Spectacular mountain ranges, raging rivers, unique wildlife mixed with an exotic cult sure. Nepal offers something for every heart.
Coming by Air
Nepal’s only international airport is located in its capital, Kathmandu. There are few direct flights to Nepal, which means most travelers from Europe, North America and Australia have to change aircraft and/or airline en route. Another option is to fly directly to Delhi in India and then go in by land with a tour, visiting a bit of India on the way. Flights are also available from Lhasa, Tibet into Kathmandu.
Coming by Land
Traveling by land from India into Nepal can be an experience on it’s own. There are three main entry points: Sunauli-Bhairawa, Birganj-Raxaul Bazaar and Kakarbhitta-Siliguri. The easiest way to cross them is by tourist buses from appropriate Indian cities. If you are flying into Delhi, you can enter Nepal quickly through the Mahendrenagar-Banbassa crossing, but the recommended route is to travel first to Varanasi in India, and there cross through Sunauli-Bhairawa.
The crossing between Nepal and Tibet via Kodari is open to organized groups but not to individual travelers, though this has been changing every month so contacting a Nepali based tour operator is strongly advised. Be prepared with alternative plans if you’re thinking about using this route, because landslides regularly make it impassable during the monsoon.
Nepal time is 5 hours 45 minutes ahead of GMT and 15 minutes ahead of Indian Standard Time.
The unit of the Nepalese Currency is Rupee. One Nepali Rupee is made up of 100 paisa. Nepali Rupee notes come in Rs. 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000. Coins come in paisa 5, 10, 25, 50 Rs. 1, 2, 5 denominations. Paisa coins are not currently used for common transactions.
Foreign currency, and traveler cheques, can easily be exchanged at banks or authorized agents. In Kathmandu banks have money exchange counters, which are quick and convenient.
MasterCard, Visa and American Express are accepted at all major Hotels, Travel Agencies, Restaurants and Stores. Only the first two though, are currently accepted at banks for money advances. As from august 2000 ATM services are available in Kathmandu.
In the cities, and specially while trekking, change for Rs500 and Rs1000 bills is not easily available.
Normally there is no problem to transfer and received money from Nepal, however there are few restrictions to send money out of Nepal. If someone who want to transfer money from Nepal to any other countries out of Nepal and amount more than US $500 need authorization from Nepal Rastra Bank (Government Bank of Nepal). You need to supply proper documents and good reason for the same.
Basically there are no any restrictions to transfer money to Nepal and there are many agents, offices who offer services to transfer money in Nepal.
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Banks are open between 10:00 A.M. to 2:30 p.m, Sunday to Thursdays and between 10:00 A.M. to 12:30 p.m. on Fridays. Closed on Saturdays and national holidays. Some Banks in Thamel, Kathmandu are open till later.
How Much Does It Cost
Costs vary widely according to the luxury one expects while traveling, and are suited for the relaxed tourist as well as for the adventurous backpacker. Dinner in a western style restaurant is about US $10-20, while in a local US $1-2. Hotel prices range from US $2-3 to US $40-150 a night.
On the whole, you are likely to spend US $50-80 a day. But can cut it as low as US $10 a day, by staying in low end hotels and eating local food.
Tips and Service Charges
Tipping is becoming fairly common in up market restaurants in Kathmandu, so leave around 10% of the bill if service was good. There’s no need to tip in cheaper establishments or to tip taxi drivers. Porters on treks, however, should be tipped around Rs 100 per day.
Bargaining is commonplace in markets and tourist shops, but treats it as a form of polite social discourse and with a good sense of humor, rather than as a matter of life and death.