Banks: 10:00 to 15:30, Sunday to Thursday 10:00 to 13:00, Friday
Post Offices: 10:00 to 17:00, Sunday to Friday
Department Stores and Shops: 10:30 to 20:00, daily
Museums: 10:00 to 17:00, Tuesday to Sunday
Business Offices: 10:00 to 17:30, Sunday to Friday
220V AC, 50Hz; Major plugs are European 2 type socket.
The most common illness suffered by travelers to Nepal is a stomach ache due to consuming contaminated food or water. Never drink water or ice if you aren’t sure it has been purified. Bottled water is available everywhere. Many visitors choose to avoid eating dairy products or unpeeled fruit. Also avoid eating uncooked food. Washing your hands often is another good precaution while travelling around Nepal.
Trekkers have a different set of health risks to be concerned about. Altitude sickness is a common ailment above 2,500 metres if you ascend too quickly. Headaches and nausea are the first indications of this malady. It’s easily avoided getting altitude sickness by taking your time as you gain elevation to let your body adjust. Also, be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses when trekking at altitude. The sun in the Himalayas is extremely strong and. Drink plenty of water while trekking, even if it’s cold and you don’t feel thirsty.
Buying travel insurance for your visit to Nepal is highly suggested. Travel insurance will cover the costs of any medical care or expensive helicopter evacuations from the mountains.
Nepal’s official language is Nepali, spoken by majority of the population. There are numerous other languages spoken in smaller circles such as Bhojpuri, Maithili, Newari and many more, but English is widely understood in the tourism industry.
Currency and Currency Exchange:
Nepal’s currency is the Nepalese rupee (NPR). One rupee equals 100 paisa. Notes come in denominations of Rs. 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins come in denominations of 50, 25 and 10 paisa.
Money can be exchanged at Kathmandu International Airport and at any of the myriad banks and money exchange in the capital. Although it is illegal to exchange foreign money with unauthorized individuals, there is a thriving black market for currency exchange, especially in the Thamel district of Kathmandu. Often these street-side traders offer the best rates, but can be an annoyance after you have completed the transaction. ATMs are accessible in the larger cities in Nepal. Kathmandu and Pokhara have the highest number of them in the tourist areas. Standard Chartered Bank has a 24-hour ATM in Thamel Chowk which accepts Cirrus, Visa and Mastercard. However, credit cards are widely accepted in Kathmandu Valley, though most shops tack on a five per cent service charge for each transaction.
The Nepalese are generally very friendly and helpful people, and will readily make you feel welcome in their country. They don’t shake hands when greeting, but rather say ‘namaste’ and fold their hands in front of their chest.
The dress code in Nepal is conservative, so try not to wear anything too revealing. Always take your shoes off before entering houses, temples or shrines, and be sure not to point your feet at someone or step over the feet of another person as this is considered rude. Pointing at a person or statue with your finger is also considered impolite. If you see anyone wearing all white, they are in mourning and should not be touched for any reason.
Always ask permission if you can enter a religious site, as sometimes foreigners are not allowed entry. Leather goods should never be taken inside a Hindu temple.
Photography is another sensitive issue in Nepal. This is one country where it’s a good idea to ask permission before snapping a photo. It is generally okay outside of temples and during festivals, but never inside temples or at religious ceremonies. There is no single set of rules, so is to always best to ask first.
Tourist Information Offices:
The government tourism office in Nepal offers limited information, and regular travel shops are often the best source of tourism information. Nepal Tourism Board
PO Box 11018
Phone: +977 1 425 6909
We recommend that you note the following points for your safety and security:
- Please carry certified copies of passport, insurance papers and your other documents and keep the originals in the safe deposit of your hotel.
- In case of loss, theft, cheating, robbery, contact the Tourist Police or the nearest Police Station.
- Please take care of your valuables and belongings i.e. cash and kind, and never leave anything unattended.
- Always use Government authorized travel, trekking and rafting agencies and transportation services.
- Please exchange money at authorized money exchange dealers and retain the slip.
- Please note taxi and bus numbers before traveling.
- On arrival in Nepal, please register yourself at your respective embassy.
- Please drink only treated water, boiled water or sealed mineral water. You can buy sealed mineral water bottle from local vendors and water purifiers from medical shops.
During Bandhs and Strikes:
- Please avoid large crowds, protests and procession groups.
- Tourist transportation services are in operation even during bandhs or strikes.
- During strikes and bandhs, shuttle buses provide transportation to tourists between downtown and Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.
- For information and updates regarding bandhs and strikes, please contact your nearest police station.