There is so much to enjoy in Nepal, from the friendly locals to the incredible dramatic peaks of the tallest mountains of the world. Obviously, with such a fabulous destination, there is so much that you have to plan. You can find all the information you need on the internet, but we believe some things are more important than others. So, this is what we think we should highlight in a quick Nepal tour guide.
You Need A Visa
As a tourist, you need a visa to enter the country. Fortunately, tourist visas can be issued when you arrive at the Kathmandu Tribhuvan International airport, together with other border crossings. You can also apply online but be sure you do it from the official Nepal government website. For a two weeks single-entry visa to Nepal, expect to pay around $30.
If you need an extension, you just need to visit the website of the Nepal Immigration service. After you get your confirmation, print it and carry it around with you.
You Need Local Currency
The world is filled with incredible creations of mother nature. You want to visit as many as you can, and the truth is that Nepal holds so many unique sights you can only experience there. However, in order to get around, you will need money. The local currency is NPR (Nepalese Rupee), and the exchange rate is around 1 USD for 110 NPR.
There are many ATMs available in larger cities, but you will not find them in rural areas. This means that you should have some NPRs with you at all times.
Fortunately, Nepal is a very affordable travel destination. You can visit regardless of your personal budget since there are deals for everyone. You will only need to spend around $30 per day in order to have a good time. As a reference point, a simple meal costs around 400 NPR and a hiking guide for several days is somewhere around 30,000 NPR.
What About Tips?
In Nepal, there is no strong tipping culture, as with other countries of the world. However, tipping is appreciated by locals. It is common practice for tourists to round payments for rickshaw drivers and taxis. Also, if there is no 10% service charge added to your bill, you can tip in restaurants and similar establishments.
When it comes to guides, it is very common to tip them up to 15%, just as with porters.
You Need A Permit To Trek
When visiting Nepal, just as with others of the most beautiful places in the world, you want to hike in one of the national parts. In order to do this, you need a permit, which is the TIMS card (Trekkers Information Management Systems). You use this for all country hikes, and there are some specific permits that are needed for really remote treks, like Kangchenjunga, and Dolpa.
Check The Weather When You Go Trekking
Seasons in Nepal dramatically vary. When you want to trek, it is a good idea to visit between late September and November, which is the post-monsoon season. The weather is dry and clear, with very good visibility.
When you want to avoid crowds, the months of February to April are the best. This is Spring in the country, the weather is warm, and the days are long. However, mountain visibility is just average.
Do Not Neglect Altitude Sickness
It is actually quite common for tourists to experience some extreme cases of altitude sickness. This is especially the case when there is no experience with hiking and trekking. Whenever you are on the mountain, make sure that you eat even if you do not have an appetite, drink as much water as the body needs, and always go slow.
Local Food Is Very Good
Nepalese cuisine is heavily influenced by Tibetan and Indian cuisines. This leads to a very flavourful experience that you will surely enjoy. The ingredients that are extensively used are chickpeas, corns, lentils, and rice. So, even vegetarians can enjoy really tasty dishes while in Nepal.
Avoid The Fake Tourist Guides
You might see some locals that are over-friendly around the popular tourist spots. They will approach you and start talking about the history of the area. In most cases, they are simply fake tourist guides, and after they finish their story, they will actually demand money from you. Basically, if you are approached and that person starts to tell a story, cut them off politely and ask how much this will cost you. If you do not like the amount, just say you are not interested.