Nepal Travel Information

Entry Customs/Airport Visa Currency Health Climate Dos & Don'ts Time & Business Hour

Entering Nepal

Nepal country mapTravelling by road : All visitors entering Nepal by land must use no other entry points other than (1) Kakarbhitta (2) Birgunj (3) Belhiya, Bhairahawa (4) Nepalgunj (5) Dhangadi (6) Mahendra Nagar in the Nepal - India border and (7) Kodari in the Nepal - China border. The overland tourists entering the Kingdom with their vehicles must possess an international carnet.

Travelling by air: You can fly directly to Kathmandu from London, Paris, Frankfurt, Vienna, Amsterdam, Moscow, Osaka, Shanghai, Bangkok, Hongkong, Sharjah, Dubai, Dhaka, Karachi, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Doha, Paro, Lhasa, Singapore, Delhi, Mumbai, Patna, Calcutta, and Varanasi. Charter flights can also be arranged for large movements. All flights feature business class and amenities of international standards. Many a time, the Capital offers a guided sightseeing of the Himalaya for no extra charge.

Airfares fluctuate with the changes in exchange rates and are to be paid in foreign currency by foreign nationals. Only Nepalese and Indian nationals are permitted to pay in Rupees for air passage between Nepal and India. Departure flight tickets should be reconfirmed three days in advance to avoid inconveniences by possible flight cancellation or changes in the flight schedule. Overweight luggage charges are levied in foreign exchange.

Customs / airport

Custom: All baggage must be declared and cleared through the customs on arrival at the port of entry. Passengers arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu (TIA) without any dutiable goods can proceed through the Green Channel for quick clearance without a baggage check. If you carrying dutiable articles, you have to pass through the Red channel for detailed customs clearance.


Import: Apart from used personal belongings, visitors are allowed to bring to Nepal free of duty cigarette (200) or cigars (50), distilled liquor) one 1.15 liter bottle), and film (15 rolls). You can also bring in the following articles free of duty on condition that you take them out with you when you leave: binoculars, movie or video camera, still camera, laptop computer, and portable music system.

Export: It is illegal to export objects over 100 years old (sacred images, paintings, manuscripts) that are valued for culture and religious reasons. Visitors are advised not to purchase such items as they are Nepal's cultural heritage and belong here. The Department of Archaeology has to certify all metal statues, sacred paintings and similar objects before they are allowed to be sent or carried out of the country. We'll assist you in this process.

Airport tax: Passengers departing from the Tribhuvan International Airport Kathmandu (TIA) are required to pay an airport tax of Rs. 660.00 if going to SAARC countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan. India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) and Rs.1100.00 to all other international destinations. Domestic airport tax is Rs. 110.00.

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Visa regulation

1. The single entry tourist visa can be obtained from the entry points of Nepal or from the Royal Nepalese diplomatic mission abroad by paying US$ 30 for 60 days. If visitors who wish to obtain the facility of single, double or multiple re-entry, they can get it by paying additional US$ 25, US$ 40 and US$ 60 respectively.


2. If the visitor, who has already visited Nepal under tourist visa, intends to come again within 150 days of the same visa year he/she can obtain entry visa by paying US$ 50 for 30days at the entry point or at the Royal Nepalese diplomatic missions abroad.

3. The visitors who wish to stay from more then 60 days in the Nepal can extend their tourist visa by paying the equivalent of US$ 50 in Nepalese currency for 30 days from the Department of Immigration.

4. Business visa with multiple entry facility for the period of one year and five years can be obtained from the Department of Immigration on the recommendation of Ministry of Industry by paying the equivalent of US$ 100 and US$ 250 respectively in the Nepalese currency for the foreign investors.

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Currency & Credit Cards

Payment in hotels, travel agencies, and airlines are made in foreign exchange. Credit cards like American Express, Master and Visa are widely accepted at major hotels, shops, and restaurants. Remember to keep your Foreign Exchange Encashment Receipt while making Foreign exchange payments or transferring foreign currency into Nepalese Rupees. The Receipts may be needed to change leftover Nepalese Rupees into hard currency before leaving the country, however, the bank may convert only 10 percent of the total amount.

Major banks, hotels, and the exchange counters at Tribhuvan airport provide services for exchanging foreign currency. US dollar or travelers' checks can be purchased from American Express at Durbar Marg and other Major banks in Kathmandu. Banks in Kathmandu are open 10 AM to 3 PM Sunday through Friday except public holidays.

Exchange rates are published in English dailies such as The Rising Nepal and The Kathmandu post. Nepalese Rupees are found in denominations of RS 1000, 500, 100, 50, 25, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are found in denominations of 10, 25 and 50 Paisa. One rupee equals 100 Paisa. Approximate exchange rate as of October 2003 US$ 1 = Rs. 73.00 .

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Health guide

Insurance: Travel insurance policies that cover theft, loss and medical treatment are recommended. Make sure the insurance also cover the activities that you will be undertaking during your stay in Nepal such as trekking, river rafting, wildlife safaris, climbing and such other activities.

Innunization: Nepal dose not require any particular Immunization for your visit. Vaccinations for Cholera, Meningitis, Tetanus & Diphtheria, Typhoid and Gamma Globulin should be considered for your Trip. Please consult your physician and get a complete check - up before your departure.

Medical Kit: A simple but adequate Medical Kit can be most useful without taking much space in your baggage. The following is recommended as tried and true list of items.

  • Aspirin of Panadol - for pain or fever.
  • Antihistamine - useful as a decongestant for colds, allergies, to ease the itch from insect bites and stings or to help prevent motion sickness.
  • Antibiotics - useful if you are traveling well of the beaten track but they must be prescribed.
  • Kaolin preparation (Pepto-Bismol), Imodium or Lomotil - for stomach upsets.
  • Rehydration mixture - for treatment of severe diarrhoea.
  • Antiseptic, Mercurochrome and antibiotic powder or similar 'dry ' spray - for cuts and grazes.
  • Calamine lotion - to ease irritation from bites or stings.
  • Bandages and Band-Aids - for minor injuries.
  • Scissors, tweezers and thermometers.
  • Insect repellent, sun block, suntan lotion, chopsticks and water - purification tables.
  • Throat lozenges (Strepsils).
  • Moleskin.
  • Eye, nose and ear drops.
  • Acetaminophen (Paracetamol).
  • Antacid tablets.

Prevention, the best medicine: Care in what you eat and drink is the most important health rule. The number one rule is don't consume the water including ice. Reputable brands of bottled Water or soft drinks are generally fine. Take care with fruit juice, particularly if water may have been added.

Milk should be treated with care, as it is often un-pasteurized. Boiled milk is fine if it is kept hygienically and yoghurt (Milk curd) is usually good. Tea or coffee should also be Ok since the water would have been boiled. Salads and fruit should be washed with purified water or peeled where possible. Ice cream is usually OK if it is a reputable brand name. But beware of ice cream that has melted and been refrozen. Thoroughly cooked food is the safest but not if it has been left to cool. Stomach upsets are the most likely travel health problem but the majority of these upsets will be relatively minor. Wash your hands frequently, as it's quite easy to contaminate your own food. You should clean your teeth with purified water rather than straight from the tap. Avoid climatic extremes: keep out of the sun when it is hot, dress warmly when it is cold. Avoid potential diseases by dressing sensibly. You can get worm infections through bare feet. Try to avoid insect bites by covering bare skin when insects are around, by screening windows or by using, insect repellents.

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Climate

Nepal has a typical monsoonal two - season a year. There is a dry season from October to May and there is the wet season, the monsoon, from June to September. September - November, the start of the dry season, is in many ways the best time of the year in Nepal. When monsoon just ends, the countryside is green and lush. Nepal is at its most beautiful and during this season there are plenty of colorful festivals to enjoy.

Temperature Chart
(In Celsius)

Months Kathmandu Pokhara Chitwan

 

Max Min Max Min Max Min
Jan 19 2 20 8 24 7
Feb 20 4 21 8 26 8
Mar 25 8 27 11 33 12
Apr 30 11 30 16 35 18
May 30 16 30 19 35 20
June 30 20 30 20 35 23
July 20 21 30 21 33 24
Aug 29 20 30 21 33 24
Sep 27 19 29 20 32 22
Oct 23 15 27 18 31 18
Nov 23 4 23 11 29 12
Dec 20 2 20 8 24 8

Rainfall Chart
(In mm)

Month Kathmandu Pokhara Chitwan
Jan 25 15 10
Feb 25 15 10
Mar 75 30 10
Apr 50 50 15
May 100 300 200
June 225 575 300
July 375 800 500
Aug 360 700 450
Sep 175 575 400
Oct 50 220 100
Nov 10 20 5
Dec 10 5 5

Climate Chart

  Kathmandu City Pokhara City
Months Chance of Dry day Hours of Sunshine Chances of Dry day Hours of Sunshine
January 95% 5:54 94% 5:49
February 91% 5:39 94% 6:23
March 96% 7:37 89% 7:19
April 85% 9:30 80% 8:59
May 74% 5:43 53% 5:17
June 54% 4:54 5% 4:02
July 33% 2:37 3% 2:04
August 37% 2:23 3% 1:34
September 62% 3:18 7% 1:44
October 88% 5:12 64% 4:30
November 98% 5:12 96% 4:51
December 99% 5:06 99% 5:12

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Some Dos and Don'ts

With its diverse ethnic groups and traditional beliefs, Nepal has numerous cultural practices that may appear unusual to a person on his/her first visit to the country. However, to enjoy your stay in this remarkable country of white Himalayas and sparkling rivers it is important to take into consideration the different cultural aspects of the country. Here is a list of things, which may be helpful to you.

  • The form of the greeting in Nepal is " Namaste " and is performed by joining the palms together.
  • Before entering a Nepalese home, Temple, and Stupa remember to remove your shoes.
  • Be careful not to use your spoon, fork or a hand being used for your eating to touch other's food, plate, cooking utensil or the serving disk. Do not eat from other people's plate and do not drink from other people's bottle or glass. It is considered impure by the Nepalese.
  • Never touch anything with your feet. This is considered an offence among Nepalese.
  • While traveling dress appropriately. Women should especially avoid dressing in skimpy, outfits.
  • Seek permission first before entering a Hindu temple many Hindu Temple do not allow westerners or non -Hindus to enter.
  • Leather articles are prohibited to be taken inside the temple precinct.
  • Walking around temples or Stupas is traditionally done clockwise.
  • Take photographs only after receiving permission for the object or person being photographed.
  • Public display of affection between man and woman are frowned upon. Do not do something that is totally alien to our environment.
  • Remember, many times, when a person shakes his head from left to right, he may mean, " yes".
  • Develop a genuine to meet and talk to Nepalese people and respect their local customs.
  • Please do not touch offerings or persons when they are on the way to shrines or are in the process of worshipping. Keep a respectful distance.
  • Please do not accept as gifts or buy objects of art, manuscripts, images etc. Which have antique value. These need to stay here not only for ourselves but for future visitors like yourself who would like to share the experience. Whether something is antique or not can be established by the Department of Archaeology.
  • Please be informed that Nepalese men often walk around hand in hand, but this does not have the same implication as it does in Europe, America or other developed country.
  • Please do not inquire about a person's caste.

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Time & Business Hours:

Nepal is five hours 45 minutes ahead of GMT.

Business hours within the valley:
Government offices are open from 9 am to 5 pm from Monday through Friday. Banks are open from Sunday through Friday from 9.30 am to 3.00 pm(Except government banks ) But most Business offices are open from 10 am to 5 pm. Sunday through Friday. Embassies and international organizations are open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. Most shops open after 10 am and close at about 8 pm and are usually closed on Saturdays.

Business hours outside the valley:
Government offices outside Kathmandu valley open from 10 and to 5 pm from Sunday through Thursday. On Fridays they remain open until 3 pm. Banks are open from Sunday through Thursday from 10 am to 3 pm. On Friday, banks remain open until 12 pm only. Business offices are open from 10 am to 5 pm Sunday through Friday. Embassies and international organizations are open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. Most shops open after 10 am and close at about 8 pm and are usually closed on Saturday.

Holidays:
Nepal observes numerous holidays, at the least a couple in a month. So please check the holiday calendar. Government offices observe all the national holidays and banks observe most of them. Businesses observe major holidays only.

Language:
Nepali, like Hindi, is written in the Dev-nagari script. It is Nepal's national language, apart from being the lingua franca of the country's divergent communities that speak mutually unintelligible language and dialects. English is also widely spoken and understood in urban areas. In Tourism sector people speaks English, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese and other foreign languages.

Nepal offers a wide range of geographical diversity; an incomparable blend of high mountains and rich cultures. Nepal embrace the central Himalayan range, 1310 magnificent peaks over 6000 meters including eight of the world's highest 14 peaks of 8000 meters, rushing river, rolling terraced hills; lush, steamy tropics and high altitude plains reminiscent of Tibet. Capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu Valley, a fertile green bowl set in the midst of the Himalayan foothills, is an oasis of magnificent art and the home of an ancient and sophisticated culture. It's a blend of different ethnic groups, with a mosaic of cultures.