Nepal is a small yet mesmerizingly beautiful country nestled in the lap of the Himalayas. The country has been a popular choice among international visitors for years, for it provides its explorers with heart-warming hospitality and a “once in a lifetime” experience in its enchanting landscape. From meditational retreats to adventure sports that leave your adrenaline rushing, one might never go out of things to do in Nepal. However, the country is most famous among the tourists for its enthralling treks in the foothills of the Himalayas. Most of these trekking routes allow one to gaze closely at the majestic mountains: Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Circuit Trek, and Langtang Valley Trek are just a few to name.

Popular trip in Nepal in Everest base camp Helicopter tour

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Key facts

  • Location: South-east Asia, sandwiched between China in the north and Indiain the south, east and west.
  • Geography: Three distinct terrains–mountainous, hilly, and low-lyingplains.
  • Capital: Kathmandu
  • Area: 147,181 square kilometers
  • Population:  29,985,389 (on 22ndaugust 2019 according to worldometers.info)
  • Political system: Federal Democratic Republic
  • Major religion: Hinduism and Buddhism
  • Time zone: GMT +5:45 minutes
  • Official language: Nepali
  • Working hours:  According to the LaborAct (2017), 6 days a week, and 8 hours per day–48 hours per week.
  • Electricity: Nepal uses electricity of voltage ranging from 220-240 andthe frequency of 50 megahertz. Tourists might need to carry a voltage converteror adapter. As of 2017, 95.3% of Nepalese have access to electricity.

Visa Information

Nepal has a hassle-free visa procedure as itprovides on-arrival visa for most of its visitors. After paying the fees, at theborder entry points if traveling by road and at the arrival section of TribhuvanInternational Airport if traveling by air, you will be provided with Nepalese TouristVisa. The fees depend on how long you tend to stay in Nepal: 30 USD for 15days, 50 USD for 30 days, and 125 USD for 90 days. The nationals of the SAARCcountries and China do not have to pay visa fees. However, citizens ofAfghanistan, Palestine, Syria, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Nigeria, Liberia, Iraq,Ghana, Ethiopia, Eswatini, and Cameroon will have to apply for a visa beforehandat the Nepalese Embassy present in their country. You will need to have a validpassport with issued date 6 months before the visa application date.

How to reach Nepal

Nepal is a small landlocked country. There areonly two ways of reaching the country: via road or air.  While traveling from India, you can choose variousmeans of land transportation, but you have no other options than flying down toTribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu while traveling to Nepal fromother countries. The checkpoints to receive an on-arrival visa while comingfrom India are:

  1. Kakarbhitta (Far-east)
  2. Birgunj (East)
  3. Siddharthanagar (West)
  4. Nepalgunj (Mid-west)
  5. Bheemdutta (Far-west)
  6. Dhangadi (Far-west)

A popular destination to visit

This land of Buddha has countless beautiful placesto show off to its explorers. Most visitors might not be lucky enough towitness all the glories of the country, yet there are few places touristsshould certainly not miss out on. The capital city, Kathmandu, rich in itsculture with traces of urbanization, the visitors will have plenty ofsightseeing to do; from the historical palaces to cinema and shopping malls tobotanical garden and meditational retreats, the city offers everything. Next onthe list is Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha. Sacred to Buddhiststhroughout the world, this town has its charm. Lumbini brings peace to allthose who visit. Nepal tour remains incomplete without visiting Pokhara, thecity full of serene lakes like Begnas, Phewa and Rupa, and the majestic view ofmountain ranges of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Machhapuchhre. Many of the classictrekking routes begin from the periphery of Pokhara.

Weather and Climate

Influenced by the elevation, the three terrains ofNepal experience different types of climate during the annual seasonal cycle.The summers in terai are very hot with temperature exceeding 40 degrees; themiddle region, hilly, is bearable with temperature exceeding 25 degrees; andthe mountainous regions have cool summer. The summers are accompanied bymonsoon rain, cooling down the increasing heat. The winters, however, are harshin mountainous and terai regions, one receives heavy snowfall while the other isfoggy throughout, respectively. The hills, however, have warm winters with coldmornings and nights.

Internet and Communication

In recent days, communication technology in Nepalis improving. There is the availability of free Wi-Fi at most of the hotel,guest houses, lodges, restaurants, and bars in major cities and towns. InKathmandu, there is “Free Worldlink Wi-Fi” throughout the city, besidesthere are plenty of cyber-cafes where you may use Internet services afterpaying a certain fee.

However, the same cannot be assured in remote villages.Alternatively, you may use mobile-data; you can buy a Nepalese SIM card fromauthorized places using your passport. Two networks are providing easilyaccessible SIM cards: NTC and NCELL.

Local currency and foreign exchange

Foreign currencies like US Dollar, Australian Dollar,Yuan, Euro, and Pound can be easily converted to Nepalese rupees at banks or moneyexchange windows in the major cities. However, exchanging currency can be alittle difficult in the smaller towns and villages, so it is preferred to havethe money exchanged to Nepalese Rupee before leaving the city. Also, some bankslike Himalayan, Standard Charter, Everest, and Nabil accept international debitcards with the withdrawal amount varying with the bank. ATMs might not alwaysbe available in the rural areas, so it is better to make the withdrawal of NepaleseRupees in Kathmandu, just to be on the safer side.

People, culture, and festival

The common ground of people of four races and 36ethnicities, Nepal has a rich cultural inheritance. The diverse culturalexperience one gets increases the worth of the trip tenfold. One should notmiss participating in the local festivals; the feeling of belonging one getswhile participating in the Newa Jatras, dancing to the tune of Dhimey, orcelebrating Lhosar with happiness are all once in a lifetime experiences.During October-November, the atmosphere of Nepal is merry with the Hindufestivals of Dashain, Tihar, and Chhat, while the Christians prepare forChristmas and New Year decorating the country beautifully in late winter.

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