Important Info | Trip Planning | Packing List
Nepal on a Page
Nepal is an amazing country on the Asian continent. It’s capital city is Kathmandu. Nepal shares borders with India and China. It is an adventurers playground with some of the worlds best hiking trails. Nepal boasts the highest mountains in the world, which are situated in the Great Himalayan Range. Nepal also boasts four UNESCO World Heritage Sites for both cultural and natural reasons.
- The population of Nepal is approximately 28 million people, known as Nepalese or Nepali.
- There are many languages spoken in Nepal, but the main language spoken is Nepali. As Nepal relies heavily on tourism, English is becoming more widespread.
- The main religion of Nepal is Hinduism.
- The local currency is the Nepalese Rupee. One thing to note about the currency is that it is a closed currency. This means that you will not be able to order cash prior to arriving in the country. You will need to exchange cash when you arrive. Major currencies are accepted, including Australian, without an issue.
- ATMs are easily accessible in major areas, but the ATM may not accept your card. In Pokhara, the first ATM I found was not able to dispense cash, so I found another one and it worked fine.
When is the best time of the year to go to Nepal?
Nepal is located in the Northern Hemisphere and has 4 seasons with vastly different weather events occurring in each one. The best time of the year will depend on what you are planning on doing while you are there, and what altitudes you are planning on reaching. Although sometimes perfect conditions are hard to obtain.
- Winter – late November, December, January, February.
- Trekking in higher altitudes is very cold and it often snows.
- Visiting lower altitude areas are more mild. Kathmandu will have an average low around 3°C, while Pokhara is around 8°C.
- Winter has lowest amount of precipitation.
- The average temperatures in the southern plains which border northern India are in the low to mid-20°C range.
- Spring – March, April, May.
- The temperatures are on the rise and rhododendrons start to bloom. Spring is a lovely time of the year to visit Nepal.
- Maximum temperatures in Kathmandu and Pokhara range from 25°C to 30°C.
- The southern plains are very warm, reaching daytime averages of 36°C.
- Rain starts to increase as the season wears on.
- This is the second most popular time to trek in the Himalayan ranges.
- Summer – June, July, August.
- Summer is the monsoon season in Nepal and the country experiences heavy rains and downpours.
- The average temperatures hover around 30°C for both Kathmandu and Pokhara.
- Pokhara does experience significantly more rain than Kathmandu because of its proximity to the Annapurna Range.
- The southern plains are still experiencing high temperatures, but with the added bonus of higher precipitation rates.
- Autumn – September, October, November.
- Autumn is the most popular time for trekkers to visit Nepal as the weather is stable and clear, and visibility is great during this time.
- Temperatures in Kathmandu and Pokhara are falling slightly to around the mid-20’s.
- The southern plain temperatures sit around 30°C for daytime averages.
- Rain is still quite high in September, but reduces in October.
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- Visa requirements change from country to country, so it is important to check if you need one to enter Nepal. Travelling on an Australian passport will require you to obtain a visa. You can apply for a visa on arrival with the payment of USD. Otherwise, you can apply for a visa before you go if you have a consulate in your country, which is what I did, but only because I like to be prepared and know that my paperwork is all in order.
- Power plugs – if you’re travelling from a country that uses either the C type or M type of plug, the good news is, you won’t need an adaptor. The C type style is the easiest to use because it only has 2 prongs and should be able to be plugged in to all electrical outlets.
- The best way to deal with different electrical plugs is to buy a universal adaptor.
- Water safety – the water in Nepal is not safe to drink untreated, even running water in the mountainous areas. The Sawyer Mini is the best way to treat water that I have found. I researched this extensively before choosing it. The best thing about this system is that it cleans the silt out of the water as well as treating it. You can use tablets, but your water will still be dirty. However, if you use the Sawyer Mini, your water will be clearer.
- Packing list – if you’re planning on hiking in Nepal, it’s important to only take what you need to minimise the weight for either yourself or your porter.