Travel to Nepal

Nepal Nepal Nepal Nepal Nepal
Nepal

As if the being home to the world’s highest peaks weren’t enough bounty, Nepal also has real yaks, apocryphal yetis, heroic weathered-faced sherpas and medieval monuments festooned with colorful prayer flags flapping against the deep blue sky. Nepal is a visual feast; everywhere you turn, appear sights that demand your camera be whipped out and put to use. Mountain trekking is superb, and there are so many routes to choose from that repeat visitors are never short of options. The Annapurna circuit, Everest base camp, Gokyo Lakes…the list goes on.  For those who aren’t into trekking, exploring Nepal’s jungles, rivers and medieval cities is equally rewarding.

Kathmandu can be a head-spinning place where the sights, sounds and smells quickly lead to sensory overload. But a stroll through the backstreets will uncover a different, quieter side of the city, as Kathmandu’s gentle cultural and artistic heritage reveals itself in ancient temples overflowing with flowers, courtyards full of drying spices and barrels of rice, and tiny workshops barely large enough for one small person. All journeys to Nepal start in Kathmandu but, just as New York City is not indicative of the rest of the USA, Kathmandu is only one aspect of Nepal, albeit an exciting one.

Pokhara is Nepal’s second largest city but is completely different to Kathmandu. Situated on a lake, views of the snow capped mountains just 10 miles away are breathtaking. Pokhara has become Nepals adrenaline center, and everywhere you look you will see people paragliding, white water rafting or gearing up and heading off to trek the world famous Annapurna Circuit.

Chitwan National Park is one of the best National Parks in Asia for seeing wildlife. This world heritage listed park offers an excellent chance to see one-horned rhino, deer, monkeys and more than 500 species of birds. Occasionally, leopard, elephant and sloth are spotted, and seeing a Bengal tiger is equal to winning the lottery. 

Annapurna region  The Annapurna region has been wildly recognized as a naturalist’s paradise. Home to rare snow leopards and blue sheep, multi-colored impeyan, kokla, blood pheasant and a multitude of other birds, butterflies and insects. Many plants native to Nepal are found in this forest, as are over one hundred varieties of orchids and some of the richest rhododendron forests in the world. Trekking in Annapurna is delightful, and treks vary from simple day hikes to the iconic 128 mile Annapurna Circuit.

Everest region
  For trekkers who prefer to be in the high mountains rather than seeing the high mountains as a backdrop, Everest is the place to go. There are various levels of difficulty and the king of them all is the trek to Everest Base Camp.

Nepal is multi-faceted.  Mountains, plains, jungles and rivers. Stupas, temples, monasteries and palaces. Tigers, elephants, monkeys and sacred cows.

People

Nepal’s population is about 29 million.  Nepalese are descendants of migrants from parts of India, Tibet, and parts of Burma and Yunnan.

Language

Nepali is the official language of Nepal.  Nepalese English; locally known as ‘Nenglish’ is a form and accent of the English language spoken by Nepalese people in Nepal. Many Nepalese people speak English as a second language.

History

Nepal was known to the Ancient Indians and was mentioned in classical Indian literature. In the 3rd century BC the great Indian Emperor introduced Buddhism into Nepal. Nepal was also in contact with China. About 200 AD a people called the Lichavis took power in Nepal. Under them Nepal flourished and great temples both Hindu and Buddhist were built. However the Lichavis eventually declined and a new era began in 879 AD. They were replaced by a series of kings called the Thakuris.

From the 12th century a series of kings whose surnames ended in Malla reigned in Nepal. In the 14th century one of them, Jayasthiti Malla introduced the caste system into Nepal. The power of the Malla dynasty reached a peak in the 15h century under Yaksha Mall. However after his death in 1482 his kingdom was divided between his 3 sons. Nepal was reunited in the 18th century by a man named Privthi Nayan Shah. He was suspicious of the growing power of the British in India and decided to isolate his nation.
However in the 19th century the Nepalese were forced to come to terms with the British. In 1814-1816 they fought a war after which the present boundaries of Nepal were drawn. Then in 1860 Nepalese soldiers began serving in the British army.

Meanwhile in 1846 a man named Rang Bahadur seized power and declared himself Rana or prime minister. Afterwards the kings of Nepal were only figureheads and the Rana held the real power. Finally in 1923 Britain and Nepal signed a new treaty.

In 1950 the Rana was overthrown and royal authority was restored. Then in 1959 elections were held in Nepal. However the king quarreled with the elected Congress and dismissed it in 1960. Under a new constitution of 1962 the king had all the real power. However in 1990 widespread protests led to the restoration of democracy. Nepal gained a new constitution and in 1991 elections were held. Then in 1994 a minority Communists government took power. However in 1995 the Supreme Court nullified the election results and reinstated the previous parliament.

In 1996 a Communist insurgency began in Nepal which severely damaged the economy. However a peace accord was signed in November 2006. In April 2008 elections were held and a coalition government came to power. In May 2008 the monarchy was abolished and Nepal became a republic. Nepal gained a new constitution in 2015.

Today Nepal remains a poor country. Most of the people live by farming. However tourism in Nepal has great potential to enrichen Nepal’s economy.

Currency

The Nepalese Rupee is the currency of Nepal.The symbol is ₨.  US dollars are accepted in Nepal but the rate of exchange will not be favorable; Asia Answers recommends converting USD to Rupee to use while traveling.

Best Time to Travel

From October to December is the best time to visit Nepal, as the skies are generally clear and the mountain views spectacular.  January and February can be very cold, especially at night, but will reward you with incredible vistas and less crowded trekking trails. The weather remains dry until about April. Late spring is a beautiful time to travel as the rhododendrons burst into bloom. From May, heat and humidity levels build until the monsoon rains arrive in June and the clouds obscure the glorious mountain views.

Health Requirements

There are no vaccinations or medications required for entry to Nepal from the US. Asia Answers recommends consulting with your travel clinic for their recommendation based on your personal health profile.

Visa Requirements

A passport with minimum validity of 6 months and 2 blank passport pages is required for entry to Nepal. Visa on arrival is available at Kathmandu Airport. A 15 day visa is $ 25, a 30 day visa is $40. US dollars are required to purchase visas.

Tipping & Porterage

Tipping and porterage are customary in Nepal and an important part of a workers compensation package. Asia Answers supplies Tipping Guidelines with final documentation.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are accepted in major hotels and restaurants but cash is needed for shopping in markets and eating at cafes. ATMs are available in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

Electrical Appliances

Electricity is 220V/50 cycles; 120V appliances from the USA will need a converter. Sockets usually take C, D or M type plugs.  Local electrical shops in Kathmandu sell plug adapters cheaply.

Water

Tap water in Nepal is not potable and bottled water with the cap seal intact is recommended.


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This Destination

Nepal

Related Destinations

Bali & Indonesia
Bhutan
Cambodia
China
Hong Kong & Macau
India
Japan
Laos
Malaysia
Myanmar
Nepal
Northern India
Philippines
Singapore
South Korea
Southern India
Sri Lanka
Taiwan
Thailand
Vietnam

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