Nepali and English are the official languages of Nepal. Etiquette-wise, always remove your shoes, dress modestly and explore temples in a clockwise direction. For more need-to-know info before you go, here’s our top tips for Nepal.
Australian passport holders travelling to Nepal require a visa for entry. At present, it is possible to obtain a tourist visa on arrival, but please note entry conditions change regularly. For up-to-the-minute visa information, contact your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Nepal. Always make sure your passport has at least 6 months’ validity from your planned date of return to Australia.
The Nepalese currency is the Nepalese Rupee. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and the Nepalese Rupee changes constantly, so keep an eye on the exchange rate and buy Rupees when the rate is at its best. For safe spending while overseas, consider using a credit or debit card.
Nepali food has a strong Indian and Tibetan influence. A typical meal is eaten with the right hand, not cutlery, and consists of dhal (lentil soup), bhat (boiled rice) and tarkari (curried vegetables) or curried meat and accompanied by pickles and yoghurt. One of the most popular snacks is steamed or fried momos (dumplings), often served with beer, along with the fried pakoras and samosas common to India. Nepalis do not eat beef for many reasons including the dominance of the Hindu religion in the region as well as the cow being the national emblem. In the tourist areas of Kathmandu and Pokhara, you’ll also find a wide range of international cuisines on offer.
The capital of Kathmandu and the lakeside town of Pokhara are known to have the best nightlife in Nepal. Areas like hotel strip Thamel in Kathmandu and Lake Side in Pokhara feature live music, bars, clubs and nightclubs for tourists and local partygoers alike. Look out for full moon raves and trance parties in Pokhara. The dress code is relaxed, but modest by Australian standards. Be aware, an 11pm curfew on bars and restaurants exists in some areas. The local firewater is known as raksi and sometimes called Nepali wine, although it’s a clear spirit. Jaand or Nepali beer is another alcoholic drink you’ll find alongside a burgeoning local brewing industry.