Namaste! Welcome to the 14 interesting things that you need to know before traveling to Nepal. These are the facts which you do not hear often.
Nepal is a rather attractive country with an enchanting culture and loving people. Although you might feel the country a bit behind in terms of technology, the beauty of the Himalaya justifies it all.
Please note that it is a process to reach the Himalaya. It’s not always goody-goody. This article will give you a broader idea of what it feels like to visit Nepal and Nepalese.
So, with that said, let’s dive right in, shall we?
Visa Upon Arrival at the Airport
Travelers can receive a visa from the airport upon arrival. A single-entry Nepal visa cost varies depending upon the duration of your stay. The cost of the visa in Nepal is USD 25/40/100 for 15/30/90 days respectively.
Only cash is accepted as payment. So, either carry some cash allocated for the visa fee or withdraw some from an ATM at the airport.
Marijuana in Nepal: Illegal but found profoundly!
Marijuana plants are everywhere around here. Nepal used to have a hippie history and getting high was one of the attractions for tourists. That was in the ’60s but times have changed. Smoking weed is strictly illegal in Nepal and possession of marijuana means 2 years in jail.
Although it is illegal to buy & sell marijuana in Nepal, tourists are frequently approached by dealers. Therefore they become an easy target for undercover cops or policemen.
Street foods: Should you try them?
If you’ve heard that it is unhealthy to have street food in Nepal, then it’s not completely wrong. But there are some amazing places that offer neat and delicious food. My suggestion is to have a local friend accompany you on your food hunt in Kathmandu.
If it’s a public toilet, prepare to squat
Places like restaurants and hotels in Nepal have the usual toilet seats. However, most public toilets in Nepal are made to squat. Do not be surprised if you find one. Plus, it’s good to be prepared, so pack some tissues and sanitizers.
Everything is a bit expensive for tourists
Well, this one is expected. Like every other developing nation, if you are not a citizen then you’ll pay extra for fun & adventure activities.
Places like fun parks and zoos require you to pay a bit more than the usual rate. But you need not worry, the difference is not much.
Don’t make out in public… Seriously
Honestly, the younger generation would not mind. But the majority would not like to see a couple kissing each other in public. Well, at least not in Nepal.
It might also come as disrespecting to some. So, keep it private, there are several parks where you can enjoy some quality time such as the Garden of Dreams.
Guides are not always Sherpas
‘Sherpa’ is a tribe/caste in Nepal. All Sherpas are not necessarily guides. However, most of the guides are Sherpas. They belong to the Himalayan settlements and are extremely brave. Climbers from all over the world respect them as they are one of the pioneers of mountain climbing.
Knock-off clothing for cheap
Markets like Ason Indrachowk and New Road in Kathmandu are filled with counterfeits products of brands such as Nike and The North Face. They are relatively cheaper but would not last as long.
This could be a good thing if you are looking for some temporary outfits for traveling. However, their quality is not insured.
Buy a SIM card, it’s easier
Do not make the mistake of taking an international data plan for roaming. It is much more economical if you buy a SIM card with a data plan to suffice your communication need in Nepal. You can either buy it at the airport or mobile outlets which are adequately available.
Read more about Cell service and the internet in Nepal while traveling here.
Take your shoes off before entering temples or houses
Nepal is a country of respect. Where you place your shoes tells a lot about you. We take off shoes before entering temples and holy sites or even houses. It shows that you’ve been raised well. Therefore, take your shoes off before entering a temple. If you are not sure of it in a certain situation, simply ask someone.
You’ll find Traffic Police at every major intersection in Kathmandu
Traffic is hectic in Kathmandu. Rules are not as effective and are broken often. Which is why you’ll find Traffic Policemen at different intersections in and around the valley. If you see a policeman dressed in blue with white gloves on, then just know that they’re responsible for your delay. I’m joking, OF COURSE.
Do not go around taking photos of people: Ask first
I can understand that you’ll be tempted to take portraits and a ton of pictures. But not everyone will appreciate it. While most people would not mind being in the frame, some might feel uncomfortable. So, it is best to ask before you take a photo.
Beggars could be a pain in the a$$
You’ll probably encounter beggars while traveling in Nepal. You might want to ignore them, but some of them could literally fall on your feet. It’s tragic I know, but there are people who do it as a job. Be mindful as you’ll find them frequently.
Only book through a reputed travel agency
Last but not the least, always book through a reputed travel agency. There’s a ton of information on the internet, but you will require a trustable agency to accompany you on your trip.
MCT offers you a wide range of trekking and touring services including adventure activities in Nepal. Our professional guides will help you explore and learn more about Nepalese culture and tradition.
Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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