Nepal is a wonderful country filled with unique experiences and interesting culture. Thus, it is important to be prepared for what is about to engulf you in the country. This mystic land of Himalayas is the best place to enjoy peace, serenity and rejuvenate your soul. Here are ten things to prepare you for this mystic vacation.
Do not end up only in Kathmandu
Nepal is a land of several beauties. Kathmandu has the modern part of the region with hotels, restaurants and others. However, there is a beauty beyond them and it is up to you to choose between settling down with Kathmandu and exploring the entire reign of Nepal. Other top destinations to cover are Pokhara, Patan, Janakpur and others. You can find public transportation covering different regions of the country. On the other hand, you can also hire taxis.
The moment they see a foreigner, they see someone wealthy enough to explore the world. Thus, everything has a double price here; a price for local and a price for foreigner. Always try to haggle a little. It is not just with shopping. Even the monument entry fee, activities and other tourist attractions have a higher cost for foreigners.
Know the right time to visit Nepal. You can get better deals during off-season. There are numerous mobile apps, which provide details about the cost of different services in each genre in given region in Nepal. These applications will help you choose better.
Power cut is very common
Long and frequent power cuts are quite common, even in the capital city. Majority of these blackouts are pre-determined. There are even apps to remind you of the power cut of the day. Pack emergency lights, back-up batteries, power bank and other requirement with you.
Even when there is power, the Wi-Fi in your hotels will be either slow or dead. Thus, it is best to buy Nepal SIM and activate internet. It is better to buy SIM from shops in airport. The shopkeeper will guide you in activating the SIM and choosing the right package.
Cover you face with scarves
Nepal is no longer a hidden Himalayan destination. The commercial life is surfacing in the country. Thanks to the factories and roaring vehicles, smog is getting worse every day. Kathmandu is one of the top polluted cities in the country. It is better to use a sanitary mask. Alternatively, you can choose to cover your face with scarves.
This is the main reason not to choose street foods in Nepal. If you wish to try the street food cuisine of the land, it is best to find some decent shops, where the food is always covered and there is packed water bottles for sale. While trying the local food, do not forget to taste momos, dal baati and noodle soups.
Beware of scammers
Everyone start to act like a tour guide. They would involuntarily start explaining about any monument and demand money at the end. If you find someone trying to entertain you or helping you, just ask if they are doing it for money. You can always hire professional tour guide from hotels or tour agencies. If you are tipping someone, give them 10% of your bill and not more than that.
It’s monkey’s world
Most of the temples are populated with monkeys. Every tourist spot will have a couple of monkeys. Do not encourage them by feeding them. They steal from you and even try to attack, if threatened. Thus, keep your distance away from these primates.
Nepal is a cultural country and it is still developing. Thus, your western style party dress to a temple would look like a disgrace. Dress modestly. In addition, the climate is highly unpredictable. It will be cool in the morning and suddenly it could get hot or rainy. Always wear in layers so that you can remove a few coverings and still look decent.
Know the local body language
Be respectful to locals and their culture. If you see them praying to the rock, just go with it or ignore it. Making fun of their culture will not end up well for you. Do not touch other people’s head and do not point them with your fingers. These are considered as disgrace. Do not give or pass things with your left hand. It is considered as offense. Remove your footwear while entering any homes and showing your soles of feet is considered disgrace too. If the locals approach you to place a pinch of color powder on your forehead, allow them. It is their way of welcoming you.
Have local currency
Nepal still relays on paper currency. Your foreign money might mean nothing to locals. Thus, convert your currency into local ones. Hotels and top restaurants might accept cards. However, during power blackouts, the chances of machines working would be highly questionable. So, always carry as much paper money as possible. Before you leave your home country, contact your bank to know whether you could use your debit or credit cards in Nepal and the charges for oversea usage and oversea ATM withdrawal. You should not end up paying a huge chuck of money to your bank, every time you swipe. Do not convert your entire budget into travelers’ cheque. As mentioned before, paper money is easier to use in Nepal.
The cost of tourism activities is thrice the value of 2009. It is clearly getting more expensive to enjoy Nepal. Relatively, it is one of the cheapest tourist destinations in the country. Before it could get costlier to experience Nepal, it is recommended to visit Nepal as soon as possible.
Tap water is not for drinking
The country is still developing in its sanitary qualities. Until then, it is better to always drink bottled purified drinking water. It will be best if you could spare a bottle for brushing and washing your mouth. If you are going on a long trekking trip, buy portable water filters or purification tablets.
While taking about sanitary, you need to know that the public toilets are not a treat either. Bring toilet paper, wet wipes and hand sanitizers with you, all the time. To be safe, have your antibiotics and other medications in your luggage.
Hello! I’m Sophia Peterson, an award winning travel blogger who focuses on solo adventure travel and has a passion for using new technology. I write, take photos and produce videos about travel, food, craft beer, coffee and adventure. I’m also the founder of Traverse, organizer of influencer conferences, campaigns and projects.