10 Things you should know before you travel to Nepal
Travelling arbitrarily seldom yields good results. Preparation is the key to a successful journey. History has it! Find out your packing list before you enter Nepal.
Oct 14, 2020
Nepal is a trekking paradise and thousands of trekkers come to Nepal for high altitude trekking every year. Nepal is one of the top destinations to visit after Covid-19 situation is over. 8 out of the 10 highest mountain on earth are situated in this tiny country of 30 million people. Every traveler wants to know better about the destination if they are travelling there for the first time. You get a lot of information on the usual things like weather, visa and accommodation but this is an attempt to help you with the small details while you go for trekking. If you keep these 10 things in mind, you are more than ready for your next high-altitude trekking in the Himalayas!
1) Portable chargers
While trekking in Nepal, you will be travelling through a lot of wilderness and have electricity only in the hotels and tea houses on the trail, as you go higher the cost of charging your devices will go high as well, it’s a good idea to have portable chargers , solar ones if you have. You can buy them in Kathmandu as well.
2) Currency exchange.
It is advised that you bring some USD (1 USD= 115 NPR) or some Euros (1 EUR=135 NPR). You can exchange some money at the airport if needed. Otherwise it is a good idea if you exchange money with authorized money exchangers in town as you will get better rates than in the airport. Other convertible currencies such as AUD or GBP can also be exchanged here. If you are getting an on arrival visa, please bring passport size photos as well.
3) Buy a Mask When You Arrive
Even though the trekking trials are clean and scenic, it is advised that you put on a mask when travelling around the city. Since construction and widening of roads is going on in Kathmandu, we advise you to carry a scarf or mask as you are sightseeing in the city area. The importance of mask has also increased due to the recent situation with Covid-19.
4) SIM Card for Your Phone
There are two phone service providers in Nepal, Ncell and Nepal telecom. You can purchase a sim card in the airport itself or if you request us we can bring a sim card or phone for you while you are travelling in Nepal.
5) Don’t Brush Your Teeth with the Tap Water in Kathmandu
Even though the trek guide will brief you on this, the tap water in Kathmandu is not advisable to be used for drinking and brushing your teeth. You can buy bottled water for as less as 30 cents. It is just a good idea to know this fact before you arrive in Nepal.
You will be amazed by the difference in prices across shops in every stuff you are trying to buy. It is a good idea to browse through a few stores before you buy something ( Not for food items though, especially gears, equipment’s for trekking and souvenirs). Negotiating for lower prices is normal and be aware of the fact that foreigners are priced a bit higher than locals. We can assist you with shopping if you need anything before the trek.
7) Buy All the Generic Medicine You Can in Thamel
It is a good idea if you bring your medicines from your home country but in case you don’t want to carry over the counter medicines such as ibuprofen, cough lozenges, rehydration packets, lip balm and Diamox (or whichever generic version they have against altitude sickness) are available in Thamel. It will not be possible to get medicine (except the first aid box carried by the guide) while you are at higher altitude. Make sure you have some band aids and bandage as they come very handy during the trek.
8) Assess Your Need for Trekking Equipment
For trekking equipment, the best is to buy all the technical gear at home before leaving (clothing, sleeping bag, hiking boots, etc. But some people who come from tropical climate don’t prefer buying heavy accessories, in that case you can rent trekking gears at reasonable cost in Kathmandu, which we can assist you with.
9) Carry cash not credit cards.
We know you are used to swiping cards or tapping them in most cases back home but while you are trekking there are no ATM’s available and even if they are there, there is a high chance they charge a very high service fee. It is a good idea to use cards in Kathmandu and get some cash out and exchange it in local currency for trekking. The amount of cash you need to carry depends on your trip plan and duration, so contact us for getting a rough idea on estimated cash required.
10) Festivals in Nepal
If you are enthusiastic about culture, history and celebrations, there may be some dates that you may want to choose. The trekking season is during spring (Nepalese New year) and during autumn (The Dashain and Deepawali festivals). If you want to experience some cultural heritage and festivals, it is a good idea you check with us for festivals and events in Nepal during your holiday period. We will recommend you some festivals and celebrations you can be a part of and will help you make your time in Nepal livelier.
Bonus: Please don’t forget to try Momo in Kathmandu and go for a Bazaar walk near Kathmandu durbar square during the evening time to get a feel of the local life and vibrant shopping localities.