Nepal has a rich history that is unique and captivating. There are plenty of Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries to explore. Situated between the Himalayas and the Ganges, Nepal has a wealth of natural wonders and sacred sites for travellers to experience. Durbar Square is a renowned historical and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, is also known as the living museum and it includes the 55 Windows Palace, which dominates the square.
Nepal is also home to the Shree Pashupatinath temple, also known as the “Temple of Living Beings.” It is the largest Hindu temple in the world. This is a religious and sacred site and is visited by thousands of people.
Lumbini is a UNESCO World Heritage site believed to be the birthplace of Siddhartha, who later became Lord Buddha. In the year 250 BC, the Emperor Ashoka decreed a stone pillar be erected at the site to mark the birthplace of Buddha. Nepal is under the strong influence of Buddha, and it is deemed to be the land of peace and serenity, with happy friendly people.
Country Information - Nepal
- Visa - You will need a visa to enter Nepal. To apply for a visa in the UK, contact the Embassy of Nepal, 12A, Kensington Palace Gardens, London, W8 4QU (telephone: +20 7229 1594 or 6231 or 5352). A Nepali visa is valid for entry for three to six months from the date of issue.
- Currency - In Bhutan, the currency is the Nepalese Rupee.
- How to Dress - Nepal has conservative attitudes towards clothing, especially in temples and monasteries. Men are expected to wear a shirt in public, and long trousers are generally felt to be appropriate (shorts would be fine on trekking trails). Women are expected to wear longer skirts, and have their shoulders covered. Trousers are becoming more acceptable. Girls in Kathmandu and Pokhara wear shorts or skirts, but this is relatively new and not fully accepted. Generally, looking well-kept and clean shows respectability, and poorly-groomed visitors might receive less courtesy.
- Cultural Differences - Gestures for yes and no are different in Nepalese culture to our western ones. Tilting the head slightly to one side and then the other is a sign of agreement – similar to our no. No is signalled by holding a hand, palm out, and swivelling the wrist. Pointing is done by using chins, not fingers. The left hand in Nepal is used for washing after using the bathroom, so is seen as dirty. If you are eating with your hands, remember to only use the right one. When giving or receiving items or gifts, only use your right hand. Also if accepting a gift, respect is shown by touching your right wrist with your left hand. Do not touch another person's head, the forehead is seen as sacred and this is therefore impolite. Feet are thought to be unclean so do not rest them on chairs and try to avoid pointing the soles of your feet at people.
- Language - Nepali is the traditional language of Nepal.
- Tipping - Tipping is expected in the tourism industry.