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Tips for Nepal Travelers – DOs and DONTs

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If you’re planning on visiting Nepal for your vacation, work or even just for a couple of days, it might be a good idea to know how things go around in this Nepal. To make it easier for you, we have prepared a list of DOs and DON’Ts on certain areas while you’re traveling to Nepal.  

Greetings and Gestures

People in Nepal greet each other by saying “Namaste” and join their palms together with a slight bow as a gesture of respect and acknowledgment at the same time. The nodding gesture that people of Nepal use for ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ however might be slightly confusing for its visitors though. Occasionally people of Nepal nod the ‘No’ gesture with a 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

Image: Farmer returning home

Nepalese culture is very hospitable and people highly respect travelers and foreigners who visit Nepal. There is a saying in ancient Sanskrit “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 the travelers and you’ll get to experience it wherever you go. 

Nepal is a country deeply rooted in its cultural and religious practices which is why the societies, especially in villages outside of the city are quite conservative. People might not point out your dresses but it’s better to keep that in mind, especially while visiting religious sites and temples. Also, always ask for permission if you’re taking a photo of someone. Not everyone loves being filmed or captured. 

Shopping and the Streets

Image: Streets of Thamel at Night

 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. 

Besides that, you might encounter beggars when you are 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.  

Money 

Getting your money is not much difficult if you are inside the city areas of Nepal. Currencies 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 plentiful and food hunting is really 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 regarding the hygiene of the place you visit. The local dish of Nepal is commonly referred to 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. If you prefer cutleries, go for it. Do not eat raw vegetables and pre-cut fruits that you buy from the streets. Also, avoid water that is not bottled or boiled. 

Drinking and Smoking

 Drinking and smoking are 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) since it is illegal in Nepal. It is also illegal to have possession of marijuana even though you see it growing in public areas.  

Electronics 

 Nepal has a standard of 220V of power supply. It is recommended for you to bring a 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

Image: Taxi’s in Nepal

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 the taxi fare. Drivers usually agree on less than what they initially ask for. Also, ride-sharing apps such as ‘Tootle’ and ‘Pathao’ are available which is a great travel substitute for a taxi if you’re traveling alone and they’re significantly cheaper.

Travels and Tours

It is highly recommended to get a tourist guide with you while traveling around Nepal which is provided by all the travel companies including CoreTreks. There have been reports of tourists who went missing while traveling alone. Make sure you’ve your insurance right since travel companies do not provide that for you. Try to make your travel schedule as lenient as possible and enjoy as much as you can. 

There you go, these are a few important details that might help you while you’re traveling in Nepal. Nepal is 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 travel packages visit our website or contact us at info@coretreks.com. 

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Asmit
Asmit
2020-07-16
Verified
Lifetime Experience We had a super time in Everest Base Camp last year. Trekking to this place was dream for many years which come true with the help CoreTreks and team members.
Lena B
Lena B
2020-03-06
Verified
Higly recommended I did the Langtang Valley trekk with Gosaikunda lakes included. The preparation and communication for that has been great all the time. Nim is an excellent and knowledgeable person. My Trekkingguide was Gorakh and i couldn't have hoped for a better one! I felt like i was in good hands throughout the trekk and he took care of my dietary needs. They also booked my bus ticket to Pokhara and asked the bus driver to pick me up at a place which was closer to my accommodation. Thank you so much Nim!! Next time i will do the Manaslu trekk with you :)
Hidayat Toda
Hidayat Toda
2020-03-04
Verified
Feel exeprience in nepal as a family Core track is a professional tour team and comapny, they treat you as a family, they prepare all the things you need, the team was very nice and warm, and also you will feel as in a family, just go and book with them
Michael S
Michael S
2020-01-19
Verified
Trek to Rara Lake in Nepal with CoreTreks My wife and I had been planning to visit Nepal since like a year ago. We are really happy and satisfied with our trek to Rara Lake in Nepal. The place is really chilling with beautiful scenery all around. Luckily the weather was fantastic and we got a clear view of the mountains and the lake. We are really humbled to be able to experience such a rare privilege. Our guides informed us that the weather is often bad especially because of the altitude. The alpine vegetation surrounded by mountains was really special to observe. I would like to thank CoreTreks for helping us throughout our journey to Rara Lake.
Noo
Noo
2019-12-12
Verified
Great service Beautiful temples and delicious food After touring around the Kathmandu valley, I’m inspired to explore more about Nepal. Unfortunately it will have to be during my next visit. The city is way busier than I expected it to be. As we drove outside the valley, we discovered some peaceful environment and beautiful temples. The Nepali cuisine in Kathmandu was something I would love to try again. They are spicy but delicious. I have to say that the people in Nepal are really friendly and welcoming. Everyone greeted us with love and treated us nicely. There was no fear for a lone traveler like me to get through the tour. Thanks to CoreTreks and the team for making this tour possible for me. I booked last minute but they helped me through everything. I really appreciate it. If you are looking to visit Nepal, I highly recommend that you book from CoreTreks they are the best.
Santivo
Santivo
2019-08-24
Verified
Kathmandu Tour and Memorable Memories After many Yes/No we decided to choose vacation plan for Nepal, then the journey of more confusing start. We start googling the best packages and tours operators in Kathmandu. We luckily found CoreTreks. They are really professional, trustworthy, reliable and responsive for their profession, this team made our Nepal visit absolutely memorable and experience. We strongly recommended anyone will to visit Nepal, can choose CoreTreks and enjoy your vacation.
ASTA
ASTA
2019-08-23
Verified
It deserves more than a 5 STAR for their services sweet words are easy to say, nice things are easy to bye, but good people are difficult to find. life ends when you stop dreaming...travel in Nepal to leave the best memories. thank you for everything coretreks for friendly smile,for the care during the journey. again, i want to go there return. i help all my friends to see Nepal with your help and support. you guys deserve more than a 5 star for excellent services for tours and trekking in Nepal. see you soon again!
Martin L
Martin L
2019-06-24
Verified
satisfied with the service and packages Dec 2018, we had plan to visit Nepal and book the packages with core treks, they guide us the best packages for ABC and we are fully satisfied with the service and packages. Thank you team, keep it up
Pedro R
Pedro R
2019-03-11
Verified
Friendly staff We did some trecking around Katmandu and we had a good time. The guide was friendly and available to support us with anything.
이홍래
이홍래
2019-01-24
Verified
Langtang Trekking 이제 돌아와서 한숨돌리고 적네요. 네팔이란 나라가 처음이고, 한국에서도 등산한번 하지 않았었는데, 갑자기 네팔이 가고 싶었습니다. 네팔에 가면 뭔가 꽉막힌 마음이 뚤릴것 같았고, 복잡한 머리가 정리가 될것 같았습니다. 다행이 CORE TREK 의 Nim을 만나 트레킹을 잘 마무리할 수 있었습니다. 랑탕 출발하기전 호텔 부킹이나 팀스 / 퍼밋 , 환전 및 준비물 구매 등 그리고 이런 일들을 하기위한 이동까지 꼼꼼하게 함께 챙겨 주어서 그나마 잘 준비하여 트레킹을 시작하였습니다. 그리고 트레킹 중간에 대부분이 3G를 사용하지 못해 가족들에게 연락이 되지 않았는데, 다행이 Nim과는 현지 폰으로 연락이 되어, 저 대신 가족들에게 연락도 가능하고, 중간 중간에 문제 있는지등 그리고 복귀 마지막날 뭔가를 잘못먹었는데 아파서 호텔에서만 누워 있었는데, 그래도 타국에 누군가 연락할 수 있다는게 많은 도움이 되더군요. 저는 포터 및 가이드 없이 혼자서 갔다왔고, 트레킹이야 혼자만의 싸움이였지만, 카트만두 출발전 / 복귀후에는 Nim이 많은 도움이 되었네요. 다음에 또 네팔에 오게되면 필히 Nim과 함께 하겠습니다.