Volunteer Society Nepal : The best experience for volunteers, the best value for Nepal.

Pre Departure Information

Feeling a bit daunted about arriving in Nepal? Read on for what to bring, what to expect and what you need to know before getting on the plane

Firstly, thank you for your decision to come to Nepal and help with Volunteer Society Nepal. Every volunteer means a lot to us; you are the life-blood of our organization. Now you are probably thinking about what to bring and what preparations to make. This page will give you all of the information you need.

Fundraising support and ideas: To make the most of your volunteering time in Nepal why not raise some donations for our projects before you arrive? Everything from clothing to books, games, education resources, medical supplies and household items are very cheap here in Nepal, meaning that even a small amount of money will go a long way. For tips about fundraising see our page here: Fundraising

Welcome information pack for your first night: If you can’t wait to get here then check out all the information you will receive when you arrive on Day 1 in the Volunteer Handbook.

Click to jump to the relevant sections about Pre-arrival information:

Information on Visas, Customs and your Arrival at the Airport

Getting a Visa:

Foreigners who come to Nepal must hold a passport valid for at least 6 months and a visa.

You can now apply for the tourist visa online within 14 days of departure from your country, and bring a print out of the visa application receipt to show to the Immigration Authority at Kathmandu airport.
Please follow this link for application: http://online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/tourist-visa

If you did not already buy an entry visa for Nepal from your home country, you can buy one on arrival at the border or airport. In many cases it will be cheaper to buy the visa in Nepal rather than paying for the service of getting the visa in your home country.

Upon arrival in Kathmandu there are a few things you should have ready to enable a smooth and easy exit through the airport. First, you need two small pieces of paper to be filled out: a customs/declaration form and visa application form. Sometimes the airline will provide you with one of these forms on the plane, but they often do not have them. To find the customs forms, walk into the airport and on your left are some tables with scattered papers on them – the customs forms and sometimes visa application
forms are here, but you still need your own pen.

The line for the visa machines can take some time to get through, especially when some passengers are unprepared or during the tourist season (September-May). After that, when you approach the counter to
pay for your visa, have your passport and money ready for the Nepali officials.

Tourist Visa: Good for multi entry

  • 15 days: US$ 30 or equivalent convertible currency
  • 30 days: US$ 50 or equivalent convertible currency
  • 90 days: US$ 125 or equivalent convertible currency

Tourist Visa Extension:

The Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US$30 (or equivalent convertible currency), and for more than 15 days it’s US$2 per day. Tourist visas can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single calendar year (January to December). For an extention you will need to go to the apartment of immigration, which will take you half a day at least.

Gratis (Free) Visa: Gratis visa for 30 days available only for tourists of SAARC countries. Indian nationals do not require visas to enter into Nepal.

Collecting Bags:

Once you pass through the visa line, head down the escalator to baggage claim. There are only two conveyor belts and a limited space on them at any one time, so it is normal for people to take bags off the conveyor belt and put them around the room to make space for other bags coming off the plane. So if you don’t see your bag, make sure to do a thorough walk-around before claiming your bag is missing.

If you walked around, there are no more bags coming off your flight, and your bag is not to be found, do not panic. You can report your missing bags at the desk against the wall with your baggage claim ticket and give them your information; they will contact you when your bag does arrive, probably on the next flight. It is also wise to get their information so that you can call and check about your bag status if you don’t hear from them.


All baggage must be cleared through customs on leaving the airport. Passengers arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) without any dutiable goods can proceed through the Green Channel for quick
clearance without a baggage check. If you are carrying dutiable articles, you have to pass through the Red Channel for detailed customs clearance.

Apart from personal belongings, visitors are allowed to bring to Nepal free of duty: cigarettes (200) or cigars (50), distilled liquor (one 1.15 liter bottle), and film (15 rolls). You can also bring in the following articles free of duty on condition that they leave with you: binoculars, movie or video
camera, still camera, laptop computer, and portable music system.

The export of antiques requires special certification from the Department of Archeology (National Archive Building, Ram Shah Path, Kathmandu). It is illegal to export objects over 100 years old such as sacred images, paintings and manuscripts that are valued for cultural and religious reasons. Visitors
are advised not to purchase such items.

For more information on customs matters, contact the Chief Customs Administrator, TIA Customs Office (Phone: 4470110, 4472266).

Money changing:

Please bring the rest of the program fee with you from your home country in cash. US dollars, euros and UK pound is fine. Please confirm with us if you are bringing any other currency.

In the airport it is possible to change your money for rupees, however it is best to only change a small amount here since the exchange rate will be higher than elsewhere. If you need more cash, VSN staff can take you to an ATM. Please note that ATMs in Nepal accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Only few ATMs accept Cirrus or Maestro cards. Leaving the airport:

Now you have your bags in hand and you’re ready to leave the airport. Please note that around the exit doors will be many people wanting to help you with your bags, but they will charge a lot of money for their services unless you pre-arrange a price. The best thing is to keep hold of your own bags or negotiate a price up-front (maximum $2).

A VSN representative will be waiting for you at the arrival gate, holding a sign with your name on it. From here he will drive you to your hotel or host family where one of our staff will meet you to discuss further program details. Here at last, you will have time to relax before you begin your language classes and sightseeing tour.

What to pack?

Most things you will need are available in the tourist hub of Thamel, in Kathmandu, so don’t worry too much about getting everything before you depart your home country. Save your pre-departure time for saying goodbyes and packing what you have, not for running around doing last minute things!

Please bring the rest of the program fee with you in cash. US dollars, euros and UK pound is fine. Please confirm with us if you are bringing any other currency.  There are a few other things to consider when packing:

What time of year and where are you volunteering?

One of the main things to consider is the season and where you will be based during your placement.

Nepal’s weather is generally predictable and pleasant. There are four seasons: Spring (March to May), Summer (June to August), Autumn (September to November) and Winter (December to February). The monsoon runs from approximately late June to the middle of September. About 80% of the rain falls during that period, leaving the remainder of the year dry. Spring and autumn are the most pleasant seasons, since
summer sees the monsoon and in winter temperatures drop to freezing with a high level of snowfall in the mountains.

Summer and late spring temperatures range from 28ºC (83ºF) in the hill regions to more than 40ºC (104ºF) in the Terai. In winter, average maximum and minimum temperatures in the Terai range from a brisk 7ºC (45ºF) to a mild 23ºC (74ºF). The central valleys experience a minimum temperature often falling bellow freezing point and a chilly 12ºC (54ºF) maximum. Much colder temperatures prevail at higher elevations.
The Kathmandu Valley, at an altitude of 1,310m (4,297ft), has a mild climate, ranging from 19-27ºC (67-81ºF) in summer, and 2-20ºC (36-68ºF) in winter.

In the cold months of December to February you will need a warm jacket, gloves, warm socks and hats.
There is no heating in most Nepali houses so you may find you spend your whole time dressed up in warm clothes. During the day the sunshine may be warm, but inside or in shade it remains cold. A sleeping bag to supplement provided blankets during these winter months is also a good idea.

Additionally, note that Nepal is full of cheap shops selling every kind of trekking equipment/ clothing you could want, so do not panic if you forget something. In fact, if you need a new fleece or sleeping bag it might even be cheaper to buy it here.

About the Beds

Beds in Nepal are harder than we are used to at home. This is not because people are poor, but mostly because they simply like hard mattresses. If you have difficulties sleeping on a hard mattress, please consider bringing a self-inflatable camping mat.

Essentials to bring:

  • Clothes – You will (most likely) be hand-washing and line-drying your clothes, so don’t bring heavy clothing. Light cotton pants are good for summer, and cotton/poly blends make good t-shirts, collared shirts etc as they don’t wrinkle, they wring out easily and dry quickly.
    Women, in respect to the culture, please do not wear strappy tank tops, shorts, short skirts, and clothing made of sheer material. You’ll be fine wearing pants most of the time, and anything below the knee is acceptable.
  • Shoes – You will be walking a lot on unpaved roads, and removing your shoes often (every time you enter a home). Comfortable athletic shoes are a must and sandals with a thick or hard sole are good for hot weather.
  • Light rain jacket and/or small umbrella to use for sun/rain cover
  • Water bottle
  • A roll of toilet paper- readily available at grocery stores here
  • Day pack
  • Alcohol based hand sanitizer
  • Sleeping Bag- depending on seasons either thick or thin.
  • Flash light– LED headlamps are worth their weight in gold!
  • First aid supplies
  • Pocket Knife
  • Money – Bring some cash that you can exchange for rupees to start you off. You also need cash to pay for your visa at the airport when you arrive. It is wise to bring a couple ways to get cash, such as an ATM card, credit card, or traveler’s checks.
  • Camera
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellent
  • Copies of passport and other important documents
  • Photos: You will need a few passport photos: one for your visa, plus one for each time you renew your visa, and a couple for VSN. A few pictures of your family and friends are nice to show around.

It would be nice to have:

  • Laptop: luxury item, but great to have. Wifi is easily found in the cities, or at VSN office. If you are planning on keeping a blog, doing a lot of emailing or typing for your project then it is worth it, but don’t bring your laptop if you want it to stay pristine because it may get
    dirty or damaged.
  • Cell Phone: you can buy a pretty cheap SIM card and minutes to use while you are here.
  • USB drive: nice to keep your files and photos safe on.
  • Rechargeable batteries and the charger
  • A good book to read: There are some great bookstores in the main city area, but it’s good to have one already to start with. You can also trade in books at the many bookstores.
  • A great Nepali language book, which most of the volunteers here use, is the Nepali Phrasebook published by Lonely Planet. You can purchase it here.
  • Earplugs for when you need rest but either the streets are loud or your family is still awake. Nepal wakes up much earlier in the morning than many western places, so expect early noises to wake you.
  • Night time eye mask
  • Bring some songs of personal choice in your mobile phone; the kids here listen all kinds of western music.

Better to bring than to buy:

  • Baby wipes- a good all purpose way to clean up spills and dirt
  • Women:  tampons are difficult to find here.
  • A pair of flip-flops strictly for the shower and bathroom.
  • One or two towels, to use at the host family (they do not provide these).
  • Toiletries- most things such as shampoo, soap, razors, etc. can be bought in Kathmandu and
    Pokhara, but you may not have an opportunity to
  • Shop immediately, and if you’re particular about brands then bring your own supply. Some items
    such as razors are more expensive here.

Better to buy than to bring:

  • Clothes in many sizes and styles can be bought here, once you have directly experienced the temperatures, weather, and levels of appropriateness for your area.

To teach English:

  • VSN has a limited number of flashcards and sentence building posters at the office. You might want to bring ESL books as a support tool but you can buy those in Kathmandu as well.

For child care programs:

  • You may be spending after school hours with the children, helping with homework and doing crafts or games with the kids. It can help to bring some craft ideas that can be done with simple materials, and games that can be played with small groups.

For health programs: The clinics are poorly stocked, so bringing your own things is best.

  • Pen Light
  • Stethoscope
  • BP Cuff
  • A small reference manual or two
  • A box of examination gloves

For trekking:

  • Again, most things including jackets, trekking poles, down coats, vests, gaiters, etc can be
    purchased in Kathmandu, but the quality usually follows the price.
  • The trekking guidebooks have pretty good packing lists.

The Culture Shock

There are thousands of descriptive articles about traveling in Nepal and the many attractions and experiences available. These articles do well in describing the “what” and “where,” but very few address the inter-personal experiences of travel in Nepal.

One such experience is culture shock; an idea that can be both a welcome and a startling experience for any tourist.

As Volunteer Society Nepal we have prepared a small module for you to prepare yourself for the challenges of living abroad. The module takes about 1 hour to complete and consists of the following sections:

  1. Cultural Adjustment and Culture Shock
  2. Coping With Culture Shock and Emotions
  3. Ethnocentrism
  4. Slower Pace and Elastic Time
  5. Cultural Differences and Cultural Understanding
  6. Trust and Cultural Humility

Please click on the following link to open the module.

There are hundreds of definitions to what constitutes culture shock, but put simply it’s the feelings of surprise, disorientation, uncertainty and anxiety one experiences when faced with surroundings and cultural norms very different from those at home.

Culture shock is felt on some level when traveling to any country different from one’s homeland. As such, the culture shock one feels when traveling to Nepal may be significant, because of the substantial cultural contrasts.

Remaining flexible, open-minded, and participating in non-judgmental observation are some of the necessary adjustments that have to be made when choosing to travel to Nepal, as well as being mentally prepared to cope with the cultural differences that you will encounter.

Your first 10 minutes in Nepal can give you a more intense feeling of culture shock than three months traveling through Europe. It can be surprising when you finally land at the airport and find strangers roughly pulling your luggage from the conveyor belt and throwing the bags into an empty spot on the dirty ground of the arrivals hall (read more about this in the “Arriving at the airport” section). When you get in a taxi to go to your hotel you might be surprised at the driving laws, or lack thereof. The chaos of Kathmandu city and so much new information for your brain to process can be disorienting and it’s not unusual to have feelings of anxiety.

When you travel to Nepal, expect daily life to be different from your home country. Preparing yourself for the cultural differences before you go can reduce or avoid much of the alarming and disorienting effects of culture shock. Doing a little research before you travel will help to mentally prepare you and greatly increase your enjoyment while traveling in Nepal.

Cultural Background and Etiquette Information


  • One traditional Nepali “rule” is to not share plates of food with others. It used to be considered rude to give or take food from another’s plate, and while it’s slowly becoming accepted now in Nepal, some places still find it offensive.
  • Do not take a bite of some food or touch your lips to a bottle and then offer it to your friend. When you travel around Nepal, you will see locals drinking from water bottles by tilting their heads back so the bottle doesn’t touch their mouths. This way more people can share the bottle because it is not contaminated.
  • If you want to take a photo of someone, ask them first. How would you feel if someone came up and started taking your photo as if you were an animal, without respectfully asking you?
  • This might sound like common sense, but do not take photos of people bathing or going to the bathroom. A large number of Nepali people do in fact bathe on the side of the road, but even though they are bathing in front of strangers this does not mean that you should watch or take
  • Spitting is quite normal here: you will see men, women, and children spitting on the sidewalks. The same goes for littering. You might see a local throwing something on the ground, but to help keep Nepal beautiful it is best to dispose of trash in designated trash bins or the community trash piles.
  • Never show affection in public. Although some younger couples hold hands in public, it is still frowned upon. It is more common to see friends i.e. girls and girls, or boys and boys holding hands.
  • Do not step over a person, and do not make other people step over you. For example, if you have your legs stretched out and someone wishes to pass, move out of their way.
  • Do not use your left hand as it is known as your bathroom hand.
  • Give items and receive with two hands (like giving or receiving a cup of tea).
  • Do not point your feet, especially if they are dirty, at people. Feet are considered to be the lowest and dirtiest part of a person. Also do not point your finger at anything, rather use your whole hand.
  • Do not give gifts (even as small and seemingly insignificant as a pen or candy) to the local children.
  • Do not buy antiques or anything made by/of an animal product, flora or fauna, because most of these are protected and there could be a government punishment for trying to take it out of Nepal.
  • Do not give to beggars, unless they are an elderly person or have some sort of disability that makes them unable to get a job. This will only encourage begging behavior.
  • When shopping do not overpay, pay only fair prices. (see shopping tips below for more info.)

Just for an extra fact: a Nepali person will never tell you if they think you are being rude, because this would make them rude.

Visiting religious sites:

  • Do not eat, smoke or be loud at religious sites.
  • Some temples have a few rules written on their walls for you.
  • Pay attention to signs.
  • Some temples only allow Hindus to enter.
  • Walk clockwise around stupas and temples or places of worship.
  • Never touch or step over offerings like red powder or rice/flowers.
  • When you travel to certain places of worship you may or may not be permitted to take photos or
    film these sacred places.
  • Make sure to find out if you are supposed to take your shoes off before you enter.
  • For the most part, just be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to what the locals are
    doing and any writing on the wall.


  • Women that travel to Nepal can wear short sleeve, long sleeve, sleeveless t-shirts or dress shirts.
  • Skirts should be knee length or longer, and if worn are appreciated by the locals.
  • Women do not usually wear shorts here but if you choose to, make sure they are longer shorts.
  • It is recommended for women traveling through Nepal to wear slightly more conservative clothing.
  • Men that travel to Nepal can wear almost anything. Short sleeve, long sleeve, sleeveless t-shirts or dress shirts.
  • Shorts or long pants are fine for men.
  • You should always have a shirt on and if it buttons up, it should have all the buttons fastened.
  • Dress appropriately for your activity and if you are not sure about what you are wearing, just observe local traditions.

Day to day admin: money, health, transport, food, shopping, business hours, communications,
electricity :

Money exchange:

  • The Nepali money is the Rupee (this is different from the Indian rupee). Mostly paper money is used, although there are coins for smaller denominations. Nepali Rupees are found in denominations of 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are found in 1, 2 and 5 rupees.
    One rupee equals 100 paisa.
  • There are many designated money exchange businesses. The first place in Nepal that you will find to exchange your money is at the Kathmandu or Pokhara airport. These counters are safe and offer
    fair rates. You may need to have some cash on you for a cab fare from the airport to your hotel.
    Remember to keep your exchange receipts when changing currencies, as these may be needed to change leftover Nepalese Rupees again before leaving the country.
  • Payment in hotels, travel agencies, and airlines can be made in foreign currency, and credit cards like American Express, Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted. ATMs are widely used in Kathmandu and in Pokhara so cash is readily available but there is no need to take out too much one time.
  • Make sure you check and are familiar with the exchange rate as it can change daily. You can always find out the rates from regularly circulating newspapers such as The Rising Nepal, The
    Kathmandu Post and The Himalayan Times.
  • You can also go into a bank to exchange money, for which you need a debit/credit card or cash (not coins) and your passport. The bank will take a copy of your passport and they should give you a receipt. You will need to keep this receipt until your travels in Nepal are over and you go to leave the country, which as stated above, can be used to exchange the unused portion of Nepali currency back into your home currency.
  • Banks will usually not want to take any torn or ripped money, so make sure all your bills (from your home country and Nepal) are kept in good condition.
  • Along trekking routes, it is less common to find banks. There are some in the mountains, but if you are not in a town with one and need cash for some unexpected expense then some lodges might offer the exchange service for a slightly elevated rate. (The price difference would be for their hassle of needing to travel to a bank to exchange your currency later). It’s always wise to carry some small denominations while trekking and walking at out of the city.

If you get sick:

  • When traveling to a new country it is inevitable that you and/or someone you are traveling with will get travelers diarrhea. You cannot prevent this, but you can get some relief. There are small medicine shops everywhere that don’t require prescriptions or insurance; just go up to the counter and tell them what you need, it should only cost a few dollars. They also sell antibiotics, allergy pills, and ibuprofen.

If you get hurt:

  • No one ever plans to get hurt (or sick for that matter), but it happens. There are medical offices and hospitals in all the major cities. Your stay and check-up should not be too expensive, depending on your injury.
  • If you are trekking with a travel agency and become seriously injured, they should be able to arrange a rescue evacuation or get you somewhere safe in a timely manner.
  • If your travel in Nepal is not through an agency, there are emergency helicopters available. For faster evacuation you should carry a credit card, have travel insurance (and have the policy with you), never travel alone, and register with police and your embassy before heading into the mountains.

Modes of transportation:

  • Taxis are available in all the major cities, although they are not usually cost-efficient. Taxi drivers take great pride in their vehicles and clean them daily. Even if the seat covers look old, they still have them to help “beautify” their vehicle for the tourist.
  • Tuk-tuks are also available in the larger towns like Kathmandu, where the number of passengers allowed is flexible and can depend how many people can fit in the three-wheeled vehicles.
  • Buses or vans run through the major cities and can be quite crowded. A “ten passenger van” could fit as many as 17 people with the windows open (or not), so if personal space is important to
    you, avoid this mode of transport.
  • Bicycle Trolleys or rickshaws, which are three-wheeled bikes with a carriage like seat on the back can be found in Kathmandu. These fit 2-3 people.
  • If you are feeling adventurous, you could rent a motorcycle. This is not always recommended since navigating Nepali traffic can be daunting, but they are available for the fearless traveler. Many times you just rent it from an average local who has a bike they do not need for
    a few days or weeks, and a price is agreed between you.
  • The different modes of transportation do not always have a set destination – or price for visitors – and can often be crowded and confusing. It is a lot less of a headache to have a travel agency help to plan and book your transportation, so you have more time to enjoy this new and exciting country.

Visiting or staying in the jungle:

  • Make sure to drink a lot of (bottled) water, you may be unaware of the dehydrating climate.
  • Something to be aware of is leeches: during the day watch where you step or bring some salt along with you.
  • You will want to invest in mosquito repellent or a plug-in for your room (if there is power) if you are staying in the jungle. Mosquito candles and incense are also helpful when there is no
  • Make sure to bring the right clothes. Pack some shoes to do light walking through the jungle and some that will stay on your feet (not flip flops) if you plan to ride an elephant.
  • You will want to have a change of clothes if there is a change in weather or if your itinerary involves elephant bathing.
  • Remain flexible if staying in the jungle: most of the lodges and resorts run on solar power, so there is not power 24hours a day. Many also have no internet access.
  • If a lizard shows up in your room, do not be scared, you are in fact in the jungle.
  • Take time to sit and relax, and entertain yourself with listening to real nature (no traffic)
    write about your stay, or read a book.


Nepal has a wide variety of food available, from traditional Nepali foods to international cuisine.
Below, are just a few items you are certain to encounter while in Nepal.

  • Daal Bhat Takari is the Nepali staple food. Bhat is rice, and daal is a lentil soup/gravy to pour over the rice that is easily interchanged in some places with vegetables (takari). This dish can sometimes also come with meat and maybe yogurt; it is always different from one
    restaurant to the next. To get to know this country, give it a try in different places as you travel through Nepal.
  • Achar is a traditional Nepali pickled sauce/paste (sometimes very spicy) that is served as a garnish with almost every Nepali dish. There are countless ways of making this special treat so you should try every different one offered to you.
  • Mo-mo is a tasty Newari dumpling with meat (usually lamb, chicken, buffalo, or pork, but not beef) or vegetables and cheese, which you can find almost anywhere that serves food.
  • Noodle soup is now very common especially on trekking routes. Although it is not a traditional Nepali dish, it is there for foreign travelers as a comfort item. It is equivalent to fast food, and in fact many Nepali’s do not even cook it but eat it as a crunchy snack food.
  • Naan/Roti – roti means bread in Nepal, and it is usually round and deep fried in oil then served with achar or some other sauce. Naan is also a type of bread. It is served alone or with curry dishes. There are different kinds of naan like butter or garlic naan, and it’s bigger in size
    than roti.
  • Apples – the town of Marpha is known for their apples, and there is even an alcoholic drink made from apples called “Marpha”.
  • Bananas in Nepal sometimes do not look appealing but in fact they are very sweet.
  • Yogurt here can be either sweet or salty. It is served either by itself or on the side of daal bhat and is good for you, too. If your body is not used to the many spices used in Nepali food, the yogurt helps soothe the digestion process.
  • The ice cream here is a delicious reward. Simple (chemical-free) ingredients and all-natural flavors make it a refreshing treat anytime of day or night.
  • Bottled water is a must! Do not drink any water unless it is from a bottle. Some trekking routes have safe drinking water stations installed to reduce plastic waste, but elsewhere be wary of
    where the water has come from. Ice, if made from tap water not filtered water, can also carry diseases.
  • Tea is very popular as a morning drink or to relax after a long days’ trek. It is served either black with sugar or can be served with milk.
  • Coffee here is full of flavor and is even appealing to the non-coffee drinker, although it is not as strong as in other countries.
  • Khukuri Rum is locally made in Nepal, and it goes well with coca cola.

Time and business hours:

  • Nepal is five hours 45 minutes ahead of GMT.
  • Business hours within Kathmandu Valley: Government offices are open from 10 am to 5 p.m. from
    Sunday through Friday.
  • Banks are open Sunday through Friday from 10 am to 3.30 pm. and until 12 pm only on Friday.
  • Most Business offices are open from 10 am to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday.
  • Embassies and international organizations are open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday.
  • Most shops open after 10 am and close at about 8 pm and are usually closed on Saturdays.
  • Holidays: Nepal observes numerous holidays; at least a couple a month! Government offices
    observe all the national holidays and banks observe most of them. Businesses observe major
    holidays only.


  • For grocery shopping there are several places to go. In the larger cities there are department
    stores or malls that carry food and other goods (clothes, refrigerators, bicycles, movies,
    etc.). Everything here has a set price so no need to bargain.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables are available at outdoor markets. Select how many/much of an item
    you want; prices depend on weights.
  • For souvenir or clothes shopping, you can either go to the department stores where everything
    has a set price or to the common little street shops where nothing has a price on it. When the
    shopkeepers tell you their prices be prepared to bargain, offering 50% of their price is a good
    starting point but it helps to have a price in mind before you begin. If you can’t agree on a
    price, try another shop or come back another day.
  • It is best for you and everyone else too if you pay a fair, low price. If every tourist pays
    too-high rates for goods it can cause problems with inflation in the country.
  • Do not feel guilty about bargaining. You can most likely afford their initial price, but the
    Nepalis cannot.

Contacting home & other communication:

  • When traveling, you will probably want to contact friends and family back home. There are many
    different ways you can do this:
  • A Cell Phone – SIM cards can be bought easily and used for international calls and internet.
  • Cyber cafes exist all over Nepal, even on trekking routes.
  • Wifi is also becoming more prevalent in the towns and cities and many hotels, restaurants, and
    private houses will now have a connection.
  • For your safety it is a good idea to carry contact details for your travel agency, embassy, or
    any other important contacts you might have.
  • Postal Services – The Central Post Office in Kathmandu, located near Dharahara Tower, is open
    from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday. They provide stamps, postcards and aerograms as
    well as Poste Restante services. Express Mail Service (EMS) is available at GPO and at Thamel,
    Basantapur and airport postal counters.
  • For friends and family wanting to contact you from home, the country code for Nepal is 977 plus
    the area code 1 for Kathmandu and 61 for Pokhara.


Cities and major towns have electricity at 220-volts and 50 cycles. It is helpful to carry rechargeable
batteries and a charger.

Other comments that are found useful / we would like to tell you::

  • Don’t bring too much.
  • Be Flexible.
  • Good shoes are important.
  • Get plenty of rest and sleep before you come.
  • Don’t leave things until the last minute!