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General Information - Nepal


Nepal now officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is a land-locked country bordered to the north by the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China in the north and surrounded by India in the east, south and west. It has an area of 147,181 sq. kms and the altitude varies from 70 metres in the Terai on the border of India and Nepal to 8848 metres above sea-level on the top of Mt. Everest. Nepal has a rich geography with the mountainous north containing eight of the highest ten mountains in the world and over 240 peaks over 6000 metres. The  south of the land is very fertile and flat.


Nepal has four major seasons, the winter season from December to February, the spring season from March to May, the summer season from June to August and the autumn season from September to November. Nepal can be visited all throughout the year but the trekking is best in the spring and autumn months.

People & Religion

Nepalese people are mainly divided into two distinct groups, the Indo-Aryans and the Mongoloids. Nepal was the only Hindu Kingdom in the world prior to 2008 and Hindu Temples and Buddhist Shrines are scattered all over the Kingdom. Nepal is the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the Light of Asia. Hinduism is practised by more than 80% of the population and Hindus and Buddhists continue to live together in harmony. Muslims, Christians and other nature worshippers also co-exist in harmony


Nepali is the national language of Nepal. Educated people understand and speak English as well. There are hundreds of local dialects spoken by people from various ethnic groups.


Nepal has a population of approximately 27 million with over 5 million in the Kathmandu Valley and the the south fertile land is heavily populated

Money, Currency & Foreign Exchange

Nepali Rupee notes come in Rs. 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, 500, 1000 denominations. Coins come in 5 paisa, 10p, 25p, Rs. 1, 2 and 5 denominations.
Foreign currencies must be exchanged only through banks or authorized money exchangers. The receipts of such transaction are to be obtained and retained. Visitors can exchange foreign currency at the foreign exchange counter at the airport upon arrival. Visitors other than the Indian nationals have to make the payment in foreign currency (non-Indian currency) in hotel, trekking agencies or travel agencies and for air tickets.
There are several A.T.M.s in Kathmandu and in Pokhara, travelers cheques are easily exchanged at most hotels and money exchangers.

A 60 day single entry visa is Aus$70.00 and can be obtained by completing the appropriate application form and posting this to the consulate. Application forms can be downloaded from www.nepalconsulate.org.au In the case of an urgently needed visa, it can be issued “on the spot” by going into the Nepalese Consulate in Edgecliff  N.S.W. The fee for an “on the spot” single entry visa fee is Aus$86.00.  A 60 day multiple entry visa is Aus$175.00 or Aus$190 if “on the spot.  Please note that visas must be utilized within 6 months from the date of issue and that passports need to be valid for  6 months from the date that the passenger returns to Australia.

Gratis visa for all tourists who visit Nepal for 3 days or less and Gratis visa for tourists of SAARC countries and People's Republic of China. Visa will be extended subsequently for 30 days each upon payment of US$ 30 for a maximum period of 150 days in a visa year (Jan-Dec). Visa can be obtained either on arrival in Nepal or from Nepalese Embassy or Consulate or other Mission offices abroad. Two passport size photographs required.


Never travel without health insurance – illness and accidents can occur anywhere and emergency evacuation is horrendously expensive. Check with your insurance company to make sure you are covered for whatever activities you intend to participate in on your trip and declare any existing medical conditions.

Health & Safety

Pack medications in their original, clearly labelled containers and make sure you bring a letter from your doctor explaining the necessity for your medication and usage. It is advisable to bring double your ordinary needs of medication just in case of loss or theft and although many medications are available in Nepal without a prescription, it may be difficult to find your particular medication.


Nepal time is 5 hours and 45 minutes ahead of GMT time, not allowing for daylight saving variations