Nepal is a small country located in South Asia, landlocked between India to its east, west, and south, and China to its north. Nepal is mostly known for its mountains, being home to the highest mountain, Everest, including seven other mountain peaks that are over 8000 meters.

The country has a wide range of activities and adventures to offer to its guests—from outdoor adventure sports like bungee jumping to tranquil sightseeing in ancient cultural cities like Bhaktapur and Patan, Nepal is one of the best-value destinations in the whole world.

  • Country Visa and Entry Procedure

In Nepal, all tourists, except Indian nationals, must hold a valid passport and visa. Tourists can obtain the visa at Nepalese Embassies/Consulates and Mission Offices or have them issued at entry points after filling a visa form. The government does not issue a visa on arrival for people of the following nationalities: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iraq, Liberia, Nigeria, Palestine, Somalia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. Children under ten years do not need to pay any visa fees.

There are different types of visas. A tourist visa can be of varying durations (15 days, 30 days, and 90 days). Foreigners can obtain it at Nepalese Embassies abroad or Immigration Offices in Nepal. One can also extend the duration of their visa for up to 150 days per visa year for an additional charge.

A Gratis Visa is of 30 days, and only available for nationals of SAARC countries. A Transit Visa is of one day visa and available at Immigration Offices after having a departure flight ticket.

  • Popular Destinations to Visit

Depending on the purpose of one’s visit, there are a plethora of beautiful destinations to pick from. For those lured by the mountains, the Everest and Annapurna regions make a great destination. There are plenty of snow-capped peaks and icy glaciers to explore in these regions.

For the people who want to learn more about art and history, the Kathmandu Valley has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites that take visitors back into the past. Each site has a story to tell and is of top-notch craftsmanship of their respective periods.

Nepal is also a popular destination for Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims. Lumbini—the birthplace of Lord Buddha, Swayambhunath, and Boudhanath are popular destinations for Buddhists while Janakpur and the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu are popular destinations for Hindus.

Nepal also has many protected areas that aim to conserve the rare species of flora and fauna to maintain biodiversity. Such places are ideal for nature-lovers.

  • Things to do in Nepal

There is something for everyone in Nepal. The country offers a wide range of activities ranging from adventure sports to leisure and relaxation. The adrenaline junkies have sports like mountain biking, zip-lining, and white-water rafting.

For people who love mountains and sceneries, Nepal has many beautiful hiking and trekking trails. These trails take trekkers and hikers through traditional settlements, lush forests, and gives them a breathtaking view of Nepal’s Himalayas and rare animals. Nepal also has many national parks, wildlife reserves, and conservation areas for visitors to relax and observe the tranquility of nature.

Being a country that is rich in art, history, and culture, tourists also have the option of sightseeing tours around various places like the Durbar Squares in Kathmandu Valley that are of great historical importance or indulging in multiple festivals. Tourists may also enjoy a relaxing time at Bandipur or Nagarkot where time seems to stop, and the tension seems to leave their bodies.

  • Trekking Seasons in Nepal

There are four main seasons in Nepal. They are:

  • Spring (March-May)
  • Summer (June-August)
  • Autumn (September-November)
  • Winter (December-February)

Trekking is the most suitable during autumn and spring months. During these seasons, trekkers get the highest visibility and most favorable weather. The trek is the most rewarding during autumn and spring.

Trekking in the Himalayas is not suitable during winter months as the weather will be too cold, and many passes may be blocked due to excess snow, which can prove to be dangerous. It also reduces the visibility of the great mountain ranges. Summer months receive rainfall, which can make trails muddy and slippery. The cloudy skies also distort the view. However, trekking to rain-shadow areas like Mustang and Nar-Phu Valley is ideal during summer.

  • Altitude Sickness

High altitudes can put people at risk of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) or Altitude Sickness. It becomes a risk at over 2500 meters. Many popular treks require trekkers to cross this point. The symptoms include shortness of breath, headaches, nausea, difficulty sleeping, loss of coordination, and pulmonary edema.

AMS can prove to be fatal if not attended to properly. In severe cases, descending to lower altitudes may be the only option. Many treks have a day designated especially for the acclimatization. This allows trekkers to get accustomed to higher altitudes without severe side effects slowly. Most guides and operators make sure that trekkers sleep at a lower altitude before making their way to extreme heights. A steady pace and hydration are significant.

  • Travel Insurance

Realistically speaking, travel and adventure do not come without its fair share of risks. Therefore, it is always better to stay prepared. Many insurance companies offer a wide variety of travel insurance via the internet. When choosing an insurance policy, it must cover theft, loss, and medical problems.

Depending on the preferred activity, the choice in policy is also bound to vary. People who are looking forward to trek in deserted locations are better off getting an insurance policy that includes medical and emergency repatriation, including helicopter rescue. The ones who want to indulge in adventure sports must be cautious that the policy does not include a clause that excludes “dangerous activities” as this may end up excluding expenses incurred due to activities like bungee jumping and biking.

  • Meals and Accommodations

There are many different types of accommodation services available in Nepal: from teahouses to five-star restaurants. Such accommodation facilities depend on the location of the country.

While it is not a problem to find a place to rest in Nepal, amenities are usually available in more established and urban tourist areas. Most hotels and guest houses have a range of rooms for tourists to pick from according to their budget and preferences.

It is best to book rooms beforehand to avoid the hassle of having to go on a search after arrival and to get a good deal. Hotels usually serve food, but tourists can also eat at restaurants where they get to explore the many cuisines of Nepal.

Trekkers usually stay at teahouses, where they will have to share a room with others during peak trekking seasons. Teahouses in famous trekking routes offer a variety of food in their menu, whereas those in remote regions offer basic Nepali rice and curry. In certain places, trekkers need to camp out in tents because of insufficient accommodation.

  • Banking, ATM’s and Money

The currency in Nepal is Rupees, and banknotes of five, ten, twenty, fifty, hundred, five-hundred, and one thousand are available. It is better to keep notes of smaller denominations on hand.

There are exchange counters at the International Terminal at TIA and several banks. There are also currency-exchange facilities in other major towns. Such facilities are usually not found in remote areas, so one should carry adequate cash on their journey.

The Standard Chartered Bank has 24-hour ATM services in Kathmandu and Pokhara. ATM services of various other banks are available, but they may not all accept international cards. Again, ATM facilities may not always be available outside of major towns. So, tourists must carry adequate cash.

  • Internet and Communication

Nepal provides a lot of ways for visitors to remain in contact with their loved ones. The first option is the telephone or mobile. While international calls are possible, they are not the best option for a lengthy talk as long-distance calls are quite expensive.

Nepal also has many Internet Service Providers, and this has led to the widespread use of the internet. The Internet services are available in almost all hotels and cafes in urban areas, and even some remote areas. This enables tourists to use social media to stay connected.

Another way to know what is happening in the world is through conventional mass media like newspapers and radio.  While Nepal also provides postal service, it is not widely in use daily.

  • Internal Flight Delay

Flights in Nepal are quite unpredictable due to its geographic and climatic conditions. The heavy rain, thick fog, storms, etc. may cause flights to get delayed or canceled last-minute. Such incidents are common during the winter and monsoon seasons. Because such delays can create quite an inconvenience to tourists, tourists usually make plans with a day or two to spare for such mishaps.

People can also reach places like Pokhara and Chitwan by road. However, a flight to Lukla cannot be substituted this way. This is quite a huge problem as many Himalayan treks in the Everest region start with a flight to Lukla Airport. Because the Lukla airport is located in quite a mountainous place itself, it is more prone to flight cancelations due to unsafe weather.

  • Health and Safety Including Traveling Alone in Nepal

Traveling alone can be therapeutic for many, and people consider Nepal to be a safe country for solo travelers. Solo travelers should have an insurance policy that includes helicopter rescue so that they can be rescued without a hitch when things go wrong.

Travelers should also avoid flashing their cash as this may give robbers the impression that an individual is wealthy. Such travelers may also get overcharged for services. It is also important to stay at hotels with positive reviews from trusted sites and to consume hygienic food and clean water. While street food may seem intriguing, and it could also give visitors a better taste of the local life, it can upset their stomach if they are not used to the spices.