Thursday, October 27, 2016

Top Tips : First time in Nepal?

So you have decided to go to Nepal. Where is it on the Globe anyways, this tiny speck of a country which has the highest mountains of the world? (interesting fact: between 70m to the top of the world around 8.5 kms up in a meagre 250 km breadth and hence the steepest country in the world). Let me try to ease you into this amazing country called Nepal.

# 1: Quick Facts
Its in between China and India, has about 27m people, over 150 ethnicities and languages - from the Sherpas who are the Worlds top climbers (the current world record is 21 times up Everest, soon to be broken) to the Tharu - the only ethnic group in the world resistant to Malaria.

# 2: Visa on Arrival
Nepal has one of the easiest entry rules in the world. Barring a few countries, very very few, all nations are allowed in on a Visa on Arrival. You could fill an online application and come with the receipt, or fill it in at the airport, pay the visa fee, and welcome to Nepal. Easy as that!

# 3: English is more common than you think
You will be mildly surprised how easy its to get around Nepal, especially if you can speak English. The official language is Nepali, which has a 36 alphabet script of its own, but most schools teach English, so we have a huge percentage of the population who can speak English, making travel in Nepal super easy.

# 4: Internet penetration is super high
An opening of the cyber space investments by the Government in the early 90s has paved a way to get pretty decent penetration for the internet. Since the last ten odd years, the 3g networks have started and you can get fairly fast internet connectivity. It is also probably the country with the highest percentage of tourism providers offering free wifi. So you will never lose contact with your loved ones.

# 5: Its affordable
Getting to Nepal can be expensive, specially if you are coming in Long Haul, but once you are in the country, its quite inexpensive. This is quite a boon for budget travellers.

# 6: You will like the food
There are a very few travellers who have gone back after a trip to Nepal saying. “Your food sucks”. The Dal Bhaat (rice and lentil soup with other side dishes), the momos (dumplings and sauce) are super duper hits, and everyone love them.

# 7: Its safe
Crime is very very low in Nepal, and specially for travellers it is very safe. There have been incidents here too of course, but its rare and nothing untoward that could not have happened anywhere else in the world. Practice standard precautions, and you will be fine.

Photo by: Rocky Prajapati

# Smile like a local
We smile easy, and so it works really well if travellers do the same. We make friends very quickly and its not uncommon to meet a guy at a bar the first time and he will get into a fight for you by the end of the evening, if need be!

# 8: Its not all trekking and mountains
Its popular for trekking, but there are so many other layers. ParaHawking, Cayoning, bungy jumping and a giant swing, mountain biking, stand up paddling, you name it - a wide variety of safe and fun softadventure experiences are right here.

# Bring along a great attitude
Its not what you think it is. So bringing along a right attitude could be critical in determining how much you will enjoy Nepal.

Happy Journeys!


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