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Nepal Travel Guide

Country Information

Nepal is a land located country which lies in between India and China. It is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of bio-diversity due to its unique geographical position and altitude variation. The elevation of the country ranges from 60 meters above sea level to the highest point of the world, Mt. Everest at 8,848 meter above sea level. Nepal is small country but many interesting things to see. Nepal is the second richest country in the world in terms of water resources. We have beautiful Himalayan range in the north and have many rivers begins from the Glacier of the Himalaya. Nepal has three major geographical range; Himalayan region, Hill region and Terai low land.
Nepal offers abundant potentials to evolve as a round the year travel destination. Based on this fact, many international tourists are indeed incorporating Nepal in their preferred travel itinerary. Nepal is known for its beautiful and dramatic scenery. Passionate walkers and non-walkers alike are attracted towards its mountains and foothills to view the Himalaya and the world highest peak. Many also discover the beauty of the forests and the enjoyment of time spent as a self contained expedition, far from the rush of the modern world and in the delightful company of the trek crew as they tend to our needs and ensure that we comfortable and able to enjoy the trek to the fullest. They are physically strong, sharp-witted and have an incredibly positive attitude towards a life that we would consider extremely tough. There is something trek in the Himalaya that draws you back time and time and again. For keen walkers it is a paradise and non-walkers find that one foot just seems to follow the other, drawn by the appeal of what lies beyond. Nepal’s population of over 29 million people is a blend of Hindu, Buddhism and animist religion. Nepal is a mosaic of cultures, ethnic groups and languages. It is remarkable that there are over 100 different ethnic groups, with at least as many languages. More than three million people live in Kathmandu Valley, but at least ninety percent of the Population lives in the rural areas of the lower and middle hills of the Himalayan Range. Nepal is predominantly a simple rural society. Nepal has been declared Federal Republic State on May 28th 2008.This historic development followed the first elections held since 1999 after a ceasefire agreement between the government and the Maoists was signed in November 2006, putting an end to 10 years of instability in the Kingdom. The announcement of the abolishment of the Monarchy also brought an end to 240 years of Royal rule in the country. Today the general feeling amongst Nepalese is a positive one, and many believe that Nepal is now finally moving forward with a new identity as a democratic nation and a fresh outlook. All we people hope a lot for further progress.

Nepal At a Glance

  • Area: 147,181 sq. kilometers
  • Geography: Situated between China in the north and India in the south
  • Capital: Kathmandu
  • Population: 2,642,799
  • Language: Nepali is the native language. However, travel-trade people understand and speak English as well.
  • Currency: Nepali Rupee
  • Political System: Multi-party democracy
  • Religion: The major number is Hindu. However, there is a harmonious blending of Hinduism and Buddhism.
  • People: Nepal has more than 91 ethnic groups and 70 different spoken languages.
  • Climate: Nepal has four major seasons
    (1) Winter: December-February
    (2) Spring: March-May
    (3) Summer: June-August
    (4) Autumn: September-November

    Best time to visit Nepal

  • Autumn (September, October and November)
  • Spring (March, April and May) are the best seasons for high altitudes and climbing activities.
  • Winter (December, January and February) are good months for low altitude treks and tours.
  • Monsoon (June, July and August) is also okay to visit Nepal but visibility could be of matter due to rain.
  • Most recommended seasons for trekking are autumn (Sept, Oct, Nov) and spring (March, April, May). In these seasons you will be rewarded by good weather, sunny and warm with clear sky and outstanding views. During monsoon (June, July, Aug) although there will be no problem for trekking, the issue could be of less visibility and rain. But, for a keen botanist, monsoon is blessing as the higher valleys, mountains and meadows blossom with flowers and abundant vegetation. You can trek in winter (Dec, Jan, and Feb) also; only the issue is cold weather with snow-fall at higher elevations.

    The trekking routes are crowded during spring and autumn but during monsoon and winter the routes are not packed and you could enjoy rather best of nature.

    However, because of effects of global warming the climate is changing world wide and there could always be possibility of exception in these weather patterns. In best seasons also there could be hoax of bad weather and sometimes even in adverse months; weather tends to be excellent for trekkers.

    Health
    Owing to a sudden change in climate, altitude and other factors, it is obvious that there could arise some alterations in your health. It would be hard to know all aspects of Nepal’s health problems. However, it would be useful to gather information on altitude sickness (AMS), diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, hepatitis rabies, typhoid, tetanus, meningitis diphtheria, malaria and HIV/AIDS. Common sense can often save lives. You will be eating and drinking in various outlets. Diarrhea is a common illness that a tourist would be f acing. So, it is recommended to drink purified water and eat in clean outlets. Drinking and eating precautions will surely help to take care of many health problems that could arise during the trip. Staying hydrated during the travel, trekking, tours is highly recommended too. Being on good health before leaving for a trip would help you to enjoy your trip to the fullest.

    Physical Examination:
    We always recommend undergoing a thorough check up before commencing travel to Asian countries so that if you are considering demanding tour such as trekking or mountaineering you do not have doubt about your health or fitness.

    Vaccinations:

    There is no need to present inoculation/immunization certificates to enter Nepal for any legal purpose. However, vaccination for diseases such as Malaria (widely found in lower lands of Nepal – Terai), Small Pox, Typhoid, Tetanus, Meningitis, Hepatitis and Polio are recommended before you commence your travel to Nepal to be on the safe side. We advise you to consult your doctor before beginning your travel and also to carry necessary health certificates (immunization certificates), should they be required in any case.

    The following is a ROUGH GUIDE for immunization. (We must stress that this is only a basic guide to the most commonly required vaccinations to travel to central Asia.

    (a) Polio (normally you will just need a booster.)
    (b) Tetanus
    (c) Cholera
    (d) Meningitis
    (e) Typhoid. A full course requires 2 injections separated by an interval of 4-6 weeks.
    (f) Hepatitis A and B.
    (g) Anti-malarial prophylaxis: Please refer to your doctor for the most up to date information about anti-malarial medication for the areas that you will be visiting.
    (h) Rabies pre-exposure vaccination. Please refer to your doctor for advice on whether you need rabies pre-exposure vaccination. In the unlikely case of your being bitten, this vaccination does not eliminate the need for urgent evacuation to a suitable medical facility for additional treatment. However, it does simplify that additional treatment and also prolongs the period that you can safely delay before receiving post-exposure treatment.

    Given enough notice, your doctor will be able to administer all the above vaccinations.

    Postal Services:
    Central Post Office located near Sundhara or Bhimsen Tower is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday through Friday. The counters are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and provide stamps, postcards and aero grams. Post Restate is available Sunday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Express Mail Service (EMS) is available at GPO and at Thamel, Basantapur and airport postal counters.

    Telephone Services:
    Telephone, fax, telex and telegraph services are available at the Nepal Telecommunications Corporation at Tripureshwar. Hotels and private communications centers provide long distance telephone. For calling from outside, country code for Nepal is 977 and the area code for Kathmandu is 1.

    Internet Services:
    There are several internet cafes and communication centers in the Kathmandu Valley and around the country. Tourists only need to find a place they are most comfortable with to use the facilities to keep in touch with home. E-mail and Internet services are also offered by hotels.

    Media:
    Nepali media has developed rapidly within just a few years of time. Besides the government medias, Radio Nepal and Nepal Television, there are numerous FM and television networks, numerous FM radio stations and upcoming regional television stations are dominating the market. Major Nepali daily newspapers are Gorkhapatra and Kantipur, Nagarik, while the English dailies are The Rising Nepal, The Kathmandu Post, Republica, The Himalaya Times, etc.

    Forex and Banking
    Foreign currencies must be exchanged only through banks or authorized foreign exchange dealers. The receipts from such transaction are to be obtained and retained. Visitors can exchange money at the foreign exchange counter at the airport upon arrival also.

    NOTE FOR TRAVELERS FROM INDIA/ VIA INDIA:

    Indian currency of Rs.500 and Rs.1, 000 bills are not allowed to be brought into Nepal. They will not be exchanged and will not be accepted for transaction of any kind.

    Cards
    Credit cards like the American Express, Visa and Master Card are accepted. Convertible currencies are as follows: Dollar (U.S., Australian, Hong Kong, Canadian, and Singapore); Euro (Swiss, French, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy); Pound (U.K.); Yen (Japan). Please keep hold of your encashment for changing back local currency into foreign currency on departure at exit points or at Tribhuvan International Airport departure lounge.

    Cash Machines
    The mainstream banks in Kathmandu and Pokhara all have a cash machine where you fill your wallet 24 hours a day using your normal bankcard or Master Card / Visa. Banks have cash machines, though we would recommend only using these machines during bank opening hours so as not to run the risk of losing your card if the system crashes.

    Banks in Kathmandu Valley are open between 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. from Sunday through Friday. They are closed on Saturdays and other public holidays. In other places banks are open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. from Sunday to Friday and are closed on Saturdays and government holidays. ATM machines are located in many banks in the capital. Money can be transferred from other parts of the world from the numerous transfer agencies in the capital.

    Accommodation facilities
    Nepal today has altogether more than 300 big and small hotels which are registered with the Department of Tourism, ranging from 5 star deluxe categories to the small one star and tourist standard hotels. A general outline of facilities available in five, four and three star hotels are given below:

    Five Star Hotels:
    A five star hotel has all its rooms air-conditioned, well furnished and with attached bath. More than two restaurants and bars serving a variety of cuisine and drinks, swimming pool, tennis court, beauty parlor, sauna, health club. Banquet and conference facilities and a variety of other modern luxurious facilities are also available.

    Four Star Hotels:
    The four star hotels in Kathmandu constitute of air-conditioned, well furnished room with attached bath, more than one restaurant, garden, banquet and conference facilities – though in a slightly smaller scale.

    Three Star Hotels:
    The three star hotels have air-conditioned rooms with attached bath and standard furnishings. A minimum of one restaurant and bar are available with standard luxury.

    Climate in Nepal
    The seasons in Nepal are pretty much the same as in Europe, opposite of the Australian seasons. In January it’s cold, while in July you could make do with shorts and 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, climate of Nepal differs significantly throughout the country.

    Monsoon is approximately from the end of June to end of August. About 80 per cent of the rain falls during that 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 to freezing with a high level of snowfall in the high mountains.

    Summer, monsoon and late spring temperatures range from 28ºC (83ºF) in the hill regions 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 valley experience a minimum temperature but not often falling below freezing point and a chilly 12ºC (54ºF) maximum.

    The Kathmandu Valley has a mild climate most of the year, situated at an altitude of 4,297ft (1,310m). 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 rainy monsoon season between June and August, there is an average rainfall of between 7.8-14.7 inches (200-375mm) in Kathmandu. May and June can be very hot and humid until the monsoon rains bring relief. In spring (March to April) and autumn (October to November) the temperatures are pleasant with occasional short bursts of rain, while November to February are dry, but can be very cold, especially at night.