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Nepal

Nepal is an ancient and beautiful mountain land. It is rich in its extraordinary variety of landscapes and wildlife. Its cultures, peoples and languages, art and architecture are equally rich.

The high Himalayan mountains, including Mount Everest, to the north are considered by many as the most beautiful. The lower mountains, the ‘Hills’, are just as lovely. These extremes of altitude and landscape are dissected by rivers rather than roads. The wildlife is equal to the rare beauty of the landscape, with animals such as snow leopards in the cold north. Descending south, monkeys, leopards, tigers, alligators and elephants abound. Beautiful flowers, such as rhododendrons are also breathtaking and found throughout the lands.

The people of Nepal are equally diverse. Their art, culture, and religions reflect their extreme diversity. The colourful & talented agriculture in Chitwan, the spectacular art and architecture of the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley or discover Pokhara and beyond and experience the musical Gurung culture. With 18th century royal squares alive today just as they were centuries ago. These people and their different landscapes were integrated into one nation around 1768, and co-exist joyfully in our country Nepal.

 

Useful Information

Travel Insurance
It is advisable to get full travel insurance to cover sickness, accident, loss of baggage, cancellation and emergency evacuation. In Nepal there is no free hospital you would be asked when you enter medical care for cash in advance including if you were to need evacuation by plane or helicopter due to illness or accident.

Visa
For further information please refer to:
Department of Immigration
Tel: +977 1 4223681 / 4470650
Website: http://www.immi.gov.np/

Language
Nepalese is the national language of Nepal. There are, however, hundreds of different indiginous dialects.

Climate
In Nepal we have 4 distinct seasons:
Spring commences from mid February and continues until late May

Summer is the Rainy Season and starts May and lasts until late August

Autumn is through September, October and November

Winter is December to mid February.
The seasons have different effects on the various geographical areas. In general the best season for visitors to Nepal is autumn & Spring. The climate then is sunny, with clear skies and dazzling views of the mountains, although a haze in visibility in low lying areas does happen late Spring. Plant lovers might prefer the spring though as the hills and mountain slopes come alive covered with beautiful and colorful flowers.

Local Time in Nepal

Money
All major commercials banks ooffer ATM services in Kathmandu and Pokhara to international card holders. You can get cash advances on both Visa and Master card. Most ATMs are accessible 24 hours a day. However atm’s are harder to find elsewhere and near non existent in the villages. You will find Money exchange offices in every town and they will exchange nearly every currency from around the world. Most money changers should offer NO FEE this is current common practice. Atm machines will give you a minimum of $4us charge in Nepal as well as your bank charges. And most machines have a $200 limit. Credit card use in hotels and shops is not common practice. So check before is best.

Dress and Attire 
Don’t be misled by other tourists and what they are wearing, nudity and part nudity is offensive in Nepal. Men should wear a shirt at all times & covering your knees and shoulders is appropriate dresscode. If bathing in a stream or at a village tap, men should wear shorts or underwear. Women can wrap a sarong around themselves and wash as the village women do. A swimsuit should be worn only if out of sight of villagers. Show of public affection is likewise frowned upon.

Antiques
It is illegal to export anything older than 100 years. Please do not take any religious objects (prayer stones, statues, temple ritual objects, prayer flags, etc.) away from sacred sites and discourage others from doing so.

Taking Photos
Most Nepali people do not mind being photographed, but please ask first as you would in your own country. This is important especially if photographing ceremonies or older people. Paying for a picture reinforces a begging mentality and is a learned practice. Try instead to establish a friendly rapport with a few words or gestures, the relationship more important than the photo, but the relationship will get you the photo!

Beggars
Do not give candy, pens, trinkets or money to children this encourages a begging mentality. Nepalese give a few rupees to those truly in need.

Bargaining
It is acceptable and common practice to bargain for the best price but posted fixed prices in restaurants and lodges should be respected. Ask around to find out the fair price; since paying too much adds to inflation and paying too little denies the merchant a fair return.

Gestures
To show appreciation and respect, use two hands rather than one when giving or receiving something, even money.

Remember not to point with a single finger but use a flat extended hand especially to indicate a sacred object or place.

Don’t eat with your left hand (this is your toilet hand) Try not to step over or point your feet at another person or a sacred place. Remove shoes when entering a home, temple or monastery. Do not offer food from your plate, nor eat straight from a common pot, and avoid touching your lips to a shared drinking vessel. Do not take too much food as it is offensive not to eat it all, when being served place a flat hand over you plate indicating this is enough.

Tipping
Tipping is a newly accepted custom in Nepal and not cumpuslary. Hotel, restaurant, touring and trekking staffs often make up for wages with tips. Reward only good work. Don’t tip for short taxi rides in town or any service person you’ve bargain with. You will see a 10% service charge on your bills. This is not a tip ! This amount adds to the low paid wage of the people serving you, they rely on this money it is their wage. A tip is over and above this charge if you choose.

 

Useful Information

Travel Insurance
It is advisable to get full travel insurance to cover sickness, accident, loss of baggage, cancellation and emergency evacuation. In Nepal there is no free hospital you would be asked when you enter medical care for cash in advance including if you were to need evacuation by plane or helicopter due to illness or accident.

Visa
For further information please refer to:
Department of Immigration
Tel: +977 1 4223681 / 4470650
Website: http://www.immi.gov.np/

Language
Nepalese is the national language of Nepal. There are, however, hundreds of different indiginous dialects.

Climate
In Nepal we have 4 distinct seasons:
Spring commences from mid February and continues until late May

Summer is the Rainy Season and starts May and lasts until late August

Autumn is through September, October and November

Winter is December to mid February.
The seasons have different effects on the various geographical areas. In general the best season for visitors to Nepal is autumn & Spring. The climate then is sunny, with clear skies and dazzling views of the mountains, although a haze in visibility in low lying areas does happen late Spring. Plant lovers might prefer the spring though as the hills and mountain slopes come alive covered with beautiful and colorful flowers.

Local Time in Nepal

Money
All major commercials banks ooffer ATM services in Kathmandu and Pokhara to international card holders. You can get cash advances on both Visa and Master card. Most ATMs are accessible 24 hours a day. However atm’s are harder to find elsewhere and near non existent in the villages. You will find Money exchange offices in every town and they will exchange nearly every currency from around the world. Most money changers should offer NO FEE this is current common practice. Atm machines will give you a minimum of $4us charge in Nepal as well as your bank charges. And most machines have a $200 limit. Credit card use in hotels and shops is not common practice. So check before is best.

Dress and Attire 
Don’t be misled by other tourists and what they are wearing, nudity and part nudity is offensive in Nepal. Men should wear a shirt at all times & covering your knees and shoulders is appropriate dresscode. If bathing in a stream or at a village tap, men should wear shorts or underwear. Women can wrap a sarong around themselves and wash as the village women do. A swimsuit should be worn only if out of sight of villagers. Show of public affection is likewise frowned upon.

Antiques
It is illegal to export anything older than 100 years. Please do not take any religious objects (prayer stones, statues, temple ritual objects, prayer flags, etc.) away from sacred sites and discourage others from doing so.

Taking Photos
Most Nepali people do not mind being photographed, but please ask first as you would in your own country. This is important especially if photographing ceremonies or older people. Paying for a picture reinforces a begging mentality and is a learned practice. Try instead to establish a friendly rapport with a few words or gestures, the relationship more important than the photo, but the relationship will get you the photo!

Beggars
Do not give candy, pens, trinkets or money to children this encourages a begging mentality. Nepalese give a few rupees to those truly in need.

Bargaining
It is acceptable and common practice to bargain for the best price but posted fixed prices in restaurants and lodges should be respected. Ask around to find out the fair price; since paying too much adds to inflation and paying too little denies the merchant a fair return.

Gestures
To show appreciation and respect, use two hands rather than one when giving or receiving something, even money.

Remember not to point with a single finger but use a flat extended hand especially to indicate a sacred object or place.

Don’t eat with your left hand (this is your toilet hand) Try not to step over or point your feet at another person or a sacred place. Remove shoes when entering a home, temple or monastery. Do not offer food from your plate, nor eat straight from a common pot, and avoid touching your lips to a shared drinking vessel. Do not take too much food as it is offensive not to eat it all, when being served place a flat hand over you plate indicating this is enough.

Tipping
Tipping is a newly accepted custom in Nepal and not cumpuslary. Hotel, restaurant, touring and trekking staffs often make up for wages with tips. Reward only good work. Don’t tip for short taxi rides in town or any service person you’ve bargain with. You will see a 10% service charge on your bills. This is not a tip ! This amount adds to the low paid wage of the people serving you, they rely on this money it is their wage. A tip is over and above this charge if you choose.

 

Meet Our Partners

The Sapana Village Social Impact (S.V.S.I) is a non-profit organization active in the Chitwan area, in Nepal. Its main target is the poverty alleviation of local people. It consists of projects that operate independently, some with the intention to make profits. With those profits, we start new projects, or pay the costs for people who cannot afford the costs by themselves. Basically, the goal of all projects is to improve the living conditions of the people in the neighborhoods of Sapana Village

Sapana Village lodge is a unique hotel located at the edge of Chitwan National Park nearby Sauraha in a peaceful and inspiring environment where dreams come true.Our hotel is renowned for its high comfort and its authentic Tharu decorations designed by local people. Our restaurant offers healthy organic food with ingredients from our own yard. We serve dishes in both typical Nepali and western style. The open-air terrace is set up to have beautiful panoramic views of the area. You can catch our elephants walking through the flowered garden for their daily bath and experience the lively atmosphere of local Tharu life.At Sapana Lodge we offer many different activities and excursions so you can experience our local culture and beautiful nature. Let us take you through the jungle on the back of an elephant, in a jeep or by foot. Our experienced guides are specialized in  educational expeditions and will gladly tell you about the flora and fauna you will encounter. Other activities include an introduction to the Tharu and Chepang culture through a trek into the mountains. From our location you can also visit many touristic hotspots such as Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Pokhara, Lumbini and Bandipur. We would love to help arrange your stay.

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