Nepal, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia and, as of 2010, the world's most recent nation to become a republic. It is bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India. With an area of 147,181 square kilometres (56,827 sq mi) and a population of approximately 30 million, Nepal is the world's 93rd largest country by land mass and the 41st most populous country. Kathmandu is the nation's capital and the country's largest metropolitan city.
Nepal is a country of highly diverse and rich geography, culture, and religions. The mountainous north has eight of the world's ten highest mountains, including the highest, Sagarmatha, known in English as Mount Everest. The fertile and humid south is heavily urbanized. It contains over 240 peaks more than 20,000 ft (6,096 metres) above sea level.
By some measures, Hinduism is practised by a larger majority of people in Nepal than in any other nation. Buddhism, though a minority faith in the country, is linked historically with Nepal as the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, who as the Gautam Buddha gave birth to the Buddhist tradition. About half of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.
A monarchy throughout most of its history, Nepal was ruled by the Shah dynasty of kings from 1768, when Prithvi Narayan Shah unified its many small kingdoms. In 2006, however, decade-long People's Revolution by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) along with several weeks of mass protests by all major political parties of Nepal culminated in a peace accord, and the ensuing elections for the constituent assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of the abdication of the last Nepali monarch Gyanendra Shah and the establishment of a federal democratic republic in May 28, 2008. The first President of Nepal, Ram Baran Yadav, was sworn in on 23 July 2008.
What Currency is Used in Nepal?
What Is the Time difference in Nepal?
Nepali time is GMT/UTC plus 5 hours 45 minutes. Check out the current time in Nepal here. The country code for Nepal is +977. For information regarding internet connectivity and cellular service please see our Practicalities Section.
How Do I Charge My Electronics While in Nepal?
Nepal uses a Type D Indian 5 amp BS-546 plug or the European CEE 7/16 Europlug. The voltage is 220-240. Electricity is widely available in larger cities such as Pokhara and Kathmandu. You can charge your electronics along trekking routes in Nepal for a small fee at the teahouses. Keep in mind that many of the more remote areas rely on solar power. If there is a significant snowfall, electricity might not be available. Furthermore, the more remote the area, the more expensive the charge. When sleeping in tents for peaks and climbs, there will not be an opportunity to charge your electronics unless you bring your own battery pack or solar charger.
Remember that batteries do not like the cold. When traveling in cold temperatures you should carry your phone or camera battery close to your body. At night, keep your batteries and electronics in your sleeping bag in order to keep the battery from draining. A portable battery pack or solar charger, although not necessary, is certainly a useful tool while trekking and climbing in Nepal.
What Language is Spoken in Nepal?
Nepali is the official language of Nepal. Nepali uses Sanskrit, a script-based character system. English is spoken on major trekking and tourist routes throughout Nepal. Signs are mainly written in Nepali, although occasionally signs are written in English, especially in areas that are frequented by trekkers, tourists, and climbers.
It is always a good idea to learn a few words of the local language before you arrive at your destination. Even if you can only say hello, it goes a long way in the minds of the local people. Check out Adventure Alternative's list of helpful Nepali words and phrases.
What is the Climate in Nepal?
The climate in Nepal varies by topography. The lowlands in the south are more humid and tropical than the high peaks of the Himalaya.
There are two major seasons for trekking in Nepal, the Trekking Season and the Climbing Season. Big peak climbing is usually done in the spring from March to May depending on what you plan to climb. This is also an excellent season for trekking. Temperatures are certainly cooler than during the trekking season, however skies are generally clear, allowing for excellent views and slightly less crowds.
The peak season for trekking and tourism in Nepal is in Autumn, from September to November. During this time, the temperatures are warmer and the monsoon rains have cleared the skies for the best views. However, Nepal experiences a high volume of visitors during this time, so if you are seeking a little solitude, it will be difficult to find.
It is possible to visit and trek through the lower-elevations of Nepal during the winter months from December to February. Most of the high-elevation treks are snowed in and temperatures are very cold. Many lodge owners shut down over the winter.
The only season when it is not advisable to trek in the mountains is during the monsoon season from June to August. During this time, heavy rains plague Nepal. Due to the steep nature of the Himalaya, trekking becomes quite dangerous, as areas are prone to landslides.
Additional Weather Resources:
For up-to-date weather information check out snow-forecast.com.
Nepal Travel Facts
Do I need a Visa?
A visa is required for entry to Nepal (except for nationals of India) and can be purchased beforehand through your local Nepalese consulate however most people prefer to buy it on arrival. For the latest costs and requirements please refer to the Nepalese consulate in your country of residence. Passports must be valid for at least six months after the departure date.
When is the best time of the year to visit Nepal?
The best time to visit Nepal is from early October through to early June. During the monsoon season (mid June to the end of September) flooding may occur throughout Nepal.
What vaccinations do I need?
You will need to check with your doctor or travel clinic as travel advice changes. You do not need a yellow fever certificate to enter the country but it is advisable to take malaria tablets, especially if you are going to the jungle area in Chitwan.
What's the currency of Nepal?
The currency is the Nepalese Rupee or in short NRS. 100 Paisa equals 1 Rs. Nepali Notes are 1000, 500, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5, 2, and 1 rupees, and coins are rarely used.
What are some basic Nepali customs?
Shoes should be removed before entering a temple or one's home and you should ask for permission before entering a Hindu temple. Taking photographs inside most temples is considered illegal and you should ask for permission before taking photographs of objects or Nepali people.
What is the time difference and phone code for Nepal?
Nepali time is GMT/UTC plus 5 hours 45 minutes and the international code for dialing to Nepal is +977.
Are there ATM facilities in Nepal?
Yes, in Kathmandu and Pokhara. International credit and debit cards (Master Card, Visa Card, etc ) are also accepted in all leading hotels, shopping centers, bars and restaurants in Nepal.
Are prices set in Kathmandu, or can we expect to haggle?
Shopping in Kathmandu is an experience, and haggling is part of Nepali culture. Decide what you want to pay before you start and it becomes quite a challenge to get the best price; but enjoy, it is part of the experience!
Visiting Nepal: Practical Information
This page outlines some practical information in preparation for your trip to Nepal. Please read through this carefully, like travel to any remote destination, careful planning is required. If you can't find the information you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.
Do I Need a Visa to Visit Nepal?
A visa is required for entry in to Nepal and it can either be purchased on arrival or you can get it from your local Nepalese Embassy. For UK Nationals who wish to obtain a visa before arrival apply by post or in person with the Nepalese Embassy in London. It seems the easiest and cheapest way is to just get the visa on arrival in Nepal (check the Embassy website in advance for a list of nationalities that cannot get the Visa on arrival).
If you are planning on getting your tourist visa on arrival in Nepal then you will need to know the following;
- A passport photo is required (best to carry a few passport photo's with you to Nepal as you need them for hospital registration on Medical Electives, trek permits, climbing permits, etc)
- A 15 day single/multiple entry visa is $25, a 30 day single/multiple entry visa is $40 and a 90 day single/multiple entry visa is $100
- You can also pay the visa in Euro's or Sterling (costs in Euro or Sterling are dependent on the exchange rate with the US Dollar, we recommend having the correct money in US Dollars)
- You cannot pay for the visa with a credit or debit card (cash only)
- For the address in Nepal on the visa application use 'Adventure Alternative Nepal', Guest House & Office, 59 Gopikrishna Marg, Mangkhal, Bagmati
- Passports should be valid for a minimum of 6 months from your arrival date
- Visa application forms can be picked up at entry points (some airlines hand them out on flights to Kathmandu) or you can download a printable version of the Visa form at your local Nepalese Embassy website.
- Carry a pen in your hand luggage, you'll be hard pressed to find one on arrival in Nepal.
- You will need to join two queues - first to submit your forms, passport photo and obtain receipts (there are now ATM like passport scanning machines at Tribhuvan airport in Kathmandu where you scan your passport and enter the address in Nepal, duration of your stay and get your photo taken before being issued with receipt from the machine. However, you may need to show patience and persistence with them!), then a second queue to submit payment and your receipts, photo and forms (there are different queues depending on the length of your stay... Don't join the wrong one).
Hopefully the Visa application will be the most stressful part of your trip to Nepal, it is a bit of a melee.
NB: To extend a tourist visa in Nepal go to the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu or the Immigration Office in Pokhara where an additional 30 days can be added to a tourist visa. However, over the course of a visa year (January - December) a tourist cannot stay more than a total of 150 days in Nepal.
To speed up the process (if applying in person for a visa in advance) and to avoid unnecessary problems at the Nepalese Embassy we advise you to submit a complete Online Tourist Visa Application form to the Immigration Authority of Nepal. Once you complete the online form you can download it, print and bring with you ready to present on your arrival in Kathmandu. There is some guidance on completing the online tourist visa application below.
Keep your valid passport at hand, you'll need to use it during the online application and have a recent digital passport style photograph (size: 1.5” x 1.5”) to upload on the online application. Most of the application is self-explanatory however there are a few fields which need further explanation to ensure you are putting in the correct details
- Passport Validity - This is the expiry date on your passport
- Permanent Address - This is your home address, the 'Pin Number' refers to your postcode
- Address in Nepal - 'House No.' is 59, 'Street Name' is Gopikrishna Marg, 'Ward No.' is 3, 'VDC/Municipality' is Mangkhal and 'District' is Bagmati
- When entering telephone numbers include the international dialing code
- Under 'Visa requested from' put in your arrival/departure dates... There are 4 x boxes in total to enter dates, and if you put the same arrival/departure dates in then it tends to work (there should only be different dates entered if you are applying for a visa extension).
- Generally you will be selecting a tourist visa under 'Visa Type'
- Under address in Nepal select Other and put in AANepal Guest House under 'Name of the Place'. The 'Ward No.' is 3, 'VDC/Municipality' is Mangkhal and 'District' is Bagmat
- Under 'Office' select Immigration Department
The submitted application will remain in the system for 15 days. After 15 days, the application will be deleted automatically. Once the application is successfully submitted, a receipt will be sent to your email immediately, print the receipt and keep it with you as you need to produce when you visit the Nepalese Embassy. For your convenience, the deadline to contact the Immigration Authority will be mentioned in the receipt. The receipt also mentions about the documents you need to produce before the Immigration Authority (the receipt and proper documents and the necessary fee).
Where do I Arrive When Visiting Nepal?
Most international visitors will arrive in Nepal by air via Kathmandu. Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) is the largest airport in Nepal. It can be a bit of a shock to the system upon arrival, but don’t worry, there is order in the perceived chaos. Try not to make a fuss about the airport, both locals and visitors have to deal with arriving here, and commenting about it will only alienate local people.
Will I Be Able to Contact Home While I Am Away?
Nepali time is GMT/UTC plus 5 hours 45 minutes. Nepal’s country code is +977. For making calls back home, international rates can be quite expensive, be sure to check with your local carrier prior to visiting Nepal. Consider downloading WhatsApp, a free internet-based texting and calling service to keep in touch with loved ones. Wi-Fi is available in most hotels in major cities. Along trekking routes, Wi-Fi is available in some locations for a small fee. For the Everest region, you can purchase a prepaid card for Everest Link, should you require the internet. The service is fairly reliable, except in cases of inclement weather. Purchases can be made in some lodges, or in major cities prior to departure to your trekking area.
Cellular service is available in major cities and along popular trekking routes that have permanent settlements. However, keep in mind that you are still traveling through remote areas. Service is not always working or reliable. Since you will be traveling in remote areas, we cannot guarantee cellular services or internet. Expect to be un-plugged for the majority of the journey.
What Vaccinations Do I Need?
We heavily advise that you schedule an appointment with your doctor, or a travel-specific doctor prior to coming to Nepal to discuss your health needs. Please see our Nepal Trip Preparation Page for additional health information.
Do plan on bringing any prescriptions you may require during your stay. Medication does exist in Nepal, but the quality and type may not be something you are used to.
What Are the Quality of Medical Facilities in Nepal?
Nepal is a developing nation and although high-altitude tourism is common, medical treatment centers are limited. Most medical facilities are not up to Western standards. However, the usual ailments and some surgeries can be performed in Kathmandu. For serious and life-threatening injuries or illnesses, evacuation to a nearby country or back home may be required.
Although we do not anticipate any problems during your trek, accidents do happen in the mountains. We require that you carry traveler’s insurance that covers a helicopter evacuation at the altitude you will be climbing. For more information see our Travel Insurance page.
Will I have Access to an ATM in Nepal?
Cash withdrawal from ATMS are available in Kathmandu and Pokhara in the form of Nepalese Rupees. Finding the correct ATM to accept your card can present a bit of a challenge in Nepal. If a machine does not take your card, simply try another. ATMs are typically found in clusters, with a guard overseeing them. Please note that ATMs only operate during normal business hours in Nepal. Most ATMs only allow 10,000Rs at a time, although you can make multiple transactions with the same ATM.
Credit cards are widely accepted in major cities throughout Nepal. Keep in mind, most credit card transactions happen via paper, fraudulent charges can be a problem in Nepal. It is best to use cash whenever possible. However, cash is king in more rural areas. While trekking, it is important to have cash on hand for any extra items you may want to purchase as credit or ATM cards are typically accepted. This includes boiled water, hot showers, Wi-Fi, extra snacks and drinks, souvenirs, or a piece of gear you may need. For an idea of how much extra items may cost while on your adventure please see our Local Price Guide. Keep in mind as you go higher up, the prices increase substantially.
What Can I Expect from Toilet Facilities?
Western style, sit toilets are common in hotels in major cities. Along trekking routes, the quality and cleanliness of toilet facilities vary widely. There are public toilets available for use (sometimes for a few Rupees) along the walking trails in Nepal. These will likely be the roughest toilets you will encounter. Usually a long drop, squat style toilet with a wooden privacy shed. Meaning there is a slat-opening in the floor where your business goes and a long drop to the bottom of the pit. These toilets are not always clean, so do take care upon entering. Typically, there is no toilet paper and pine needles are used to cover your mess.
AMost major villages and teahouses have piped sewages system. Toilets may be western, eastern, or one of each at teahouse facilities. “Flushing” is usually done by pouring a bucket of water into the hole. Toilet paper or other products should never be “flushed” in Nepal. Always use the waste bins provided. Toilet facilities may be located in a separate area down the hall from your sleeping quarters, inside of your room, or as on outhouse detached from the building.
We advise to always bring toilet paper for your trek. Teahouses do have toilet paper available for purchase, but it is quite expensive. For ladies, utilizing a wee-rag or “Shewee” device helps when you need to wee. A wee-rag is a small bandana or cloth that you use when you go number one. Simply wipe when you are finished and attach the rag to your pack to dry and disinfect as you walk. A “Shewee” is a device that enables females to wee standing up, certainly handy along the trail. For feminine hygiene products consider investing in a menstruation cup. A menstruation cup is reusable, after being cleaned per manufacturer instructions. This helps eliminate the need of hygiene product waste, making life on the trail a much simpler experience.
What Is the Water Quality in Nepal?
You should always treat any tap, spring, or natural water in Nepal. Purification can be done using one of several methods. A SteriPen is a good option, however be sure to bring plenty of extra batteries. In Kathmandu, you can purchase iodine and chlorine tablets that will purify water. Another option is to use a backcountry or wild camping water filter. Whichever method you choose it is important to also bring a backup method as well.
The water out of the tap in Kathmandu and Pokhara is unfit to drink, brush your teeth, rinse your mouth, etc. It will need to be purified using one of the methods described above. The same rules apply along the trek. There is opportunity to use communal village springs to refill your water, but take care to filter prior to drinking. Also, while in teahouses, you can fill your water bottle up with boiled water. At night, this provides an added benefit of warmth when stuffed in your sleeping bag.
We also recommend using a hard water bottle, capable of withstanding hot water temperatures instead of a water bladder. A bladder can melt if hot water is placed inside of it, and the hose can freeze when temperatures dip below freezing at night.
We do not promote the use of disposable plastic water bottles in Nepal. Unfortunately, Nepal does not sustain a recycling system capable of properly handling plastic waste. Plastic waste is a huge concern for the Nepalese. As a responsible tour agency, we strongly urge you to rely on a different method for drinking water.
Nepal Cultural Tips
Nepal is largely a very conservative and traditional society. It has deep cultural roots in Budhism, Hinduism and a complicated tribal and caste system. As a result there are many customs and taboos that we, as guests, should try our best to observe. Many of the following guidelines would come under a general banner of polite subtlety and respect.
Proper Greetings in Nepal
The usual greeting in Nepal is "Namaste", this is often accompanied by pressing the palms of your hands together like a prayer. The greeting translates to something along the lines of 'the spirit within me salutes the spirit within you' and is a mark of respect. You should always return the greeting in the same way that it was offered and instigating it on the trail can be a satisfying way of interacting.
How to Dress in Nepal
All persons should dress 'modestly', this is especially true of female visitors. For general guidance you should keep your upper arms to the elbow and upper legs to the knee covered. In addition, tops should not finish above the waistline of your trousers and expose your midriff and your neckline should not extend down more than a few inches. If you are visiting a temple or holy place it would be appropriate to dress even more modestly than that above. Also, if you decide to swim while in Nepal, ladies, please bring a one-piece swimsuit.
Nepal Code of Conduct
Try to conduct yourselves in a generally calm and reasonably quiet manner. As a guide simply observe the local Nepalis around you and try not to be significantly louder or more boisterous than them.
Is It Ok to Show Signs of Affection in Nepal?
Public displays of affection between a male and a female such as kissing will embarrass most Nepalis, especially in more rural locations, and should be avoided. You may notice Nepali men walking or standing holding hands, this is normal between friends and does not indicate anything beyond platonic friendship, do not be concerned if a Nepali whom you have come to know well sits with his arm around you.
Most Nepalis, especially Hindus, consider the left hand to be unclean. You should always therefore shake hands, offer and receive with the right hand. This is generally a good idea quite apart from the cultural aspect as the left is the one they will have used for nasty jobs like those immediately before exiting the long drop! An additional mark of respect or gratitude is shown by touching the right elbow with the left hand whilst giving or receiving with the right.
The caste system generally observed in Nepal has an aspect of "ritual pollution" whereby a person from an upper caste will refuse food prepared by someone in a lower caste. Westerners will generally be considered as low caste. Therefore you should avoid touching any food until you are sure that you will purchase or eat it.
Gift Giving Traditions in Nepal
If you are a guest in a home the host is likely to bring you a gift of food or drink. This may range anywhere from fresh milk-tea and a boiled potato to rakshi and tsampa and may be more or less palatable to you. However, you should always eat or drink some of it as a mark of respect and gratitude. Be aware that the cup may instantly be re-filled so if you are not enjoying it you may want to sip at it more slowly.
Farewell Gifts: the Khata
If you have spent a large amount of time with a Nepali family or individual, when you come to leave they may offer a gift of a Kata, a silk scarf, usually white in colour with patterns and auspicious symbols printed onto it. The kata will be placed around your neck and a 'Namaste' or 'Tashi Delek' offered which you should return. The kata is a symbol of respect and of good fortune in your journey, it must be kept off the ground and not gotten dirty. If you choose not to take the kata home with you there are usually places on the trail where you will see kata tied to objects such as a tree or bridge. It would appropriate to tie yours here also, with the frayed ends free and off the ground, if you so choose.
The Mani Stone and Other Sacred Objects
On the trails you will pass a range of different sacred objects, these will usually be obvious such as a giant rock of collection of smaller flat rocks painted or carved with mantras (mani stone), a post with brightly coloured prayer flags on it, a white dome-like structure (stupa), lines of small prayer wheels, large prayer wheels etc. These should be treated with the utmost respect and should always be passed with them to your right. ie walk towards it then turn left before you get to it. Passing on this side of the prayer wheels will also ensure that if you choose to turn them as you pass you will automatically turn them in a clockwise direction, which is also the custom.
Temples and Holy Places
When entering a temple or gompa (small temple) always remove your shoes. Usually you will be forbidden from taking photographs inside such a building. However you may ask a senior monk if you are allowed to do so. When leaving the temple it is customary to leave a small donation in a collection box near to the door. On many occasions there is also a visitor book which you can sign.
Feet and shoes are often considered ritually unclean, avoid sitting with them up in the air or stepping over someone sitting on the ground. Also ensure that where you are sat you will not force others to step over you.
As with many nations, there is a culture of haggling in Nepal. If there is a price marked on an object then it is almost certainly inappropriate to negotiate on the price unless perhaps you are buying many items at once. However, if the price is not marked then you may begin the fine art of haggling. The vendor will quote you a price to begin with, depending on whether you are in the tourist district of a large town or in a village market the starting price may be somewhere from ten to one and a half times the going rate. At this point you will need to make a judgement call. On the one hand, paying over the odds can drive up expectations and prices generally for everyone including locals. On the other hand, driving the price of a souvenir down by the equivalent of 25 pence will make virtually no difference to you but may change the weekly income of a rural family by a few percent.
Environmental and Social Issues
Nepal is a developing nation that can struggle to keep up with the influx of tourists. Be aware of the waste you create while on your trek. Try to unwrap new kit and supplies while at home, where it can be properly disposed of. Also, filter your water instead of buying disposable plastic bottles. There is no way for disposable plastic bottles to be recycled in Nepal and the tourism industry accounts for millions of plastic waste each year.
Do not trash the trail. Pack out your trash, or dispose of it in provided waste bins. If you really want to do your part, pick up a few items of trash that you spot along your way. A little goes a long way in protecting a high alpine environment. Try to be conscious of purchasing items with a lot of packaging. Also, don't ever put trash in the teahouse stoves.
Unfortunately, Nepal has a problem with begging children. Giving them money, treats, pencils, balloons, etc only encourages this behavior. If you would like to help the country of Nepal consider participating in one our volunteer trips through Moving Mountains.
Festivals and Holidays
Nepal is predominantly Hindu and there are several festivals that go on throughout the year. Buddhist holidays also take place throughout the year. Needless to say, Nepal hosts a celebratory culture where there is always a holiday to look forward to. Nepal also follows a different calendar, the Bikram Sambat Calendar. They are approximately 56 years and 8 months ahead of the English calendar. This means that the Nepali New Year happens around the middle of April. The holidays primarily affect government shut-downs, but many private businesses remain open. Whether or not you are affected by a holiday primarily revolves around what region you are in at the time.
Notable holidays include:
- Shree Panchami: Celebrates Saraswati, the goddess of learning. Happens in January
- Holi: A Hindu festival of colors. Happens in mid-March
- Ghode Jatra: Also in mid-March is a horse racing event in Tudikhel
- Mata Turtha Puja: Nepalese Mother's Day. Held in early May.
- Buddha Jayanti: The celebration of Buddhas birthday. Typically in June
- Gaijatra: Honors the god of death, Yamaraj. This festival includes a parade of cows. Held in August or early September
- Indra Jatra: An eight-day festival combining both the Hindu and Buddhist versions of this celebration. Takes place in late August or September
- Krishna Janmastami: A celebration of Lord Krishna's birthday. Held in September.
- Dashain: Nepal's most important festival, celebrated throughout the country. Takes place over two weeks at the end of September
- Tihar: Nepal's version of the Hindu Festival of Lights. A five day festival held in October that celebrates dogs, cows, and light.
Food and Drink
Nepalese cuisine is heavily influenced by both Tibet and India. Nepali food is simply delicious and there are many different dishes to try while exploring Nepal. A staple meal is Dal Bhat. This savory curried lentil soup is packed with flavor. The dish is served with rice and Takari, or curried mixed vegetables. Many Nepalese eat Dal Bhat twice a day. If ordered at a teahouse, expect to be asked if you would like seconds.
Momos, a delicious steamed dumpling stuffed with meat or veg, are another delicious item on almost every menu in Nepal. While in Kathmandu, give Newari food a try. A traditional tribal culture of Nepal, Newari create complex spicy dishes that are well worth a taste.
Since there is limited refrigeration while trekking in remote areas, it is advised that you stick to vegetarian meals while on your trek. This will help keep any stomach problems at bay.
It is legal to drink alcohol in Nepal. Beer is widespread and Nepal makes some of its own. Some of the better beers are Khumbu Kolsch and Everest Lager. Liquor is also available, in particular you will find Nepali rum along the trail. However, do take care when drinking at altitude, it is advised not to drink any alcohol on your way up to your destination, instead save any celebration once you are at a lower altitude.
After a long day trekking there is nothing quite like a cup of Nepali tea. With several different flavors to choose from the teahouse keeps its namesake by serving up delicious warm beverages. Sherpa tea, a fatty concoction of butter, milk, and tea is worth a try if you have not had anything like it before.
Tipping at restaurants in Nepal is customary. The bill might include a service charge, so be sure to check when it arrives. If nothing has been added 5-10% is acceptable. For taxi drivers, simply round up the fare. Tipping your guide and porter is not mandatory, but it is customary if you like the service you have received. For many guides and porters, their real wages are made in tips. To read more about tipping check out our Tipping Advice.
If you happen to forget one of these general rules and suddenly realise that you have walked to the wrong side of a mani stone for example, don't panic! Most Nepalis are very calm and gentle people, simply correct or acknowledge your error if possible and remember for next time.
The following advice is intended to provide a brief outline of any laws in the desination country that are directly applicable to travelling there. This is not intended to be exhaustive or complete and laws do change from time to time so we strongly advise visiting the UK Foreign Office website and checking for their current advice.
In general the laws of any country will be based on the same values as at home but significant differences can be present subject to the prevailing cultural, religious and political environment in the country. These four basic factors can be your main guide to how to act in unfamiliar situations. If you are any doubt as to what to do in a given situation it is usually possible to identify the "safest" fallback option and go with it. For example, not buying something, not taking a photo of a government building etc.
This information should also be read in conjunction with our relevant pages dealing with Cultural Awareness and Visa Requirements.
Drugs are a growing problem in Nepal and the authorities are determined to tackle and control the problem. Penalties for drugs related offences are severe. Possession of small amounts of marijuana can lead to a prison sentence in excess of five years, usually after a lengthy and expensive legal process. The availability of Class A drugs are on the rise and an increasing number of people are being caught smuggling drugs in to and out of the country.
Good morning - subha prabhat
Good afternoon - namaskar
Good evening - subha sandhya
Good night - subha ratri
Welcome - swagatam
Hello/Goodbye - namaste
How are you? - tapaaii/timi lai kasto cha?
I'm fine, thanks. And you? - sanchai cha. tapaaiilaaii ni?
What's your name? tapaaiiko/timro naam ke ho?
My name is Dave - mero naam Dave ho
Where are you from? - tapaaiikii ghara kaaham ho?
I'm from England - mero ghara England ho
Excuse me/Sorry - maapha ganus
Thank you - dhanyabad
The Sherpa people are one of many ethnic groups in Nepal. They have their own language derived from their roots in Tibet. It is only really a spoken language though there have been attempts to establish a written form using either the Tibetan script or the Devanagari script more common in Nepal. Neither Devanagari nor Latin script is reported as being very good at conveying the sounds of the Sherpa language accurately.
Hello - Tashi Delek
How are you ? / Are you fine ? - Thangbu ? / Thangburang ?
I'm fine - Thangburang
Yes - Las
No - Eya
Thank you - Lolo ouskham
Thanks ! - Thuche
Excuse me - Kaki semengen
Sorry - A ngaleg deh
Goodbye - Rizipeng
What is your name ? - Khyoro min kang hin ? / Khyoro minla kang si ?
My name is Dave - Nye min Dave hin / Nye minla Dave siwi
How old are you ? - Lo cho lepki ?
I am 30 years old - Lo khalsum lepkiwi
What is the name of your village ? - Khyoro yulki min kang si ?
The name of my village is Bumburi - Nye yulla Bumburi siwi
Are you married ? - Khyoro zendi kyaup ?
Do you have children ? - Peza watang me ?
What do you like better, city life or village life ? - Kyurungla shaharki miji gaa nouki yulki miji gaa nok ?
What is the name of that mountain? - Phoki katiki minti kangsi ?
How far is Everest/Chomolongma from here ? - Desu Everest/Chomolongma cho thakringbu wai ?
Can we see Mount Everest from Namche Bazaar ? - Namche Bazaar ne sagarmatha thongita ?
What is this ? - Di kang hin ?
What is that ? - Phokiti kang hin ?
What is the name of this flower ? - Di mendok min kang hin ?
The weather is nice - Nam lemu chungsung
It may rain today - Haring cherwa gyakitene
Food & Drink
I'm hungry - Lhowa lasung / Nga lhowa langginok
I'm not hungry - Lhowarang me
I'm thirsty - Komba lasung / Komba langginok
I'm not thirsty - Kombarang me
I am tired - En chesung
What will we eat for dinner? - Goki sama kangse ?
Wongdi has cooked delicious food - Wongdi sama simbu zonok
Where is the toilet? - Keh kabooukg dalakg toot?
I have been to the toilet - Nga phila galin
Days of the Week
It is interesting to know the days of the week as most of the Sherpas that you will meet will have a first name that corresponds to the day of the week on which they were born.
Sunday - Ngima
Tuesday - Mingma
Wednesday - Lhakpa
Thursday - Phurba
Friday - Pasang
Saturday - Pemba
There is a full English Sherpa dictionary available online at http://nepalresearch.org/language/sh_eng.pdf