Nepal Travel Information

 Visa Information

Visa for Nepal can be obtained from the nearest diplomatic mission (home country or 3rd country) or can be obtained from the entry points to Nepal upon arrival. You need a valid passport and 3 copies of passport size photographs with the visa fee to obtain visa in the entry points. People from India don’t need visa to enter Nepal. 
Travelers staying less than 3 days don’t need to pay visa fee. Citizens of SAARC countries don’t need to pay visa fee if staying less than a month.  
Visa on arrival for Nepal can be obtained from the following points to enter Nepal. 
  • Tribhuvan International airport.
  • Kakkarvitta, Jhapa (Eastern Nepal)
  • Birgunj, Parsa (Central Nepal)
  • Kodari, Sindhupalchock (Northern Border)
  • Belhiya, Bhairahawa (Rupandehi, Western Nepal)
  • Jamuna, Nepalgunj (Banke, Mid Western Nepal)
  • Mohana, Dhangadi (Kailali, Far Western Nepal)
  • Gaddachowki, Mahendranagar (Kanchanpur, Far Western Nepal)

Duration

Visa fee

15 days

USD 25 or equivalent

30 Days

USD 40 or equivalent

90 days

USD 100 or equivalent

 Travelers who are already in Nepal can extend their visa for maximum 150 days. Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US $ 30 or equivalent Nepalese currency and visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$ 2 per day

Note- Credit cards are not accepted for payment of visa fees. Convertible currency such as USD, GBP, EUR and MYR must be used for visa fee payment.

 Customs Formalities

Customs: 
All the things you carry into Nepal must be cleared from the custom office before entering. Things brought for personal use are allowed inside without any custom fees. After landing at the TIA, if you don’t have anything that needs custom clearance you can exit from Green channel. People who are in possession with taxable articles they should pass from Red channel for custom clearance.

 Import: 

Besides the things you bring for personal use the following articles are allowed to carry into Nepal without any custom charge- 
  • (200) or cigars (50)
  • distilled liquor (one 1.15 liter bottle)
  • and film (15 rolls)
  • 1 binocular,
  • 1 movie or video camera and still camera
  • Laptop computer and portable music system.

 Export: 

Antique objects and articles less than 100 years old must be certified by Department of Archeology, National Archive Building, Ram Shah Path, and Kathmandu before taking away from Nepal. Export of things more than 100 years such as paintings, sculpture etc is considered illegal.

 Health information

Although Nepal is not infected with epidemics or other kinds of health problems, it is always important to have proper health information before travelling to Nepal.  Since you come from different environment minor problems related to health such as Diarrhea and fever may be seen while you are in Nepal due to change in environment. We advise our clients to use good clean restaurants and drink water from safe sources or bottled water to avoid getting sick. It is advised to go through a medical examination before starting your tour or trekking in Nepal, especially adventure activities such as peak climbing and mountaineering need you to be in perfect health condition so visiting your doctor before the trip is a good idea.  No vaccination or immunization certificates are required to enter Nepal but as a precaution you can consult your doctor for the diseases such as Polio, Tetanus , Cholera , Meningitis , Typhoid etc.

 Health advice for travelling to Nepal 

The risks to health whilst travelling will vary between individuals and many issues need to be taken into account, e.g. activities abroad, length of stay and general health of the traveler. It is recommended that you consult with your General Practitioner or Practice Nurse 6-8 weeks in advance of travel. They will assess your particular health risks before recommending vaccines and /or ant malarial tablets. This is also a good opportunity to discuss important travel health issues including safe food and water, accidents, sun exposure and insect bites. Many of the problems experienced by travelers cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other preventive measures need to be taken.

 Measles

Measles occurs worldwide and is common in developing countries. The pre-travel consultation is a good opportunity to check that you are immune, either by previous immunization or natural measles infection. Ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including repatriation. UK travelers visiting other European Union countries should also carry the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) as it entitles travelers to reduced cost, sometimes free, medical treatment in most European countries. Online applications normally arrive within seven days. Applications may also be made by telephone on 0845 606 2030 or by post using the form which can be downloaded from the website.

 Immunizations

Confirm primary courses and boosters are up to date as recommended for life in Britain - including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions. 
  • Courses or boosters usually advised:   Diphtheria; Hepatitis A; Tetanus; Typhoid. Cholera; Hepatitis B; Japanese Encephalitis; Rabies.
  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate required for travelers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.
  • Cholera:  spread  through consumption of contaminated water and food. More common during floods and after natural disasters, in areas with very poor sanitation and lack of clean drinking water. It would be unusual for travellers to contract cholera if they take basic precautions with food and water and maintain a good standard of hygiene.
  • Diphtheria:  spread  person to person through respiratory droplets. Risk is higher if mixing with locals in poor, overcrowded living conditions.
  • Hepatitis A:  spread  through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route. Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation are poor.
  • Hepatitis B:  spread  through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse. Risk is higher for those at occupational risk, long stays or frequent travel, children (exposed through cuts and scratches) and individuals who may need, or request, surgical procedures abroad.
  • Japanese Encephalitis:  spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. This mosquito breeds in rice paddies and mainly bites between dusk and dawn. Risk is higher for long stay travelers to rural areas, particularly if unable to avoid mosquito bites.
  • Rabies:  spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, but also bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children. Even when pre-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.
  • Tetanus:  spread through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A total of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine are recommended for life in the UK. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.
  • Typhoid:  spread mainly through consumption of contaminated food and drink. Risk is higher where access to adequate sanitation and safe water is limited.
  • Malaria: Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease transmitted by mosquitoes. You cannot be vaccinated against malaria.

 Malaria precautions

Malaria is present throughout the year with seasonal risk from July to October in the low lying southern plains or 'Terai' districts bordering India.
Malaria precautions: avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleeping under a mosquito net. Check with your doctor or nurse about suitable ant malarial tablets. Chloroquine together with proguanil is usually recommended for those visiting risk areas. If you have been travelling in a malarious area and develop a fever seek medical attention promptly. Remember malaria can develop even up to one year after exposure. If travelling to high risk malarious areas, remote from medical facilities, carrying emergency malaria standby treatment may be considered.

 Other Health Risks

  • Altitude and Travel: This country has either areas with high altitude (2400m or more) or/and areas with very high altitude (3658m or more). Travelers who may go into areas of high altitude should take care to avoid ill effects of being at altitude including Acute Mountain Sickness, a potentially life-threatening condition.  For further information see Altitude and Travel.
  • Dengue Fever: A viral illness that is transmitted to humans by mosquito bites. The mosquito that spreads dengue bites during the day and is more common in urban areas. Symptoms include fever, headache, severe joint, bone and muscular pain - hence its other name 'breakbone fever'. There is no vaccine and prevention is through avoidance of mosquito bites.  For further information see Dengue Fever.

 CIWEC Clinic-The only Travel medicine Center in Nepal

CIWEC Clinic Travel Medicine Center is one of the most famous destination travel medicine clinics in the world. The clinic was established in 1982 to meet the need for a western standard clinic to treat foreign diplomats and aid workers in Nepal. During its 30 year journey, it has expanded its services from a small clinic set up in 1982, to a full service clinic cum hospital providing both outpatient and inpatient care. Originally set up as part of a Canadian project, the clinic was registered officially in 1996 as a Nepali business called Menlha Nursing Home and Medical Center. The clinic is also the first joint venture company in the health sector in Nepal. As of 2013, after much expansion in the range of services offered, the clinic is now known officially as CIWEC Hospital Pvt. Ltd. It is widely known around the world as ”CIWEC Clinic” and ”CIWEC Clinic Travel Medicine Center” both of which are registered trademarks of CIWEC Hospital Pvt. Ltd. The clinic is known internationally both for the high level of care afforded to patients, and for its reliable research and information about health risks in Nepal. It was the first clinic situated in a developing country that was selected by the International society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) to participate in its global surveillance program called the Geo Sentinel for emerging diseases among travelers. The clinic’s focus on health problems in travelers and expatriates in Nepal led to the discovery of a new cause of diarrhea, the publication of over 35 original research papers, and the receipt of two international awards for research in travel and wilderness medicine. The clinic is located in a modern custom built, well equipped facility across from the British Embassy in Lainchaur in the heart of Kathmandu. It caters to nationalities from all over the world and has staff from diverse background, nationalities and languages. The goal is to provide compassionate medical care of western standards in the most efficient manner.

 Note- We recommend you to read a copy of a book called “Travelling well” by an Australian Doctor Deborah Mills. It has comprehensive information on all health problems, precautions and preventions in Nepal.

 Medical Services:

Major cities in Nepal such as Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan and some cities in western and eastern Nepal have very good health service. The remote areas have a health post with basic medical facilities. In case of any health issues in trekking routes you will be transferred to the nearest medical facility by an ambulance or a helicopter.

 Insurance: 

An insurance covering all health problems, rescue and evacuation is a must for trekking in Nepal.

 Medical Kit: 

Although our trekking team carries basic first aid kit, some medicines you are using might not be available here. Besides the regular medicines you are taking we advise you to carry some necessary items for your travel here- 
  • Aspirin or Panadol - for pain or fever
  • Antihistamine - as a decongestant for colds, allergies and to help prevent motion sickness;
  • Antibiotics - useful if traveling off beaten track but they must be prescribed
  • Kaolin preparation (Pepto-Bismol), Imodium or Lomotil - for stomach upsets
  • Rehydration mixture - for treatment of severe diarrhea
  • Antiseptic, mercurochrome and antibiotic powder or similar 'dry' spray - for cuts and grazes.
  • Calamine lotion to ease irritation from bites or stings
  • bandages and band aids for minor injuries
  • scissors and/or tweezers
  • thermometer
  • insect repellent
  • sun block lotion
  • chopsticks
  • water-purification tablets
  • throat lozenges
  • Moleskin
  • Sulamyd 10% eye drops
  • Acetaminophen (Paracetamol, Antacid tablets).
  • Prevention, the Best Medicine:

We advise our guest not to drink water from taps or other natural sources; drinking bottled water is the best idea. While you are trekking you can refill your bottles with boiled water if bottled water is not available. Using iodine is a good idea if lodges and shops are not available in the trekking. Make sure the vegetables are cleaned and properly cooked, our staff will ensure it but being careful is important. Washing hands and using a hand sanitizer is  a must before you eat your meals during the trekking. Rather than using the hotel’s tap water use bottled water for brushing teeth.

 Air connectivity to Nepal

More than 28 different airlines fly from different parts of the world into Kathmandu.  You can arrive direct in Nepal from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur Dubai, Singapore, Dhaka, Lhasa,  Paro, Abu Dhabi Doha and other cities. Recently the Turkish airline is flying to Kathmandu daily from Istanbul.

 Communication Facilities in Nepal

Telephone Services 
Telephone and cell phone facilities are throughout Nepal except some every remote mountain areas. All the cities are well connected with telephone and cell phone network. You can get a local sim card after paying USD 2 along with photocopy of passport. AMN also provides sim cards to its guests if request comes for it.

 Internet 

Internet is also getting very common in Nepal. All hotels in the cities have free or paid internet facility. Many of the restaurants are also providing free Wi-Fi service. In the trekking areas it might not be common to find internet service but some of the towns in the trekking trails have internet cafes.

 Media: 

Media is having a healthy growth in Nepal. There are many FM stations, television networks, Newspaper publication and other electronic and print media. All hotels have access to international TV channels enabling you to know what’s going around the world.

 Foreign exchange and Banking facility in Nepal

Travelers coming to Nepal can exchange foreign currency in Banks and authorized money exchangers and travel agents. Upon arrival you can change money at the airport but the rates are not very good. It is advised to carry USD or other convertible currency.

 Cards

Credit cards like the American Express, Visa and Master Card are accepted. Convertible currencies are as follows: Dollar (U.S., Australian, Hong Kong, Canadian, and Singapore); Euro (Swiss, French, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy); Pound (U.K.); Yen (Japan). Please keep hold of your encashment for changing back local currency into foreign currency on departure at exit points or at Tribhuvan International Airport departure lounge.

 ATM machines

There are ATM machines in every big city including Pokhara and Kathmandu. The ATM machines charge around 4 USD per transitions and you are allowed to withdraw money equivalent to USD 300 per day. Villages don’t have ATM so carrying money is best idea when you are trekking. 
Banking hours in Kathmandu are 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. from Sunday through Friday. Many banks have evening counter and holiday counters for emergency on Saturdays and Public holidays.  
You can refer the link below for latest currency exchange rates-
Foreign Currency Exchange Rates: https://www.kantipuronline.com/forex.php

 Climate of Nepal

Nepal has almost the same seasons as Europe and completely opposite to Australia. That means the in January the climate here is cold.  Although Nepal has 4 distinct seasons, the diversity in geography has resulted in different climates in same season in different parts of the country. 
Monsoon (JUN-AUG) is the rainy season and not a very ideal time in Nepal if you are not visiting the rain shadow areas. The rainfall can be day long and Mountain View is rare during this time. Spring (MAR-MAY) and autumn (SEP-NOV) can be considered the best time as there is no rainfall and the weather is pleasant.  The winter (DEC- FEB) in Nepal is usually cold and the higher hills and mountainous region recive frequent snowfall.  Trekking higher than 3500m is not easy during winter days. 
The summer days can be as hot as 45 degrees in the Terai plains and the hills and mountains have temperature moderate temperature as 24-30 degrees during . The temperature in the terai region is moderate during winter ranging from 10ºC to a 22ºC. The hills have freezing temperature around 1- 12 degree and the mountains are freezing with snowfall and temperature goes as down as -10. Contact AMN for list of suggested clothing.

 Best time to visit Nepal

Autumn and spring are the best seasons to be in Nepal as the weather during this time of the year is very good. Trekking is nice with wild flowers and great Mountain View. Autumn and spring are also the seasons of festivals adding to your experience. If you are going to the transhimalayan areas and rain shadow areas Jun- August is also a good time as these areas are not affected by the rainfall on the other side of the mountains.

 Electricity in Nepal

Residential electrical outlets in some countries including the United States use 110-120 volts of electricity, and accept very specific shaped plugs. Many other countries including Nepal use other voltages, 220-240 volts to power their appliances, as well different plugs. If you try to plug an American appliance such as a shaver or hairdryer into an outlet of a different voltage, you may destroy the appliance and cause yourself injury. There are few things you should know about other countries (here Nepal) before you travel.
Nepal’s Electricity is 220-240 Volts and 50 HZ (some countries like U.S and Canada are 110-120 volts/60 HZ).
In Nepal electric Plugs are of two or three round prongs, but not flat prongs as found in use in the United States or in other countries.
If your appliance's plug doesn't match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance's plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into. If it's crucial to be able to plug in no matter what, bring an adapter for both types.
If you are planning on taking a hair dryer, electric shaver, curling iron, laptop computer or other electrical devices on your travels, in these cases, you will need to obtain either a voltage adapter (electrical converter) or a plug adapter for your travels, most often both. Most voltage adapters for travel convert 220-240 to 110-120, usable by your American and similar appliance. A plug adapter, on the other hand, allows you to plug into a foreign outlet.
In Nepal, you will need a voltage converter, and plug adapter in order to use U.S. - like appliances.
In some countries you may only need one or the other (voltage converter or plug adapter), but in Nepal you may require both. Note: you may need many different plug adapters if your travels extend to more than one country, but one voltage adapter is okay to work in one country.
We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit if you plan to take many electronics. It can be found in many hardware stores, travel shops and online retailers. Virtually all laptop computers and some electric razors take universal voltages. Check your equipment to be sure. If the only electric device that you plan to take with you is an electric shaver, you may consider buying a different model which accepts universal voltages, to avoid carrying around a heavy and bulky voltage adapter. Always be sure to check with the manufacturer of the appliance for proper use and conversion.

 NOTE: You can find any of the transformers, plug adopter and converters to buy in Kathmandu and other major cities easily.

Electricity flow is not smooth in Nepal. Electricity often goes off and on. Voltage fluctuation is very common and it is advised that you use an adapter with quality power surge protector for your electronics.
Nepal has not been able to produce enough electricity to meet the high demand, so in dry seasons there is power outage (load shedding) for hours, however hotels and businesses cover their electrical needs via fuel cells and generators.  

 Recap:

  • Voltage in Nepal: 220-240 Volts (U.S./Canada are 110-120 Volts)
  • Frequency in Nepal: 50HZ
  • Primary Socket Types in Nepal:
  • Travel Plug
  • Nepal/India, Europlug, i.e. with round two prongs or three prongs
  • For Multi-voltage appliances (laptops, etc.) your need: A plug adapter
  • For 110-120V electronics your need: Plug adapter + step-down transformer
  • For Hair dryers, curling irons, etc your need.  Plug adapter + voltage convert.