Nepal may be an unpredictable country for organized people. People here live in more relaxed and carefree way and there are no strict patterns of life followed by people. In order to immerse yourself with the new country, flexibility and take it easy approach will be immensely helpful. The more you are relaxed and easy the more you can enjoy the places and people.
Keep low cash all the time while traveling and use local currency:
People in Nepal, though live poorly look always cheerful and content. Not carrying foreign currencies of large amount while traveling is best way to keep your trip safe. Please note that only Kathmandu and Pokhara has facilities like foreign currency exchange, credit card cash retrieval, and traveler’s check payments. So if you are trekking or heading for trips that last for several days please take sufficient Nepalese currency with you.
Avoid buying stuffs with street vendors:
Street vendors though do not harm travelers, may pest them with unnecessary deals like cheap souvenirs, hotel or hashish. They may be just waste of your time. If you are really keen to share experience with them then please make sure that you do not have much cash and talk to them as much as you like. In fact, they are the people who know almost everything about the locality and may be helpful for retrieving useful information.
Ask shops if you are lost:
Shopkeepers are always able to help you with finding address and right means of transport if you are lost. They know the local area very well. Also you can use the phone. Local calls cost around 5 rupees however.
Avoid traveling late in the evenings: Generally there is nothing to do after the evening in Nepal. People spend their time at home with family and rarely go out in night. One is likely to find only drunk people or street people after dark. Thamel is a small area in Kathmandu where stores, restaurant, pubs, club etc are open for tourists till midnight or late.
Use emails and phones than depending on postal systems:
Email and Internet is widespread in Kathmandu, Pokhara and all major cities in Nepal. They are the most convenient, fastest and most secure way for communications while abroad. In Kathmandu virtually every corners have shops that offer Internet for users at very low prices. Postal System in Nepal is still running in its traditional 19th century style and people need to queue for international mails. Please avoid using post collection boxes or agents. Unless you are assured do not send anything valuable by post. If you do then make sure you have registered the post.
Use Nepali if you know, as it will be very helpful:
Use of Nepali language brings you closer to people. People will start to think that you have lived for a while in the country and know a little bit about it. This means you are not a new tourist and there is less chance that people think of taking benefit from your little knowledge of the country.
The rate of violent crime is low in Kathmandu. Still, to avoid being victimized, visitors should avoid walking alone after dark and carrying large sums of cash or expensive jewelry. In addition, visitors should consider exchanging money only at banks and hotels and limiting shopping to daylight hours. Valuables should be stored in the hotel safety deposit box and should never be left unattended in hotel rooms. Travelers should be especially alert at or near major tourist sites, where most pick-pocketing occurs. Passports and cash should be carried in a protected neck pouch or money belt--not in a backpack or handbag.
A foreign country citizen is subject to Nepal’s laws and regulations, which sometimes may differ significantly from those of your home country. Persons violating Nepalese laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession of, use of, or trafficking in and out illegal drugs in Nepal are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
Illnesses and injuries suffered while on trek in remote areas often require evacuation by helicopter to Kathmandu. Those trekking in remote areas of Nepal should factor the high costs of a potential helicopter rescue into their financial considerations. Thus, we suggest you to purchase your travel insurance which covers the same.
Nepal is prone to earthquakes, landslides, and flooding. The Government of Nepal’s ability to respond is limited.
Traffic Safety and Road Conditions
Many mountain and hill roads are impassable during monsoon season (June-September) due to landslides. Avoid travel on night buses; fatal accidents are frequent. In the Kathmandu Valley, motor vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians and animals, all traveling at different speeds, congest narrow roads. Sidewalks and pedestrian crossings are non-existent in most areas, and drivers do not yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.
Information for Trekkers
Trekkers should also be alert to the possibility of avalanches and landslides, even when trails are clear. Avalanches at the narrow gorge above Deurali on the route to the Annapurna Base Camp regularly result in the deaths of trekkers and climbers. Avalanches and landslides caused by severe storms have killed many foreign trekkers and their Nepalese guides, and have stranded hundreds of others.