Popular among visitors are handmade apparels like woolen sweaters, jackets, trousers and caps. And the Pashmina shawl is a highly coveted item. Then there are ethnic and contemporary carpets, gems and jewelry, metal and wooden products, Khukuri (the curved metal knife, music CDs, Nepali paper products, pottery, spices, tea and Thangka paintings to take home.

There are exclusive showrooms at Durbar Marg, Asan, Thamel, Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar Square area which specialize in these items.


Kathmandu is a melting pot of international cuisine. Dining out is, therefore, a pleasure. The Nepali staple is rice, dal (lentils) and curry. Apart from Nepalese cuisine, there are restaurants serving Continental, Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, Italian and Korean food. Fast foods like burgers, pizzas are found everywhere. There are two KFC outlets in Kathmandu.


There is accommodation ranging from 5-star chain hotels and resorts to comfortable lodges in Kathmandu and major tourist destinations. The hotels offer specialty restaurants, conference facilities, exclusive health clubs and business centers. You also have the option of home-stay where you can stay in local houses with the local people and enjoy their traditional food.


Mobile coverage is wide in Nepal, even in the rural areas. Internet facilities are available in hotels and cyber cafes in all major cities. Apart from the urban centers, popular trekking destinations – the Annapurna and Everest region – also have modern communications facilities.


The post office is reliable. Express Mail Service (EMS) is available at the General Post Office located at Sundhara near the Dharahara tower in Kathmandu and at Thamel, Basantapur and airport postal counters in the capital. Kathmandu has the only Post Restante of the country.


There are metered taxis, buses, battery-operated three-wheelers and rickshaws in the cities. Long routes are served by buses. Nepal does not have a railway system connecting cities. The only other travel option is by plane, and Nepal is well connected by air. There are Intercity Tourist Buses to popular tourist destinations like Pokhara, Chitwan and Lumbini from Kantipath in Kathmandu, while you can board a bus to Jiri and Dhunche at the New Bus Park.


* When visiting a temple, always circumambulate it is a clockwise direction.

* Take off your shoes before entering a temple or a Nepalese home.

* Entrance to some temples is forbidden, so look out for such notices.

* Seek permission to take photographs inside temples or of religious ceremonies.

* You can accept a handshake offered by either a male or a female but never offer your hand first.

* Show decency in dress and avoid any show of public affection.


Electricity in Nepal is 230 volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. A voltage converter is needed for a device that does not accept 230 volts at 50 MHz. Sockets in Nepal accept only round three or two pins. So if your electrical device uses flat pins, please bring a universal electric plug adaptor.


Where and how to obtain TIMS Card? Tourists of all nationalities including Indians, who are interested to visit general trekking areas of Nepal, are required to receive TIMS Card through one of the following offices:

Kathmandu (NTB office, TAAN office and Government registered trekking companies)

Pokhara (NTB office, TAAN office and Government registered trekking companies)

To obtain a TIMS Card you need a photo copy of your passport details and two passport-size photographs.

20 US $ equivalent Nepalese Rupees must be paid to obtain TIMS Card from NTB offices or TAAN offices which issue TIMS card only for Free Individual Trekkers (FIT) who do not take the services of both Guide and Porter.

However, 10 US $ equivalent Nepalese Rupees must be paid for obtaining TIMS card for Group Trekkers (GT- who take the services of both Guide and Porter) only from registered trekking agencies in Nepal.

The TIMS card is non-transferable, non-endorsable and valid only for one entry for prescribed area and duration.

Opening hours

TIMS counter at NTB offices will remain open from Sunday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm except Saturdays and Public Holidays when it is closed.

TIMS counter at TAAN opens seven days a week from 10 am to 5 pm . It is also open on Saturdays and Public Holidays from 10 am to 12 pm.

During October, November and December working hours are from 10 am to 4 pm.

For more information,

please contact: Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) ,

Telephone + 9771-4256909 extn 224 or Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN)

Tel: 4443003, 4440920,

Web site: www.timsnepal.com).


Nepali time is GMT plus 5 hours 45 minutes.

The country code for Nepal is 977 and the area code for Kathmandu is 01, for Pokhara 061, Chitwan 056 and Lumbini 071.


Public toilets can be used for a small fee. But visitors are advised to use the toilets at the shopping malls, stores and restaurants which are cleaner.


It is safe to take a walk around the city from morning to late evening until the shops are closed. But you are advised not to trek alone. Trekking with a guide from a registered agency is the best security. Do not display your cash or expensive items. Always lock your room and baggage. The Tourist Police at Bhrikuti Mandap is there to help you with security and travel-related problems. If any valuable item is lost, you can contact the Tourist Police to prepare documents for theft to claim insurance.

Tel: 4247041

(email: policetourist@yahoo.com/policetourist@nepalpolice.gov.np)

Helicopter services are available, if you fall sick or meet with an accident while trekking. However, such rescue services are expensive. So comprehensive travel insurance is advised to cover emergencies like helicopter rescue and medical treatment.

The Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA), a non-profit organization that works to prevent casualties from AMS, operates a permanent aid post in Manang which is managed by volunteer doctors from HRA. It also operates a small aid post in the Khumbu village of Pheriche at 4,280 m during the trekking season by volunteer doctors. HRA also operates a camp at Everest Base Camp during the mountaineering season.

For more information,

Contact: 01-4440293

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is caused by thin air at high altitudes starting from 3, 000 meters upwards and may even lead to death. The main precaution that needs to be taken while trekking is not to go up too high too fast. So the body should be given enough time to acclimatize. If you suffer from initial symptoms like headaches, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, inability to sleep, swelling of the face, hands and feet and loss of appetite, descend to a lower elevation immediately, and seek medical help.

There are well-equipped general and specialized hospitals, nursing homes and private clinics manned by very competitive doctors in Kathmandu, Pokhara and other cities if you fall sick. Your hotel will provide good advice on the matter.


Because of its elevation, Nepal can be divided into three zones – the high mountains, the mid-hills and the flat plains called the Terai. The Everest, Langtang and Annpurna trekking destinations in the mountains are cool throughout the year. The mid-hills, including Kathmandu and Pokhara, are cool except in the summer months from May to July. Temperatures in these cities during the summer remain much cooler than in many cities of the region. Lumbini, Chitwan and Janakpur in the Terai plains are hot in summer (March –July) but cold in winter (December-February). So if you are going trekking, the best months for walking are between September and November and between February and May when the weather is fair during the day and the temperatures do not drop rapidly during the night.

Use only bottled mineral water or boiled and filtered water only. Always wash your hands before eating. Do not eat unpeeled fruits or vegetables unless they have been thoroughly washed.


Although specific immunization is not required to enter Nepal, it is, however, best to protect yourself against diseases such hepatitis, meningitis and Japanese encephalitis. Malaria has been reported in the Terai plains of Nepal, so take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes. Please notify the authorities or the hotel of any symptoms of bird or swine flu or any endemic.


 You can draw funds against your AMERICAN EXPRESS, VISA and MASTERCARD cards in Kathmandu. The service premiums for doing this, however, could be high. You can also have money wired directly to Kathmandu through any major bank within two to three working days.


Major hotels, restaurants and curio shops accept AMERICAN EXPRESS, VISA and MASTERCARD. You can contact the banks for credit card services.


There are ATMS in Kathmandu, Pokhara and other big cities in Nepal.

It is illegal to exchange foreign currency with persons and organizations other than those authorized such as banks, hotels and licensed money changers. Nepalese banks do not accept Indian currency of denomination of Rs. 500 and 1000. You will find the exchange rates for different currencies in the Nepalese papers.

In order to exchange surplus rupees at the time of your departure, please retain your encashment receipts.