A Beginner’s Guide to Nepal


A Beginner’s Guide to Nepal

Nepal, a quaint Himalayan beauty landlocked between two Asian giants China and India, looks small in the world map, but feels grand in its own way. Being the home of Mt. Everest, the country enjoys being the land of superlatives and extreme diversity both naturally and culturally.  Rising from the mere altitude of 60m to the highest point on earth (8848m) in the span of 150-250 km, Nepal treasures remarkable biodiversity and cultural richness you won’t find elsewhere. So, travelling to Nepal always ensures some of the best travel experiences you can cherish for your whole life. If this country of wonder is in your bucket list, here is some help for you.


Official Name: Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
Capital: Kathmandu
Language: Nepali
Currency: Nepalese Rupee (NPR)
Population: 29,192,480
Size: 56,827 mi² / 147, 181 km² (93rd)
Time Zone: NPT (UTC+05:45)
Calling Code: +977
Vaccinations Requirement: CDC recommendation
Credit Cards: Visa/MC sometimes accepted
Emergency Number: 100
Visa Requirements: https://www.immigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visa


Transportation in Nepal can feel messy at first, with so many options between planes, taxis, jeeps, cars, bus, motorbikes you are sure to be overwhelmed while you make your way around. Public transportation in Nepal may not be the best and fastest but it’s cheap and goes more or less everywhere. When it comes to punctuality and comfort, public transportation in Nepal can be difficult. So, if you’re traveling within a city then grabbing a taxi is the best option but if you are in search of comfort andwant to set your own pace thenhiring a tourist car will do your job.Long-distance buses as well as flights are available if you want to get around in other parts the country. However, driving in the roads of Nepal provides some thrilling and exciting moments.


Bordered by the giant countries China and India, Nepal is landlocked country with a land area of 147,516 sq. km. The geography of Nepal rises from 59 meters’ elevation in the tropical Terai to the everlasting snowline to more than 90 peaks over 7000 meters (22,966 ft.) including the gigantic world highest mountain, Mount Everest (8,848 meters) (29,029 ft.). Forming north to south transects, Nepal can be divided into Terai, Hill, and Mountain Region. Terai Region begins at the Indian border and the Mountain Region lies within the Himalayas whereas hilly region is a home to some of the most populated and famous cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara.


If someone talks about Nepal, then trekking and mountaineering are the things that would probably pops up in your mind. Yes! There are tons of trekking and mountain activities offered by this heavenly country but there are overwhelming amount of things to do beyond than just trekking and mountaineering.You can explore the beautiful cultures, heart-thumping adventures, wildlife encounters, deep spiritual side of the country which is unparalleled anywhere else in the world. There are varieties of interesting cuisines found in each corner of Nepal. Want to try some? Go! Delight your taste buds.


The best time to visit depends on your reason for visiting Nepal. Autumn and spring seasons are dry and are rewarded with clear skies and beautiful panoramas. Also, weather in these months are moderate and stable.Monsoon season arrives with heavy rains and clouds obscuring the glorious mountain views and landscapes. These heavy rains result in landslides that make travel difficult and many places close down, so it is best to avoid visiting at this time. But you can do city tours and even trekking in trans-Himalayan regions like Mustang, Manang, Dolpo etc. Winter season also has clear skies but due to heavy snow in trails, trekking is not possible in higher altitude. Hiking and trekking in lower altitude is possible all year round except monsoon as trail can be muddy and leech infested. For city tours, you can travel anytime of the year if you don’t mind occasional shower during monsoon.


The official language of this multi-ethnic and multilingual country is Nepali. Often known as Parbatiya language, Nepali language is also spoken by about a quarter of the population in Bhutan and in some places of India. If you are not familiar with this language then don’t worry- English language is used as a foreign language in Nepal and over the years, number of people who speak this language has grown significantly. English language is more prominent in rural areas. As, Nepal is a home to more than 120 ethnic groups speaking their respective languages, many other ethic languages are also in use. However, Nepali language is widely in use and known by majority of the population. Two words Namaste (hello) and Dhanyabad (thank you) are most frequently used during any conversation, so it’s better if your note down these words. Almost every restaurant, hotel and public service uses English language indications.


Since official currency of Nepal is Nepali rupee, you can easily exchange your currency in Nepali rupee (NPR) from banks, airports, and authorized money changers. Credit cards are accepted in major cities but it can be difficult to use them in rural areas and small towns. ATMs are available to withdraw in rupees in major cities.


Dal Bhat is the national staple of Nepal and most common local dish found all over the country. Most Nepali eat it twice a day, everyday.This finger licking cuisine is a mixture of various ingredients, processes, attributes and consists of rice, lentil soup and fresh vegetables. It is the most common dish you will get while you trek in hilly and Himalayan regions. Next most popular food is MOMO! Actually momo is more than food in Nepal – Nepali people are a bit maniac about it. Momo is a form of dumplings – basically a dough wrapped around stuffed vegetables or meat. Naive to ancient Tibet, these delicious dish are served steamed or fried. Served with a dipping sauce (locally known as achar), Momos are found everywhere in every restaurant, cafes, fast food stalls in Nepal with different varieties and taste. With its massive consumption, momos have evolved to become one of the most preferred fast foods in Nepal.


Spices are the main ingredient to characterize every Nepali cuisine. Most of the spices are grown in the country by traditional methods which is why Nepali cuisine is so flavorful. Ginger, garlic, turmeric, cumin, coriander, pepper, Sichuan pepper (timmur), cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf, clove etc. are the most used spices in Nepali dish. The accurate mixture of these spices make dishes delicious.


Nepal is known as a trekkers’ paradise. Home to the highest mountains in the world, Nepal is undoubtedly one of the best trekking destinations not just in South Asia but in the whole world. Every year it attracts thousands of hikers and trekkers that head directly to the Himalayas. Everest Base Camp, number one trekking destination in the world offers the glimpse of world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest (8848 m). Annapurna Base Camp, Langtang, Manaslu, Mustang, Dolpo, Makalu, Kanchenjunga treks are also extremely popular treks which allure lots of visitors. Due to its magnificent mountains, Mountaineering is the next popular activityin Nepal. Not just trekking, Nepal is also known for insightful cultural tours. One can tour in its medieval cities full of heritage sites to dig into its unique history and rich culture. As a home to more than 200 ethnic groups, Nepal’s calendar is full of festivals all year round. Any village, any day, any street can be an opportunity for vibrant cultural spectacle. Besides, Nepal also offers opportunity for adventure activities like rafting, bunjee jumping, skydiving, zip lining,jungle tour etc.

DOs and DON’Ts in NEPAL:

We recommend the following practices to travelers to make their travel experience comfortable and memorable:

  • Use both of your hands rather than one when giving or receiving something, even money. Using of one hand only is considered rude.
  • Do not point with a single finger but use a flat extended hand specially to indicate a sacred object or place.
  • In Nepal, people (especially women) do not normally shakes hands when they greet one another, but instead press palms together in a prayer-like gesture known as “Namaste”. This way of greeting is used extensively in all parts of Nepal.
  • It is better not to touch offerings or persons when they are on their way to shrines.
  • Avoid touching women and holy men.
  • Cows are sacred in Nepal. Hence, it is respectful not to eat beef in front of local people.
  • 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 do not bring leather items to Hindu temples)
  • Non-Hindus are not allowed in some temples. Make sure about it before you enter.
  • Dress appropriately and respectfully at all times, and especially when you visit religious places.
  • Take permission before taking photographs of locals, holy shrines and temples.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking in religious settings.
  • Don’t offer food to a Nepalese after tasting it, nor eat from a common pot, and avoid touching your lips to a shared drinking vessel.
  • Acts of affection and handholding between women and men is not appreciated.
  • Walk around Stupas and sacred stone inscriptions clockwise, and don’t take any of the stones.
  • Raising your voice or shouting is seen as extremely bad manners in Nepal. It can only worsen a matter.
  • Do not give anything to children or elderly, as this will only encourage begging behavior. If you want to help, donate to a trustworthy charity or a school. If you are interested in charity, we can advise you on this.
  • Make sure that any antique that you buy is legal. Do get a receipt of authenticity when purchasing an antique replica. This may be checked when you want to take it out of the country.

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