Local traditions and culture in Nepal

  • Pokhara Immigration Office
    Pokhara Immigration Office
    by into-thin-air
  • Pokhara Immigration Office
    Pokhara Immigration Office
    by into-thin-air
  • Pokhara Immigration Office
    Pokhara Immigration Office
    by into-thin-air

Most Viewed Local Customs in Nepal

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    Nepalese Tribal Life!

    by mamtap Written Jul 8, 2014

    Nepalese population has made up of over 40 different races and tribes.

    Sherpas, Brahmins, Chettris, Newars, Rais, Limbus, Tamangs, Magars, Sunwars, Jirels, Gurungs, Thakalis, Chepangs etc. They have their own local language and festivals.

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    Do not Touch!

    by mamtap Updated Mar 16, 2014

    Please do not touch anything using your feet in Nepal. Touching anything with your feet is considered offensive in Nepal.

    Remove your shoes before entering houses or temples.

    Greetings in Nepal are similar to the greetings in India– people put their palms together and then bow their forehead, saying “Namaste,” which directly translates to “I salute the God in you.”

    Be ready to eat foods using your hands. Nepalese use their fingers to eat and using spoons and forks is not common.

    Do not pat on or touch heads, even children.

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    Trekking Permits in Nepal!!

    by mamtap Written Mar 15, 2014

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    All visitors require a trekking permit to visit Nepal’s interior regions not connected by major roads. But is not essential for the general trekking areas such as the Everest, Annapurna and Langtang. Two photographs are required with the application.

    The name of Trekking areas and their fees is as follows:

    1) Dolpa district
    a) Areas of lower Dolpa
    Per week per person US$ 10 Or equivalent convertible foreign currency.
    b) Areas of Upper Dolpa
    For the first 10 days per person US $500 and After 10 days per day per person US$ 50

    2) Taplejung District (Kanchanjanga Region)
    Areas of Olangchunggola, Lelep, Papung and Yamphudin Village Development Committee
    Per week per person US$ 10 or equivalent convertible foreign currency.

    3) Mustang district. (Upper Mustang)
    For the first 10 days per person US $500 and After 10 days per day per person US$50.

    4) Gorkha District (Manaslu Area)
    From September to November per week per person US$ 70 and After 7 days per day per person US$ 10. and From December to August per week per person US$ 50 and After 7 days per day per person US$ 7 /Or equivalent convertible foreign currency.

    5) Dolakha District (Gauri Shankar & Lamabagar)
    Per week per person US$ 10 Or equivalent convertible foreign currency.

    6) Humla District (Simikot and Yari)
    Areas of Limi and Muchu village Development Committee, and area way toTibet via Tangekhola of Darma Village Development committee.
    For the first 7 days per person US$ 50 and After 7 days per day per person US$ 7 Or equivalent convertible foreign currency.

    7) Rasuwa District (Thuman and Timure)
    Per week per person US$ 10, Or equivalent convertible foreign currency.

    8) Sankhuwasabha District (Makalu Region)
    Areas of Kimathanka, Chepuwa,Hatiya and Pawakhola Village Development Committee.
    For the first 4 weeks per week per person US$ 10 and After 4 weeks per week per person US$ 20, Or equivalent convertible foreign currency.

    9) Solukhumbu District (Everest Region)
    All north-west area way from Thame to Nangpala of Namche Village Development Committee
    For the first 4 weeks per week per person US$ 10 and After 4 weeks per week per person US$ 20, Or equivalent convertible foreign currency.


    10) Manang District
    Areas of Nar, Phu, and Northern area of Tilche Village of Thochhe Village Development Committee
    From September to November per week per person US$ 90 and December to August per week per person US$ 75 Or equivalent convertible foreign currency.

    11) Mugu District
    Areas of Mugu, Dolpu, Pulu and Bhangri.
    For the first 7 days per person US $90 and After 7 days per day per person US$15 Or equivalent convertible foreign currency.

    12) Baihang District
    Areas of Kanda, Saipal, Dhuli.
    For the first 7 days per person US $90 and After 7 days per day per person US$15 Or equivalent convertible foreign currency.

    13) Darchula District
    Areas of Byas Village Development Committee.
    For the first 7 days per person US $90 and After 7 days per day per person US$15 Or equivalent convertible foreign currency.

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    Tipping your Trekking Staff

    by into-thin-air Updated Feb 2, 2014

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    Normal levels are 1 days pay for each week of a trek, so your Guide and Cook will be on about $25 / $30 per day and the porters and cooks boy around $18 per day

    So - assuming that you are doing a 14 day trek I would suggest $50 /$60 for The Guide and Cook and $40 for each Porter and cooks boy

    Tips should be in Nepali Rupees and given out to each member of staff, usually on the last evening of your trek. It’s is a good idea to take some nice envelopes with you to put the money in and make a little party when giving out your tips to make your staff feel Really Appreciated.
    Sometimes tips are given individually by group members and sometimes a couple will band together and tip their staff collectively – It doesn’t matter which way you choose as long as you remember that Tipping Really Is Very Important to your staff so please try not to be mean with them, the above levels don’t really amount to a massive amount of money to the average trekker (Especially if you think what you have paid for your international air-fare just to get to Nepal) but make a Big difference to the average Nepali – So My Message is Please be generous

    Happy Trekking
    Rob

    Four of our trekking Staff in Upper Mustang
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    TIMS – The Rules and Regulations

    by into-thin-air Updated Sep 24, 2013

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    Trekkers' Information Management System(TIMS)

    Starting March 15th 2010 TIMS card will cost $20 US in Nepali currency for trekkers not in groups. Group trekkers get it for $10

    "The cabinet meeting held recently has changed some provisions related to Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS). The new changes will come into effect from March 15.

    As per the new provision, trekkers are required to take TIMS Card from Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) before starting their trek. Trekkers travelling in groups can get the TIMS card upon paying $10 each while those preferring to travel individually need to pay $20.

    However, trekkers and mountaineers with climbing permits from Tourism Industry Division under Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation and Nepal Mountaineering Association aren't required to get the TIMS Card. Similarly, trekkers with permits from Immigration Department to controlled areas like Upper Mustang, Upper Dolpo, Manasulu and others also are not required to get the TIMS Card. Likewise, members of diplomatic missions are not requires to get TIMS Card."

    Nepal, aptly, has been called 'a Trekker's Paradise'. Its high standing mountains, scenic hills and the luxuriant Terai offers some of the most spectacular trekking routes in the world. Passing through the diverse culture and nature, trekking in Nepal is a life-time experience which involves a certain degree of physical risks owing to the rugged topography.

    With the distinction of Nepal as a trekking destination and its growing charm, a provision of Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) has been implemented to control illegal trekking operations and ensure safety and security of the trekkers in general trekking areas through the mechanism of Prompt Information Service as and when required .

    The past experiences have shown that difficulties have been faced while carrying out rescue operations promptly during the times of accidents and natural calamities. Because of lack of proper record system of trekkers, their exact whereabouts and the information about trekking routes, rescue and search missions used to face difficulties in spotting the trekkers missing.

    The provision of Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) has come into force from Jan 01, 2008. Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) have started recording trekkers detail and issuing TIMS Card to trekkers.

    Where & how to obtain TIMS Card ?
    The visiting tourists, who are interested to general trekking areas of Nepal, are required to receive TIMS Card through any one of the following:

    Kathmandu (NTB Office, TAAN Office, and Government registered trekking Companies), and
    Pokhara (NTB Office, TAAN Office, and Government registered trekking Companies)
    Opening Hour/s: TIMS counter at Government registered trekking Companies will remain open 12 hours a day all the seven days a week round the year,
    TIMS counter at TAAN/NTB Office will follow government working hour/days.
    To obtain TIMS Card you need copy of Passport and two copies of Passport-size Photographs.

    Why is TIMS Necessary?
    The following considerations have been taken into account in the process of issuing TIMS:

    All important details of trekkers and trekking routes shall be maintained on a computerized Database Management System that may be useful for safety and security of trekkers. To help carry out search and rescue operations for trekkers in case of natural calamities and other accidents by means of Authentic Information Service . To maintain a record system that includes personal details of trekkers, trekking area, trekking routes, handling agencies, duration, etc. The data generated from the system will be useful to all stakeholders:- tourism organizations, Government agencies, diplomatic missions, tour operators, research institute, etc.
    Unauthorized trekking operations will be controlled, thus, resulting into better management of trekking service and in benefit of all concerned :- trekkers, agencies, field staff, Government, etc. and also occasional untoward incidents will be better prevented.
    To upgrade the service standard and contribute for better management of sustainable mountain tourism development of Nepal.

    TIMS will not be required for:
    The expedition members permitted to climb the mountains.
    The visitors in the controlled areas permitted by the Department of Immigration.
    The foreign guests invited by the Government of Nepal.
    The authorities from different diplomatic missions in the country, who is holding official letter/s and traveling own risk .
    Visitors on certain mission recommended by the concerned department of the Government.
    Foreign Nationals having the residential visa.

    Good Luck on your trek
    Best Regards
    Rob

    Check Point at Muktinath
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    TIMS and ANCAP Fees in Advance

    by into-thin-air Updated Sep 24, 2013

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    It is now possible to arrange TIMS and ANCAP Fees in Advance through Nirmal, Drop him an email for details, But basically he will arrange both permits for you for a fee of around $50 including the price of the Permits. (National Park Entrance fees can now be paid at the park gate for both Langtang and Sagarmatha, charges are 3.000NPR or approximately $37.50 – So if you are trekking in these areas you can just arrange your TIMS in advance for about $55 if you are on a tight timeframe) You will have to email him your passport details, then you attach the photographs and pay the fee when you arrive – This is a Great Service and might well save you a day or two
    Starting March 15th 2010 TIMS card will cost $20 US in Nepali currency for trekkers not in groups. Group trekkers get it for $10

    "The cabinet meeting held recently has changed some provisions related to Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS). The new changes will come into effect from March 15.

    As per the new provision, trekkers are required to take TIMS Card from Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) before starting their trek. Trekkers travelling in groups can get the TIMS card upon paying $10 each while those preferring to travel individually need to pay $20.

    However, trekkers and mountaineers with climbing permits from Tourism Industry Division under Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation and Nepal Mountaineering Association aren't required to get the TIMS Card. Similarly, trekkers with permits from Immigration Department to controlled areas like Upper Mustang, Upper Dolpo, Manasulu and others also are not required to get the TIMS Card. Likewise, members of diplomatic missions are not requires to get TIMS Card."

    TIMS were now available at some National Park Gates including Monjo (EBC) and Dunche (Langtang), I emailed my contact In Nepal and he tells me that although they are indeed available, however it is Not normal practice for trekkers to get them there (Because of potential problems in having the trekking information transferred by telephone to the TAAN office computer and therefore being available should something go wrong on trek and the need of locating the trekker arises) so and therefore advices that trekkers should obtain them before leaving Kathmandu / Pokhara.
    Good Luck on your trek
    Best Regards
    Rob

    Post Trek drinks at HMA Office
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    Nepalese Festival "Tihar"!!

    by mamtap Written May 27, 2013

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    "Tihar" is one of the famous Hindu festivals in Nepal. It is the Nepali version of the Hindu Festival "Deepawali", which is celebrated in different parts of India. It is a five day festival and ends with "Bhai Tika" , which is called "Bhaiya Duj" in some parts of India and "Bhai Fota" in West Bengal (India).

    This festival is celebrated in the month of October or November every year. In this festival Hindus worship Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth and it is also called the Festival of Light.

    Puja Ko Thaal! Local Band! Bhai Tika! Delicacies! Hapi Faces..
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    SIM Cards in Nepal

    by into-thin-air Written Apr 19, 2013

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    Not exactly a Local Customs Tip, But I couldn’t think where else to put it ;-)

    I have just returned from Nepal and for the second time I have bought an N-Cell SIM card for my mobile phone – These are only about $3 and then I charge the phone with around about another $6 and this does me for a 6 week trip making the occasional phone call to Europe and a lot of local calls.

    The only thing to be aware of is the Micro-SIMS aren’t available so make sure your phone uses the full size SIM – There are “Machines” that cut the centre out of the full sized SIMS for use in Smart-Phones but this sounds a bit iffy and therefore I can’t guarantee that it works ;-)

    Nepal has a cracking network coverage and even in most trekking areas you can get a signal – In fact a much better coverage than my native Cumbria, UK

    Good Luck
    Rob

    Nirmal ��� ���Office Always Open���
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    Extending your visa in Pokhara

    by into-thin-air Written Mar 17, 2013

    Extending your visa in Pokhara – If you are in Nepal and require a visa extension, then you have the choice of either doing this in Kathmandu or Pokhara – In Kathmandu it is a hassle and takes up most of the day as you have to go in the morning and apply and pay for your visa extension, then return in the afternoon and pick up your passport. Taxis from Thamel to the visa office are at least 250NPR each way, so 4 journeys will cost you around 1,000NPR + All the time you have to waste standing in queues

    Whereas Pokhara – An entirely different scenario, This morning I went to the visa extension office, arrived there at 10.15 and was done and dusted with visa extension in my passport at 10.35.
    The cost is the same, minimum extension is 15 days ($30) and thereafter $2 per day.

    So – My advice, If you are planning to go to Pokhara then leave extending your visa until you are there

    Good Luck
    Rob

    Pokhara Immigration Office Pokhara Immigration Office Pokhara Immigration Office The Rules !!
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    Festivals in Nepal

    by into-thin-air Updated Sep 19, 2012

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    An often asked question by travellers heading to Nepal is whether there are any festivals going on during their time there so I thought that people might find this Nepali Festival calendar useful as it also give an explanation of what each festival is all about

    One word of caution about one festival - Holi – I have been in Nepal several times during this festival and as the years have gone on it has become more raucous, I have come across quire a few females that have been Man Handled by Nepali Males – So Care is now needed, also make sure that you wear clothes that you aren’t particular about as you Will get covered in “Colour” –Google Images on Holi Nepal to see what I mean ;-)

    Here - is another link for 2012 so that you can check when the festivals are taking place

    Good Luck
    Rob

    Holi 2012 Holi (Image borrowed from the net) Holi 2012 Holi 2012 Holi 2012
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    BAGH CHAL

    by davidjo Written Jul 10, 2012

    You may come across Nepalis playing a game called Bagh Chal, which means 'change of tigers' which is a strategical game involving two players. One player will have 4 tigers while the other is in charge of 20 goats. Basically e tigers must capture 5 goats to win while the goats try to corner the tigers and prevent them from moving.

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    Agents Commission on Trekking Staff

    by into-thin-air Updated Jul 5, 2012

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    I looked into this closely when I was there this Spring (2012)

    Usually an agent charges $15 per day for a porter, this includes the porters insurance, food and accommodation, but not his air transportation or his tip.
    Most agents then pass on about $10 to the porter for their salary and the porter pays for his own food and accommodation out of this.
    As prices rise, porters are asking for more money, which is natural, I paid $15 per day myself for my porter this Spring, but we trekked into EBC via the Arun Valley where prices are a lot less than the Upper Khumba which gave a balance to the porters costs.
    So now some agents are charging $18 and even $20 per day for a porter so that they can increased the porters salary while maintaining the agents cut.

    The agent has to pay for the porters insurance, run his office and most importantly pay the government tax (Agents pay their trekking staff in cash as most don’t have bank accounts) out of their cut – So what at first seams like a large cut isn’t that much when you add everything up (For instance the agent that I use employs a Senior Government Licenced Guide in his office to give trekkers accurate information in the hope of them using his services) –His salary also has to be paid for)

    So – By all means bargain, but also be aware that if you bargain too hard then something has to give, this is often that the porter gets a reduced salary and then probably tries to make it up – This can be where things can start to go wrong as he might insist on staying at a certain lodge where he knows he will get free accommodation and either free or very cheap food – This is OK until the client decides that they prefer a different lodge and then potential for problems start !!!

    The above also applies to Guides and Porter Guides and I only use a porter as an example

    Shambhu & Dipendra (Porters) climbing Salpa La Porters take a well earned break in Arun Valley Trekking Staff approaching Salpa Phedi Porter Guide climbing Salpa La Shambhu & Dipendra (Porters) climbing Salpa La
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    BATHING

    by davidjo Written Jun 26, 2012

    If you are trekking and come across a waterfall or river to wash or swim in, please be conservative by wearing shorts or a sarong. Also be conservative when walking around the villages. e.g. no tank tops and not too skimpy shorts.

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    BARGAINING

    by davidjo Written Jun 26, 2012

    Bargaining is a rule of life here and should be conducted with a smile, but once an agreement is reached you are expected to purchase the item. It would be considered very bad etiquette to walk away without buying, or even worse if you try and get it for a lower price once the agreement has been made.

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    BEHAVE DECENTLY

    by davidjo Written Jun 26, 2012

    It can be offensive to Nepalese to show affection such as kissing, hugging and even holding hands in public so try refrain from doing this. It is quite acceptable for men to hold hand as they walk in public.

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