What Should I do before visiting a temple?
A: It is customary to take off your shoes before entering a temple or any other holy places. Walking around the temples or stupas is done clockwise. Also, one need to ask for the permission before entering a Hindu temple at the entrance to some temples, such as the Pashupatinath in Kathmandu, is prohibited for non-Hindus. Avoid smoking inside the sacred and public places.
Can I take photographs?
A: You can take photographs outside Buddhist stupas and Hindu temples and during festivals. However, seek permission while taking photographs inside temples or of religious ceremonies. Especially women might not be willing to be photographed, seek their permission first.
Why anyone traveling to Nepal should hire Trekking Agency/Guide?
A: Nepal is a geographically diverse and remote country. If you have traveled in Nepal previously, you must know how trails are. You will be wrong if you expect the trails to follow the contour, instead uphill and downhill is what Nepal consists of.
It is highly recommended and in many cases compulsory to hire local trekking agency and guide for the following reasons.
- Firstly, your trip to Nepal should contribute to its economy by providing employment to people and generating other opportunities.
- It’s wise enough to hire a local agent who looks after all the logistic arrangements. So that you can make use of your precious vacation relaxing and stress-free.
- Trekking trails in mountains are not always stable and often misleading. So, a local guide who knows the trail and topography well should accompany you all the times which will be a valuable asset during difficult times.
- Safety comes first, no matter where and when you travel. Things may not go as planned sometimes and might require emergency evacuations. So, traveling through a local trekking agency will help you minimize risks and thus, avoid life-threatening circumstances.
- If you are planning for a Community Trek, local dialect is a must. So, hiring a local guide from a trekking agency will help you to understand local culture/costume, religion, and way of life as a whole.
- While embarking on a trip that includes activities like bird watching, jungle walks, wildlife safaris and botanical/zoological expeditions; it is even wiser to hire a local guide who is an expert in flora and fauna.
- Trekking alone in the Himalayas is highly discouraged as there are lots of cases in the past where trekker get lost and rescue becomes a myth. Things like these make international headlines and is certainly not a good news for struggling tourism industry of Nepal.
Can I use Credit Cards in Nepal?
A: Major hotels, restaurants and curio shops accept American Express, Visa, and Mastercard. You can contact the banks for credit card services. There are plenty of ATMS in Kathmandu, Pokhara and all big cities around Nepal.
Is Money exchange illegal?
A: It is illegal to exchange foreign currency with persons and organizations other than those authorized such as banks, hotels and licensed money changers. In order to exchange surplus rupees at the time of your departure, please retain your encashment receipts.
Tipping in Nepal?
A: If a service charge is already attached to your bill, as is customary in the restaurant these days, it is not necessary to tip. Otherwise, tip 10%.
Immunization and Health?
A: Although inoculations are not required to enter Nepal, it is wise to protect oneself against diseases such as hepatitis, meningitis and Japanese encephalitis etc. Malaria has been reported only in Terai plains. So take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes. Eat thoroughly cooked food, use only bottled mineral water or boiled and filtered water for drinking. Also, wear a mask when walking in the dusty streets.
A: Public toilets charge a small fee for their use. But visitors are advised to use the toilets at the shopping malls, stores, and restaurants which are cleaner.
A: Electricity in Nepal is 230 volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. A voltage converter is needed for a device that does not accept 230 volts at 50 Hertz.
Tourist Service Center in Nepal?
A: The Tourist Service Center at Bhrikuti Mandap, Kathmandu, has been established to help with the information needs of visitors. There are information centers and counters of the Nepal Tourism Board at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Pokhara, Kakarbhitta, Bhairahawa, and Mahendranagar.
A: Victims of crime can contact the Tourist Police, a unit of the Nepal police dealing ith security and travel-related problems of the visitors, at Bhrikuti Mandap in Kathmandu.