Flying Into Nepal
Nepal has good connectivity by Air of more than 30 International Airlines from major cities around the world with some stopover or transit. Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport is the only International Airport in Nepal and soon to be functional in Bhairahawa (Lumbini) and Pokhara. The only schedule direct flight from European Region is by Turkish Airlines from Istanbul. Nepal Airlines is the National Carrier and has direct flight to India, Japan, Thailand, Hongkong, Malaysia, Qatar, and Dubai and soon to expand more. Air India, Indigo, Dragon, Qatar Air, Etihad, Fly Dubai, China Southern, China Eastern, Air Arabia, Air China, Air Asia, Bhutan Airlines, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Cathay Dragon, Druk Air, Himalaya Airlines, Jet Airways, Korean Air, Malaysian Airlines, Malindo Air, Oman Air, Regent Airways, Sichuan Airlines, Silk Air, Thai Airways, Tibet Airlines, Airlines, US-Bangla Airlines, Himalayan Airlines are the major Airlines flying into Nepal.
Nepal Airlines, Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines, Shree Airlines, Tara Air, Simrik Air, Sita Air, Goma Air are the major intercity carriers within Nepal and to the mountain regions of Nepal.
Currency Exchange in Nepal
The Nepalese Currency depends on Indian Currency. So it fluctuates according to the fluctuation on Indian Currency against major International Currencies. Exchange facility is available right from the airport to many Exchanges Centers in major tourist parts of the cities. All of the hotels also exchange International Currencies and handful tip for exchange is USD 1 equals around NPR 100, sometimes more or less.
In major cities or even in suburban areas, there are many ATM machines by different Banks. More or less, all of them operate 24 hours/365 days. You can withdraw a maximum of NPR 100,000/- in a day and maximum of NPR 25,000/- per transaction.
Nepal is incredibly safe than you are expecting as an Asia Country. The country is slowing growing up modern and few cases might be expected. So, consideration should be made and use common senses while keeping your money and valuables.
The Nepalese Currency is available in denominations of Rs. 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, 100, 500 and Rs. 1000. Rs. 1000 is the highest note Nepal has. We have coins of 1, 2,5 and 10 and used very less while Rs. 1 and Rs. 2 coins are common and do not get surprised if you get gums or candy in change.
All major hotels, restaurants, shops, department stores in major tourist places started accepting Credit and Debit Cards with certain percentage of extra Bank Charges. Recommend to be ready with alternative as sometimes electricity does not work and POS machine might get out of order.
Tipping or Gratitude
Tip or Gratitude is something given to the people engaged in Service might be in the terms of Cash or some gifts. In Nepal, tip is not mandatory but expected as people earn not more in tourism industry. In a day sightseeing or hike, around USD 10-15 for tour guide and driver and around USD 5/- per person per day for package tour or trek is quite sensible to the guide or porter (trek). For the longer trek or tour, if guide, porter and driver are with you all the time, it depends on the services you get. You can give any amount of tip if you are happy.
In most of the restaurants, 13% VAT and 10% Service charge is additional to your bill except in few small restaurants. You can tip some 10-15% additional on your bill if they have not included Service Change. Again it is on your discretion to tip or not in both cases.
Nepal has four seasons, Spring (March-May) and Autumn (Sep-Nov) is the best time for any Tour or Trek than in Monsoon and Winter. But Nepal can be travelled around the year. Neither has extreme hot, extreme winter or extreme rain except few times in a year. In Summer, it goes maximum 40 to 42 degree Celsius even in Terai Area (Low Land) and in winter goes not less than Zero in hilly areas at the night time. But in winter, Trekking to above 4,000 m gets extreme cold with freezing night. Nepal does not have heavy monsoon like a weeklong. After rain, the environment gets clear, greenery with clear views.
Nepal has major Hinduism and 1/10th of Buddhism. While going to the temples and monasteries, please read carefully the signs for Photography or ask your guide. In the major Hindu Temples, clicking photo of Main Idol is prohibited and same as to Buddhist Monasteries. Also decent outfit is recommended while visiting temples and monasteries. While taking photos of people and houses, it is always good to take permission.
Shopping and Bargaining
Nepal is heaven for shopping mostly for Souvenirs. Nepali Carpet, Thanka, Gurkha Knife (Khukuri), Pasmina Products, Singing Bowls, Nepali Topi (Hat), Prayers Flag, Nepali Tea, Fossils (Shaligram), Spices, T-shirts, Hemp clothes, pottery, wood carvings, Prayers (Mala) Beads, Nepali paper are the major one among many.
Bargaining is common for buying Souvenirs and equally fun mostly in small and road side shops. There are several Fixed Price Shops as well which sell quality goods on fair price.