Realize Nepal beforehand

  • You will be provided with an arrival visa at the immigration desk at the entry port in Nepal. This is generally the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal. If you are coming straight from a flight, all you will need is a valid passport and flight ticket to be allowed into Nepal.
  • There may well be numerous taxis requesting or pressuring you to ride with them. Don’t be tempted as, you may get cheated by an overpriced or altered fare. Make sure you fix the price beforehand. For all of our volunteers, sponsors and donors, we do provide a reception service from the airport to our office. However should you decide to get your own transportation, make sure you arrange the price with the driver beforehand!
  • One of the best ways of reducing your travel costs in Nepal is to use local currency. For example $5 US may not seem like a lot to you, but it translates into 490 Nepalese Rupees – which locally is a large amount.
  • It is not recommended to pay any money to taxi drivers before you arrive at your destination. This also applies to most services in Nepal. Fix the price first and wait until the service is provided, then pay. The one exception is bus travel. You usually have to buy a bus ticket before traveling.
  • Don’t accept anybody’s help unless you really need it and you know your belongings will be safe. However, if you do ask or receive help, don’t be surprised if you are asked for money later in return for their help. You could politely give 20 – 100 Nepali Rupees as a thank you if someone does help you out.
  • Don’t be surprised if people stare at you. We have a limited ethnic diversity in our country, so people naturally are curious. Just say ‘Namaste’ to them to be nice and cheerful.
  • Try to bargain while shopping. Nepal is a bargaining zone. Prices are often increased to several times the original price. As a guide, try to bargain the price down to 30-40 %. This applies mostly to the tourist areas.
  • If you go deeper into the heart of Nepal, into traditional Nepalese villages or suburbs, where the locals rarely see tourists, you will find things are very different. The chance of being cheated or facing overpricing is much reduced.
  • Allow yourself an extra one or two days to get to and from the airport in Kathmandu due to the possibility of delays due to landslides, political strikes or bad weather.
  • If you want to take pictures of individuals, it is always best to ask for permission. But taking pictures of crowds is fine.
  • It is generally considered safe to eat food bought from street vendors. If you see a line of locals queuing up to eat, this is usually an excellent recommendation.
  • In the tourist area, many vendors and storekeepers will ask you to browse through their various items. If you are not interested, don’t be shy and give a polite, ‘No, thank you’ before going on your way. Don’t be surprised if the street vendor follows you for some distance and offers or even sometimes tries to force you to buy. Be polite and just walk away.