Nepal Travel Tips

PASSPORT: Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date you are planning to stay in Nepal, and must have at least two blank pages.

VISA: A visa is required for all non-Nepaln citizens entering Nepal. Visa fee for tourists is approximately $73, and may change. Visa is required for Nepal and can be obtained upon arrival in Kathmandu

MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS: No immunizations are required. We highly recommend that you consult your physician for pre-departure health advice. For more information, visit the Center for Disease Control website: http://www.cdc.gov/.

CURRENCY:The Nepalese Rupee is the currency of Nepal. The exchange rate varies, and has fluctuated between 44 &ndash 48 INR for 1 USD in 2010. For exact and current exchange rates, visit: http://www.xe.com/ucc/. It is advisable to always carry some local currency with you while traveling. You may use your ATM card to withdraw INR while in Nepal. We recommend you inform your bank prior to traveling to advise them of your travel plans, to avoid a security block on your ATM card.

CREDIT CARDS: Most merchants in major destinations accept credit cards. We recommend you inform your credit card company that you are traveling to avoid your card being blocked for security reasons.

CLIMATE: Weather in Nepal has four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. During periods of high heat in the summer months, the order of sightseeing might be altered. Details will be provided locally by your Tour Manager.

LUGGAGE: We recommend you only take one average-sized piece of checked luggage per person, with an approximate combined dimension of 54 in (137 cm) for height, width and depth, and weighing a maximum of 50 lbs (23 kg). In addition, you may carry-on a bag not to exceed 15 lbs (6.8 kg). It is important that you check exact specification of luggage allowed from the airline on which you are traveling, as they vary.
 
WHAT TO WEAR: Comfortable walking shoes and breathable, wrinkle-free, layering clothes work well for traveling in Nepal. Tank tops and spaghetti straps for women are not recommended while entering Temples or Mosques. If wearing either of these, take a stole or wrap to cover the shoulders while in these places of worship as a sign of respect for the religion. Men and Women equally, are required to cover their legs while entering a Mosque.

REMEMBER TO PACK: Prescriptions, as well as over-the-counter medicine, sunscreen, mosquito spray, travel umbrella, binoculars, sunglasses, hat, camera, transformer/adapter. We also recommend that you pack in your check-in luggage, at least two copies of all the travel documents that you bring with you. Make copies of your passport page that contain your photo, date and place of issuance, date of expiration, and your citizenship, as well as your Nepal visa page.

HOTELS: Hotel check in time is 3:00 pm, and check-out time is 12:00 noon.

ELECTRICITY: 220-240 volts, 50 Hz, Socket types A, C, and M. Electrical converter/transformer, and an adapter plug with two round pins & three round pins arranged in a triangle is needed.

FOOD: Minor stomach ailments are the most common affliction of visitors to Nepal. We recommend you to always wash your hands before and after eating, and not to consume food from street vendors. Fresh fruit can be consumed after peeling and/or washing thoroughly with bottled water. Also drink plenty of bottled water while traveling.

SHOPPING: Nepal is a paradise. You will find everything from clothes to ceramics, metal works, and a variety of local handicrafts. Each region in Nepal specializes in a particular industry that been handed down over generations. You will  find that every item has a story behind it. Bargaining is common outside of malls and larger retail stores. It is recommended that you quote the price you want to pay. The seller will most likely meet you half way. If you will lucky, they may even meet your price Every Shopping Market and/or Mall has a particular day of the week that they close. When open, the hours anywhere from 10 am & 9 pm. Some shops may also close during lunchtime for a few hours.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Special permission of the Archaeological Survey of Nepal, New Delhi, is required for use of tripod and artificial light. Photography in the wildlife sanctuaries is allowed on payment of a prescribed fee. In Delhi, videos are not allowed at Humayuns Tomb, and camera fees are imposed at both UNESCO sites visited in Delhi. Videos are not allowed in the Taj Mahal complex past the first viewing area guests may store their cameras.

GRATUITIES: It is customary to tip the various people that provide you with service during your travels. The amount you tip is a matter of personal discretion, and generally based on your satisfaction on the level of service you receive. Following is a tipping guideline for satisfactory service:

  • Tour escort: $5 per person per day
  • Driver: $2 per person per day
  • Local Guide: $2 per person for half day of sightseeing (2-3 hours) OR $5 per person for full day of sightseeing.
  • Hotel Porter: $1 per bag per person 
  • Wait staff in restaurants: 10 &ndash 15 percent of your total bill
  • Housekeeping: $1 per person, per day

HOLIDAYS: Nepal is culturally and religiously a diverse society, and celebrates various holidays and festivals varying by region. There are generally 14 official Holidays in Nepal, and several other optional ones. Religious holidays are based on the ancient calendars, and change every year.

Jan 1: New Years Day
Jan 22: Basanta Panchami, honoring the deity of knowledge Saraswati
Jan 30: Martyrs Day
Feb 14: Shivaratri, in honour of Lord Shiva
Feb 18: National Democracy Day
Mar 1: Holi, Hindu festival of colors
Mar 17: Ghode Jatra
Mar 25: Ram Nawami, Birthday of Lord Ram
Apr 9: Chaite Dashain
Apr 14: Nepali New Year
Apr 30: Buddha Jayanti, The day Lord Buddha was born
Aug 6: Gai Jatra
Aug 26: Janai Purnima
Sep 2: Indra Jatra, Chariot festival of Goddess Kumari
Sep 3: Krishna Janmashtami, birth of Krishna
Sep 12: Teej, Hindu festival of womanhood
Sep 19: Constitution Day
Oct 9: Ghatasthapana, first day of Dashain festival
Oct 16: Fulpati Saptami, Dashain festival
Oct 17: Durga Ashtami Maha Ashtami, Dashain festival
Oct 18: Nawami, Dashain Festival
Oct 19: Vijaya Dashami, Dashain festival
Nov 7: Laxmi Puja, Tihar festival of lights
Nov 8: Govardhan Puja, Tihar festival of lights
Nov 9: Bhai Tika, Tihar festival of lights
Nov 13: Chhath Parva, worship of Sun god

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