Nepal is a mountain state in South Asia. The country borders India and China. The capital city is Katmandu.
The climate in Nepal is temperate, but the country is influenced by the monsoons. The best time for visiting Nepal is a dry season, which lasts from October to November.
Nepal is a country with a strongly pronounced religiosity. Over 90% of the population practice the Hinduism and about 5% are the Buddhists. The official language is Nepali. In official and business situations, English is often used. In everyday life the locals use the dialects for communicating with each other.
To see the historical and architectural monuments, go to Katmandu and Bhaktapur. Those who prefer out-of-town resorts should go to the touristic zones near the Himalayas. Because of the Himalayas, the country is called a Mecca of climbing.
Many trekking routes start in the city of Lukla. The climbers from all over the world dream to visit this place. If you are not prepared for climbing, visit the city of Pokhara on the shores of the Phewa Lake. The air here is crystal pure and nature makes people relax. Not far from Pokhara, there is a waterfall, sacred caves and monasteries.
A sacred place for any Buddhist is Lumbini. The Buddhist Temples are buried in the green trees of the parks and people find the rest there.
Nepal is an isolated country. The best way to get there is a flight.
A route includes two transfers in Europe, Emirates, Qatar, New Delhi, Bangkok or Doha.
The most convenient route for the Europeans is with a transfer in Qatar.
There is an international bus running between Indian and Nepal. However, we would not recommend it due to the duration of such journey.
The EU and CIS touristic have three alternatives to get a visa to Nepal:
- they can submit the documents to the Embassy;
- they can get a visa on arrival at the airport in Katmandu;
- they can get a visa on arrival at check points.
A multiple-entry visa to Nepal is issued for a period depending on the sum of the charge. It can be given for 15 to 90 days.
Consular fees are not apply to children under 10 years old or children under 16 years old if one of the parents is a citizen of Nepal.
If you are going climbing and trekking, you must get a special Trekking Permit. The local police officers check that the tourists are in possession of this document.
The import and export of currency is not restricted. However, any sum must be declared. It is prohibited to cross the border with Nepalese rupees.
Duty-free import is applied to the following goods:
- photographic film (maximum 15 rolls);
- personal belongings;
- alcohol and tobacco.
The tourists are allowed to bring in photo and video camera, radio receiver and a bike. These things must be declared.
It is prohibited to export:
- gold, gems, and silver;
- skins and horns of animals;
- metallic religious statues;
- art objects.
The national cuisine of Nepal is very simple. The staple food here is rice, beans, lentils, sprouted soy, and potatoes. Sauces take a special place in the Nepalese cuisine. They are hot and savoury. The most popular hot sauce is curry. Be careful when trying new dishes in Nepal.
The Nepalese eat meat and fish very rare. According to the religious beliefs, a cow is a sacred animal in Nepal and beef is prohibited here. They prefer the meat of a yak, goat, and chicken.
Do not leave Nepal without trying vegetable curry or a porridge based on the buffalo milk, local dumplings Momo and Dahl (Nepalese dish with rice and lentils).
An authentic Nepalese drink is a black tea with milk and butter.
As for alcoholic drinks, try Nepalese moonshine Tonba and Chang (homemade barley beer). In Nepal, there are legal producers of world-famous beer brands Carlsberg and Tuborg. Imported alcohol is very expensive in Nepal.
The Nepalese Rupee is the official currency in Nepal. There are the banknotes from 1 to 1.000 rupees. The coins are almost never used.
The national currency is pegged to the Indian rupee which is accepted everywhere in Nepal. The tourists can also pay with the US dollars.
The travellers can exchange the currency at banks and in exchange offices. Do not forget to take a receipt, you will need it if you will want to exchange the Nepalese rupees for some other currency.
Nepal is the poorest country in the world. In exchange offices, people can refuse to accept large denomination banknotes.
The tourists can pay with credit cards at banks in Katmandu and Pokhara. However, the cost of any service will be automatically higher due to the commission that is charged on the territory of Nepal.
The criminal situation in Nepal is stable, but the tourists are often get robbed. Typically, the police in Nepal do not deal with such cases.
Details of interest
The tourists should know that the life in Nepal is influenced by the religious beliefs. Hinduism is considered to be one of the most tolerant world religion, but it also has certain prohibitions in relation to the people of other religions.
Many celebrations in Nepal are religious. The Sherpa people celebrate their own holidays in July and November. An impressive event in Nepal is Chaitra Dothan when people immolate buffaloes.
Sightseeing in Nepal
In Nepal, there are cultural and natural sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. If you come to Nepal, find time to explore the main sights of this country:
- Katmandu with its wooden Kasthamandap Temple, the Temple of Shiva and the Temple of Monkeys or Swayambhunath Temple. Visit the Old Royal Palace and take a walk in the Garden of Dreams.
- Lumbini is a place where Buddha Gautama was born.
- The Sagarmatha National Park has become a habitat for rare animals. In the park, there is the largest population of the endangered Himalayan tahrs (wild goats).
- The Chitwan National Park preserved unique old Asian flora and fauna (axis deer, rhinoceros, cheetah, and fresh-water dolphins).
- A huge Big Bud Nate Dogg is the largest stupa with a multistage tower on top.
Souvenirs in Nepal
In Nepal, the tourists can buy truly unique souvenirs and gifts. Clothes made of homespun textile and decorated with ethnic Nepalese ornaments is extremely popular among the tourists.
You can also buy figurines of some God as a gift for your friends, national tableware, carved bells, and wooden masks. The Nepalese craftsmen make amazing rings and bracelets from wood, bones of a yak, stones, and beads.
Tea is a very good Nepalese gift.
The most expensive thing you can buy in Nepal is a carpet.
It is a normal thing to bargain on the markets and in small souvenir shops. Buy expensive souvenirs and antiquities in the capital city. To bring home an expensive carpet, you will need a special certificate which is issued only in Katmandu.