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Plan your Nepal trip at 0% EMI


[] CONTENTS

NEPAL IN BRIEF

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OUR TOP PICKS

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WHEN TO TRAVEL

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PASSPORT & VISA

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ARRIVING IN NEPAL

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VACCINATION & TRAVEL INSURANCE

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MISCELLANEOUS

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SECTION 01

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NEPAL IN BRIEF

Home to the highest mountain in the world, Nepal has a proud lineup of the tallest peaks of the Himalayas. The adventurers, you may go for trekking, hiking or paragliding, and the others can simply relax by the lakeshore looking at the dazzling mountain ranges. This land of the snow-capped mountains is a great place for some spiritual experience as well. From seeing a living Goddess to visiting monasteries, to being part of colourful and dramatic festivals, to of course trekking, and the even wilder bungee jumping into the Himalayan magic, isn’t Nepal the ideal holiday destination? With eight of the top ten highest summits of the

world in Nepal, which place has a better scope for trekking but Nepal? A discussion on Nepal is incomplete without Mount Everest, the Earth’s highest mountain. Trekking to the Everest base camp is not an impossible task today. Annapurna circuit, Jomsom, Langtang etc are the other popular trekking areas in Nepal. Near to Jomsom, is Muktinath, a famous pilgrimage centre for both Hindus and Buddhists. Nepal is not just about mountains; Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha is located in Nepal. This place has Maya Devi

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Temple, the Lumbini Garden, many beautiful monasteries built by different Buddhist countries. The spirituals, you may also love the fact that this is the land of the living Gods and Goddesses. And if you are visiting around August-September, make sure you attend Indra Jatra. It is an eight-day long festival where the living Goddess or the Kumari leads a procession through the streets of Kathmandu accompanied by chariots and thousands of men clad in colourful vibrant costumes dancing to the traditional music of the Kathmandu Valley.

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OUR TOP PICKS

Kathmandu

Pokhara

Nepal’s fascinating cultural centre, Kathmandu is a lot more than its casinos make it out to be. From durbar square to Narayanhiti Palace, there’s much going on for the curious. Kathmandu’s heart, however, is in the cobbled streets of Thamel. Rather touristy, side streets are filled with stores that sell everything from books to trekking gear. From momos to steaks, there’s a restaurant for practically every kind of cuisine here.

Fascinatingly beautiful, Pokhara is one of those destinations you’ll find yourself promising to return to. Surrounded by snow-capped Himalayan peaks, spot the Annapurna on a clear day. Stroll around the lake for delightful restaurants and quaint shops that sell everything you want and a lot less you really need. Pubs on the lakefront do close early so you’d want to get your seat of choice at happy hour as the sun goes down. un[travel]

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Chitwan

The UNESCO world heritage Royal Chitwan National Park, with nearly 1000 sq kilometers of forests, grassland and marshes are home to wildlife from sloth bears, leopards, wild elephants, and even the rare Bengal tiger. Head over to the quaint Tharu village beyond, past bright yellow mustard fields, for the essence of what Nepal truly is.

Annapurna

Welcome to the Trekker’s Mecca. If you are an avid trekker, then the Annapurna Circuit is surely at the top of your dream-list. Considered to be the most beautiful trek in the world, the circuit is replete with countless waterfalls, hanging bridges, mighty mountains and quaint villages. This trail gets you closer to adventure, closer to the culture of Himalayan villages and closer to the inner you.

Everest Base Camp

Take a slightly different route, a more adventurous one, with high mountain passes and a view of lakes and glaciers to reach the Everest Base Camp. un[travel]

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WHEN TO TRAVEL Jan Feb Mar April May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Autumn is the peak time when most visitors dribble down here. This is because the weather is clean and dry, and neither too cold nor too hot. And as this is just after the monsoon, the mountains are brilliantly visible making this the perfect time for treks. Spring is also a better time to make your way down here, although the mountains can be hazy despite being an amazing time to view the wildlife!

Best Weather

Best Time To Visit

February - April September - November

October and November

$

High Season

%

Low Season

March - April October - November

June - September

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PASSPORT & VISA

For Indian citizens, Nepal allows the facilitation of the ‘Visa on Arrival’ procedure, which lets you bypass the hassle of getting a visa prior to your departure. To avail of this option, follow the steps given on the website, http:// www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/content/ tourist-visa.html. Things to keep in mind: An Indian citizen over the age of ten years travelling between India and Nepal by air would have to keep in his possession any of the following documents to establish his/her identity as an Indian citizen. • Valid Indian passport; or, • Photo identity card issued by the Government of India, or any State Government or Union Territory Administration in India, or the Election Commission of India; or, • Emergency certificate issued by the Embassy of India in Nepal.

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ARRIVING IN NEPAL

Regarding the amount of currency that can be taken in, the Nepalese Rupee and the Indian Rupee has no limits whatsoever. For other currencies, any amount exceeding 2000 USD or its equivalent must be declared. Travellers Cheques are no longer generally accepted at banks. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are plentiful in most cities and most will accept cards issued by any of the major international banking networks (Plus, Cirrus, etc.). The majority of ATM’s currently have a maximum withdrawal amount of ₚ10,000 (although you can make repeated withdrawals). Major Credit Cards such as Visa, MasterCard, JCB and American Express, are readily accepted at most tourist class hotels, restaurants, airlines, and major tourist merchants. Money Exchange offices are very common in tourist areas and all clearly post their daily exchange rates on a white or an electronic notice board. Hotels and major tourist merchants do offer cash and T/C exchange facilities, however, the rate offered is usually very poor compared to that offered by Banks/foreign currency exchangers. Coming to what you can bring into the country, there is an extensive list of rules that can be found at: http://www.iatatravelcentre.com/NP-Nepalcustoms-currency-airport-tax-regulationsdetails.htm

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VACCINATION & TRAVEL INSURANCE

For short term travellers, the usually recommended vaccinations include cover against childhood diseases (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Poliomyelitis, Measles, Mumps and Rubella) as well as cover against the food and water borne diseases of Typhoid and Hepatitis A. Other vaccines to consider: Cholera, Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies. Lost luggage, flight delays and overbooked hotels are some common inconveniences anyone could face. Travel insurance can cover these, but is it worth the expense? While it is easy to replenish lost clothes and arrange alternative accommodation, it can be rather financially draining. That being said, medical cover is the one reason travel insurance actually makes sense. Without travel insurance, you are personally liable for covering medical expenses - and expenses of the medical kind are not for the meek.

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MISCELLANEOUS

PERSONAL SECURITY To avoid being a victim of any sort of theft, the main advice is to blend into the crowd and not to appear too much like a tourist. Forget all about carrying bum-bags around your waist and cameras around your neck. Always keep an eye on your belongings on public transport and put padlocks on your bags. Never go trekking alone, always use an agency. When going on a short walk, ask hotel staff about the safety of your chosen route. In case of any aggression, the general rule is not to take risks and not to resist. Remain as calm as you can, don’t argue and hand over whatever you are asked for. Try not to keep all of your money in the same place. Have multiple hiding places and always keep a small sum of money easily accessible, since this might be enough to satisfy your assailant.

YOUR HEALTH Vegetables and fruits should be cleaned with purified or bottled water before being eaten. Beware of ice cream sold on the streets, and stay well clear of undercooked meat. Look out for leeches that may be present in damp low-lying areas and if they attach to your body, salt or a lighted match will make them fall off. You would also do well to be wary of bees and wasps, and also lice. Depending on the area you may be travelling to you could encounter heat exhaustion, dehydration or even frostbite. Take the necessary precautions and drink plenty of clean water.

TIPPING In Nepal, large hotels already include service charges in the final bill. Therefore, it is not necessary to tip. If a service charge is not included in the total, a 10% tip will do. If available though, use a tipping box. A 20 rupee tip will do for anyone carrying your luggage, like a porter or bellboy, and 10 Rupees per bag if you’re travelling in a group.

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SHOPPING IN NEPAL Nepal is heaven for the shoppers. The product ranges from the locally made handicrafts to the cheap Chinese and Japanese electronic items. Among the handicraft items, you can buy clothing such as Kashmiri Shawls and wrap around as well as Tibetan Robes and Kurtas. The ladies can go for beautifully embroidered and comfortable to wear Kaftans. These items are downright cheap but you have to learn the art of dickering and bargaining before you venture to Nepal. Kathmandu also offers you handicraft items such as miniature paintings, stone idols, bronze busts and junk jewellery. Each place has its speciality product which is unique. Bhaktapur, for instance, is the place to buy pottery. The Traditional Craftsman’s Colony in Patan is a famous centre for Nepalese handicraft. You may get carved-wooden items while at Patan. As for jewellery, buyers can opt for loose gems or custom-made items. Kathmandu offers a unique shopping experience. From glitzy malls to trendy boutiques, you can find almost anything and everything that caters to your shopping list. For premium brands and high fashion, Durbar Marg is a consumer’s Mecca. It has all the high-end fashion requirements. For fashionistas, there is no other alternative to Durbar Marg. Thamel area, in particular, is popular choice for souvenir and handicrafts.

FOOD IN NEPAL Probably Nepal’s most known dishes are the dal bhat (rice and lentils) and the infamous momos. But there is so much more to its cuisine barring the range of international dishes from continental to every other bit of Asia. The regular Nepali meal is dal (lentil soup), bhat (boiled rice) and tarkari (curried vegetables), often accompanied by achar (pickle). Curried meat is very popular, but is saved for special occasions, as it is relatively more expensive. Acquired from the Tibetans, momos (steamed or fried dumplings) deserve a mention as the most popular snack here. Rice being a perpetual mainstay, the side dishes are the excitable factors of the Nepali cuisine. Depending upon the culture and ethnicity, Nepali houses tend to settle curries with complex spices in ways that have been passed down through generations. Newars, indigenous to the Kathmandu valley, cater the best snacks in the country. Their cuisine makes much use of buffalo meat, however, their vegetable soup, made of potato and bamboo shoot, is simply sumptuous.

alcohol IN NEPAL Home-brewed jaar, or beer often made from rice or millet, is commonly referred to by the Tibetan or hill word, chhang. Raksi, which is ubiquitous in hill Nepal, is a distilled version of the same and bears a heady resemblance to tequila or grappa. It’s made in a series of pani, or distillations: ek pani, or the first distillation of the liquor, is the strongest. Harder to find, but perhaps the most pleasant drink of all is a highland home-brew called tongba. The ingredients are a jug or tankard of fermented millet, a straw and a flask of hot water: you pour the water in, let it steep, and suck the mildly alcoholic brew through the straw until you reach the bottom. An amazing selection of spirits is distilled in Nepal, ranging from the classic Khukuri rum (dark and raisiny) to a myriad of cheap whiskies and vodkas. They’re mostly rough, but tolerable when mixed – “Mustang coffee”, made with Khukuri and instant coffee, is a classic. Look out for regional specialities like the apricot and apple brandies of Marpha, north of Pokhara. Imported spirits and wine are available at inflated prices; many tourist restaurants and bars serve wine by the glass, and make cocktails.

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untravel is devoted to trips planned your way, and not fixed, restrictive itineraries made by someone else for you. untravel is about customizing every moment of each trip. Picking out experiences that excite you. Staying at places that are truly unique. And charting out every day, at your pace, on your terms. +91-9076-601-330 intlholidays@untravel.com www.untravel.com/international/nepal

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