Nepal is so much more than the Himalayas. If you love nature, adventure, amazing wildlife, new cultures and friendly people, Nepal will surprise and fascinate you. There are a lot of reasons why someone should include Nepal on their bucket list.
28 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD TRAVEL TO NEPAL
- Nepal has something for everyone. There is a wide variety of places, activities and travel styles to suit every type of traveler.
- Amazing wildlife destination: Nepal is home to the Red pandas, Royal Bengal tigers, Snow leopards, Asian elephants, Sloth bears, One-horned rhinoceros, Ganges River dolphins, Wild water buffaloes, Himalayan black bears, Gharial crocodiles, Mugger crocodiles, Blackbucks, Sarus Cranes, Leopards, Monkeys and other iconic species…
- Land of adventure: In Nepal, the possibilities are endless (rafting, rock climbing, canyoning, jungle safaris, trekking, peak climbing, bungee jumping, expeditions, paragliding, mountain flight, survival holidays, mountain biking, honey hunting, motorcycle holidays, heli-skiing, etc.).
- Known as “a living cultural museum”, Nepal has a distinct culture and a rich history. The country has several ancient pilgrimage sites, important historical monuments and UNESCO world heritage sites.
- Nepalis are well known for their warm hospitality and friendly nature.
- Everest Base Camp Trek (EBC Trek) is rated one of the best trekking routes in the world, and the Annapurna Circuit is considered one of the most beautiful treks on the planet.
- With the world’s highest mountains, Nepal is undoubtedly the most exciting country on earth for mountain lovers.
- Kali Gandaki is the deepest canyon on Earth.
- Bird watching paradise with 900 bird species identified in the country.
- Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Buddha.
- Nepal is small but remarkably diverse country: Himalayan mountain range, beautiful rice terraces, green hills, subtropical jungles, colorful rhododendron forests, wetlands and high altitude deserts.
- Nepal is a safe country for women, families and solo travelers.
- The restricted and hidden treasure of Nepal: “Upper Mustang, the Lost Kingdom” and the walled city of Lo Manthang, capital of the Mustang Kingdom, one of the most preserved medieval fortresses in the world.
- Travel with purpose. Nepal suffered significantly after the 2015 earthquake. The trails have been repaired and the region is open and safe again. They are waiting for you more than ever!
- Nepal is home to the Yeti, the abominable snowman.
- The Sun Kosi (“River of Gold” in Nepali) is rated as one of the top ten river expeditions in the world.
- The difficult cliffs in the foothills of Central Himalayas are home to the world's largest honey bee, the Apis Dorsata Laboriosa. Nepal honey hunting is an ancient tradition of collecting wild honey from hives hanging on cliffs approximately 300 meters high with the help of ladders and ropes. Twice a year, the Lamjung district hosts the Honey Hunting Harvest Festival in spring (April – May) and autumn (October – November).
- Nepal is blessed with a rich heritage of traditional handicrafts. This tradition has been passed to the current generation by their ancestors. Nepal is famous for its carpets, its impressive Thangka paintings, its unique Khukuri knives, Newari wood carving, the Nepalese Lokta Paper, Buddhist statues and Hindu sculptures, Mithila Wall Art, Bamboo umbrellas, and for its indigenously crafted art and handwork.
- The mysterious "Sky caves" of Mustang, one of the World's Greatest Archaeological mysteries.
- Hotel Everest View has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records (2004) as the Highest Placed Hotel in the world (13000ft).
- English is widely spoken.
- Absolutely fabulous mountain biking trails.
- The Last Resort is one of the 10 highest bungee jumps in the world.
- Nepal is the perfect destination for yoga (and you can combine Yoga and Trek easily!).
- Nepal has a very diverse linguistic heritage (around 120 different living languages).
- Nepal is the country that possesses the highest number of public holidays in the world. Welcome to the land of festivals!
- Lukla Airport is one of the most extreme airports in the world.
- Gurkhas, the world’s bravest soldiers, are from Nepal.
The official language of Nepal is Nepali. However, English is widely spoken in Nepal. Nepal has a very diverse linguistic heritage (around 120 different living languages including Maithili, Tharu and Tamang).
Nepal is a landlocked South Asian country located between China to the north and India to the south, east and west. The country has an area of 147,181 square kilometers (around 800 km east to west and 150 to 250 km north to south).
The country is divided into three main geographical regions:
- • The Himalayan region,
- • The mid-hill region,
- • The Terai region.
Mustang and Dolpa are high altitude deserts sharing topographical characteristics with the Tibetan plateau.
The highest point in the country is Mt. Everest and the lowest point is Kechana Kalan (Jhapa) in the Terai region.
Eight of the fourteen eight-thousanders in the world are located in Nepal: Mount Everest, Mount Kanchenjunga, Mount Lhotse, Mount Makalu, Mount Cho Oyu, Mount Dhaulagiri, Mount Manaslu and Mount Annapurna I.
Nepal has more than 6,000 rivers which are snow-fed or dependent on rain.
A valid passport with at least 6 months of validity when traveling in Nepal.
ON ARRIVAL TOURIST VISA FEES
Multiple entry – 15 days: US$25 or equivalent convertible currency.
Multiple entry – 30 days: US$40 or equivalent convertible currency.
Multiple entry – 90 days: US$100 or equivalent convertible currency.
Tourists can stay for a maximum of 150 days in a visa year (January 1 to December 31).
Visa extension for 15 days or less: US$30.
Visa extension for more than 15 days: US$2 per day.
The Nepalese rupee (NPR) is the official currency of Nepal. There are several ATMs in Kathmandu, Pokhara and some other major cities. Many places will take credit cards (such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express) but some may not; if you are staying in a rural area, bring some extra cash. Nepalese rupees can be obtained on arrival at Kathmandu airport.
All major international currencies are accepted in Nepal and can be exchanged at the airport or commercial banks inside the country.
BEST TIME TO VISIT NEPAL
- • Autumn (September to November) and Spring (March to May) are the best seasons.
- • Winter (December to February): the weather is cool but agreeable.
- • Summer (June to August) is the monsoon season. It rains almost every day. The weather is hot and humid.
- • Travel Insurance:
You are required as a condition of booking to have an adequate travel insurance. If you are planning to travel to high altitude in Nepal, please check what your insurance policy covers as many insurances do not provide cover above 2,500 meters. You will need a full insurance covering medical treatments, accidents and evacuation by helicopter. It is also a good option to choose an insurance that covers flights cancellation and unexpected losses and damages.
- • Vaccines & Medicines:
No immunizations are required to visit Nepal. However, the following vaccinations should be considered before traveling to Nepal:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Yellow fever
- Japanese Encephalitis
Bring your own medicines with you (in particular, diarrhea medication): Water Purification Tablets/ Isotonic Powder/ Basic First Aid Kit/ Diamox/ Oximeter / Ibuprofen for general aches and pains/ Imodium or Pepto Bismol capsules for diarrhea, etc.
- • Bug bites:
Use an insect repellent and wear long sleeve clothes at night to avoid mosquito bites, especially during the monsoon season.
- • Altitude sickness:
Learn to recognize altitude sickness symptoms (insomnia, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, nauseas, loss of appetite, heart rate acceleration, breathing problems, and hallucinations). Be prepared. And do not try to skip one of the acclimatization steps during your trek.
- • Water:
Use treated or mineral water. You can also boil or filter (with purification tablets) your own water.
- • Toilets:
Toilets in Nepal are either western toilets or squat toilets. Be aware that some places do not use toilet paper but the bucket (or tap) procedure, particularly in rural areas.
Nepal is a very safe country. The rate of violent crime is very low in Nepal. However:
- • Watch out for pickpockets, particularly on buses and in tourist areas.
- • Try to avoid walking around alone at night.
- • Avoid overnight buses.
- • Do not carry large sums of cash. Do not display your cash or expensive items.
- • Trekking alone is not recommended.
CULTURE & PEOPLE
Nepal is a small but very rich country in terms of culture, ethnicity, traditions, linguistic and biological diversities. The Nepalese caste system is still thriving in the country and has an important impact on the social and family life, occupations, culture and interactions. Religion is also an important component of the Nepalese culture. For instance, the Kathmandu Valley has around 2,700 religious shrines. The main religions are Hinduism (around 80%) and Buddhism (around 11%). Nepal is the country that possesses the highest number of public holidays in the world. The Nepali year begins in mid-April. Main annual holidays are Dashain in autumn, Tihar in mid-autumn and Chhath in late autumn.
- • Maghe Sankranti (January): End of the winter solstice.
- • Shree Panchami (January – February): The birthday of the Hindu Goddess Saraswati.
- • Lhosar (January – February): Buddhist New Year.
- • Maha Shivaratri (February – March): The night of Lord Shiva.
- • Holi (February – March): The festival of colors.
- • Ghode Jatra (March – April): The Horse Festival.
- • Seto Machhendranath (March – April): The festival of the deity Seto Machhendranath.
- • Ram Nawami (March – April): The birthday of Lord Ram.
- • Nepali New Year (April)
- • Bisket Jatra (April): Unique 9-day festival celebrated in Bhaktapur.
- • Tiji Mustang (April – May): Upper Mustang Festival.
- • Buddha Jayanti (May): Buddha triple anniversary.
- • Naag Panchami (August): Worship of snake gods.
- • Janai Purnima (August): Annual exchange of Janai.
- • Krishna Ashtami (August): The birthday of Lord Krishna.
- • Gai Jatra (August): The festival in honour of family members.
- • Teej (August – September): Festival of women.
- • Indra Jatra (September): Newari Festival.
- • Dashain (September – October): The longest and the most important Hindu festival in Nepal.
- • Tihar (October – November): Festival of Lights.
- • Mani Rimdu (October – November): The festival of Sherpas.
- • Chaath (November): Festival of Sun God.
- • Tamu Lhosar (December): Festival of Himalayan communities.
The Nepalese cuisine, well-known as the cuisine of the Himalayas, is a delightful blend of Tibetan, Chinese and Indian cultures, which reflects the geographic and demographic diversity of the country. A typical daily meal in Nepal is called Dal Bhat Tarkari and it consists primarily of steamed rice (Bhat), lentil soup (Dal) and fresh vegetable curry (Tarkari). Typical Nepalese dishes also include: Bhutuwa (spicy stir-fried meat), Sekuwa (roasted meat), Choila (Newari style grilled meat), Dhindo Thali (Thakali meal), Kheer (rice pudding), Kwati (bean soup), Roti (flat bread), Sel roti (Nepali traditional doughnut), Momo (Nepalese dumplings), Chow mein (stir-fried noodles), Thukpa (Himalayan stewed noodles), Quantee soup (meat or vegetable stews with sprouted beans), Achaar (pickles chutney), Chiya (spiced milk or regular tea), and many others.