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

  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    STRANGE SWINGS

    by davidjo Written Apr 10, 2012

    It is customary to erect a wonderful wooden contraption in the villages during festivals, which is actually four swings rotating on an axil supported by two thick wooden posts. You will see young men, ladies and children all taking their turns on this apparatus that gives such simple pleasure. When i first saw the contraption i mistakenly thought that it was some agricultural machine for trashing grain.

    simple pleasure

    Was this review helpful?

  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    THE COW

    by davidjo Written Apr 4, 2012

    In Hindu religion the cow is considered holy like a god and it is big trouble if you kill one, even by accident. In the 3000 years of the Hindu religion cows are revered as they are considered the mother of civilisation providing milk for all, and it is considered good luck if you see one wandering the streets and offer it a small snack. If you rent a motorbike and you come across a cow in the middle of the road don't kick it r you may find yourself in jail.

    CAREFUL NOT TO HARM THE COW

    Was this review helpful?

  • into-thin-air's Profile Photo

    Rafting The Karnali River

    by into-thin-air Updated Jan 21, 2012

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Karnali River is one of the largest tributaries of the of the Ganges. It rises in the southern slopes of the Himalayas in Tibet, at an altitude of 13,000 feet, flows south through the Himalayas in Nepal and joins the sacred Ganges River in Northern India at an elevation of 2,000 feet.
    The section that you raft is called “The Western Bend” This is a 180k trip and lasts around 8 to 10 days. You will experience Real Whitewater rafting and encounter many sets of rapids up to Grade 5. Defiantly Not for the fain hearted !!
    I rafted the Karnali through my old Friend Nirmal at Himalayan Magic Adventures, he was providing the gear raft for a larger expedition run by another Kathmandu based company called “Himalayan Wanderers”
    Prices are from around $750 to $1,000 depending on the duration of the trip and the size of the party.
    The Trip was Simply Awesome and I can give both of these companies the very best of recommendations.
    If you Really want Whitewater then “The Western Bend” of the Karnali River is Definitely the one for you !!!!!

    Rafting The Karnali River
    Related to:
    • Rafting
    • Kayaking
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • lalikes's Profile Photo

    A Funeral....by accident...maybe???

    by lalikes Updated Jun 17, 2011

    Can't even remember the site we were visiting but ran across a funeral...sort of?? Found out later that the Nepalese cremate their dead and usually scatter their ashes in the water. The 8% or so population of Christians in the area are still fighting through the legal system to have some type of burial area but because the country is so populous, it's been a struggle. When we saw these two deceased people just covered and laying out in front of everyone we didn't get it.

    I did get closer and stood over the bodies and was mesmerized by the nonchalant-ness of it all but that's what travel is all about.

    I think the site was the Holy Area of Pashupatinath. Not sure.

    Was this review helpful?

  • into-thin-air's Profile Photo

    Volunteering in Nepal

    by into-thin-air Updated May 14, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    An Often asked question on here as well as on other Nepal travel forums is for advice on Volunteering in Nepal so I thought that I would try and write a few words / ideas on the subject !!??

    One of the largest growths in tourism in Nepal of late is the Pay to Volunteer section, Unfortunately this often does more harm than good and to give you an idea of what I mean I list a couple examples below
    1)Build a school – Imagine the scenario, a group of volunteers are building or even just painting a school whist the skilled tradesmen builders of the village now being left unemployed – No Job = No Money = No Food and definitely no welfare state to provide for him until the volunteers go home !!
    2)Work in an orphanage – I have heard about so called orphanages opening up in Nepal just to provide volunteering opportunities and therefore to make lots of money for the organisations that run them. Even to the extent of them being filled with the children of the staff of said organisations – So when the volunteers go home so do the children !!
    3) Volunteer to teach – This is fine until you start to consider that you might well be putting a paid local teacher out of a job, or possibly worse, volunteering in a private school where the children’s parents are paying relatively high sums of money to have their children educated and then the less scrupulous private schools not only take the money from the parent, but the volunteers too !!

    So what to do ??
    First of all ask yourself the simple question of why are you volunteering ? Is it for the Good of Nepal or just to make you feel Better ?
    If it is the former then ask yourself what specific skills can you offer (Preferably without putting a local out of work) , make a list of these skills and have them to hand when you contact your short-list of Genuine organisations.
    Then, As long as you have Plenty of time to offer (Most genuine volunteer projects are counted in Months rather than Weeks) and are Genuinely committed (Not just trying to fill in some time and to have something Nice to add to your CV) and have a modicum of luck you should be able to find a suitable place.

    The next thing that any potential Volunteer in Nepal to be aware of is the large number of scams that there are. So make sure that you research any company / organisation that you might be considering well and Certainly don’t send Anyone Any money in advance unless you are 100% sure of your chosen company / organisation !!
    I met up with a young Australian lass that had paid a large sum of money in Australia to Volunteer in Nepal, She was meant to me met at Tribuvan Airport on her arrival in Nepal – Guess what – No-One turned up to meet her and then she was unable to contact the organisation !!

    I put her in touch with a friend of mine, Declan Murphy who runs a small charity called just-one – “just-one strives to actively promote and facilitate educational opportunities for disadvantaged and marginalized children in Nepal by working at a grass-roots level with the children, their families and their communities to implement a range of carefully developed, culturally sensitive, sustainable initiatives”

    just-one only takes a very limited number of volunteers, and only ones with skills that they specifically need, However Declan will steer other volunteers in the right direction and make sure that they don’t get ripped off !!
    For further info on just-one as well as the Pay to Volunteer section please see the web-link below

    Good Luck and Happy Volunteering in Nepal

    Central Thamel, Kathmandu
    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Work Abroad

    Was this review helpful?

  • into-thin-air's Profile Photo

    Budget for Independent Teahouse Trekking

    by into-thin-air Written Jul 20, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Budget is always a difficult one to put an exact figure on as some people have much Higher expenses than others - To give you an idea you can usually find adequate accommodation for around 200 / 300 rupee for a room, if 2 of you share then that can be little more than $1.25 each per night - But if you want a room to yourself with a private bathroom with hot water in a high end lodge then that can cost you more than $20.

    Likewise with food, if you lived on local Dal Baht and only drank black tea you could get by on less than $10 per day - But if you wanted to eat western food in high end lodges and wash it down with beers and cokes then you could spend more than $30 per day.

    I always say to people take $25 to $30 per day, that will be sufficient to eat well with a mix of foods, have an occasional beer or fizzy drink, stay in a nice lodge form time to time and catch up with a nice hot shower and buy the occasional bar of chocolate. You might bring more than $100 back with you from your trek, but unless you Really Splurge you aren't likely to run out of money on trek and then face problems trying to get more !!

    Trekking in Langtang 2010 Trekking in Langtang 2010 Trekking in Langtang 2010 Trekking in Langtang 2010 Trekking in Langtang 2010
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • into-thin-air's Profile Photo

    Trekking with Young Children

    by into-thin-air Written Jul 19, 2010

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I have had one or two people asking me about trekking with young children lately and enquiring as to whether this is a good idea and how best to organise a child friendly porter to carry them when they tire so I thought that adding a post on the subject might be appropriate.

    1)Taking young children to Nepal is quite a responsibility and does involve some risk especially with health matters.
    But if care is taken with food and hygiene then I think taking a young child to Nepal is a Wonderful idea and will give the child an excellent education on how the other half of the world lives !!!
    2)To organise a Good, Safe child friendly porter is the next thing, Nirmal at HMA (Contact details and more information please see the travelogue entitled “A Very Important Decision) is the best place to start your quest on this. He has had local “Dokos” adapted for carrying children in as in the photos on this tip. They are both safe and comfortable as well as porters being used to carnying these. Children are Very Important to the Nepali people so you can be sure that your child is well taken care of !!

    Doko's have been specially adapted for children Porter with child safe in adapted Doko
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Backpacking
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • into-thin-air's Profile Photo

    Food on Trek

    by into-thin-air Updated Jul 17, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One thing that has really improved over the last 10 years or so is the standard and variety if food available whilst trekking.
    I first trekked in Nepal in 1994 and then walked The Annapurna Circuit from Besisahar to Naya Pul and to put it mildly, the food available then wasn’t always that good.
    However since then things have improved dramatically. I Really noticed the change in 2004 when I had a pizza at Himalayan Hotel whilst Trekking The Annapurna Sanctuary – The Pizza was as good as I have had anywhere !!

    So, These days the choice is yours, you can still always get the traditional staple of Dal Bhat but now you can get many types of well prepared western food too so the choice is yours.

    Prices.
    The Golden Rule is the further you get away from the road-head the more expensive things get and the heavier the item the quicker the price rises.
    This is fair as you have to remember that the lodge owner has to pay portarage on nearly Everything on the menu
    Dal Bhat will always be the number one choice for the budget trekker as the Nepali concept is that the Dal and the Bhat as well as the curry and the pickle will keep coming until you are Completely full.
    Where as if you opt for something Western when you have eaten it there won’t be a second helping on offer.

    One other good tip is to remember that lodges only have limited cooking facilities – So if there is a group of you then if you all order the same thing then you will get your food a Lot quicker – If you all order something different then the last person to get served might well have had to wait an hour or more for their food – No great after a long hard days trekking !!!

    Nepali Dal Bhat
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Walking aroud Buddhist Stupas

    by poledi Written May 23, 2010

    If you plan to walk around Buddhist Stupas, go in the around-the-clock direction. If you stand opposite the Stupa turn left and go around. If you want to turn the Prayer Wheels turn them around-the-clock as well otherwise simply do not do that at all.

    Please respect this Buddhist custom.

    Was this review helpful?

  • ozalp's Profile Photo

    Shopping in Nepal

    by ozalp Written Aug 19, 2009

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We’ve been taught that we must bargain in Nepal and did it more than we used to. We bargained for shirts, tea, kukri, masks… So, I haven’t gone to shopping for a while, after I came home.
    Bargaining usually works and it is a must but I bought a long sleeved shirt from a sports shop for the exact price that the young fellow told me first. I tried to get a discount but he didn’t accept. I think he deserves a medal or something, because he is the only person I couldn’t get discount.
    Another bargaining story comes from Bakhtapur Durbar Square: I asked the price of an old and primitive looking mask. It’s not like the colorful Ganesh masks, plain wood without paint. I liked but since I had a mask from Pokhara, didn’t want to buy it. The vendor told me that it is $50. I examined the mask a little bit more. Our guide was waiting us and I have to hurry so I left it and went. She started following me and kept telling new prices: $45, $40, $30… and finally $5! It was annoying because she followed me at least 1-2 hundreds of meters, so I didn’t buy the mask. I still regret about not buying it.

    Vendor and masks

    Was this review helpful?

  • PierreZA's Profile Photo

    Transportation

    by PierreZA Updated Feb 21, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You will see men and women walking with extremely heavy loads on their back, supported by their head & neck.
    In the rural areas we saw young girls carrying heavy water containers in baskets this way (see photo).
    We even saw a guy transporting a fridge on his back.

    Transportation Water carried on the back

    Was this review helpful?

  • PierreZA's Profile Photo

    Food in Nepal

    by PierreZA Written Jan 10, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are many restaurants serving anything from pizzas to curries. It seems quite common for restaurants to have quite a variety on the menu.
    Nepalese food is served at many restaurants. The staple food includes dahl and rice. It is served like an South Indian Thali, with small quantities of different dishes on the plate.
    There are also some very good bakeries in the Thamel area of Kathmandu

    Fruit shop - Pokhara

    Was this review helpful?

  • PierreZA's Profile Photo

    Beer in Nepal

    by PierreZA Updated Jan 10, 2009

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Danish beers like Tuborg and Carlsberg seems to be very popular and brewed in Nepal, as is San Miguel from the Philipines.
    True local beers include Everest and Gorkha.
    They are usually sold in bottles, rather than cans.

    Wood carved windows
    Related to:
    • Beer Tasting

    Was this review helpful?

  • into-thin-air's Profile Photo

    Rafting the kali Gandaki River

    by into-thin-air Updated Jan 2, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When I rafted the kali Gandaki River it was before the new dam was built and therefore it was then a 5 day trip, since completion of the new dam the trip is now only 3 days but it is still a Great river to raft .
    The Kali Gandaki is named after the Goddess Kali rises in Mustang, an enclave of Nepal on the northern side of the Himalayas, tumbles down creating the deepest river gorge in the world, Magnificent views of the mountains and wild life; and its turbulent III-IV+ rapids make it a trip to remember.
    The trip is usually based on Pokhara to Pokhara and prices start at around $100 / $150 depending on which company you pick and the size of the group. My personal recommendation would be to contact Nirmal at HMA in Thamel, His prices are Very Good and his safety equipment and rafts are in the best of order.

    If you are looking for a Whitewater experience and don’t have either the time or the budget to raft the Karnali then the kali Gandaki River is a Great Choice.

    Related to:
    • Rafting
    • Kayaking
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • into-thin-air's Profile Photo

    You have decided to go trekking in Nepal

    by into-thin-air Updated Jul 14, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Big decision that you have to make in the Popular regions is whether to go on an organised trek or go independent Tea House Trekking.

    My Personal advice would be Not to join a tour group

    Why ?

    1) Tour Companies are usually either based outside of Nepal or at best in Kathmandu, Therefore nearly all the money you pay them never leaves either the companies home country or Kathmandu & therefore hardly any of your money is spent where it really needs to be, i.e. with the locals who’s land you are trekking through
    2) A Lot of Tour Companies have a Bad reputation for littering the countryside & you would hardly ever realise that this is happening with your group as what happens is that you leave the camp in the morning Before it is broken up, so you Never see the mess that is left behind, The same thing happens again at your lunch stop. Unless you stay behind to ensure the camping site is left clean you will never know what sate it has been left in.
    3) Trekking in a group means that the group set the pace, you don’t have Any flexibility, If you wanted to stay an extra night in a beautiful village, Or you are feeling a bit off colour one day it’s the same – You have to maintain the groups schedule
    4) If you don’t get on with your fellow trekkers then Hard Luck because you are stuck with them
    5) Tour Groups usually camp, so therefore you are depriving the local lodge owners out of both the money for a bed as well as their food money, often lodges grow there own vegetables & sometimes even have their own hens, without the trekkers spending a little money with them their already hard life becomes that much harder
    6) Someone once had the Cheek to tell me that I was a cheapskate by not joining a group & not employing a porter or guide, I tried to explain to them that I was actually employing hundreds. How did I work that out she said ?? Well I said, How do you think All the food & drink that I eat in the lodges when I am on trek gets there ? – She was still unconvinced

    These are just a few ideas for you to think about

    Reflections of Everest
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

Nepal Hotels

See all 192 Hotels in Nepal

Top Nepal Hotels

Kathmandu Hotels
916 Reviews - 2289 Photos
Pokhara Hotels
374 Reviews - 974 Photos
Nagarkot Hotels
34 Reviews - 137 Photos
Dhulikhel Hotels
10 Reviews - 35 Photos
Baneswar Hotels
See nearby hotels
Dolalghat Hotels
See nearby hotels
Godavari Hotels
See nearby hotels
Balaju Hotels
See nearby hotels
Sankhu Hotels
1 Review - 8 Photos
Jawlakhel Hotels
See nearby hotels
Trisuli Bazar Hotels
See nearby hotels
Syangja Hotels
See nearby hotels
Rupakot Tal Hotels
See nearby hotels
Langtang National Park Hotels
49 Reviews - 73 Photos
Begnas Tal Hotels
See nearby hotels

Instant Answers: Nepal

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

81 travelers online now

Comments

Nepal Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Nepal local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Nepal sightseeing.
Map of Nepal

Popular Regions in Nepal

Sagarmatha Zone Local Customs 

More Regions in Nepal