Nepal is one of the most exotic destinations in the world. Many people assume that the only reason to travel there is if you are going to attempt a climb up Mt Everest. Even if you are not a trekker, Nepal is a great destination.
The landscapes are incredibly diverse, from the one of a kind city of Kathmandu to the gorges and of course the mountains. The people dressed in their brightly decorated traditional costumes, complete with fixed blade kukri knives that are not just for the tourists are a delight to see.
For real adventurers there is a wealth of items to see and do. But, you also need to know a few things ahead of time to make sure you get the most out of your trip.
In this guide, I will go over several things to keep in mind when planning your trip to Nepal.
When traveling to any country that is underdeveloped from a Western perspective, but has a rich history, it is easy to go without realizing that you are a guest there and must act accordingly.
Nepalese people have deep rooted traditions and ways of going about things. To stay on their good side, you should try to avoid social faux pas when possible.
For instance, when addressing people, you should put your palms together as if in prayer and bow your head slightly in their direction while saying “namaste”. There are also different ways of addressing people that you don’t know in a more formal way. When talking to a person older than you, say “dai” for a man and “didi” if it is a woman. This is a sign of respect for one’s elders and will go a long way.
If you are invited into somebody’s home, which is a very common thing even if you are a stranger, then remember to take your shoes off. And hands and face should be washed prior to eating.
Have adventure in mind
You may not be in Nepal for a climb to the tip of Mt Everest, but you have to be ready to have some adventure. Nepal is not a great destination for sedentary people looking to be pampered.
There are many rivers in wild and rocky gorges that are used for whitewater rafting excursions. Make sure to bring along dry gear to take advantage of a once in a lifetime experience.
If you do plan to do some trekking along many of the mountain passes, always hire a guide to make sure you stay safe and understand the area.
Drinking the water
Just like in many other parts of the non Western world, drinking water is an issue. Even those with strong stomachs have to be careful when drinking the tap water as it can ruin a trip if you are stuck in the bathroom the whole time.
Bring along a filter straw to drink the water safely and make sure to boil it first if you are staying somewhere that you will be doing your own cooking.