What do I need to know before going to Nepal?
What do I need to know before going to Nepal is a massive question that deserves an in-depth answer. Travel to anywhere can raise questions, and this country is notoriously untamed and wild. You are very likely to have plenty of concerns and it is not always clear what is even there for you in the first place. My blog aims to put everything into perspective for you, so here goes because it’s a lot in less than two thousand words.
The first thing you should know about Nepal is there is something here for everyone. From the steaming jungles in the south to the snowy peaks of the Himalayas in the north. The rich Nepali culture is an eclectic mix of Buddhism and Hinduism that is quite unlike anything you are likely to find anywhere else in the world. What’s more, despite the challenges that come with visiting such a land of contrasts, most visits go without incident.
Of course, it’s best to keep up with current events, and for that, you can check the media and follow the current government advice. Especially since the 2020 COVID19 outburst. If, like me, you are a UK citizen, simply follow the link provided for all the essential information. If not, please do not neglect to follow your own. Failing to do so may involve your expensive insurance premium being invalid or, worse yet, placing yourself in unnecessary danger.
Need to know what to do in Nepal?
Do you need to know what to do in Nepal? It sounds like a simple enough question, but in reality, it is a massive topic and for two reasons. The first being of course, that no two sets of eyes will look at the world the same. That’s a big part of what makes being alive so interesting, and it also means we want different things from our holidays. One man’s bread is another man’s poison and all that. The second reason is that there is a truckload of different things to grab your attention in Nepal so let’s take a quick look at some of the highlights of visiting this fabled land.
The best place to start is in the Himalayas. It is the very reason why many people head this way in the beginning and with good reason. The tallest mountains on earth run along the far north of the country like a massive curtain of rock spanning the full length of the whole country.
These mountains open the door to a wide number of outdoor pursuits that range from a spot of bird watching to massive multi-day hikes into the wilderness. From a gentle trip down the river to braving the raging rivers of the Indus. There is something here to suit almost every interest.
However, Nepal is not all snow and yaks. There are steaming jungles that fringe the whole country along its southern borders. As you can see from the picture above, they harbour some of the most impressive species of Meghafauna to be found anywhere on earth. Nepal is one of the only countries in Asia where safaris are possible on foot, creating a very different experience for the wildlife enthusiasts among us.
Nepal’s last big draw is its unique culture. The Nepalese are deeply spiritual and something we all find deeply intriguing. In the far north of the country, traditional Tibetan Buddhism is the dominant faith and we can’t help but be blown away from the experience to these parts. Nepal also has a rich and varied culinary heritage that is woefully underrated in the west. All in all, Nepal is a country that is sure to impress and there is a multitude of reasons why this country should be on your bucket list.
Need to know about health in Nepal?
Do you need to know about health in Nepal? The short answer is an absolute yes, as your body will take quite a bashing while you are on the road. It pays for you to know as much as possible to keep it to a minimum.
The first thing I will say is health care in Nepal is that it is an insanely mixed bag. On the one hand, you can find world-class medical care in big cities, especially in Kathmandu. However, in rural areas, good medical care is hard to come by. It is also worth noting that most trekking permits will not be issued without adequate insurance. It is well worth taking it, in my humble opinion, as many places in Nepal can be a very, very long way from medical assistance indeed.
There is a wide variety of considerations to make when it comes to your health. I would advise you to read a bit about travel health to better prepare for any eventualities. Many issues that could potentially happen may not be an issue in your own country.
Reading The Lonely Planet guide to healthy travel in Asia and a chat with your doctor would be a good place to start. You can also try reading blogs like mine for the experience of other travellers. Nothing can beat first-hand experience in the long run. The truth is that sure you can get all manner of exotic diseases while travelling, but in reality, it is the same few issues that keep popping up again and again.
I have two posts on travel health and while I am no doctor, I have been sick enough times to be able to hand out some solid advice. The first post is about staying healthy on the road, which covers the most likely issues you will face. The second is about what to pack in your medical kit to help you deal with them. They are fairly comprehensive posts and well worth the read, even if I do say so myself. 😊
Need to know about safety in Nepal?
Everyone will need to know about safety in Nepal. It is a land of great diversity for sure, but with all of that comes many challenges to travel here. Infrastructure is woefully basic away from the main tourist paths, and the environment can be incredibly hostile. I would imagine it is a surprise for nobody to learn the tallest mountains in the world can be tricky for people to visit even if you are not trying to scale their heights. This is mother nature at her most spectacular and with that inevitably comes risks.
The good news is that serious crime towards tourists is comparatively very rare. However, petty crime, especially in tourist areas, can be an issue. I have been to Nepal many times and I have never experienced anything like that, although I know it happens. The fact is that the Nepalese are some of the kindest and most honest people you could ever hope to meet.
Safety in Nepal is also a massive topic that deserves a separate post and as luck would have it, I have one of those. Feel free to check it out when you get the time. This blog is written as a broad overview of all of the things you should know before you come.
In summary of my blog, what do I need to know before going to Nepal?
I think that will do for now. There is no need to go into detail about visas and flights. For that, I have a whole post on how to plan a trip to Nepal. This blog was really aimed at helping you discover if Nepal should be on your bucket list or not. I hope this blog has helped answer that question for you.
I also hope you enjoyed my post and have found it of value. There is only so long I can make it and keep the average reader entertained, so if you have any more questions that you can think of, then please do not hesitate to ask. With that said, I think it’s ok for me to let you get back to your busy days, so I will see you in the next post.
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