about nepal and trek
Trekking in Nepal
Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya will take you through a country that has captured the imagination of travelers. You will meet people in remote mountain villages whose lifestyles have not changed in generations. You will gain lifetime memories of the culture and lifestyles of the different ethnic people you encounter, the geography, scenery, and more. Trekkers walk along rough but beautiful trails in the lap of lush green hills experiencing deep, dense rhododendron forests, many varieties of trees and seasonally blossoming flowers, domestic and wild animals, and multiple species of birds, monasteries, temples, mountains, rock formations, breathtaking landscapes, and warm greetings from smiling local people.
Nepal is home to eight of the world's 14 peaks above 8000 meters, including “Sagarmatha,” Mt. Everest, at 8848 meters the highest peak in the world. This land of numerous stunning mountain peaks is the best destination on earth for mountaineering, peak climbing and trekking. The most popular areas in the Nepal Himalaya are the Everest, Annapurna, and Langtang Helambu regions, which attract several thousand teahouse or camping trekkers each year. In addition, there are many other regions for camping treks including Mustang, Manaslu, Kanchenjunga, round Dhaulagiri, Makalu, Renjo Pass, Lower and Upper Dolpo, Ganesh Himal, Narphu, and more. All have spectacular scenery and interesting villages. We offer customized treks of any range, from easy countryside hikes to strenuous treks leading to high Himalayan passes, all of them tailored to your specific needs and intended to provide you with a memorable holiday.
Depending on where you wish to go, trekking is possible at any time of year in Nepal. The most popular seasons are spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November). Winter is very cold above 3,500 meters, and high mountain passes may be snowbound, but during that time it is possible to trek at lower altitudes. During the monsoon season (May-August), you may trek in the rainshadow areas north of the Himalaya like Upper Mustang, Upper Dolpo, and Tibet as well. These places are out of reach of the rain clouds because of the high mountains and are unaffected by the monsoon.
Among the many tourist adventure activities in Nepal, trekking is by far the most popular. The variation in altitudes and climates in Nepal create a spectacular mix of lifestyles, vegetation and wildlife. The resulting diversity of flora and fauna in Nepal and its range of exotic culture make this country ideal for trekking, which is as much a cultural experience as it is a Himalayan adventure. Nepal is also known as the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the light of Asia, and here Hindus and Buddhists live together in harmony. We heartily welcome you to visit Nepal at least once in your lifetime so that you can have an opportunity to experience the ultimate in nature's beauty and cultural diversity.
Nepal Map & Numbers
Continent : Asia
Official Name : Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
Capital : Kathmandu
Location : Situated between India in the south, east and west and Tibetan autonomous region of the People's Republic of China in the north.
Area : 147,181 sq. km.
Length : 885 km. (East to West)
Width : Non-uniform, mean width of 193 km. (North to South)
Political System : Democratic Republic
Population : 25 Million
Population Growth Rate : 2.2 %
People : Nepal has more than 100 ethnic groups and 110 spoken languages.
Religion : Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity.
National Flower : Rhododendron – Arboreum (Lali Gurans)
National Bird : Imphean Pheasant (Danfe)
Time Zone : 5 hours 45 minutes ahead of GMT
Unit of Currency : Nepalese Rupee (rs
Visa & Travel Information
Tourist Visa Rules in Nepal (Effective from 16 July 2008)
Tourists who visit Nepal must hold valid passport and visa.
Tourist entry visa can be obtained for the following duration from Nepal Embassy / Consulate or Mission offices abroad, or at the following immigration offices in Nepal:
· Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu
· Kakarvitta, Jhapa (Eastern Nepal)
· Birgunj, Parsa (Central Nepal)
· Kodari, Sindhupalchowk (Northern Border)
· Belhiya, Bhairahawa (Rupandehi, Western Nepal)
· Jamuna, Nepalgunj (Banke, Mid Western Nepal)
· Mohana, Dhangadhi (Kailali, Far Western Nepal)
· Gaddachauki, Mahendranagar (Kanchanpur, Far Western Nepal)
Visa Facility Duration Fee
Multiple entry 15 days US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 30 days US$ 40 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 90 days US$ 100 or equivalent convertible currency
Tourist Visa Extension
Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US $ 30 or equivalent convertible Nepalese currency and visa extension fee for more than 15 days is US$ 2 per day. Tourist visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single visa year (January – December).
Gratis (Free) Visa
No visa fee shall be applicable to the passport holder of member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) for 30 days.
Indian nationals do not require visa to enter into Nepal.
Transit visa for one day can be obtained from Nepal's immigration offices at the entry points upon the production of departure flight ticket via Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal, by paying US $ 5 or equivalent convertible currency.
All baggage must be declared & cleared through customs on arrival and departure. Goods which are prohibited by the government cannot be brought or taken out of Nepal.
A visitor gets option to choose any category of accommodation facilities in Nepal that ranges from international standarded star hotels to budget hotels and lodges. During spring and fall, the better hotels work at near full capacity and are booked well in advance. There are, however, plenty of less glamorous but decent hotels to suit everyone's fancies and finances.
Most hotels offer choice of: bed and breakfast; bed, breakfast and one other meal; or room and full board. Rates vary as per facilities. Even in remote parts of Nepal, accommodation and meals for tourists are more easily available these days.
Nepalese market offers visitors with many fine handicrafts such as hand- knitted woolen carpets, jewellery, pashmina shawls, woolen - knit wears, embroidery, thangka paintings, mithila paintings, wood carving, metal works, ceramics and pottery, rice paper and stationery.
Major credit cards such as MasterCard, American Express, Visa card are honored and accepted at major hotels, restaurants etc.
Nepal Police has a seperate unit, Tourist Police, especially trained to assist visitors for the security and to look after the travel related problems. The tourist police personnel will be available instantly upon request in needy..
Foreign currencies must be exchanged only through the banks or authorized foreign exchange dealers. The receipt from such transaction is to be obtained and retained. Visitors can exchange money at the foreign exchange counter also at the Airport upon arrival.
220 Volts AC at 50 hertz throughout the country.
Since there is no policy in practice to insure foreign national during their travel period in Nepal till the date. So we suggest the foreign visiotrs to be ensure that they are adequately insured to cover up any unforeseen incidents such as accidental injuries, inability to continue at high altitude, deaths etc.
People of Nepal
Nepal has a population of more than 25 million consisting of more than 100 ethnic groups having different cultures and spoken languages. The majority of Nepal's population is of indo-Aryan origin, the remaining are of Tibetan and Bhotia, inhabitants of northern Nepal and Mongoloid inhabitants of the central belt.
Major Ethnic Groups
Kathmandu has been the homeland of Newar community. The Newars are inhabitants of a Tibeto-Burman origin who speak in Newari as well as Nepali. The Newars are among the largest indigenous groups of Nepal and make up the 7% of the total population. Several Newari families follow Buddhism as well as Hinduism. The people of this group usually inclines towards commerce, trade and farming. They excel in art, literature, sculpturing, casting bronze, silver and fascinating forms of architecture.
Brahmins are the priestly class of Indo-Aryan origin, also known as Bahuns, occupying the highest position in the Hindu hierarchy. They are said to have come to Nepal from different parts of India. Today, they are found in every part of Nepal and have taken up different occupations.
Chhetris, who look like the Brahmins also have an Indo-Aryan origin, have been traditionally classified as warriors and administrators. They are recognized for their bravery and administrative skills. Today, they are proportionately distributed in almost all the parts of Nepal. They have been working in different fields. They are said to have originally come from northern India during and after the time of Lord Buddha. The Khas are generally regarded as Bahuns and Chhetris who set up their own kingdoms in the past in the far-western parts of Nepal.
They are originally belonging to the Tibet-Burman ethnic group, live mostly in the central region of Nepal in places like the foothills of western part. The Gurungs are good farmers as well as warriors. They look like the Rais, Limbus and Magars, have introduced themselves internationally as the brave Gurkha-soldiers.
The Kirantis are among the first group of people ruling over Nepal. Ancient Hindu texts like Himvat-Khanda and Mahabharat have mentioned their names. They basically come from eastern Nepal. These people are of Tibeto-Burman origin, worship their ancestors and at the same time follow Buddhism, Hinduism, Animism and so on. They are very good farmers and warriors. They are rich in culture and have several languages and scripts.
The Magars, having Tibeto-Burman origin, live in the western region of Nepal. They speak the Tibeto-Burman language and are Hindu by faith but they also follow Buddhism. The Magars are mostly farmers but their martial qualities and physical fitness have made them perfect soldiers.
They are said to have come from Tibet, speak the Tibeto-Burman language and live in the Himalayan region of Nepal. They are hardworking, friendly and reliable. The largest Sherpa settlements are in SoluKhumbu at the foothill of Mt. Everest. The Sherpas are known for adventurous mountaineers of international repute.
They are the only people living in the forest of the Terai along the southern base of Nepal. Their age-old religion has been Animism that often reflects their mixed belief in Hinduism and Buddhism. They are said to be descendants of the Rajput (ruling class) of India, have spread from eastern to western part of Nepal.
Religions of Nepal
Religion is an important aspect of life in Nepal and most individuals identify with a particular religion and strive to live their lives accordingly.
Nepal is formally a Hindu country. However, the religion has become strongly intermingled with Buddhism and as such it is difficult in reality to define Nepal as one or the other.
When asked to identify with a religion, just under 90% of individuals in Nepal classify themselves as Hindu. 5% of Nepalese people classify themselves as part of the Buddhist religion and the remaining 5% is primarily split between the Islamic and Christian religion.
There is great tolerance across religions in Nepal which is in many ways unique to Nepal. Part of the reason stems from the fact that adherents of the Hindu religion often worship at Buddhist temples and vice versa.
Beliefs and practices of Buddhism in Nepal date back to the time of its founder, Prince Siddhartha Gautam who was born in Lumbini in the southern Terai region of the country in about 543 B.C. Up to the age of twenty-nine, the young prince led a very sheltered life in the royal palace of his father, completely unaware of the problems and suffering of everyday life outside of the palace walls.
One day, he convinced his charioteer to take him outside the palace and was shocked at the sight of an old man, a cripple and a corpse. The realization that there was much misery and unhappiness in the world persuaded the prince to abandon his luxurious life in the royal palace in order to search for enlightenment and the real meaning of life.
For many years, Gautam wandered from place to place looking for a solution to the problems he saw all around him. Finally, while meditating under a Pipal tree, he became spiritually enlightened. Henceforth known as Lord Buddha or the " the enlightened one," began to preach the "Four Noble Truths" to all who would listen. According to this doctrine, people suffer because of their attachment to things and people; in other words, the root of all the problems is desire. These desires and consequently, all problems and sufferings, can be totally eliminated by following the "eightfold path"-right views, right intent, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort right mindfulness an right meditation.
Buddha journeyed from place to place, teaching and converting hundreds of followers and died at the age of eighty. However, his many disciples continued spreading his teachings. At the same time Buddhism splitted into two main schools of thought: Hinayana and Mahayana. The Followers of Hinayana do not worship idols of Buddha as the enlightened prince taught against idolatory. Very few other Nepalese Buddhists have adopted the Hinayana school of thought, choosing rather to follow Mahayana teachings. One of the central beliefs of Mahayanists is that one can achieve nirvana by following the example of Bodhisattvas, Bodhi meaning enlightenment and Sattva meaning essence.
It seems that the first people to set foot in the ancient Nepal were Aryans. The Aryans' basic beliefs are recorded in the Vedas, a collection of over one thousand religious hymns that were to form the foundation of the polytheistic religion of Hinduism.
Hinduism has a basic trinity of three gods: Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer. Most Hindus, while revering Brahma, do not usually include his worship in religious ceremonies as his role in the universe is regarded to be essentially completed. Vishnu and Shiva, however, are very important to all the Nepalese Hindus.
Vishnu, whose primary duty is to assure the preservation of the world and all living forms, is believed to have visited the earth ten times as "avatars" or incarnations. He is also believed to have come to the earth as a Varaha, as Prince Rama, as the god Krishna and as Lord Gautam Buddha.
Shiva, the Destroyer, is believed to have three forms-Natraj the god of artistic skill, an anthropomorphic form and the Lingam form, the latter being the most famous Lingam is situated in the north-west of Katmandu. In front of any Shiva temple, one usually sees a statue of Nandi, the divine bull that serves as Shiva's vehicle. In anthropomorphic form, Shiva is depicted with his consort Parbati and usually holds a trident and a small drum. Another popular form of Shiva is terrifying Bhairav, who himself has a number of different forms.
Two of Vishnu's other incarnations - Rama and Krishna are especially important to the Hindus. Rama and Krishna are the heroes of the classic Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharat respectively.
Another widely venerated god is Ganesh, one of the sons of Shiva. Ganesh is revered in Nepal as the god of wisdom and the deity responsible for deciding between success and failure.
In practice, the Nepalese Hindus may choose one particular god as a favorite deity to be worshipped daily, or more likely will give due deference to all the above-mentioned gods and goddesses, along with many other incarnations and deities. Nepal's many Hindu festivals are dedicated to dozens of different deities and are participated by all Hindus, as well as Buddhists.
Climate of Nepal
Weather is the first factor that determines your plan for any region of world. Nepal can be visited all year round. You can find good places for trekkings somewhere in the mountain region at any time of the year.
Although the average height of Pokhara is only about 200m, it represents a good topolographical diversity and the varied altitudes result in considerable climatic differences. As a result one can feel a diverse type of vegetation and climate even in a single day walk.
Nepal’s weather condition depends on the season and altitude of athe place. Weather is generally predictable and remains pleasant in Nepal.
Nepal experiences four seasons:
Spring : March-May
Spring season starts from March and ends in May. Days are warm with hazy mornings and temperature fluctuates between 20 *C - 30* C (68* F to 86* F). This is a good to trek in this season as the ascending altitudes gets colorful appearance by Rhododendron blooms and piled up snow starts to melt in the higher altitudes.
Summer : June-August
Summer starts from June and last for August. Nepal gets rain fall due to monsoon and summer is pre-monsoon and monsoon months with occasional evening-thunderstorms and hot temperature. During the monsoon it rains almost every day and visibility is poor. However, the beginning days of summer are warm and humid, you have better chance to visit Everest area but the late summer is rainy and best to trek the areas like Dolpo, Manang and Mustang as the areas lies in rain shadow.
Autumn : September-November
Autumn is busiest tourist season in Nepal. Many trekkers and climbers prefer autumn as best time to visiting Nepal. During the season, days are clear with fine weather, visibility is good, least rain, people in festive mood, mild temperature fluctuating between 20* C to 30* C (68* F to 86* F). This is the same season when the main festivals of Nepali, specially Hindu, Dashain, Tihar and Chhat are celebrated.
Winter : December-February.
Winter days are mostly clear, morning and evening are cold and afternoon is pretty sunny. The higher altitudes gets occassional snowfalls. The season is stilll suitable for trekkings in the lower regions. The temperature falls even lower than freezing point in mountain regions and fluctuates between 0* C to 20* C in valleys like Kathmandu.
History of Nepal
Nepal enjoys the glory of always being a sovereign and independent country. It has never been under foreign domination.
Ancient Nepal consisted of many small autonomous states. King Prithivi Narayan Shah unified modern Nepal by bringing these small states together into one nation in 1769. Since then, Kathmandu has been the capital of Nepal. After the Anglo-Nepali War (1814-1816), Prime Minister Jung Bahadur Rana greatly expanded his powers and established the Rana lineage of hereditary Prime Ministers who ruled Nepal until 1951, when the late King Tribhuvan led a popular revolution which put an end to the Rana autocracy. In 1959, the first general election was held and the parliamentary government was set up for a short period. Nepal experienced the liberal Panchayat system for three decades.
The popular people's movement welcomed the new era of democracy in 1990. A new constitution was written to secure the sovereignty of the people and a democratic political system with constitutional monarchy was established.
Nepal experienced a dark period in its history after the Communist Party of Nepal (Moist) began a violent insurgency throughout the nation in 1996. About 13,000 people: civilian, police and insurgents have been killed during the period.
The royal massacre on June 1, 2001 killed the royal family including their relatives in which only the family of Gyanendra, brother of King Birendra, survived. After the two days of incident Gyanendra was established as new king of Nepal.
In 2005 when King Gyanendra suspended the parliament and encforced martial law, a broad coalition called the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) was formed opposing royal takeover. The SPA led Loktantra Andolan along with Nepal communist Party (Moist) resulting massive and spontaneous demonstrations and rallies. The movement succeeded in returning peoples’ rights back ending a decade long insurgency.
A coalition government formed after the movement. An agreement was made for the monarchy to be abolished and the country to become a federal republic with the Prime Minister becoming head of the state. The constituent assembly election held in April, 2008 and officially a federal republic was established in Nepal in May 2008 by the assembly.
Dr. Ram Baran Yadhav becomes the first president of Federal Republic of Nepal. And currently, the peace keeping process, new constitution drafting and reintegration of former moist combatants are underway.
Geography of Nepal
Geography of NepalNepal is a south asian country which is land linked with India and China. Bordering with India in the south, east and west and China in the north. She covers an area of 147,181 square kilometers, and stretches 145 to 241 kilometers north to south and 850 kilometers west to east. In the worlds' map she lies at 26 and 30 degrees north latitudes and 80 and 88 degree east longitudes. She is topographically divided into three regions: Himalaya (Himal), Hills (Pahaad) and Terai (Tarai).
The Himalayan range borders of the country to the north and the region represents 15% of the total area of Nepal. World's famous peaks like Mt. Everest (8848 m), Kanchenjunga (8586m), Dhaulagiri (8167 m) etc are essence of the region with sparse vegetation up to the altitude of 4,500 m. Some of Nepal's most beautiful animals and plant-life are also abundant here. Although rare, the snow leopard and Danphe bird are much talked-about sights among visitors. The people in this region produce and sell cheese besides working as mountain guides and porters. Many also trade with Tibet and across the border to sell their goods.
This region covers 68% of the total land area of the country. The valleys like Kathmandu and Pokhara lie in this region. Elevation ranges from 500 to 3,000m above sea level. During summer the temperature reaches an average of 32 degree Celsius. Winter is cold, and temperature sometimes goes below the freezing point. Areas in the eastern hills receive more rainfall because of the monsoon clouds, which come from the Bay of Bengal. The western and rain shodow regions do not receive rainfall so the mountain glaciers are the main sources of the rivers in the region. The hills and their forest are the abode of various species of birds, wild animals like spotted leopard, barking deer and Himalayan black bear. Over four hundred species of birds are found here. The hilly region is also popular for different kinds of flora and fauna comprising several medicinal herbs.
Locally called Terai, lowland areas, covers 17% of the total land area of Nepal. It provides excellent farming land and the average elevation of lowlands is 100 to 300m above sea level. In the sub-tropical forest areas of Terai are found, marshes and wildlife, which include the Royal Bengal tiger, one horned Rhino and the Gharial crocodile etc. About 48% of the country's population occupies this region. Flat farmlands and the region's flexible topography have given rise to many industries.
Festivals of Nepal
A festival is always a meaningful event in Nepal where the people find more joy in participation than just watching. In Nepal every festival has some good purpose to serve; such as to bring rain or to have good harvest, to honor a mother or father, to avert calamities or to nourish one’s soul with something spiritual. In fact, festivals are the best way to understand and appreciate the Nepalese way of life.
The Nepalese New Year’s Day usually falls in the second week of April i.e. the first day of Baisakh. The day is observed as a national holiday. The people celebrate it with a great pomp and show. On this occasion, Bisket Jatra is held in the City of Bhaktapur.
Baisakh Poornima (April):
As Nepal is birthplace of Lord Buddha, the Light of Asia, the triple anniversary of the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death is observed with many colorful ceremonies on this day. People celebrate the occasion with great veneration paying homage to Buddha at places like Swayambhunath, Bouddhanath and Lumbini.
Red Machchhendranath Rath Jatra (May/June):
This festival is the biggest socio-cultural event of Patan. The wheeled chariot of a deity known as Bungdyo or Red Machchhendranath is made at Pulchowk and dragged through the city of Patan in several stages till it reaches the appointed destination Lagankhel. The grand finale of the festival is called the “Bhoto Dekhaune” or the “ showing of the vest”. A similar kind of chariot festival White Machchhendranath is also held in Kathmandu City in the month of March/April.
It is celebrated in all the Sherpa settlements. The Sherpas of Kathmandu and Helambu regions participate in dancing on this day.
Mani Rimdu (Nov/Dec):
It is a Sherpa dance drama performed in the Khumbu Region. It is held annually at Tengboche and Chiwong monasteries and at Thami Gomba. The performers are monk and the occasion is highlighted by much gaiety and feasting.
Gaijatra, popularly known as Cow festival, is a carnival that lasts for eight days. Dancing, singing comedy and anything that causes mirth and laughter are its highlights.
It marks the birthday of Lord Krishna. On this day, impressive ceremonies are conducted at the Krishna temple in Patan and at Changu Narayan.
Teej is a Hindu festival celebrated by Hindu women. Dancing, folk song and the red color of women’s wedding saris dominate the days of Teej. Women observe a fast flock to Shiva temples where married once pray for a happy conjugal life and unmarried ones for a good husband.
The festival of Indra, the god of rain, is observed with great enthusiasm in Kathmandu valley. The festival lasts for eight days. The chariot of Kumari, the Living Goddess, is taken out in procession through the main streets of Kathmandu. The festival is specially noted for the echoes of drums and dancing feet of the masked dancers.
Dashain / Durga Puja (Sep/Oct):
The Dashain festival is the most important festival of the Nepalese. The entire country is in enthusiastic holiday mood at the time of the festival.
Known as the “Festival of Lights”, Tihar is celebrated for five days. Houses are illuminated at night and special sweets of different varieties are prepared.
Vibhaha Panchami (Nov/Dec):
This is a famous festival of Janakpur in the eastern Terai. The occasion commemorates the marriage of Sita with Ram, one of the most venerated Hindu divinities. It attracts thousands of pilgrims from India to Janakpur.
This festival is most impressively observed in the month of February by the Sherpas. They organize folk songs and dances on this occasion. These dances can be seen in Khumbu, Helambu and other northern regions of Nepal and also at Bouddhanath in Kathmandu.
Maha Shivaratri (Feb/March):
Shivaratri or the night of Lord Shiva is observed in February/March. It is celebrated in honor of Lord Shiva. A great religious fair takes place in the Pasupatinath Temple and thousands of people from all over Nepal and India flock the Temple to worship Lord Shiva.
Known as the Festival Of Horses, it is one of the most exciting festivals of Kathmandu. Horse race and other sports take place at Tundikhel on this day. In other parts of the city, various deities are carried shoulder-high on palanquin (khat) to the accompaniment of traditional music.
Food and drink
The cuisines of Nepal varies with the cultural and geographical diversity of Nepal which is also based on ethnicity, soil and climate. however dal-bhat-tarkari is eaten throughout the country. Dal is made of lentils and spices and served over boiled rice –bhat with vegetable curry –tarkari and typical condiments -bchutney or achaar. Dal Bhat Tarkari may be served with other accompaniments like sliced lemon (kagati) or lime (nibua) and fresh chili peppers, khursani.People in Hilly region subsist on either dal bhat or a thick paste called dhindo. The similar dish is called Tsampa in the northern regions which is made from roasted and ground barley. The high-altitude people like Sherpa and other often mix tsampa with buttered and salted Tibetan tea. Another high-altitude specialty is shakpa, a stew of vegetables, bits of meat and dumplings.
Roti or Chappati (unleavened bread) is another frequent addition to a meal and is often substituted for rice. Of other items that may supplement a meal, the most usual is a curry made from potatoes or whatever vegetables are in season. Restaurant of main tourist hubs and major cities can provide almost all kinds of international food you like, and also on the main treks you often can get italian or mexican dishes.
Other popular foods of Nepal are hybrid of Chinese/Tibetian and Nepali foods like momo, Chowmin. Some foods like Sel roti, Patre, Dahi-chiura (mixed curd and beaten rice) with pickles and vegetables, yumori, sweets, Tas and Sekuwa like varieties from meat are prepared during special occasions and festivals.
Drinking Tap water while on trek is not safer. You can have purified it yourself or use bottled mineral water that is easily available in the lodges or teahouses along the treks. Sometimes during the trek it is cheaper way to get safe drinking water by buying boiled water.
You can consume lots of tea or hot lemon for adequate drinks. Traditionally, tea is served with milk and pre-sweetened with sugar in almost all parts of Nepal. It depends on your choice to get pure Black tea or Ginger tea.
Beer is available in several local brands like Star, Golden Tiger, Iceberg and Gold that come in 650ml bottles. And don't forget to try at least one of the local Everest Beers! Tuborg, Carlsberg, San Miguel, Kingfisher, Guinness and Shinga also brew in Nepal and distribute in cans if you want to carry beer on your trek. Besides this local alcohol –Raksi to internation products of hard drinks can be purchased in Nepal.
Nepal has all the international brands of soft drinks. All are made in Nepal and distributed in bottels, not cans. In the towns you often can get Lassi, a traditional North Indian beverage made by blending yogurt with water, salt, and spices until frothy. Sweet lassi is a more recent invention, flavored with sugar, rosewater and/or lemon, mango, strawberry or other fruit juice.
Travel insurance policies that cover theft, loss, flight cancellation, emergency evacuation and medical treatment are highly recommended. Make sure the insurance also covers the activities that you will be undertaking during your stay in Nepal such as trekking, river rafting, wildlife safaris, climbing and such other activities.
Nepal does not require any particular Immunization for the travelers. Vaccinations for Cholera, Meningitis, Tetanus & Diphtheria, Typhoid and Gamma Globulin should be considered necessary for your trip. Please consult your physician and get a complete check - up before your departure.
A simple but adequate Medical Kit can be most useful without taking much space in your baggage. The following is recommended as tried and true list of items.
· Aspirin of Panadol - for pain or fever
· Antihistamine - useful as a decongestant for colds, allergies, to ease the itch from insect bites and stings or to help prevent motion sickness
· Antibiotics - useful if you are traveling off the beaten track but they must be prescribed
· Kaolin preparation (Pepto-Bismol)
· Imodium or Lomotil - for stomach upsets
· Rehydration mixture - for treatment of severe diarrhea
· Antiseptic, Mercurochrome and antibiotic powder or similar 'dry ' spray for cuts and grazes
· Calamine lotion - to ease irritation from bites or stings
· Bandages and Band-Aids - for minor injuries
· Tweezers and thermometers
· Insect repellent
· Water - purification tables
· Throat lozenges (Strepsils)
· Eye, nose and ear drops
· Acetaminophen (Paracetamol)
· Antacid tablets.
Prevention, the best Medicine
Caring oneself in eating and drinking is the most important health rule. The number one rule is not to consume the water with ice. Reputable brands of bottled water or soft drinks are generally fine. Beware of fruit juice, particularly if water may have been added.
Milk should be treated with care, as it is often un-pasteurized. Boiled milk is fine if it is kept hygienically and yoghurt (Milk curd) is usually good. Tea or coffee should also be Ok since the water would have been boiled. Salads and fruits should be washed with purified water or peeled where possible. Ice cream is usually OK if it is a reputable brand name. But beware of ice cream that has melted and been refrozen. Thoroughly cooked food is the safest but not if it has been left to cool. Stomach upsets most likely happen while traveling. But the majority of these upsets will be relatively minor. Wash your hands frequently, as it's quite easy to contaminate your own food. You should clean your teeth with purified water rather than straight from the tap. Avoid climatic extremes: keep out of the sun when it is hot, dress warmly when it is cold. Avoid potential diseases by dressing sensibly. You can get worm infections through bare feet. Try to avoid insect bites by covering bare skin when insects are around, by screening windows or by using, insect repellents.
And of course don't take any unnecessary risks while trekking and take it easy and alert your guide or companions when feeling dizzy or not well!
Many people are concerned about altitude sickness. This problem, often known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), is a particularly important medical consideration while trekking in Nepal and Tibet.
AMS rarely occurs lower than 2800 meters (9520ft) and only minor symptoms occur below 4000 meters (13,800ft).
AMS occurs when the body does not adapt well to the lack of oxygen present at higher altitudes. At 5490 meters (@18,000ft), there is just half the oxygen available as there is at sea level, while there is only a third available at the summit of Mount Everest.
What happens to the body during altitude illness?
Fluids accumulate in between the cells in the brain, the lungs or both, creating mild to severe symptoms. Mild symptoms include headache, loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, insomnia and dizziness. These symptoms are usually resolved by spending one or two extra nights at the same altitude. If symptoms worsen, descent to lower altitudes is warranted. If you are resting at the same altitude and your symptoms worsen, then it is also necessary to descend.The body tries to adapt to having less available oxygen by increasing the rate and depth of breathing, as well as the heart rate.
More serious symptoms of AMS include increased tiredness, severe headaches, vomiting, loss of coordination, shortness of breath and coughing fits. These extremely dangerous symptoms are called high altitude cerebral edema (or HACE). They can lead to unconsciousness and death within 12 hours. Increasing shortness of breath, cough and tiredness may also be signs of high altitude pulmonary edema or HAPE. This condition can rapidly prove to be fatal if ignored. Respiratory depression (the slowing down of breathing) can be caused by various substances, and may be a problem at altitude.
The following substances can do this, and should never be used by someone who has symptoms of altitude illness:
· Sleeping pills (acetazolamide is the sleeping tablet of choice at altitude)
· Narcotic pain medications in more than modest doses
To prevent AMS and respiratory depression, drink at least three liters of liquid a day and avoid getting cold. Altitude sickness can to a certain extent be prevented by acetazolamide (Diamox SR), 750mg per day. Some experts suggest a two-day trial of acetazolamide before the trip. Please seek the advice of your personal physician. Please note that taking Diamox SR does not mean that you can ignore advice about proper acclimatization.
Serious symptoms of altitude sickness include:
· A severe, enduring headache, which is not cured by ordinary painkillersm
· Nausea and repeated vomiting
· Irritating dizziness or actual difficulty with balance and direction
· Visual disturbances with flickering vision and problems judging distance
· Pressure in the chest, rapid breathing and pulse rate, crackles in breathing and shortness of breath
· Swelling beneath the skin (edema), typically around the eyes
· Swollen ankles and hands
In the presence of these symptoms, medical attention must be sought immediately in conjunction with descent to the lowest possible height. We have guides trained at the High Altitude Medical Training Center. Our staff is very experienced in dealing with the effects of higher altitudes. As they are natives of Nepal, they easily acclimatize and therefore can care for their clients. They are equipped with necessary medical supplies and will assist with basic first aid treatment. We design our tours to ensure clients are ready for high altitude, and arrange alternative itineraries for those at risk.