Know Nepal Before You Arrive

A tiny Himalayan nation sandwiched between the two giants India and China, Nepal in the eyes of a tourist, is one of the most fascinating places to visit on earth once in your lifetime. Before stepping your foot on this magnificent land and walking the impressive hiking trails or the cobbled-stone alleys of Kathmandu, here are few things to know about the country before you arrive:

  1. Capital City: Kathmandu
  2. Currency: Nepalese rupee (US$1=110 NPR approx.)
  3. Time: UTC + 5:45 (9 hr 45min ahead of US Eastern Standard Time)
  4. International Phone Code: +977
  5. Religion: Hinduism
  6. Avoid drinking tap water in Nepal
  7. Nepal has really excellent food from all countries
  8. There is more than one Durbar Square in Kathmandu
  9. Lord Buddha, the spiritual Buddhist preacher was born in Nepal
  10. Nepal has similar cultures to India, but do not call Nepali people Indians
  11. Nepal is filled with lots of English speakers
  12. Around 123 languages are spoken in Nepal
  13. Squat toilets are common in Nepal
  14. Avoid eating street foods in Nepal
  15. A mask is an essential commodity in Nepal
  16. Mt. Everest, the world’s highest mountain is in Nepal
  17. The quickies and easiest way out in Nepal is a taxi
  18. Kathmandu is busier and dirtier than you can expect
  19. Eating ‘buff’ on a Nepali menu means eating  buffalo meat
  20. Try the local Newari and Thakali food during your visit
  21. Nepal has the thickest concentration of World Heritage Sites
  22. Nepal is the only country in the world that has a triangular shaped national flag, two triangles stacked on one another
  23. It’s completely normal to haggle, except at branded outlets or in the malls
  24. Dress modestly if you are planning to visit the religious spots
  25. Hinduism and Buddhism exist in close harmony in Nepal
  26. The red dot on a woman’s forehead is called a ‘Tika’
  27. In Nepal, caste system still exists
  28. Sherpa is a caste, not a job-designation
  29. Visit Jhamsikhel or Jhamel, the other Thamel
  30. Eat momos: choose them wisely
  31. Saturday is a weekend, while Sunday is a working day in Nepal
  32. Don’t forget to appreciate the art of Nepal
  33. Kumari is the living goddess of Nepal; remember to pay homage
  34. No beef in Nepal as cows are considered sacred and worshipped
  35. Certain religious spots are prohibited to foreigners
  36. Nepalese people mostly eat with hands; they will accept food from others plate
  37. It is advantageous if you hire a tour guide or a trekking guide
  38. Small tips are expected for services in restaurants, by drivers or your guide
  39. Be careful while crossing roads, cars usually do not want to stop
  40. It is good to know some of the local phrases like Namaste (Hi/Hello/Greetings), Dhanyabaad (Thank You) or Malai Thaha Chhaina (I don’t know)

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