If you're planning on visiting Nepal for your vacation, work or even just for a couple of days, it might be good idea to know how things go around in this tiny nation. To make your search easier on the tips for your trip we have prepared a list of DOs and DON'Ts while you're traveling to Nepal.
Greetings and Gestures
People in Nepal greet to each other by saying "Namaste" and join their palms together with a slight bow as a gesture of respect and acknowledgement at the same time. The nodding gesture that people of Nepal use for 'Yes' and 'No' however might be slight confusing for its visitors though. Occasionally people of Nepal nod the 'No' gesture with slight tilt of the head to agree or to say 'Yes' which is contrary to what people from other countries especially westerners do. You might want to make sure you got your answer right.
People and Culture
Nepalese culture is a very hospitable and people highly respect travelers and foreigners who visit Nepal. There is a saying in ancient Sanskrit that goes like "atithi devo vawa" which basically means guests are a form of god and many people take it to their hearts. People try their best to share a bit of joy towards its travelers and you'll get to experience the feeling wherever you go. Nepal is a country deeply rooted to its culture and religious practices which is why the societies, especially the in villages and outside of the city are quite conservative. People won't be saying to you how to present yourselves and how to dress out of respect for the travelers but it's better to keep this in your mind, especially while visiting religious sites and temples. Also, always ask for permission if you're taking a photo of someone.
Shopping and the Streets
Shopping in Nepal can be really fun especially around the markets of Kathmandu and Pokhara. There are all sorts of souvenir shops and markets that you can explore and find something interesting. Things such as garments, ornaments, and local products are good value for their money. Bargaining can definitely get you a better deal and it's a norm so don't hold back to have a debate however keep in mind to do it as an enjoyable social exchange and be respectful about it. You might encounter beggars when you're taking a stroll around the streets. Do what your heart desires but be aware that there are "professional beggars" as well, not everyone but there are quite a few. There are also children begging around the street and that might make you feel emotional and pitiful however it is advised to not offer them money or food for most of them use it for buying drugs or give it to their "boss". You can find charitable organizations that actually help the underprivileged and it's better to go through them if you want to help.
Getting your money isn't much difficult if you're inside the city areas of Nepal. Money can be exchanged through banks and money exchange shops which are plenty and there is an abundance of ATMs. Many places such as restaurants, hotels and shops accept credit/debit cards in the cities of Nepal. However if you're traveling outside of the city it is advised to carry cash with you. Be sure to exchange your money on your way out of the country since they aren't accepted outside of Nepal.
Food and Water
Restaurants are plenty and food hunting is fun to do around Kathmandu and Pokhara. There are varieties of restaurants offering unique cuisines from different corners of the world. However we advise you to judge for yourselves the hygiene of the place you visit. The local dish of Nepal is commonly referred as "Dal-Bhat" which is a plate of rice with lentils, curry and pickles which can be both veg and non-veg. You might see people eating with their hands and it's very normal around Nepal. Do not eat raw vegetable and pre-cut fruits you will be seeing in the streets. Also, avoid water that is not bottled or boiled.
Drinking and Smoking
Drinking and smoking is allowed in Nepal however we would advise to not drink or smoke in public places. Carrying a can of beer and walking around would be fine but keep it moderate. The other important thing is don't assume smoking pot (weed/marijuana/ganja) is legal in Nepal. It is illegal to have possession of marijuana even though you can see it growing in public areas.
Nepal has the standard of 220V of power supply. It is recommended for you to bring universal plug and voltage adapter kit for yourselves however you can buy in electronic shops as well if you are in need. Keep in mind that if you have more than necessary electronic items with you then you might get charged for extra tax at the Tribhuvan Int'l Airport.
Transportation and getting around
Taxis are the most common way for foreigners to travel around the cities of Nepal. There are public vehicle services too but they are quite a bit time consuming and sometimes not very reliable. Taxis are great but be careful about the money. Most taxis don't want to use Running Meter and you need to insist on doing so. Even if they don't and you're in a hurry don't agree with whatever price they come up with. Ask people from your hotel, your guide or someone you know to get the idea of taxi fare. Also ride-sharing app such as 'Tootle' and 'Pathao' are available which is a great travel substitute for taxi if you're traveling alone and they're significantly cheaper.
Travels and Tours
It is highly recommended to get a reliable tourist guide for you while traveling around Nepal which is provided by all the travel companies in Nepal. There have been reports of tourists gone missing while traveling and trekking in Nepal alone. Make sure you've your insurance right since companies do not provide that for you. Try to make your travel schedule as lenient as possible and enjoy as much as you can.
These are few important details that might help you while you're traveling in Nepal. Nepal believes in a free society and people aren't obliged to specific code of conducts however respecting its laws and enjoying the country within the bounds are certainly welcomed. To know more about traveling to Nepal and Nepal travel packages visit to our website or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.