The FAQs provided by Mountain Hike Nepal cover important questions related to trekking in Nepal, traveling to Tibet from Nepal, and obtaining visas for Bhutan. The answers provide useful information on a variety of topics, including altitude sickness, packing lists, travel insurance, and visa requirements. The agency provides detailed instructions on obtaining a Tibet permit and visa, and clarifies that it is not possible to travel to Bhutan and select an independent guide. Below FAQs are a valuable resource for anyone planning a trip to these destinations and seeking reliable information from a trusted travel agency.
Nepal is a landlocked country located in South Asia, sandwiched between India to the south and China to the north. It is bordered by Tibet to the north and India to the south, east, and west. The country has a diverse topography, ranging from the Himalayan mountain range in the north to the Terai plains in the south. Nepal is home to some of the highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, and is a popular destination for adventure travelers.
Nepal is a multi-religious country with diverse religious beliefs and practices. The major religions in Nepal are Hinduism and Buddhism, with each religion having a significant impact on Nepali culture and society.
Hinduism is the largest religion in Nepal, with over 80% of the population following it. Many of the country’s religious sites and festivals are associated with Hinduism, including the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, which is considered one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world.
Buddhism is the second-largest religion in Nepal, with over 9% of the population following it. Buddhism has a strong influence on Nepali culture and art, and there are many important Buddhist sites in the country, such as the famous stupa of Boudhanath in Kathmandu.
Other religions in Nepal include Islam, Christianity, and other indigenous religions. While these religions are less common, they still have a significant presence in Nepali society and culture.
Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, is situated in the Himalayas, on the border between Nepal and Tibet (an autonomous region of China). The mountain is part of the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas and is located in the Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal. The peak of Mount Everest is situated at an elevation of 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) above sea level, making it the tallest mountain in the world.
While it is not mandatory by law to have travel insurance to trek in Nepal, it is highly recommended that trekkers obtain comprehensive travel insurance that covers them for the duration of their trip. Trekking in Nepal can be a challenging and adventurous activity that involves a certain level of risk, such as altitude sickness, medical emergencies, accidents, or loss of personal belongings. Having travel insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection in the event of unexpected events.
When purchasing travel insurance for trekking in Nepal, it is important to ensure that the policy includes coverage for trekking at high altitudes and emergency medical evacuation, as well as coverage for any pre-existing medical conditions. Additionally, it is recommended to read the policy documents carefully to understand the coverage, limitations, and exclusions of the policy
Here are the steps to apply for a Nepalese visa:
It is important to note that visa regulations and requirements may change from time to time, so it is recommended to check with the Nepalese embassy or consulate or visit the official website of the Nepalese Department of Immigration for the latest information.
The best time to visit Nepal depends on the activities and destinations that you have planned for your trip. Generally, the best time to visit Nepal is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons, when the weather is relatively stable and dry, and the skies are clear, offering excellent views of the Himalayan mountain range.
Spring season is a popular time for trekking and climbing in Nepal, as the rhododendron forests bloom with colorful flowers, and the weather is generally mild and pleasant. Autumn season is also ideal for trekking and mountaineering, as the weather is cooler, and the skies are clear, providing excellent visibility of the mountain peaks.
However, each season has its own advantages and disadvantages. Summer (June to August) is monsoon season in Nepal, with heavy rainfall and high humidity, making trekking and outdoor activities challenging. Winter (December to February) can be cold and snowy, especially in the high-altitude regions, but it is a great time for low-altitude treks, cultural tours, and wildlife watching.
It is important to note that weather patterns and conditions may vary, and it is recommended to check the weather forecast and consult with local experts before planning your trip to Nepal.
Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), is a condition that occurs when the body is exposed to high altitudes and experiences a decrease in oxygen levels. It can affect people who ascend to altitudes above 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) without proper acclimatization.
The symptoms of altitude sickness can range from mild to severe and can include headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, and difficulty sleeping. In severe cases, it can lead to high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE), which are life-threatening conditions that require immediate medical attention.
To prevent altitude sickness, it is recommended to ascend gradually, allowing time for the body to adjust to the high altitude. It is also important to stay hydrated, avoid alcohol and smoking, and to eat a balanced diet to maintain good physical health. In addition, it is recommended to listen to the advice of experienced guides and to seek medical attention if symptoms of altitude sickness appear.
If left untreated, altitude sickness can lead to serious complications and can even be fatal, so it is important to be aware of the symptoms and to take necessary precautions when traveling to high altitude regions.
If someone has altitude sickness, it is important to take immediate action to prevent the condition from worsening. Here are some steps to take care of someone who has altitude sickness:
It is important to remember that altitude sickness can be a serious condition, and if left untreated, it can lead to more severe complications. Therefore, it is always best to be prepared and take necessary precautions before traveling to high altitude regions to minimize the risk of altitude sickness.
Tipping is a common practice in the tourism industry in Nepal, and it is customary to tip guides and porters after a trek or a tour. However, there is no fixed amount for tipping, and it is up to the individual to decide how much to tip based on their level of satisfaction with the service provided.
As a general guideline, it is recommended to tip 10-20% of the total cost of the trek or tour to the guide and porter as a token of appreciation for their hard work and dedication. The amount can be divided based on the level of service provided, such as the difficulty of the trek, the level of personal attention, and the overall experience.
It is important to note that tipping is voluntary, and there is no obligation to do so. If you choose to tip, it is recommended to do so at the end of the trek or tour, and in cash directly to the guide and porter. Additionally, it is recommended to give the tip in Nepalese rupees, as it is the local currency and is more convenient for the recipient.
Overall, tipping is a personal decision, and the amount given should reflect your level of satisfaction with the service provided.
In case of bad weather, domestic flights in Nepal can sometimes be cancelled or delayed for safety reasons. If your flight is cancelled, the airline will typically offer you the following alternatives:
It is important to note that these alternatives may vary depending on the airline, the specific circumstances, and the availability of resources. It is recommended to stay in touch with your travel agent or the airline, and to stay updated on the latest weather and flight information.
In addition, it is always a good idea to have a flexible itinerary and to allow extra time for unexpected delays or cancellations when traveling in Nepal, especially during the monsoon season or other times of the year when weather conditions can be unpredictable.
Teahouses, also known as guesthouses or lodges, are the most common type of accommodation for trekkers in Nepal. They are simple, basic, and comfortable, offering a warm bed, basic amenities, and meals. The quality and standards of teahouses can vary depending on the location, altitude, and facilities available. Here are some common characteristics of teahouses in Nepal:
Overall, teahouses in Nepal offer a comfortable and affordable option for trekkers, providing a warm and welcoming environment and an opportunity to meet other travelers from around the world.
It is always a good idea to carry additional medicine when trekking in Nepal, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition or if you are prone to altitude sickness or other illnesses. Here are some common medications you may want to consider bringing with you:
It is important to consult with your healthcare provider before traveling to Nepal and to discuss any specific medical needs or concerns. It is also recommended to bring a basic first-aid kit with you, including items such as bandages, antiseptic, and tweezers, to help treat minor injuries and illnesses.
Yes, there is internet available during trekking in Nepal, although it may not be available at all times or in all locations. Here are some common options for accessing internet during trekking in Nepal:
It is important to note that internet access in Nepal may be limited or unreliable in some areas, especially at higher altitudes or in remote locations. Additionally, internet connectivity may be affected by weather conditions, power outages, or other factors. It is recommended to plan ahead and to bring a backup communication device, such as a satellite phone, in case of emergencies.
You can buy trekking gear in many places in Nepal, including Kathmandu, Pokhara, and other major cities and towns. Here are some common places to buy trekking gear in Nepal:
When buying trekking gear in Nepal, it is important to make sure that the gear is of good quality and suitable for your needs. It is also recommended to shop around and compare prices, as prices can vary widely depending on the brand and location. Finally, it is important to test your gear and equipment before your trek to ensure that it fits well and works properly.
Whether or not you require previous trekking experience in Nepal depends on the specific trek you plan to undertake. There are treks in Nepal that are suitable for all levels of experience, including beginners, while others may be more challenging and require more experience.
If you are a first-time trekker or have limited trekking experience, it is recommended to choose a trek that is suitable for your fitness level and experience. Short treks such as the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek or Langtang Valley Trek are popular among beginners, as they are relatively easy and do not require extensive trekking experience. Longer treks, such as the Everest Base Camp Trek or Annapurna Circuit Trek, are more challenging and may require more preparation and experience.
It is recommended to train and prepare for your trek before arriving in Nepal, including building your endurance, strength, and agility through regular exercise, as well as practicing hiking and trekking in your local area. It is also recommended to consult with a travel agent or local trekking company, who can provide advice on the best treks for your experience level and help you plan your trip.
Overall, while previous trekking experience can be helpful, it is not always necessary for trekking in Nepal. With proper planning, preparation, and guidance, trekkers of all experience levels can enjoy the stunning beauty and adventure of trekking in Nepal.
The best season to do an Everest Helicopter tour in Nepal is from September to November and from February to May, which are also the peak tourist seasons in Nepal. During these months, the weather is usually clear and dry, providing the best visibility for enjoying the breathtaking views of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest. The temperature during these months is also moderate, making it comfortable for trekking and other outdoor activities.
During the winter months of December and January, the weather in the high-altitude regions can be very cold, with snow and ice making trekking and helicopter flights more difficult and dangerous. In the summer months of June to August, the monsoon season brings heavy rainfall and cloud cover, which can make it difficult to enjoy clear views of the mountains.
It is important to note that weather patterns in the Himalayas can be unpredictable and can change rapidly, even during the best seasons. It is recommended to consult with a local travel agency or helicopter tour operator to get the latest information on weather conditions and to plan your tour accordingly.
The packing list for trekking in Nepal can vary depending on the specific trek you plan to undertake and the season in which you will be trekking. However, here are some general items that are essential for most trekking trips in Nepal:
It is recommended to pack light and bring only the essentials for your trek, as you will be carrying everything on your back. It is also a good idea to check with your trekking company or guide for any specific gear or equipment recommendations for your trek.
To go to Tibet from Nepal, you have two options: by land or by air. When traveling from Nepal to Tibet, the travel regulations are different than the regulations when going from China to Tibet.
By Land: The overland journey from Nepal to Tibet is a popular route for travelers who want to experience the breathtaking views of the Himalayas and explore the unique culture of Tibet. The journey starts with a scenic drive from Kathmandu to the Rasuwagadhi border, which is about 130 km north of the city. After crossing the border into Tibet, travelers are met by a local Tibetan tour guide who will take them to the town of Gyirong for their first night on the tour. From there, the journey continues through the cities of Shigatse and Gyanste, along the Friendship Highway, past the Karola Glacier, Yamdrok Lake, and the spectacular Nyenchen Khangsar Mountain, the highest mountain near Lhasa.
By Air: The fastest way to get to Lhasa from Kathmandu is by flight from Tribhuvan International Airport. There are daily flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa operated by China Airlines, with a travel time of about three and a half hours. The cost of direct flights to Lhasa ranges from USD 280 to USD 300, plus airport taxes and transfer fees. The Kathmandu-Lhasa flight is the only international flight connecting Tibet with other countries and is considered to be one of the most beautiful air routes in the world, flying over the breathtaking mountains.
It is important to note that travelers are not allowed to enter Tibet by land or by air from Nepal without an organized tour from a travel agency, which needs to be arranged well in advance. The tour agency will help obtain the necessary permits and paperwork for travel to Tibet, as well as arrange transportation, accommodations, and sightseeing activities.
To obtain a Tibet Permit from Nepal, you must first book a tour with a registered travel agency that specializes in organizing trips to Tibet. The travel agency will then apply for the permit on your behalf through the Tibet Tourism Bureau in Lhasa. It is important to note that individual travelers are not allowed to travel to Tibet independently and must book a tour through a registered travel agency.
To apply for the permit, the travel agency will require a scanned copy of your passport and a visa for China. It is important to apply for the China visa in your home country before traveling to Nepal. Once the travel agency has received the required documents and fees, they will apply for the permit on your behalf, which takes approximately 10-15 days. The permit will be issued and sent to the travel agency’s office in Kathmandu, where you can collect it before starting your journey to Tibet.
It is important to note that the permit is only valid for the specified tour itinerary and cannot be used for independent travel outside of the arranged activities. The permit will also be checked at various checkpoints throughout Tibet, so it is important to keep it with you at all times during your journey.
Here are the three steps to get your Tibet permit and visa in Nepal:
Step 1: Confirm your travel date, itinerary, and send your passport copy to a registered travel agency in Nepal. You should do this at least a few weeks in advance of your planned travel date.
Step 2: Arrive in Kathmandu and provide your original passport and photo to the travel agency. They will use your passport to apply for the Chinese Group Visa and your photo will be used for your Tibet permit. You should plan to arrive in Kathmandu at least 4 working days in advance to allow time for visa processing.
Step 3: Receive the issued Chinese Group Visa and travel permit from the travel agency. They will deliver the visa to you as soon as it is issued. When you leave for Tibet, remember to bring three documents with you: your Chinese Visa, photocopies of your Tibet travel permit and the application form.
All tourists visiting Bhutan, excluding Indian, Bangladeshi, and Maldivian passport holders, require a visa, and it can only be obtained through a licensed Bhutanese tour operator. Foreign missions or embassies abroad do not grant tourist visas.
As per the Bhutanese government regulations, travel to Bhutan requires full tour payment of the minimum tariff set by the government. This includes visa fees, accommodation, meals, guide, transportation, and tourist taxes, and it must be arranged through a tour operator. The visa clearance process takes 2-3 working days, and once cleared, the visa clearance letter is sent to you in advance. Your actual visa is then stamped on your passport upon arrival at the Paro airport. You must carry this copy with you at all times; otherwise, you will not be allowed to board your flight.
You need to provide a clear and colored copy of your passport to your tour operator. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the travel dates, and you must have at least one blank page in your passport.
Bhutan offers two types of visas: a tourist visa and a business visa. A tourist visa is for leisure and cultural purposes, while a business visa is for those visiting Bhutan for business purposes. The visa fee is included in the minimum daily tariff paid to the tour operator.
Note that only a limited number of tourists are allowed to enter Bhutan every year, and the Bhutanese government strictly regulates tourism to preserve the country’s unique culture and environment.
Bhutan is a small, landlocked country located in the eastern Himalayas of South Asia. The country is known for its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and commitment to preserving its environment and unique identity. Here are some key things you should know about Bhutan:
No, it is not possible to travel to Bhutan and then select an independent guide. The Bhutanese government requires all foreign visitors (except for Indian nationals) to book a tour with a registered travel agency, and your guide will be selected by the agency. The government of Bhutan strictly regulates the travel industry in the country, and independent travel is not permitted.