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ESCORTED TRIPS 2012 / 2013

General Information

Clothing for Kathmandu and the lowlands

Spring and autumn season are the best times to visit Nepal. Spring lasts from March to May with warm days with warm to cool evenings and occasional rainfall. Spring is also best time to see Rhododendron flowers in blossom across the Himalayan foothills.

Fall season from September to December brings clear and ideal warm days with cool evenings. Fall is the best time to see the scenery far and wide. Also, it is the best time to see the country if you want to see the Dashain and Tihar festivals coinciding with the harvest festival that everyone is done with the harvesting and has plenty of food to enjoy. During this festival, almost every family makes new clothes for the entire family. The whole population is at their best clothes and mood.

Kathmandu is warm from April to October. November to March day time temperatures warm and evenings are cool to cold.

Summer type clothing for day time use and a light jacket or sweater for the evening are suggested. December to February is the winter season. Thus, you should bring your winter clothes such as warm jackets, sweaters, shirts, trousers and thermal under wear. These clothing are recommended for travel in the Kathmandu Valley, middle hills around 9000 ft and the Terai lowlands. For trekking clothing in the highlands, please see the Trekking Gear List.

Vaccinations/Health:

Certificates of vaccination against Cholera and Yellow fever are not required to visit Nepal unless you are coming from an infected area. Malaria is not a problem is Nepal. However, if you are planning to visit southern lowlands of the country such as Chitwan Jungle National Park, then you should take precautions, and use mosquito or insect repellents when hiking in the outdoors. Wear long sleeved shirts and pants, and use mosquito nets at night. The highlands do not have mosquitoes so you need not to worry about them. However, you might get some gnats occasionally particularly on a damp day which you can deter them with insect repellent. This is true only if you are traveling pre and post monsoon weather. So, bring a small dose of insect repellent.

Vaccination against Meningitis, and Hepatitis 'A' and 'B' maybe necessary to take. You should consult with your doctor whether or not you should take the above and when you should take these vaccinations. All vaccinations that your doctor recommends you to take should be taken prior to your trip departure. Also, consult your physician for flu shots.

Communication:

Postal Services: The Central Post Office located near Dharahara Tower, is open from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday. The counters are open from 7 am to 4 pm and provide stamps, postcards and aerogram. Post Restante is available Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5pm. Express Mail Service (EMS) is available at GPO and at Thamel, Basantapur and airport postal counters.

Telephone Services: Telephone, fax, telex and telegraph services are available at the Nepal Telecommunications Corporation at Tripureshwar. Hotels and private communications centers provide long distance telephone. For calling from outside, country code for Nepal is 977 and the area code for Kathmandu is 1.

Internet Services: Several Internet cafes and communication centers have opened up in the Valley and around the country in the past few years. Visitors only have to find a place they are most comfortable in to use the facilities to keep in touch with home. E-mail and Internet services are also offered by hotels.

Media: Nepali media has sped light years ahead in just a few years time and what used to be a controlled and tight knit community, is so no more. The government audio and television news networks are Radio Nepal and Nepal Television respectively. However, numerous FM radio stations and upcoming regional television stations are dominating the market. Major Nepali daily newspapers are Gorkhapatra and Kantipur, while the English dailies are The Rising Nepal, The Kathmandu Post and The Himalayan. A number of other newspapers and magazines are also available.

Electricity:

Major towns have electricity and the voltage available is 220-volts and 50 cycles. Load shedding is sometimes experienced. However, most major hotels have installed their own generators.

Currency:

Foreign Currency and Credit Cards:
Payment in hotels, travel agencies, and airlines are made in foreign exchange. Credit cards like American Express, Master and Visa are widely accepted at major hotels, shops, and restaurants. Remember to keep your Foreign Exchange Encashment Receipt while making foreign exchange payments or transferring foreign currency into Nepalese rupees. The receipts may be needed to change left-over Nepalese Rupees into hard currency before leaving the country. However, only 10 percent of the total amount may be converted by the bank. ATM is widely in use in Kathmandu.

Major banks, hotels, and the exchange counters at Tribhuvan Airport provide services for exchanging foreign currency.

Exchange rates are published in English dailies such as The Rising Nepal, The Kathmandu Post and The Himalayan Times. Nepalese Rupees are in denominations of 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are in denominations of 10, 25 and 50 paisa. One rupee equals 100 paisa.

Time and Business Hours:

Nepal is five hours 45 minutes ahead of GMT.
Business hours within Kathmandu Valley: Government offices are open from 9AM to 5PM Monday through Friday. Banks are open from Sunday through Friday from 10AM to 3:30PM. Most Business offices are open from 10AM to 5AM Sunday through Friday.

Embassies and international organizations are open from 9AM to 5PM Monday through Friday. Most shops open after 10AM and close at about 8PM. Saturdays are the main weekends in Nepal.

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