About Nepal:- Nepal at a Glance
Area : 147,181 sq. km
Geography : Situated between China in the North and India in the South, East & West.
Capital city : Kathmandu (population 700,000)
Population : approx. 29.5 million
Language : Nepali is the national language. However, travel trade people understand and speak English language as well.
urrency : NPR (Nepali Rupees)
Time zone : (GMT+05:45) Kathmandu
Electricity : Type C (European 2-pin) & Type D (Old British or Indian 3-pin)
Dialing code : +977 or 00977
People : Nepal has more than 101 ethnic group and 92 spoken languages.
Political System : Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
Geography and Climate
Nepal is landlocked country; it doesn’t touch any sea or ocean. It is Himalayan kingdom consists of eight highest peak of the world and numerous high peaks over 6,000 m high. Geographically, it is situated at south east of Asia sharing its border with China in north & with India to east, west & south. Nepal covers 1,47,181 sq km surface land, which is approx 0.3% of Asia continent. It lies between the latitude of 26’ 22’ and 30’ 27’ North and the longitude of 80’ 4’ and 88’ 12’ East.
The country divided into three regions with Himalayas region in the northern region & Hilly region in Central and Terai as plain land in south. Himalaya region covers 15% of total land area dominated by snow capped mountains. Hills are featured with forests and terrace land covering 68% of total land surface. Terai is plain flat land famous for agriculture due to fertile soil and plain surface which cover 17% of total land area. Kathmandu lies in hilly region with located centrally is the capital of country and one of big city with all infrastructure facilities and densely populated. However, most of people in Nepal are rural-dwellers with small towns nearby their village.
Best time to visit Nepal
Generally, all season is suitable to visit Nepal. Nepal has primarily moderate climate with tropical & alpine region in accordance with geographical features. The weather will be severe cold in winter & cool in summer in North region at Himalayas and tropical in summer & mild in winter in southern region of Nepal. Nepal has spring, summer, monsoon; autumn & winter are as major five seasons.
Being Nepal has most of region with trekking areas, the best period to visit Nepal especially with trekking program are on Autumn & Spring.
Being the roads & trekking trails become wet and humid, the monsoon that hits from June through August is not consider to be best time for trekking while you can travel for leisure tours visiting around popular historical & monuments destinations as well as trekkers can manage your trekking trip to north western part of Nepal at Mustang region as it is rain shadow area and July / August is the best to explore this region. September through November is one of the best time being clear sky, lush vegetation, superb Himalayas scenery, suitable climate with warm day & chill nights. The winter starts through December to February with dry & freezing temperature depending upon high altitude. However, one can travel for tours & also for trekking in some extent of reasonable high regions. March through May called to be spring is another best time to enjoy your visit Nepal due to beautiful Rhododendrons & many orchids, with clear sky to see incredible nature beauty along with panoramic High Himalayas.
People, Religion, Language, Culture and Customs
The total population of Nepal is estimated about 29.50 million as per survey done by Central Bureau of Statistics, Nepal.
There are about 101 different ethnic groups with different castes speaking more than 92 different languages & dialects in our country. Nepali is the official language of the nation and written in Devanagiri script. And it speaks & understood by Nepalese people in majority, however, the tone of speaking may be vary. Besides that many different mother tongues are spoken as per different ethnic groups and castes. English language is also spoken in institute, business organization and tourism related industry.
You can find wide range of diversity of religion with different traditional and customs carry out. In respect to religion, Hinduism is the dominant religion of Nepal and it follows by Buddhism as another major religion of the country. Besides these, you can also find numerous populations following Muslims & Christian religion.
The customs and cultures will be vary from one ethnic group to another and even within same castes or religion due to different geographical locations settlements and also influences of third country customs. Moreover, Nepal becomes secular religion state with freedom to choose their own religion as per individual comfortable according to the new policy decided by this new constitution of Democratic Republic country.
Foreign tourists with different religion other than Hindus are not allow to enter inside some of major Hindu temples but you can observe freely from its surrounding territory surface. Nepal has custom of entering temple and home removing shoes outside its door. Even leather products are prohibited to carry inside temple or monuments of Hindus & Buddhists and you should remember to walk clockwise around stupas or chortens or temples. Local people normally share respect to each other with greetings of Namaste.
Eating and drinking
Normally people all over the world love to experience the food of different countries where people travelled. It is also the best way to experience a country having taste of its unique meal. Eating & drinking in Nepal is reasonable to all with variety of options to taste the food whether it is street fast-food or local restaurants or decent cafe or lavish decorated meals in star hotel or banquet, you will love and enjoy your meals. Nepali dishes are tasty and less spicy compare to Indian meals. As well as, you will find Nepalese food more alike as influence of Tibetan, Chinese & Indian style with its own unique flavour of taste. While you are in Nepal, you can enjoy some of these must eat & drink menu like
Mo:Mo (steamed dumplings in different flavour & style),
Thakali set [the typical set of Nepali daily meals consists of rice, dal (lentils soup), tarkari (veg curry), achar (spices), masu (the meat curry with different choice of chicken, mutton, fish, buff, pork, boar), papad, vegetable salad and curd]
Aila (the Nepali typical wine produce in home with the flavour of rice, millet, wheat)
Shopping loves everyone and especially if you are out of your town or country. People love to carry some of souvenirs or typical stuffs for their memory of their visit in certain destinations. For those shoppers, you will find great value of things to buy and many options offering unique products related to art & architecture, pashmina, most hardwork arts of Thanka, hand knitted Nepali carpets, wooden & metals works, pottery and many more. Moreover, you will find all these with variety of options buying them in cheaper to expensive prices as per their quality. You can find many local markets from footpath shops to branded malls with colourful decoration in all. Besides souvenir, travellers fun to shop cheaper fancy products as well. Moreover, people wish to carry Nepali tea and other herbal products.
And after all, you also have to ensure with your local customs & quarantine formalities to carry such products allow or not back to your country. Some of nations have strict policy on customs which makes trouble later.
Festivals & Holidays in Nepal
Nepal celebrates many festivals as it occurs like once or twice in a month. Nepal is rich in culture & religion with different ethnic groups so they perform different separate local festivals among which some of them are national festivals and events with official holidays. Festivals are normally determined and celebrated as per lunar calendar.
Government office hours run through 10 am to 05 am and working days are Sunday through Friday. Saturday is weekend holiday and normally all government offices, private organization, banks & embassy remain closed. Embassies or any other International associates are also remain closed for Saturday & Sunday as well. Nowadays, most of banks are open all days with half day operation on weekend holiday & festival holidays. Hereunder you can see some of specialized festivals that celebrated throughout nation and visitors will also keep interested.
One of Nepal’s biggest festivals celebrates by all Hindus & some of Buddhist religion also. This is festival is last for 15 days long and all government offices & private business offices are closed for a week and schools or colleges are closed 15 days. In this festival, people take blessing from their parents or elders with Jamara and Tika. This festival is represent to the Goddess Durga and worship her being victory over devils. During festivals all family members meet together and enjoy the festivals with varieties of delicious foods and flying kites, playing cards or other gambling for fun purpose only.
Tihar is another important big festival of Hindus. It is the festival of lights worshipping Goddess Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, welcoming her to stay in people’s home to bless with happiness, prosperous, wealthy and peace. This festival is celebrated for five days. First day is crow day as it believes crow is a messenger to give us good news, second day is Dog day as it is loyal animal to take care our home and family. We celebrate third day as special day worshipping cow in the morning as cow is like our mother who give us milk to feed and also believe as goddess Laxmi and we worship Goddess in the evening with colourful lights. On fifth day, we worship ox in the morning and it is special day for Newari culture as they worship themselves to their own body assuming the god is live inside all human beings. And final fifth day is very important day of this festival, people celebrate it as brother-sister day where sister worship and pray for long lives of her brother and similarly brother also do same with offering sweets and delicious varieties of food to brother by sister and in return gifts to sister by brothers. During festival, especially children and youths also enjoy festival by playing Deusi Bhailo program (the program with singing & dancing typical songs of festival).
Faagu Poornima (Holi): the festival of colours and water enjoying family, friends & relatives together.
Indra Jatra: the local festival celebrated in Kathmandu with Kumari (the living Goddess) chariot and performing different masked dances.
Losar: Losar festival observed by typical ethnic group of Tibetan origin like Sherpa, Tamang, Gurung, Bhutia as New Year. Lo denote ‘Year’ and Sar represents ‘New’ as per Tibetan language. It is one of significant festival and celebrated in Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan & Sikkim. This festival usually celebrated on February.
Buddha Jayanti: This festival lies around May month and celebrated for paying homage to the birthday of Lord Gautan Buddha who enlightened the world with peace and compassion and thus considered as light of Asia.
Krishna Janmastami: The festival celebrated on the birthday of Lord Krishna who spread love and save earth from devil.
Shiva Ratri: Shiva represents Lord Shiva (Mahadev) and Ratri indicates night so this is the night of Lord Shiva. This festival is one of very important festival for Hindus celebrated on March in different temples of Nepal where Shiva idols located. Among them Pashupatinath Temple is the most sacred temple where people from all over Nepal and India visit to pay homage and blessings from Shiva.
In Nepal, you will find wide range of transportation services reaching major destinations and remote land of country. You have option of vehicle hiring for individual drive or riding local transport to minimize your budget or say travel more places with minimum budget through local vehicles. Going for vacation means travelling many places as best as possible and enjoy maximum experiencing them. Normally, tourists can get help from their local travel agents for their arrangements of transport to visit their holiday program as per pre-plan & booking. However, some can also get in Nepal without pre-booked of transportation and facilitate through local buses or van or taking taxi or cab.
Nepal facilitates varieties of accommodation with concern to clients’ comfort and budget. You can get easily the suitable room with choices of your kind from budget basic guesthouse room to deluxe International luxury hotel accommodation in major city of tourist destination. Hotels are serving guests with its new modern amenities and availing as much facility in its room services with warm hospitality. Similarly, you can also find clean & comfortable lodges or teahouse in trekking destinations along with luxury accommodation in some of such remote high places as well. Moreover, you will also fascinate by some of unique boutique hotel with traditional design and cultural interior decoration. Besides concrete or wooden building, you can also share your experience relaxing in tented camp while you are in remote area trekking enjoying the countryside beauty.
Explore Vacation is responsible organization in regards to its people, community, nation, environment and local cultures & traditions while arranging any kind of tours or trekking activities in Nepal. People from all over the world travel in Nepal for their vacation with different values, intention and thrill. We can find different cultures, language, fashions of travellers and some of which are not appropriate to the people or community of Nepal in some regions. So, we are committed to aware on such inappropriate behaviour to our travellers while travelling on certain regions where travellers should be careful to respect their religion, culture and lifestyle. Hereunder you can find some of responsible tips to be noted while you are in holiday in Himalaya Kingdom Nepal:
1. People of Nepal greets you with Namaste often as for welcome, greeting, meeting up people, respecting elders etc. If you can learn some of local greeting words which are easy to remember will be helpful to make them happy. Like Namaste, Dhanyabad, Mitho Chha, Ramro Chha etc
2. Better to have some basic knowledge on customs, religion, tradition, cultures of Nepal, which will be helpful, while you travelling.
3. Do not speak filthy & rude words.
4. People of Nepal wear simple dress covering their whole body parts especially in village. It will be respect if you wear clothing that covered shoulder to knees at least. However, you can be little casual in city being the people are influence by modern fashion.
5. While entering temple or any religious place, keep shoes off and also take off any leather materials inside.
6. Always get permission to take photos of any people or children and of any idols inside temple or monuments.
7. Keep environment clean. Avoid buying plastic products and even if bought on necessary, dispose it in disposal container including any kind of litter.
8. Do not give money to the street child or beggars, instead you can buy foods or offer clothes. Because with money, they will use it for unhealthy foods & drinks or some even follow bad habits of drugs as well as some of children are utilize by their parents or by some group to make their earning.
9. Try best to buy local products made by local people of Nepal. This will help for their economy growth and also support to preserve some of traditionally related things like handicrafts, metal & wooden crafts, thankas, pottery, arts & architecture, crops, etc.
10. Bring reusable bottle like thermo flask to keep filtered or boiled water and avoid using plastic bottled water which is against environment safe.
11. While you speak with people, keep always smile in your face and be calm, this will brings smile on their face too and you will enjoy your conversation. Even while you bargain in shopping, the smile brings reasonable price.
12. You can find many souvenir products which are made through exploiting or abusing endangered animals so please refrain from supporting to buy such products or business.
13. Do not plug off any plants unnecessarily.