BUY UP BIG IN KATHMANDU
As I mentioned early, Thamel is the main hub for tourists beginning and ending their treks from Kathmandu.
This suburb has countless trekking and mountaineering outfitter shops with great quality good at a fraction of the price compared to the big outdoor name brands.
They offer everything from warm outerwear to waterproof gear, shoes, sleeping bags, tents, ropes, bluffs, packs and much more. I even hired my winter sleeping bag for the two weeks I was trekking to EBC for just $30 USD!
My dad bought shoes before our trip and they were perfect and are still going strong five years later.
I realise it is better to be prepared than jumping on a plane without the items you will be needing in an extreme climate like the Himalayas but I can’t urge travellers enough to wait until you arrive in Kathmandu for extra clothing and smaller items.
The quality is high and the prices low!
This tip may not apply to most but the visa you receive on arrival in Kathmandu Airport is a sticker that takes up half a page of a passport book.
This was essential knowledge for me! When I travelled to Nepal in 2014, I had one page left in my passport before I could get home to order a new one. Knowing the size of the visa allowed me to use post it notes to protect that small space!
Make sure you reserve a whole page just in case.
GREENBACKS & A PHOTO ON ARRIVAL
When I visited in 2014, tourists were required to pay for the Nepalese visa on arrival so it was best to have some US dollars on you, preferably small denominations.
You also need to provide passport photos so be sure to have this already to move through the airport process as fast as possible. There is a photo machine in the airport with a long line snaking from it.
Since I was in Nepal they have upgraded their visa service and I have now read that it can be sorted online. I believe you now upload your digital passport photo and bring the print-out with you before you pay to receive your visa.
Please visit the official Nepali Government page for the online application and the correct information pertaining to the passport you hold.
The Nepali locals I met were some of the kindest and most generous souls I have come across in my travels.
They were also incredibly shy, unless I initiated the conversation or smiled and waved at the little kids they would shy away.
Get out there and meet the locals with a big smile on your face, it changes your whole experience in a country.
I haven’t been to a country before that had so many power cuts and, not only that, a schedule for when the electricity will and won’t be available.
Nepal does not have the infrastructure to support the amount of energy required to run the countries electricity needs, thus, they have scheduled blackouts across the country to spread what electricity they do have.
We had a schedule in our hotel room to go by, but it did not always stick to these times.
This can get frustrating when you have batteries charging or trying to send an email and the internet gets cut. It did, however, add to the experience in Nepal.
Save electricity where you can by switching off lights and power points when you are not using them.