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TRAVEL GUIDE TO NEPAL

 

We’ve gathered the following information for  you in preparation for your trips which we thought were appropriate.  If you need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-785-1233.


Airport Taxes

The departure tax for international passengers is included in the ticket price.

Baggage

On Domestic flights, passengers are allowed 44 pounds of luggage per person. On International flights, passengers are allowed two pieces of checked luggage. Excess luggage fees will be charged if you check more than the stated allowances, and these charges are your responsibility.  At most major airports, baggage carts are available for your luggage, usually for a small additional fee.

Climate and Clothing

The seasons in Nepal can broadly be categorized into two- dry and wet with monsoon. There is dry season from October to May while wet season of the monsoons last from June to September. The coming up of dry season – from September till November – is the Autumn and is the best time of the year in Nepal. With the end of monsoon and the advent of Autumn, different kinds of celebrations start in Nepal. The countryside is green and lush during this period. Nepal celebrate their two popular festivals, Dashain and Tihar during this time. Summer months in Nepal are from April to September while winter months are from November to March. In the north summers are mild and winters harsh while quite the opposite in the south.

Lightweight cotton clothing is recommended from May through October. Warm clothes are needed for winter. An umbrella or raincoat is a necessary for the monsoons.

Communications

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.

Postal Services: The Central Post Office located near Dharahara Tower, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The counters are open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and provide stamps, postcards and aerograms. Post office is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Express Mail Service (EMS) is available at GPO and at Thamel, Basantapur and airport postal counters.

Internet Services: Several Internet cafes and communication centers have opened up in the Valley and around the country in the past few years. Visitors only have to find a place they are most comfortable in to use the facilities to keep in touch with home. E-mail and Internet services are also offered by hotels.

Currency

The unit of the Nepalese Currency is Rupee. One Nepali Rupee is made up of 100 paisa. Nepali Rupee notes come in Rs. 1, Rs. 2, Rs. 5, Rs. 10, Rs. 20, Rs. 25, Rs. 50, Rs. 100, Rs. 500, Rs. 1000. Coins come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, Rs. 1, Rs. 2, Rs. 5, and denominations. The exhange rate of US$1=95NPR (July 2013)

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. 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.

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

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

Customs Regulations

All baggage must be declared and cleared through customs on arrival at the entry. Personal effects are permitted free entry. Passengers arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) without any dutiable goods can proceed through the Green Channel for quick clearance without a baggage check. If you are carrying dutiable articles, you have to pass through the Red Channel for detailed customs clearance.

 Electricity

The voltage in Nepal is 220 Volts AC. Electrical appliances will require an adapter that can change the shape of the plug prongs, as well as an electrical voltage converter that will allow a normal 110-volt American appliance to take the 220 Volt current.

Food and Water

Stomach upsets are the most likely travel health problem but the majority of these cases are minor problems. Thoroughly cooked food is the safest but not if it has been left to cool. One should be careful about what one eats and drinks. The number one rule is not to drink tap water or other water from open sources. Reputable brands of bottled water or soft drinks are available.

Do not drink unpasteurized milk. Boiled milk is fine if it is kept hygienically and yogurt is usually good. Tea or coffee should also be all right since the water would have been boiled. Salads and fruit should be washed with purified water or peeled where possible. Food, drink and snack from reputable sources are usually safe. However beware of food that has been kept out in the open for long.

Health Matters

Visitors do not need any particular immunization for visit except if arriving from an infected area . Vaccinations for cholera, meningitis, tetanus and diphtheria, typhoid and gamma globulin should, however, be considered. It may be a good idea to get a complete check-up before departure.

Medical facilities in Kathmandu Valley are sound. All kinds of medicines, including those imported from overseas are available in Kathmandu. Kathmandu Valley also offers the services of major general hospitals and private clinics. Health posts have been set up by the government in different parts of rural Nepal. However, facilities are not on par with those found in Kathmandu Valley.

A travel insurance policy that covers theft, loss and medical treatment is recommended. Make sure the insurance also covers the activities that you will be undertaking during your stay in Nepal such as trekking, rafting.

Holidays

Prithvi Narayan Shah’s Birthday – Jan 10th or 11th
Basanta Panchami – January/ February
Shiva Raatri – February/ March
Democracy Day – Feb 18th or 19th
Nawa Barsa (Nepali New Year) Apr 13th or 14th
Chait Dasain – March/ April
Ram Nawami – March/ April
Buddha Jayanti – April/ May
King’s Birthday – Jul 6th or 7th
Janai Purnima – July/ August
Krishna Asthami – July/ August
Dasain (5–6 days) – September/ October
Tihaar (3 days) – October/ November
Constitution Day – Nov 8th or 9th

Passports and Visas

A valid passport and visa are required for US citizens. Travelers may obtain visa before traveling from a Nepalese embassy or consulate. You may purchase a one day visa of $5 per day; $25 for 15 days; $40 per month and $150 for 3 months upon arrival at the airport.  Further information can be obtained from Embassy of Nepal.

Tourists may stay for a total for not more than 150 aggregate days in any calendar year.

Time Difference

Standard Time in India is 5:45 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and 10:45 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, USA

Tipping

Tipping is a newly accepted custom in Nepal. Hotel, restaurant, touring and trekking organization staff members often make up for relatively meager wages with tips. But, it should only reward good work. Don’t tip for short taxi rides in town or any service person you’ve bargain with. Groups might give a reasonable amount per day to a tip pool to be divided among the staff, generally relative to rank, for good service.

On tour tipping of $10-$12 per person per day is customary.

Transportation

All ground transportation, airport transfers and sightseeing, will be provided via private car and guide. If you wish to explore on your own, we recommend metered taxis that can be hailed off the streets and are easily recognizable by the taxi sign and their black number plates. Night taxis are available for higher prices. Three wheeler scooters that are cheaper than taxis are also available. For cheaper rides buses and teeny vans called micro buses are available to different parts of the Valley.

What to Pack?

Valid Passport. Travelers Checks. Copy of Your Airline Ticket. Mosquitoes repellent. Your Medicines. Medications for diarrhea and other digestive system ailments. Departure documents. Travel alarm clock. Camera(s), batteries & films. Sunscreen/Tan lotion.  Pocket size Kleenex. Extra luggage locks/keys. First Aid kit. Soft, foldable slippers. Extra set of eyeglasses. Folding Umbrella.  Comfortable walking shoes.