Packing for a trip to Nepal? You may know what to bring in your backpack and suitcase, but have you prepped your smartphone? Whether you're trekking or immersing yourself in culture, download these 10 helpful apps, ranging from off-line maps to a mountain identifier to an English-Nepali dictionary.
Travel Advice for Nepal
How much should you tip your guide and porter after a trek? That depends on a variety of factors: whether you're traveling alone or with a group, for just one week or a whole month, and most importantly, what kind of service you received. Here's a brief article to help you.
The Newari town of Bandipur is one of central Nepal's hidden gems. It combines traditional village architecture, epic Himalayan views, lovely countryside walks, local adventure sports, and excellent accommodation. It's also an ideal place to break up the drive between Pokhara and Kathmandu while getting a relaxing taste of rural Nepal in the process.
When visiting Nepal, it's easy to set your sights firmly on Mt. Everest, Kathmandu, and Chitwan National Park — but don't overlook the religious site of Lumbini. As the birthplace of the Buddha, this is one of the world's great pilgrimage destinations. If you're interested in history, spirituality, or archaeology, add Lumbini to your Nepal wish list.
Nepal is a developing country, and the income earned from tourism can be a game-changer in marginalized or rural communities—especially those still recovering from the devastating earthquake of 2015. When planning a trip, your tourist dollars carry an inherent power. Spend them in the right places and you'll have a great travel experience, while enjoying the warm glow of knowing that you are directly improving people's lives.
It's hard to keep up with all of the new hotels springing up in Pokhara, Nepal's adventure capital and second largest city. To help you figure out where to stay in this beautiful lakeside town, here's a selection of some of our favorites, both classic and new, for every budget.
Kathmandu is a shopper's paradise, particularly for those who appreciate high quality artisanal goods at an incredible value. That said, the city is big and traffic is bad, so strategizing your time and whereabouts is key, depending on the goods you're most interested in. Below is a rough guide to help you.
When planning a trek in Nepal, it's easy to focus on reaching base camp or a high pass while squeezing the rest into as few days of precious vacation time as possible. But you might want to rethink your itinerary: some of Nepal's most beautiful places are a few hours out of the way. Head off the main trekking trails with these worthwhile detours, and you'll have some of the country's most stunning scenery all to yourself.
Hiking is a shared passion for kimkim traveler Esther Yoon and her recently retired dad, so Nepal - a trekker's paradise - seemed like the perfect choice for a father-daughter adventure. Interested in the culture and beauty of Nepal without the crowds, they chose the Manaslu Circuit: a beautiful 15-day trek circling the eighth-highest peak in the Himalayas.
From physical preparation and training to packing and visas: there are a few things you must do before heading to the Himalaya to ensure a smooth, safe, and comfortable trip. While you don't need to be Superman or Wonder Woman to enjoy trekking in the Himalaya, the better prepared you are, the more you'll get out of the experience.
Although geographically compact, Nepal's mountainous terrain and bumpy roads make it feel like a much bigger country than it is. Add diverse cultures, terrain, and ecosystems to the mix and you could easily spend several weeks exploring the picturesque Himalayan nation. However, in as little as three days you can enjoy some of Nepal's highlights. To complete one of Nepal's famous treks you typically need about 2 weeks.
If you're planning to trek in the Himalayas, the Alps, the Andes — or anywhere above 2500m — it's important to have a good understanding of altitude sickness, which poses a danger to everyone at these altitudes and can be fatal, in severe cases. The good news is that it's easily managed with the right planning and preparation.
Kathmandu is a big city. There are many dining options to suit all budgets and palates. Traditional Nepali food served street-side or with silverware; backpacker hangouts for home comforts when you tire of lentils and rice; casual modern restaurants serving affordable international cuisine... You’ll never go hungry in Kathmandu!
There’s not a single Starbucks (or other Western chain) in Kathmandu, and that’s good news for finding unique, atmospheric places to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. While Nepalis still prefer sweet, milky, heavily spiced chiya (tea) or Nestlé instant coffee when relaxing at home, there’s a growing cafe scene in the capital where you can get a good mug of whatever you prefer, with a tasty slice or cake or sandwich on the side. Here are some suggestions for places to seek out. Most will have Wifi.
Pokhara may not seem far from Kathmandu (the cities are only 126 miles / 204 km apart), but the Nepali terrain and road quality make for a very long drive. That's why many travelers opt to fly. Here are your options for traveling between the two cities, either by air or road.
There’s no reason to put off trekking in the Himalaya until the kids have left home. Aside from the amazing landscapes, cultural and wildlife encounters awaiting you, here are some other great reasons why visiting Nepal with your family is a good idea.
Kathmandu is more than just a launch pad for trekking. Its cultural highlights, alone, warrant a visit to this Himalayan country. A melting pot of both Hindu and Buddhist traditions, you’ll find incredible woodcarving, painting, sculptures, a unique architectural heritage, and living traditions that surround you with color and prayer.
The classic trek route from Lukla to Everest Base Camp is beautiful, but has become quite crowded and over-developed. Here are some highly recommended alternatives that take you off the beaten path and let you experience Mt Everest in ways that few people do.
Most guidebooks state that spring and autumn are the best times for visiting Nepal, since the weather tends to be moderate and stable, with clear skies. However, due to the complex nature of Nepal’s geography and climate, there's a lot more to this. An ever-increasing number of travelers visit Nepal in winter and summer, and for good reason. With the right information, travel plan, and preparation, Nepal is a great year-round destination.
With the highest mountains in the world, Nepal is a diverse country that rises from dense jungle to snow-clad peaks in just over 100 miles. Its capital and largest city, Kathmandu, is a bustling metropolis with deep ties to history, culture and ancient religion. Its religions - Hinduism and Buddhism - melt together and lure Western travelers. With unparalleled terrain and adventure, Nepal never fails to deliver an unforgettable experience.
Most treks in Nepal are 'teahouse' treks, which means every night you end up at a simple lodge with basic rooms and a meal. The best thing about teahouse trekking - you only have to carry very minimal gear.
Sagarmatha National Park in the Everest region offers up some of the highest treks in the world. To help decide which trek is best for you, here's a list of the main trekking routes with the duration and highlights for each route. Each route has great views, so which one you choose largely depends on your time frame, budget, and appetite for adventure.
It's important to pack the right items for your trek. Don't forget important things, and definitely don't bring too much as you and/or your porter won't be happy with a load that's too heavy. Here is a list of what you need for a comfortable trekking adventure.
Trekking through the Himalayas is Nepal’s key attraction, and is a life-changing experience for many travelers, regardless of whether they are experienced hikers, or novices. This article is a primer to trekking in Nepal and answers frequently asked questions.
Influenced by both Indian and Tibetan cuisine, Nepalese food has its own rich flavors and aromas. Here's a selection of dishes you shouldn't miss during your trip to Nepal.
Heading to Nepal? Everyone needs a visa (except Indian nationals), but luckily it’s an easy process. Here’s the latest information on obtaining a tourist visa and how it works for visa-on-arrival.
In May 2015, Nepal was struck by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Many travelers are still wondering if it's safe to visit Nepal. The short answer is "yes". The earthquake has caused severe damage in certain regions, but the country is rebuilding and open for travel.