Nepal is five hours and 45 minutes ahead of GMT.
Major towns have electricity and the voltage available is 220-volts and 50 cycles. Load shedding is a seasonal phenomenon during the dry season and eases off once it begins to rain. However, most major hotels have uninterrupted power supply through their own generators.
Nepalese Rupees are found in denominations of 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are found in denominations of 5, 2 and 1. One rupee equals 100 paisa. Major banks, hotels and exchange counters at Tribhuvan International Airport provide services for exchanging foreign currency.
Payment in hotels, travel agencies, and airlines are made in foreign currency. Credit cards like American Express, Master and Visa are widely 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 Nepalese rupees. The receipts may be needed to change left-over Nepalese Rupees 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. Read more >
Tipping is appreciated in tourist restaurants. Your loose change (or 5%) is fine in cheaper places; around 10% is fine in more expensive restaurants. Round up the fare for taxi drivers.
Weather in Nepal is not to be taken lightly. Even in midsummer, passes and high areas can be hit without warning by sudden snowstorms. You should always be prepared for cold, wet or windy conditions, especially if you're out walking, hitching or trekking at high altitudes or even taking a long bus trip over mountains (particularly at night).
Nepal has a typical monsoonal, two-season year. The dry season runs from October to May and there's the wet (monsoon) season from June to September. Autumn (September to November) and spring (March to May) bring almost perfect weather and are definitely the best times to come to Nepal.
What to Pack
* Sense of adventure
* Comfortable walking/sport shoes, casual shoes and sandals
* Two pairs of shorts and long pants
* Sweater or fleece
* Insect repellent spray
* Personal first aid kit (your guides have a comprehensive one but it's nice to have your own)
* Passport with at least six months remaining validity
Due to Nepal's poor infrastructure, medical facilities are limited. Hospitals will usually have staff members who can speak English. Certain hotels may employ their own doctors. It is strongly advised that you organize travel- and health insurance for Nepal before you leave home.
It is advisable to make an appointment with your health care professional for immunization against Hepatitis A and Typhoid before traveling to Nepal. If you are traveling from an area which is known to have yellow-fever, you will be required a certificate,e stating that you have been vaccinated. You may want to consider a polio booster, but first consult your doctor. If you are planning on traveling to rural areas in Nepal for an extended period, it is best to be immunized for Japanese encephalitis. Hepatitis B vaccination is only necessary if you are to have 'intimate contact' with locals. Consider a rabies vaccination if you think you will come in contact with animals. If you have not had a Tetanus-diphtheria shot in ten years, go for revaccination.
Malaria- prophylaxis is not necessary in high lying areas such as Kathmandu and Pokhara. Areas of risk are Dhanukkha, Parsa, Sarlahi, Bara, Kapilavastu, Rupendehi, Mahotari and Rautahat. When entering malaria zones, ensure you take measures to prevent bites by using insect repellent sprays, sticks or lotions and sleeping under a mosquito net.
The number-one rule is: be careful of the water, especially ice. If you don’t know for certain that the water is safe, assume the worst. In urban centres Tibetans, like the Chinese, boil their drinking water making it safe to drink hot or cooled. In the country and while trekking, you should boil your own water or treat it with water-purification tablets, as livestock contaminate many of the water sources. Milk should be consumed with suspicion as it will be unpasteurized in the countryside, although boiled milk is fine if it is kept hygienically. Soft drinks and beer are always available wherever there is a shop, and these are always safe to drink, as is tea. Locally brewed beer, chang, is another matter. It is often made with contaminated well water and there is always some risk in drinking it.
Food and Drink
The food of Nepal is as diverse as the country itself. The Nepalese recipes are quick to cook and good to eat. Nepalese food is famous for its nutrition level and tempting taste. Whilst Nepalese cuisine is somewhat basic, it certainly does not lack in flavor, making extensive use of spices and flavorings such as ginger, garlic, coriander, pepper, cumin, chilies, cilantro, mustard oil, ghee and occasionally yak butter. Come let us savour some of the famous dishes of Nepal.
Gundrook- Dheedo - Equally popular among Nepali people and foreign tourists. It is a sugar-free nutritious dish made of wheat, maize and dried green vegetable.
Alu Tama - simply means 'Potato Bamboo Shoots'. It is a unique and classic Nepali curry flavor dish.
Vegetable Pulao (Fried Nepali Rice) - It has flavor of turmeric and cumin to it. The rice is particularly famous among tourists who prefer eating it with curd and Manchurian.
Masu - Spiced or curried meat (usually chicken, mutton, buffalo or pork) with gravy. Served with rice, it is a main course dish, very popular in Nepal.
Vegetable Thukpa (Egg Noodles) - This is a seasonal dish. During Tibetan new year celebration 'Losar', the dish is a part of celebration and tradition for the Nepalese.
Chatamari - Regarded as Nepalii pizza, Chatamari is a flat bread made from rice flour with or without toppings (meat, vegetables, eggs, sugar). It is highly savoured by the tourists who consider it as a good and healthy substitute to pizza.
Tongba – It is a homemade wine, a special Limbu culture drink. Many consume this drink during winter season, and it is also a favorite drink among the tourists.
Rakshi – A traditional, strong alcoholic ceremonial drink, often brewed at home.
January 1- Basanta Panchami
January 30 - National Martyrs' Day
February 18 - Tribhuvan Jayanti and National Democracy Day
February - Maha Shivaratri
March 1 - Holi
March - Ram Nawami
April 14 - Nepali New Year
April - Mother's day
May 27 - Buddha Jayanti
June 5 - International environment day
July 7- King’s Birthday
August - Father's Day
September - Indra Jatra
October - Bijaya Dashami
October - Lakshmi Puja/Diwali
October - Bhai Tika
October - Chhath Parba
November 9 - Constitutional Day
December 10 - Human Rights Day