Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Nepal?
Nepal, a sovereign independent Kingdom, lies between 80 degree 12' east longitude and 26 degree 22' and 30 degree 27' north latitude. It is bounded on the north by the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China; on the east by Sikkim and West Bengal of the Indian Union on the south by Indian States of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and on the west by Uttar Pradesh of Indian Union. The length of the Kingdom is 885 kilometers east-west and its breath varies from 145 to 241 kilometers north-south. Climatically, it lies in the temperate zone with the added advantage of altitude.
How to Enter in Nepal?
In order to fly directly to Nepal from your home country, Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu is the only international airport in Nepal. TIA has direct airlink with Osaka, Shanghai, London, Frankfurt, Hongkong, Singapore, Bangkok, Delhi, Dubai, Bombay and Calcutta. Lufthansa, Nepal Airlines corporation (NAC), Air India, Singapore Airlines, Thai are the airlines that carry most of the foreign travelers into Kathmandu and if you buy tickets from any other airlines, you will probably connect with one of these airlines for the final leg of your flight. Alternatively, if you have time and enthusiasm, traveling overland to Nepal via India is an option. British overland travel operators can take you from London to Kathmandu on a six to eighteen week trip . You will travel from continental Europe through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to Nepal.
What do I need to get my visa? And where to apply?
All foreign nationals, except Indian Citizens, need visas to enter Nepal. Nepal entry visa , you can obtain easily upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. (Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 30 days can be obtained by paying US $ 40 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 90 days can be obtained by paying US $ 100. Please bring 2 copies of passport size photos.
What is the weather & temperature like?
Depending on the season. In the summer time the weather is hot and sunny during the day with occasional storms in the evening. In winter at high elevations the temperature is very cold, but the days are normally bright and sunny. September through to November is ideal for the warm days and cool nights and clear weather.
When is the best time to visit in Nepal?
We recommend anytime between 15th February to 15th June in spring & 15th September to end of December in autumn however, rest of the months are okay and trek can be done but not as much as nice comparing those season due to winter & raining respectably.
Are there ATM facilities in Nepal?
Yes, in Kathmandu and Pokhara. International credit cards (Master Card, Visa Card etc) are also accepted in all leading hotels, shopping centers, bars and restaurants in Nepal.
What about getting to Nepal from Tibet?
The crossing between Nepal and Tibet via Kodari is only open to organised groups but not to individual travellers heading north. Be prepared with alternative plans if you're thinking about using this route, because landslides regularly make it impassabe during the monsoon.
What is the national language of Nepal?
Nepal's national language is called Nepali. It is written in Devnagri Script. This script is the same as the one used in Hindi language - the national language of India. There are more than 62 different spoken languages in Nepal. It is also official language of Nepal.
What's the common form of greeting in Nepal?
It is called Namaste or Namaskar. You can say the greeting in words as well as do it using a gesture. Join your palms together and bring them close to your chest and about 5 to 7 inches below your chin. The word Namaste has many meanings such as Hello, How are you?, I am glad to see you, nice to meet you, good morning, etc.
Trekking in the Himalayas: If you are trekking for the first time around you will have many questions and even more doubts. What will be some of the requirements on your trek, what would be the essentials you should check on before you go ahead and confirm with your tour operator for your dream trek in the Himalayas? This section is a pointer to what facilities an ideal agency should be offering you on your trek and answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions before starting the trek.
01: What sort of experience do your guides have?
A: A1 Adventure Pvt. Ltd -has some of the most dependable and experienced guides in Nepal. All of our guides have spent years exploring the mountains and countryside of Nepal. All guides speak English and have a deep knowledge of the various trekking routes. Our guides are trained in first aid and know how to react in any situation. And most importantly our guides are friendly and enjoyable and want to share with you the true beauty of Nepal.
02: What should I carry on my day packed?
Packed for yourself and carry during the day:
• water bottled
• camera and films that you need during the day
• medicines (if you are taking any medicine)
• anti-sun burn lotion
• rain coat/ umbrella
03: Can you just tell me types of trekking you are running?
A: Currently we are running three type of trekking:
1. Tea House Trek: this is very budget oriented trip that just provides the essentials for trekking. We provide a guide and porter who show you the way and carry the gear. You stay and eat in local tea houses along the way.
2. Upgraded Lodge Treks: These treks also take advantage of the many lodges along the trail. We have chosen the nicest and cleanest lodges available and provide bed and pillow covers to all our clients. We also provide a personal cook to prepare all snacks and meals hygienically and with our own cookery. In addition to your experienced guide and porter we provide an extra porter to clean all bathroom facilities to the standards you expect. All trips run on the classic trekking routes are either tea house or upgraded lodge treks due to the lack of campsites and environmental impact in these areas.
3. Camping Treks: All of our off the beaten path treks require us to bring our own camping and kitchen facilities. We provide a guide, porters, a cook and a deep knowledge of all these unique areas. This is not a backpacking trip because we cook all meals, carry all the gear and pitch every camp. All camping spots have the best view possible of your surrounding environment.
04. What is the routine on the trek?
A: Trekkers normally start their walk early, after a hot breakfast, to enjoy the morning sun bathing the peaks. Carry a light sack for your camera, lunch box and your wind cheater. Ask the manager to arrange for porters beforehand, who can carry your other baggage and all equipment - leaving you free to enjoy the peace and beauty of the mountains and valleys. By late afternoon you could reach your new destination where a camp and the food is set up by the trek staff.
On a camping trek with group evenings generally tend to be lively with some porter entertaining you with his tribal song while his friends improvise musical instruments or just having a lively camp fire discussion of your own.
Early morning, a hand stretches out with a hot mug of tea followed by warm water for a wash. Cooked breakfast and off you go again to your new destination.
05. Is the country politically stable and safe?
A: Nepal is one of the new Republic Democratic countries with many active multi political parties, ideas and leaders. As such there might be some disturbances in some parts of the country. But it does not affect the daily life of the residents in other parts. Life moves on as usual unperturbed.
06. Are the trails crowded?
A: On a off the beaten treks, you may find no other foreigners apart from your group for days on end. At the peak season, you may probably see some other trekkers. Even on traditional treks there will be far less people than you would see on a normal walking trail at home.
07. Should I purchase a lot of expensive gear to go on a trek?
A: If necessary we will provide free the most expensive items - a sleeping bag, warm jacket and sleeping mat. You have to provide the other personal clothing items you need. This will involve some expense, although you will be amazed, by how much use you will be able to make out of clothing you already own.
08: What photographic equipment should I take?
A: Most trekkers would like to record their trip on film. Himalayan treks offer a wealth of photographic possibilities and carrying a little extra photography equipment can be worth its weight. Single reflex cameras with interchangeable lenses are most suitable for the situations that you will encounter. Lenses should include a wide angle (28-35 mm) for buildings and landscapes, a tele-photo (70-200 mm) for un-obtrusive portraits and close-ups of mountain peaks. A macro lens will help you photograph flowers of Himalaya. Carry plenty of film as you will probably end up taking more photographs than you planned (a roll a day should suffice). Make sure you have waterproof covering for your camera, equipment and extra batteries. You will need an ultra violet and polarizing filter for high altitudes.
09. What about overnight accommodation?
A: Where possible most operators prefer to organize the stay in country side hotels or rest houses. For the major part of the trek, the accommodation would however be tend to be in tents on twin sharing basis. Bathroom and sanitation facilities are improvised and made as comfortable as possible.
10. How long a trek goes?
A: Generally the trek duration depends on your interest and location of trek. Your trek can last anywhere from 2-3 days to an entire month or longer if you wish. We can accommodate day hikes, cultural visits to local villages, and relaxing rest days on your trek. The decision is up to you.
11: How difficult are the treks?
A: The difficulty of our treks depends on where you want to trek and how long you want to go. The shorter Treks tend to be easier while the longer ones require some physical fitness. Be prepared for some steep trails leading to amazing views. The pace at which you hike is up to you. We have friendly and dependable porters to assist you with your personal gear.
12: What is including on your tent/ lodge based Trekking?
A: Our lodge or camp based trek includes: 3 meals per day, guide, porters as needed (in general one for two trekkers), commendations, toilet paper (bring extra), washing water, etc. Showers are usually available but may not be available every day. Trekking price does not include any type of bottled beverage but does include boiled water and drinks (hot) with meals. All trekking services are included from here till the end of the trek. On our lodge-based trek, we always utilize the best lodge-accommodations available within the area. This can vary dramatically with each community. (Included flight/ transport/ and all trekking service.)
13: What are the Tea Houses like?
A: Tea houses are a way of life for almost all trekkers. They are the combination of guest house, restaurant, and social hang out. We encourage all trekkers along the Everest, Langtang, and Annapurna treks to try our tea house treks. Our many years of experience along these routes have helped us find the friendliest, cleanest, and most enjoyable tea houses with the best views. Most tea houses have running water. Many have hot water available for bathing. But we discourage our groups from using water heated by wood fires due to lack of firewood in most villages. Deforestation is a big environmental concern in Nepal they are also a great way help support local villages.
14: Will we have private rooms and bathrooms?
A: Private rooms are available in most tea houses except for those at very high altitudes. Most bathrooms are shared. On our lodge treks we also provide someone to clean all bathroom facilities for our groups. Our lodge treks also include bed and pillow covers.
15. What type of food is served on a trek?
A: Normally hot meals are served all along the trip, though at times packed lunches may be given when distances between stops do not permit cooking. A variety of Nepali and continental dishes are prepared with fresh vegetables depend on place. Most of the trips have an accompanying cook to take care of the details.
16: How safe is the food?
A: Food safety is always a big concern when visiting a foreign country. Which is why we do our best to choose tea houses and restaurants with clean and sanitary kitchens? On our lodge treks, we provide a cook to prepare safe and tasty meals with our own set of cookery as well as hygienic cleaning facilities. The food we serve on camping trips is completely safe.
17: Where do we get water during the trip?
A: All tea houses have boiled water for trekkers. Your guide will provide you with all the water you need during your trek. We discourage the purchase of bottled water while on the trail. The plastic bottles are difficult to dispose off and have become an environmental problem.
18: Is the water safe to drink?
A: Your guide will be in charge of all your water needs. He will make sure all water is boiled and treat it with iodine. Iodine is 100% effective in killing the bacteria in water.
19: What clothes should I bring?
A: Choosing the right clothing is very important. You want to have enough clothes to stay warm or cool yet not over pack. Usually you will have warm days and cold nights. A warm jacket either fleece or down can be nice for the evening. Long under wear and wool socks are good for warmth too. We encourage people to bring a light pair of pants and shorts for hiking. Sunscreen and glasses are a must. Rain and hail can appear on a trek so we suggest a Gore-Tex jacket. Most gear can be purchased in Kathmandu or Pokhara at one of the many outdoor gear shops.
20: What type of shoes or boots should I wear?
A: The proper foot wear depends on the trek. Shorter treks can be done in comfortable running shoes while longer ones require sturdy but light weight hiking boots. Shoes and boots are best purchased before arriving in Nepal. Proper fit is a must for boots. And we encourage wearing your boots before the trek to wear them in.
21: What will the weather be like?
A: Weather effects everything in Nepal and trekking is no exception. Sudden rain storms or snow flurries are always a possibility. The weather during the trekking season is somewhat more stable. We pay close attention to weather reports during the trekking season.
22. Will I get altitude sickness?
It depends from person to person, while one may get sick at a lower altitude, the other might not get affected even at a much higher altitude. Altitude sickness can be a worry for many people coming from sea level. Which is why A1 Adventure -Trek trips give our customers extra days to acclimate to the higher altitudes? Our guides are trained to spot any signs of altitude sickness and know how to react.
23: What happens if there is an emergency?
A: Eco-Trek prides itself on being prepared for any emergency situation. Our guides are trained in first aid and can deal with most of the basic ailments that occur during a trek. But if a serious emergency occurs, then outside help is needed. Every client should have their own insurance before coming to Nepal. If an emergency occurs, Eco-Trek will initially cover the cost of an evacuation until your insurance company can deliver payment. All trekking services are included from here till the end of the trek. On our lodge-based trek, we always utilize the best lodge-accommodations available within the area. This can vary dramatically with each community. (Included flight/ transport/ and all trekking service.)
24: How about insurance?
A: To protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances we strongly recommend you take out a ‘Trip cancellation and medical insurance policy’ in your home country. The medical policy should include coverage of transportation costs in the event of emergency helicopter or surface evacuation being required. We regret that such insurance policies are not available for places like Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.
25: How much money should I bring for the trek?
A: The amount of money you bring on a trek depends on you. Cold sodas during the day and an occasional beer after a long day of hiking can be awfully nice. These along with any souvenirs and film are personal expenses. We have a safe in our office where plane tickets and money can be kept.
26: How can we respect your culture during our trek:
A: With its diverse ethnic groups and traditional beliefs, Nepal has numerous cultural practices that may appear unusual to a person on his/her first visit to the country. However, to enjoy your stay in this remarkable country of white Himalayas and sparkling rivers it is important to take into consideration the different cultural aspects of the country. Here is a list of things which may be helpful to you.
• The form of greeting in Nepal is "namaste" is performed by joining the palms together.
• Before entering a Nepalese home, temple, and stupa remember to remove your shoes.
• Be careful not to use your spoon, fork or hands being used for your eating to touch other's food, plate, cooking utensil or the serving dish. Do not eat from other people's plate and do not drink from other people's bottle or glass. It is considered impure by the Nepalese.
• Never touch anything with your feet. This is considered an offence among Nepalese.
• While travelling dress appropriately. Women should especially avoid dressing in skimpy outfits.
• Seek permission first before entering a Hindu temple. Many Hindu temples do not allow westerners to enter.
• Leather articles are prohibited to be taken inside the temple precinct.
• Walking around temples or stupas is traditionally done clockwise.
• Take photographs only after receiving permission for the object or person being photographed.
• Public displays of affection between man and woman are frowned upon. Do not do something that is totally alien to our environment.
• Remember, many times, when a person shakes his head from left to right, he may mean "Yes".
• Develop a genuine interest to meet and talk to Nepalese people and respect their local customs.
27: Do I need Trekking Permit?
A: Any foreigners Trekkers or visitors who are interested to do trekking, peak climbing, expedition and other adventurous activities in any part of Nepal should take a Trekking permit along with you from the Department of Immigration, Nepal Tourism Board and other concerned authorities through any authorized Trekking companies of Nepal.
28: How do you treat ecology in Nepal?
A: Eco tourism concept is seriously taken in Nepal. Everyone should be careful to prevent the ecology. We all are equally responsible to make the area “Litter Free". All the wastages like papers and other stuffs, we do proper disposal. If the wastage matters are imperishable, we packed it to bring back to Kathmandu or some stuffs which cannot recycle in Nepal is suggested our valuable clients to take back to your own country. If one protect the environment in Nepal this is the common asset of the world. During the trekking periods, we use fuel instead of using firewood. Everybody is responsible in rights of Flora and Fauna
29: Is it possible to take photographs of tourist places and people?
A: Taking photos in the tourist places is not any problem but in some of places and inside the temples normally not allowed to take for photography. Even though, most of Nepalese people don't mind taking photographs but not all.
30: Will I get altitude sickness?
A: It depends from person to person, while one may get sick at a lower altitude, the other might not get affected even at a much higher altitude. Altitude sickness can be a worry for many people coming from sea level. Ethic Himalayan Treks will give our customers extra days to acclimate to the higher altitudes. Our guides are trained to spot any signs of altitude sickness and know how to react.
31: (acute mountain sickness)? In case of rescue or evacuation?
There is possibility of altitude sickness if you have some of diseases like blood pressure. Rhyme (cold), respiration problem. If the height is rapidly gained you could feel mountain sickness (Pulmonary Edema: head ache, loss of appetite, nausea and sometimes vomiting dizziness). The accumulation of fluids in the cells and body can be harmful in the lungs and brain. If the fluid is collected in lungs there is very difficult situation in respiration even thought at the time of rest. If one does not descend down in this condition the fluid generates cough and finally High altitude Pulmonary Edema Precaution of this: We advise you to take fluid as much as you can, don’t rush, use garlic soup during the high altitude. Use preventive medication like Diamox, Coca etc. On your request, we can provide you the Gameau Bag.
32. What is the currency of Nepal?
A: The Currency of Nepal is Rupee. In Nepal Nepalese Rupee is subdivided into 100 paisa. The denominations of currency notes are available in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000. Similarly, coins are available in 1, 2 and 5 rupees, which are in circulation.
33. What's the climate in Nepal?
Nepal's climate is best described as Sub-Tropical Monsoon general predictable and pleasant. The monsoon is approximately from the end of June to the middle of September. 80 percent of rainfall is by this durations and remaining of the year is dry. Spring and autumn are the best seasons for the trekking, peak climbing, expedition and others. It has been classified into between four and six seasons, which are as follows:
• Winter Season (December to February)
• Autumn Season (September to November)
• Summer Season (June to August)
• Spring Season (March to May)
1. OFFICIAL WEEKLY HOLIDAY
Government of Nepal and most of the offices work six day a week. Saturday is the official weekly holidays in Nepal. Most of the shops are remains open from Sunday through to Friday, while Museum throughout the valley remains closed on Tuesday and other Government holidays. Other holidays are listed in the Nepalese calendar.
2. CUSTOMS FORMALITIES:
Passengers arriving at Tribhuwan International airport (TIA) without any dutiable goods can pass through the Green Channel for quick clearance without a baggage check. If you are carrying dutiable goods and articles, you have to be declared at the Red Channel. It is illegal to export goods over 100 years old. The Department of Archeology has to certify for export any metal statues, sacred paintings and similar objects before being taken out of the country. All bags must be declared and cleared through customs inspection at the airport of entry. Visitors are allowed to import the following articles for their personal use. Tourist can bring dutiable goods such as tobacco and liquors free of duty and other taxes subject to the following limits
• Cigarettes 200 sticks
• Cigars 50 sticks
• Liquor, one bottle not exceeding 1.15 liter
• Beer 12 cans
• One movie camera with 12 rolls of film or one video camera
• One ordinary camera with 15 rolls of film
• One tape recorder with 15 tape reels or cassettes
• One perambulator
• One tricycle
• One sleeping bag and one sock.
Don’t throw anything into the fire in any house, Buddhist or Hindu. In most cultures the household gods live in earth. When you give something to a Nepali, whether it is food, Money or anything else, use your right hand.
4. Make Copies of your passport, including your visa pages.
Leave one copy with family at home and carry another one copy with you. You can also use a secure online date storage site to record your information electronically. If your passport is lost or stolen, we can help you to replace it. But without these copies the process will invariably take many extra days to complete.
5. Stay safe while Trekking
If trekking, you are strongly advised to use reputable trekking agencies, to remain on established routes and to always walk in groups. We strongly recommend that you do not trek alone and avoid becoming separated from your group at any time. Remember, altitude can and does kill. To avoid acute mountain sickness ascend slowly and acclimatize fully. Take professional advice.
6. Planning & Preparation
If you are planning for the trek, Expedition and other activities in Nepal and Tibet, you should be aware that it is rigorous and challenging trip where we have to spend all the time at high altitudes. So, at least 2 months regular practice is recommended either 2 hours daily running, swimming or joining on a health club may help to complete the trek and expedition successfully. Reduce drinking alcoholic beverage & smoking habits. Consult your doctor to assess the state of your health to function safely within your own limitations. In addition to the personal prescriptions by your physician, a First Aid Kit is essential for the travel.
You are advised to own a small waist pouch or document bag to manage the following documents properly:
• Passport with Photostat copies Photographs, Identity card Diary for addresses, contact, small notes etc
• Ball pens with spare refills Maps/Charts/ Books etc
• Credit cards/Visa cards & currency
• Airline / Railway Tickets / Vouchers
• Any other documents for personal purposes.