Nepal’s trekking, adventure, safaris, city tours of World Heritage splendor, adventure sports and leisure activities offer an exhilarating range of holiday options. With a varied landscape from jungle plains to the highest peaks on the planet, Nepal has a wide selection of topography and eco-diversity with many natural and cultural treasures. The following are a few tips to make the most of your journey to this Himalayan nation.
First of all, Scan a copy of your passport into your email account and make hard photocopies of your passport, itinerary and important documents and leave them with friends or family back home and keep a set for yourself, too.
Medical Insurance. Does your coverage apply overseas and include rescue insurance or will you need to get supplemental coverage?
Register with your embassy on arrival along with your itinerary. They can help find and notify you if needed for emergency purposes or to notify your friends and family should the need arise for you.
Let your credit card company know where you will be traveling and keep their phone numbers handy.
Meet with your physician several months prior to departure, and check that you have the necessary vaccinations.
Nepal’s trekking trails are steep and every addition to the weight of your travel pack counts! Review your gear and clothing list, and pare down items beforehand.
Bring easily donned and doffed clothing layers. Hiking Nepal’s steep terrain can cause a swift build-up of body heat, especially carrying a loaded pack up a sun-drenched hill. In high elevation areas, the temperature will drop rapidly, especially in the shaded areas of the mighty Himalaya, when the sun has set or is behind the clouds, and more so if your clothes are wet and cold from sweat. It is important to have the ability to remove or add items to adjust quickly to conditions.
Bring a bright-color duffel bag: Equipment and supplies that porters carry can be packed in the sturdy, bright color (for easy recognizability) duffel bags, preferably ones that can be secured with a lock.
You can pick up a lot of trekking clothing and gear in Thamel, the globetrotter ghetto of Kathmandu. Be sure to check quality, especially of the seams. Some vendors have high caliber gear leftover from expeditions.
Bring Earplugs (more than one pair as they are easily lost). Homes, lodges, and tents can have remarkably thin walls, and buses/vehicles often have blaring stereos.
Water Heater: At high altitudes, Filling a water bottle with hot water and wrapping it in clothing will make a source of heat that can be kept close to the body or even placed in a sleeping bag for added warmth.
Sunglasses to absorb ultraviolet light. If you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, bring a spare pair and copy of the prescription in the event replacements are needed.
Leave the pocket knife behind. A Leatherman or Swiss Army Knife gadget combination can be useful but unnecessarily heavy unless the multi-functional tools are needed. Often a simple pocket knife will do if anything at all.
Umbrellas can be used not only against rainfall but to protect against the sun on hot days and also for privacy while answering nature’s call.
Collapsible ski poles or walking sticks (Lauro in Nepali), often made of lightweight bamboo, can help ease the load and impact on the knees and are found in tourist trekking shops in Thamel and sometimes along the trails.
Bring several handkerchiefs or bandannas. A bandanna can be useful as a makeshift face mask in windy, dusty areas and during vehicle travel, and to dry cups, plates, and hands. You can keep a separate bandana for a usual runny nose that accompanies colds and upper-respiratory infections—or learns to blow your nose Nepali style, covering each nostril in turn and blowing out the other.
A supply of duct tape can serve as an all-purpose, temporary fix for various situations. Several feet of tape can be wound around a flashlight handle or water bottle to store for future needs.
Bring and use sunscreen. At high altitude, the sun’s rays can be especially harsh.
Do not trek alone. Attacks are rare, but when they do happen it is generally against lone trekkers. If you are single, check online and at hotel and restaurant bulletin boards for partners or arrange through a trekking agency.
Bring a universal adapter with you. Electricity averages 220 volts/50 cycles in Nepal. As Nepal becomes increasingly electrified, there are more and more places along the popular routes to recharge. It is considered environmentally ethical to bring spent battery cells back to your home country for proper disposal.
If you play a portable musical instrument, consider bringing it along. A harmonica, recorder, or flute can quickly ease communication barriers. Consider other social and entertainment skills that you can share, for example, portrait drawing and simple magic tricks.
It’s a good idea to have a particle mask, to protect against dust and fumes in cities and on bus journeys. They can be found in Kathmandu pharmacies.
Most travelers carry reading and writing materials, and hotels along the popular routes often have paperbacks to sell or trade. A pack of cards and miniature versions of popular board games (such as Scrabble) can be a good way to pass time and liven up a restaurant as well as get to know fellow travelers.
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