Nepal, home to Mt. Everest (8848m), is also prosperous concerning the cultural affluence of the country. Nepal, with a mere geographical span of 147,181 km2, is located in Southern Asia between the borders of China and India. Topographically, it is divided into 3 regions: the Himalayas, Hilly, and Terai. The northern section of Nepal is called the Himalayas, consisting of 8 of the ten highest peaks in the world. As we move down the Terai region is more fertile, while the hilly region is covered with hills of the Mahabharata ranges. The climate varies depending upon the season, however, the Himalayan region is cold, Hilly is moderate, and Terai is hot. The country also hosts a massive assortment of cultures distributed over the three geographical regions.
You can enter Nepal only with the possession of a legal Tourist Visa. Visa on arrivals can be obtained from Tribhuvan International Airport at Kathmandu and from the different entry points at the Nepal-India and Nepal-China borders. Outside Nepal, it can be accessed from the Nepal Embassy established in various countries. The payment can be done only through cash and the currency varies as per the nation where one’s origins are based or opt choose. The information for a tourist visa is given below:
|15 days||US$ 30|
|30 days||US$ 50|
|90 days||US$ 125|
How to reach Nepal
Nepal, being a land-locked country, can only be traveled through the means of air or by land. Tribhuvan International Airport is the only international airport located in the capital. Nepal Airlines is the national flag carrier of Nepal. Nonetheless, other airlines like Biman Bangladesh Airlines, China South-West Airlines, Indian Airlines, Thai Airlines, Gulf Air, and many others airlines are also available. Visitors from Europe and the Americas can reach Nepal after transit to the destination stated by the airlines of your choosing. Visitors entering the country by land must use the entry points at the Indian and China Borders. Entering Nepal via India is easy due to the availability of entry points at six different locations (Kakarbhitta, Birgung, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Dhangadi, and Mahendranagar). Similarly, Kodari is the sole entry-exit point between Nepal and China. Buses and railways are feasible for reaching Nepal from India alone.
Popular Destinations to Visit
Nepal is a very hospitable country to visit that provides exceptionally popular destinations for travelers. Whether it is treks, hikes, climbing challenges, jungle safaris, pilgrimage tours, or leisure tours, Nepal has it all. Different people have their own different interests and hobbies thus, the country provides every individual with adventures that meets their interest.
Everest, Manaslu, Annapurna Region, Upper Mustang, Dolpo, Langtang, and Kanchenjunga, are popular destinations for trekking in Nepal, peak climbing, and expeditions. Similarly, Kathmandu Manakamana, Muktinath, Gosainkunda, Lumbini, Pathivara, and Janakpur are famous for being pilgrimage sites. Kathmandu, Chitwan, Pokhara, and Lumbini are premium tour destinations. On the other hand, Chitwan National Park, Bardia National Park, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve, and Parsa Wildlife Reserve are popular to indulge in Jungle Safari, bird watching, and similar stuff. Also, the country hosts numerous destinations for adventure sports like rafting, kayaking, paragliding, and bungee jumping.
Things to do in Nepal
Nepal is a land full of opportunities for traveling enthusiasts and has destinations favorable for people with different interests. Some of the things that you can do here are:
Trekking: Nepal is brimming with many trekking prospects, varying in terms of difficulty, duration, and destination. Blessed with eye-catching scenery, nature, diversified culture, and demanding trails, Nepal provides with best trekking experience.
Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Ghorepani Poon hill Trek, Langtang Valley Trek, Manaslu Circuit Trek, Upper Mustang Trek, Everest Three Passes Trek, and Annapurna Circuit Trek are the famous treks in the country.
Expedition and Peak Climbing: Home to many snowcapped mountains, Nepal provides a tremendous amount of opportunities for both professional as well as beginner mountaineers and climbers. Expeditions are done to peaks generally above 6,500 meters in altitude to peaks like Mt. Everest (8848m), Lhotse (8414m), Kanchenjunga (8586m), Ama Dablam (6856m), and Annapurna (8091m) to name a few. The popular peaks for making the climb are usually below 6,500 meters in altitude and are spread across the country. Mera (6461m), Island (6189m), Yala (5500m), Pisang (6091m), and Lobuche (6119m) are the most famous ones.
Adventurous Sports: For visitors who sense pleasure in challenging nature, there isn’t a better place than Nepal. Bungee Jumping, Rafting/Canoeing, Swing/ Zip lining, Skydiving, and Mountain Biking are the few audacious sports available here.
Besides these, hiking, jungle safari, leisure tours, visiting religious places, and many other activities are also possible in Nepal. Your imagination is the only limit to what you can do in Nepal.
People/ Culture/ Food
Nepal is embellished with unique cultures. Various religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, and Jainism among others are practiced here. However, the majority of Nepali are Hindus or Buddhists. Diversity in ethnicity provides room for various cultures, customs, and traditions. On the travel to Nepal, it is advised that the visitors respect all the cultures and try to remain within the social boundary.
Nepalese cuisine doesn’t have a distinct style of cooking. The taste and habits differ from one region to another. However, the authentic Nepali taste is found in Newari and Thakali dishes. Other famous treats include Momo, Curried Meat, Dhedo, etc. Dal Bhat is the staple food in the country and variation of the food is available across the country.
Banking, ATM, and Money in Nepal
All major Credit Cards (MasterCard, VISA, and American Express) are accepted in Nepal. However, their usage might be limited to city areas only. Foreign currency can be exchanged at authorized counters and institutions all over the nation. And, it should be kept in mind that currency transactions involving third parties besides the authorized ones can end in the visitor getting stuck with an unfair rate.
ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) are available throughout the country, although in rural areas there are chances of the machine not working all the time. Popular ATMs include: (Standard Chartered, Everest Bank, Himalayan Bank & Nabil Bank). Nepalese currency is available in 1 and 2-rupee coins and 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000-rupee notes.
While trekking or traveling, you can easily find banks to exchange your currency. However, in extremely remote areas, these services might not be readily available so, you must have cash pre-hand.
Internet & Communication in Nepal
Internet service is easily accessible across Nepal. There are countless numbers of restaurants, cafes, hotels, guest houses, and communication centers throughout the country. Wi-Fi and data connectivity are easily accessible. Ncell and NTC provide Sim cards for making calls and connecting to the internet at reasonable prices. Their services are available in the most remote regions as well. There are many phone booths here that provide both STD and ISD services. You can easily get in touch with your friends and family through cellular services in the country.
Traveling alone in Nepal
Nepal is perfectly safe for solo travelers; primarily because of the easy acceptance of new culture by the Nepalese society. Lone travelers are treated in the same way as couples or groups, if not better. Even in restaurants, there isn’t any stigma if you want to dine alone. Nepalese are humble and helpful by nature, and if you come across any problems, feel free to ask for help.
However, while traveling alone in Nepal is recommended to travel with, at least, an authorized local Tour Trekking Company in Nepal known as a travel guide. Getting a local Sim Card and a map is highly suggested and is a must for lone travelers. Also, informing your friends and local authorities about your whereabouts is important when traveling solo. Common precautions of following a healthy lifestyle and tracking your belongings closely must be practiced as well.
Update: Nepal required Guide for Trekking to the Himalayas.
Safety and Security
Nepal is considered one of the safest countries in the world. The country has well-established peace and the people here are a benevolent and hospitable bunch. Most of the major tourist areas located here are policed and patrolled regularly. A special branch (Tourist Police) is separated by Nepal police who are dedicated to assisting and helping the tourists and keeping them safe from any kind of threats. Find more about the Tourist Police at the official website of the Nepal Police and the Department of Tourism.
However, adventurous sports and similar travels are not without risks. Weather and risky trails on travels can cause unwanted situations. Accidents may happen due to incomplete or inappropriate information to the visitors are recommended to follow the rules/regulations and instructions given by travel guides. Climbers should always take note of the weather forecasts and conditions before going on their expedition. Thus, medical and travel insurance is a must and travelers should also be sure that the insurances cover all aspects of their travel. Overall, Nepal is safe for any and all forms of travel yet; a few precautions should always be taken.