Travel Advice for Nepal

Tipping Your Guide (and Porter) in 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.

Temple above the lake, Lumbini, Nepal

Visiting Lumbini: Birthplace of The Buddha

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.

Easy Ways to Make a Difference in Nepal (While Having Fun at the Same Time)

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.

Deluxe Room with Best View (Photo by Big Pillow Inn)

Where to Stay in Pokhara - Best Boutique Hotels

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.

Baber Mahal Revisited

Where to Shop in Kathmandu

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.

Must-See Detours off Nepal's Main Treks

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.

On the way to Samdo, in front of Manaslu Peak

Traveler Interview: Father & Daughter Trek in Nepal

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.

Pre-Departure Checklist for the Himalaya

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.

How Many Days Should You Spend in Nepal?

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.

Altitude Sickness: All You Need to Know

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.

Best Places to Eat in Kathmandu

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!

Best Cafes 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.

How to Get from Kathmandu to Pokhara

Although Pokhara doesn't look far from Kathmandu - the cities are only 204 kilometers/ 126 miles apart - the Nepali terrain and road quality mean it can seem like a much longer distance than it is if you drive. That's why many travelers opt to fly. Here are your options for traveling between the two cities, either by air or road.

Shivapuri National Park

Trekking With Your Family In Nepal

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.

The Ultimate Guide to Experience Nepal’s Cultural Highlights

Nepal has much more to offer than stunning scenery. The cultural highlights of Kathmandu alone warrant a visit to this Himalayan country. A melting pot of both Hindu and Buddhist traditions, you’ll witness incredible woodcarving, painting, sculptures, a unique architectural heritage, and living traditions that surround you with color and prayer.

Everest Base Camp with the Khumbu Glacier

Everest Base Camp Off the Beaten Path

The trek to Everest Base Camp in Nepal is among the most famous treks in the world and attracts tens of thousands of trekkers each year. 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.

Nepal features a wide variety of climates and seasons, as illustrated by this view of Annapurna from Ghandruk

When is the Best Time of Year to Visit Nepal?

One of the most common questions we get from travelers is "When is the best time of year to visit Nepal?" The standard answer that you’ll find in most guidebooks is that spring and autumn are best 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 is 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.

A short rest before crossing the Khumbu glacier, Three Passes trek

Best Things to Do in Nepal - Trekking, Culture, Adventure Sports & Jungle

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.

Morning tea outside the teahouse on Khopra Danda (3640m)

Teahouse Trekking in Nepal

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.

Epic views and high-altitude trails take you throughout the many highlights of Sagarmatha National Park

Trekking in the Everest Region & Sagarmatha National Park

Sagarmatha National Park 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. You'll have great views on all these treks, but which one you choose will depend on your time frame, budget, and appetite for challenge.

Sleeping bag and backpack in Khopra Danda lodge room

What to Pack for your Trek to Nepal

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.

Delight your senses with Nepal's local sweets (Photo credit: Alex Treadway)

Local Nepali Food Specialties

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.

A visa is required for all nationalities, except Indian

Getting Your Visa for 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.

Is It Safe to Visit Nepal After the 2015 Earthquake?

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.