Asadh 15 (the last of June) is generally regarded as the rice planting day in Nepal. However, this is not a single-day act. It lasts for a month. Also, it depends on the region to proceed with the rice planting.
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During this special day, the local people plow and plant rice in the field sing traditional folk songs (Asare Geet), splash mud on each other, and eat Dahi Chiura (curd or yogurt with beaten rice). Ladies usually sow the paddy plants while boys plough the land according to traditional agricultural instruments. The culture of the paddy plantation is simply amazing and enjoyable. People take this occasion as a festival and agricultural phenomenon.
Nowadays there has been a trend of organizing Ropai Jatra in various places of Nepal and especially around the periphery of the capital city, Kathmandu, and the tourist hub, Pokhara valley. This Rice plantation festival has become another attraction for the tourists visiting Nepal
Passports, visas, and entry requirements
A valid passport is required for you to travel internationally. Similarly, your passport must have a minimum of 6 months validity remaining to travel in most countries. We recommend you take copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well. And also please ensure that the name on your passport and airline ticket matches exactly.
Entry necessities can alternate at any time. Visas can take several weeks to process, so make sure you research the requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for obtaining any necessary documents as well as the application and processing time.
All foreign nationals (except Indian passport holders) require a visa to enter Nepal. In the arrivals hall, you’ll find electronic kiosks that read your passport, take your photo, and print out a completed form. Take your completed form to the payment counter where you'll pay for your visa, and then head to the immigration line for "Visa on Arrival". You may also need to provide two passport photos and the following fees in US dollars (subject to change, cash only). Other currencies are also accepted although rates may differ. The following costs were correct at the time of writing:
- Multi-entry visa valid for 15 days - US$30
- Multi-entry visa valid for 30 days - US$50
- Multi-entry visa valid for 90 days - US$125
Your visa application form may require you to state the dates on which you enter and exit that country.
Medical and health information
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. Consider whether you may be in a vulnerable category for COVID-19. See your doctor or travel clinic to have a basic health check-up, ask if your travel plans may affect your health, and plan any vaccinations you need. Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
All travelers on Nepal trips (outside Australia, New Zealand, and the Cook Islands) are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. From 1 December 2021, all travelers on trips, including in Australia, New Zealand, and the Cook Islands, are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
Air quality in Nepal can be poor, especially in winter. Some towns, including Kathmandu, experience very high levels of seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution. Seek medical advice if you're concerned about the effects of air pollution.
Malaria and Dengue fever are a risk in various parts of Nepal. Mostly, during the monsoon season. Protect yourself against insect bites by wearing clothing that covers as much skin as possible, including repellent while sleeping under a net.
MEDICAL FACILITIES AND TREATMENT:
Healthcare services are unevenly distributed across the country and access to care in some areas may be limited. Healthcare in Kathmandu generally meets international standards but healthcare throughout the rest of the country may be inadequate. Ensure that you have accessible funds to cover upfront fees and adequate travel health insurance, including evacuation. Hospitals in Nepal typically require upfront payment in cash or credit card, regardless if you have travel health insurance.
Food and dietary requirements
FOOD IN NEPAL:
In Kathmandu and Pokhara there are plenty of restaurants and cafes for all tastes and budgets. Nepal caters very well to vegetarians and vegans with almost all restaurants having a veg section on the menu.
Domestic flights in Nepal have strict weight limits - 10kg of check-in luggage and 5kg of carry-on hand luggage per person is included with your flight ticket. Excess baggage (up to 5kg per person only) will be charged at your own expense.
Roadwork and infrastructure projects can cause significant delays on major roads within cities and highways between destinations. Road travel can also be disrupted due to demonstrations and strikes without warning. Major roadworks are currently ongoing in and around Kathmandu and the roads to Chitwan National Park. Delays, heavy traffic, poor road conditions, and dust are a reality of road travel in Nepal.
The monsoon season is from June to September and weather conditions can disrupt travel during this time due to flooding and landslides. Disruption of air travel and airport closures are also possible. Be prepared that the itinerary may need to change at short notice.
There have been a number of air accidents in Nepal. We only use airlines that have passed strict safety audits for including internal flights in Nepal, including Buddha Air, Yeti Air & Tara Air.
The official currency of Nepal is the Nepali rupee (NPR). Its symbol is often displayed as Rs. ATMs can only be found in Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Bhaktapur. Make sure you carry sufficient cash to cover your needs when traveling outside of these cities. Money exchange facilities are available in Kathmandu, Namche, Pokhara, Chitwan (only outside the park), and Bhaktapur. Credit cards are not widely accepted.
You are responsible only for the personal clothing and gear listed below. We'll take care of everything else. A gear check will be completed before you depart for the trail. This list does not include additional clothing/items you may want for travel or for your time off the trail. Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday.
- Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts, trip notes
- Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance, and air tickets
- Spare passport photos
- Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card
- Money belt
- Small padlocks
- Personal first-aid kit
- Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
- Electrical adapter plug
- Toiletries/roll of toilet paper/travel wipes
- Insect repellent
- Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat, and sunglasses
- Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
- Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required)
- 2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain)
- Refillable water bottle
- Warm clothes - when traveling in cooler climates
- Wind and waterproof jacket
- Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
- Camera/phone (with charger)
Informal clothing is all that is required. Remember to dress in a modest fashion. Light clothing is usually all that will be required for most of the year. During the winter months, December to February, it will be chilly and possibly foggy in the early mornings, with temperatures dropping down to a minimum of around 0ºC on some days. A warm, windproof jacket will be required.
Climate and seasonal information
Nepal's climate varies greatly depending on the season:
JUN - SEP: the monsoon rains (mostly at night) bring landslides in regional areas. Cloud cover often obscures mountain views with rain, mud, and leeches deterring most trekkers at this time of year. Treks running in September can be hot and very humid at lower altitudes.
MAR-APR: Spring brings warm weather and spectacular rhododendron blooms. A popular time to visit and one of the peak times to trek.
OCT - NOV: Clear skies and warm days make autumn the peak season.
DEC - FEB: Winter brings cold temperatures and snow to the mountains. Good trekking, but remember to rug up.
Phone and internet access
Hotels in Kathmandu generally have excellent WiFi connections. Most hotels offer free WiFi in public areas, with some also offering in-room WIFI, sometimes for an additional fee.
The goal of the group leader is to make your travels easier and to help you have the best trip possible. Have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects.
We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while traveling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash, and other valuable items. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy.
Strikes happen on a very frequent basis in Nepal. Most, but not all, of the recent strikes are political in nature and are generally called for the night before with little or no warning. If you arrive as a tourist during a busy political time of year there's a strong chance you might not be able to travel the country as much as you would normally.
Travel protection is highly recommended to protect your travel investment from unforeseen circumstances that may occur during or before your trip. Make sure your insurance covers you for your intended activities, including travel and trekking above 3000m if this is included on your itinerary, mountain rescue services, and helicopter evacuation costs.
The weather is not the only factor when thinking about when to go to Nepal. This Himalayan nation has a rich history, which can be discovered through its festivals. Nepal’s festival calendar fills every month of the year with colorful celebrations that offer interesting insights into the local culture. Stumbling onto a local festival may prove to be the highlight of your travels in Nepal – and given the sheer number of them, you’d be unlucky not to. Festivals may be Hindu, Buddhist, animist, or a mix of all three. Traveling in Nepal during Holi Festival (28-29 March 2021, 27-28 March 2022), can at times be dangerous due to revelers consuming intoxicating substances. The day is often associated with physical violence and danger. Traveling during the Hindu festival Diwali (4 November 2021, 24 November 2022) can also be dangerous. During this time there are many displays of fireworks in the streets. It can be very noisy for several days and there is also a lot of pollution caused by the fireworks.
Not all cultures share the same beliefs and values. These differences can cause severe culture shock. Some culture shocks that travelers might find while traveling in Nepal are:
Don’t assume people speak your language. In cultures where you don’t speak the language, simple tasks suddenly become more complicated- like riding a bus or ordering food at a restaurant.
Some Asian cultures such as Indian, Korean, and Chinese openly spit on the sidewalk same with Nepal.
In some Asian countries such as Thailand, India, Nepal, and some Muslim countries such as Morocco, using water and your hands, not toilet paper, is considered much cleaner than using toilet paper.
There is poverty all over the world but it never seems real until you experience it firsthand. There is a number of homeless beggars and slums in Nepal. There are piles of garbage next to rivers, people sleeping in gutters, and meat being butchered on a tarp next to the street.
After your arrival, you will run into people who will offer you a taxi ride or a cheap hotel. When you hop into a car and leave through the gate of the airport you will see the snake driving vehicles. There are dividers but the car might go to the wrong side to overtake, which is very normal here, and therefore no reason to worry.
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 delays in activities.
You might see guys holding hands when they are walking down the street. Guys holding hands in Nepal is a sign of good friendship and brotherhood.
At monuments, museums, Durbar Squares, etc if someone starts following you and explaining things, they are hiring themselves as your guide and expecting to be paid at the end. Tell them clearly their services are not required pronto, or things are going to get awkward.
(Travel Restrictions, COVID Tests & Quarantine Requirements)
Vaccination Requirements: Nepal is open to both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. However, vaccinated individuals can bypass the testing rules that require travelers to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test taken no more than 72 hours before travel. All travelers regardless of vaccination status must have travel insurance that covers health, immediate crisis, or rescue for the duration of the trip; proof of accommodation in Nepal; a completed International Travel Arrival Form; and either a Nepalese visa or a recommendation from the tourism board.
1. Passengers must have a COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing that they were fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival. This does not apply to Nationals of Nepal, Passengers of Nepali origin (Non-Resident Nepali (NRN)), and their family members, or Passengers with a visa issued by a diplomatic representation of Nepal.
2. Passengers must have a negative COVID-19 test result taken at most 72 hours before departure from the first embarkation point. Tests accepted are Gene X pert, NAAT, and RT-PCR. This does not apply to passengers younger than 5 years.
3. Passengers must obtain an International Traveller Online Arrival Form at https://ccmc.gov.np/
4. Passengers must have a hotel reservation confirmation. This does not apply to nationals of Nepal, Spouses of Nepali nationals, Passengers of Nepali origin, and their family members.
5. Passengers could be subject to hotel quarantine for 10 days at their own expense. This does not apply to passengers with a COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing that they were fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival.
6. Visa on arrival facilities restarted for eligible passengers with a COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing that they were fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival. This does not apply to passengers traveling with an emergency passport, a temporary passport, or a temporary travel document.
The company accepts all major credit cards (MasterCard and Visa Cards).
The client also has the option to wire transfer the payment of booking the package to the following bank account in Nepal:
Name of Account Holder: Buddha Holidays Tours and Travel Pvt. Ltd., Jawalakhel, Lalitpur
Account Number (USD): 006 08082190011
Account Number (NPR/INR): 006 08082190019
Name of the Bank: Himalayan Bank Ltd, Patan Branch, Lalitpur
Swift Code: HIMANPKA
The following cancellation policies are applicable under the following scenarios:
1. If cancelled by the Company:
The company reserves the right to cancel a tour in any circumstances. The company will not cancel a tour less than 30 days before the start date of the tour except for force majeure or failure on the client’s part to make all due payments or if the client fails to comply with any requirements of the booking conditions.
If the Company has to cancel, you will be informed as soon as possible.
If there is time to do so before departure and the cancellation does not result from your failure, then the Company will offer you a choice to purchase an alternative tour as a result of consolidation or another available tour offered by the company. In either case, paying or receiving a refund in respect of difference in price or receiving a full refund of all monies paid to the Company.
It is advisable to only book fully flexible transport and other arrangements which can be cancelled or changed without charges, as the Company is not liable to pay the Client any cancellation, amendment or other changes the Client may need to make as a result of the cancellation of the tour.
As a minimum, the Company, where compensation is due will pay a compensation of USD 100 per confirmed passenger. The Company is not liable for compensation if the booking is cancelled as a result of force majeure.
2. If Cancelled by the Clients
Clients have the option to cancel their booking as per the following policies of the Company:
In case of non-payment of the remaining balance before the due date, the Company reserves the right to treat your booking as cancelled and 100% of the advanced payment will be retained as a cancellation charge by the Company.
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