Usually, when people think of a vacation, they think of visiting the beaches, but Nepal gives you completely different experiences. It is a truly spiritual experience to visit the monasteries that are decorated with prayer flags of good will. It’s all about peace and love. So, yes, we say that Nepal is definitely a bucket-lister.
Here we will answer top 12 frequently asked questions travelers ask before visiting Nepal . You need to know the answers before exploring these mountain paradise . We have gathered all the information from experienced travelers and most of the information is verified here .
A lot of tourists ask this question because they don’t have a clear idea about Nepal’s geographical location .
Nepal is a country in Asia that lies south of the fifty Himalayan Mountains. China is to its north and it shares west, south and east borders with India. It is 500 miles long east to west and up to 150 miles from north to south. Kathmandu is in Nepal’s center and is the capital. It houses most of Nepal’s residents. 75% of Nepal is covered by mountains which makes it one of the most rugged terrains in the world.
90% of travelers ask this question and it is a very important one .
The main thing that Nepal is known for is the Himalayan Mountains. It houses the world’s most famous mountain ranges in the world. The Himalayan Mountain ranges in Nepal contain 8 out of 10 of the highest peaks in the world, including Mount Everest. The people of Nepal are big on honoring their Hindu and Buddhist religions so there are several monasteries, pagodas and temples. KÄthmÄndu Valley, alone, houses approximately 2,500 shrines and temples. It also is the site of 133 religious festivals each year. Nepal also has several UNESCO historical sites.
Because of the difference between the mountain and valley areas, there is a range of different types of climates. The climates range from subtropical to tundras to ice and snow. The mountains are between 4,000 and 29,000 feet above sea level, the temps at and above 16,000 are below freezing and have snow and ice. There are five climatic zones in Nepal based on the altitude above sea level:
Tropical and subtropical zones of below 1,200 meter or 746 feet in altitude have the vegetation of rainforests. e.g. Teria. This is also where animals, like elephants, Bengal tigers, buffalo and the one-horned rhinoceros live.
Cool-temperate zone altitude range of 1,200 to 2,400 meters or 746 feet to 1491 feet; e.g. Kathmandu Valley. You will see a lot of pine trees in this area. Here you will find animals like the red panda and monkeys
Subarctic climate altitude zone of 3,600 to 4,400 meters or 2337 feet to 2734 feet, e.g. Churia foothill.
Arctic zone altitude range of above 4,400 meters or 2734 feet. e.g.tundras, MahÄbhÄrat Range and the Great Himalayas. The snowline starts around 3100 feet altitude. You will see animals like snow leopards and mountain goats.
Oh yes, and tribal people live in each of these climates/regions throughout the mountains.
Generally, we say yes. Even for the solo travelers!
Just remember that Nepal is one of the poorest countries on the planet, so don’t flash large wads of cash. There is a misconception throughout Asia that westerners are wealthy, so proceed with caution. There are ATMs in Nepal so you don’t have to carry all of your cash at once, although they have very high transaction fees.
There are stories of locals luring tourists to orphanages to donate money or being told that the local has a sick relative that needs money for medical attention. Some of the stories might be true but, again, proceed with caution. Also, do not walk alone after dark. Take a taxi or bus back to your place of lodging.
It is ok for males to trek alone but not for females. If you cannot afford a guide, you can always join a group of trekking strangers. Actually, this happens frequently. Another caveat for female tourists is that the people of Nepal are conservative so you are advised to avoid halter tops or what is considered to be “revealing” clothing since they might make certain assumptions about you and this could lead to problems for you.
The main focus of safety concerns focus on injuries of trekkers and mountain climbers. Trekkers and climbers should carry a first-aid kit. There have been a few avalanches and landslides, but the main issues have been ankle and leg injuries from mountain climbing and trekking. You must pay first before the medical professionals and hospitals will treat you, so travelers are encouraged to purchase travel insurance. It is inexpensive and covers medical care, hospitals, etc. Nepal hospitals have some type of connection to major insurance companies. If they cannot treat you in the initial hospital, they will transfer you to be treated in another country or to your home country.
You can also purchase a local sim card or some type of disposable phone and let your family and friends know where you are going, along with your route and itinerary. You should also carry emergency phone numbers for your country’s embassy in Nepal, as well as any of the necessary numbers such as:
Well , it depends on what type of travelers you are .
Nepal has four seasons. The best time to visit Nepal, hands down, is their autumn season from September to November. The weather is dry and clear so the views of the mountain are incredible since the previous season’s monsoon rain has wiped out bugs, dust and pollution. Trekking is great during this period. Nepal has many festivals, but the main two, Tihaar and Dashain, occur during this time period.
Although not the best rated times for a visit, some of the following seasons have their “perks”:
If you can brave the cold, the winter season from December and January is good because you get the mountains mostly to yourself. The lower the temp = the clearer the air = the better the mountain views. However, many lodges are closed down during this time.
If you are a flora and fauna bluff, the spring season from February to April touts the blooming of rhododendrons and a great time to view Nepal’s wildlife of the red panda, one horned rhinoceros, elephants, Bengal tigers, et al. However (there is usually a “however), the heat is rising, the mountain views are obstructed by haze and, and with heat come stomach bugs.
You can easily stay for 1-2 weeks .But 7 days is enough for exploring majority of Nepal’s tourist attractions (not for trekking ) . Here we have created a 7 days Nepal travel itinerary for you .We have collected opinions from those who went to Nepal before .
First, the prices are incredible! Talk about getting “the most bang for the buck”!
Remember that . Most of Nepal is uninhabitable, so you will find hotels in a few areas in Nepal. We have listed the top choices below. All of them come with transportation to the airport, and free wi-fi. Most of them include free parking and free breakfast.
Dwarika’s Hotel has the traditional Buddhist courtyard which houses a pagoda and shrines. Average price is $240 for a double. You will get closer to the Himalayas if you stay in its sister hotel.
Taleju Boutique Hotel. A boutique hotel has up to 25 rooms. Taleju offers a fitness center, free breakfast, free parking, and a spa. Prices range from $34 to $54.
Hotel Ambassador by ACE Hotels is located in Kathmandu and offers free parking, free breakfast, and activities for kids. The price range is $65 to $69.
Bodhi Boutique Hotel is located in Kathmandu and offers free breakfast, bike and walking tours, baggage storage, fax and copy machines. Prices average $35 per night.
Kathmandu Youth Hostel is located near the International Airport in Kathmandu
There are also Hyatt Regency and Marriott Hotels in Kathmandu. Hyatt Regency Kathmandu offers a pool, fitness center, bike rental, casino/gambling, and .. . wait for it . . . babysitting! Room prices, per night, are from $123 to $130.
Dwarika’s Resort is the sister hotel of Dwarika Hotel in Kathmandu and is an hour away near the mountains. A double is from $350.
The Swotha Hotel is in a house that has been restored by UNESCO. Doubles start at $30. These lodges have wi-Fi, free parking and free breakfast.
Hotel Middle Path & Spa is located in Pokhara and offers free breakfast, a spa, rooftop terrace and pets are allowed. Price average is $24.
Hotel Pokhara Grande offers free parking, pool, fitness center, free breakfast, and car rental. Price per night averages $91.
Pokhara Youth Hostel is just a few feet from Phewa Lake. This hostel has great views of the mountain, a bar and private parking. The hostel also has a front desk that is open 24 hours. Also available is car rental, cycling, hiking and fishing. It is 1.3 miles from the World Peace Pagoda and approximately 2.3 miles from the International Mountain Museum and is a little under 2 miles from the Pokhara Airport.
Club Himalaya by ACE Hotels offers a restaurant which includes a breakfast buffet, free parking, a rooftop terrace, indoor heated pool, free breakfast, bike rental, dry cleaning, airport transportation, laundry service, conference rooms, bar, coffee shop, meeting rooms, spa and masseuse. Room prices are from $72 to $110.
Tiger Palace Resort offers a pool, free parking, fitness center, bike rental, casino/gambling and . . . wait for it . . . kids stay for free! Prices range from $91 to $114.
Hotel Le Himalaya includes free parking, free breakfast, a lounge/bar, laundry service and dry cleaning and also houses a restaurant. Prices range from $45 to $131.
The top food eaten in Nepal are
Momo which is a dumpling
Pulao is a tasty rice dish with various vegetables
Dal Bhat contains lentils and rice
Sel Roti is a sweet, ring-shaped rice bread type of doughnut
Thukpa.are noodles in a special chili sauce
Gorkhali Lamb is cooked in curry
Dhido or Dhindo is a type of grain porridge
You can experience these dishes at several of the restaurants in Nepal at decent prices. Just remember to remove your shoes upon entering the restaurant and before eating.
Traveling Nepal is pretty much affordable . Most things are decently priced in Nepal. The average cost is lower than many countries . By using local transportation and staying at hostels you can save a lot of money . Always bargain when shopping anything because they try to quote higher to the tourists
Since Nepal was voluntarily isolated until the 1950s, they are catching up, so transportation is limited. A few roads have been paved or constructed. The main transportation is walking on various foot paths or cycling. There are few airport and railway connections. Here are your traveling options within Nepal:
Local buses are old and very crowded since they won’t make money unless the bus is full. The buses in Nepal travel up to 50 km per hour or flat tires, festivals, blockades for various reasons including monsoons.
Tourist buses are in better condition and have connections with Kathmandu, Pokhara, Sauraha for Chitwan National Park and Sonauli. The express buses cover longer distances and have scheduled stops. There are day buses that leave in the morning and night buses which leave in the afternoon or evening. You can reserve a spot on the express bus through a travel agent or your hotel. Try to buy your ticket as far in advance as possible. Try to keep your belongings on you or you can stow it on the bus roof during the day or the hold during the night. Mini buses and micro buses carry less people. The most you would pay for any of these options is around Rs500
You will find taxis mainly in Pokhara and Kathmandu. The average rate is Rs2200 You will always have to negotiate the price. You can choose between cycle rickshaws which are good for short distances or microbuses.
You can rent a motorcycle. You will be required to have a license, although they might not even look at it. You can rent one for about Rs650 a day. This does not include gas or petrol.
A rented bicycle or saikal is the best option for getting around for shorter distances. You can rent these for Rs150 to Rs250 a day. Mountain bikes are the top choice.
For a small country, there is a lot going on. Here are the top 10 things to do while in Nepal.
Start trekking from the Everest Base Camp. This camp is in the valley of Mount Everest. Some tourist go further and attempt to climb this mount. Although the maximum trek period from this base camp is 12 days, the four-day Poonhill trek is one of the shorter treks from this base camp. If you want to climb, novices can start with the Mera or Island Peaks. They max out at 6,000 meters or 3700 feet.
Fly from Kathmandu to Khumbu and take a Mountain Flights Tour and check out incredible views of the mountain. You can also take the panoramic flights over the Himalayas.
Paraglide over Pokhara and enjoy its beauty. You can also mountain bike and trek from the Annapurna Base Camp. You can also visit the Peace Pagoda, boat and hang out on one of its lakes.
Take a mountain bike tour in Kathmandu Valley. Shivapuri National Park has one of the best bike tours.
Participating in a Kathmandu Sightseeing Tour includes a visit to the well-known Swayambhunath holy shrine in Kathmandu Valley. As noted earlier in this article, Kathmandu has over 2,500 shrines and temples so you will be busy for a long time.
Visit Chitwan National park and see the one-horned rhinoceros along with over 500 bird species, elephants, crocodiles and Bengal tigers. It is suggested that your schedule a three-day and 3-night trip and lodge in Chitwan.
There is a theme here and it involves enjoying various views of the prestigious Himalayan Mountains. Another opportunity is the Mount Everest Helicopter Tour. You also will “look in” on the Himalayan residents . . . animal and human.
Visiting Bardia National Park gives you another opportunity to see many of Nepal’s tigers, one-horned rhinos, crocodiles and lots of birds. The rivers also contain dolphins.
The Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most renowned Hindu temples in Nepal. It is pagoda style. You can observe the priests go about their daily routines. Oddly enough, this Temple is the site of funerals where people are burned after they pass away.
Did we say the top ten things to do while visiting Nepal? Okay, let’s make it thirteen.
Two Day Rafting on the Bhote Koshi River is another activity for the outdoorsy folks. You would get a pure adrenaline rush kayaking and rafting down the river.
Patan Durbar Square has a history dating back to 250 BC and includes the Kumbeshwar and Golden Temples. You also want to check out the Patan Museum that houses a Buddha from the 12th century.
Four Day Kayaking Clinic down the Seti River teaches participants how to white water kayak. The scenery along the way is beautiful. You start in Phewa Lake in Pokhara and end near Chitwan National Park.
The bars and lounges are all in Kathmandu and range from the warehouse party atmosphere of the Club Déjà vu to the cozier atmosphere of Rum Doodle, which was acknowledged in Time Magazine. These establishments also offer great food and vibes. Also at night, many of the temples, in places like Kathmandu Durbar Square, are lit up and provide incredible views.
Yes . It is .
Various treks are adjusted for children trekkers. Some treks in Langtang and Annapurna areas stay close to the camp and avoid advancing to the higher altitudes so they can be close to communication devices and medical care. Parents can also hire guides to carry a child in a hiking pack. The Nepal locals or Nepali culture promotes immediate family and extended family so they are child-friendly. This is even manifested in food servers who are patient and playful with children who are past their nap time. Sometimes you even get special treatment when you are with your children, like being placed at the head of a line.
The only issue is that there are no places for babies. There are no diaper changing stations/areas and few high chairs have been sighted. Parents will have to be creative with baby/toddler/child seating. However, breastfeeding is totally acceptable in public. Even airports in Nepal have breastfeeding areas. The United States needs to take note.
Because of the poor quality of roads, there are accidents and there are no seatbelts or child seats in Nepal. You can bring your own child seat but it awkwardly fits in taxis and buses.
Food sanitation is good in major cities, like Kathmandu and Pokhara, but beware of the less visited areas, when feeding your children, since they have poor sanitation procedures.
However, the educational lessons from seeing the animals and buildings of Nepal are priceless for children.
Most flights fly into Kathmandu or KTM. As noted in the “getting around in Nepal” section, Nepal is not as developed as other countries, so their airports may not be equipped with many things that are present at other airports. Weather and obstacles, like mountains, can be problematic so you should do your homework and check out the expected weather and climate of the time period you want to visit. The airlines are Qatar Airways, Emirates, Cathay Pacific , China Eastern, China Southern, Air China, Korean Air, Singapore Airline, Sichuan Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Etihad Airways, Air India, and AirAsia X. Prices can be anywhere from $495 to $1100 depending on the time of year of your desired visit.
In conclusion, Nepal offers great spiritual and structural history through its pagodas, temples, monasteries and festivals. It is also very affordable. The people, and their cultures, are interesting since they are based on which altitude they live in. The Himalayan Mountains are absolutely beautiful! The concern is the traveling that it takes to get to Nepal and the travel it takes to get around within Nepal. The underdevelopment of many of their road systems can be problematic. Although you have other options of travel like airplanes and helicopters, these options can be expensive. If you can afford the transportation costs, and you check the weather and climate predictions in advance, Nepal can be a great educational and spiritual experience in coming new normal days .
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