A lot of people always think about their next destination to travel or their next possible adventure and some of them might not even think about Nepal. It’s a small country, sandwiched between India and China, but it has so many incredible things to offer and should be on everyone’s bucket list! Here are 10 good reasons to pack your things and explore Nepal:
Nepal is celebrating visit Nepal 2020. Many people are still confused about why Nepal? I tried to summarize in the top 10 points. If you want to know more about Visit Nepal 2020 or Popular activities to visit Nepal 2020. I will provide links on the button of this blog too.
Mountains and trekking opportunities
at first the most obvious point, everyone associates Nepal with beautiful mountains and countless trekking routes. Of course, this country has way more things to offer than just that, but in my opinion, everyone should follow the call of the Himalayas and experience this amazing work of nature. There are many options for trekking, different routes for all levels of fitness and ways to customize every trip. I got the chance to do the Poon Hill Trek for 4 days with the travel agency AdventureVision Treks and Travels and it was just an incredible and unforgettable experience and perfectly planned for the first trekking adventure of my life.
I can’t say that Kathmandu is the most beautiful, most developed or most impressive city I’ve ever been to, but it’s definitely something special. It’s chaotic, dusty and dirty (the chance to step into poop is pretty high), but there is a very special atmosphere and that makes it so loveable. So many things to do and explore, the Durbar Squares and all the different temples and monasteries are just incredibly beautiful, there are always new places to eat or drink in Thamel or many shops to buy souvenirs or nice Nepalese clothes (I am totally in love with my Nepali sweater, backpack, and all the other things). Something for every type of traveler or explorer.
World Heritage Sites and Culture Exploration
is there another country with that many UNESCO world heritage sites? It seems like you could find one of those around every corner and each of them is beautiful in their own way. Architecture, culture, nature – everything is just so interesting and worth seeing!
Nepal is a small country with 1,47,181 sq km with only around 30 million people. But Nepal is reaching culture and ethnicity. There are 120 types of mother languages with max cast holding their own culture. Nepal is also the birthplace of Lord Buddha and Buddhism so, there are lots of places to explore and learn about Buddism.
some people say that the Nepalese food is influenced by the Indian and Tibetan cuisine, but I think that the locals twisted it in their own special way and created some delicious dishes, no one should miss. Dal Bhat might be the most famous one, it consists of rice, lentil soup, and various side dishes. It’s the perfect meal during trekking and the locals have a pretty fun saying about the effect of this dish: “Dal Bhat, power 24 hours, no sleep, no shower!”.
Everyone needs to try Momos while in Nepal, it’s kinda the Nepalese version of dumplings with different kinds of fillings. And by the way, it’s super easy for vegetarians to find food in Nepal because almost every dish exists also a vegetarian version. The only two things I couldn’t get used to where the fact of having spicy rice dishes for breakfast and the general level of spiciness.
the locals in Nepal are just remarkably friendly and kind. Everyone I talked to, experienced an extremely warm welcome to the country and just every person you randomly meet on the street will be friendly and helpful. When I am surrounded by kind people, I am already twice as happy as my normal state, so the people will make a good experience even more awesome. And it’s really easy to make them happy as well, already with small gestures, like using some words in Nepali, you can already get the biggest smiles from them. Some of the locals even treat you like family, which makes it even harder to leave the country after the trip. I booked every trip through AdventureVision, but they didn’t only think about my booked trips, they helped me out with any other issue I had. It’s not just business, it’s friendship.
there are many places where you can see wildlife. Elephants, crocodiles, rhinos, tigers, birds, deer, monkeys and many more. The Chitwan national park is a very good opportunity for that. The jungle is already really beautiful and impressive and there might even be a chance to see a tiger. For that, I wasn’t lucky enough, but I saw so many other beautiful animals and some rhinos right next to me. That was just such an incredible experience and I literally freaked out about it. It’s amazing to experience wildlife in such a natural way.
Nepal might be a small country, but it definitely doesn’t lack diversity. Already the local conditions change from giant mountains and lakes to cities and jungle. But there is also a high diversity in culture and religion. There are over 100 ethnic groups and so many different languages and dialects within these groups. This creates an immense amount of different customs and traditions, which makes the country even more interesting.
Time to relax
Nepal was one of the most relaxed countries, I’ve ever been to. The working times are not that strict, everyone has a lot of time for tea breaks and chatting with all the people in the area and the locals seem relaxed in general (no sight of the hectic western lifestyle). For tourists, there are also many opportunities to learn or do Yoga or even do yoga teaching training. There are also many massage places awaiting the exhausted trekkers and just a lot of chilled places to hang out (Pokhara is always a good idea to relax!). In general, I think that we could learn something from the locals in Nepal and relax more often.
In Nepal one thing is definitely for sure: explorers and adventurers will never get bored! There are so many different things to do and see. I stayed there for 2 months but didn’t have enough time to explore every corner and every activity. Rafting, Paragliding, Bungee-Jumping, Helicopter flights in Himalaya, Experiencing the most dangerous airport in the world, Trekking – it’s a never-ending story of possibilities and opportunities.
Easy and simple travel experience
Nowadays visa applications can be so exhausting and time-consuming, but not with Nepal. You just need the money and a few minutes at the airport in Kathmandu and – hey – you got the visa! That’s how easy it can be. And Nepal might be very different from your hometown. But with the help of all the nice locals or a really good travel agency, you can get around pretty easy (and cheap!).
Nepal is celebrating visit Nepal 2020 and they aim to invite 2 million tourist this year. If you are planning to visit Nepal go through this article, this article is written by previous one of our traveler. As the heading is focused on visit Nepal 2020, but this is general information which is always necessary for every traveler. If you are traveling in 2020 go through our previous blog for top 10 destinations for visit Nepal 2020.
You need to have a Visa when coming to Nepal! If you have the possibility it will be better to arrange your visa In advance, as it takes some time upon arrival at the airport. You either can do it at the embassy, online or upon arrival.
Although if that’s not the case and you end up doing it upon arrival these are the amount you have to pay in USD.
Payment in USD
Cost in USD
Passport / student size, it´s always better to have more just in case, they ask for them everywhere you go for all documentation
INSURANCE … recommended
WHAT TO PACK
Crocs / Sandals
Lipstick / Chapstick
Power bank 10 – 20 mil amperes
In case you forget something, there are plenty of stores in Kathmandu and Pokhara were you´ll be able to buy the things you need.
Money and budget
In Nepal pretty much, everything is paid in cash, although you might find (some) atm that will charge commission, you could pay by card in more expensive places or some local stores that will usually charge commissions.
So, if you´ve got no problem caring around money on you, check the currency on different exchange houses and compare rates. Do not stop and change in the first one as there are many and usually, they will not take you for local. When you go into the mountain make sure you’ll take with you enough rupees as there they will surely won’t take other currency nor you´ll be able to find an atm.
I´ll give you and average personal by day mode Tourist / mode Backpacker with no excess of luxury. Trekking prices and travels are not included as the vary depending on the activities one might be interested on.
medium hotel or top hostel
medium and top restaurant
Local Route transport
Tourist Standard Hotel
Medium and top restaurant
Seasons & Weather
Seasons in Nepal and why should you visit now in Autumn?
I surely recommend you to visit during High season consider to be from mid-September to end of November during this time of the year is the BEST SEASON to travel to Nepal, although take in mind sometimes it may not be exact for me mid-September there was still be some bad rains was not really able to do much , bit before mid-September monsoon was almost over and sun started coming out again. For people coming for trekking in Himalaya in autumn or for longer hikes, the air is dry, and sky is clear, the views are just amazing so clear on the mountains you´ll get to see everything, although for people coming to see savage animals it becomes a bit harder.
So, heads up before planning as not everyone gets it the right way when planning before coming check the weather as it depends on the seasons
From May to June is the pre monsoon season and in July to August is the monsoon season to rainy and too hot definitely NOT RECOMMEND it…. Their high temperatures are just unbearable and with the rain you definitely won’t be able to do much, plus there´ll be plenty of mosquitos … if it’s not a problem for you then go ahead but don’t think that will be so pleasant and I guess it will just not be fun.
Winter season, December to February is the COLDEST season of them all there´s many snow in the mountain and in the cities next to it, therefore there are many more power cuts than usual. And might not be that safe for beginner’s, the good thing is that animals start to become more visible starting from January, although if the main reason your coming to Nepal is to see the animals wait for spring, that would be they´re highest point.
From end of February to April is the SECOND-BEST SEASON of Nepal the weather starts to get warmer, even there are some sporadic rains and is not completely clear the valley has just sprung and you´ll get to see so many kinds of flowers and the animal life will also be so abundant.
So from travelling solo, backpacker, family, or in honeymoon there is a wide range of trekking experiences to a long more adventures from easy to high level of difficulty you can perform and enjoy.
I´ll definitely recommend them From September to December, Autumn – Winter then you´ll definitely get best time for Trekking and get to explore the mountain with the clearest views without being that cold
Have you not decided where to go holidays for the next season and want to have a lifetime experience? What you´re waiting for to book you´re next adventure trip?
Electricity / power situation
Electricity, certainly another thing you´ll notice are the jumble of electrical wires, woow to the electricians, here is kind of the reason for the power cuts, so beware about the cuts in Kathmandu and save enough electricity when around.
In the mountains there is an extra charge for electricity, just so you know about that.
In Thamel area you´ll be able to find internet on pretty much all the restaurants, cafes and hotels although on a rainy day the reception may not be the best. On other cities llike Pokhara, Lumbini, or Chitwain you´ll also encounter pretty much everywhere , although when on the mountains the reception may not be the best and you´ll have to pay around $5 per certain time.
For drinking water, just be aware of tap water specially in Katmandu is not the cleanest, it’s okay for showering and brushing your teeth, just take care it’s not drinkable. Tap water is very unsafe to drink and it will only cost around 25 rupees each bottle.
I highly recommend buying a water filtration or purification system and you will certainly be able to keep using it for longer periods. In case you’re looking for other options you can always find purification tablets that way you´ll avoid the constant buying of single use plastic bottles and at the same time you´ll be helping the environment.
Moto Taxi (Pathao / Tootle) There is no Uber but you can download a similar app called Pathao or Tootle to get around that worked the same way
Always carry cash over cards, ask prices before, and don’t stay on the streets when it’s too dark specially by yourself.
Many people would like to take advantage as you can find on the street many fraudulent people you just have to pay attention and try to ask prices before you consume! Sometimes they may try to charge you excessively high prices on the streets without you even knowing as you don’t understand their languages and of course don’t have access to the right information, you so just try to be smarter and don’t let them charge you more for everything.
Highly recommended to have a travel insurance before heading to Nepal, you never know what might happened to you and when on the mountain’s altitude sickness, it’s quite common, also getting injured could get costly, the only ways to get you out is by helicopter and the cost of them is quite high.
Make sure you read small letters before buying one and also be sure it will cover the height of the mountain you want to hike as most insurances won’t cover extreme sports.
To be a responsible traveler means to be consent of what Nepal is going thought and also the world, to help with the contribution you can do it in many ways.
You can avoid the use of plastic bottles by using purification pills
If you don’t need them make sure they don’t give you plastic bags when you purchase something, try to carry around a reusable one
NEPALI CALENDAR EXPLAINED
The other day I when to the market and after I was given the ticket I stopped for a minute and there I was WOOOW as If I have gone to the future and came back. What?! I couldn’t explain myself have I just played in year 2076 another month? what day? Nothing made sense, at least not to me, we were only in September 2019.
Confused? so was I, but don´t worry I´ll tell you all there is to know about Nepalese calendar and explain you easy peace the why and the reasons for that as know it gets hard at the beginning and it´s not so easy to understand.
Ancient Nepalese culture is solely based on lunar calendar as they need it for their festivals, holidays, pujas, Horoscope, Marriage dates, birthday’s (in case you had the doubt Yes! they celebrate their birthday twice, English calendar / Sambat Calendar, so you better save enough money to celebrate in case you get to spend it in Nepal …..don´t worry I´ll tell you all there is to know about it in another post), shraddhas (Dead anniversaries) and any other religious activities fixations therefore they cannot use Roman Calendar itself , because it does not have any connection with lunar calendar.
Nepal Sambat (नेपाल सम्बत) or just Sambat calendar was established by an Indian emperor Vikramaditya has variable days and months their system was pure Lunar Calendar so it may have some disadvantages as any lunar calendar does and nowadays it may need solar system calendar help as a Lunisolar Calendar with 354 days per year and added one month every third year. There are 12 months and every 3 years there are 13 months, the extra month is Analaa. This calendar has been in continuous use in Nepal for 888 years the nepali calendar is approximately 56 years and 8 months ahead of the English calendar most commonly known the Gregorian calendar.
Gregorian / Roman / English Calendar the most commonly known calendar defined as a period of rotation of the earth around the sun solar calendar with fixed days months system. 1 year, divided in 12 months, 365.2425 days per year, 4 seasons. It keeps its 365 days per year and every 4 years the .2425 * 4 making an extra day that will be added on this calendar to the second month leaving ir with a 29th day calling it leap year.
HAMRO PATRO means our Calendar in Nepalese and is the web and app they use to guide themselves and keep updated with the festivals and cultural activities i´ll leave you the link so you can take a look in case of any doubts https://www.hamropatro.com/
Here´s so you get familiar, this is how date will look like
२०७६ भाद्र ३१ मंगलवार 2019 Sep 17, Tuesday
Baishakh बैशाख (30/ 31 Days) mid April – mid May April 14 NEPALI NEW YEAR
Jestha जेष्ठ or जेठ (31 /32 Days) Mid May– Mid Jun May 04: Aama ko mukh hernay din
Ashdah आषाढ or अस (31/ 32 Days) id June to Mid Ju Aug 15: Rakshyabandhan
Sawan श्रावण or साउन (31/ 32 Days) id July to Mid August Aug 30: Kuse Aaunsi (Buwa ko mukh hernay din)
Bhadra भाद्र or भदौ (31-32 Days) August to Mid Septemb Sep 01: Haritalika Teej Sep 29: Ghatasthapana
bishu karma – Workship to the cars and everything that has a motor
Asoj आश्विन or असोज (30/ 31 Days) id September to Mid HALF NEW YEAR
Octobe Oct 02: Chhath Puja Oct 08: Vijaya Dashami (Dashain 2076)
Kartik कार्तिक 29- 30 id October to Mid November Oct 29: Bhai Tika (Tihar 2076)
Mangsir मार्ग or मंसिर 29- 30 Days Mid November to mid December Dec 25: Christmas day
Poush पौष or पुष/पूस 29- 30 Days Mid December to Mid January
Magh माघ] 29- 30 Days Mid January to Mid February
Falgun फाल्गुन or फागुन 29- 30 Days Mid February to Mid March
Chaitra चैत्र or चैत 30/ 31 Days Mid March to Mid April
Now that you know all about their calendar you can start view their cultural festival and events like Dashain, Tihar and the Nepali New Year for 2077.
“ Namaste” First of all and the most important of all things to know the traditional manners, for me and for everyone else to know the greetings and how addressing the older with respect in Nepal involves placing palms together in a prayer style.
Also before packing you want to be sure to obey the “local culture” so as not to offend anyone. Rather than packing shorts or any revealing clothes I would go for something more traditional with lengths under the knee and that covers the shoulders and not showing the cleavage. In case of thinking about swimming I would stick to a one piece and leave the bikini at home.
Nepali is their principal languages although many people speaks Hindu and Bengalis, also many have learned English, locals appreciated when you make an effort and try to say any words in their language
Here Cows are sacred they rule the streets! So that is by many do not dare to harm cows, if so you could be taken to jail as you are not being respectful of their culture
No public dissection affects displays, it is also part of their culture and you should behave in that way since Nepal is a Hindu country.
The Toiletries they have here in Nepal are some kind of Indian toilets to some degree, to some of you who may not even have a clue of what I’m talking about well they are quite different to the western one your used to using ( more like a hole on the ground) so I’ll recommend you google them , anyways you´ll discover them on your arrival.
Rules of driving?? Apparently, it might seem there as it they were none but there are many, and apparently lines are also not really seen or might not look as if they were not really followed. So as for taking the bus, it could be quite an adventure, the fare bus collector will hang out the bus and will call out loud the destinations the bus is going to make then if you´re interested then you’re supposed to rush and just jump in.
See for this you have to be very careful and listen to the destinations. If you’re lucky the bus will make a full stop but that’s not the everyday case normally the bus kind of has a rolling stop that doesn’t quite stop.so be very careful when you want to hop on. Sit up front and let them know about your stop for the hop off as it works same ways.
There are many pollution or inhaling dusk on the roads as it gets kicked out a lot, and not many have pavement, less in tourist places like Thamel were there is no traffic allowed or very little, therefore a lot of people here find very essential to wear facemask or scarf to cover themselves, so take notes depending were you are going to be touring take a scarf or something to cover your face and also wear closed shoes it may be more convenient and also there may be potholes.
If they invite you over, they might not ask you but basically, they remove shoes before entering anyone houses, and they’ll leave them outside, they may also eat with they´re hands without any forks
They have open crematoria’s, if you have no previous knowledge about the worship of the dead, it might make you feel uncomfortable or in a different way, be respectful and get to understand the religion and their aurati (Ceremony of the death) Hindus believe in reincarnation and that is the reason why they let the ashes free into the river.
My goal of showing you all this cultural difference was so you´ll know the broad range of experiences you´ll find surrounded with throughout your arrival in Nepal and how you can enjoy your trip.
A guide to Food in Nepal
WOOW from where to start telling you all about there is about food. They´re influenced by its Indian and Tibetan neighbors’ and much of their cuisine have Asian hybrid variations, also the multi – ethnic and multicultural Nepal has, gives many varieties of dishes to offer. Therefore, all Nepalese food is exceptionally good!! Tourism is a big deal in Nepal, meaning there is a lot of effort put into quality meals, you can find both from local to western taste.
For me travelling is about trying local, so you can’t leave without getting to know the most typical meal locals eat at least once a day Dal Bhat and Momos ¡ eat all you can eat, they´re my favorite ones! And the best part you can find them in many versions for vegetarian & meat lovers.
Try the local variety of snacks like pakora, samosas, eat their delicious food!! You can find them on any street corner, there is where you´ll find so many tasty flavors so dare to adventure and try new things. And while there ask for milk tea, or masala tea there’s no way to live the experience and to know their culture better than with locals. Don’t forget to also ask for a lassi while walking down the streets of Nepal.
Typical Nepalese sweets
Titaura – from hug plum is a candy made out of hug plum called lapsi and is only found in Nepal.
Pustakari made out of coconut
The value for money is one of the best, food, transport, clothing, hiking, safaris and tours have a very reasonable price, if you visit Nepal you can do it be done at a very cheap price.
Cost of Food and Drinks
Snacks 50 – 200
Meal on the street 100
Inexpensive meal 180 – 300
Three course meal 800
Water 25- 50
Soft drinks 50 – 100
Coffee 50 -200
tea 20 – 60
Hikers take in mind that the higher you go into the mountain things could increase even 10 times in places like Gorak Shep and Manag than the averages prices in Kathmandu or Pokhara so keep that in mind when budgeting your trip
Definitely you won’t be able to find McDonald’s and people are quite happy about it!
But In case you fear you might not like the food … there’s plenty of restaurants in Thamel were, if you’re craving for a taste of home you´ll be able to enjoy from one of the best chicken Cordon, to pasta or a very good burger. Although I think you should stay with the local food.
As for drinks pretty much you can find whatever your looking for, there is a wide range of options. From soft to hard liquors the prices will vary. There are also many bars.
A HANDY GUIDE FOR DRINKS & NIGHT CLUBS IN NEPAL
Coffee, teahouses and bars are quite common in the tourist areas of Thamel, Bhaktapur, Pokhara and Sauraha that means it´s always easy to find a nice tea, coffee or cold bear anywhere you go.
If you’re into alcohol keep reading your love this… a Fleet of Nepalese microbrews are beginning to emerge now, so you can find many local brews such as Gorka, Nepal Ice & Everest (this is a great one) if you have the chance at least try one of them! Of course, if your peaky about brands you can always find many other ones. Although I’ll recommend staying local.
As for hard drinks and liquors there is a wide range of options, the prices will vary from cities and depending on the type of restaurant you decide to take them at.
Looking also to have a little party in Katmandu? The city has the best places for that, restaurants, live music bars, many crows and much more. If your only for a short periods of time the next ones are few of the best established night clubs were you can go a have a good time.
Night Clubs in Kathmandu
Club Déjà vu
The Victory Lounge
Purple Haze Rock Bar
LOD Lord of the Drink
Don’t hesitate to ask the locals they will always help you with a smile! Also try some Nepalese beer!