Q 01: Visa procedure in Nepal and necessary document and information for Visa
All foreign nationals, except Indian citizens, need visas to enter Nepal. You can apply for a Nepalese visa from Nepalese Embassy or consulate in your home country. Alternatively, can also obtain your entry visa upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu upon your arrival. On arrival visa program takes more than 1:30 hours because of queue for visa and luggage.
You may need following information while filling the visa form:-
Office name: Apex Himalaya Treks & Expedition
Location: Thahity Chowk, Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal
Phone number of office : +977 1-4257635
House number of office: 135/13
Hotel name: _____________
Location of hotel: ___________
Phone number of hotel: _____________
Zip code: 44601
(Please note: We will send you the actual hotel detail near to date of travel.
Contact person in Nepal: Bimal Karki
Contact person number in Nepal: +977–9841037700 (whats app also)
Q 02: What do I need to get my Visa ?
A valid passport (must be valid for up to 6 months after you return from your tour; two passport size photo and the visa fee in USD cash only
Q 03: How much should I pay for visa ?
Visa Valid Fees (Updated on from August 2019)
15 days US$ 30
30 days US$ 50
90 days US$ 125
Q 04: Cultural shocks, challenges and threats during this trip
Many travellers will experience culture shock upon arrival in a new country and is a common experience whether you are travelling for business, pleasure or long term settlement. Nepal is no different, as it is unique in terms of its customs, food and language.
Gathering information and being completely prepared for the unexpected will ensure you can adjust quickly to Nepal upon arrival.
The following list provides some key facts to assist in your arrival and enable easy adjustment.
Food / Water
- People eat their food with the right hand. Take care to wash your hands. Importantly, it is suggested your left hand remains below the table if you choose to eat with your hands. In most restaurants you will be provided the option of using either a spoon, fork or chopsticks.
- Nepalese food is not too spicy, though if you wish to ensure that the dish you are ordering is suitable to your tastes, it is wise to ask.
- Whilst trekking at altitude it pays to eat simple foods whilst you become accustomed to the change in oxygen levels. The general recommendations is to eat non fried foods. The traditional meal of Dahl Bhat which is rice, vegetable and dahl is a staple.
- Public display of affection (kissing and hugging) is considered offensive.
- When removing shoes, sandals or slippers place them the right way up. Placing them upside down is considered to bring bad luck. Inside a home or temple is it is common place to remove shoes, seek advice from your host or temple guide to clarify and direct you.
- Physical disciplining such as hitting or spanking a child by a parent is not considered improper in Nepal, though there are varying views and ideas. You will observe this at times throughout Nepal. We suggest that you don’t try and intervene. In the event that someone disciplines a child or minor in an in-appropriate manner you can be assured that another Nepali person will step in. They understand the cultural norms and nuances.
- Animals may be sacrificed during Hindu festivals and in other religious and non-religious activities such as a visit to a witch doctor. We suggest that you don’t try and intervene. This is likely to cause offence. Make enquiries with regard to what is to happen at a festival or religious event if you wish to avoid such a situation.
- In general, Nepali people are highly uncomfortable with nudity and immodest clothing. To avoid this, men should wear a top, even when it is hot. Women should cover shoulders and wear skirt/shorts at least to the knee. This is the case both in urban, rural settings and when trekking.
- If you decide to wear Nepali traditional clothing (kurta or sari for women, Daura Suruwal and Dhaka Topi /cap for men) this is usually welcomed as a sign that you respect Nepali culture.
- Nepali people take pride in their appearance and whilst it is not necessary to be too particular, having a clean and tidy appearance shows respect for yourself and for those around you – so keeping your clothing, hair and facial hair tidy will be appreciated.
On the street / General
- Be attentive on the street, assume that a vehicle may be on the opposite side that you expect it to approach. On a busy street without lights or an obvious crossing point, you may wish to cross the road with other Nepali people. A simple smile of recognition of the situation and you will find they will provide assistance.
- Buses stop even in places there aren’t bus stops. Just wave. They will stop.
- When in Nepal, don’t expect things to go on time. You will face delays almost in all activities. There is even a phrase “Nepali Time” which is used sarcastically to point out delay in activities.
- Throughout Nepal electricity outages and load shedding plays havoc with people’s lives. This can generally be avoided by staying in a reputable hotel. It is worth asking the hotel management if they have a back-up power supply and whether it is operational.
- The Nepali term for a strike is “bandha” in Nepali. Although they are no longer common place, you may find yourself travelling in Nepal when a strike occurs. If there is a general and complete strike, buses may not operate and shops can be closed. Seek advice from your hotel manager, guide or local people if a strike is to occur. There is good information on the internet via a simple search.
Q 05: Do & Don’t
Whilst Nepal is a very busy tourist destination, culturally the country continues to welcome visitors. There is an understanding by everyone of the importance of tourism economically.
Whether you are trekking in the mountains or touring the Kathmandu valley we suggest you that you treat the land its people with care & respect.
Below are some tips on how you can keep the environment clean and show appreciation for age-old culture and traditional religious beliefs. Nepal’s Culture might be astonishing and surprising for newcomers therefore these tips are sometimes necessary.
- To show gratitude and respect, use both of your hands rather than one when giving or receiving something, even money. It seen as a gesture of respect.
- Remove your shoes when entering a home, temple or monastery (and leather items in Hindu temples)
- Remember not to point with a single finger but use a flat extended hand especially to indicate a sacred object or place.
- Among Hindus, avoid touching women and holy men. People, especially women, do not normally shakes hands when they greet one another, but instead press palms together in a prayer-like gesture known as “Namaste” greeting is preferable.
- Don’t eat with your left hand. The left hand is for toileting only.
- Never eat beef in front of Hindus & Buddhist because beef is strictly prohibited among both Hindus and Buddhists. Cows are sacred in Nepal.
- Try not to step over or point your feet at another person, a sacred place or a hearth.
Smoking and wearing scant dress in religious settings. Remember, some of the temples entrance may be prohibited for non-Hindus.
- It is better not to touch offerings or persons when they are on way to shrines, especially if you are non-Hindu.
- Don’t offer food to a Nepalese after tasting it, nor eat from a common pot, and avoid touching your lips to a shared drinking vessel.
- The sight of men holding hands is common, but men and women holding hands, and general acts of affection, are frowned upon.
- Do walk around monastery or temple clockwise, so that the outer walls are always on your right. If you encounter a stone wall covered with Tibetan inscriptions, do the same: Walk past with the wall on your right (and don’t take any of the stones).
- Don’t lose your control. Raising your voice or shouting is seen as extremely bad manners in Nepal too and will only make any problem worse.
- Do get a receipt of in authenticity when purchasing an antique replica? otherwise, you will not be allowed to take it out of the country. And don’t buy ivory or fur from endangered species? Your purchases encourage the trade in such illegal goods, and you won’t be allowed to bring them back home anyway.
- Don’t give in to children who ask for just one rupee. Although a rupee is a small amount that anyone can spare, successful begging leads young children to drop out of school and take up panhandling as their trade. If you want to help, give to a trustworthy charity or a school.
- Don’t take photographs of locals, holy shrines & temples unless consent has been provided.
Q 06: Is the water safe to drink?
Most treks pass through villages with very simple ablution facilities and farm lands. There is always villages above the trail, all water should be boiled or treated before consumption. Even clean spring water may contain biological or chemical contamination due to local minerals and be totally harmless to locals but may not be tolerated by tourists. It is wise to avoid non-boiled or untreated water. If it is available, bottled mineral water at the tea houses and lodges are provided at a reasonable cost. Consider your impact on the environment and bring water treatment methods to Nepal which ensure you don’t have to purchase bottled water or boiled water.
Q 07: Is Internet access available while trekking?
Internet is available in particular locations along the Everest and Annapurna treks. You can also purchase wireless modems such as NCELL, NTC for your notebook and you will be able to use them. Do not expect internet in the remote areas of trekking and climbing.
Q 08: Is Nepal safe enough for tourist to travel?
Yes. In the past, Nepal has experienced political unrest, however since November of 2006, the signed Nepal Peace Agreement, between the Government of Nepal and the Nepal Communist Party (Maoists) has brought this unrest to a close.
Q 09: Which is the best time to visit Nepal?
The best season to visit Nepal is after the monsoons that end in August until mid-December, before the winter sets in. Also, from mid-February to early June are the most preferred months by visitors. During these two periods, the rains wash the dusty tracks and the valley looks magnificent with blooming flowers. Mountain views are clear most of the time.
It is best to visit hilly areas in summer that is, the months of May and June. The average temperature at that time is around 22-25 degrees Celsius. Nights are a bit chilly in the lower Himalayan region but are comfortable. Mountainous areas are extremely unsafe during the monsoon season, which are very common. The persistent rains make the hilly tracts slippery.
In winter, most of the hilly areas become threats due to very heavy snowfall and avalanches, but if you are fond of snowfall then you can opt for the lower Himalayan regions that look beautiful covered in blankets of snow.
Q 10: Is it important to take any vaccines?
You should contact your general practitioner or travel clinic for the latest travel health advice. It is advisable to be up-to-date with Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid, and Hepatitis A vaccination shots. If you are extending your stay in Nepal you may need anti-malarial protection.
Q11: How much shall I bring & where can I exchange my money?
You can exchange in Nepal, primarily in Kathmandu and in Pokhara. It really depends on your budget and what you want to do and for how long but approximately $500-$1700 in either travelers’ cheques or cash for your trip would be sufficient. ATM cards and credit cards can be used in Kathmandu, Pokhara and other cities if additional cash needed. You will need $30 for the tourist visa fee (can receive visa upon entry) at the Kathmandu International Airport. You must pay only in cash in U.S. dollars or Euros. It is advisable to exchange your money either on your first day or the day after while you are in Kathmandu at a reliable money exchange counter.
Q 13: Should I need to be totally fit in order to trek?
If you are reasonably fit and enjoy walking you will find trekking suits you. Normally the shorter treks tend to be easier whilst the longer ones often require a better standard of fitness. It is important to remember, however, that trekking requires an adequate level of physical conditioning. To prepare yourself for a trek, especially a difficult one that lasts two weeks or more, some moderate physical exercise is recommended before you embark on your journey such as walking, running swimming, or hiking. It is also worth remembering you can choose the pace and direction of your trek.
Q 14: What is the general duration of treks?
The duration of the trek depends on the region of the trek and on interests which each client has. Generally speaking, treks can range from 2-3 days to a month’s time or sometimes longer periods if trekkers’ wish. Even the same trek can be of a different duration for different trekkers depending on their wishes and interests on the route.
Q 15: What do we get to experience in a trek?
You will mostly be on well-maintained trekking routes that consist of dirt trails. The terrain on some of these trails may be long, steep climbs or descents as well as rocky, dusty paths and forest tracks. There are also a lot of big stone steps and staircases especially on the Annapurna circuit. In some cases, treks include mountain passes so the trail can be narrow in places. You will feel a moderate altitude effect starting at around 3,000m upwards.
Q 17: What else should I be bringing in a trek?
Most of what you need during a trek is available in Kathmandu, and you can buy them or rent them once you are there. Most books on trekking will list them; check one out before you embark on your trek. If you do not have a book yet and plan to get one only once you are in Nepal, there are some things you may want to bring from home. Bring ear-plugs to help you sleep in spite of barking dogs. A battery operated short-wave radio can be helpful to listen to weather reports or the news. Also bring along a pocket knife, sunscreen, bug spray, sunglasses, photographic equipment, binoculars, a compass, a good watch with possibly an altimeter, and a day pack. Others, you can buy or rent in Kathmandu for reasonable price.
Q 18: When I go for treks, can I store my luggage somewhere?
Generally your hotel or lodge will let you store your luggage with them for some nominal or no fee. As long as you lock up your bags, they are normally safe. If you want then we can also store your luggage at our office store room in free of cost.
Q 19: What is the weather & temperature like while trekking?
The weather can be unpredictable in the mountains. However, at night it is generally cold and the days are generally warm. If it is raining at the base of the mountain, it will be snowing at the top of its peak. There will be heavy snowfall during the months of December and February. It is important that you stay warm and dry in just about any condition. Temperatures could be as high as 20 degrees C and as low as -10 degrees C.
Q 20: What are the accommodations like on a trek?
Along the trekking routes, tea-houses and lodges generally provide basic clean facilities with a mattress and a quilt or blanket. We can also offer you sleeping bags if needed (which need to be returned after your trip) but it is a good idea to have your own sleeping equipment if possible. Accommodations have private rooms with twin beds that may be used for double or single occupancy. Tea-houses have an adjoining dining room around a fire burning stove. You may take a hot shower but need to ask them to boil the water.
Q 21: Do you think it is safe to eat freely in Nepal?
In general, yes. But, it’s always good to take sensible precautions in order to avoid any health problems. No matter how tempting and it can get very tempting after a long trek- avoid drinking any other water than bottled water. Do not eat roadside food that is exposed in the open air. Avoid buying and eating raw and unpeeled fruit and vegetables. Other than that, it is fine to have boiled, fried or properly packaged food items.
Q 22: What is Altitude Sickness?
Altitude Sickness is the effect of altitude on those who ascent too rapidly to elevations above 3,000 meters. The basic early symptoms of altitude sickness are headache, loss of appetite and sleeplessness. One shouldn’t ignore these early symptoms as these symptoms may lead to more serious warnings and cause death sometimes within few hours. Medicine is no substitute for descent. If a doctor is available, he may give medicine and oxygen. However, the patient must go down to lower altitude even if treatment is given.
Q 23: If I suffer from altitude sickness or any kind of sickness, what should I do?
First of all, your trekking guide will provide you with First Aid. If the case becomes more serious, you will be transferred to a health post where you can consult with a doctor. For acute sickness, at your request, you will be immediately taken down by helicopter or airplane to Kathmandu for treatment and rest. It is strongly recommended to descend from the mountain if you are suffering severely from altitude sickness.
Q 24: Which documents do I need to bring with me?
You should bring a valid passport (must be valid for up to 6 months after you return from your tour; keep an extra photocopy just in case), a copy of your travel insurance, cash and traveler’s checks (keep numbers and proof of purchase separately); flight tickets, emergency contact numbers of T/C’s, banks, insurance and family members and any medications.
Q 25: Alterations, Cancellations & Booking Changes
If you want to make modifications to your customized itinerary (Not applicable for fixed departures) even after you confirmed your booking, it is possible. We provide free alterations one time. However, after this, we charge a US $30 dollar surcharge for every new modification but this must be made 15 days prior to your trip so that we can adjust our schedule to your new trip itinerary.
Cancellation of the trip is not possible and you will lose your 10% deposit amount. We won’t charge the amount if the trip is postponed (only once) with valid reason. Postponing notice is required a minimum of 30 days prior to trip departure. If you fail to give proper notice within 30 days prior to your trip departure or do not show up at your scheduled arrival time without prior notice, you will forfeit 100% of the total cost of your trip.
Note: Changes may be possible, but are not guaranteed.