Travel Guide, Travel and Tourism
Are you planning on traveling to Nepal? Nepal.com provides you with an essential travelers guide to Nepal. Find out about traveling through Nepal, the best time of year to go, safety, etiquette and much more. Our Nepal travel guide is just what you need to have a wonderful, trouble-free holiday in this marvelous country.
When to visit Nepal
If you are wanting to go trekking in Nepal, the best time to do so is in Autumn (early October to early December) and in Spring (early March to end of April). Weather in autumn is mostly mild and clear with chilly nights. Spring has clear mornings, typically building up to rain in the afternoons. Winter (December through end of February) has chilly daytime temperatures and is very cold at night. Whilst the weather is mostly clear at this time of year, winter snow storms can affect hiking. Summer (June to September) is Nepal’s monsoon season and conditions can be somewhat uncomfortable.
All those arriving in Nepal, with the exclusion of Indian nationals, must carry a passport with valid visa. Visas can be acquired at the consulate or at entry points. A gratis visa is offered to those entering Nepal for just 3 days or less and to tourists from SAARC countries as well as the People’s Republic of China.
Buses are the most common form of transportation within Nepal. Bus routes cover the main cities extensively, whilst others will take you from town to town. Alternatively you can make use of local taxis.
Clashes with Maoist rebels appear to be a thing of the past in Nepal, however it is wise to keep an eye on the media and local sources of information as regards safety and which area to avoid. Many countries recommend that you register that you are exiting your home country and provide details of where you are going. Keep an eye on your valuables as petty theft can occur on buses and in hotel rooms. Unfortunately, pick-pocketing is quite frequent in Kathmandu‘s main tourist areas.
Drugs and Alcohol
Whilst Marijuana and hashish are commonly grown in the Himalayas and are inexpensive, they are illegal and are socially offensive. Harsh penalties are imposed upon those in possession of such substances. Should the police arrest you for carrying illegal substances they will contact the diplomatic mission of your country who will be able to provide you with a lawyer. You will however not be exempt from jail time. So, it is in your best interests to avoid drugs altogether. Alcohol can be bought in the tourist areas of Nepal. Avoid home-brewed drinks as these can be very dangerous, even deadly.
Ethics and Etiquette
Nepalese people adhere strongly to social standards of behavior and dress. It is advisable to dress modestly when traveling around Nepal so as not to offend the local residents. Greet people in Nepal with ‘namaste’, that is by placing your palms against the other person’s palms. It is sign of respect to remove your shoes when entering a house or temple. Nepalis consider it offensive if something is given or taken with the left hand or touched with the feet. Certain Hindu temples may prohibit westerners from entering. Leather is not allowed inside the temple precinct. Always ask permission before taking photographs. Try to avoid public displays of affection.
Nepalese people tend to be friendly, so if you need assistance you will often find someone to give you a hand. It is advisable to keep the number of your accommodation with you should you get lost.
By following the simple tips outlined in this essential travelers guide to Nepal, you are certain to have an enjoyable holiday and an amazing experience.