What You Need To Know For Solo Travel In Nepal
Traveling alone to Nepal can be one of the most fulfilling travel experiences but there are few things to know no matter your destination. Whether you are going alone on of the best Nepal tours in 2021 with the intention of meeting new people while you are there, or if you planned to become familiar with the culture on your own, you must prepare yourself with some resources that will help you get the most out of your traveling experience. Here is what you need to know for solo traveling in Nepal.
The Roads Can Be Overwhelming
This is why it is very important to think about how you will get around once you get to Nepal. Some of the roads, like the Prithvi Highway, are known for its steep cliffs and dangerously narrow roads the whip and wind around mountain regions. On a usual day, there is barely enough room for two cars and especially two trucks to pass by each other without running the other off the road. Unless you are not afraid of heights, you may want to consider catching internal flights if you have to go somewhere that is difficult to access on foot.
Another option to getting around in Nepal is to take a taxi but be cautious. A lot of taxi drivers in Nepal will try to rip you off when you are negotiating the ride price. If you absolutely must take a taxi, be sure to catch on on a main road. Oftentimes drivers will take back roads, making your trip longer and more expensive. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a “night charge,” “morning charge” or a “middle of the day charge.” When you finally catch a taxi that is reasonably priced, make sure that you use whatever maps service you use to determine how far the ride is as a half-hour ride should not cost you more than 500 rupees and a 15-minute ride should not cost you more than 300 rupees.
You could also use a motorbike with an app called Tottle. Make sure you wear a helmet if you are a driver, so you would need to provide yourself with a helmet. It is good to note that this rule is implemented because motorbike accidents are too common in Nepal and the death toll for road accidents is extremely high.
Of course, you could always travel by bus but figuring out the bus system can be a little confusing. Nevertheless, it is still doable and it is a very cheap option with a bus ride costing between 15 to 20 rupees depending on how far or close your destination is. The great thing about riding the bus is how nice and helpful some of the locals can be. If you are lost, they are typically open to helping you even if there is a language barrier.
Where To Stay
It is recommended that you stay in a homestay because this type of accommodation allows you to see local life, meet local families and experience Nepal authentically. Since most homestays do not have websites, you may have to ask around when you arrive in Kathmandu. You could also stay at a hotel or hostel. Ask other tourists or locals for recommendation on these things.
Respect Cultural Customs And Norms
Before traveling to Nepal, make sure you do your research on the country’s customs and norms. Keep in mind that Nepal is a very spiritual country as over 80 percent of Nepalese are Hindu and almost 10 percent are Buddhist. In your research also include how they dress like most people in the country dress modestly. Before visiting religious sites like temples, it is extremely important to know what is socially acceptable and what is not when you visit these sacred grounds. When in doubt, ask a local for advice.
Figure Out What To Do
The best thing about traveling solo is being able to do exactly what you want to do without the concerns or complaints of others. Utilize that freedom! Maximize it. Nepal is not like some cities where you can post up in a hostel bar for a few minutes to meet new people. You have to go out exploring. Sign up for group activities or learn to cook a traditional Nepalese dish. Maybe you want are on a spiritual journey and you could use a good sound bowl session or a yoga class. There are plenty of activities you can enjoy as a solo traveler, but you have to go out and find them.
Safety Tips And Scams To Look Out For
Some people who have traveled alone in Nepal say it is one of the safest countries, with the ability to walk around at night knowing they are safe. With that being said, there are a few common scams to be aware of. Some locals will scam you into taking your money by asking you to buy them groceries to feed their baby or family. After you buy them food, they may return it for cash. Not everyone does this, but this is something to be aware of.
Do not drink the water. Water in Nepal is not potable, so if you are hiking or trekking, make sure you get water purification tablets. If you are frequenting restaurants in major cities, the water that they serve is either bottled, boiled or treated so it is drinkable. It is also important to note that it is ok to brush your teeth with tap water, but do not swallow it.
Pollution is really high in Nepal cities, so it may be a good idea to buy a face mask. When you are exploring and enjoying nature, be cautious of landslide-prone areas. The best way to get around safely when exploring nature is to have a certified guide with you on your routes. Another thing to be cautious about is altitude sickness when you go anywhere above 3,000 to 4,000 kilometers. The most important tip is to get travel insurance.