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Nepal

Introduction

Nepal is an astonishing country that continues to delight travelers. Its bio-diversity is massive due to its geographic position and variations in altitudes. A visitor can experience the sub-tropics of her lowlands, and in the high altitude regions, near-arctic conditions. This amazing diversity is known nowhere else on earth. It is a potpourri of 101 ethnic groups and sub-groups who speak 92 different languages. It is a country that has learned how to adapt to diversity, both geographically and culturally. Nepal holds a fascination unlike any other place in the world. Buddhist shrines and Hindu temples will often times be seen together, sharing the land and adapting to differences. Active travelers seek Nepal to experience rafting, hiking, mountaineering, and other such adventures, and others come here for the spirituality and the peaceful qualities of this incredible Shangri-La.

Visa & Permits

A visa is necessary to enter Nepal and can be obtained for the following duration from any Royal Nepalese Embassy or Consulate or at the entry points in Nepal. Nationals from Afghanistan, Ghana, Iraq, Palestine, Nigeria, Swaziland, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Liberia, Somalia and Zimbabwe need to obtain their visa from Nepalese diplomatic missions locate in or near their respective countries prior to arrival in Nepal.

Visa Facility Duration Amount
Multiple entry 15 days USD   25.00 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 30 days USD   40.00 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 90 days USD 100.00 or equivalent convertible currency


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 is same as that of other nationals. SAARC countries includes India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, srilanka, Myanmar, Pakistan (and Nepal).

For Indian nationals
Indian nationals do not require visa to enter into Nepal, but will have to posses any one of the following documents.

  • Valid passport.
  • Driving license with photo.
  • Photo Identity card issued by Government Agency.
  • Ration Card with Photo.
  • Election commission card with photo.
  • Identity card issued by Embassy of India in Kathmandu.
  • Identitity Card with Photo issued by Sub-Divisional Magistrate or any other official above his rank.
  • The policy of “gratis visa” for other nationals has been scrapped.

Entry Validity
Six months from the date of issue. The validity of visa dates are counted from the date of arrival in Nepal.

Visa Extension
Tourist visas can be extended from the Department of Immigration-Kathmandu and Pokhara Immigration Office. The visa extension fee is US $ 30 or equivalent convertible currency for 15 days or less. Tourist can extend visa further by paying US$ 2 per day not exceeding cumulative 150 days in a visa year (01st Jan to 31st Dec).

Transit visa can be obtained at the airport for one day upon the production of international departure flight ticket by paying US $ 5 or equivalent convertible currency.

Important Information

  • Valid passport (with a validity of a minimum period of six month), visa application form duly filled and a passport sized photograph is required for obtaining Nepal Visa.
  • Visa fee should be paid in US Dollar cash. Traveller cheques, Personal cheques and credit cards are not accepted for visa fees
  • Once the visa is issued, it will not be amended, revalidated and visa fees will not be refunded.

Trek Permit

  • Government of Nepal has introduced following Trekking Permit Fee in Controlled Areas as follows:
  • Upper Mustang and Upper Dolpo region (for first 10 days): US$ 500 or equivalent foreign currency per person.
  • Additional days: US$ 50 or equivalent foreign currency per person per day.
  • Manaslu region (for a week): US $ 70 per person (September to November)
  • Additional days: US $ 10 per person per day (September to November)
  • Manaslu region (for a week): US $ 50 per person (December to August)
  • Additional days: US $ 7 per person per day (December to August)
  • Humla region (Simikot-Yari): US $ 50 per person per week
  • Additional days: US $ 7 per person per day
  • Kanchanjunga, Lower Dolpa and Gaurishankar and Lamabagar region: US $ 10 per person per week

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.

Airport Tax

As per the decision of His Majesty's Government of Nepal dated 2001/02/19, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal has announced a hike in the airport taxes at the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) and other domestic airports, with immediate effect. The revised airport taxes are as follows:
1 International Sector TIA

  • Departing for SAARC Countries
    Passenger Service Charge + VAT NRs. 791/- and Tourism Service Fee + VAT NRs. 565/- = NRs. 1356
  • Departing for Other Countries
    Passenger Service Charge + VAT NRs. 1130/- and Tourism Service Fee + VAT NRs. 565/- = NRs.1695. 

2 Internal (Domestic) Sectors

  • Rs 169.50/ (including VAT) for all sectors
  • The new Airport Tax is equally applicable to Nepalese as well as non-Nepalese citizens flying from Nepal. 

Currency & 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 the exchange counters at Tribhuvan 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 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and Coins are found in denominations of 10, 25 and 50 paisa. One rupee equals 100 paisa.

Weather

Monsoons occur in Nepal between the months of June and September and often result in floods. Because of its elevation, most of Nepal is brisk with the highest elevations being quite cold. Trekkers will want to visit Nepal from October to November and March to April to avoid monsoons and snow. Nepalís autumn is generally better for viewing than the spring when the air is hazy, but spring is still worth a visit.

Facts & Figures

Location: Between India & the Tibetan Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China.

Area : 147,181 Sq. Kms.
Population : Approximately 24 Million.
Latitude : 26° 12' and 30° 27' North.
Longitude : 80° 4' and 88° 12' East.
Capital : Kathmandu
GMT Time : + 05:45
National Flower : Rhododendron Arboretum (Lali Gurans)
National Bird : Impend Pheasant (Danfe).

Shopping

Nepal is famous for various kinds of handicrafts which include hand-knotted woolen carpets, jewelers, pashmina shawls, woolen knitwear, embroidery, Thangkas paintings, wood carvings, metalwork, ceramics and pottery, rice paper and stationery. Kathmandu has in its stores almost everything found in the world. Pokhara is famous for the Gorkha insignias such as banners, flags and medals and Newari artifacts. Patan and Bhaktapur are famous for their bronze and copper works and have various items on offer. The border towns such as Birgunj, Biratnagar and Janakpur offer cheap electronic items. Most of these electronics items are Chinese, Korean or Japanese make and are cheaper than their German or Japanese originals.

Voltage

230 V; Plugs C & D. You will need a voltage converter, and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit. Click here for more information about electrical standards around the world.

Gratuities & Tipping

Only usual in tourist hotels and restaurants. Taxi drivers need only be tipped when they have been particularly helpful. 10 per cent is sufficient for all three services. Elsewhere, tipping should be avoided. Entering / Leaving

Traveling by Air

You can fly directly to Kathmandu from London, Paris, Frankfurt, Vienna, Amsterdam, Doha, Dubai, Dhaka, Karachi, Munich, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Paro, Lhasa, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangalore, New Delhi, Mumbai, Patna, Calcutta and Varanasi. Charter flights can also be arranged for large movements. All flights feature business class and amenities of international standards. Many a time, the Captain offers a guided sightseeing of the Himalaya for no extra charge!

Royal Nepal Airlines, Thai Airways, Qatar Airways, Indian Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Biman Bangladesh, Gulf Air, Indian Airlines, Air Sahara , Jet Airways, Austrian Air, Martinair, Air China, Druk Air fly to Nepal regularly.

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

All visitors entering Nepal by land must use no other entry points other than

  1. Kakarbhitta
  2. Birgunj
  3. Belhiya, Bhairahawa
  4. Nepalgunj
  5. Dhangadi and
  6. Mahendra Nagar in the Nepal-India border and
  7. Kodari in the Nepal-China border. The overland tourists entering the Kingdom with their vehicles must possess an international carnet.

Health

According to the Center for Disease control, there is no risk of malaria in Kathmandu. Before you go, consult your physician about inoculations against hepatitis, typhoid and tetanus. Disinfect and cover wounds with a bandage.
CDC Website link : http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinationNepal.aspx
WHO website link : http://www.who.int/countries/en/#146