Things to know before travelling to Nepal

Things to know before travelling to Nepal
If you are thinking of traveling to Nepal, we believe that you have been to a fair few countries before! This of course is unless it’s among your first trips and you are dedicated to go trekking! Our point being, with the traveling experience you may have, you must be aware that Nepal is a country still in development and has gone through hard times since the 2015 earthquake, hence do not have grand expectations in terms of tourism infrastructures!
That being said, with tourism being a top factor of the economy, Nepal still will always have what you need at the end of the day! It is one of the most beautiful countries with the kindest people, magical landscapes, rich culture (the incredible mix of religions) and plenty of adventure activities that will not leave you bored in the country!
We have compiled a few things to know before heading to Nepal and hopefully it will clarify expectations!

Nepalese people are very welcoming

A place where people greet each other with the word “Namaste”, it is no doubt that the Nepalese are some of the most welcoming people you will ever meet. We are of course talking about the locals, the guides, the people that run tea houses on the mountains, etc. Of course, you will always find annoying taxi drivers overcharging you for being a foreigner or pushy merchants, but this is normal for any country where tourism has become too fast their main source of income. People get greedy and unfortunately this is how scams grow in a country. Which brings to our next point.

Be aware of the costs of things in Nepal

Do your research! We have many guides about Nepal, so make sure to check them out, most importantly on the price you should expect to pay for things. It is important to always be aware of the actual prices you should pay for things when you visit a country. Over paying for things makes vendors greedy and changes the market price for all other visitors that will follow you, so let’s all be aware of the value of things and pay the right price that will make both parties happy.
Things to know before travelling to Nepal

 

Respect the Nepalese Traditions

Every country has its own customs and traditions. It’s our responsibility to be aware of their ways and to be respectful once in their countries.
  • So when visiting during the hotter seasons, be conservative with your clothing choices. Cover your knees and shoulders as much as possible. Note that you won’t be accepted to visit Buddhist temples in shorts and most of the time will be denied entrance to any type of temples if you are not dressed conservatively.
  • It is common to greet someone with “Namaste” while placing your palms in a prayer style
  • Avoid public displays of affection. You can hold hands and arms no problems, but kissing your partner in public might get you frowns and unwanted looks.
  • When entering people’s homes, always remove your shoes before entering! This goes as well for temples when you enter the praying or mediation area.
Things to know before travelling to Nepal

 

Nepal is still recovering from the earthquake

As you may know, Nepal was hit on April 25th 2015 by a devastating earthquake, killing over 8,000 people and leaving over 21,000 others wounded. It was considered Nepal’s worst natural disaster since the 1934 Nepal-Bihar earthquake.
Unfortunately, many Historic buildings were destroyed or left in ruins, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Durbar Square of Kathmandu. Even when visiting the other Durbar Square in Patan, you will see damaged sites, but way less that the one of Kathmandu.
To this day, it is difficult to see the slow recovery of the country and can also be frustrating to not see a fast progress in fixing the historic sites. There are no timelines or plans that would indicate progress, which makes it very frustrating considering foreigner prices for many sites has doubled or even tripled the price.
Get the new foreigner prices for historic sites of Kathmandu on our “Things to do in Kathmandu” guide.

 

Tourism hasn’t been impacted as much as you think by the earthquake

You might be thinking twice about visiting the country considering its recent earthquake, but tourism hasn’t been as impacted as you might think. Other than the historic sites being not as perfect as they used to be, it is as special to visit and see what the country has been to.
Roads will be bumpier than before, but most taxi drivers claim that many of Nepal’s roads were already quite bad even before the earthquake, which means that most of the roads are unpaved and feature large potholes and mountainous terrain.
Things to know before travelling to Nepal

 

The pollution will be very bad in Kathmandu

Nepal’s climate is very dry, which makes it worse for when you’re in Kathmandu, as you are in a valley which makes the dust and pollution being completely STUCK in the city. Air will be way better out of Kathmandu, not to mention the amazing fresh air on the mountains when you trek, but if you are sensitive to polluted air, make sure to bring or buy a mask.
Things to know before travelling to Nepal
Making an effort with the electric mini busses that locals use to get around!
That’s our two cents of things you should be prepared for if you plan to visit Nepal! If you think we should mention something else, leave us a comment! If you are planning to go soon, do not hesitate to contact us for any more questions if it’s not in any of our other articles about Nepal!

Namaste!
  • Have you visited Nepal before?
  • If yes, what did you do and enjoyed the most?
  • Want to know more about Nepal? We have plenty more here! Also please sign up to be notified of the updates via email.

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Things to know before travelling to Nepal
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  • Mizhelle

    I love hiking so Nepal has been in my radar. Thanks for the tips! Will definitely refer back to this when I get the chance to visit Nepal.

  • Yes, it is quite dusty in Kathmandu but the rest of Nepal is fairly decent. The other thing that I found is that if you are out on road trips, be prepared for long journeys and bad roads. Nepalese people are darlings and very sweet. I agree with you on ensuring that we treat them with respect. Cheers

  • Kerri McConnel

    Such a shame there’s so much pollution. It’s one of the things I really struggle with when I travel to such locations as I am just not used to it being from Australia. I am so intrigued by Nepal and yet I’m not sure when I will ever get there. Great tips – always great to embrace the locals and try and learn from them and respect them. Like anywhere that tourists go, the prices can often be inflated so good to get some tips in this area as well.

  • Cat Lin

    I’ve always wanted to visit Nepal, but my plan come to a halt since the earthquake. It is nice to know that tourism is not being affected too much. Though, I was surprised to learn about the air pollution!

  • Useful tips. I’m yet to visit Nepal. Hope I’ll get to go soon. It was indeed sad that we lost some of the UNESCO sites in the devastating earthquake! 🙁

  • Dan Man

    Thanks for all the useful info! I never knew it was common practice to greet some by say “Namaste” with praying hands in Nepal. I’d like to go there one day as I heard about their spicy food 🙂

  • gab_gone_dutch

    thanks for these great tips to Nepal! I would love to hike the Annapurna trail this year and am completely clueless about what Nepal is like, so I am really keen to read as much as possible from others who have been. I would have never expected that Kathmandu is so polluted though! and is it really as chaotic as people say?

  • Good tips. Since I have Nepal on my bucket list, I find them really useful.

  • Nice a nice and concise guide! I was in Nepal just last month, and completely agree about the pollution problem there. Also, local travel can be a challenge as there is little public transportation and finding a cab isn’t always easy!

  • Punita Malhotra

    Nepal is getting a lot of attention these days again. Three people in my close circle have visited Nepal in the last three months..I wonder if its a sign for me 🙂 The country is practically a hop away and I have always wanted to see its natural beauty.

  • Denny

    I had been to Nepal before the Earthquake and I fully endorse everything you mentioned in this post. One of my favorite things in Nepal was the Durbar Square in Bhaktapur. I hope that one hasn’t seen as much destruction from the earthquake when compared to the Kathmandu Durbar square.

  • This is a good introduction for travelers who want to explore Nepal soon. I haven’t been to Nepal yet and these are the things I should put in mind if in case my husband and I will decide to go.

    Liz Gen | fatmoments.com

  • Sam

    Is Nepal safe? I would love to visit, it seems very cultural and full of life. The laws sound very similar to those in the UAE, and having lived there it’s actually not so bad. And I still remember hearing about that earthquake, even from just watching it in the news, it seemed horrible. Hope they recover soon.

  • I would love to visit Nepal although I never guessed Kathmandu is so polluted. I understand that progress rebuilding the country after the earthquake can be slow, especially considering that Nepal is a developing country in the global South. I would still love to hike its glorious peaks though.

  • Marcus Williams

    Some useful tips about Nepal especially following the earthquake. I was surprised how much pollution and poor air quality there is in Kathmandu, I wrongly assumed it would be fresh mountain air.

  • Vanessa Workman

    I missed my trip to Nepal last year due to a conflict in my schedule.. was so bummed. 🙁 Your gorgeous photos make me want to bump it back up to the priority list. Great tips as well!

  • Fairuz Ibrahim

    Nepal has been on my radar for a while because it looks like a great destination for those who love nature and cultures. So, thanks for sharing these tips. I’ve met many Nepalese here in Australia, and they’re very friendly. They always offer me to stay with their families when I go there 🙂

  • AMIT AGRAWAL

    Great tips for planning to visit Nepal. I am accustomed to Nepalese customs as they are very similar to ours like Namaste, entering temples or houses with shoes taken out. Very sad to hear about pollution because Nepal has beautiful nature and pollution would destroy it.

  • Lisa Rivera

    I’ve yet to travel to Nepal, so this was a good read. Shame to know about the market vendors changing the prices but it happens. I’ll remember to bring a mask for the pollution!

  • Aleney de Winter

    I’m planning to visit Kathmandu soon so these tips are incredibly practical and useful to me. I realsie that it is still deep in recovery following the earthquake but had no clue before reading this that the pollution in Kathmandu was so bad. Will know to bring a mask.

  • These are great tips as we are planning a trek to base camp next year. I’m really excited to get into the Himalayas but not excited about the pollution in Kathmandu

  • Iulia Falcutescu

    I have never been to Nepal, but it sounds as a great travel destination. It is great to see the country recovering after a natural disaster and I am for sure going to travel there sometime in this life 😊 your guide is amazing! Practical and to the point, it is helpful and clearly well documented. Safe travels ahead!

  • Julie Beckers

    These are great tips to prepare to travel to Nepal. It’s such a shame that the country is still trying to recover after the earthquake.