Before you venture to this exotic land filled with deep gorges and towering mountains, vibrant culture and charismatic people, it is important to be prepared for your Nepal travel plans before you actually leave. A Comprehensive Nepal travel guide containing essentials and fast facts about Nepal travel provides tips and topics and other travel related information. The following few Nepal travel information, including climate and the best time to visit Nepal, travel insurance, passport and visa requirements, and banking options, will help you plan an amazing trip in the land with a constant backdrop of mountains.
Fun Facts about Nepal:
1. Nepal is home to the world’s highest mountain, Everest at 8848m.
2. Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal.
3. Yeti, the elusive snowman is believed to roam the mountains of Nepal
4. Nepal has the thickest concentration of World Heritage Sites
5. Momo: A type of dumpling which is a very popular dish here
6. Nepal is the only country that does not have a rectangular flag
7. Nepal is a secular country with 80.62 % of the population being Hindus followed by Buddhists (10.74%)
8. The download speed in Nepal is one of the slowest at only 6.4mbps. (17.2 mbps, global average)
Passport and Visa Information
Visas are available on arrival at the international airport in Kathmandu and at all land border crossings that are open to foreigners, as long as you have passport photos to hand and can pay the visa fee in foreign currency (some crossings insist on payment in US dollars). Your passport must be valid for at least six months and you will need a whole free page for your visa.
A travel-insurance policy that covers theft, loss and medical problems is best for travelling in Nepal. There are a wide variety of policies available, so check the small print carefully. Make sure are covered for adventure activities and high altitude. Since you reach above 4000 meters on quite a few treks in Nepal, it is best to choose a policy that covers medical and emergency repatriation, including helicopter evacuation for trekkers and general medical evacuation. Also understand that most medical treatment and facilities/hospitals must be paid for at the point of delivery of the patient. So it’s wise to choose a policy that pays doctors or hospitals directly rather than you having to pay on the spot and claim later.
The Nepalese Rupee is the currency of Nepal. Our currency rankings show that the most popular Nepal Rupee exchange rate is the NPR to GBP rate. The currency code for Nepalese Rupees is NPR.
Banking and Foreign Exchange:
Payment in hotels, travel agencies, and airlines are made in foreign exchange. There are plenty of cash machines or ATMs in cities and most will accept cards issued by any of the major international banking networks (Plus, Cirrus, etc.). The majority of ATM's currently have a maximum withdrawal amount of 10,000Rs (although you can make repeated withdrawals).
Major Credit Cards such as Visa, MasterCard, JCB and American Express, are readily accepted at most tourist class hotels, restaurants, airlines, and major tourist merchants. Again there is always a transaction fee for processing the cards (this charge is enforced by the banks and not the merchants so please don't ask for a discount to remove this) and this is usually around 4% (although American Express Fees are considerably higher at around 7%)
The Climate in Nepal:
The seasons in Nepal are pretty much the same as Europe, opposite of the Australian seasons. In January it's cold, while in July you could make do with shorts and t-shirt. The climate of Nepal is moderate which means the winters are dry and the summers are hot. But because of the huge range in altitude and landscape, climate of Nepal differs significantly throughout the country.
Generally, monsoon season lasts from around the end of June to the end of August. About 80 per cent of the rainfall occurs during this period throughout the country but the remainder of the year is dry. Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are the most pleasant seasons. Winter (December, January, and February) temperatures drop down with a high level of snowfall in the high mountain areas.
Summer, monsoon and late spring temperatures range from 28ºC (83ºF) in the hills to more than 40ºC (104ºF) in the Terai (southern plains). In winter, average maximum and minimum temperatures in the Terai range from a brisk 7ºC (45ºF) to a mild 23ºC (74ºF). The central valley’s experience a minimum temperature but not often falling below freezing point and a chilly 12ºC (54ºF) maximum during the winter.
Kathmandu Valley has a mild climate most of the year. Summer temperatures range from 67-81°F (19-27°C), and in winter temperatures are between 36 and 68°F (2-20°C). During the monsoon season in August, the average rainfall is between 7.8-14.7 inches (200-375mm) in Kathmandu. May and June can be very hot and humid until the monsoon rains. In spring (March to April) and autumn (October to November) the temperatures are pleasant with occasional short bursts of rain, while November to February are dry, but can be very cold, especially at night.
Best time to visit Nepal:
Spring (March, April, May) and autumn (Sept, Oct, Nov) are the best time of the year to visit Nepal. During this time, the weather is pleasant with efficient sunlight and warmth. The sky is clear which means that you can truly enjoy the remarkable Nepalese landscape complete with the Himalayan vista.
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