Nepal has every category of accommodation facilities that range from international standard star hotels to budget hotels and lodges. To ensure quality service, it is advisable to use the facilities and services of Government registered hotels, lodges and homestays. Most hotels offer a choice: bed and breakfast; bed, breakfast and one other meal; or room and full board. During spring and fall, hotels work at near full capacity and are booked well in advance. Therefore, it would be a good idea to check well in advance and book hotels as per need if traveling to Nepal in the peak season.
Moderate accommodation facilities are also available in some parts of Kathmandu like Thamel. In such cases, room rates may not include toilets and showers, unless otherwise indicated. Toilets and showers in such cases are generally communal and heating may require additional charges. Budget tourists and FITs prefer such small hostelries.
Accommodation facilities are available in the mountain tourist areas. While trekking to some areas tenting may be the only alternative if resident villages are scanty and long way off trekking routes. However, most trekking routes have lodges or teahouses to accommodate tourists. Still to be on the safer side, we recommend that tourists look up on such information before embarking on their journey.
For accommodation in rural areas, please contact us. For more information about accommodation, please log on to http://www.hotelassociationnepal.org/ (official Web site of Hotel Association of Nepal).
2. Custom Formalities
All baggage must be declared and cleared through the customs on arrival at the entry point. Personal effects are permitted free entry. Passengers arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) without any dutiable goods can proceed through the Green Channel for quick clearance without a baggage check. If you are carrying dutiable articles, you have to pass through the Red Channel for detailed customs clearance.
Apart from used personal belongings, visitors are allowed to bring to Nepal free of duty: cigarettes (200 sticks) or cigars (50 sticks), distilled liquor (one 1.15 liter bottle), and film (15 rolls). You can also bring in the following articles free of duty on condition that you take them out with you when you leave: binoculars, movie or video camera, still camera, laptop computer, and portable music system.
The export of antiques requires special certification from the Department of Archeology, National Archive Building, Ram Shah Path, Kathmandu. It is illegal to export objects over 100 years old, such as sacred images, paintings, manuscripts that are valued for culture and religious reasons. Visitors are advised not to purchase such items as they are Nepal’s cultural heritage and belong here.
For more information on customs matters, Please Click on http://www.customs.gov.np (official Web site of the Department of Customs) or Please Contact the Chief Customs Administrator, TIA Customs Office at 4470110, 4472266).
3. Money and Costs
Payment in hotels, travel agencies, and airlines are made in foreign exchange. Credit cards like American Express, Master and Visa are 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 Nepali rupees. The receipts may be needed to change leftover Nepali currency 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 exchange counters at Tribhuvan International 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. Nepali currency notes are found in denominations of Rupees 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, and 5. Coins are found in denominations of Rupees 2 and 1. One rupee equals 100 Paisa.
4. Business Hours
Nepal is five hours 45 minutes ahead of GMT.
a) Business hours within the Valley
Government offices are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday in summer and from 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. in winter. On Fridays Government offices open from10 a.m. to 3p.m. Most business offices including travel, trekking and tour agencies are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday. Embassies and international organizations are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Most shops open after 10 a.m. and close at about 8 p.m. and are usually closed on Saturdays.
b) Business hours outside the Valley
Government offices are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday in summer and from 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. in winter. On Fridays Government offices open from10 a.m. to 3p.m. Banks are open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. On Fridays, banks remain open until 12 p.m. only. Business offices are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday. Recently many private banks have re-organized to have different branches open at various different times making banking hours longer. If one branch is closed another will be open.
Nepal observes numerous holidays most of which have cultural or religious significance. Visitors wishing to partake in the holidays or observe local festivals may want check the official calendar provided in Nepal Tourism Board’s website. The longest holiday in Nepal is during the Dashain festival in late September or October. Government offices and banks observe most of the national holidays. Private business offices observe major holidays only.