Know Before You Go! Tips for Travelling in Nepal

Nepal the beautiful South Asian country is an ideal travel destination for both adventurer and relaxation seekers. However it is most important to be fully prepared before you go and know about the place you are going.

First thing first Nepal is not limited to only highlands and High mountains. The country is gifted with uniquely diverse landscape with hills in the north and flat expansive plains to the south. So you are not just limited to trekking and climbing mountains, array of options lies ahead of you to choose from like adventure sports, tours, jungle safaris, cultural tours and many more.

The first thing that pops in your head and a must know before traveling anywhere is WHEN TO GO? In case of Nepal:

Month’s Highlights Remark
Oct – Dec Good weather, sunny warm days, cool evenings Peak tourist season.
Jan – Feb Sunny but cool ; Off season Off season so you can get good deals
Mar – May Good weather ; Tourist season Not as busy as Oct – Dec
Jun – Sep Rainy ; July & Aug is Monsoon Not the best time to come. (End of Sep. is starting to get nice.)

Visa and Customs

Nepal has only one international airport so if you are entering Nepal by air than your entry point will be Tribhuwan International Airport. The Visa and Customs are easy and are issued upon arrival; here are the list of things you will need.

  1.  Carry a pen to fill out the forms (none available in the airport).
  2. Two passport size photos; latest (bring plenty as you will need these for trekking permit, visa extensions, and any other official document in Nepal.)
  3. US dollars or any other convertible currency
    • 15 days is $25
    • 30 days is $40
    • 90 days is $100
  4. Address and contact of where you will be staying.

A bit of BASIC NEPALI LANGUAGE will come in handy and ease your stay in Nepal. Learn how to say Hi or Hello in Nepali language to break the cultural barrier with the locals.

English

How to say in Nepali

Hello

Namaste

Thank you/Welcome

Dhanyabaad/Swagatam
How much does it cost?

Esko kati parcha?

Rupees

Paisa

I am Happy

Ma khusi chu

See you

Pheri bhetaula

What time is it?

Kati bajyo?

The traditional manner of greeting in Nepal involves placing your palms together in a prayer style and saying “namaste” or “namaskar“. Address anyone older than you with respect using the terms “dai” for men and “didi” for women.

The another tough decision is WHAT TO PACK for Nepal. Just to make it clear you can get anything in Nepal which you get in the west so just pack light. Here are some things you might want to bring depending on your planned activities:

  1. A good pair of trekking shoes, climbing shoes well broken in.
  2. Good camera – Nepal is a photographers dream and does feast your eyes with its surreal beauty.
  3.  A pocket size good flashlight, there are always powercuts.

Don’t worry about bringing your trekking and climbing gear all the way from your home, just head straight for Thamel ” the tourist mecca” where you can find everything you want.

Do’s and Don’ts

Dress and Attire

Nepalis are innately conservative in their attitudes to clothing. T-shirts are perfectly acceptable for men and women, while many guide books which says no shorts for women than they are outdated, moderate shorts are fine.

However things are different when visiting a temple or monastery. Men should always wear a shirt and long trousers if possible. For women skirt that hangs to mid-calf level or trousers are acceptable.

If you ever want to take a dip in the stream or bath in the village tap than men should wear shorts or underwear whereas women can wrap in a sarong as the village women does.

[2016 update: The clothing norm is changing in many cities and frequently trekked routes of Nepal. You can fine Nepali girls with short in major cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara]


Taking Photos

Most Nepalese don’t mind being photographed “they have the best smile”. However it is polite to ask first, especially if photographing ceremonies or older people.

Beggars

Just DON’T give candy or money to beggars but instead you can donate to a school, monastery or hospital. Dealing with beggars is a part of traveling in Nepal so you need to quickly learn to ignore them.

Some More of Do’s and Don’t

  • Use two hands rather than one when giving or receiving something, even money to show appreciation and respect.
  • Don’t eat with your left hand.
  • Remove your shoes when entering a home, temple or monastery.
  • If you take a sip from someone else’s water bottle, try not to let it touch your lips.
  • Don’t eat off someone else’s plate or offer anyone food you’ve taken a bite of.

Safety Cautions

  • Never trek alone : If you run into trouble no one will know. The best option is trekking with an agency which assures the greatest security.
  • Security: Take care of your personal gear carefully in lodges and on the trail. Always lock your room or baggage.
  • High Altitude Sickness: Find out more from your agent or the Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) about this sickness and helicopter rescue options. Always register your trekking plans with your embassy, consulate or HRA.
  • Drinking Water: Drink only after water is boiled or iodized. Always wash your hands before eating.

Nepal in Pictures


Not many countries in the world offer as many environmental and cultural diversity as Nepal does. The topographical diversity of Nepal allows it to offer a variety of adventure tourism packages.

The tourism packages are never short of ancient cultural and natural marvels that offer visitors breathtaking adventures. This diverse country has a surprise for you stored in every corner. [Explore the adventure tourism packages]


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NORTH VS SOUTH: EVEREST BASE CAMP

Did You Know? the international border between Tibet Autonomous Region and Nepal runs across Everest’s precise summit point. There are two base camp on opposite sides of Everest, South Base Camp in Nepal and North Base Camp in Tibet. These camps are used as temporary campsites by the used by mountains climbers for ascents and descents.

North Everest Base Camp

north everest face tibet
Located in the remote southern region of Tibet, the northern base camp is trekked lesser than its southern counterpart in Nepal. The desolated landscape, its Buddhist monasteries and Tibetan architectures gives an exotic cultural flavor to the tour, making it culturally significant.

  • Activities: Culture Tours, Sightseeing
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
  • Max Elevation: 5,150m/16,892ft at Everest Base Camp
Permits

A visit to the North Base Camp currently requires a permit from the Chinese government, on top of the permit required to visit Tibet itself.

Recommended Trips
  1. North Everest Base Camp Via Lhasa
  2. Lhasa Tour Via Everest Base Camp
  3. North Everest Base Camp Explore Trip
The Base Camp

The “tourist Base Camp” is located about halfway between Rongbuk Monastery, which is the highest buddhist shrine in the world. Whereas the actual climbers’ Base Camp is at the foot of Rongbuk glacier.

Transport

You can either fly to Lhasa from any major city China or hire a 4WD from Lhasa to Rongbuk Monastery.

Major Attraction

north everest base camp trek

Ranked at the top of CNN’s ‘Great Places to be a Recluse’ in 2011. Rongbuk Monastery claims to be the highest monastery in the world  at 4,980 metres.

Food and Lodging

There are tent hostels for travelers and climbers, offering beds and food (simple chinese Food). Guesthouses around Rongbuk Monastery also provide rooms for travelers.

Scenery

The sunrise at Mount Everest is one of the top highlights of the China side. The sun rising from the east shines on the summit, making a golden triangle.

South Everest Base Camp

south everest base camp nepal

The Everest Base Camp on the south side is one of the most popular in the Himalayas and is visited by thousands each year.

  • Activities: Trekking
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
  • Max Elevation: 5,550 m/18,204 ft
Permits

To Visit the South Base Camp you need to have a TIMS Card (Trekker’s Information Management Card) and pay the Entry fee for Sagarmatha National Park.

Recommended Trips
  1. Everest Base Camp Trek
  2. Everest Base Camp Via Gokyo
  3. Jiri to Everest Base Camp
The Base Camp

The South Everest Base Camp is at an altitude of 5,320m (17,500 ft) where many climbers and travelers camp there for acclimatization to reduce the risks of altitude sickness. The base camp is mostly dotted with colorful small tents and yellow-roofed huts during climbing seasons otherwise gray/white landscape of the Khumbu Icefall sits on the background.

Transport

Trekkers usually fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, which saves time and energy before beginning the trek to this base camp. A private Heli ride is also in the list if you are not into trekking.

Major Attraction

Tengboche Monastery everest base camp trekTengboche Monastery is located on a hill at the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and the Imja Khola rivers, three days away from lukla. Built in 1961  the Tengboche Monastery is the largest gompa in the Khumbu region of Nepal. Mani Rimdu is a traditional festival celebrated in Solukhumbu, especially at the monasteries in Tengboche, Chiwang and Tame. This sacred festival is celebrated for mani rimdu everest base camp treknineteen days; the most special and elaborate of them all are the last three days. Those three days are marked by public festivals.

Fooding and Lodging

There are numbers of tea houses and hotel between Lukla and Ghoreshep which offers bed and food. Most of them serves Nepalese food: fried rice, small potatoes, or fried noodles.

Scenery

 

The sunset is the biggest highlight from the South Base Camp. Stunning picture of gold and pink light on white snow, the breathtaking highland scenery and the mighty Everest.  


Travel Tips

  • Know about Altitude Sickness and its symptoms.
  • Study about the best season to see Everest and pack accordingly. [Mar – May & Sept – Nov is considered as the best month]

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Where to trek in Autumn 2016?

Start Planning now !! AUTUMN arguably is the best trekking season  in Nepal, with clear weather, stunning views of mountains and moderate temperature. September to November is the month were you will get the best of Nepal though keep in mind the popular trails will be crowded.

Without wasting anytime let’s look at the list of some of the trek you can do in the Autumn.

Everest Panorama Trek

Everest Base camp trek nepal
For those of you who want to experience the majestic aura of Mt. Everest but have very limited time to spend in the Himalayas, Everest Panorama Trek can a viable alternative to Everest Base Camp Trek. Everest Panorama Trek is one of the most popular Everest region treks belongs right at the top of a list of more popular Everest Treks. It is an adventurous Everest package that allows trekkers with busy schedule experience world’s tallest mountain without having to compromise the thrill.

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Annapurna Panorama Trek

mountains-nepal
Annapurna Region is the most popular trekking region of Nepal and rightly so. It is arguably the most panoramically gifted regions of Nepal and it takes something really specially to be able to be called this in the land of Mt. Everest. Located northwards of Pokhara, Annapurna Panorama Trek takes you through the Annapurna massif with splendid views of Manaslu, Lamjung, Dhaulagari, the Annapurnas as well as many other Tibetan mountains.

Annapurna Panorama Trek is a fairly easy trek. The trails are not much physically demanding when compared to other trails in the Himalayas and the trek will be completed in less than two weeks itself.

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Rara Lake Trek

rara lake autumn trek nepalRara Lake Trek offers a unique window to enjoy wilderness. Numerous birds add music to the serene surrounding.  You trek through unrivalled natural beauty to reach Daphne Langa Pass at an altitude of 3,500 m (11,480 ft). The hills are blanketed by pine and juniper forests and the valley underneath are in mostly prairies. The trek, at times, can be strenuous and requires trekkers to camp in many parts.

One of the biggest lake in Nepal the enchanting lake is situated inside Rara National Park at an altitude of 2,980 m (9,837 ft).

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Manaslu Circuit Trek

manaslu circuit trek autumnThe best all-round trek in northern Nepal, Manaslu circuit trek can certainly be a great alternative to Annapurna circuit trek. Still relatively unexplored, Manaslu trek leads to high Himalayan passes through ethnic Tibetan villages, with the spectacular views of snow-peaks and campsites.

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Langtang Helambu Explore Trek

langtang helambu trek autumnHelambu is located within the Langtang region in the northern Nepal. The desolated landscape of Helambu, Langtang is mainly inhabited by the ethnic tribe of Tamang. The valley also includes some of the famous mountains in the region, Langtang Lirung (7,246m/23,772ft), Gang Chhenpo (6,388m/20,958ft), Dorje Lakpa (6,966m/22,854ft).

Langtang-Helambu trek can prove to be an adventure-filled cultural tour of Himalaya. The region is famous for its Tibetan influenced Buddhist monasteries, Gosaikunda Lake and apples.

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Note:It is suggested by the officials for the trekkers to be accompanied by a guide during the trek.

Tamang Heritage Trek

tamang heritage trek autumnThe latest addition to the list of wonderful trek trails in Langtang region, Tamang Heritage Trek, gives you the opportunity to behold the rich cultural tradition of the Tamang. Etymologically, Tamang originates from two words in Tibetan language. “Ta” means Horse and “Mang” means Warrior in Tibetan language.

Tamang Heritage Trek offers you to enjoy a mixture of Tamang traditions, beautiful Himalayan Mountains and adventurous trekking experience.

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PICTURES: Highlights of Everest Base Camp Trek

Visited by thousands and voted as most popular trekking destination in the world by Nat Geo, Everest Base Camp is a journey of a lifetime and will never cease to vanish from your memory. The trail will guide you through stunning Himalayan landscapes, traditional Sherpa villages, monasteries, prayer flags and chortens. You will eventually find yourself among soaring peaks.

Highlights of (South) Everest Base Camp Trek

lukla airport everest base camp

Featured as the most dangerous airport in the world in 2010.

Lukla Airport, also known as Tenzing  Hillary Airport is the place where most of the people start to climb Everest Base Camp.


namche bazar everest base camp

Namche is the most expensive place in Nepal, at least thrice as expensive as the capital city Kathmandu.

Namche Bazar, at an altitude of 3,440 m (11,253ft) is the main trading center and hub for the Khumbu region. Popular among the trekkers, namche is best known for altitude acclimatization.


mount ama dablam everest base camp trek

Ama Dablam dominates the eastern sky for anyone trekking to Mount Everest base camp.

Ama Dablam,which means mother’s necklace is a mountain is the third most popular himalayan peak for expedition in Nepal. The main peak is 6,812 metres (22,349 ft), the lower western peak is 6,170 metres (20,243 ft).


tenzing norgay memorial everest base camp

Tenzing Norgay Sherpa Monument, in namche bazar was inaugurated by Norbu and his brother Jamling in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Tenzing Norgay’s birth.


Tengboche Monastery everest base camp trek

Tengboche Monastery, situated at 3,867 metres it is the largest gompa in the Khumbu region of Nepal. The midway station of the trail to the base camp for the climbers of Mount Everest and other peaks, Tengboche is three days trek from lukla.


mani rimdu everest base camp trek

Mani Rimdu Festival, is filled with dances, prayers and prayers, symbolically represents the historic occasion. Mani Rimdu gives the local Sherpa and Tibetan communities to mingle together with the monks and lamas that live a sacred life at a monastery.

Check out the especially designed itineraries that will mix the thrills of trekking the Everest Base Camp with the satisfaction of witnessing one of the most spectacular Tibetan celebrations.


Chukhung Ri everest base camp

Chukhung Ri is a rocky peak rising above the village of Chukhung to 5,550 metres (18,209 ft). It takes three hours or less to reach the summit from Chukhung and it requires no technical climbing. The summit has astounding views of Imja Tse (Island Peak), Ama Dablam, Makalu, and the Lhotse face.


lhotse

Chortens,  is a Buddhist shrine, typically a saint’s tomb or a monument to the Buddha. Chortens and mountains are common sights in Everest Regions.


thukla valley everest base camp

Thukla Valley, considered as heaven on earth, lies between Lobuche and Ghorshep above 15000 feet. What make Thukla so memorable is crossing Thukla pass,  which has dozens of memorials to both Sherpas and mountaineers from all over the world who have lost their lives attempting to summit Everest.


yak caravan ebc trek

Yaks, is a long-haired bovid found throughout the Himalaya region of southern Central Asia, the Tibetan Plateau and as far north as Mongolia and Russia. The Yaks found in  the Everest region are mostly domesticated and are used to transport goods.


Gorak shep everest base campEverest and Nuptse overlook a Gorak Shep lodge.

Gorak Shep is a frozen lakebed covered with sand which sits at its edge at 5,164 m (16,942 ft) elevation, near Mount Everest and a final stop on the trek to Everest Base Camp.


kalapathar everest base camp Kala Patthar with Pumori in the background

Kala Patthar, meaning ‘black rock‘ in Nepali , is a notable landmark located on the south ridge of Pumori in the Nepalese Himalayas. The ascent of Kala Patthar is very popular with trekkers in the region of Mount Everest, since it provides the most accessible point to view Mt. Everest.


Mount everest trek

Mount Everest, the highest point on earth standing tall at  8,848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level. Since it first appeared in the telescopes of mountain surveyors Mount Everest has been attracting many climbers, adventure seekers and nature lovers.


everest base camp trek

“South” Everest Base Camp, one of the most popular trekking destination at an altitude of 5,364 metres (17,598 ft). In 2015, it was noted that about 40,000 people per year take the trek from the Lukla airport to the Nepal Everest Base Camp.


The months between March to May (spring) and September to December (autumn) are the best months to trek to the Everest Base Camp. The recent earthquakes have initially had some impact in the Everest region. However, things are back to normal now and the affected infrastructures have all been reconstructed.


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Manaslu Accessible for Trekking Again.

Manaslu Region Trek, the best all round trek and a great alternative for Annapurna Circuit takes you to the most remote region of Nepal in comparison to some of the established trekking destinations.

manaslu circuit trek nepal

The two horned mountain is ranked the 8th highest in the world with the height of 8,163 m (26,781 ft) .

Opened for trekkers in 1991, Manaslu still is relatively less explored. What make Manaslu the best all round trek is the high Himalayan passes, ethnic Tibetan villages, with the spectacular views of snow-peaks and campsites.

The case scenario after the April 2015 earthquake.

  • Triggered Landslide
  • As a result the river changed course eastwards
  • The trails at Jagat Gaun in Sirdibash and Yaru Bagar in Kerauja were swept away
  • Villagers and trekkers were forced to use lengthy and dangerous diversions
  • Tourism dired, Villages consequently were cut-off threatening locals livelihood

Manaslu made easier for trekking and locals again

With the financial help of UKaid, the construction of a 195 meter long steel cantilever pathway, said to be the first of its kind in Nepal, has been completed and is expected to ease the journey of northern Gorkha locals and trekkers.

manaslu circuit trekking

A cantilever pathway constructed with the British aid, in June 2016. Photo © UKaid

The alternative road was much more difficult and long, now with the construction of the cantilever pathway the routes are more safer and easier. Resulting the obstructed trekking routes to reopen for trekkers and safer routes for locals.


According to the UKaid, around 8,000 locals in eight northern VDCs of the Gorkha district would benefit from the structure.


 Manaslu Circuit Trek Outline Itinerary 

Day 3 : Kathmandu to Arughat (550m/1,804ft), 8-9 hrs drive

Day 4 : Trek to Liding (860m/2820ft), 5 to 6 hours walking

Day 5 : Trek to Korlabesi (970m/3181ft), 5 – 6 hours walking

Day 6 : Trek to Salleri (1,360m/4460ft), 5 – 6 hours walking

Day 7 : Trek to Deng (1,860m/6100ft), 6 – 7 hours walking

Day 8 : Trek to Ghap (2,380m/7806ft), 3 – 4 hours walking

Day 9 : Trek to Lho (3,180m/10430ft), 4 – 5 hours walking

Day 10 : Trek to Samagaon (3,450m/11316ft), 5 – 6 hours walking

Day 11 : Acclimatization day at Samagaon

Day 12 : Trek to Samdo (3,860m/12660ft), 3-4 hours walking

Day 13 : Trek to Larkya Phedi (4,460m/14628ft), 3 – 4 hours walking

Day 14 : Cross the Larkya La (5,135m/19842ft), trek to Bimtang (3,590m/11811ft), 7 – 8 hours walking

Day 15 : Trek to Tilje (2,300m/7544ft), 5 – 6 hours walking

Day 16 : Trek to Chamje (1,430m/4690ft), 5 – 6 hours walking

Day 17 : Trek to Syange and drive to Kathmandu (2 to 3 hour walk), 6 – 7 hours driving

Click here to know more about Manaslu Circuit Trek !!


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