Explore Bhutan to Nepal
Namaste and Welcome to Nepal! To many visitors, the Himalayan Kingdom conjures up the images of snow-capped mountains and rolling green hills. Indeed, out of ten world’s tallest mountains, eight stands in Nepal, making Nepal a mountaineer’s dream. But Nepal has much more to offer than just the high breathtaking Himalayas.
Nepal is located in South Asia and shares territorial borders with India and China. Previously ruled as a kingdom, today it is a Federal Democratic Republic. Nepal is known for its exquisite natural beauty, with the iconic Himalayas running across the northern and western part of the country. Eight of the ten highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, reside within its borders. Although Nepal is a relatively small country in comparison with its neighbors, it has an astonishingly diverse landscape, from the rugged Himalayas in the north to the humid Terai plains in the south. The capital and largest city is Kathmandu. The currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee(NPR).
A small country with an area of approximately 52,818 sq miles is diverse geographically as well as ethnically with more than 61 ethnic groups and 70 spoken languages. You will find rich cultures and vibrant traditions, exquisite temples and monuments as well as fast flowing rivers and tropical jungles teeming with wildlife, making your trip an unforgettable experience. It is the only Hindu Kingdom in the world. However, all the people from different races and religions live in harmony and there is an ideal blending of Hinduism and Buddhism.
To cross a street in Kathmandu is to travel across centuries. Shrines, temples, palaces, palace squares, ageless sculptures and legends that are parts of every brick and stone and gilded masterpiece, make Kathmandu Valley a verifiable living museum.
His Majesty’s Government of Nepal has announced a new policy of waiving visa fee for any tourist visiting the country for a period of 3 days. Similarly tourists coming from South Asian countries (SAARC) as well as neighboring People’s Republic of China will also get free visa to Nepal. Likewise arrangements have been made to provide free visa for any national for re-entry to Nepal provided those tourists have stayed at least for 15 days in the country in a visa year (Jan-Dec). VisitNepal.com highly welcomes this step taken by the Government to drive the Nepalese tourism industry towards a new height.
Department of Immigration (Kathmandu)Recently moved to Bhrikuti Mandap next to the Tourist Service Centre.
Visa extension and trekking permit applications are accepted from 9:00 to 1:00 PM only (but not accepted after 12:00 on Friday).
Mon – Fri 9AM – 4PM -Winter- Mon – Fri 9 AM -5PM – Summer-
Getting Nepal Tourist Visas
A Visa is necessary to enter Nepal and can be obtained for the following duration from any Royal Nepalese Embassy or Consulate or at the entry points in Nepal.
The rules below have been updated as of September 2001.
Single entry tourist visas can be obtained by paying US $30 for 60 days.
If you wish to leave and re-enter the country, you’ll need to pay additional fees. US $25 for Single Re-entry, US $40 for Double Re-entry and US $60 for Multiple Re-entry.
If you leave and wish to Re-enter Nepal as a tourist within 150 day of the same visa year, you may pay US $50 for 30 days.
Visitors may extend their tourist visa by paying US $50 for 30 days.
Trekking permits are not required for Everest, Annapurna and Langtang areas.
Business visas with multiple entry facilities are available at a rate of US $100 for one year and US $250 for five years. Ministry of Industry recommendation is required.
How to Get There ?
The Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu welcomes visitors into the country and an additional 47 airports make getting around Nepal relatively easy, despite its rugged and mountainous terrain that makes some of the more remote virtually impossible to reach by road. Nepal Airlines is the official air carrier of the country, with a fleet consisting of two Boeing B-757s and seven DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft. The railway network in Nepal is rather sparse, with the main line running between Janakpur and Jainagar, a town close to the border of India. A rail link between Nepal and Lhasa in Tibet, China is under consideration for future development.
Travelers are ever-searching for the untrained path, for places and peoples unspoiled and exotic. But, tourism can no longer afford to spoil new discoveries. Litter and cultural pollution soon erode visitor appeal and more important, indigenous lifestyles dependent upon a delicate natural balance vanish forever. Responsible tourism is a more sound investment where everybody wins.
In Nepal, tourism contributes to children’s dental problems in mountain villages where sweets and cavities were once unknown. Garbage left by mountaineering expeditions piles up higher and higher, and international media reports of toilet paper-strewn trekking trails grossly exaggerate a real concern. Forest suffer enough from local demands. Trekkers food and lodging needs further fuel the problem. Art theft not only depletes a reach cultural heritage but is undermining the Nepalese peoples trust of outsiders.
Nepal heartily welcomes you, the visitor. But, whether you are trekking in the mountains or touring the Kathmandu Valley, we ask that you treat the land and its peoples with care and respect. Below are some tips on how you can keep the environment clean and show appreciation for age-old culture and traditional religious beliefs.
In Nepal, eco-tourism is more than a catch phrase to mean outdoor adventure travel. Green or eco-trekking practices are sound measures such as carrying out or disposable of garbage and burning no wood on the trail. Ask your trekking agent and lodge operator about their conservation policies. Green trekking may cost a little more but is much better for the environment.
You can also help out by following these guidelines:
Litter Free: Carry all your trash (including toilet paper, unless you thoroughly burn it on the spot) to your campsite, lodge or hotel for proper disposal. If trekking with an agency, ask the staff to designate separate places for biodegradable and others (i.e., bottles, tins, plastics, foil, batteries etc.) which should be packed out to Kathmandu or the next refuse pit. As fires are considered sacred, don’t put trash in the flames until the cooking is done and always inquire first.
Lady Details: Sanitary napkins and tampons should be wrapped well and packed out. Take batteries back to your home country for safe disposal.
Toilet Sites: Make sure your trek operator provides a toilet tent, set up at least 50 meters (150 feet) away from any water source. If you are tea-house trekking, select lodges with well-sited latrines. Otherwise, pick a spot away from water and religious sites. Bury all excreta. In the cities and en route, public toilets are hard to find so be discreet and keep away from holy sites.
Biodegradable Washing: When bathing or washing clothes near streams, use biodegradable soaps and a pan for rinsing. Toss soapy water away from the stream.
Use Established Campsites: Encourage your trekking staff to camp in established campsites and to leave no trace: no trash, no tent trenches, no fire pit, and a toilet pit filled in to look as it did before digging.
Cook with Kerosene: If you are camping, request that cooking be done on kerosene or gas, not wood. If you’re stuck using wood, reduce the amount by using iodine to treat water rather than boiling it. Choose lodges that use kerosene or fuel efficient stoves, such as the back-boiler which heats water while food cooks. You can also reduce firewood consumption by ordering the same food at the same time as others.
Solar Heated Showers: Limit your hot showers to those heated by solar energy, by hydroelectricity or by the back-boiler method.
Warm Clothes: Bring adequate clothes rather than relying on lodge hearths for heat and never ask your trekking staff for a bonfire. See that porters will be provided shelter, clothing and shoes for high altitude treks, saving wood otherwise burned to keep warm.
Do Not Disturb: Avoid creating new trails across switchbacks, meadows and in high fragile areas. Make sketches or take photos rather than collect flower, plants and seeds. Do not purchase items made from wild animal skins or furs. Take care while walking through farmland and always stay to the uphill side of livestock on trails.
Dress and Attire
Baggy pants or calf-length skirts with a loose top are appropriate trekking and touring wear for women. Men should wear a shirt at all times. Men’s knee-length hiking shorts are fine for trekking but not when visiting temples, monasteries or homes.
Nudity is particularly offensive. Whether bathing in a stream or at a village tap, men should wear shorts or underwear, women can wrap in a loongi (sarong) and douse themselves as the village women do. Only sport a swimsuit if well secluded from village eyes. Public affection is likewise frowned upon.
Artifacts and Antiques
It is illegal to export anything older than 100 years. Please do not take any religious objects (prayer stones, statues, temple ritual objects, prayer flags, etc.) away from sacred sites and discourage others from doing so.
Most Nepalese don’t mind being photographed, but some do. Ask first, especially if photographing ceremonies or older people. Paying for a picture reinforces a hand-out mentality. Try instead to establish a friendly rapport with a few words or gestures.
Do not give candy, pens, trinkets or money to children but instead donate to a school, monastery or hospital. Nepalese give a few rupees to the handicapped and religious mendicants; you can do the same.
Bargain for souvenirs and trekking services but respect posted prices in restaurants and lodges. Ask around to establish a fair price: paying too much adds to inflation and paying too little denies the merchant of a fair return.
To show appreciation and respect, use two hands rather than one when giving or receiving something, even money.
Remember not to point with a single finger but use a flat extended hand especially to indicate a sacred object or place.
Among Hindus, avoid touching women and holy men the traditional palms-together “Namaste” greeting is preferable.
Don’t eat with your left hand and nor eat beef among Hindus.
Try not to step over or point your feet at another person, a sacred place or a hearth.
Remove your shoes when entering a home, temple or monastery (and leather items in Hindu temples) and avoid smoking and wearing scant dress in religious settings.
Do not offer food from your plate, nor eat from a common pot, and avoid touching your lips to a shared drinking vessel.
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.
Even if you are an experienced medical practitioner, it is not wise to give medicine to a sick Nepali on the trek unless you can watch his or her reaction. Most Nepalese have never been exposed to Western medicine and may react unpredictably. Encourage villagers to wash cuts with soap and boiled water, and to see their closest clinic for medical treatment.
Trek with Others: Never trek alone; if you run into trouble or take a tumble no one will know. Trekking with an agency assures the greatest security.
Security: Watch your gear carefully in lodges and on the trail. Don’t be showy with expensive items, and always lock your room or baggage.
High Altitude Sickness: Find out more from your agent or the Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) about this sickness and helicopter rescue options. Always register your trekking plans with your embassy, consulate or HRA. Beware of other trail hazards, watch where you are going and don’t over-extend yourself.
Eating and Drinking: Never eat unpeeled fruit or vegetables unless you know they’ve been adequately soaked in solution. Drink only after water is boiled or iodized. Always wash your hands before eating.