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Nepal Travel Information

Nepal Visa Information

You can process a Visa of Nepal upon arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. If you are coming overland from these entry points Kakadvitta, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Gaddachowki on Indo-Nepal border and Kodari on Nepal-Tibet border. You can apply for a Nepal visa from the Ambasssy or diplomatic mission in your country. You can extend your visa of Nepal from Immigration office in Kathmandu or Staff from Adventure mission Nepal will help you with this. For an on arrival visa a valid passport and one passport -size photo with a light background is required. Almost all the nationalities except few Asian and African war infected countries (refer the other Information below), can obtain Nepal visa on arrival in the Airport.  Immigration Department has not specified the size of the passport-size photo. The one thing you must remember for the on arrival visa fee is the you must pay the money in convertible currency (USD, GBP, and EUR etc) not in INR or Nepali Rupees.

a. Nepal Tourist Visa

 Nepal Visa Facility Duration Fee
Multiple entry 15 days US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 30 days US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 90 days US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency

b. Free Visa in Nepal.
Nationals of the SAARC member countries can obtain a free visa for 30 days on arrival.

c. For Indian National
Citizens of India don’t need a visa in Nepal but they should be in possession of atleast one of the items while they enter or leave Nepalese territory.

  1. Passport
  2. Driving License with photo
  3. Photo Identity card issued by a Government Agency
  4. Ration Card with Photo
  5. Election Commission Card with Photo
  6. Identity Card issued by Embassy of India in Kathmandu
  7. Identity Card with Photo issued by Sub- Divisional Magistrate or any other officials above his rank

D. Other Information about Nepal visa.
Citizens of the following countries are not allowed a on arrival visa in Nepal- Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan. They are supposed to acquire a visa from the nearest Nepalese Ambasssy or diplomatic mission.

e. Nepal Visa Extension
Visa can be extended for maximum of 150 days within a year.

Flying into Nepal/International destinations with flight connection into Nepal, Kathmandu.

The national flag carrier of Nepal is Nepal Airlines and it has direct flights to and from Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Bangkok, Doha and Hong Kong. About 30 other international airlines company fly into Nepal Air Arabia (Sharjah), Air Asia (Kuala Lumpur), Air China (Lhasa, Chengdu), Biman Bangladesh (Dhaka), China Eastern Airlines (Kunming), China Southern Airlines (Guangzhou), Dragon Air (Hong Kong), Druk Air (Delhi, Paro), Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), Flydubai (Dubai), GMG Airlines (Dhaka), Indian Airlines (Delhi, Kolkata, Varanasi), Indigo Airlines (Delhi), Jet Airways (Delhi, Mumbai), Korean Air (Seoul), Malaysian Airlines (Kuala Lumpur), Pakistan International Airlines (Karachi, Islamabad), Qatar Airways (Doha), RAK Air (Ras al- Khaimah), Silk Air (Singapore), Spice jet (Delhi), Thai Airways (Bangkok)and United Airways (Dhaka). Turkish Airlines has started direct flight from Istanbul into Nepal providing direct connection with Europe. The Ethiopian airway is starting its flight to Kathmandu very soon in the near future.

Domestic Connection:
There are different private airlines companies in Nepal operating in the cities and the remote areas. Besides them Nepal airlines also have flights to different parts of Nepal. There are more than 18 domestic airlines companies and Buddha Air and Yeti Airlines being the most popular and also have large fleet. Many airlines company also have a flight to Mount Everest early in the morning.

Airport Tax: The fare you pay for the international ticket includes the airport tax; you must not pay any tax while flying out of Nepal. In case of the domestic flights the fare includes the airport tax if you are travelling from Kathmandu to other parts of the country but if you are travelling into Kathmandu you are supposed to pay NPR 200/- as the airport tax.

Road Connection from India and China from/to Nepal.

India and Nepal share a open border but any foreign visitor entering Nepal via land are supposed to use only the below mentioned points as the entry point-

  1. Kakkarvitta
  2. Birgunj
  3. Belhiya, Bhairahawa
  4. Nepalgunj
  5. Dhangadi and
  6. Mahendranagar
  7. Kodari in the Nepal-China border.
S.No. Route Approx. Distance (border towns to major cities) Nearest Railways Station in India
1 Siliguri- Kakkarvitta- Kathmandu 620 km New Jalpaiguri (NJP)
2 Jogbani-Biratnagar-Kathmandu 550 km Jogbani
3 Raxaul-Birgunj-Kathmandu 280 km Raxaul (RXL)
4 Sunauli-Bhairahawa-Kathmandu 280 km Gorakhpur (GKP)
5 Rupaidiya-Jamuna (Nepalgunj)- Kathmandu 520 km Rupaidiya / Nanpara
6 Gauriphanta-Mohana (Dhangadi)-Kathmandu 630 km Gauriphanta/ Paliya
7 Banbasa-Gaddachauki (Mahendranagar)- Kathmandu 715 km Banbasa/ Tanakpur
8 Sunauli-Bhairahawa-Palpa-Pokhara 185 km Gorakhpur (GKP)
9 Sunauli-Bhairahawa-Chitwan 145 km Gorakhpur (GKP)
10 Sunauli-Bhairahawa-Lumbini 26 km Gorakhpur (GKP)

Note - Foreign Vehicles entering into the territory of Nepal must have an international Carnet or must have completed the complete custom formality.

Custom Formalities

Customs:
You should  declare and clear all the baggage through the customs on arrival at the Airport. Personal goods are allowed free entry. If you don’t posses any goods on which duty is levied you can pass through the green channel without any delay. For the list of dutiable goods you can see a board as soon as you collect your baggage from the aircraft. If you have any item that requires the payment of duty you should pass through the red channel.

Import:
Below is the list of things you are allowed to carry without paying any duty in Nepal, besides your personal belongings.

  • Cigarettes (200 sticks) or cigars (50 sticks).
  • Distilled liquor (one 1.15 liter bottle).
  • and film (15 rolls)
  •  Things you take back when you leave Nepal such as binoculars, movie or video camera, still camera, laptop computer, and portable music system etc can be carried into and out of Nepal without paying any charge at the airport.

Export:
Any piece of antique(statue, coins, sculpture, inscriptions etc) requires special permit and certificate from the Ministry of Archeology. Things which are older than hundred years are illegal to be transported out of the country.

Driving into Nepal:
You should be in possession of a international driving license/Carnet if you are driving into Nepal from India or China.

Money Matters

Always keep your encashment receipt while making foreign exchange payments or exchanging rupees from any foreign currency. You might need the receipt to exchange the money left over from your trip before you leave. Service providers such as hotels, travel agencies, and airlines accept foreign currency for payment of service provided. American Express, Master and Visa are widely accepted by the tourism service providers.  ATM machines are available in most of the cities but many local banks do not offer withdraw service to the foreign cards. You can us international banks such as Standard chartered Nabil, SBI and Everest to with draw money from ATM. You can find the exchange rates of foreign currency in the daily newspaper or the website of the private or government banks. The money exchangers in the tourist area also have a board with the daily exchange rates. Nepali currency notes are found in denominations of Rupees 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are found in denominations of Rupees 5, 2 and 1. One rupee equals 100 paisa.

 Holidays and Office hours

The GMT of Nepal is + 5.45.

Business timing in Kathmandu Valley:
There are different  timings of business in Kathmandu for summer and winter.  In summer the offices open at 10 am and close at 5 pm and in winter they operate from 10-4 pm. Friday is a half day in most of the offices and Saturday is the public holiday. Most business offices including travel, trekking and tour agencies are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m but work 24 hours if necessary. Sunday through Friday. Embassies and international organizations are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Most shops open after 10 a.m. and close at about 8 p.m. and are usually closed on Saturdays.

Holidays:
with more festivals than days in a year Nepal has one of the highest number of public holidays in the world. The numerous festivals are the result of mixed cultures and celebrations of various ethnic groups but The most important are the Dashain festival in autumn and Deepawali in late autumn then New year in April is a big festival as well. The offices close for 8 and 3 days respectively in Dashain and Deepawali. Government offices and all banks are closed during the public holidays.

Transportation within Nepal

Local/Public Transport
You can find plenty of means of public transportation in most of the major cities in the form of buses, micro buses and vans but they can be difficult ride especially if you are new in town but if you love adventure then they are fun with all the crowd and thrill. There are Tempos similar to the Thai Tuktuk which are eco friendly vehicle going in specific route around the cities.

Cab/taxi services.
There are so many cars running around in the cities it might be difficult to find a cab or taxi. So if you look forward to get a ride then always watch for small cars with black number plates and few have written taxi in them. Most of the cases they will come to you before you start searching for one. They usually charge 30-50 Rs a kilometer and tipping is not common with taxis. Night taxis can be double the fare than day time.

Hired Mountain Bike/ Ordinary Bicycle:
There are stores which rent out bicycles and mountain bikes and even motorbikes. Especially around Thamel in Kathmandu, Suaraha in Chitwan and lake side in Pokhara.

Long Distance Bus Service.
Day and night bus service is available to almost every corner of the country from the capital city. Tourist places such as Lumbini, Pokhara and Chitwan have daily tourist bus service from Kathmandu.

Domestic Air Service:

More than 15 domestic airlines serve to different parts of the country from Kathmandu. You can fly to Pokhara, Chitwan, Lumbini, Lukla and other places but from other places you cannot usually fly to places other than Kathmandu. In the mountain conditions Flying can save time for you if you have less time as most of the flights take less than one hour whereas buses to the same place might take you more than a day sometimes. In addition you can also have a nice view of the mountains especially if you are flying west from Kathmandu and if you are lucky enough to get seats on the right hand side.

 Communication services in Nepal

Telephone Services:
Most of the country besides some remote Himalayan areas have cell phone coverage. There are always landline phones even in the most remote places. There are two companies Nepal telecom and Ncell for cell phone services. For calling from outside, country code for Nepal is 977 and the area code for Kathmandu is 1. For other city codes are:

To call Nepal from other countries:
00 + country code (977) + city code + telephone number

Internet Services:
Internet is widely accessible in Kathmandu. There are countless Internet cafes and communication centers in the Valley and around the country. Wi-Fi services are also provided at various hotels and restaurants. In big hotels you might need to pay for the Wi-Fi on daily or hourly basis.

Postal Services:
The Central Post Office located near Dharahara Tower, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday. The counters are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and provide stamps, postcards and aerograms. Post Restante is available from Sunday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Express Mail Service (EMS) is available at GPO and at Thamel, Basantapur and airport postal counters.

Other Amenities

Electricity:
The voltage in Nepal is generally 220-volts and 50 cycles. Power cut takes places throughout the year but the timings vary place to place and you can have schedule of power cuts available at the hotel. The monsoon has less power cut (2-4 hours a day) and dry season has more (10-12 hours every day). Most of the hotels have backup invertors and generators for lights.

Media:
Most of the hotels and tourist places have local and international newspaper and magazines. The Rising Nepal, The Kathmandu Post, Republica and The Himalayan Times are found in most hotels and restaurants. Nepal government has a radio service and a television service but most of the hotels have cable and satellite connections offering television channels from all over the world.

Necessary permits and entrance fees while you travel into Nepal

 Heritage Sites/ Museums / Zoo
You need to pay entrance fees in all the heritage sites in Kathmandu valley and other heritage sites out of Kathmandu. The museums and the central zoo also charge for a visit. Contact us at info@himalayantrekkers.com for the list of entrance fees in these places.

Trekkers’ Information Management Systems (TIMS)

All trekkers must be in possession of Trekkers’ Information Management Systems (TIMS) Card which Adventure Mission Nepal will prepare after you confirm the trip with us and send you passport copies and 3 passport size photographs. The main objective of the TIMS card is to keep track of all trekkers by maintaining the database in the government system and ensure their safety.  While travelling with a Adventure Mission Nepal you must pay USD 10 as the charge for the card and if you are travelling on your own you have to pay USD 20.

Special area trekking permit
All the trekking areas need permits of the respective conservation area to trek for e.g you need Annapurna area conservation Project’s permit (ACAP permit) to go trekking in the Annapurna region. If you are going for trek in the controlled areas such as Upper mustang or Dolpo then you need special trekking permit from department of immigration. Contact us at info@himalayantrekkers.com for the list of fees of the controlled areas.

Peak climbing/Mountaineering
every individual going for mountaineering or peak climbing must pay royalty to the Tourism Industry Division, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. Contact us for list of Royalty as royalty for each peak differs from one another. All national parks and reserves seek entrance fees and if you are going into a hunting reserve for hunting you must prepare a hunting license. Contact us at info@himalayantrekkers.com for the list of fees for protected areas.

 Necessary health tips and cultural issues before you enter Nepal.

Health facilities are very sound and efficient in Kathmandu and other major cities. In the remote area there are health posts but they provide only basic medical facilities and may not be available if you need immediate medical attention. If you are trekking you must be evacuated to Kathmandu for serious health issues.

Useful Tips:

  • We recommend out travelers to have a travel insurance that covers medical facilities before coming into Nepal especially for trekking, rafting or any trip in high altitude.
  • Special vaccinations are not suggested but carrying mosquito repellents if you are visiting in summer can be wise or you can buy them in Kathmandu if you are travelling to the southern plains of Nepal. Consulting your doctor is a better idea.
  • If you are coming for a high altitude trek we advise you to have a complete physical checkup and prepare yourself physically by training and exercise is a good idea.
  • We recommend you to read articles about altitude sickness (AMS), diarrhea, Giardia, Dysentery, Cholera, Hepatitis, Rabies, Typhoid, Tetanus, Meningitis, Diphtheria, Malaria and HIV/ AIDS. Information and little precautions can often be helpful.
  • Be careful while eating outside especially green vegetables and raw fruits.
  • We recommend you to drink bottled water when you are in Nepal or at least boiled water in the trekking where bottled water might be very expensive.
  • Do not walk bare foot in the night time and in muddy and swampy areas.
  • Do not go for swim without consulting your guide or porter in places where you don’t know the depth and plants.
  • Adventure mission always provides trekkers with medical kit but if you have any health problems and you are taking some medicines then we recommend it to carry it with you while you are in Nepal as the medicine here might be not the same as you are having at home.

Medical Kit:
A simple but adequate medical kit can be very useful while traveling. The following items are recommended: Aspirin of Panadol, for pain or fever; Antihistamine, as a decongestant for colds, allergies and to help prevent motion sickness; Antibiotics, useful if traveling off beaten track but they must be prescribed; Kaolin preparation (Pepto-Bismol), Imodium or Lomotil, for upset stomach; Rehydration mixture – for treatment of severe diarrhea; Antiseptic, mercurochrome and antibiotic powder or similar dry spray- for cuts and grazes. Other things to be included are: Calamine lotion to ease irritation from bites or stings; bandages and band aids for minor injuries; scissors, tweezers, thermometer, insect repellent, sun block lotions, chopsticks, water purification tablets, throat lozenges, moleskin, Sulamyd 10 percent eye drops, paracetamol and antacid tablets.

Some  useful cultural etiquette when you are trekking/touring in Nepal.

  • Nepalese greet each other by saying “Namaste” joining both palms together. This means I salute the divine in you. It is used both when people meet and depart.
  • It is polite to take off your shoes when you enter any religious area or somebody’s house, especially kitchen.
  • Food or material that has been touched by another person’s mouth is considered impure or “jutho” and, therefore, is not accepted unless among close friends or family.
  • It is considered ill-mannered to touch things with your feet or to offer something with left hand. You can always use both hands to offer or receive things.
  • Exposure of body parts especially by females if often frowned upon in the villages of Nepal.
  • Foreigners are not allowed in some important Hindu temples but there are no such restrictions in Buddhist stupas and monasteries.
  • You should always walk clockwise around the stupa and monasteries.
  • Leather is not permitted in most stupa, temples and monastery.
  • Make sure you can take photographs in religious areas. Holy men often ask for money if you photograph them.
  • It is considered ill mannered to show affection in public places.
  • Boys or girls’ walking hand on hand is a common sight in Nepal and it doesn’t carry the same meaning like in western culture.
  • Nodding of head means “Yes” while shaking of head means a “No”. A slight dangling of head from left to right means “OK”.

Like the topography and the climate the culture and people are also equally diverse. Sandwiched between two big countries India and China, the country has unique mixture of the people of Mongol origin and the Indo-Aryan origin. Although only 26.6 million people (census 2011) live in this country, the people, their languages, customs and features are very much different from one region to the other. The presence of 70 above ethnic groups and some number of dialects is a fact good enough to prove that there is a lot to see and lot to experience. Col. Krik Patrik who visited the Kathmandu valley in the 17th century as the first recorded westerner to visit Kathmandu valley described it as a open museum stating that the valley has more temples than houses, more gods and goddess than people and more festivals than days in a year. A French writer who visited Nepal in the 70s described Nepal as the Florence of Asia, the city of art par excellence, a wonder of the modern world where Europe of the middle ages can still be discovered. Nepal is the meeting place of two of the biggest religion, Hinduism and Buddhism. These two religious groups consists almost 90% of the total population and yet they have a great sense of tolerance and respect towards other minorities. There has never been any religious rite in Nepal, which is a difficult thing to find in the history of many countries in the presence of world.