Nepal is not just about Hinduism or Gautama Buddha; it is also about mountains and natural arena. Being the Mount Everest star attraction, tourists from all around the world are driven here to climb, hike and admire the tallest peak in the world. UNESCO has recognized Lumbini as World Heritage Site. Buddha once resided in Lumbini.
Whether it is Kathmandu surrounded by mountains or Chitwan for the Rhinos, Nepal has it all. Kathmandu can be a good starting point, and then you go the jungles of Chitwan for a jungle safari. You will be welcomed to Nepal by a friendly smile of the people of this country.
Here is your travel guide to Nepal.
1. Plan your trip
You take any journey around the world, but proper planning will always be your perfect guide to travel. Divide your travel plan into two parts- the initial travel plan and the FAQ’s asked about the destination.
2. Where is Nepal located?
Nepal is the Gateway to the Himalayas is surrounded by India on Three sides and Tibet Autonomous Region on the other side. Bangladesh border is just 27 km from the southeastern tip of Nepal. Bhutan is separated from the land by the Indian state of Sikkim.
3. When to go?
You can pick up the best time of the year depending on the activities you prefer while traveling. Some months are better for a trek in Nepal, and if you are sightseeing person, you can visit Kathmandu all year long. Generally speaking, the best months to visit Nepal are winter months i.e. October and November as peak season. While March and April as shoulder season. May is not that great time to visit Nepal with heat waves and heavy rains striking doing your travel activities will be a big flop.
4. How will you get to Nepal?
You can fly to Kathmandu, Nepal, where the international airport is present. Qatar Airways, Emirates and Turkish Airlines are some of the airlines that frequently fly in and out of Kathmandu city. If you are not flying directly to Nepal, there may be a layoff at Istanbul or Dubai.
You can also go for the adventurous overland crossing option from India to Nepal. Most of the Indians and Nepalese do an overland crossing from Siliguri to reach Kakarvitta. You can get to the Indian border town of Panitanki to get to Kakarvitta. It is an easy route having more straightforward immigration on both the sides. Make sure you follow the legal requirements of both the countries.
There are three options to reach from Siliguri to Panitanki border connecting to Nepal-
• Shared Jeep
5. Legal documents required
You go to any good country around the world the apparent first requirement is your passport. The passport should have a blank page for a Visa stamp. The visa stamp is valid for six months or more during the entry time. Nepal is a Visa on arrival country. Nepal has made things easy for foreign travelers. The authorities accept Dollars, Euros, and Pounds.
You can obtain a visa on arrival by air in Nepal. You need to fill up an application form at the automatic registration machines. You can fill the form on Department of Immigration Nepal. A single entry visa is valid for 15/30/90 days costing US$ 25/40/100. Opt for a multiple entry visa if you want to have a side trip to Tibet, Bhutan or India by paying extra USD 20.
6. Money in Nepal
Nepalese rupee is the currency of Nepal. It is known as NPR on the International Exchange. Nepalese Rupee is available on money changers and ATMs. It is best to have a right amount of currency when traveling around Nepal. You will only find ATMs in the main populated areas like Kathmandu and Pokhara. However, when you plan a Hike, you need to have enough money in hand.
7. How to get around Nepal
Nepal is a small mountain country. Distances between places in Nepal look quite close on the map. The road system in Nepal is not an upgraded one. You can choose a Bus, 4WD, and plane depending on the time, location and season of a visit to Nepal. If you are a cyclist, then cycle your way to scenic Nepal. You can also consider short flights to travel between the local area to save time. It might cost you more, but you can use this option when you are getting back to Kathmandu or Pokhara.
8. Expenses in Nepal
Fees depend on where you locate and upon what you are spending money. Bottled water is very cheap in Kathmandu and highly expensive in the mountains. When it comes to accommodation, you could get 3 euro a night for a hostel bed or $150 for a high-class hotel room in Kathmandu. You can also go for rooms provided by tea houses. They will cost you $3 to $10 per night.
Don’t fall for a family stay, as most of the family-run guesthouse is urged by tourism to compete with the latest trend of homestay. Some Homestays are more expensive than hotels. Instead, you can stay in a Hotel at half the price.
The staple food of Nepal would be Dal Bhaat. If you are not eating Dal Bhaat here, your trek is incomplete. Avoid street food as the country has little education hygiene. Opt for sit down foods in local areas hot and freshly cooked. A few safe, cheap eats like dal bhaat, chow meins, Maggi noodles with egg, momos and Kathmandu naans are right for your appetite. Samosas and other deep-fried eatables should be eaten at popular and crowded cafes as they will be freshly cooked. Vegans can get all foods without meat. Meat lovers should avoid eating meat as it not fresh and non-frozen.
10. Places to visit in Kathmandu
You can keep two days of your trip to Kathmandu. List of things you can do in these two days
• Explore the Old Town
• Garden of dreams in Kathmandu
• Monkey Temple
• Boudhanath Stupa
• Whoopie Land Amusement Park
11. Trek in Nepal
Trekking is the primary reason people want to visit Nepal. If you’re going to have a budget-friendly trek then here are a few tips:
• Don’t book a trek online. It only seems cheaper but turns out to be expensive.
• Hire a guide as a first timer. The Himalayas is not a range to go for lone trekking. Annapurna has many missing, sick or dead. Find missing people on Missing Trekker.
• Interview your guide. Take more than one interview.
• Make sure you have travel insurance for trekking in Nepal, or it might cost you US$7000 for a rescue.
Everest base camp trek and Annapurna base camp trek (ABC) is in our bucket list items. Ghorepani-Poon Hill circuit is a comfortable, accessible place for people of all fitness levels. For more adventurous treks you can go to Mustang Valley.
Other significant things to do are Whitewater rafting and see the Rhinos in Chitwan National Park. Experience a white river rafting in the Trishula River area before you head to Annapurna for the trek.