temporarily closed what could lead to a delay of arriving at your destination. You should avoid any demonstrations. Also we advise you is to check the website of your Embassy for any latest updates before you travel.
Officially you do not require any immunizations to enter Nepal, however it is a good idea to read up on suggested vaccinations and see what feels appropriate for you. In Nepal one should be careful about getting travelers tummy. The golden rule regarding food is: if you can’t cook it, peel it or boil it, don’t eat it. Water should be bottled or boiled unless one knows the source. For the first days of your trekking use water purifying tablets, but usually the higher you are up in the mountains, the safer it is to drink the local water. Additionally you could bring medication for digestive issues like diarrhea, cold medicine, band aids (not only for blisters), eye drops, disinfection spray for open wunds, pain killer, multiple purpose antibiotics and any other medication you think you might need. There are pharmacies in Nepal where you can buy easily medication over the counter however if you are in the mountains it is good to carry these with you. If you have any issues with your knees it is advised that you bring a bandage and pain relief cream.
If you need to see a doctor, there are international hospitals in Kathmandu and Pokhara where you can communicate with the doctors easily.You need to pay for your treatment and medication either in cash or with credit card later you can claim with your insurance provider.
For trekking in the Nepal it is strongly advised to have a travel insurance that covers emergency evacuation in high altitude.In case of emergency the helicopter evacuation can cost you around €5000 or even more than that.
Altitude sickness is a common condition were a lot of trekkers suffer while trekking in Nepal in higher altitude as the rate of oxygen is less the higher you go. During trekking in higher altitude it is advised drink plenty of water, eat high carbohydrate meals like Dal Baht and to limit the rate of ascent to prevent high altitude illnesses. Climb higher sleep lower is the main mantra for doing treks in higher altitude.
Symptoms for Acute Mountain Sickness are headache, loss of appetite, nausea, insomnia, decreased urination, and tiredness. The symptoms resemble an alcohol hangover. Anyone experiencing high altitude sickness should either descend or stop ascent and wait for improvement before continuing with the trek.
High Altitude Pulmonary Edema is manifested by fatigue, shortness of breath during exertion, dry cough and localized chest congestion. In moderate to severe cases there is weakness and fatigue, blue discoloration of lips and fingernail beds, dry to raspy cough, gurgling or sound in the chest, a breathing rate of 20 breaths per minute or a heart rate greater than 130 beats per minute after 20 minutes resting period. In this case oxygen needs to be given and an immediate descent is sufficient.
High Altitude Cerebral Edema is diagnosed based on changes in consciousness and loss of coordination, impaired judgement, hallucinations, severe headache and eventually coma. Immediate descent, supplemental oxygen and further treatment is necessary.
You would need to check with your provider if your cell phone is working in Nepal. However it is quite easy to buy a Nepali prepaid SIM card through Ncell. All you need is to show your passport and have passport picture. Certain areas in the mountains might not have constant reception. In all touristic areas (hotels and restaurants) you will access to free WIFI. You can also buy an internet package through Ncell if you already have the prepaid card. During trekking some guesthouses and lodges have wifi however you will be charged for this service.
Nepal is known for its great hospitality however there are a couple of things it is good to keep in mind:
• Ask before you want to take a picture.
• Left hand is in Nepali culture not seen as clean. Don’t eat with your left hand, don’t shake hands with this hand and avoid paying with the left hand.
• Before you enter a temple or a private home take off your shoes.
• Some of the temples are only allowed for Hindu. Ask if you are allowed to enter.
• If you receive or give anything (also money), show your gratitude by using both hands.
• It is not normal to shake hands, especially with women. You usually greet with a Namaste by bringing your hands together in front of your chest.
• You should never point with a single finger to holy locations or holy objects. Instead use your whole hand.
• Don’t touch the head of adults.
• Never try to get over seated people or food or touch other people with your feet.
• If you are a couple, it is not good to show affection in public by embracing each other or kissing.
• Don’t point the soles of your feet towards people, holy locations or an open fire.
• If you are visiting a Stu-pa, circle it clockwise. In the mountains you would pass the Mani walls on the left side.
• Wear appropriate clothes – not too short, tight or sight through.
• Be cautious donating or volunteering for orphanages.
It is important to pack light for the days in the mountains, however you can always leave extra baggage at your hotel. Additionally you could hire a porter who could help with your bag. (Try to keep it at a maximum of 20kg.) For higher altitude it is advised to bring a sleeping bag and a warm jacket. (Both could be rented in Thamel or Pokhara for the duration of your trek) Any other gears or trekking clothes could be purchased in one of the trekking shops in Thamel or Pokhara for a reasonable price.
This packing list is just a reference to plan your trek and travel in Nepal. We always say just take what you really need.
Bigger backpack and/or day pack (approximately 30-40l) with a rain cover
One extra bag if you want to leave anything at the hotel
Sleeping bag rated to zero degrees F *
Sun hat or scarf
Sunglasses with UV protection
Thin, lightweight inner socks
Thick, warm wool hiking socks
Extra pair of socks (for the evening)
Trekking pants and/or shorts
Lightweight cotton long pants
Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms (seasonal)
Fleece, wool pants (seasonal)
Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants
A comfortable pant or a trouser for the evening
Light and expedition weight thermal tops
Fleece jacket or pullover
Fleece Wind-Stopper jacket (Optional)
Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
Light shoes (sneakers, sandals or flip flops)
Gaiters for hiking in winter
Flashlight or Headlamp
Small pad or combination lock-to-lock
Basic First Aid Kit and other medication as needed
Large plastic bags – for keeping Items dry inside or for dirty laundry
Day pack (approximately 2500 to 3000 cubic inches)
Water bottle (thermos for hot beverage)
Ear Plug (if light sleeper)
Portable power charger and cables
TOILETRIES/ PERSONAL HYGIENE
Hairbrush if needed
Sun cream and lip balm
Wet wipes (baby wipes)
Tissue /toilet roll
Anti bacterial hands wash
Small laundry detergent (if needed)
camera (and if needed extra memory cards and battery)
book or Kindle
Trail Map/Guide book
Journal, notebook & Pen
Travel game like cards etc.
small snacks, power bars etc