Nepal Local Customs

  • 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

Nepal Local Customs

  • Festivals

    Kathmandu Local Customs

    What a great time I had in Kathmandu with the Holi Festival. It is a public holiday and people are just enjoying themselves with water and coloured powders! You will be a mess if you join them on the streets (which you should do). So, old clothes are important and protect your camera if you take it with you. I was invited to join a family in the...

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  • Nepalese Tribal Life!

    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!

    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...

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  • Trekking Permits in Nepal!!

    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 DolpaPer...

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  • Tipping your Trekking Staff

    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 daySo - 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 boyTips should be in Nepali Rupees and given out to each...

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  • TIMS – The Rules and Regulations

    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...

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  • TIMS and ANCAP Fees in Advance

    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...

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  • Nepalese Festival "Tihar"!!

    "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...

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  • SIM Cards in Nepal

    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...

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  • Extending your visa in Pokhara

    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...

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  • Festivals in Nepal

    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...

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  • BAGH CHAL

    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

    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...

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  • BATHING

    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

    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

    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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  • STRANGE SWINGS

    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...

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  • THE COW

    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...

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  • Rafting The Karnali River

    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...

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

    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,...

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  • Volunteering in Nepal

    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...

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  • Budget for Independent Teahouse Trekking

    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...

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  • Trekking with Young Children

    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...

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  • Food on Trek

    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...

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  • Walking aroud Buddhist Stupas

    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.

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  • Shopping in Nepal

    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...

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  • Transportation

    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.

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  • Food in Nepal

    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...

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  • Beer in Nepal

    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.

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  • Rafting the kali Gandaki River

    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...

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  • You have decided to go trekking in Nepal

    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 groupWhy ?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...

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  • Rafting – to Choose a local Company – or...

    My own opinion on this subject came from a series of events that I will set out below to help you understand better how I came to it.1) In 1994 I bought an old Landrover and a group of 7 of us drove from UK to Nepal, On arrival in Kathmandu two of our party went to the Slideshow given by “Ultimate Descents” in their office in the courtyard of the...

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  • Rafting the Trisuli River

    The Trisuli River, although a Very Popular river to raft isn’t so exciting, It is more what I would describe a scenic rafting rather than White-water, but if you are on a tight budget or just want an introduction to rafting then its not a bad starting point !!The Trisuli River is the most easily accessible from Kathmandu, Pokhara and Royal Chitwan...

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  • Rafting in Nepal

    The following tips are designed to give you and idea of what is available in the way of rafting in Nepal, There are several Great rivers to pick from including Karnali, Kali Gandaki, Trisuli, Sun Kosi, Bhota Kosi, Marsyangai and Seti to name a few. Myself, I have only rafted on the Karnali, Kali Gandaki and Trisuli rivers so I will write a few...

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  • Jharkot, a village unspoilt by...

    An often asked question is whether the road building has spoiled the Annapurna region from a trekkers point of view, The answer is that it hasn’t done trekking any favours BUT you can still find unspoilt villages en-route such as Jharkot. Most people bypass this village having stayed at Muktinath if coming over Thorung La, and if heading from...

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  • Meet the locals- 3 Holy Sadhus

    You will see these men in many places around Nepal. The are Hindu devotees that have given up all their worldly goods to follow their religion. Many speak English and will sit and talk with you and have their photo taken with you (for a fee)

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  • Meet the Locals-2

    This girl was in the small village we visited near the Royal Chitwan National park. She did not speak any English but laughed and sang and dance and was just so happy and full of life I had to take a photo of her.

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  • Meet the locals 1

    These girls were sitting by a temple in Durbar Square in Kathmandu. Apparantly it is a hindu ceremony where girls at the age of about 10 or 11 get married to the Gods. Very colourful although the girls don't look too cheerful!

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  • Nepali visa

    The few Nepali embassies around the world and the tourist numbers coming to Nepal have made that visas procedures on the borders are straightforward for most nationals. All you need is an application you obtain on the spot, 2 photos and the 30 USD in cash to pay the one entry visa fee (80 USD multiple entries), minimum validity 60 days. Clerks are...

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  • What's around the next corner ??

    One of the Many Beauties of Nepal is you Never know what you are going to come across around the corner !!This time when I visited Kopan Monastery I came across a wedding !!Yet Another Photo Opportunity !!

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  • Kids Looking for Chocolate

    Kids have learned to not ask for money and in exchange for a picture they are asking for chocolate or other sweets. Most kids are still happy to have their pic taken without any sweets given but they really do like to see it if you have a digital camera.

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  • The Tilaka

    Hindu is the predominant religious group in Nepal representing about 85% of the population. Especially in and around Kathmandu, while many in the Everest Region of the Himalayas are Buddhist for example. Kathmandu is very rich in religious tradition both Hindu and Buddhist with many temples and shrines for worship.One such Hindu custom is the...

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  • " Mystery Object " !!??

    Some of you that have read my Tibet page will have had a guess at my " Mystery Object " !!?? -- Just for a bit of Fun !! Well I came across another of these whilst on Trek in Nepal !! -- a More Up-to-date version !! again this was high up so maybe these ???? work more efficiently at altitude ?? Care for a guess -- if so drop me a line !!2006 -- I...

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  • Respect for the Dead

    The cremations along the Bagmati often attract a crowd of tourists with their cameras and video cameras ready-watching like vultures from the opposite bank. Photography is permitted, but please be discreet; many tourists behave with an amazingly insensitive disregard for the funeral parties, some even muscling their way between the mourners to get...

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  • Prayer flags

    All over Nepal, the Himalayas for that matter, where there are buddhists residing, strings with flags are fluttering in the wind over roof tops, from poles, cairns and monuments.They are called prayer flags, mainly made out of cotton and they come in a prescribed selection of colours. There are varieties of block prints that are imprinted on these...

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Nepal Local Customs

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