There are two types of people when traveling: those who travel in groups and those who go on solo trips. Whichever you are, you may need these tips and reminders when you travel to Nepal. Don’t get too excited for Kathmandu Valley, alright? Read on below to learn more about our tips and the best Nepali words to use with the locals.
Nepal is a stunning country located in South Asia, known for its majestic mountains, rich cultural heritage, and warm and friendly people. It’s home to the world-famous Mount Everest, the highest peak on Earth, located on the border between Nepal and China. As a traveler, I have always been interested in visiting this country because I heard several stories about its numerous temples, shrines, and religious monasteries scattered throughout its diverse landscape. Who wouldn’t want to take an Instagrammable shot there, right?
For those seeking adventure, Nepal is an ideal destination for trekking and mountaineering, with the Himalayas providing breathtaking views and challenging routes. The country also offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including white-water rafting, bungee jumping, and jungle safaris that introduce visitors to exciting new experiences.
With its stunning scenery, vibrant culture, and endless opportunities for adventure, Nepal is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to explore the beauty and diversity of South Asia. But wait! Before you prepare your itinerary and tick off some activities from your bucket list, you must prepare for your trip. Remember that traveling in Nepal and other countries needs to follow certain procedures! So without further ado, let’s prepare you for this visit!
Tips Before Your Travel To Nepal
If it’s your first time traveling abroad, you’re expected to go bonkers— overthinking every minute before your flight. So, to lessen your worries, we’ll go through the important reminders before you visit Nepal. Let’s begin!
1. Get A Travel Visa
If you’re planning a trip to Nepal, obtaining a valid visa to enter the country is important. You can either apply for a visa ahead of time or upon arrival in Nepal. To make your trip as hassle-free as possible, it’s recommended that you obtain your permit in advance. You can quickly fill out the Tourist Visa form online through the Department of Immigration authorities and print out the submission receipt to bring with you.
If you forget to apply ahead of time, don’t worry. Kiosks are available at the airport that dispenses visa forms, or you can visit the Tribhuvan International Airport to obtain one. Once you have the necessary forms, you must proceed to the Immigration Desk with your completed form, receipt, and passport to complete the visa process.
Additionally, note that visas have an expiration. So, do not overstay or renew it if you plan to extend your trip. Below are the prices and the respective number of days you may stay in Nepal:
- 15 Days: 30 USD
- 30 Days: 50 USD
- 90 Days: 125 USD
2. Bring Your Covid-19 Vaccination Card
As the country has lifted travel restrictions related to the CoronaVirus (CoViD-19), it’s important to note that some health protocols may still be in place. While it may be possible to skip the PCR test, it’s essential to bring proof of vaccination with you on your trip to ensure you’re complying with local health regulations. By presenting your vaccination card, you’ll provide assurance that you’ve followed the necessary health protocols and taken steps to protect yourself and those around you.
3. Use Authorized Vehicles Only
Navigating transportation options in Nepal can be challenging for travelers, with limited options for safe and reliable public transportation. While some taxi drivers may try to overcharge for their services, it’s always a good idea to negotiate prices before getting into a cab. In addition to potential pricing issues, it’s important to note that public transportation in Nepal can be poorly maintained, and there have been instances of harassment towards women. To ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience, it’s recommended that travelers consider alternative transportation options.
Tourist buses offer a limited yet safer way to explore Nepal, with routes that are specifically designed for travelers. However, if you’re planning a longer trip or want more flexibility in your transportation, it may be worth researching trusted car services online. To help you out, we gathered some of the most well-rated sites online from Tripadvisor:
- Kathmandu Car Services.
- Himalayan Car Rental Nepal.
- Transport Hire Nepal.
4. Get National Park Permits For Trekking and Mountaineering
If you’re considering trekking in Nepal, it’s essential to be aware of the necessary permits and regulations in place. Authorized trekking agencies can assist with obtaining the required permits from the Department of Immigration, and it’s mandatory to trek in a group of at least two individuals with a licensed trekking guide.
It’s important to note that the Nepal Tourism Board has officially banned solo trekking as of April 03, 2023. This decision was made to promote safety and employment opportunities in the country. Popular trekking routes in Nepal are often located in remote areas, making solo trekking particularly dangerous.
5. Check Passport Validity
If you’re planning a trip to Nepal and your passport is close to its expiration date, it’s recommended to renew it before booking your flight. According to Nepal International Travel Information, your passport should have at least six months of validity remaining to enter the country.
Local Laws To Follow
1. Never Carry Or Purchase Illegal Drugs
It’s strictly prohibited to use narcotics in Nepal. Some people may offer them to you but know that the local police can jail you for purchasing or using them. So, just enjoy your travel abroad and not have yourself f deported to your home country, alright?
2. Don’t Take Random Photos
It’s hard to stop taking photos of great landscapes and sceneries. However, you’d want to avoid capturing images of army barracks, military personnel, and checkpoints. Doing these activities are against their local laws.
3. Don’t Try To Convert Locals
Respect for religious beliefs is essential, and avoiding attempting to convert others to your own beliefs is best. Doing so can lead to serious consequences, including imprisonment, deportation, and a travel ban in Nepal for several years. It’s always better to appreciate and respect different religious affiliations instead of trying to change them.
4. No Public Display Of Affection
Whether you identify as a part of the LGBTQ+ community or not, it’s best not openly to show your relationship to the public. Considering Nepal locals’ conservative and traditional society, you’ll probably get weird looks as you pass by them. And unfortunately, despite being open to same-sex relationships, some members of the queer get harassed and discriminated against when spotted in public settings.
Health And Safety
1. Get Travel Insurance
Before leaving your home country, you have to get travel insurance first. Ensure that it covers overseas medical costs and medical evacuation fees. Some foreign tourists may have a hard time finding high-standard medical facilities outside the areas of Kathmandu Valley or Pokhara.
Tourists may experience Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), frostbite, and other sicknesses. To ensure your safety and not pay hefty amounts of money, ensure your insurance coverage includes the essential services mentioned above. If you didn’t have medical insurance, you’d need to spend thousands of dollars on your medical bills, not to mention that hospitals ask for upfront payment.
2. Beware Of Theft
Always check your personal belongings, as theft is a common crime in Nepal. These incidents usually happen in tourist sites, buses, and hotel rooms. So, please don’t leave your items unattended; never travel when it’s dark outside.
When we ask the locals what is the usual activity foreigners do in the country, many say trekking. So, if you also want to try it out, here are a few recommendations.
1. Research Your Destination First
While it’s natural to be excited about your first trek or mountain climbing journey, it’s important to remember that many tourists have gone missing during these adventures. Some trekking areas, such as the Everest Base Camp Trek, are particularly risky. Before embarking on your trip, it’s a good idea to check the risk level of your intended route using Mountain Trekker-Nepal.
2. Beware Of Dishonest Trekking Guides
Despite getting along with your trekking guide, some may still take advantage of you and offer contaminated food. If this ever happens to you, contact your health insurance immediately. It would also be great to first say as you wait for the helicopter for medical evacuation to send you to a facility offering the proper medical treatment.
3. Get A Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) Card
Before heading to the Himalayan mountains, you’ll need this TIMS card first. It’s important to have it to avoid illegal trekking operations that may promote harm to tourists. You can obtain it from registered Trekking companies approved by the government, Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).
Nepali Words Related To Traveling
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