FAQ Nepal Tour
Are the ATMs working?
YES all as normal, just ensure you have told your bank you are travelling and will be using ATMs in Nepal
Is there a Cholera Outbreak?
NO but follow all the usual precautions as previously advised.
Is electricity still working?
YES but we are still subjected to the normal ‘load-shedding’ schedules.
What is the drinking water situation?
Mineral water is still available for travelers but if you want belt and braces there are many makes of water purification units around and readily available in the market (some are now in Nepal)
Can I get from point A to point B?
Travel is fine at the moment, the monsoon will no doubt loosen hill sides as it always does but there are many geologist groups in Nepal monitoring the situation, and will continue to do so after the monsoon. ICIMOD expect that there will be a very high risk of landslides in the 14 worst earthquake affected districts but the rest of Nepal will be at the same level of risk as pre-earthquake.
Is Everest Buried?
It is believed that Everest has sunk about a centimeter but so far no scientific surveys have been completed with published results. It’s definitely still there
Is Kathmandu flattened?
Definitely not! Most parts of the city are working as normal. In many places you would not know there had been an earthquake – this includes the major tourism hub of Thamel
Are you living above a rubble mound?
No and there are very few piles of rubble around, the majority have now been managed or are in the process of being managed and removed.
Which ones are the safest hotels in Kathmandu, Nagarkot?
Nearly all of the top end hotels have been checked and are now open as before, certainly the high profile (not necessarily the most expensive) ones are. The majority of Thamel hotels have not yet had government engineers surveys but they are open for business as normal. When considering a hotel choice please look for the ‘Green Sticker’, the official survey stamp that the building is safe. Check our portal for hotels that are open for business as normal
Is Wifi free at all the hotels and restaurants?
Those that have this service are providing it
What about food?
Most of the favorite and popular restaurants are open for business as usual but the same travel advice applies as it always has done – use hand gel and avoid small ‘local’ back street restaurants to stay healthy. Many restaurants are closing early (9pm) but only because there is so little trade
Does the phone and Internet work?
All communication systems work as you would normally expect.
Is there lawless behavior like looting?
NO! Never happened.
Is there a likelihood of aftershocks during my visit?
Nepal has always had earthquakes, on average it gets over twenty per year, many under 4 magnitude so there always have been tremors. These are now happening in a very short and mostly gentle form on a regular basis however most people are not even aware of them happening.
What health precautions need to be taken?
Use only bottled mineral water or boiled and filtered water only. Always wash your hands before eating. Do not eat unpeeled fruits or vegetables unless they have been thoroughly washed.
If I need to see a doctor, where can I do so?
There are well-equipped general and specialized hospitals, nursing homes and private clinics manned by very competitive doctors in Kathmandu, Pokhara and other cities if you fall sick. Your hotel will provide good advice on the matter
What is Acute Mountain Sickness and how do you prevent it?
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is caused by thin air at high altitudes starting from 3, 000 meters upwards and may even lead to death. The main precaution that needs to be taken while trekking is not to go up too high too fast. So the body should be given enough time to acclimatize.
If you suffer from initial symptoms like headaches, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, inability to sleep, swelling of the face, hands and feet and loss of appetite, descend to a lower elevation immediately, and seek medical help.
Are there clinics to treat AMS on trekking routes?
The Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA), a non-profit organization that works to prevent casualties from AMS, operates a permanent aid post in Manang which is managed by volunteer doctors from HRA. It also operates a small aid post in the Khumbu village of Pheriche at 4,280 m during the trekking season by volunteer doctors. HRA also operates a camp at Everest Base Camp during the mountaineering season.
Is travel insurance necessary to go trekking in Nepal?
Helicopter services are available should you fall sick or meet with an accident while trekking. However, such rescue services are expensive. So comprehensive travel insurance is advised to cover emergencies like helicopter rescue and medical treatment.
Are there public toilets in Nepal?
Public toilets can be used for a small fee. But visitors are advised to use the toilets at the shopping malls, stores and restaurants which are cleaner.
What is the time difference in Nepal?
Nepali time is GMT plus 5 hours 45 minutes.
What is Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS)?
Where and how to obtain TIMS Card?
Tourists of all nationalities including Indians, who are interested to visit general trekking areas of Nepal, are required to receive TIMS Card through one of the following offices:
• Kathmandu (NTB office, TAAN office and Government registered trekking companies)
• Pokhara (NTB office, TAAN office and Government registered trekking companies)
• To obtain a TIMS Card you need a photo copy of your passport details and two passport-size photographs.
• 20 US $ equivalent Nepalese Rupees must be paid to obtain TIMS Card from NTB offices or TAAN offices which issue TIMS card only for Free Individual Trekkers (FIT) who do not take the services of both Guide and Porter.
• However, 10 US $ equivalent Nepalese Rupees must be paid for obtaining TIMS card for Group Trekkers (GT- who take the services of both Guide and Porter) only from registered trekking agencies in Nepal.
• The TIMS card is non-transferable, non-endorsable and valid only for one entry for prescribed area and duration.
1. TIMS counter at NTB offices will remain open from Sunday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm except Saturdays and Public Holidays when it is closed.
2. TIMS counter at TAAN opens seven days a week from 10 am to 5 pm . It is also open on Saturdays and Public Holidays from 10 am to 12 pm.
• During October, November and December working hours are from 10 am to 4 pm.
Electricity in Nepal is 230 volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. A voltage converter is needed for a device that does not accept 230 volts at 50 MHz. Sockets in Nepal accept only round three or two pins. So if your electrical device uses flat pins, please bring a universal electric plug adaptor.
Are the local people emotionally and physically ready to welcome tourists?
Its already been 4 months since the earthquake, locals have moved on, they even called a press meet at Nepal Tourism Board to announce that they are physically and mentally ready to welcome tourists now
Am I taking resources away from the rebuilding?
No, you’re not. The only resources that are badly needed now is money, and you provide that by travelling to Nepal.
How much has been rebuilt?
Most of the rubble has been cleaned out. The rebuilding is different from one place to the next, some are almost done while others, specially in remote areas, still have a lot to do.
Hygiene: How has the earthquake affected sanitation, medical services, water quality?
Hospitals, water supplies and sewages are working as normal. Nepal is a poor country so that means same status as before the earthquake.
Transportation: Are airports and bus routes open?
Tribhuvan, the international airport in Kathmandu is open and operating as normal. Bus routes are operating as normal. Please consult with your tour operator as monsoon rains might impact your travel routes.
Monuments: is there anything to see?
While many monuments have been damaged and some even collapsed, most of them are still standing with the same grace as before. Others are being rebuilt which gives you a unique opportunity to watch the artisans create their amazing art craft and renovate what has been the pride of the country for thousands of years.
Are the hotels safe to stay in?
Yes, over 90% of the hotels have been evaluated and are considered safe. Most hotels are modern buildings are were not effected by the earthquake.
What are the changes of another earthquake?
Earthquakes are impossible to predict and Nepal is in an active earthquake zone. Big earthquakes strike the country approximately every 80 years. Aftershocks now are small and far apart and not dangerous to anyone, even at the epicenter.
How much of Nepal is damaged?
Nepal is a relatively big country. Only 11 out of 75 districts were impacted by the earthquake. Most of those 11 only had minor damages while those closest to the epicenter have suffered most. The epicenter was in Ghurka. If you are going close to the epicenter, contact your tour operator for detailed information about your routes and destination.