10 Tips to Enjoy Holidays in Nepal

Going to the land of Lord Buddha, the Himalayas and Dahl Baht? Get the tips and enjoy your trip to this amazing country.

1. Carry toilet paper everywhere, and if you can’t handle squat toilets, rethink your travel plans.

2. Traffic in Kathmandu is chaos – motorbikes, push bikes, cars, buses and rickshaws – sometimes livestock too – will go any which way at any time. Just be careful, but keep walking. Cars and buses will also use their horns for any or no reason, even at four in the morning.

3. Nepali people are very touchy-feely. Get used to it. Men will hold each other very openly in public but there are no homosexual connotations associated with this. Also – Nepali people have no qualms about invading your personal space – they will happily walk into your room, start looking through your photos, or want to go through your camera, computer or phone to see some snaps as well. But – never touch anyone with your feet, or step over someone’s legs, or something important like a religious item. If you touch someone, or something important, with your foot, you must touch your hand to your head and then touch them/it. Also don’t use your foot to point at anything, or touch people’s feet.

4. Don’t drink the water, or even brush your teeth with it. You can buy cheap chlorine drops at any pharmacy/drug store in Kathmandu which will do the trick and save the money and waste on bottled water.

5. When around the tourist district – you should barter down prices as they will start at around double the local’s price. Bartering is fun to Nepali people, so just enjoy it! The seller will say a price, you say “Oh that’s a bit expensive…” and they will say another and then you have a go etc, until you’re happy. You will also get harassed in the Thamel area for taxis, rickshaws, beggars and store owners. However, the people are friendly but persistent, so just decline and keep walking. Best to assume everyone is trying to get money out of you, especially ‘porters’ at airports and people posing as friendly locals who offer to show you around or direct you to where you are going, and will most likely ask for money at the end. Another important thing to note – there seems to be a national change shortage in Nepal, so keep hold of your small notes, or you might be stuck giving a very big tip!

6. Kathmandu is a dust bowl. There is rubbish everywhere – in the river, on the streets, and people go to the toilet and litter anywhere convenient with no thought about the environment or sanitation. Bring a face mask if you will be traveling around the city streets, and just be ready to see people throwing rubbish out car windows. This is just due to ignorance, poverty and a lack of infrastructure and awareness, but be prepared for this, especially if you are environmentally minded.

7. Nepal is a very religious country. Hindu and Tibetan Buddhists live, work and worship very harmoniously, and you will be confronted with all things religious everywhere you go, so embrace and enjoy. There are regular religious festivals and events to experience, so check out what will be occurring while you are in the country.

8. Get out of the city and do a trek. The Himalayas are an amazingly beautiful place to explore, but do some research to be prepared for the trek, the cold, and the altitude.

9. Kathmandu suffers from electricity shortages, especially when the seasons mean that hydroelectic power is at a low. You will only be able to charge your various gadgets at a certain time of day, or night, depending on your accommodation establishment. You may also have no running water, or no hot water at least.

10. Food in Nepal is wonderful. The common fare is Dahl Baht, lentil soup and rice, and you should try it, or if you are living in a host family, get used to it real quick. Your hosts will also try to feed you a massive plate that might be too much, so be stern, or allow your stomach to expand! In the city restaurants, there are Western options around, and various different cuisines to try. There are always vegetarian options, and you may decide to stick to the meatless option after you see the animals being slaughtered in the street and the carcasses sitting out in the sun and the dust.

Important note: Nepali people have something called ‘jutoh’, which is food that has touched someone else’s lips or mouth – you cannot give ‘jutoh’ to someone higher than yourself, e.g. a wife can never give ‘jutoh’ to her husband. You will see people drinking straight from pitchers of water, but they will never let it touch their lips. So, when sharing food, use the communal spoon or ladle to dish up – never use the spoon or fork that you are using to eat with.

Nepal is a beautiful, wonderful country, filled with amazingly friendly and happy people. Enjoy your time there, and whilst the above seems to be only about the more difficult sides to the country, the smiles and genuineness of the people you meet will make any negative points seem trivial. Enjoy! For more details check india trips online and india travel packages also India Tourism

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