Travel Essential

Visa Information
Visa can be obtained on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, at border entry points in Kakadvitta, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj and Gaddachowki on Nepal-India border and Kodari on Nepal-China border. Visa can also be obtained at the nearest Nepal Embassy or Diplomatic Mission. Visa can also be obtained (renewal purposes) at Department of Immigration, Kalikasthan, Kathmandu. A valid passport and one passport -size photo with a light background is required. Immigration Department has not specified the size of the passport-size photo.

Visa can be obtained only through payment of cash in the following currency: Euro, Swiss Franc, Pound Sterling, US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Singapore Dollar and Japanese Yen. Credit card, Indian currency and Nepali currency are not accepted as payment of visa fee.

A. Tourist Visa

 

Visa Facility Duration Fee
Multiple entry 15 days US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 30 days US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 90 days US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency
 
B. Gratis (Free) Visa
For first visit in one visa year (January to December), gratis visa for 30 days is available only for nationals of South   Asian countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. However, visa can be extended from the Immigration Department on payment of visa fee as specified above.
Indian nationals do not require visa to enter into Nepal.
 
C. For Indian National
Indian nationals do not require visa to enter Nepal.
As per the Nepalese Immigration, Indian Nationals Traveling to Nepal must possess any One of the following documents.
  1. Passport
  2. Driving License with photo
  3. Photo Identity card issued by a Government Agency
  4. Ration Card with Photo
  5. Election Commission Card with Photo
  6. Identity Card issued by Embassy of India in Kathmandu
  7. Identity Card with Photo issued by Sub- Divisional Magistrate or any other officials above his rank
  8. Also, please check with your nearest travel agents for documents required by the Indian Immigration for Indians traveling to Nepal.

D. Other Information
Nationals from Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan will need to obtain visa from Nepal Embassies or Diplomatic Missions in their respective countries, as they do not get visa on arrival at the immigration entry points of Nepal.
 
E. Visa Extension
Tourists can stay for a maximum of 150 days in a visa year (Jan 1 to Dec 31).

Air Connection

International Connection: 
Nepal Airlines is the national flag carrier of Nepal with flights to/ from Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Bangkok, Doha and Hong Kong. Other International airlines operating from and to Kathmandu are Air Arabia (Sharjah), Air Asia (Kuala Lumpur), Air China (Lhasa, Chengdu), Biman Bangladesh (Dhaka), China Eastern Airlines (Kunming), China Southern Airlines (Guangzhou), Dragon Air (Hong Kong), Druk Air (Delhi, Paro), Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), Fly dubai (Dubai), GMG Airlines (Dhaka), Indian Airlines (Delhi, Kolkata, Varanasi), Indigo Airlines (Delhi), Jet Airways (Delhi, Mumbai), Jet Lite (Delhi), Korean Air (Seoul), Malaysian Airlines (Kuala Lumpur), Pakistan International Airlines (Karachi, Islamabad), Qatar Airways (Doha), RAK Air (Ras al- Khaimah), Silk Air (Singapore), Spice jet (Delhi), Thai Airways (Bangkok)and United Airways (Dhaka).

Domestic Connection
Nepal Airlines has an extensive network of air services to major parts of the country. Besides Nepal Airlines, other domestic airlines (there are more than 18 in operation) provide regular and charter services to popular domestic destinations. Many domestic airlines operate early morning, one-hour Mountain flights round the year.

Airport Tax: Airport tax is already included in the international air ticket; therefore, passengers departing for international destinations from the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu do not need to pay airport tax at the airport during departure. However, for domestic travel within Nepal airport tax is included in ticket fare for flights from Kathmandu, while for flights from other parts of the country one has to pay airport tax at the domestic airport before departure.

Traveling by Road
All visitors entering Nepal by land must use these designated entry points and may not enter from any other point:
(1) Kakkarvitta
(2) Birgunj
(3) Belhiya, Bhairahawa
(4) Nepalgunj
(5) Dhangadi and
(6) Mahendranagar in the Nepal-India border and
(7) Kodari in the Nepal-China border.

 
S.No. Route Approx. Distance (border towns to major cities) Nearest Railways Station in India
1 Siliguri- Kakkarvitta- Kathmandu 620 km New Jalpaiguri (NJP)
2 Jogbani-Biratnagar-Kathmandu 550 km Jogbani
3 Raxaul-Birgunj-Kathmandu 280 km Raxaul (RXL)
4 Sunauli-Bhairahawa-Kathmandu 280 km Gorakhpur (GKP)
5 Rupaidiya-Jamuna (Nepalgunj)- Kathmandu 520 km Rupaidiya / Nanpara
6 Gauriphanta-Mohana (Dhangadi)-Kathmandu 630 km Gauriphanta/ Paliya
7 Banbasa-Gaddachauki (Mahendranagar)- Kathmandu 715 km Banbasa/ Tanakpur
8 Sunauli-Bhairahawa-Palpa-Pokhara 185 km Gorakhpur (GKP)
9 Sunauli-Bhairahawa-Chitwan 145 km Gorakhpur (GKP)
10 Sunauli-Bhairahawa-Lumbini 26 km Gorakhpur (GKP)

Please note that overland tourists entering Nepal with their vehicles must possess an international carnet or complete customs formalities.

Accommodation
Nepal has every category of accommodation facilities that range from international standard star hotels to budget hotels and lodges. To ensure quality service, it is advisable to use the facilities and services of Government registered hotels, lodges and homestays. Most hotels offer a choice: bed and breakfast; bed, breakfast and one other meal; or room and full board. During spring and fall, hotels work at near full capacity and are booked well in advance. Therefore, it would be a good idea to check well in advance and book hotels as per need if traveling to Nepal in the peak season.
Moderate accommodation facilities are also available in some parts of Kathmandu like Thamel. In such cases, room rates may not include toilets and showers, unless otherwise indicated. Toilets and showers in such cases are generally communal and heating may require additional charges. Such small hostelries are preferred by budget tourists and FITs.
Accommodation facilities are available in the mountain tourist areas. While trekking to some areas tenting may be the only alternative if resident villages are scanty and long way off trekking routes. However, most trekking routes have lodges or tea houses to accommodate tourists. Still to be on the safer side, we recommend that tourists look up on such information before embarking on their journey.

Custom Formalities

Customs:
All baggage must be declared and cleared through the customs on arrival at the entry point. Personal effects are permitted free entry. Passengers arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) without any dutiable goods can proceed through the Green Channel for quick clearance without a baggage check. If you are carrying dutiable articles, you have to pass through the Red Channel for detailed customs clearance.

Import: 
Apart from used personal belongings, visitors are allowed to bring to Nepal free of duty: cigarettes (200 sticks) or cigars (50 sticks), distilled liquor (one 1.15 liter bottle), and film (15 rolls). You can also bring in the following articles free of duty on condition that you take them out with you when you leave: binoculars, movie or video camera, still camera, laptop computer, and portable music system.

Export: 
The export of antiques requires special certification from the Department of Archeology, National Archive Building, Ram Shah Path, Kathmandu. It is illegal to export objects over 100 years old, such as sacred images, paintings, manuscripts that are valued for culture and religious reasons. Visitors are advised not to purchase such items as they are Nepal’s cultural heritage and belong here.

Driving into Nepal: 
Overland tourists entering Nepal with their vehicles must possess an international carnet.

Foreign Currency and Credit Cards
Payment in hotels, travel agencies, and airlines are made in foreign exchange. Credit cards like American Express, Master and Visa are accepted at major hotels, shops, and restaurants. Remember to keep your foreign exchange encashment receipt while making foreign exchange payments or transferring foreign currency into Nepali rupees. The receipts may be needed to change left-over Nepali currency into hard currency before leaving the country. However, only 10 percent of the total amount may be converted by the bank. ATM is widely in use in Kathmandu.

Major banks, hotels and exchange counters at Tribhuvan International Airport provide services for exchanging foreign currency.Exchange rates are published in English dailies such as The Rising Nepal, The Kathmandu Post and The Himalayan Times. Nepali currency notes are found in denominations of Rupees 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are found in denominations of Rupees 5, 2 and 1. One rupee equals 100 paisa.

Business Hours (Nepal is five hours 45 minutes ahead of GMT.)

Business hours within the Valley:
Government offices are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday in summer and from 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. in winter. On Fridays Government offices open from10 a.m. to 3p.m. Most business offices including travel, trekking and tour agencies are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday. Embassies and international organizations are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Most shops open after 10 a.m. and close at about 8 p.m. and are usually closed on Saturdays.

Business hours outside the Valley:
Government offices are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday in summer and from 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. in winter. On Fridays Government offices open from10 a.m. to 3p.m.  Banks are open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. On Fridays, banks remain open until 12 p.m. only. Business offices are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday. Recently many private banks have re-organized to have different branches open at various different times making banking hours longer. If one branch is closed another will be open.

Holidays:
Nepal observes numerous holidays most of which have cultural or religious significance. Visitors wishing to partake in the holidays or observe local festivals, may want check our calendar. The longest holiday in Nepal is during the Dashain festival in late September or October. Government offices and banks observe most of the national holidays. Private business offices observe major holidays only. For a list of public holidays please click Public Holidays (Please insert table here).

Transportation

Public Transportation:
There are many buses, minibuses, micro buses and three-wheelers available for different destinations in the valley. Similarly, the Sajha Yatayat has recently resumed bus services along two routes in the valley. It is currently operating along Kalanki, Kalimati, Tripureshwor, New baneshwor, Sinamangal and Airport, and along Satdobato, Jawalakhel, Tripureshwor, Jamal, Teaching Hospital and Naya Bus Park.  The buses can be recognized by their green color and the name “Sajha Yatayat” on them. The bus stops only at designated bus stops, therefore, one has to identify the nearest Sajha bus stop to be able to board one.

Metered Taxi:
Consult Kathmandu valley map to find out the direction of your destination. Hail a taxi, which is easily recognized by its taxi sign on top and black license plate. As a rough guide, a taxi will charge Rs. 30 per kilometer. No tip is expected. Private taxis may charge slightly higher.
Night taxi service can also be arranged and operated by major hotels. Fare is slightly higher than metered taxi. One can rent a private car through a travel agent or a car rental company.

Hired Mountain Bike/ Ordinary Bicycle:
Mountain bikes and ordinary bicycles are cheap and the best form of transportation for economy tourists. One can hire them at Thamel, Rani Pokhari and Jhochhen, all in Kathmandu.

Long Distance Bus Service:
Long distance day or night bus services are available from Kathmandu to all cities of Nepal. New Bus Park at Gongabu at Ring Road near Balaju, Kathmandu, from where buses depart to different destinations. Six-seater Sumo Tata van, 12-seater van and air-conditioned mini buses are also available for long distance travel.

Domestic Air Service:
Nepal Airlines has an extensive network of air services to major parts of the country. Besides Nepal Airlines, other domestic airlines (there are more than 18 in operation) provide regular and chartered services to popular domestic destinations

Communication

Telephone Services:
Landline and mobile phone services are available in Nepal. Network covers Kathmandu, major cities and towns and most of Nepal, except some rural Himalayan places. Nepal Telecommunications Corporation at Tripureshwor, Kathmandu, is the national service provider. There are also private service providers. Hotels and private communication centers also provide long distance telephone and fax facilities.
For calling from outside, country code for Nepal is 977 and the area code for Kathmandu is 1. For other city codes are:

To call Nepal from other countries:
00 + country code (977) + city code + telephone number
Example to call Pokhara: 00-977-61-421123
Example to call from North America : 011-977-61-421123
 
Telephone area codes:
S.No. District Area Code Zone
1 Ilam 27 Mechi
2 Jhapa 23  
3 Panchthar 24  
4 Taplejung 24  
5 Bhojpur 29 Koshi
6 Dhankuta 26  
7 Morang 21  
8 Sunsari 25  
9 Sankhuwasabha 29  
10 Tehrathum 26  
11 Khotang 36 Sagarmatha
12 Okhaldhunga 37  
13 Saptari 31  
14 Siraha 33  
15 Solukhumbu 38  
16 Udaypur 35  
17 Dhanusa 41 Janakpur
18 Dolakha 49  
19 Mahottari 44  
20 Ramechhap 48  
21 Sarlahi 46  
22 Sindhuli 47  
23 Bhaktapur 1 Bagmati
24 Dhading 10  
25 Kathmandu 1  
26 Kavrepalanchowk 11  
27 Lalitpur 1  
28 Nuwakot 10  
29 Rasuwa 10  
30 Sindhupalchowk 11  
31 Bara 53 Narayani
32 Chitwan 56  
33 Makwanpur 57  
34 Parsa 51  
35 Rautahat 55  
36 Gorkha 64 Gandaki
37 Kaski 61  
38 Lamjung 66  
39 Manang 66  
40 Syangja 63  
41 Tanahun 65  
42 Baglung 68 Dhaulagiri
43 Parbat 67  
44 Mustang 69  
45 Myagdi 69  
46 Arghakhanchi 77 Lumbini
47 Gulmi 79  
48 Kapilvastu 76  
49 Nawalparasi 78  
50 Palpa 75  
51 Rupandehi 71  
52 Dang 82 Rapti
53 Pyuthan 86  
54 Rolpa 86  
55 Rukum 88  
56 Salyan 88  
57 Banke 81 Bheri
58 Bardiya 84  
59 Dailekh 89  
60 Jajarkot 89  
61 Surkhet 83  
62 Dolpa 87 Karnali
63 Humla 19  
64 Jumla 87  
65 Kalikot 87  
66 Mugu 19  
67 Achham 97 Seti
68 Bajang 92  
69 Bajura 97  
70 Doti 94  
71 Kailali 91  
72 Baitadi 95 Mahakali
73 Dadeldhura 96  
74 Darchula 93  
75 Kanchanpur 99  
       
  V- Sat 19  
 
Internet Services:
Internet is widely accessible in Kathmandu. There are countless Internet cafes and communication centers in the Valley and around the country. Wi-fi services are also provided at various hotels and restaurants. Visitors only have to find a place they are most comfortable in to use the facilities to keep in touch with home. Internet services are also offered by hotels.

Postal Services:
The Central Post Office located near Dharahara Tower, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday. The counters are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and provide stamps, postcards and aerograms. Post Restante is available from Sunday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Express Mail Service (EMS) is available at GPO and at Thamel, Basantapur and airport postal counters.

Other Amenities

Electricity:
Major towns have electricity and the voltage available is 220-volts and 50 cycles. Load shedding or power cut is scheduled during the dry season and eases off once it begins to rain. However, most major hotels have uninterrupted power supply through their own generators.

Media:
Major Nepali daily newspapers are  Gorkhapatra,  Kantipur,  Rajdhani,  Samarcharpatra,  Nagarik  and  Annapurna Post while the English dailies are The Rising Nepal, The Kathmandu Post, Republica and The Himalayan Times. A number of other newspapers and magazines are also available. Government audio and television news networks are Radio Nepal and Nepal Television respectively. Numerous FM radio stations and television stations are run by private organizations.
 
Permits / Fees etc. 

Heritage Sites/ Museums / Zoo
Entrance fees must be paid before touring heritage sites around Kathmandu Valley like Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Boudhanath, Swayambhunath and Changu Narayan Temple. Entrance fees must be paid before touring Lumbini Gardens, the sanctuary of the Mayadevi Temple, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, in Lumbini, Rupandehi. Entrance fees must be paid before touring the Central Zoo in Jawalakhel, Lalitpur, and museums in Kathmandu Valley. Entrance fees must also be paid before touring local museums in different parts of Nepal.
 
Trekkers’ Information Management Systems (TIMS)
Trekkers must acquire Trekkers’ Information Management Systems (TIMS) Card before the onset of their trek. TIMS Card has been mandatory to control illegal trekking operations and ensure the safety and security of the trekkers in the general trekking areas. TIMS Card helps to store the database of trekkers recording their would-be whereabouts for safety of tourists. Fees, passport copy, and passport size photograph are required to obtain TIMS Card from Tourist Service Center, Bhrikutimandap, and Trekking Agencies’ Association Nepal (TAAN) Office in Maligaon and Government registered trekking companies in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Each visitor who goes trekking through a trekking company must pay US $ 10 and each free individual trekker (FIT) must pay US $ 20 per trekking route per person per entry in equivalent Nepali Rupees only. Part of the collection will go into maintaining the trekkers’ database and in the rescue of trekkers in need of emergency services.

Trekking Permit
Special trekking permit must be acquired from the Department of Immigration, Kalikasthan, Kathmandu, for trekking to areas that fall under the Restricted Zone.

Mountaineering
Mountaineering royalties must be paid at the Tourism Industry Division, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu or at the Nepal Mountaineering Association at Naxal, Kathmandu, before starting on a mountaineering expedition.
 
National Parks/ Wildlife Reserves/ Conservations
Entry fees must be paid to enter the 20 Protected Areas in Nepal that have been divided into National Parks, Wildlife Reserves, Conservation Areas and Hunting Reserve. One must also obtain hunting license to hunt in the Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve. Please note that Dhorpatan is the only protected area where hunting is licensed.

Health Guide
Health care services in Kathmandu Valley are sound. All kinds of medicines, including those imported from overseas are available in Kathmandu. Kathmandu Valley also offers the services of major general hospitals and private clinics. Health posts have been set up by the Government in different parts of rural Nepal. For major health crisis or emergency, one may have to be evacuated to Kathmandu.
 
Useful Tips:
  1. A travel insurance policy that covers medical treatment is recommended for all tourists.
  2. Similarly, we recommend you to make sure that the insurance covers activities such as trekking, rafting etc. that you will be undertaking during your stay in Nepal
  3. Getting special vaccinations are not necessary when visiting Nepal.
  4. We still recommend that you consult with your physician regarding special immunizing against any tropical disease.
  5. It may be a good idea to get a complete checkup before departure.
  6. We recommend that you undertake training programs to be physically fit if you plan to go high-altitude trekking or mountaineering when you’re visiting Nepal.
  7. Please read up on altitude sickness (AMS), diarrhea, Giardia, Dysentery, Cholera, Hepatitis, Rabies, Typhoid, Tetanus, Meningitis, Diphtheria, Malaria and HIV/ AIDS. Information and little precautions can often save lives.
  8. Please make sure that food is thoroughly cooked and served hot when eating out.
  9. Please make sure that salads and fruits are washed with purified water or peeled when eating out.
  10. Beware of food that has been kept out in the open for long.
  11. Always make sure that your water is clean by opting for boiled and then cooled water, treated water or sealed water from reputed brand.
  12. Always carry a bottle of water when trekking or venturing off away from the city/ town.
  13. Do not walk bare feet on damp mud and grass in unknown areas.
  14. Please do not swim in lakes and water bodies, especially where depth and vegetation are not known.
  15. Always carry and use mosquito repellant when in Terai region or during summers.
  16. Please have a handy medical first aid kit ready for any situation.
Medical Kit:
A simple but adequate medical kit can be very useful while traveling. The following items are recommended: Aspirin of Panadol, for pain or fever; Antihistamine, as a decongestant for colds, allergies and to help prevent motion sickness; Antibiotics, useful if traveling off beaten track but they must be prescribed; Kaolin preparation (Pepto-Bismol), Imodium or Lomotil, for upset stomach; Rehydration mixture – for treatment of severe diarrhea; Antiseptic, mercurochrome and antibiotic powder or similar dry spray- for cuts and grazes.

Other things to be included are: Calamine lotion to ease irritation from bites or stings; bandages and band aids for minor injuries; scissors, tweezers, thermometer, insect repellent, sun block lotions, chopsticks, water purification tablets, throat lozenges, moleskin, Sulamyd 10 percent eye drops, paracetamol and antacid tablets.
 
Cultural Etiquette

Some tips on the common etiquettes practiced by Nepali people should be useful to visitors.
  1. The form of greeting in Nepal is “Namaste” performing by joining both palms together. It literally means “the divine in me salutes the divine in you”.
  2. As a mark of respect Nepalese usually take their shoes off before entering someone’s house or place of worship.
  3. Food or material that has been touched by another person’s mouth is considered impure or “jutho” and, therefore, is not accepted unless among close friends or family.
  4. Touching something with feet or using the left hand to give or take may not be considered auspicious.
  5. Women wearing skimpy outfits are frowned upon especially in the rural parts of the country.
  6. As a part of the tradition some Hindu temples do not allow non-Hindus to enter.
  7. Leather articles are prohibited inside some temple areas.
  8. Walking around temples or stupas is traditionally done clockwise.
  9. To avoid conflict photography is carried out after receiving permission from the object or person.
  10. Public displays of affection are considered scandalous.
  11. Nodding of head means “Yes” while shaking of head means a “No”. A slight dangling of head from left to right means “OK”.
 
Responsible Tourism

Please be a responsible tourist. Like someone said, we request you to, “Leave only footprints, and take only photographs.”
  1. Use designated routes, campsites and resting places to reduce trampling and other negative environmental impacts.
  2. Respect local culture and traditions, use homestays, locally owned hotels/ lodges or campsites as much as possible to support the local livelihood.
  3. Avoid/ minimize using firewood. Use common space for heating. Opt for alternatives to minimize deforestation.
  4. Maintain cleanliness and hygiene. Use the litter box locally available. Carry back your own garbage while traveling through ecologically sensitive areas.
  5. Encourage to place mobile toilets at a considerable distance from sources of water, river banks and springs while camping along the river sides.
  6. Use the services of local guides and porters as much as possible to explore more about local environment and culture.
  7. Money spent here will contribute directly to the local livelihood, women’s empowerment and environmental conservation.

Before you begin your journey we request you to abide by the above guidelines in order to safeguard the nature and culture of the area and be a responsible tourist.
 
 
 

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