Frequently Asked Questions

Nepal, a federal democratic republic of Nepal is a landlocked country bordered by People’s Republic of China to the north and Republic of India to east, west and south. Occupying only 0.03% of the Worlds land and 0.3% of the Asia. Nepal has a unique landscape that stretches from the peak of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world to the Terai plains and it offers immense diversity in terms of ethnicity, language, culture, geography and bio-diversity. Kathmandu is the capital city. What is the time difference in Nepal?

One can enter Nepal by air via Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Royal Nepal Airlines, British Airways, Biman Bangladesh, China South West Airlines, Druk Air, Gulf Air, India Air, Thai Airways, Qatar, Pakistan Air, Jet Air and Singapore Airlines. Else if you are coming to Nepal via land then you can enter through any of the below mentioned entry points at India- Nepal border: Kakarbhitta, Raxaul, Sunauli, Nepalgunj, Dhangadi, Mahendranagar and tatopani in the Tibet side.

Route

Approximate distance from border towns to major cities

Siliguri- Kakarvitta- KTM

620 Kms

Jogbani- Biratnagar-KTM

550 kms

Raxaul-Birgunj- KTM

280 kms

Sunauli- Bhairahawa- KTM

280 kms

Rupaidiya- Jamuna (Nepalgunj)- KTM

520 kms

Gauriphanta- Mohana (Dhangadi)- KTM

630 kms

Banbasa- Gaddachauki (Mahendranagar)- KTM

715 kms

Sunauli- Bhairahawa- Palpa-Pokhara

185 kms

Sunauli- Bhairahawa- Chitwan

145 kms

Sunauli-Bhairahawa- Lumini

26  kms

 

 

All foreign nationals are required to arrange a visa in order to enter Nepal. A Nepalese Visa can be obtained either prior to your arrival at a Nepalese embassy abroad or on arrival in Kathmandu at the airport. But nationals from Afghanistan, Iraq, Cameroon, Ghana, Somalia, Swaziland, Palestine, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Liberia cannot secure the Nepalese Visa upon arrival. The Visa can be also secured at entry points at Nepalese borders. A valid passport for at least six months, recent digital photo (size: 1.5" x 1.5") will be required and the following fees either in USD dollars cash or the equivalent local currency:

Visa Facility   

Duration

        Fee

Multiple entry

15 days

US$ 25 or equivalent Nepali currency

Multiple entry

30 days

US$ 40 or equivalent Nepali currency

Multiple entry

90 days

US$ 100 or equivalent Nepali currency

 

Nepal offers a diversified geographical regions and so as the climatic condition differs from the Himalayas to the plains. The climate varies as per the season. Nepal generally offers 4 seasons amongst which autumn and spring are the two most favorable ones for visiting Nepal.  Having said that there are many places that you can visit even during the winter and the summer (monsoon). It is always wise to know about the weather and climatic condition of the place you visit.

The various seasons of Nepal:

Spring (March to end of May):

During this time of year trekking is highly recommended as you will see the amazing views of the Himalayas and the varied landscapes. The mornings are usually clear but there might be some occasional drizzle in the afternoon. It is one of the best time of year to pack up your bags and be in the mountains. The whole country is lush and an abundant green at this season. This period instigate the second most popular and pleasant trekking season as you will get to see the beautiful and colorful flowers blooming along the trails. It is also a good time for climbing as the high passes are usually snow free and the mountain views are still clear in April.

Monsoon (June to early September):

The monsoon season starts from June and last till early September. Trekking during this time of year is generally difficult and uncomfortable as the trail becomes muddy and slippery. There are often times that the trails becomes leech infested. However, if you wish to trek despite of the rain then we would suggest you to carry an umbrella, poncho, proper waterproof hiking boots, wind proof jackets, baggage wrap, and raincoat as well as required insect repellent. It rains almost every day with occasional thunderstorms. There are possibilities of trekking to the trans-Himalayan regions such as Mustang and Dolpo. These are the rain shaded areas and are open to cater all your needs.

Autumn (Mid-September to November):

The best seasons and the most popular time to trek in Nepal are autumn, from mid-September till November. Generally, the weather is clear with mild to warm days and cold nights. However, in the higher altitude, the nights drop into freezing temperature. In this season, the mountains views are astonishingly clear with a pleasant weather totally a paradise for the trekkers as you can see the trails would be occupied by the fellow trekkers. The time is the busiest time for the people involved in the tourism industry.

Winter (December to February):

It is also possible to trek during winter, from December until the end of February as the temperature during days will be cooler; however, the nights will often be very cold. The days are generally clear. But in mid-winter (January through March), trekking is more challenging in the high altitudes with semi-regular snowfall followed by more winter storms, which break the long fine periods. The mid-December to mid-February is the coldest time. As snow gets harder and wind condition remains stabilized in early winter, climbing some of trekking peaks is possible. the high altitude lodges 0ften get closed as people move to the lower elevation for warmth and due to the snow it difficult to cross high altitude passes.

 

In the major cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara, you can easily find the various numbers of restaurants offering different kinds of cuisines from around the world. Where as in the remote areas basic tea houses are available.

You can use the taxi for moving around in the city. You can find one right from the time you arrive at the international airport. For the cheaper options, you can use the public buses and micro bus that leaves from nearest bus stops. You can also take a rickshaw ride to travel to the short distances.

Every trekkers despite of their respective ages should be moderately fit and used to some kind of exercise.

Nepal offers different category of the treks from short and easy trekking to the long and exhausting treks. The grades also depends upon the area of interest. The trekking in the Himalayas is divided into four types, namely Easy, Moderate, Difficult and Strenuous. The challenge in terms of both technicality and geography increases as we move higher in that order.

Easy Treks

No previous trek experience and any physical preparation are required to attempt this trek. An interest in walking will be enough to take up such treks. Such treks usually vary from 2 days hike to 5 days trekking and can reach up to an altitude of 3000 m. Treks usually on well-maintained paths and passes through ridges and involve walking up to 5 hours a day.

Moderate Treks

Moderate Treks will require at least 6-7 hours of walking every day, crossing 4000 m above high altitude passes, and long and exhausting walks through often rough trails, rocks and boulders. Therefore, you will require physical and mental fitness, positive attitude and interests and previous hiking or camping experience is preferred. You should prepare to face high altitude.

Difficult Treks

Previous trekking experience and technical knowledge is essential in Difficult Treks. Besides walking through rough trails for 6-7 hours and crossing high passes as high as 5000 m, you will also be glacier crossings on snow/ice. You will be facing high altitude air with low level of oxygen and continuous walking over huge stretch of Himalayan valleys. Positive attitude and perseverance is required.

Strenuous Treks

Strenuous Treks involve long days, long hours of challenging walks, high altitude passes above 5000 m, difficult terrains and glacier and snow walking. No doubt you need to be mentally and physically fit and in excellent health condition. As part of technical requirements, you will require to have rock and ice climbing experience with the knowledge of use of ice axe and crampons. You should consider joining one of the rock climbing and glacier walking classes prior to heading for Trek.

On FOT or Fully Organized Trek yours eating and sleeping arrangements will be fully organized by the support crew. FOTs are also known as CAMPING TREKS. On camping trek you will be sleeping in tents. A trekking crew consists of one sirdar, one cook and kitchen crew, Sherpa assistants and porters depending on the size of the group. Under the leadership of the sirdar (the local trek leader), the crew consists of several Sherpa assistants who will ensure you don't take the wrong path, a cook and kitchen crew to keep you well fed with delicious and nutritious meals and the porters to transport all the gear from camp to camp. Our main aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. The ratio of both Sherpa guides and kitchen crew to group members is generally 1:4 and the ratio of porters to group members is around 3:1 at the beginning of the trek, but this decreases as food is eaten and loads become smaller. For bathroom facilities we carry a toilet tent. Your camping staffs dig a deep hole in the ground for excrement and cover the hole with soil after the business is done.

TH trek means tea house trek. Some of the popular trekking routes are served by lodges making it possible for you to stay at local Tea house (mountain hut) during your trek. Tea house treks are less expensive then Camping trek and are largely suitable for small group. Usually during busy seasons if private rooms in smaller villages are fully occupied you might have to sleep in dormitory. Price includes accommodation in lodges, guide, porters and all meals.

This is an abbreviation of Guide Accommodation and Porters (GAP). This option of the trek is for those who want basic support from us. This is the most economical way to do trekking in Nepal. We provide an English speaking local Sherpa guide, book and pay for the accommodation in local lodges during trek and arrange required porters and trekkers pay for meals directly to the local lodge owner. This option works only in certain routes in Everest, Langtang and Annapurna regions where trekking routes are served by local tea house or lodges. You pay for your own meals. We take care of all expenses of our staff.

The cultural tour guides are quite proficient. The trekking guide (Sirdar) and his assistants speak reasonable amount of English, good enough to explain you about the places, local culture or any sight that catches your eyes.

The total hours of trekking differs as you go higher in terms of altitude. You might have to walk for about an average of 5-8 hours a day depending upon the trek grades. All the itineraries are prepared in such a way that provides enough time for you to acclimatize to the altitude. Also we are flexible in a way that you can also customize the itinerary as per your requirement.

Weather in the mountains is extremely unpredictable. The nights are generally cooler and the days are warm. Winter (January and February) will be bit colder but the days can be quite beautiful and warm if the sun is out. There will be bit of snow during the month of January, February and December. It is also important to make sure that you can stay warm and dry in just about any conditions. Expect the unexpected!

On a CAMPING TREK we provide three tasty, plentiful and nutritious meals daily with a variety of local and western dishes. The leaders are able to maintain very tight controls on health and hygiene in the kitchen with respect to general cleanliness and food preparation and also within the group with respect to personal hygiene. Special dietary requirements can always be catered for. On the Tea House treks we provide standard breakfast, lunch and three course dinner, tea or coffee will also be included with each meal. Your guide will help with menu selection and ensure that you get the best value meals possible. Although the food is usually plentiful and delicious, you should be aware that the menu is not normally extensive.

On camping trek, our staff will boil and cook meals treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. On GAP trek and T House trek, you will be able to buy safe hot drinks in the tea house. You can buy packaged water (bottled mineral water) from local lodge and shop en route or you can also ask your guide to fill your water bottle with boiled water and treat with water purification pills. On the trail, water from the streams is safe if away from settlements.

We provide sleeping bags, down jackets for the Lodge to Lodge trek (Teahouse) and tents, mattresses, kitchen equipment (all of the highest quality) during the Camping Treks. However, trekking shoes, personal equipment and climbing equipment is up to you. See our equipment list or email us for a specific list.

It is obligatory for all the trekkers to receive the TIMS as it includes every information of the tourists along with the trekking route and number of trekking days. Tourists of all nationalities including Indians, who are interested to visit general trekking areas of Nepal, are required to receive TIMS Card through one of the following offices:

Kathmandu

(NTB office, TAAN office and Government registered trekking companies)

Pokhara

(NTB office, TAAN office and Government registered trekking companies)

To obtain a TIMS Card you need a photo copy of your passport details and two passport-size photographs. The TIMS card is non-transferable, non-endorsable and valid only for one entry for prescribed area and duration.

AMS is the abbreviation for Acute Mountain sickness also termed as the High Altitude Sickness. AMS is one of the challenges that the trekkers/ climbers might face during their climb in the mountains. As you reach higher in the altitude the oxygen level gradually decreases. If a person tries to climb too quickly then there is a higher chance of getting AMS. The major symptoms of AMS is headache, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, difficulty in sleeping. However, AMS can be avoided by using some precautionary measures such as drinking plenty of water, eating enough food and walking in the steady pace. Our experienced guides who have been working in the Himalayas will help and instruct you for further measures.

Classic Outdoor will provide a well-qualified and experienced guide who has a good knowledge about AMS as they can recognize the early symptoms and advise medications for instant relief. We have designed our trips in such a way that the clients get full acclimatization and proper rest. You will also be provided with a Gamow bag upon request at an additional charge which is considered a major gear to reduce the effect of AMS. In the worst case scenario, we shall arrange a rescue and evacuation using a helicopter whose cost should be covered by your travel insurance.

In the case of a serious sickness or a casualty, which we believe will not happen you shall be rescued by a helicopter. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back in Kathmandu. Ask your guide to arrange a runner to the nearest communication point and inform office about requirement of a helicopter. While asking for the helicopter, please send name of the sick person and give exact location from where helicopter can airlift you. Do not leave the place although you are getting better once you have ordered Helicopter.

Tips are appreciated by your support team after the trip. The tipping amount depends on your budget as well as your appreciation of their work. Some trekkers give 10% of the total tour cost as tips. However, it totally is upon your level of satisfaction from their work.

Before coming to Nepal you are advised to take one or two vaccine for common diseases like Japanese encephalitis. When in Nepal, eat thoroughly cooked food. Drink only the reputed brand of bottled water. Soft drinks like Coke, Pepsi are fine to drink. Avoid Fast foods and salads. If you are planning to travel during the period of June to September you may be caught by Cholera. But this will not be a big problem if you will follow our advice like not drinking contaminated water like tap water and avoiding uncooked food. Wear a mask (if possible) when walking in the dusty and polluted streets, especially during the summer season in Nepal it can be tough to walk in the streets. Many private clinics and hospitals are open during the day. Drug stores near the hospital regions are open 24 hours (Bir Hospital, Teaching Hospital, Patan Hospital, etc). Of course the other rules apply; a) Quit smoking! b) Drink less.

Electricity in Nepal is 220-240 volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. A voltage converter is needed for a device that does not accept 220-240 volts at 50 MHz. Sockets in Nepal accept only round three or two pins. So if your electrical device uses flat pins, we would suggest you to kindly bring a universal electric plug adaptor.

There are many ATM machines in the Kathmandu and Pokhara Valley. ATM machines are slowly being introduced to other cities like Bhuwtal and Dharan. Most popular cards accepted in Nepal are VISA, MASTERCARD and American Express. Both Debit and Credit Cards are accepted here.

Yes, there is tourist police located near the Nepal Tourism Development Board's Office. Also, there are complaint counters at the airport and Basantapur Durbar Square. Tourist police are specially trained in English and have detailed local knowledge to assist tourists. For security and travel related assistance, you can reach any of the officers from telephone 4-247041, 4-4268969 during 11 a.m to 5 p.m

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