Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) during Trekking in Nepal

List of FAQs

A. Regarding Tourist VISA
B. Regarding Travel (Adventure Travel) Insurance
C. Regarding Food & Accommodation
D. Regarding Altitude Sickness
E. Regarding Trek Permits (Restricted & Non-restricted zones)
F. Regarding Emergency Rescue & Health Care
G. Regarding Trek Training
H. Regarding Gears & Equipment
I. Regarding the use of Electrical Devices
J. Regarding types of Trek
K. Regarding Seasons & Temperature
L. Regarding Local Currency and Payments
M. IS IT SAFE TO TREK IN NEPAL??
N. Do’s n’ Don’ts
* Ask the Experts


A. Regarding VISA

Tourist Visa for Nepal can be obtained from the Nepalese embassy located in your country or on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) of Nepal. Foreigners, except Indian nationals, must apply for tourist VISA prior arrival in Nepal. Do not forget to bring multiple copies of Passport sized photos while applying for the VISA and later for trek permits.

  • Multiple entry 15 days = US $25 or equivalent convertible currency.
  • Multiple entry 30 days = US $40 “
  • Multiple entry 90 days = US $100 “

Fee is paid in cash (this is payable in any major currency but Travelers check).

−Online VISA application−

Nepalese government has recently facilitated VISA application online, since January 1, 2014, therefore, any interested candidate can apply for it online via http://online.nepalimmigration.gov.np You must submit all your essential details online, where, You shall be handed a Coupon which you must submit at TIA to receive your VISA. You info will remain in the online database for only 15 days, a deadline to claim your VISA at TIA, with all the necessary documents in handy. (Read Full Article)

B. Regarding Travel (Adventure Travel) Insurance

Travel Insurance is mandatory for everyone traveling outside their country. Your insurance must include adventure travel and sports and cover emergency rescue operations or helicopter lift-offs, when needed. Along with adventure travel insurance, it also must cover personal accident, medical expenses and personal liability.

The trek provider shall ask for a copy of your travel insurance prior offering you a trek Or during/after the booking. Ensure you carry your policy number and emergency telephone number for your insurance company throughout the trip. If this is unavailable please ensure you provide us with the necessary information required by your Insurance Company in case of an emergency. (See the list of Insurance Providers)

C. Regarding Food & Accommodation

  1. Food –Rice and Lentil, popularly known as Dal Bhaat, is the staple diet of most Nepalese. Rich in proteins and carbohydrates, Dal Bhaat can be eaten anytime during a day. Along with many other ethnic dishes, Nepal hosts the finest array of international cuisines; American, Thai, Chinese and Continental etc, along with fast food which is commonly found in every corner of Kathmandu. KFC, Pizza Hut and Baskin Robbins are some of the international franchises available in Nepal. The areas outside Kathmandu may rarely offer joints for fast food, however, the tea-houses and lodges located on the trek trail do offer western meals, delicious and according to your palate. Oats, Muesli, Roasti, Pizza, Pancakes and sandwiches are commonly found in almost every trek trails. Coffee and Tea are commonly sold and drank in Nepal. (List of authentic Nepalese cuisines)
  2. Accommodation –Accommodations in Kathmandu may vary, from lodges (Cheapest) to Star Hotels (Expensive). Star Hotels may not be found outside Kathmandu, however, quality hotels and lodges are easily accessible. Hotel Yak n’ Yeti, Hotel Annapurna and Hotel Dwarika are some of the most popular 5-Star downtown hotels in Kathmandu. Accommodations costing only $7-$10 per night can also be found in and outside Kathmandu.

D. Regarding Altitude Sickness

Altitude Sickness or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), Altitude Sickness, Hypobaropathy is a medical condition occurred at an altitude 2,500 – 3,000 meters (8,202 – 9,842 feet). It is common in the high altitude regions of Nepal which generally are located above 3,000 meters. It’s a flu like syndrome causing low air pressure or lack of Oxygen into bloodstream.

The best remedy for AMS is taking Diamox, an anti-AMS pill, before climbing the prescribed altitude. It’s strongly suggested to descend immediately if primary symptoms of AMS are seen.

Other remedies can be, acclimatizing before ascending to the threatening altitude and sustaining more on fluids and liquid rich diets.

Acute mountain sickness can progress to high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE), which are potentially fatal. Chronic mountain sickness, also known as Monge’s disease, is a different condition that only occurs after very prolonged exposure to high altitude.

~Wikipedia

−Primary symptoms of AMS−

Headaches are the primary symptom of altitude sickness, although it also can be a symptom of dehydration. A headache occurring at an altitude higher than 2,500 m (8,000 feet = 76 kPa), combined with any one or more of the following symptoms, may indicate altitude sickness:

  • Lack of appetite, nausea, or vomiting
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Insomnia
  • Pins and needles
  • Shortness of breath upon exertion
  • Nosebleed
  • Persistent rapid pulse
  • Drowsiness
  • Excessive flatulation
  • General malaise
  • Peripheral edema (swelling of hands, feet, and face)

−Severe symptoms−

Sever symptoms may indicate life-threatening altitude sickness include:

Pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs)
  • Symptoms similar to bronchitis
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath even when resting
Cerebral edema (swelling of the brain)

E. Regarding Trek Permits (Restricted & Non-restricted zones)

You must obtain a trek permit before considering to trek in Nepal. It can be obtained from the trek provider, and the cost is generally included in the trek package itself.

a. Non-restricted Zones

A Couple made it to Everest Base Camp

Peace is the New Agenda @everestbasecamp

Non-restricted zones in Nepal are the commercially opened and accessible regions of Nepal where you can trek at anytime of the year without any restrictions.

Obtaining trek permit for non-restricted zones is quite easy. Any trek company you sign you with will obtain and submit a trek permit on your behalf. Annapurna, Everest and Langtang are some of the most popular non-restricted trek regions in Nepal.

b. Restricted Zones

Riding a horse in mustang

Riding a horse is common in the isolated region of mustang

Restricted zones in Nepal are highly restricted regions, controlled and monitored by the Nepalese government and local officials for the purpose of conserving and preserving local culture, arts, traditions, wildlife or natural reserve etc.

Trekking in such areas require a special permit which can be obtained through certified trek providers only, however, obtaining one can be tough, as it is limited and expensive.

Upper Mustang, Upper Dolpo, Lower Dolpo, Tsum valley and Kanchenjunga are the restricted regions in Nepal. (List of Restricted regions in Nepal)

F. Regarding Emergency Rescue & Health Care

Emergency rescue is conducted throughout Himalaya in case of any accidents and or sudden health deterioration. Helicopter rescue missions in such cases are covered by the insurance, however, you must check with your insurance provider for it.

Heli-rescue ensures that you are rescued safely and admitted in the nearby hospital immediately for medical relief.  (Refer FAQ #B for more info.)

G. Regarding Trek Training

Training for a trek is essential to ensure good hygiene and physiological condition during the trek. Trekking in general requires weeks of continuous walking, almost 6-7 hrs a day. Making oneself fit for a trek becomes essential to to deal with continuous fatigue, lag and other physical/mental harms.

walking lunge

Walking lunge -Training Material

Some of the most recommended pre-trek training are;

H. Regarding Gears & Equipment

Gears and equipment are essential for any trek. The insufficient gears or equipment could prove disastrous or great harm during the trek. To ensure stress-free trip, you must buy required gears beforehand.

A local outfitter in Thamel

A local outfitter in Thamel

Some of the most basic trek requirements are (For both low and high altitude treks);

  1. Thermals
  2. Fleece
  3. Trek shoes
  4. Down Jackets/Trousers
  5. Cap, Gloves, Water bottles
  6. Anti-radiation glasses
  7. Walking stick
  8. Backpack
  9. Sleeping bags, etc

I. Regarding Electrical Devices

Electrical appliances use 220-240 volts and 50 MHZ of power to operate, in Nepal (Some countries use 110-120 volts of electricity, and accept very specific shaped plugs.) If your appliance’s plug doesn’t match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. These adapters help fit your appliances in any socket. (Read full article)

Electric socket type

Electric socket type used in Nepal, compared to Europe’s

J. Regarding Types of Trek

a. Tea-house Trek

Tea-house trek is commonly done throughout Nepal, which is accessed by staying and lodging in locally available lodges on the trail. The cost of tea-house trekking is lower than organized treks, and can be done at anytime of the year with less or no planning.

Some of the advantages of tea-house trek are;

  • Socializing with fellow trekkers and locals.
  • Relishing locally prepared meals.
  • Sleeping inside a room with a bed and blankets.
  • Suits intrepid trekkers.

b. Camping (Organized)

Camping at Ama Dablam base camp

Camping at Ama Dablam base camp

Camping or organized trek is conducted mainly in least explored or remote trails of Nepal. Generally, conducted for a group with 2 or more people, camping in not necessary in popular trek trails such as; Annapurna, Everest and Langtang, which boasts numbers of established tea-houses and other options.

K. Regarding Seasons & Temperature

a. Seasons

There are 4 different types of season in Nepal; Spring, Summer/Monsoon, Autumn and Winter, where, Spring (Pre-monsoon) and Autumn (Post-monsoon) are considered the best seasons for trekking.

Most of the trekkers consider taking a trip during post-monsoon (clear weather and clean trails), therefore, raising the inflow of tourists and traffic on the popular trek trails. (Best climates in Nepal for trekking)

b. Temperature

It varies. Spring remains warm and cozy throughout Nepal, Summer/Monsoon brings rainfall, Autumn is accompanied by warm days and colder nights with some snowfall in higher altitudes and Winter is cold in lower altitudes and coldest in the higher regions with snowfalls.

Terai (the lowlands of Nepal) remains hot and dry almost throughout the year, with little rainfall during monsoon. Hills (Midlands) are generally warm, with cold during winter. Himalaya (Highlands) is cold throughout the year, but warm days are assured during Spring and Summer.

It’s also possible to trek during winter. (Read Full Article)

L. Regarding Local Currency and Payments

National currency or local currency of Nepal is Rupee [denomination: Rs.] which is equivalent to approx. US $0.010526316. Rupee is used throughout Nepal, with Indian currency prevalent in many Terai regions of Nepal.

Local trade is carried out in Rupees. You are suggested to convert your currency into local, once you arrive in Nepal, through certified Money Exchange outlets located in Kathmandu, and carry the same during the trek, as exchanging foreign currency in remote Himalaya regions can be next to impossible.

M. IS IT SAFE TO TREK IN NEPAL?

It’d be wrong to say that Nepal, like any other country, is safest destination for the tourists. Nepalese are kindhearted and supportive, and pleasing the foreign tourists is their foremost desire, however, there are always some worst elements in the society which pleasures on harassing and abusing others.

It’s recommended by Nepalese government to be accompanied with a guide along the trek or tour in any part of Nepal. Applying for TIMS Card (Tourists’ Information Management System) is a must while trekking. Mahabir Pun has recently launched an E-tag to help track and rescue lost trekkers, therefore, you can sign up for one too. (Read full article)

There has been instances when tourists have lost their way, found physically abused and looted, therefore, taking precautions is a must.

N. Do’s n’ Don’ts

  1. Don’t forget to take a guide as accompaniment during the trek. (Note* It’s been made compulsory by Nepalese government for tourists to be accompanied by a guide during the trek).
  2. Bring along your Camera.
  3. Buy local curios and help boost the local economy.
  4. Learn basic Nepalese words and gestures.
  5. Relish staple diet of most Nepalese, i.e. Dal Bhaat (Rice and lentils).
  6. Once arrived, do not forget to convert you currency to local (Rupees).
  7. Share, promote or talk about Nepal with your family, friends and colleagues etc.
  8. Never eat beef in front of Hindus & Buddhist because beef is strictly prohibited among both Hindus and Buddhists. Cows are sacred in Nepal.
  9. Remove your shoes or slipper while entering someone’s resident (Not applicable in the public places).

Ask the Experts?

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4 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) during Trekking in Nepal

  1. Pingback: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) during Trekkin...

  2. Pingback: What actually happened with Rachel Burke; a Naval worker who died on Everest in 2011? | Chronicles of ADVENTURE TRAVEL

  3. Pingback: Lo que en realidad sucedió con Rachel Burke, un trabajador naval que murió en el Everest en el 2011? | Crónicas de Viajes de Aventura

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