NEPAL TRAVELERS INFORMATION
Nepal is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of bio-diversity due to its unique geographical position and latitudinal variation. The elevation of the country ranges from 60 m above sea level to the highest point on earth, Mt. Everest at 8,848 m, all within a distance of 150 km resulting into climatic conditions from sub-tropical to Arctic.
Nepal occupying only 0.1% of the total landmass of the earth is home to:
- 2% of all the flowering plants in the world
- 8% of the world’s population of birds (more than 848 species)
- 4% of mammals on earth
- 11 of the world’s 15 families of butterflies (more than 500 species)
- 600 indigenous plant families
- 319 species of exotic orchids
Area: 147,181 sq. km
Location: Situated between China in the north and India in the south, east and west
Population: 26.62 million
People: Nepal has 125 caste/ ethnic groups and 123 spoken languages.
Language: Nepali is the national language; travel-trade people understand and speak English as well.
Religion: Nepal is a secular state with a pre-dominance of Hindu and Buddhist population.
Currency: Nepali Rupee
Political System: Federal Democratic Republic
Climate: Nepal has four major seasons
(1) Winter: December-February,
(2) Spring: March-May,
(3) Summer: June-August,
(4) Autumn: September-November.
Monsoons are from June till mid September.Nepal can be visited the whole year round.
What to Wear: Light weight clothing is recommended from May through October. Warm garments are required in October-March. An umbrella or a raincoat is a must for the rainy season.
What are needed to get a visa?
A valid passport and one passport size photo with a light background . Visa can be obtained through payment only in the following currency: U.S. Dollar, European Euro, UK Pound Sterling, Swiss Franc, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Singapore Dollar, Japanese Yen, Chinese Yuan, Saudi Arabian Riyal, Qatari Riyal, Thai Baht, UAE Dirham, Malaysian Ringgit, South Korean Won, Swedish Kroner, Danish Kroner, Hong Kong Dollar, Kuwaity Dinar and Bahrain Dinar.
International Credit Card are also accepted for payment of Visa Fee.
- Tourist Visa
- Gratis (Free) Visa
- Children below 10 years
- For first visit in one visa year (January to December), gratis visa for 30 days is available only for nationals of South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. However, visa can be extended from the Immigration Department on payment of visa fee as specified above.
- Indian nationals do not require visa to enter into Nepal.
- Chinese tourist are provided gratis visa for Nepal. However, nationals of the following countries will not get visa on arrival at the immigration entry points of Nepal:- Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan. They need to obtain visa from Nepalese Embassies or Diplomatic Missions in their respective countries prior to their visit to Nepal.
For further information, please, contact Department of Immigration, Kalikasthan, Kathmandu, Tel : +977 – 1 – 4429659 / 4429660 / 4438862 / 4438868 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Web : www.nepalimmigration.gov.np
For Indian Nationals:
As per the Nepalese Immigration, Indian Nationals Traveling to Nepal must posses Voter ID card issued by Election commission or MRP passport. However, please check with your nearest travel agents for documents required by the Indian Immigration for Indians traveling to Nepal.
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
ENTRY PROCEDURES ACCESS TO NEPAL
BY AIR Nepal Airlines is the national flag carrier of Nepal with flights to/ from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Doha and Hong Kong. Other international airlines operating from/ to Kathmandu at present are: Air Arabia (Sharjah), Air Asia (Kuala Lumpur), Air China (Lhasa,Chengdu), Bhutan Airlines ( Delhi, Paro), Biman Bangladesh (Dhaka), Buddha Air (Varanasi), China Eastern Airlines (Kunming), China Southern Airlines (Guanzhou), Dragon Air (Hong Kong), Druk Air (Delhi, Paro), Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), flydubai (Dubai), Air India (Delhi, Kolkata), Indigo Airlines (Delhi), Jet Airways (Delhi, Mumbai), Korean Air (Seoul), Malaysian Airlines (Kuala Lumpur), Malindo Air (Kuala Lumpur), Oman Air (Muscat), Qatar Airways (Doha), Sichuan Airlines (Chengdu-Lhasa),
Silk Air (Singapore), Thai Airways (Bangkok), and Turkish Airlines (Istanbul). BY LAND All visitors coming to Nepal by land can enter through any of these entry points on the India- Nepal Border:
(1) Pani Tanki/Kakarbhitta
(3) Sunauli/ Belahiya
(4) Rupaidiya/ Nepalgunj
(6) Banbasa/Mahendranagar, Gaddachauki and
(7) Khasa, Liping/ Tatopani on the Tibet, China-Nepal border respectively. Overland tourists entering the country with their vehicles must possess an international carnet or complete customs formalities.
Approx. Distance (border towns to major cities) and nearest railway station in India
Siliguri-Kakarvitta-KTM 620 kms New Jalpaiguri (NJP)
Jogbani-Biratnagar-KTM 550 kms Jogbani
Raxaul-Birgunj-KTM 280 kms Raxaul (RXL)
Sunauli-Bhairahawa-KTM 280 kms Gorakhpur (GKP)
Rupaidiya-Jamuna (Nepalgunj)-KTM 520 kms Rupaidiyav/ Nanpara
Gauriphanta-Mohana (Dhangadi)-KTM 630 kms Gauriphanta/ Paliya
Banbasa-Gaddachauki (Mahendranagar)-KTM 715 kms Banbasa/ Tanakpur
Sunauli-Bhairahawa-Palpa-Pokhara 185 kms Gorakhpur (GKP)
Sunauli-Bhairahawa- Chitwan 145 kms Gorakhpur (GKP)
Sunauli-Bhairahawa-Lumbini 26 kms Gorakhpur (GKP)
Foreign currencies must be exchanged only through the banks or authorized foreign exchange dealers. The receipts from such transaction are to be obtained and retained. Visitors can exchange money at the foreign exchange counter at the airport upon arrival also.
All baggage must be declared and cleared through the customs on arrival at the entry. Personal effects are permitted free entry. A tourist may bring in dutiable goods, such as tobacco and liquors, within the prescribed quantity free of duty. Carrying narcotics, arms and ammunition are strictly prohibited (Tel: 01-4470382). Visitors can export souvenirs to their respective countries. The export of antiques, however, requires special permission from the Department of Archaeology, National Archive Building, Ram Shah Path, Kathmandu (Tel.: 01-4250686/ 4250687/ 4250688).
Nepal Airlines has an extensive network of air services to major parts of the country. Besides Nepal Airlines, other domestic airlines (there are more than 18 in operation) provide regular and charter services to popular domestic destinations. Many domestic airlines operate early morning, one-hour mountain flights round the year.
WORLD HERITAGE SITES
There are four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nepal. Two are in cultural category and two are in natural category. World Cultural Heritage Sites of Nepal are: Lumbini, the birth place of The Buddha, and seven monuments of Kathmandu valley within a radius of 20 km (together counted as one Heritage Site). The World Natural Heritage Sites are Chitwan and Sagarmatha National Parks. Kathmandu valley World Heritage Site comprises of three historical palaces – Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar Squares; two Buddhist stupas – Swayambhunath and Bauddhanath; and two Hindu temples – Pashupatinath and Changu Narayan. Nepal offers incomparable scope to connoisseurs of art and culture to see and study different aspects of fine arts in its paintings, sculpture, wood carving and architecture.
NEPAL’S UNIQUE TREASURES Mt. Everest – Highest Peak on Earth Kumari – The Living Goddess Lumbini- Birthplace of The Buddha
OUTDOOR ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES
Few destinations in the world can match Nepal in the variety of world-class experience – be it mountaineering, trekking, mountain biking, nature tours, culture tours, pilgrim tours, white-water-rafting, canyoning (cascading), kayaking, canoeing, mountain flights, pony trekking, jungle safaris, bird watching, fishing/ angling, paragliding, ultra-light aircraft ride, bungy jumping; we have it all. Special interest tours like orchid tours, culture trek, honey hunting, village tours, fossil hunting, meditation courses, Shamanism-Panimism tour, cave tours, snow leopard and blue sheep trek and other kinds of tours are carried out for selected groups throughout the year. For organizing your tours, please contact: Nepal Association of Travel and Tour Agents (NATTA) http://www.natta. org.np, Nepal Association of Tour Operators (NATO) http://www.nepaltouroperators.org.np, Society of Travel & Tour Operators Nepal (SOTTO-Nepal) http://www.sottonepal.org
Nepal is the ultimate destination for the trekking enthusiast – offering a myriad of possibilities from the short and easy to the demanding challenges of the snowy peaks. Easy, moderate or rigorous – there is something for every one. Nepal has aptly been called “A Trekkers’ Paradise”
Metered taxis are easily recognizable by the taxi sign and black number plates and can be hailed off the street. Micro buses and battery-run EV tempos cheaper than taxis are also available. No tip is expected. There are regular bus services within the three cities of the Kathmandu valley operating from old bus terminal Ratna Park. Similarly, scheduled bus services for outside the valley operate from the Gongabu Bus Terminal. It is also possible to hire mountain or motor bikes at nominal rates.
Nepal has every category of accommodation facility, ranging from international standard star hotels and resorts to budget lodges. To ensure safety and quality service, it is advisable to use the services of Government registered hotels, lodges, travel agencies, licensed tour guides and hire only authorized trekking guides or porters.
terrain – mountains, hills and the Terai – offer some of the most spectacular trekking routes in the world. The immense contrasts in altitudes and climates found here support an equally spectacular mix of lifestyles, vegetation and wildlife. Trekking in Nepal is as much a cultural experience as a Himalayan adventure. In the shadows and foothills of the icy pinnacles of the Himalayas, one passes picturesque charming villages inhabited by diverse ethnic groups. Treks vary from expeditions, high altitude treks to simple easy paced walks. For more information about trekking; please contact Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN). http://www.taan.org.np
With eight of the highest peaks in the world, including Mt. Everest, it is hardly surprising that Nepal has been the stage for some of the most outstanding achievements in the world of mountaineering. The dauntless icy peaks have since decades challenged the bodies and spirits of the daring ones. All inquiries and arrangements for expeditions have to be made well in advance at the Department of Tourism Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu http://www. tourismdepartment.gov.np where the guidelines have been laid down.
For those who cannot withstand the rigorousness of mountain climbing there are mountain flights which fly around Mt. Everest and other summits providing a close-up view of the top of the world. During the one-hour flight from Kathmandu, you get to see Gosaithan (also called Shisha Pangma), Dorje Lhakpa, Phurbi Chyachu, Choba Bhamare,
Gaurishanker, Melungtse, Chugimago, Numbur, Karyolung, Cho-Oyu, Gyachungkang, Pumori, Nuptse and, of course, Everest. Mountain flights are offered by several airlines in the morning from the domestic airport in Kathmandu.
RAFTING/ KAYAKING/ CANYONING
Few rafting rivers in the world can match the thundering course of the rivers of Nepal originating from the snow meltdown of the Himalayan terrain. The rivers gush through the twisted canyons, winding through calm valleys where small settlements are perched on the banks, taming out only as they spill out into the Indian plains to merge with the Ganges. A river-trip is one of the best ways to explore the typical cross-section of the country’s natural as well as the ethno-cultural heritage with massive doses of adrenaline buzz on our world-class white-water thrills. An extreme sport popular in Europe, canyoning is now available in Nepal. It involves abseiling, jumping, sliding, climbing along waterfalls and steep cliffs to deep pools, giving the canyoneer the freedom to explore beautiful under-water landscape. http: //www.raftingassociation.org.np
Paragliding is a relatively new adventure sport in Nepal, and is the simplest, safest and least expensive way of discovering the joys of flying alone. It is an opportunity to experience the aerial views of the magnificent Himalayas in the backdrop as you soar over lakes, villages, monasteries, temples and jungles together with the eagles and griffins. Sarangkot, at 1,450 m above Lakeside in Pokhara Valley, is the jumping off point for paragliders. From here, one can take in stunning views of two of the world’s Eight Thousanders, namely, Dhaulagiri and Annapurna.
A new adventure activity in Pokhara that will push your adrenalin to the maximum. ZipFlyer Nepal is the world’s longest, steepest and fastest zip-line to give you the ultimate adventure experience. Consisting of a trolley mounted on a steel cable 1.8 km in length, the ride drops 600 m vertically from the top of the Sarangkot hill, with resulting speeds of over 140 km per hour! Your ride concludes with a breakactivated landing on the HighGround Triangle in the village of Hemja amidst the Tibetan refugee camp.
The ultimate thrill of a bungee jump can now be experienced in Nepal – 14 km from Kodari, Nepal-Tibet border, a threehour bus ride from Kathmandu. The suspension bridge over which the jump takes place is 160 m over the wild Bhote Koshi River with spectacular scenery. A new Bungy Jump has also started operating recently in Pokhara.
Village tours allow visitors to experience a stay in a typical Nepali village. This gives visitors an opportunity to observe the rich Nepali cultural tradition from the closest quarter and intermingle with the locals. Besides, any expenses made at that level directly contribute to the welfare of the local community, hence giving the visitor a sense of satisfaction. Village tours are conducted in Sirubari, Briddim, Ghalegaun, Ilam and other places.
There is accommodation ranging from 5-star chain hotels and resorts to comfortable lodges in Kathmandu and major tourist destinations. The hotels offer specialty restaurants, conference facilities, exclusive health clubs and business centers. You also have the option of home-stay where you can stay in local houses with the local people and enjoy their traditional food.
For further information: http: //www.hotelassociationnepal.org.np
UNESCO NATURAL WORLD HERITAGE SITES
- Chitwan National Park (932 sq. km)
- Sagarmatha National Park (1,148 sq. km)
OTHER NATIONAL PARKS
- Banke National Park (550 sq.km)
- Bardiya National Park (968 sq. km)
- Khaptad National Park (225 sq. km)
- Langtang National Park (1,710 sq. km)
- Makalu-Barun National Park (1,500 sq. km)
- Rara National Park (106 sq. km)
- Shey-Phoksundo National Park (3,555 sq. km)
- Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park (159 sq. km)
- Parsa National Park (637 sq. km)
- Shuklaphanta National Park (305 sq. km)
- Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (175 sq. km)
- Annapurna Conservation Area (7,629 sq. km)
- Api Nampa Conservation Area (1,903 sq. km)
- Blackbuck Conservation Area (15.95 sq. km)
- Gaurishankar Conservation Area (2,179 sq. km)
- Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (2,035 sq. km)
- Manaslu Conservation Area (1,663 sq. km)
- Dhorpatan (1,325 sq. km)
TREKKERS’ INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (TIMS)
Where & how to obtain TIMS Card? Tourists of all nationalities including Indians, who are interested to visit general trekking areas of Nepal, are required to receive TIMS Card through one of the following offices:
- Kathmandu (NTB office, TAAN office and Government registered trekking companies)
- Pokhara (NTB office, TAAN office and Government registered trekking companies)
- To obtain a TIMS Card you need a photo copy of your passport details and two passport-size photographs.
- 20 US $ equivalent Nepalese Rupees must be paid to obtain TIMS Card from NTB offices or TAAN offices which issue TIMS card only for Free Individual Trekkers (FIT) who do not take the services of both Guide and Porter.
- However, 10 US $ equivalent Nepalese Rupees must be paid for obtaining TIMS card for Group Trekkers (GT- who take the services of both Guide and Porter) only from registered trekking agencies in Nepal.
- The TIMS card is non-transferable, non-endorsable and valid only for one entry for prescribed area and duration.
For more information, please contact: Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) Tel: + 9771-4256909 extn 224 or
Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) Tel: 4443003, 4440920 http: //www.timsnepal.com
- TIMS counter at NTB offices will remain open from Sunday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm except Saturdays and Public Holidays when it is closed.
- TIMS counter at TAAN opens seven days a week from 10 am to 5 pm . It is also open on Saturdays and Public Holidays from 10 am to 12 pm. During October, November and December working hours are from 10 am to 4 pm.
For those who cannot withstand the rigorousness of mountain climbing there are mountain flights which fly around Mt. Everest and other summits providing a closeup view of the top of the world. For others, Pokhara, the lake city of Nepal provides endless opportunities for fishing, swimming, canoeing and boating along Phewa Lake. Air sport options like paragliding and flying in ultralight airplanes to see the spectacular views are also available in Pokhara.
Chiwan national Park, Bardia National Park, Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve offer exciting safari holidays. Jungle activities here include venturing into deep jungle on elephant back or four-wheel drive to view wild animals in their natural habitat, canoe rides along the jungle rivers, nature walks, bird watching and village tour excursions.
A RICH NATURAL HERITAGE
Thanks to Nepal’s extensive and effective parks and reserves system, the country has managed to preserve more endangered species of flora and fauna than any other area in Asia. Now, the protected areas in Nepal include ten national parks, three wildlife reserves, one hunting reserve and six conservation areas and eleven buffer zones covering an area of 34,186.62 sq. km that is 23.23% of the total area of the country.
- Kathmandu is popular for its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, historical monuments, festivals and cultural splendour.
- Pokhara is famous for its close-up mountain views, pristine nature, sparkling lakes, limestone caves, deep gorges and waterfalls.
- Chitwan is popular for jungle safari and Terai-life experience.
On a clear day, the hill resorts of Dhulikhel (30 km from Kathmandu), Nagarkot (28 km from Kathmandu) and Daman (80 km southwest of Kathmandu) afford magnificent views of Himalayan range. These hill stations are very popular for nature lovers and honeymooners.