In addition to history, nature and culture tourism, Nepal is a frequent destination for every traveler who seeks himself from all over the world, wants to listen to his inner voice, or who wants to put aside his burden and responsibilities for a while.
In the Nepal Travel Guide article, I would like to help you plan your trip with all the details by briefly talking about what you can find in this country. But first, let’s talk about general information about Nepal.
Nepal Travel Guide
History and Management Style: The rooted history of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal goes back a long way. The region, which was divided into three as Kathmandu, Patan and Bakhtapur at the end of the 15th century, unites under the Kingdom of Nepal in the 18th century.
A tragedy is hidden in the recent history of the country, which has been under different kingdoms and governments after this date. In 2001, 8 members of the royal family, including King Birendra, the ruler of the time, were killed by the Prince, and the prince himself committed suicide 3-4 days later.
Although it is said that the fact that the woman he married fondly was not accepted by the King and the Queen caused the prince to commit these murders, the truth never came to light. Nepal has been governed by a parliamentary regime since 2006.
Geography: Nepal, whose capital is Kathmandu, lies between the north of India and the south of Tibet.
Climate: It has a semi-tropical climate. January and February are cool (average 15 degrees), and June and July are rainy due to the monsoon season.
While the ideal travel time is September, October and November (average 25 degrees), the months of March, April and May (average 25 degrees) are also very convenient. Due to its mountainous geography, evenings can be cool in the hottest times of the year.
Religion: 80% of the country is Hindu, 10% Buddhist, and the remaining 10% belong to other religions.
Language: The number of people who speak English in the Nepali-speaking country is also very high. Therefore, it is unlikely that you will have communication problems.
Currency: Nepalese Rupee with the symbol NPR and was $1=104 NPR as of December 2016.
Transportation in Nepal
Transportation for Nepal City: In my Nepal Travel Guide article, it is not possible not to mention urban transportation. Public transportation is available as minibuses or buses in almost every city in the country, and at extremely low prices like 20-30 Rupees. On the other hand, there is no metro system. In fact, we can say that there is no rail transport system in general.
Minibus and bus transportation can be very time consuming due to the chaos and crowd in the cities. Therefore, taxis remain the most convenient option for tourists in urban transportation. Since the taximeter is not used, it is useful to bargain before boarding. The highest amount you have to pay per kilometer is $ 1, don’t accept more.
Intercity Transportation: Nepal Airlines and Buddha Air are two airlines with which you can travel within the country. Ticket prices vary by destination, but are between $ 100-140.
Apart from that, intercity transportation is provided by bus. Tourist buses are relatively more comfortable than local buses, but most places sell all kinds of buses under the name tourist bus.
In other words, the definition of “tourist bus” is used as a marketing expression. So don’t be surprised if you take a very old bus with dozens of Nepalese, and enjoy the local culture. Prices average around $ 7-10.
Food and Drink in Nepal
There cannot be a Nepal Travel Guide that does not mention food culture. Indian, Sri Lanka, and Nepalese cuisine are basically very similar.
The culture we call pot food is very common in this country, the difference is that it is flavored with curry sauce, not tomato paste. It is not possible for you to go hungry in Nepal, where vegetarian culture is very common due to religious beliefs.
The most famous and also the cheapest dish in the country is Dal Bhat. It consists of plain rice and various vegetable dishes in a tray. You eat these dishes by mixing rice. Or, if you want Dal Bhat with chicken, the same menu is served with chicken dishes. The price starts from $2 depending on the quality of the restaurant you eat.
Another traditional dish is Mo-Mo. In fact, this dish, which belongs to Tibetan cuisine, is extremely common in Nepalese cuisine. In short, we can say steamed ravioli. However, the inside of this ravioli is with vegetables or chicken, depending on your preference.
If you are sensitive about cleanliness and hygiene, you can eat the same dishes in slightly more luxurious and clean restaurants.
To mention briefly; Three cities in Kathmandu Valley, Kathmandu, Patan and Bakhtapur are among the top must-see places in this country. Apart from that, Pokhara is a must-visit, and Lumbini is two cities you can go to if you have time.
Activities To Do In Nepal
Nepal offers a wide range of activities to its visitors, apart from historical tourism. I would like to briefly mention all of them.
Yoga and Meditation: You can purify your soul and increase your awareness by staying in yoga and meditation centers or ashrams spread all over the country for a certain period of time. The main centers are:
- Pokhara Buddhist Meditation Center: pokharabuddhistcentre.com
- Vedic Arogya Ashram in Patan: vedicashram.org.np
- Shivalaya Yoga & Meditation Center by Lake Begnas: shivalaya.com.np
Mountaineering and Trekking: 8 of the 10 highest peaks of the Himalayas are within the borders of Nepal. Including the majestic Mount Everest.
If you want, you can go to the top of any of these mountains. If you say this is very costly and requires conditioning, you can participate in trekking tours ranging from 4 days to 3 weeks on different routes.
It is possible to trekking with or without a guide on these trekking routes, which cost $ 30-35 per person per day. There are numerous agencies and tour companies in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
I started out with 3 Sisters Trekking (3sistersadventuretrek.com) company, which also undertakes the mission of a non-governmental organization, providing economic support to Nepalese women. It may not compete with its competitors in terms of price, but I recommend it to those who are interested in it as a highly reliable company.
Paragliding: Paragliding, which is mostly done in Pokhara, is a must in Nepal Travel Guide. Prices are variable, in the range of $ 100-150 per flight. Reliable companies that I can recommend for this:
- Team 5 Nepal Paragliding (http://ww2.team5nepalparagliding.com)
- Blue Sky Paragliding (paragliding-nepal.com)
Mandala: Mandala, which is an art of painting with elements of Buddhism, also provides a meditative process for those who do it. If you want to learn Mandala art, just go to any Mandala store and ask.
They can offer you many Madala courses for as little as $ 6-7 per day. Or I write one below:
There is not much shopping mall style shopping culture in the country. Generally, there are market places, bazaars and shops lined up along the street. On the other hand, the shopping streets are extremely colorful and it is possible to find almost anything.
Bargain is a must. Even if you don’t buy anything, go to these shops and chat. Nepalese people are friendly and happy to welcome you and chat. Let’s get to what you can get from Nepal:
- All kinds of sports and mountaineering equipment.
- Semi-precious stones and silver jewelry made of them
- Books and publications in foreign languages, especially in English.. I bought 10 books in the country where I went as a tourist for the first time in my life. You can deduce how cheap it is here.
- Cashmere, yak wool and pashmina products, scarves and shawls, sweaters, cardigans
Thamel Square in Kathmandu and Lakeside Road in Pokhara offer numerous shops and shops for shopping.
Where to stay in Nepal?
Nepal is a place where accommodation is extremely affordable compared to other countries. There are many options from hostel type businesses to 4 and 5 star alternatives.
You can stay anywhere near Thamel Square in Kathmandu and anywhere on Lake Side Road in Pokhara. Below I give a few tips at different price levels:
- Hotel Moonlight: Thamel Square, ~ 150 USD.
- Maya Boutique Hotel: Thamel Square, ~ 100 USD.
- Truly Asia Boutique Hotel: Thamel Square, ~ 50 USD.
For travelers with limited budgets, options under $ 10 are available around Durbar Square, so you can stay safely.
- Temple Tree Resort & Spa: Lakeside Road South, ~ 160 USD.
- Hotel Blossom: Lakeside Road, ~ 20 USD.
Options for as low as $5 per night are available in the northern part of Lakeside Road for travelers on a budget. I even stayed at a hostel called Nature Home Stay for a week and I recommend it.
A Few Tips for Nepal
While writing the Nepal Travel Guide article, I could not decide where to include it, but I would like to collect some details that everyone traveling to this country should know.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries you can see. And the only source of income other than agriculture is tourism. As such, the price of everything in the country is different for locals and tourists. Sometimes the difference can be up to 10 times. For example, when buying tickets on domestic flights, you specify whether you are a local or a tourist, while ticket prices are $ 20-30 for locals, and around $ 120-130 for tourists. Elsewhere, this may make you angry, but after seeing Nepal, it is very likely that you will show understanding.
Electricity can often be cut off for energy savings. However, beyond that, many hotels do not have electric water heaters and use solar energy. The remedy for this situation, which is generally valid for $ 50 and under hotels, is to take a shower between 12:00 and 19:00 during the day.
I told you that the Nepali people are warm-blooded. Many locals you meet may insist that you stay in their home. I cannot vouch for everyone, of course, but most of them are reliable and their only concern is to make some money this way. If you want to get to know the local culture closely, you can stay in the house of a local you can trust for this “home stay” accommodation.