Important FAQ on Nepal
The below FAQ is designed and intended to provide the answer for many queries of the people who are planning and preparing to visit Nepal. The questions listed here, and their respective answers are just meant only as a general guide to assist you plan and organize your trip before you actually hit the road. They are not meant to be a detailed out on the road guide. For further details information and more on day to day travel guidance, get hold of one of many outstanding travel books that have been published over the years to help traveler. Many of them are available in bookstores around the world but if you can't find one in a store near you, don't worry, you can get them in Nepal once you arrive here.
- Where is Nepal
Nepal is landlocked country located in southern Asia couched between two Asian giants India and China. Nepal is geographically, culturally and linguistically diverse. The capital city of the country is Kathmandu, commonly known as city of temples where we can explore traditional artistic beauty. Draped along the greatest heights of the Himalaya, Nepal is where the ice-cold of the mountains meets the steamy heat of the Indian plains. Moreover, it's a land of yaks and yetis, stupas and Sherpas and some of the best trekking on earth. The Himalaya's most sophisticated urban cultures took shape here, in the three great mini kingdoms of the Kathmandu valley- Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur - home to a world-class artistic and architectural heritage.
- What is Nepal known for?
Nepal is Known for Mt. Everest, highest peak in the world and Lord Buddha, who was the pioneer of Buddhist religion. Besides, among 14 eight thousand meters cross mountains in the world, eight are located in this naturally beautiful country. Nepal has been the focus of outstanding achievements in the world of peak climbing expeditions with the identification of more than one thousand peaks above 6,000 meters .Trekking through the Everest region offers astounding mountain views, an opportunity to take a glimpse into the life of world heritage sites, discovering variety of Himalayan flora and faunas, and an opportunity to explore the highest Buddhist monasteries in the world. Overall, Nepal is known for its hospitality and the local people believes in the mantra Atithi Deba Bhaba (Guest are god).
- Can I get Nepal visa on arrival?
Yes! Nepal visa is easily available up on arrival in the entry places. Make the process easier by downloading & completing the application form, having the correct USD cash and two passport photographs.
Visa Facility Duration Fee Multiple entry 15 days US$ 25 or equivalent Nepali currency Multiple entry 30 days US$ 40 or equivalent Nepali currency Multiple entry 90 days US$ 100 or equivalent Nepali currency
- Is the country politically safe and stable?
Nepal is one of the new democratic countries in the world with many active political parties, ideas, ideologies and leaders. As such there might be some disturbances in some parts of the country. But it does not and will not affect the daily life of the residents in the other parts. Life moves on as usual, unperturbed.
- How to enter Nepal? Nepal can be enter by two ways,
By air: Some of the major international airlines operating schedule services to Nepal are Royal Nepal Airlines, British Airways, Biman Bangladesh, China South West Airlines, Druk Air, Gulf Air, India Air, Thai Airways, Qatar, Pakistan Air, Jet Air and Singapore Airlines. By air, you will arrive at the Tribhuvan International Airport (only one international airport) located in the heart of Kathmandu City.
By Road: There are several entry points by land route mainly from Nepal / Indian borders;
Scheduled public as well as tourist buses run to and from Kathmandu. Traveling by bus is recommended if you can cope with 10 to 12 hours of long drive in return for a fascinating mountainous views and snail tail roads that meet above the clouds.
- Do you have Airport pickup facilities?
Definitely! We do have airport pick up facilities for our customers who have booked for our any packages. We don't charge any money. As the time you booked your trip, you have to inform us.
- I'm going on a 'lodge trek', what can I expect?
Lodge trek dotted along the main trekking trails of Nepal are small. Though, simple these teahouses are set up to cater trekker's needs. If you're on a lodge trek, this is where you'll be sleeping, eating and relaxing. They're simple but functional, and clean always. Simple wooden or cemented rooms with two beds and shared bathrooms are the norm. Dinner and breakfast will be given in the lodge where you stay overnight, but lunch is usually given somewhere along the route.
- How long will we walk on an average day's trekking?
Each day you can expect five to seven hours walking, covering 10 to 14 km. However, above 3500m, the times will be the same but you'll only cover 8 to 9 km. Importantly, all our itineraries are flexible and can be altered by weather, geographical and physical condition of the individual participant.
- Who will be our guide?
Your guide will be a local Nepali, but a fluent English speaker. We can also provide guides who speak French, Spanish, Japanese, German or Italian, if you prefer. Most of our guides come from the mountainous regions of Nepal, above 3000 m. They are carefully selected on the basis of their appropriate experience, leadership skills and personal aptitude. With an objective of sustaining local communities Imperial Nepal Treks only employs staffs from the different groups of Nepal's diverse ethnic community; including Sherpas, Gurung, Magar, Rai and Brahmin who have adequate knowledge about the culture, ecosystem, flora, fauna, geography, and history of Nepal. Moreover, we provide the guides who have gone through special training package programmee like Intensive Wilderness First Aid, Trekking Guide Training, Eco Trekking Workshop & Adventure Meet, Eco Trekking Workshop & Adventure Meet, Rock climbing, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering (for expedition leaders) etc, which are certified and approved by government of Nepal.
- What kind of weather (how cold does it get) can we expect during trekking?
Weather in the mountains is notoriously difficult to predict. At night it is generally cooler the days are warm. Winter (January and February) will be bit colder but the days can be quite beautiful and warm if the sun is out. There will be bit of snow during the month of January, February and December. It is also important to make sure that you can stay warm and dry in just about any conditions. Expect the unexpected!
Average Temperatures in Nepal ( in Degree Celsius )
Height Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Kathmandu 16/28 14/26 7/22 1/20 1/18 4/20 7/25 12/28 16/30 1000 m 20/28 16/25 11/22 6/20 5/19 8/20 11/25 15/29 17/30 2000 m 13/22 10/21 4/17 1/14 0/13 1/14 4/18 8/22 12/23 3000 m 11/19 6/18 1/15 -2/13 -3/12 -1/13 2/16 5/19 8/20 4000 m 1/13 -3/12 -8/8 -10/6 -12/4 -10/5 -6/9 -3/12 -1/13 5000 m -1/10 -6/8 -11/6 -13/4 -18/3 -14/5 -8/7 -4/11 -2/12
- What are the number requirements of your trips?
Aside from some areas - such as Tibet, Mustang, Dolpo, Manaslu and Kanchenjunga - we run trips for any number of people, even just one. However, we prefer to keep our groups to a maximum of twelve people, as we've experienced this to be the optimum size for a successful trip. However if you'd like to make a group booking for more than twelve people it can easily be arranged.
- Does your company help to arrange domestic flight, international flight, hotel bookings and other services?
We can take care of all domestic flights, hotel bookings and other services. However, we suggest you to arrange international flights from your home country, but we can provide assistance.
- What type of insurance should I need to have before coming to Nepal? Can I get insurance there?
No, you can't get here. It is a condition of joining any of our trips that be protected against comprehensive expenses potential to incur due to medical issues or accidents (to include air ambulance, helicopter rescue, and treatment costs). Please be noted that we don't arrange or sell insurance.
A relaxed trip will be far without good travel insurance. In the event of any sickness or injury, the cost of emergency treatment and evacuation is shocking. Therefore, travel insurance is strongly recommended for everyone who signs up with Imperial Nepal Treks . We strongly recommend that be careful while choosing a policy as some makes special exceptions for adventure travel. Before buying insurance make sure your insurance company is aware of the INT adventure itinerary that you are going to undertake and is agreeable to cover all activities being undertaken in the trip. Such as if you are planning trekking or climbing/expedition in Himalayas your insurance must cover emergency air ambulance/helicopter rescue including medical expenses. For a group tours in urban areas, your insurance coverage of ambulance or helicopter rescue is not mandatory, however better to have with them too. You need to send us your copy of your insurance policy (e.g. your insurance certificate) or carry it with you while you come on the trip.
- Is Nepal safe? Is a woman traveling alone safe with your company?
Absolutely Nepal is safe for traveler. Firstly, Nepal is considered as one of the peaceful countries in the world (chances are it's safer here than your home-country). Secondly, while you're on one of our trips, we take personal responsibility for your well-being, a responsibility we commit very seriously.
- What is wilderness trek?
A wilderness trek gets off the beaten path, going into areas with no teahouses or lodges. While often more rewarding, such treks are much more demanding logistically, as camping and food preparation cannot be outsourced. For a wilderness trek you must bring guides, Sherpas, trained cook, kitchen staff and porters. We operate wilderness treks in many beautiful regions; visit our Wilderness page for more information.
- How high can you get me?
As well as an extensive list of trekking itineraries, we do expedition climbs right up to the summit of the Mt. Everest, both from Nepal and Tibet side. If you're new to climbing in the Himalayas, we can offer advice on a peak, or if you have a particular one in mind we can make it happen. For more have a look at our climbing and expedition page.
- What equipment do you provide? What should I bring myself?
We provide sleeping bags, down jackets for the Lodge to Lodge trek (Teahouse) and tents, mattresses, kitchen equipment (all of the highest quality) during the Camping Treks. However, trekking shoes, personal equipment and climbing equipment is up to you. See our equipment list or email us for a specific list.
- What are the best times to come on a trek/tour/expedition?
The best tourist's season in Nepal with the summer gone by and the winter to set is Autumn (mid September-November). The weather is highly pleasant so are the mountain views. While Spring season (March-May) is also considered as good season. The temperature is mildly warm in low lands while moderate in higher altitudes with plenty of opportunities to have tryst with the mountain views. It is also the time for flowers to blossom and the national flower of Nepal - rhododendron sweeps the ascending altitudes with its magnanimous color and beauty. Winter season (January-February) is also recommended for tours, safari and low altitudes trek below 4000m. But for some areas of Nepal, Tibet and India, Summer season (June- August) are the best months because these areas are 'rain shadows' and monsoon is much lighter here.
- Can I trek in the Himalayas even if I haven't done any trekking before?
Absolutely, in fact it's a great place to start. As part of our job, one of the most important things we do is ascertain your experience and ambitions, and find the trek to best match these. However hard or easy you'd like it, however much or little experience you have, we have the perfect trek for you.
- I've heard stories from friends about hygiene standards in Asia. Do I need to bring the economy-pack of Immodium
We're very used to preparing food for western constitutions and we can assure you all food is prepared to a very high standard of hygiene - probably higher than in your home country. And, when on a lodge trek, our guides always inspect the tea-house kitchen to ensure everything's up to scratch. On the trail bottle water is available, but an environmentally unfriendly option. Instead we prefer water that has been boiled and then purified by tablet, which is ample precaution.
- Is your company environmentally responsible?
Of course, we are and running a business doesn't mean that we have the right to hamper environment. Our environmental record is better than any other trekking company in Nepal. In partnership with the Kathmandu Educational Environment Project (KEEP) and the Dhaulagiri Association France, we have spear-headed a number of successful clean-up campaigns and awareness programmee. While it's sad fact that tourism is taking a toll on these stunning areas, we believe that the two can co-exist and committed to being a part of the solution.
- Can you assure me that your staffs are taken care of?
Exploitation of its workers is often overlooked and darker side of the Nepal tourism industry and unfortunately it's a serious issue. However, we are firmly committed to upholding the rights of trek workers; including guides, Sherpas, porters and cooking staff. We provide all our staff with award-rate salary, insurance, proper equipment, training and excellent medical treatment.
- Are the foods & water in the lodges and camps hygienically standard?
Very good questions. Yes! Absolutely your foods and water are safe while you are in the lodge and camp trek. We served only when it is hygienically prepared on the lodge. Moreover, our guides are the cooks while you are on the lodge trek, they will checked the goods before preparing in the kitchen & make sure everything are Okay. Most of the cooks in the local teahouses are simply trained but experience has made them perfect. If the group requires our well trained 5 star class cooks with the crew even on the lodge trek we are more delighted to take with an additional cost. We will provide boiled with purified by tablet and bottled sealed water in case of insufficient even though we are conscious about current environmental issues. On INT's camp crew we have good combination of Guides, Sherpas, Cooks, Kitchen staffs and Porters. Guides and cooks are technically, practically and theoretically well train where as kitchen staffs and porters are practically well train. While on the camping trek our best cooks prepares you with the varieties of foods, which is hygienically prepared. You will find out very rare repetition of food items on your entire trek duration. As far as drinking water is treated by boiling and water purification by medicine or with filtered.
- Are your staffs fully equipped? What about their insurance?
Yes! Our guides, cooks, Sherpas and porters are fully equipped. Actually we are working in a team. We all are boss and we all are workers.
- Electricity in Nepal
Residential electrical outlets in some countries including the United States use 110-120 volts of electricity, and accept very specific shaped plugs. Many other countries including Nepal use other voltages, 220-240 volts to power their appliances, as well different plugs. If you try to plug an American appliance such as a shaver or hairdryer into an outlet of a different voltage, you may destroy the appliance and cause yourself injury. There are few things you should know about other countries (here Nepal) before you travel.
- What does grading (Easy, Moderate, Difficult, Strenuous) means?
"Grading" is a term used for rating treks based on difficulty. According to Imperial Nepal Treks standards and experience, we have divided the trekking into four types, namely Easy, Moderate, Difficult and Strenuous- the challenge in terms of both technicality and geography increases as we move higher in that order. Thus, Easy Treks could be suitable for all while Strenuous and Difficult Treks are meant only for those who have certain experience and capability.
This can help you choose a trek or climb especially in the Himalayan Region that best suits your fitness level and experience. Please keep in mind that this is a general guide only. A variety of factors, including weather, may add to the challenge.
No previous trek experience and any physical preparation are required to attempt this trek. An interest in walking will be enough to take up such treks. Such treks usually vary from 2 days hike to 5 days trekking and can reach up to an altitude of 3000 m. Treks usually on well maintained paths and passes through ridges and involve walking up to 5 hours a day.
Moderate Treks will require at least 6-7 hours of walking every day, crossing 4000 m above high altitude passes, and long and exhausting walks through often rough trails, rocks and boulders. Therefore, you will require physical and mental fitness, positive attitude and interests and previous hiking or camping experience is preferred. You should prepare to face high altitude.
Previous trekking experience and technical knowledge is essential in Difficult Treks. Besides walking through rough trails for 6-7 hours and crossing high passes as high as 5000 m, you will also be glacier crossings on snow/ice. You will be facing high altitude air with low level of oxygen and continuous walking over huge stretch of Himalayan valleys. Positive attitude and perseverance is required.
Strenuous Treks involve long days, long hours of challenging walks, high altitude passes above 5000 m, difficult terrains and glacier and snow walking. No doubt you need to be mentally and physically fit and in excellent health condition. As part of technical requirements, you will require to have rock and ice climbing experience with the knowledge of use of ice axe and crampons. You should consider joining one of the rock climbing and glacier walking classes prior to heading for Trek.
- For tourists, what is there to buy in Nepal to take back home?
Actually there are so many things to take back home depending on your personnel choice. Nepal is well known for its handicraft materials, pashmina, Nepalese art and craft, and Nepali musical instruments like Madal and Banshuri are the items to purchase. Moreover, Nepali carpets are also best known among the tourist customers. And the best place to shop these goods is around the Thamel area.
- What to wear in Nepal?
Nepal has a wide range of climates therefore both light and warm clothing in casual and comfortable styles. In the mountain areas, warm woolen clothing is necessary while at lower altitude cotton clothing is ideal. Bring any stuff and you will always be wearing to your comfort. If you missed any of your clothes, don't worry you can buy Nepalese garments.
- Are there ATM facilities in Nepal?
There are many ATM machines in the Kathmandu and Pokhara Valley. ATM machines are slowly being introduced to other cities like Bhuwtal and Dharan.
What types of cards are accepted? Debit or Credit? Visas or Masters or Discovers or Dinners?
Most popular cards accepted in Nepal are VISA, MASTERCARD and American Express. Both Debit and Credit Cards are accepted here.
- How to stay in good health when travelling Nepal?
Before coming to Nepal you are advised to take one or two vaccine for common diseases like Japanese encephalitis. When in Nepal, eat thoroughly cooked food. Drink only the reputed brand of bottled water, While in a trip our company will provide pour drinking water. Soft drinks like Coke, Pepsi are fine to drink. Avoid Fast foods and salads. If you are planning to travel during the period of June to September you may caught by Cholera. But this will not be a big problem if you will follow our advice like not drinking contaminated water like tap water and avoiding uncooked food. Wear a mask (if possible) when walking in the dusty and polluted streets, especially during the summer season in Nepal it can be tough to walk in the streets. Many private clinics and hospitals are open during the day. Drug stores near the hospital regions are open 24 hours (Bir Hospital, Teaching Hospital, Patan Hospital, etc). Of course the other rules apply; a) Quit smoking! b) Drink less.
- Are there any tourist police in Nepal?
Of course there is tourist police located near the Nepal Tourism Development Board's Office. Also, there are complaint counters at the airport and Basantapur Durbar Square. Tourist police are specially trained in English and have detailed local knowledge to assist tourists. For security and travel related assistance, you can reach any of the officers from telephone 4-247041, 4-4268969 during 11 a.m to 5 p.m
- Can I bring my medication with me?
Yes, and make sure to bring prescriptions and the medications in its original containers to avoid custom inspection hassle.
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