Our group will be heading tomorrow to Pokhara to start their MBCÂ trek. It will be
- Culturally Approved Behavior
- Dress decently; no revealing clothes.
- Do not show affection in public.
- Do not buy antiques.
- Do not step over people.
- Do not point your feet at people, and always point with the full hand rather than one finger.
- Do not touch or step over offerings (flowers/rice, red powder)
- Receive and give with two hands
- Discourage begging and pay fair prices.
- Take off your shoes when entering a home or monastery.
- Women are advise to avoid touching lamas/monks
- Ask permission before taking people’s photographs
- Do not eat, smoke, or be loud at religious sites
- Embassies and Consulates
India: Phone: +97714410900/4414990/4411699, Fax:Â +97714428279
The Indian visa centre is just before the embassy (9:30AM-noon for deposit; closed on Sa Su and public holidays). People start to queue 1-2 hours before opening usually. 700 NPR for re-entry endorsement, 3600 for tourist visa up to 6 months (or 4500 in total including taxes service charges), 1900 for transit visa.
United States:Â South of the Narayan Gopal Chowk intersection with Ring Rd.
China: Phone:Â +977-14411740, Fax:Â +97714414045,Â firstname.lastname@example.org
British: Phone: +97714410583, Fax: +97714411789, BEKathmandu@fco.gov.uk
Germany:Â Phone: 977-14412786, Fax:Â 977-144168 99, email@example.comÂ
- Health Concerns
In Kathmandu, water borders on being lethal; andÂ water borne diseasesÂ are rife. Do not, under any circumstances, drink directly from the faucet or take salads and ice unless you have absolute proof that the water used in their preparation has been filtered and boiled. Also, use boiled and filtered water for brushing teeth and avoid swallowing water when taking a shower. Circumstances may differ in private locations or one of the better hotels in Kathmandu.
Some people suggest that you have a greater chance of avoiding contamination if you stick to larger restaurants.
Monkeys at Swoyambhu and other places may be carriers of rabies and other diseases, as can the bats and other animals. Animal bites should be followed by a prompt trip to CIWEC. Even if you’ve had the foresight to be vaccinated for rabies prior to travelling in Nepal, treatment following possible exposure is still necessary to prevent infection. No cases of avian influenza have been documented in Nepal to date, but it has been confirmed in nearby countries. Birds live in extremely close proximity to humans, both in the market and the home.
For rabies, tetanus, typhoid, and hepatitis are recommended prior to arriving in Kathmandu, and can take several months to complete. Tropical diseases such as Japanese encephalitis should be vaccinated against if you plan to travel outside of the Kathmandu Valley, towards the lowlands in the Terai. You may wish to take a malarial prophylaxis.
- Clinics and Hospitals
Hygienic and efficient place to receive good medical attention are as the following:
- Shechen Clinic in Boudha offer some very potent Tibetan medicine that is effective in the treatment ofÂ diarrhea and other ailments.
- CIWEC Clinic Travel Medicine Centre caters to western visitors and the ex-pat community. It is one of the few places you can get health care at par with western countries in Kathmandu. Located centrally in Lazimpat across from the British embassy, it is well appointed but at $50 just to be seen by a Doctor is rather overpriced.
- Norvic Hospital isn’t as heavy on the check-up charge as CIWEC.
- For dental problems, Dent Inn offers international standard service at good prices.
Bir Hospital in Kathmandu is home to one of the few ENT departments in the country, but should otherwise be avoided. It is a government hospital and is run down and chaotic at best. Patan Hospital is the easily the best public hospital in Nepal. It also has a private clinic.
- Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is mandatory for all trekkers. (Insurance can be purchased from Dal Bhat Power Adventures Office). We strongly recommend you take out personal travel insurance at the time you pay your deposit to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. Travel insurance must cover:
- Emergency evacuation from anywhere along the trail by helicopter, aircraft, or porter back to Kathmandu;
- Medical treatment in Kathmandu, Nepal as appropriate;
- Payment of hospital bills and repatriation back to Nepal if necessary;
- Travel delays; lost/delayed luggage; lost/stolen money;
- Death and disability cover.
You are required to advise Dal Bhat Power (DBP) Adventures of your Policy Number and Insurance Company and certify that it includes the above requirements.
Travelling within Kathmandu valley is more convenient if you take a taxi. There are public transportations but they run on a specific route and you must know or else you are on for a ride. It is easy to get a taxi because you see them everywhere,
It is a good idea to ask the locals or the employees at DBP for the taxi fare so that the taxi drivers wonâ€™t charge more than expected. You can also hire a taxi for a whole day, which will cost you 4000 NPR, while a taxi within the Kathmandu ring road can cost anywhere between 350â€“400 NPR, or a taxi to the airport will cost you approximately 400 NPR. Bottom line: Bargain, bargain, and bargain.
Kathmandu is connected to other cities of Nepal via air or bus services. Bus fares are fairly cheap. If you wish to travel to Pokhara from Kathmandu, a tourist bus will cost about 550NPR, while more AC bus is available for a respectable higher price. The tourist bus leaves at 7am and it is a good idea to arrive 30 minutes early for peace of mind. There are also local buses available for almost any part of Nepal.
The currency in Nepal is the Nepali Rupee (NPR). It is a good idea to change your currency into US Dollars, Euros or Pound Sterling before you arrive because it is not easy to convert certain currencies in Nepal. It is also worth knowing that the currency in Nepal has a fixed exchange rate with India, which is always 1.6NPR/1INR.
- Climbing Season Breakdown
Nepal has four main seasons – though traditionally a year is categorized into six distinct climate periods: Basanta (spring), Grishma (early summer), Barkha (summer monsoon), Sharad (early autumn), Hemanta (late autumn) and Shishir (winter).
June to August:Â Heavy monsoon rains – the rains are generally lighter in the Himalayas than in Kathmandu, though the mountain peaks are often not visible due to clouds. In the Kathmandu Valley & Pokhara – monsoon rains typically consist of an hour or two of rain every two or three days.
September to November: Cool and clear weather – after the monsoon, there is little dust in the air so this is the best season to visit the hilly and mountainous regions.
December to February: Cold – with the temperature in Kathmandu often dropping as low as 0Â°C (32Â°F) at night, with extreme cold at high elevations. It is possible to trek in places like theÂ EverestÂ region during the winter, but it is extremely cold and snowfall may prevent going above 4,000 – 4,500 metres (13,000 – 15,000 feet). The Jomsom trek is a reasonable alternative, staying below 3,000 metres (10,000 feet) with expected minimum temperatures about -10Â°C (14Â°F) (and much better chances of avoiding heavy snow.)
March to May: Dry and warm weather – there is an abundance of blooming flowers in the Himalayas at this time, with rhododendrons, in particular, adding a splash of colour to the landscape. As the weather is consistent and temperate at this time, it is the best season for mountain expeditions.
Upon arrival into Nepal it is possible to get a tourist visa for 15 days, 1 month, and 3 months. You may extend a tourist visa for up to 5 months in a calendar year, however you must extend your current visa before it runs out otherwise you will incur 3 USD fine per day beyond the expiry date.