About Nepal

General Information

Nepal MapLocation Nepal is a small, landlocked Himalayan Country located between Tibetan autonomous region of the People's Republic of China to the North and India to the South, West and East. The land is a rectangular in shape having 885 km in length from east to west and 145 km to 241 km north to south. The elevation of the country ranges from 70 m sea level to the highest point on earth, Mt. Everest at 8848 m all within a distance of 150 km with climatic variations ranging from sub- tropical to alpine. The country is popularly known in the world for an incredible variety of eco- system, the world's 8 highest mountain ranges, thick tropical jungles teeming with of flora and fauna, thundering rivers, ice- blue lake, forested hills, arid deserts and frozen valleys. Nepal offers an amazing diversity of adventure opportunity and cultural sightseeing attractions found nowhere else on earth.

Location : Situated between India & China in the North & India in East, West & South.
 Area : 147,181 sq. km.
Capital : Kathmandu
Population : 25 million
Currency : Nepalese Rupee (NRS)
Language : Nepali & English.
Religion : Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and others.
Seasons : Winter ( December- February)
Spring ( March- May) 
Summer (June- August) 
Autumn (September- November).

World Heritage Sites ( Cultural)

  • Kathamandu Durbar Square
  • Pashupatinath
  • Swayambhunath
  • Bouddhanath
  • Patan Durbar Square
  • Bhaktapur Durbar Square
  • Lumbini ( birth place of Lord Buddha)

Entry Procedures & Visa Rules "

Nepal Government has approved free visa for summiteers of Mt. Everest and Mt. Dhaulagiri for the rest of 2010 and Nepal Tourism Year 2011. The Government has approved 50 percent concession on the Royalty of Mt. Dhaulagiri in this period."

a. Tourist Visa 

Visa Facility       Duration     Fee

Multiple entry     15 days     US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency

Multiple entry     30 days     US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency

Multiple entry     90 days     US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency

b.    Gratis (Free) Visa   

•    Gratis visa for 30 days is available only for nationals of SAARC countries. However, for extension of visa for SAARC nationals, the rule issame as that of other nationals.
•    Indian nationals do not require visa to enter into Nepal. 

For Visa Extension: 

Tourists can stay for a maximum of 150 days in a visa year (Jan 1 to Dec 31) extending the visa at the rate of 2 US $ per day. However, a minimum amount of 30 US$ has to be paid for a period of 15 days or less. 
(For further information, please, contact Department of Immigration, Maitighar, Impact Building, Kathmandu, Tel: 00977-1-4221996/ 4223590/ 4222453, Web: www.immi.gov.np )  

Custom Formalities 
Any visitor bringing in more than 5000 US$ or equivalent amount in any other currency/currencies must declare the currency/currencies at the Customs Office in the Airport. Customs: All baggage must be declared and cleared through the customs on arrival at the entry point. Personal effects are permitted free entry. Passengers arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) without any dutiable goods can proceed through the Green Channel for quick clearance without a baggage check. If you are carrying dutiable articles, you have to pass through the Red Channel for detailed customs clearance. 


Import: Apart from used personal belongings, visitors are allowed to bring to Nepal free of duty: cigarettes (200 sticks) or cigars (50 sticks), distilled liquor (one 1.15 liter bottle), and film (15 rolls). You can also bring in the following articles free of duty on condition that you take them out with you when you leave: binoculars, movie or video camera, still camera, laptop computer, and portable music system. 


Export: The export of antiques requires special certification from the Department of Archeology, National Archive Building, Ram Shah Path, Kathmandu. It is illegal to export objects over 100 years old, such as sacred images, paintings, manuscripts that are valued for culture and religious reasons. Visitors are advised not to purchase such items as they are Nepal's cultural heritage and belong here. 
For more information on customs matters, contact the Chief Customs Administrator, TIA Customs Office (Phone: 4470110, 4472266). 

Foreign Currency and Credit Cards Payment in hotels, travel agencies, and airlines are made in foreign exchange. Credit cards like American Express, Master and Visa are widely accepted at major hotels, shops, and restaurants. Remember to keep your Foreign Exchange Encashment Receipt while making foreign exchange payments or transferring foreign currency into Nepalese rupees. The receipts may be needed to change left-over Nepalese Rupees into hard currency before leaving the country. However, only 10 percent of the total amount may be converted by the bank. ATM is widely in use in Kathmandu. 


Major banks, hotels and exchange counters at Tribhuvan International Airport provide services for exchanging foreign currency. 


Exchange rates are published in English dailies such as The Rising Nepal, The Kathmandu Post and The Himalayan Times. Nepalese Rupees are found in denominations of Rupees 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are found in denominations of Rupees 5, 2 and 1. One rupee equals 100 paisa. 

Time and Business Hours 

Nepal is five hours 45 minutes ahead of GMT. 
Business hours within the Valley: Government offices are open from 10 am to 5 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday and close at 3pm on Friday in the Kathmandu Valley. During the winter, they close at 4 pm. Most Business offices are open from 10 am to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday. Embassies and international organizations are open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. Most shops open after 10 am and close at about 8 pm and are usually closed on Saturdays. 


Business hours outside the Valley: Government offices outside Kathmandu valley open from 10 am to 5 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday. On Fridays they remain open until 3 pm. Banks are open from Sunday through Thursday from 10 am to 3 pm. On Fridays, banks remain open until 12 pm only. Business offices are open from 10 am to 5 pm Sunday through Friday. Recently many private banks have re-organized to have different branches open at various different times making banking hours longer. If one branch is closed another will be open.


Holidays: Nepal observes numerous holidays, at the least a couple in a month. So please check the holiday calendar. The longest holiday in Nepal is during the Dashain festival in late September or October. Government offices observe all the national holidays and banks observe most of them. Businesses observe major holidays only. 

Communication Facilities 
Postal Services: The Central Post Office located near Dharahara Tower, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday. The counters are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and provide stamps, postcards and aerograms. Post Restante is available Sunday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Express Mail Service (EMS) is available at GPO and at Thamel, Basantapur and airport postal counters. 
Telephone Services: Telephone and fax services are available at the Nepal Telecommunications Corporation at Tripureshwar. Hotels and private communications centers provide long distance telephone and fax facilities. For calling from outside, country code for Nepal is 977 and the area code for Kathmandu is 1. 


Internet Services: There are countless Internet cafes and communication centers have opened up in the Valley and around the country. Visitors only have to find a place they are most comfortable in to use the facilities to keep in touch with home. Internet services are also offered by hotels. 


Media: Nepali media has made a gigantic leap ahead in just a few years time and what used to be a controlled and tight knit community, is no more. The government audio and television news networks are Radio Nepal and Nepal Television respectively. However, numerous FM radio stations and regional television stations are dominating the market. Major Nepali daily newspapers are Gorkhapatra and Kantipur, while the English dailies are The Rising Nepal, The Kathmandu Post and The Himalayan Times. A number of other newspapers and magazines are also available. 


Electricity: Major towns have electricity and the voltage available is 220-volts and 50 cycles. Load shedding is a seasonal phenomenon during the dry season and eases off once it begins to rain. However, most major hotels have uninterrupted power supply through their own generators.


Direct flights to Nepal
Travelling by air

Nepal Airlines is the national flag carrier of Nepal with flights to/from Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Other international airlines operating from/ to Kathmandu are Air Arabia (Sharjah), Air China (Lhasa, Chengdu), ArkeFly(Amsterdam ), Bahrain Air (Bahrain ), Biman Bangladesh (Dhaka), China Southern Airlines (Guanzhou), China Eastern (Kunming), Dragon Air (Hong Kong), Druk Air (Delhi, Paro), Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi),Fly Dubai (Dubai), GMG Airlines (Dhaka), Gulf Air (Bahrain, Muscat), Indian Airlines (Delhi, Kolkotta, Varanasi), Jet Airways (Delhi, Mumbai), Jet Lite (Delhi), Kingfisher Airlines (Delhi), Korean Air (Seoul), Pakistan International Airlines (Karachi), Qatar Airways (Doha), Silk Air (Singapore) and Thai Airways (Bangkok).


Airfares fluctuate with the changes in exchange rates and are to be paid in foreign currency by foreign nationals. Only Nepalese and Indian nationals are permitted to pay in rupees for air passage between Nepal and India. Departure flight tickets should be reconfirmed three days in advance to avoid inconveniences by possible flight cancellation or changes in the flight schedule. Overweight luggage charges are levied in foreign exchange.

Traveling by road/Entry Points All visitors entering Nepal by land must use these designated entry points and may not enter from any other point: 


Nepal-India border Kakarbhitta Birgunj Belhiya, Bhairahawa Nepalgunj Dhangadi Mahendra Nagar Kodari, Nepal-China border 

Overland tourists entering the country with their vehicles must possess an international carnet.
How to get there?Travelling by airNepal Airlines is the national flag carrier of Nepal with flights to/from Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Other international airlines operating from/ to Kathmandu are Air Arabia (Sharjah), Air China (Lhasa, Chengdu), ArkeFly(Amsterdam ), Bahrain Air (Bahrain ), Biman Bangladesh (Dhaka), China Southern Airlines (Guanzhou), China Eastern (Kunming), Dragon Air (Hong Kong), Druk Air (Delhi, Paro), Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), GMG Airlines (Dhaka), Gulf Air (Bahrain, Muscat), Indian Airlines (Delhi, Kolkotta, Varanasi), Jet Airways (Delhi, Mumbai), Jet Lite (Delhi), Kingfisher Airlines (Delhi), Korean Air (Seoul), Pakistan International Airlines (Karachi), Qatar Airways (Doha), Silk Air (Singapore) and Thai Airways (Bangkok).


Airfares fluctuate with the changes in exchange rates and are to be paid in foreign currency by foreign nationals. Only Nepalese and Indian nationals are permitted to pay in rupees for air passage between Nepal and India. Departure flight tickets should be reconfirmed three days in advance to avoid inconveniences by possible flight cancellation or changes in the flight schedule. Overweight luggage charges are levied in foreign exchange.


Customs: All baggage must be declared and cleared through the customs on arrival at the port of entry. Passengers arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) without any dutiable goods can proceed through the Green Channel for quick clearance without a baggage check. If you are carrying dutiable articles, you have to pass through the Red Channel for detailed customs clearance.


Import: Apart from used personal belongings, visitors are allowed to bring to Nepal free of duty cigarette (200) or cigars (50), distilled liquor (one 1.15 liter bottle), and film (15 rolls). You can also bring in the following articles free of duty on condition that you take them out with you when you leave: binoculars, movie or video camera, still camera, laptop computer, and portable music system.


Export: It is illegal to export objects over 100 years old (sacred images, paintings, manuscripts) that are valued for culture and religious reasons. Visitors are advised not to purchase such items as they are Nepal's cultural heritage and belong here. The Department of Archaeology (tel: 4213701, 4213702) at Ramshah Path near Singha Durbar has to certify all metal statues, sacred paintings and similar objects before they are allowed to be sent or carried out of the country. Handicraft dealers and travel agents are able to assist you in this process. For more information on customs matters, contact the Chief Customs Administrator, TIA Customs Office; tel: 4470110, 4472266.

Travelling by road

All visitors entering Nepal by land must use no other entry points other than:
Nepal-India border    

* Kakarbhitta    

* Birgunj    

* Belhiya, Bhairahawa    

* Nepalgunj  

* Dhangadi    

* Mahendra Nagar


Nepal-China border    

* Kodari
The overland tourists entering the country with their vehicles must possess an international carnet.


Accommodation

Nepal has every category of accommodation facilities that range from international standard star hotels to budget hotels and lodges. To ensure quality service, it is advisable to use the facilities and services of government registered hotels, lodges, travel agencies, licensed tour guides only and engage an authorized trekking guide or porter only through a registered travel and trekking agency.  
In the last few decades, Kathmandu and Pokhara with the rest of Nepal has seen the mushrooming of world class hotels. During spring and fall, the better hotels work at near full capacity and are booked well in advance. There are, however, plenty of less glamorous but decent hotels to suit everyone's fancies and finances. Most hotels offer a choice: bed and breakfast; bed, breakfast and one other meal; or room and full board. Rates listed however, are for room only, unless otherwise indicated. Toilets and showers in this case are generally communal and heating is extra. These small hostelries are located in the older parts of Kathmandu and in the Thamel district.  With the boom of tourism in Nepal since the early 1970s, even Nepalis living in remote parts of the country have improved the standard of local tourist facilities. Hence accommodation and meals for tourists are more easily available than ever before. 

Getting Around

Domestic Air Service
Nepal Airlines (RA) has an extensive network of air services in the interior of Nepal. It has scheduled connection flights from Kathmandu to Taplejung, Bhadrapur, Rajbiraj, Bhojpur, Phaplu, Lukla, Lamidanda, Tunmlingtar, Rumjatar, Biratnagar Simara, Janakpur, Ramechhap, Bharatpur, Meghauli ,Pokhara, Jomsom, Manang, Baglung. Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj Chaurjhahari, Surkhet, Dang, Dolpa, Jumla, Bajura, Baitadi, Dipayal, Darchula, Mahendranagar, Dhangadi, Tikapur and Sanfebagar. Besides Nepal Airlines, other domestic airlines such as Buddha Air, Sita Air Yeti Airways and Agni Air provide regular and charter services to popular domestic destinations.City Buses 
There are many buses, minibuses and microbuses available at Ratna Park (old Bus Park) which depart for various destinations in the valley. Safa tempos run on electric power (battery) and are available in Kathmandu for commuters.   Metered TaxiConsult the Kathmandu Valley map to find out the direction of your destination. Hail a taxi, which is easily recognizable by its taxi sign on top and black license plate. No tip is expected. A metered taxi from the airport to downtown will cost about Rs. 200 to Rs. 400. Private taxis may charge slightly higher than the ordinary taxis. There is also an arrangement of a Night Taxi Service operated by major hotels. The fare is much higher than the metered taxi. One can rent a private car through a travel agent or a car rental company. 


Hired Mountain Bike / Ordinary Bicycle 
Mountain bikes and ordinary bicycles can be hired cheaply and the best form of transportation for economy tourists. One can hire them at Thamel, Rani Pokhari and Jhochhen.Long Distance Bus Service 
Long distance day or night bus services are available from Kathmandu to all cities of Nepal. The Gongabu Bus Park on the Ring Road near Balaju is the main bus terminal from where buses depart for most destinations within the country. Six-seater Sumo Tata vans, 12-seater vans and air-conditioned mini buses are also available for long distance travel. Greenline runs special tourist bus services to a limited number of destinations like Pokhara and Chitwan.