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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
- Have you visited Nepal before?
- If yes, what did you do and enjoyed the most?
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