Tip 1 - Nepal is the only Country in the world that has not a rectangular flag.
   Tip 2 - Nepalese Rupees (NPR) is the official local currency. Check real time exchange here.
   Tip 3 - You will need a Visa to enter the Country. It will cost you 25/40/100 USD for a 15/30/90 days Visa respectively.
   Tip 4 - To get your Visa, it's strongly suggested to fill in the online form before your arrival in Nepal. This will prevent you from wasting a lot of time in a queue at the airport. This is a very useful support you can use to compile your online Visa request.
   Tip 5 - Bring some cash with you if you're arriving by flight. You will be asked to pay for your VISA at the airport and credit cards do not usually work. Both Nepali Rupees and US Dollars are OK.
   Tip 6 - If you decide not to request your Visa online, you'll be asked to go through a quite long process at your arrival.
1) Grab you patience and go in line to request your Visa filling a form in at the automatic machines scattered around the immigration area. This can be skipped by doing the online process.
2) Go in line for paying for your Visa. Remember cash are highly recommended.
3) Go in the last line for the ultimate check and to get the stamp in your passport. If everything's fine, congrats! You're now in the country and one step closer to reach the Nirvana.
   Tip 7 - No vaccinations are strictly required to visit Nepal, but it’s always worth checking which ones are recommended and ensuring you’re medical stuff are up-to-date. Perhaps it worth asking to your doctor.
   Tip 8 - Take out insurance. The airline you're flying with (if you're coming by air) will provide one for sure. But it won't probably be enough, especially if you're going on a trek. We bought this one.
   Tip 9 - We didn't buy a Nepal travel guide since we've been lucky enough to find a free version of the Lonely Planet's one for Kindle on Amazon Prime Unlimited. You can find a free extract here, which is a very great start.
   Tip 10 - No hostel accepts pre online payment nor credit card, neither those that say they do on
   Tip 11 - Don't trust prices on When in Nepal you will probably be charged more than expected. That's why it might be worth it not to book in advance and find a room directly on site.
   Tip 12 - There's no heating in Nepali houses, so make sure to have warm nightwear. Having a sleepbag is also necessary if you're going on a trek, but it can be useful in cities like Kathmandu too.
   Tip 13 - Giving the fact that houses are so freezing, when the sun goes down people light up fires in the streets right in front of their doors. This happens in Kathmandu either. People sit around the flames to get warmer and have dinner with family.
   Tip 14 - Nepal and India have their own plug type, so EU or US ones might not work. This is what you might need. However, despite not having these proper electric plugs we did make it with IT and 'shuko' ones. So traveling with something like this could be enough for you too.
   Tip 15 - If there's a word you'd need to know, that is Namaste. It is used both for greeting and leave-taking. In Hinduism, it means "I bow to the divine in you". It's usually spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest. However, it may also be spoken without the gesture, or the gesture may be performed wordlessly.
   Tip 16 - Another word you may need to know is Dhanyabad, which means Thank you in Nepalese. Although you might be used to say 'thanks' for minor things either, you should not continuosly address 'dhanyabad' for every small act of kindness. It's not impolite but Nepali can take it as a way to overstress respect, which is not in their manners (at least not with everyone).
   Tip 17 - Electricity in Nepal is quite weak. It's not rare to experience blackouts, not only in small villages but in Kathmandu too. Make sure to have a flashlight or torch packed in your backpack.
   Tip 18 - Streets are oh-so full of stray dogs. Some stray dog will probably even follow you at some point. People don't usually keep dogs as pets and reasons for that are uncertain:
- because they're seen as reincarnations of bad people by Hindu;
- because they're impure, evil, which seems to be an influence by the Islamic Rule of India;
- because, religiously speaking, they act as a guard in hell, so they're seen under this evil light.
However, Hindi say they do not actually hate or avoid dogs, so it is probably just a matter of overcrowd and uncontrolled reproduction.
   Tip 19 - We do suggest to take lactic ferments before getting Nepal, let's say for 7-10 days before departure. Do not forget to bring some product to prevent or treat diarrhea, which is very common. Drugs and medicines are very cheap in Nepal, but do not rely too much on this because you won't find a drug-store anywhere.
   Tip 20 - You might encounter children begging you for some candies or chocolate. Bring some with you for any eventuality.
   Tip 21 - Nepali people follow their own calendar system known as the Bikram Era or Bikram Sambat. New Year is called Nava Varsha in Nepali language and is observed as an official holiday. The day usually falls in the second week of April. Bikram Sambat is 56.7 years ahead of the solar Gregorian calendar.


   Tip 1 - You need trekking permits to go on trails in Nepal.
- TIMS Card. This is not really a permit but more of a doc that tracks each trekker for security and safety purposes. It costs 10USD for group trekkers, 20USD for indipendent trekkers. You will need to provide a copy of your passport, 2 pics (passport format) and two emergency contacts, one local and one relative or friend of yours.
- Trek permits. Depending on where you're going and the height you will reach, you'll be asked to buy a specific permit and to pay the corrispondent fee. Again, you're asked to present the passport copy plus a pic.
Here you can find more info and better understand what kind of permit you need.
Whatever you may need, you can have it at a tourist office in Kathmandu or Pokhara. We obtained both our docs (TIMS Card + ACAP) here, at the Tourist Service Center in Kathmandu. Check open hours before going there.
   Tip 2 - Permits are checked at entrance and exit of covered areas. Keep them in a handy place in your backpack.
   Tip 3 - It's also forbidden to make video or to use drones at certain altitudes. Make sure to be fully informed before planning something like this or you'd may have to deal with penalties.
   Tip 4 - Most people suggest to use as an offline map. We have found it useful for moving around cities but Osmand is much better for trekking routes.
   Tip 5 - October to mid-November is the best period to trek the Hymalayas. It's also touristic peak season though, so if you're walking very beaten track (ig. Poon Hill) you may end up in a crowd. November-December is also a good moment, with less tourists and not-so-freezing air. Spring is rain season, so it's not suggested to go on a trek - remember than rain means snow at high altitude.
   Tip 6 - Even though you're not going up to 4,000m/15,000ft, you should wear Goretex shoes. Not mandatory, but strongly suggested.
   Tip 7 - You can pay a porter who will carry your bags or backpacks for you. Porters are usually young guys from poor families. Even though you might be told that recruiting one means keep local economy working and give money to someone who needs it, it really looks like a kind of slavery. Porters carry 30kg/70lbs or more prying with their head. Quite often, without wearing proper shoes. On ice, too. So please, think twice before hiring or overburden them.
   Tip 8 - You can hire a guide who can (of course) guide you, show the best path to follow and teach you about history, geography and Nepali culture. A guide can also help you get accomodations booked sometimes. You can recruit one directly on site, by going to tourist agencies. However, most common treks can be easily done without a guide, just make sure to study the path prior to departure.
   Tip 9 - If your trek involves stretches of highways, in addition to little mountain trails, make sure to bring a mask with you. Roads are very (very) dusty, so you'd better protect your face somehow.
   Tip 10 - Make sure to have a first aid kit with you. Always. Big cities excluded, you won't find drug stores. This is the type we had.
   Tip 11 - Trek the Hymalayas means having to find an accomodation directly on site, especially if you're a solo traveler (or more generally if you're not with a guide). When you'll reach your daily destination you should knock at lodges' doors and ask for an available room. Do not forget to negotiate prices.
   Tip 12 - You will have dinner and breakfast at the lodge you're staying at. Hymalayan lodges have all the same menu as they seem to be part of a sort of committee. Each one has its own vegetable garden (if not impossible due to too high altitude).
   Tip 13 - Not every lodge has warm water. We suggest you to bring dry shampoo to clean your hair and avoid getting a cold.
   Tip 14 - Of course there's no healing in mountain lodges neither. The only source of warm is somewhat of a stove located in the common dining area around which you can even lay your clother to dry. This is the perfect place to sit with a cup of hot tea and have a chat with other trekkers before slipping in your sleeping bag.
   Tip 15 - If you're trekking very common routes during peak season, there's a chance you won't be able to find an available room to spend the night at. No one will let you stay out in the freezing air, so you can either found yourself sharing a room with stranger or sleeping on the floor in the dining room.
   Tip 16 - Your trekking route will be full of prayer flags. Tibetan prayer flags are colorful rectangular clothes usually found on the Himalayas and used to bless the surrounding countryside. They come in five colors, arranged from left to right in a specific order, blue, white, red, green, and yellow. The five colors represent the five elements - more specifically, blue symbolizes the sky and space, white symbolizes the air and wind, red symbolizes fire, green symbolizes water, and yellow symbolizes earth.
   Tip 17 - Always bring with you at least one water bottle and the proper instruments to filter water. We bought a bottle with an integrated filtering system, the Grayl Geopress purifier. However, something like these ones could be enough too.
   Tip 18 - Machapuchare is probably the most known mount of Annapurna, named as fishtale due to its summit shape. It's a sacred summit so no one's allowed to set food on Machapuchare's trails. Moreover, the Nepalese Goverment doesn't release any permit to climb there. That's why no one had never climbed to its top. At least, not officially...
   Tip 19 - If you'd like to encounter a yak, you should probably climb over 4,000m/13,000ft. Yaks are long-haired domesticated bovids, very diffused in the Tibetan Plateau.


   Tip 1 - Cars are right-hand driven in Nepal. English style, dude.
   Tip 2 - Traffic in Nepal is crazy. If you're getting on a taxi or private cab, just don't-be-scared. For some reason, drivers are as much insane as they're good at avoiding to crash.
   Tip 3 - Motorcycles are super common everywhere in the country. They allow people to deal with traffic (quite) easier.
   Tip 4 - There's no railways in the country. Uh-oh. Train is not an option in Nepal.
   Tip 5 - There are 3 main categories for buses.
1) Local buses - the more real ones, always overcrowded;
2) Tourist buses - do not get that 'tourist' wrong, there's nothing comfortable there. They run longer distances;
3) Private companies buses - very much suggested when going from a region to another.
   Tip 6 - Greenline is the most known private bus company especially for the Kathmandu-Pokhara trait. This trip costs $50pp a/r. It takes 7 to 8 hours to get from Katmandu to Pokhara (or vice versa) but they stop in a clean place for lunch (included in the price).
Here's Greenline office in Kathmandu. It's not easy to find, so eyes open.
Here's the one in Pokhara.
   Tip 7 - Tourist buses stop for toilet breaks. They have scheduled calls but anyone can even ask for an additional stop when needed.
   Tip 8 - You won't need a ticket to get on local or tourist buses. You will pay directly on the bus (by cash obviously).
   Tip 9 - Every bus has its boss. These guys act as PR, space managers, cash counters and God only knows what else. They will come to you asking for payment and they will also decide where you have to sit or stand on the bus.
   Tip 10 - As a tourist, you will probably be charged for double the price locals normally pay for a ride. It's something annoying, but prices are very low and 'bus bosses' are usually not the type of person you would like to argue with, so that's fine.
   Tip 11 - If you're traveling with your backpack, remember to protect it with a rain cover before getting on the bus. If there won't be enough space for both you and your backpack onboard, it will be put either underneath the bus or outside on the ceiling. Both are not-so-clean options.
   Tip 12 - You can take an internal flight to go from Kathmandu to Pokhara and back. We do suggest to take a bus though, first because price is lower (130USD vs 25USD), second because gas emissions are lower too.
   Tip 13 - Many people suggest the experience of overflying Hymalayas and see Mount Everest on a helicopter. Apart of being such a touristic-ish thing, is not something you should choose to do at all if you're traveling on a budget.
   Tip 14 - Do not travel by bus at night. Roads conditions are bad and even though speed limits are non existant during the day neither, it seems like the situation gets worst at night.
   Tip 15 - Taxi prices (negotiable and non fixed by law) vary based on when you're taking the ride. Taxi rides at very early mornings or at late evenings costs slightly more on average.
   Tip 16 - It's not unusual that the airport shuttle your hostel promised you won't show up at your arrival. Don't panic, there's plenty of taxi (or kind-of-taxi) by the airport and their price is usually the same of the one offered by hostels (10USD).


   Tip 1 - Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal. It's been founded in 723a.C. by the king Guna Kamadeva and it's been entitled as Nepal capital in 1768.
   Tip 2 - Kathmandu is located at an altitude of 1,400m/4,500ft.
   Tip 3 - There's an ancient buddhist legend explaining how Kathmandu was born. According to Swayambhu Purana, present-day Kathmandu was once a huge and deep lake named "Nagdaha", as it was full of snakes. The lake was cut drained by Bodhisatwa Manjusri with his sword, and the water was evacuated out from there. He then established a city called Manjupattan, and made Dharmakar the ruler of the valley land. After some time, a demon named Banasur closed the outlet, and the valley again turned into a lake. Then lord Krishna came to Nepal, killed Banasur, and again drained out the water. He brought some Gopals along with him and made Bhuktaman the king of Nepal.
   Tip 4 - Tribhuvan International airport is the major airport in Nepal. It's around 6km/3.7mi far from the city center and it's made of two terminal, an international one and a domestic one.
   Tip 5 - Nepal is not an industrialized Country and Kathmandu is not an exception. People mainly live thanks to commercial activities, agriculture, tourism or manual works.
   Tip 6 - Thamel is the most touristic area of the city, even though it's still a genuine window on Nepali culture. We do suggest to book an accomodation in Thamel, so that it will be easier to take buses and taxis.
   Tip 7 - The city center is represented by the majestic Durbar Square, which is also an UNESCO site since the 70s.
   Tip 8 - Kathmandu Durbar Square is built around three areas. Basantapur Square's located South and is linked to the main center of the square which is the temples' zone, located West. North-East is for the other part of the square, where you'll find the entrance to Hanuman Dhoka and other temples. From here, the main ancient Kathmandu street (Makhan Tole) departs towards North-East.
   Tip 9 - To enter the Durbar Square, you will be asked to pay an entrance fee of 1,000NPR, which gives you access to every temple within the square. The entrance is free for kids aged <10.
   Tip 10 - The Kathmandu valley counts seven UNESCO sites, which are the three Durbar Squares (Kathmandu's, Bhaktapur's and Patan's), the two Stupas (Bodhanath's and Swayambhunath's), Pashupatinath and Changu Narayan.
   Tip 11 - Thamel is a car-free area, but being the most touristic zone of Kathmandu it is quite overcrowded though.
   Tip 12 - Kathmandu is full of shops, especially in Thamel. You'll find trekking garments and accessories at every corner. 90% of those products are counterfeited, so do not buy any. Remember than counterfeiting meand there's always some kind of hidden slavery in the supply chain.
   Tip 13 - As everywhere else in Nepal, Kathmandu is consistently experiencing blackouts. Take this into consideration and note that blackouts imply that ATMs will not work, so if you need cash you'll have to wait until the signal is back.
   Tip 14 - Pubs and restaurants are located at 2nd floors or above, so if you're looking for places where to eat don't forget to look up!
   Tip 15 - Kathmandu is one of the three royal ancient cities of the valley, together with Bhaktapur and Patan. Both these cities are suggested daily trips to take from Kathmandu. We've stopped in Bhaktapur before departing for our trekking. We decided to get there by taxi, so we spent 1,200NPR for a 1h30 ride.
   Tip 16 - The main bus station is at Ratna Park's, but please pay attention because
- not every bus always stop there when returning in Kathamndu, it really depends on traffic;
- buses to Bhaktapur departs from another near station, located here.
   Tip 17 - Kathmandu historical areas have been devastated by the tremendous earthquake magnitudo 7.8 which happened on April 25th, 2015 in Nepal.
   Tip 18 - Newari are the historical inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley and its surrounding areas in Nepal. Today, they consistently rank as the most economically, politically and socially advanced community of Nepal.
   Tip 19 - Swayambhu, also known as Monkey temple for the numerous monkeys living in that area, is an ancient religious architecture atop a hill in the Kathmandu Valley, west of Kathmandu city. We do suggest to walk there, it's a 40min walk from Thamel and it allows you to see the capital suburbs and how real life looks like over there.
   Tip 20 - The Pashupatinath Temple is a famous and sacred Hindu temple complex that is located on the banks of the Bagmati River, approximately 5 km north-east of Kathmandu. Tourists can not access the temple area, but they can assist to funeral ceremonies taking place on the river side, seeing dead people being burned in flames to assure them to reincarnation.


   Tip 1 - Nepali cuisine is perfect for vegetarians and vegan as it's mainly plant based (with rice).
   Tip 2 - Dal Baht is essential in Nepali cousine. It's a dish of plain rice (Baht) with lentils soup (Dal) and vegetables. This meal is served lunch and dinner in each local family, and Nepali people usually eat it using hands.
   Tip 3 - Momo are also very common in Nepal. They're basically dumplings filled in with vegetables and spices, sometimes also meat. You can choose to have them fried, steamed or grilled and they're usually served with some kind of sauce.
   Tip 4 - Do not use your left hand to eat, local people believe it's bad as left hand is used to cleanse your bottom after poo-poo.
   Tip 5 - Like everything in Nepal, cuisine is also the result of several influences. Chinese, Tibetan and Indian definitely are the strongest.
   Tip 6 - You will drink at least one tea a day. Tea is harvested in the Eastern region and highly consumed everywhere in the Country.
   Tip 7 - Black tea is the most common type, but Masala Tea is the real speciality. It's basically black tea with spices, served with sugar and milk (but you can have it without milk too). Delicious!
   Tip 8 - People in Nepal drink a lot of tea also because water is not safe. As an alternative to tea, especially in the Himalayan region, people drink plain hot water.
   Tip 9 - Street food is not-so safe in Nepal. There's almost no refrigeration systems and the hygienic conditions are not the best neither.
   Tip 10 - When you read 'buff' on a menu, it litterally means buffalo. Meat is usually consumed in the Kathmandu Valley only, home of Newari cuisine; it's not that frequent though. Eating cows is illegal because cows are sacred for Hindu.
   Tip 11 - Panipuri is a round, hollow puri filled with a mixture of flavored water, tamarind chutney, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion or chickpeas. You will see Panipuri at every corner, as this snack is the main street food dish in Nepal as well as in India.
   Tip 12 - Lassi is a very common dessert made by mixing yogurt, milk, water and sometimes also spices. It is sometimes served within your Dal Baht dish.


   Tip 1 - Nepali culture is the result of several influences, and this is reflected into religion too. Religions in Nepal are Hinduism (81.3%), Buddhism (9.0%), Islam (4.4%), Kiratism (3.0%), Christianity (1.4%), Other (0.8%).
   Tip 2 - Cows are sacred in the Country, so they can't be killed and eaten. It's not rare to find some walking free in Kathmandu.
   Tip 3 - Stupas are mound-like or hemispherical religious buildings. In Buddhism, circumambulation (pradakhshina) has been an important ritual and devotional practice since the earliest times, and stupas always have a pradakhshina path around them.
   Tip 4 - Remember that circumambulation (pradakhshina) around a stupa always has to be done clockwise.
   Tip 5 - Marigold is also called Genda in Hindi and is a popular flower in Nepal and India, when it comes to weddings and several auspicious ceremonies especially. Also known as "herb of the sun", Marigolds symbolize passion and creativity - but auspiciousness and renunciation, too. Thus they're offered to God as a symbol of surrender, of trust in the divine.
   Tip 6 - Tilaka is a mark worn by Hindi men. It is particularly diffused in India and Nepal. It is created by the application of powder or paste on skin, usually on the forehead.
   Tip 7 - Bindi is a colored dot, usually red, originally worn by Hindus on the center of the forehead. The area between the eyebrows (where the bindi is placed) is said to be the sixth chakra, ajna, the seat of "concealed wisdom". Thus the bindi is said to retain energy and strengthen concentration. Also, it represents the third eye.
   Tip 8 - Christmas is celebrated by the nepalese Christian minority, but it is mostly celebrated by and for tourists in Pokhara, which is indeed the most touristic city.
   Tip 9 - Kumari is the Living Goddess for Hindus, a young Newari girl living in Kathmandu. The word Kumari is derived from the Sanskrit Kaumarya, meaning "princess". You can visit the Kumari Ghar across Durbar Square, at Basantapur, where she resides and you may be in luck to catch a glimpse of this Goddess. When her first menstruation begins, it is believed that the goddess vacates her body. Serious illness or a major loss of blood from an injury also causes loss of deity.
   Tip 10 - Pashupatinath Temple is the most sacred temple for Hindi people. It is famous for the funeral ceremonies taking place in there. Hindi believe that a well done funeral ritual at this temple only can assure dead people with reincarnation of their souls.