Nepal

Nepal is one of the most surprising countries in the world.

Aside from the fact that it is one of the poorest, and has only very recently achieved (though, perhaps tentative) peace with its country’s Maoist rebels, it has managed to continue to attract travelers—while holding on to its ancient ways and amazing scenery far better than the majority of nations that claim to be safeguarding their heritage.

Yes, if stepping back—way back—into time within spiritually and culturally replete destinations rocks your world, a place with great mountains, vast jungles and more UNESCO World Heritage Sights than one could behold within a single visa entry (your eyes will pop out of your head), then Nepal is your oyster.

The Internet, however, is still a bit of a luxury outside of its capital (Kathmandu), with broadband limited to only the modern hotels and Internet cafés. (But that may be a good thing for those of us who can’t seem to pull themselves away from the bigger, Web, world.)

Nomadic ratings

A

: Very Good / B

: Good / C

: Just Okay / D

: Poor / E

: Very Poor

 

  • Internet Access for the Nomad (ease in accessing it): D
  • Internet Cost (from public to private service): C
  • Accommodation Cost: A
  • Eating Cost (restaurants and groceries): A
  • Country’s Overall Affordability for the Nomad: A
  • Transportation Access: C
  • Transportation Cost: A

Basic Facts about Nepal

  • Language:

    Nepali (English is widely understood.)

  • Government:

    Parliamentary monarch.

  • Population:

    26 million.

  • Climate:

    Varies by region (from cold and dry to hot and humid).

  • Geography:

    147,181 square kilometers.

  • Neighboring Countries:

    India, China (See map.)

  • Money:

    The Rupee (click here to convert your currency).

  • Mobile Phone Frequencies:

    GSM 900.

  • Electricity:

    230v (50 cycles) They use two plug shapes “C” and “D”.

  • Daylight Savings:

    None.

  • Time Zone:

    GMT/UTC +5:45 (Current time.)

  • Country Code:

    977

    City Codes:

    Bhaktapur 1, Dhangadi 91, Gorkha 64, Kathmandu 1, Nepalgunj 81 .

    To Dial Out of the Country:

    00.

General Travel Information on Nepal

Nepal Visas and Visitation Limits:

Tourist Visa:

A single-entry 60-day visa is available at consulates, embassies and on arrival for a fee of $30 USD. A Multiple entry visa is also available for $50. Both may be extended while in Nepal for up to 120 days from the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu and Pokhara Immigration Offices. Thereafter, additional 30 days can be extended.

Transit Visa:

A 1-week transit visa is available for $5.

For more information on Nepalese visas, visit Nepal’s Department of Immigration.

Getting Around:

Train

: None.

Bus

: Numerous bus companies are available to travel between and within major cities.

Planes

: STA Travel has some good bargains. Royal Nepal and Thai Airways will get you there. Domestic airlines include Buddha Air, Gorkha Air, Sky Line, ShangrilaAir and Yeti Airlines (but it might be best to stick with Royal Nepal when possible.)

Where to Stay:

Nepal makes it very easy for travelers with a wide range of accommodations and pricing. You can stay in 5-star luxury ($200+/night), or in a mud hut ($5/night). For NuNomad Guidelines on how to choose your nest, visit the NuNomad Blog.

Travel Insurance:

Don’t let your Asia adventure be spoiled. Get Travel Insurance. See our article Coverage Comparison of Travel Insurance.

Mailing in Nepal:

Not the best service in the world. Postal rates and locations may be found atNepal Post.

Essential information

Internet and Telephone Communication

International Cell Phones:

While in Nepal the most economical way to place a call is to do so with your unlocked international cell phone, using a Nepal SIM card. While SIM cards can be purchased at phone service shops, we recommend buying one before you go. One of the more common SIM cards is by Spice Nepal. They offer GPRS service within the mobile phone service package (allowing you to connect the the Web from your laptop).

Internet cafés are becoming a little more popular than, let’s say, five four years ago, but can be found in Kathmandu and some of the largest tourist destinations.

  • For more information on International Cell Phone basics, read our article on Cell Phone Basics.
  • For more information on the various methods of connecting to the Internet, visit our Connecting to WWW page.

International Calling

If you don’t have aSkype account yet, get one. You can use “telephony” service with any hi-speed Internet connection, which most Internet Cafés will have. Otherwise, you’ll have to use land-line systems. If you’re staying at a location where you want to use a land line, it may be most economical to purchase an international calling card. These can be purchased at many common locations throughout the country.