Nepal Country Information
The spiritual capital of the world, Nepal soars in the ghostly haze of the Himalayas. In the homeland of the Buddha, everything breathes with wise calmness: the nature is fascinatingly beautiful, and measured life goes on in the monasteries. Nepal as a tourist destination is closely associated with the Himalayan peaks. For a long time the country was attractive for serious climbers, but recently the low peaks, which offer fabulous landscapes and the beauty of alpine meadows, have gained more and more popularity.
Geography of Nepal
According to DIGOPAUL.COM, Nepal is a state located in the Himalayas between India and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. On the territory of Nepal, two main parts are distinguished: the Himalayas and the foothill plains bordering them from the south – the Terai.
From the north, Nepal is bordered by the Great Himalayan Range, which is famous for several peaks above 8000 m, among which Everest (8848 m) is the highest mountain on Earth. The lowest point of Nepal is at an altitude of 70 m. More than 40% of the territory of Nepal is located at an altitude of more than 3000 m, so Nepal is the highest country in the world.
In the range from the tropical zone in the south of the country, to the arctic in the highlands. Cool and dry period: December-March, average temperature – 21-22 degrees C. Hot and humid: May – September, average temperature 29 degrees C. Hot and dry: October – November, average temperature 28 degrees C.
Official language: Nepali.
Locals use other local languages besides Nepalese – Maitili, Khas-Kura, Gorkhali, Parbatia, Bhojpuri, etc., in total about 30 languages and dialects. English is widely used in business and trade.
The state religion is Hinduism (Hindu make up about 90% of the population). There are also Buddhists (up to 5%), Muslims (up to 3%), etc.
The monetary unit of Nepal is the Nepalese rupee, one rupee contains 100 paise. Paper banknotes are issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 rupees, coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 paise, as well as 1, 2, 5 and 10 rupees.
Currency exchange: Currency can be exchanged at the currency exchange office at the airport, as well as at various banks and exchange offices in the city. Currency exchange should be carried out only through official exchange points. Banks are open from 10.00 to 14.30 from Sunday to Thursday and from 10.00 to 12.30 on Fridays. Closed on Saturdays and public holidays. Import and export of Indian currency is allowed only to citizens of India. The exchange rate is set by the State Bank of Nepal and published daily in the press.
Cuisine and restaurants
The most typical dish in Nepal is “dal” – boiled rice, served with lentils and vegetable curry, as well as fresh or pickled soybeans, which can be very spicy. In the mountains, potatoes, wheat, millet (millet) and other carbohydrates are also typical foods. Meat is a delicacy and is served mainly only on holidays and special occasions. But everywhere there are vegetarian dishes. If meat is served, it is most likely buffalo, goat, chicken or even yak meat (cows in Nepal enjoy the same sacred status as in India, so beef is not eaten in the country). The cuisine of Nepal has absorbed the unique cooking traditions of two neighboring regions – India and Tibet.
But soups in Nepal are not favored – they are generally absent from the menu as a class. But in pajanal (local cafes) you can try “mamo” – large dumplings stuffed with minced lamb and spices, prepared in a different way – steamed. A full meal for four, consisting of large portions of Nepalese dumplings, salads and a few bottles of “janja” (local homemade beer) will cost only 10 USD. For dinner, you can order a little roxy – Nepalese rice vodka, the strength of which often exceeds 40 °. And you can finish the meal with “lady” – a sweet flour dish, and magnificent Nepalese tea.
In Kathmandu, there are many small and cozy cafes, German and French bakeries, Italian and even Russian cuisine.
Tipping is allowed but not required. In restaurants and taxis, they almost always give change, and to show that you liked the service, you should give a sign to the waiter (a negative shake of the head or a similar hand gesture indicating the money) that change is not needed – in most cases this is quite enough to to thank the staff for their services.
Banks are open from Monday to Thursday from 09.00-10.00 to 14.00-14.30, on Friday – from 10.00 to 12.00. Day off – Saturday. Official exchange offices usually work from 9.00 to 19.00, many without days off.
Supermarkets in cities are usually open from 9.00-10.00 to 16.00-17.00 from Monday to Thursday, on Friday – from 10.00 to 16.00. Day off – Saturday. Private shops have their own opening hours.
Nepal has only recently opened its borders to tourists, so many of the types of clothing and behavior we are used to are perceived differently here, and tourists should try to observe local traditions:
- Women must walk in clothes with closed legs;
- You can not step over people sitting on the ground;
- To accept items from local residents and pass items to them only with the right hand supported by the left;
- Hindu temples are closed to the public;
- Buddhist temples and monasteries are open to everyone;
- You should not give money to beggars on the streets (they appeared in Nepal only thanks to “generous” tourists);
- All temples and gompas in Nepal must be walked only in a clockwise direction and never vice versa;
- You should wash your hands more often, you should not eat unwashed fruits, drink raw water, etc., bottled drinking water is sold almost everywhere, you can drink it.
No vaccination certificates are required to enter Nepal. For long stays in the country, vaccinations against diphtheria, polio, hepatitis, typhoid, meningitis A and C, and rabies are recommended.
In order to make life easier for foreign tourists, a special police department operates in Nepal. His phone: 2-20-18. In case of problems, you can also call the Department of Tourism by phone: 24-70-41.
All luggage is subject to customs inspection at the point of entry. Personal property is imported duty-free. Import tax varies depending on the size and value of the items. The import of a mini-computer, audio and video equipment is declared. Special permission must be obtained from the Department of Archeology when exporting items of any historical or artistic value from the country. The duty-free import of alcoholic and tobacco products is limited. Transportation of drugs, weapons and ammunition is strictly prohibited.