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Travel to Nepal-A Complete Travel Guide

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For those who are planning travel to Nepal for the first time : Nepal is a country between Northen parts of India and Tibet widely known for it’s elegantly as well as spiritually divine temples and high Himalayan range, including  8 of the 10 world’s highest mountains. Major cities of Nepal including Kathmandu, the capital city, are filled with ancient Hindu and Buddhist shrines. Some of the highlighted monuments in Kathmandu are Swayambhunath, Boudhanath; Hindu temples and Hindu cremation grounds of Pashupatinath; and the medieval cities of Bhaktapur and Patan. White-water rafting trips follow mountain rivers with thrilling valleys and gorges such as the Sun Koshi, Kali Gandaki, Bhotekoshi, and Seti. The southern Terai lowlands are filled national parks suitable for animals like rhinos and tigers, and actually you can see them during jungle safaries. Lumbini is Lord Buddha’s birthplace and has got many beautiful monasteries and monuments built with dignity by all Buddhism following nations around the world.

Manang-village-view
View of Manang village

Nepal is very well known as trekker’s Paradise since no more varieties of suitable trekking options are found in other world that a passionate trekker finds in Nepal. Literally “Nepal” is first recorded in texts from the Vedic period books which were sold to British regimes while they were ruling in India, the era in ancient India when Hinduism was founded, Hinduism is predominant religion of the country. Nepal has always been a top destination to travel on the planet for all natures of tourists. Trek enthusiasts, mountaineers, nature hikers, adventurers, pilgrims and everyone who desire to travel a very unique holiday destination have added Nepal to their bucket list since the history of tourism. The country where the world’s highest mountain stands tall exclusively welcomes you to take advantages of exploring Himalayas with team of passionate experts for unique travel experiences crafted with care. Friendly local people who treats tourist as a form of god, the unbeatable natural beauties where Himalayan range stretches at north, the greenish countryside at the middle, fertile plane land at southern part and tourist friendly government policy of Nepal assuring safety and satisfaction of visitors are among key factors to attract higher number of tourists every year. Yet, following are some noticeable things to know about this uniquely and naturally beautiful country Nepal:

  • Major part of the Himalayas is in Nepal
  • Nepal has never been under any foreign invasion, so it has no ‘Independence Day’
  • Nepal is the only country with a non-rectangular flag. The basic design of this flag is over 2000 years old
  • Nepal is the birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha
  • The only living goddess in the world “Kumari” can be found in Nepal
  • Nepalese people are one of the friendliest people on earth according various findings
  • Nepal holds a number of world records which makes a high profile for this small country:
    1. Mt. Everest – the highest peak of the world,
    2. Tilicho Lake – the highest lake on earth,
    3. Shey Phoksundo Lake – the deepest lake (at high elevation of 3600m),
    4. Kali Gandaki – the deepest gorge in the world,
    5. Arun Valley – the highest valley on earth,
    6. Hotel Everest View – the highest altitude hotel at a record height of 3962m.
  • Not a single drop of blood has ever been shed in Nepal in the name of religious and ethnic riot
  • Nepal has over 80 ethnic groups and 124 languages
  • Foreign guests in Nepal are treated as gods (Athithi Devo Bhavah)
  • Nepal Gurkhas have got inspiring history and been a part of the British Army since 1816 and United Nations Peacekeeping Forces since 1958
  • Nepal has world’s best trekking route Annapurna region
  • The small remote villages, Bandipur, Palpa, Gorkha, Ghale Gaun, Bahun Danda, Manang, Mustang in the west of Nepal has so much to offer
  • Bhedetar, in eastern Nepal, not only because Prince Charles was here, but it is also a perfect hill station
  • Because Wildlife Safari experience in several National Parks can be an unforgettable experience in Nepal
  • You take your breath away from the natural bungee jump of 228 meters height in Kaligandaki River
  • Nepal is relatively safe for tourists
  • Naturally protected country with 23.23 % of its landmass is conserved
  • Nepal is a beautiful country rightfully called a paradise on earth. It is definitely worth visiting Nepal once in your lifetime at least.
  • Nepal has been a center for spiritual awakening, yoga and meditation for several years
  • Lord Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal
  • One of the world’s greatest Hindu shrines Pashupatinath temple is here
  • All the Nepalese political parties already banned strikes inside the country

Now the question arises about travelling to Nepal as; how to travel to Nepal, when to travel to Nepal, where to travel in Nepal and what to do while travelling in Nepal. We have compiled research based facts and guidelines to prepare a complete travel guide to Nepal for you, representing every possible question and answers to help you for the best travel experiences in this beautiful Himalayan Kingdom Nepal.

How to arrive in Nepal?

Airways are the most popular way to arrive in Nepal. However visitors can also enter this country via roadways connected to Indian and Chinese boarders. You can take a direct flight to Nepal from the following listed countries and cities with varieties of airline choices:

Name of Country/City      Name of Airlines

Bahrain,Bahrain                   Bahrain Air

Bangladesh,Dhaka               Biman Bangladesh

Bangladesh,Dhaka               GMG Airlines

Bhutan,Paro                           Druk Air

China,Guanzhou                   China Southern Airlines

China,Kunming                    China Eastern

China,Lhasa, Chengdu        Air China

Hongkong,Hong Kong         Dragon Air

India,Delhi                              Jet Airways

Korea,Seoul                             Korean Air

Netherlands,Amsterdam      ArkeFly

Qatar,Doha                               Qatar Airways

Singapore,Singapore               Silk Air

Arriving-in-Nepal-by-Plane
Arriving in Nepal by Plane

Nepal Airlines, the national airlines of Nepal operates flights to/from Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Travelers from USA, Canada, Australia, Europe and other countries not mentioned above can take a transit flight to these nations and then take a direct flight to Nepal. Contact us for more details.

If you are traveling to India or China, you can also visit Nepal via road as they are the only countries sharing border with Nepal. You cannot travel to Nepal via water ways as it is a landlocked country.

Nepal Visa Information and Passport Requirements

First things first and an obvious requirement, you will need a tourist visa to travel in Nepal and the process has been made easier by Nepal government. Visas are available on arrival at the Tribhuvan International airport (the only international airport currently) in the capital city of Kathmandu.

Foreigners traveling to Nepal via road can also obtain Visa on arrival at border checkpoints which are Nepalganj, Birganj/Raxaul Bazaar, Sunauli, Kakarbhitta, Mahendranagar, Dhangadhi and Rasuwagadhi. You must have a passport valid for at least 6 months and 3 copies of your passport sized photographs.

The single entry tourist visas (15/30/90) days are available for US$ 25/40/100 respectively, which can be extended or converted as a multi entry visa at the consulates. Children under age of 10 are not charged a visa fee but do require visa. Instead of on-arrival visa, you can also fill up the form online (www.online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/tourist-visa) and obtain it from Nepalese embassy at your country.

Top things to do in Nepal

Travel trends in Nepal are constantly changing with the updated demands of tourists and their best matching interests. These days’ tourists are searching for new experiences and positive impacts on their life after they travel to any destinations. Many tourists now are focused on experience based tourism activities in Nepal which includes living with locals at home stays, practicing local cultural/traditional values, tasting and learning to prepare the local foods, exploring virgin wilderness of nature, participating in local festivals and helping societies to protect nature and for their own betterment. Search for the next level of adventure in Nepal never stopped and by the end of 2018 a project called The Cliff in Baglung district near Pokhara have decided to launch world’s highest bungee jump and world’s highest swing with the hope to offer more thrilling adventure activities in Nepal. The central government of Nepal has declared to recognize every possible tourist attractions in state and province level so as to unveil other new tourist destinations in Nepal.

  1. Climbing & Expeditions in Nepal

Nepal is well known for the top of the world, Everest and many high mountains exceeding 8000 meters. Northern part of Nepal is fully covered by snow capped mountains widely known as Himalayas stretching from East to the West of country. There are many several peaks of over 7000 and 600 meters. Though Nepal is small landlocked country it is a world in itself holding majority of the Himalaya. Thus, Nepal has been the best choice for mountaineers around the globe and those who dare, have set foot on the highest point of the world, thanks to Nepal and brave Sherpas of the mountains. Easy climbing peaks like Mera peak and Island peak have witnessed large volume of beginner climbers experiencing the adventurous summits and challenging themselves to get prepared for higher mountain expeditions like Mt. Everest, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Kanchenjunga etc .

Climbing-Himalayas
Expedition in Himalayan range of Nepal

     2.Trekking in Nepal

The number of trekkers is significantly greater than the mountaineers in the world as trekking is the ultimate adventure journey for travelers. And which country is the best destination to trek? It’s Nepal again! With a diverse range of landscapes throughout the nation including mountains, hills, glaciers, lakes, rivers, valleys, forests and the plains, walking along the rugged trails admiring the natural beauty seems a dream. The dream comes true to those who visit Nepal. Everest Base Camp trek is exclusive to Nepal and popular itineraries including trekking in the Annapurna region and Manaslu regions have also welcomed travelers to get inspiring acquaintance with the unique culture. Similarly, those who want to walk along the less traveled trails can experience Kanchenjunga trek or Upper Dolpo trek which is equally inspiring and beautiful regions in Nepal. Glorious sunrise and sunset views from Ghorepani are immensely popular for short trek and hike lovers visiting Nepal.

Trekking-trail-to-Tilicho-Lake
Trekking trail to Tilicho Lake

    3. Cultural and Historical tours in Nepal

Nepal is the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the Mayadevi temple in Lumbini attracts thousands of pilgrims every year. The stupas of Swyambhunath and Bouddhanath also welcome Buddhist devotees to discover the divine monuments. The biggest Hindu temple of Pashupatinath in Kathmandu is a must-visit destination for Hindu devotees around the globe. Similarly, the capital city can also be regarded as the capital of ancient Newari culture and heritages scattered throughout Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan Durbar Squares, all in UNESCO World Heritage tours. The vibrant cultures and colorful festivals of the friendly locals with all smiles make your trip admiring.

Pashupatinath-aarati
Aarati being offered to Lord Shiva in Pashupatinath Temple

     4. National Parks and natural sightseeing in Nepal

Take a nature’s walk and sightseeing in several National parks of Nepal well protected by Nepalese Army, Wildlife Reserves and Conservation Areas. One can see a Royal Bengal Tiger, one –horned rhinoceros, Asian elephant, Gharial crocodile and many endangered species of fauna in Chitwan National Park. Varieties of medically and ecologically important flora can be found in different elevations of Nepal from terai region to Himalayan region of Nepal. Also the national flower of Nepal, you can see rhododendrons as you walk through the forests in the hills and also catch a glimpse of Spiny Babbler, the bird only found in Nepal. These days tour to the most popular landmarks of Nepal like Mustang, Manang, Jomsom, Muktinath, Kagbeni, Bandipur, Gorkha, Lamjung via roadways is getting more visits from new travel experience seekers around the globe and Nepal itself which provides view of Himalayas clearly shining just in front of you including lush green hills and desert like appearances of high altitude land in between the view of Himalayan ranges.

Royal-Bengal-Tiger-in-Chitwan-national-park
Rare sight of such creatures in National Parks

     5. Extreme adventure activities in Nepal

Adventure activities like bungee jump, swing over the Bhotekoshi river and Kaligandaki river, white water river rafting in Bhotekoshi river, Kaligandaki river and Trishuli river including cannoning are also some of the most popular things to do in Nepal. Or have a relaxing boating in Phewa Lake and Begnas Lake of Pokhara along with paragliding adventures. The Cliff in Baglung district near Pokhara have decided to launch world’s highest bungee jump and world’s highest swing with the hope to offer more thrilling adventure activities in Nepal. Skiing in Mera peak and other mountains of Nepal just started and being popular too.

Paragliding-in-Nepal
Paragliding from Sarangkot hill in Pokhara

Best Time to Visit Nepal and Climatic Conditions

Nepal can be visited and is suitable to visit all around the year. Spring (March, April & May) and Autumn (September, October & November) are the best seasons to visit Nepal for mountaineering and Himalayan trekking trips. These are the perfect time to experience activities like trekking and climbing as one can have the most amazing views throughout the trip due to moderate temperatures.

You can hike during winter months and monsoon season too. Though the cold temperature might not be suitable for everyone in the winter and during monsoon, it rains in the lower altitudes and the views are not so pleasant due to foggy and hazy weather. Conversely, it does not rain in Upper Dolpo region during monsoon for rest of the trekking regions. Cultural and religious tours can be experienced throughout the calendar year though Spring and Autumn are the best weather conditions. Travel holidays with children will strengthen the special bond with family through various sightseeing and easy walking tours in Nepal.

Get latest weather updates of Nepal from trusted sources like Accuweather.

How to Get Around Nepal

Arriving in your holiday destination Nepal, you can take a domestic flight or ground transport depending on geographic conditions and interest. Only two types (Roadways and Airways) of transportation options are available inside Nepal. Very few parts of the country are connected with rope way services. If you are in Nepal for EBC trek, you can either take a flight to Lukla or even a helicopter tour. Obviously, the heli ride will be a bit more expensive than airplane flight.

On the ground, you can hire a private vehicle such as a land cruiser, hiace van, jeep or a tourist bus. Similarly you can rent a public taxi or a public bus for short distances like visiting Patan Durbar Square from Kathmandu. Tourist bus services to the major tourist hub of Nepal like Pokhara, Chitwan, Lumbini, etc are available every morning.  A tourist bus is recommended over local bus for traveling long distances like from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Chitwan, Lumbini etc. You can fly to these cities in a domestic airplane but if it interests you, you can take ground transports through the hills, plains and the forest with close views of rivers and nature. People have been admiring the beauty of nature from ground as well sky during their visit to Nepal if they have managed to escape bustling local transportations.

Kathmandu-Pokhara-Delux-Bus-Service
Comfortable seats of tourist bus in Nepal

Travel has even been made easier for differently-abled travelers in Nepal. Differently-abled friendly trekking routes from Sarangkot to Naudanda in Pokhara were inaugurated as a part of international conference on Accessible Tourism in March of 2018. This has made a lot easier for them who were once deprived of trekking. Also, it is very inspiring of an Australian paraplegic, Scott Doolan who reached all the way to the Everest Base Camp on a wheelchair and wheel barrowing. Walking in the cities and urban areas is also easier for vision-impaired travelers as the footpaths have been designed to help fellow travelers. A properly guided travel packages in Nepal will make your expectations exceed and feel like at least next 1 visit worth, luckily you travelers feel the same at another trip too because our services are crafted for a good relationships with you rather making just a business and socially responsible as a result of team led by a Gurkha.

Places to stay inside Nepal

Nepal now has fifteen 5 star hotels including renowned multinational hotel chains namely; Hayatt Regency Kathmandu, Radisson Hotel Kathmandu, Sheraton Kathmandu, Aloft Kathmandu, Marriot Kathmandu, Double Tree by Hilton, among which some of them are still under construction and about to come in operation very soon. Where to stay in Nepal depends on what kind of travel style you want to experience. If you are on a trek in the high mountains of Himalaya, do not expect a 5-star hotel there. It does not make sense at all as the landscapes high above are challenging for transport and facilities. We have made our readers easy by categorizing accommodation services in Nepal as follows:

  • Hotels/Guest houses/Dormitories accommodation in city areas

Different levels of hotel accommodations are available in developed cities and towns of Nepal. The ratings are given to the hotel as star count, higher the number of star higher the standard level of hotel. Similarly guest houses are also abundantly available in Nepal. The facilities and services of guest houses are basic not suitable for foreigners. Dormitories are another option in city areas which provides shared type of accommodation. Most of them just serve shared room with multiple beds and very few with facilities to eat inside them.

  • Tea house accommodation in Himalayas

Most trekkers in Nepal, both foreign and locals make use of Nepal tea houses – small hotels that offer a place to sleep and fresh home-cooked meals. Generally tea houses have a communal restaurant area with central yak-dung burner that provides significant heating facilities in the area. In the tea houses that are at a lower altitude are very nice, with flush toilets and hot showers. As you ascend into the higher Himalayas the toilet and shower facilities become more and more basic, with standard toilet systems without flushing mechanisms (you use a bucket of water to flush).

  • Community Homestay in villages of Nepal

Local communities of Nepal have developed new style of accommodation with a beautiful touch of local experiences. Community home stays in Nepal basically offers traveler with medium level of accommodation, locally produced foods, the cultural and traditional performance by local people.

  • Tented Accommodation in Mountain expeditions and remote areas

Places where there is no possibility of getting houses for accommodation, tents are the best option to spend nights and complete your tour. Climbing part of mountains generally has to go through tented accommodation. In remote trekking trails as well, tents are frequently used for daily uses.

Though, you can stay in luxury lodges best available which will certainly make your sleeping very much comforting. Tea houses and other lodges are your accommodations in most of the trekking trails which will make you feel quite comfortable. Rooms are available on twin sharing basis. Upon request, you may get a private room if available with a single supplement charge. Those on climbing expeditions require staying in the camps while climbing peaks.

However in the capital city of Kathmandu and developed urban cities of Pokhara, Chitwan, Lumbini etc, you can stay in luxury top class hotels and lodges with high end services. Affordable guest houses and small lodges are also available throughout the country and your travel destinations to meet your comfort. 5-star hotels or luxury lodges or basic tea houses, whichever trip you are on, sound sleep is a guarantee in every destination of Nepal.

Food options and place to eat in Nepal

Researchers have proved that the long life of Japanese people is because of their food habits. Food in Nepal is mainly influenced by 2 different styles. The Aryan type of people prefers Indian flavor foods and Mongolian type of people prefer Chinese, Japanese and Korean flavor foods. There are numerous restaurants and cafes in popular tourist destinations of Nepal serving you from local exotic dishes to international cuisines. You can have Nepalese national food consisting of daal (thin soup of lentils), bhaat (steamed or boiled rice), tarkari (cooked seasonal vegetables), dahi(curd), gheu(ghee), and achaar (pickle), along with non veg curries like fresh water fishes, pork, duck, chicken, ostrich, sheep, rabbit, meat etc . One can visit several qualities of restaurants and top hotels in the capital and urban areas. Also, there are pure vegetarian dining places too. In the mountains and rural villages, you might not find a variety of choices, though the locally produced organic dishes will make you crave for it more as you eat.

what-to-eat-in-himalayas
Dal Bhat, typical Nepali food

Eating is making your tummy full and reviving the energy, but eating in Nepal is something more. Immersing in the beauty of nature and unique cultural heritage, Nepalese food touches your soul making it more pure and healthy. Just imagine, taking a sip of hot beverage in the chilly morning glimpsing the glorious sunrise view and the mighty Everest. It’s special here.

Taste the delicious Newari cuisine, a wide variety of dishes which is a treat for spicy and non veg food lovers. In addition to local dishes, you can have a wide choice of every International dish in famous hotels and restaurants in Nepal.

Entertainments in Nepal

There are a number of choices of entertainment activities to match your interest, here in Nepal. In addition to the adventure activities, you can enjoy many leisure activities in popular tourist destinations of Nepal. Experience live music from celebrated national artists or get loose and break free on grooving music by popular djs. Have a roller coaster ride in amusement water parks. Or, simply roam around a historical museum. Also, theatre play lovers can visit some of the theatres and watch the Nepalese folk lore live from the talented artists. Nepal cinema halls also run various international movies time and again so don’t worry as you won’t miss your most awaited Hollywood flicks on your tour.  Spas and saunas are available at many places in the tourist hub of Thamel and nearby, have a relaxing time with herbal massage. Take a spin at the roulette and test your luck at top class casinos in Kathmandu.

In Nepal, drinking is even related to custom and traditions and there are street festivals popular for drinking, especially in Kathmandu during Autumn. Besides, there are many modern bars where you can get the international brands of drinks easily. Bars are open till 11 pm usually and till midnight during weekends. Also, enjoy the live bands or the records playing on as you dance with the beat. Thamel and Durbarmarga in the capital are popular for exciting nightlife in Nepal.

Shopping in Nepal

Buying antiques to the marijuana and organic honey of wild bees from Himalayas are a kind of special things to buy in Nepal. Everything you need on your adventure tour or a cultural trip, you can get them easily at very affordable prices! There are shops almost at around every corner in Thamel to purchase trekking gears and mountaineering equipments. Just bring the most necessary items and personal belongings on your travel to Nepal and check off your packing list while shopping in Nepal. There are department stores, book shops and many souvenir stalls at convenient locations to shop at.

Shopping-in-Nepal
Famous shopping street in Nepal, New Road

Socially Responsible Travel in Nepal

Extollo Adventures promotes Responsible Tourism, a worthy approach to minimize negative social and environmental impacts made by tourism industry. You can have a meaningful travel in Nepal, not only for yourself but also contributing towards the betterment of locals in the remote areas and fighting against climate change by conserving Himalayas. Tipping to the guides, hotel staff, etc helps boost their economy in addition to being an accepted way of saying thank you. A major portion of Nepalese economy is supported by tourism industry. 13% VAT you pay in various services is collected by the Nepal government which in turn helps develop the tourism industry. Apart from the economy, traveling in Nepal teaches you conserve nature and provides you opportunity to be directly involved in environmental conservation campaigns.

Forest-Camp
A camp set up to protect forest

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