Arriving healthy. Studies prove you are at risk of getting a cold/flu if you are sitting relatively close to someone who is sick on the plane. To reduce your personal risk, use hand cleaning gel (a small tube to get through security) or anti-bacterial hand wipes every few hours, and especially before meals, and especially avoid touching your face and eyes, or clean your hands prior. Flight attendants can pass on bugs however most good airlines have good hygiene practices, so the risk is lower. Window seats are safer than aisle seats.
Especially from North America, the time zone change is brutal, and combined with lack of sleep, also leaves you more vulnerable, so sleep as much as possible and take multivitamins while travelling (and trekking).
Our staff still meet you at the airport and your hotel has been booked to suit. In the event of early or late arrival, do let the Office know prior so as to allocate resources.
Visa on arrival preparation
For the visa on arrival, it is best you fill out online form out prior to arrival, but only up to 15 days prior. The online system sometimes works, sometime doesn’t. If it doesn’t work for you then fill in the application at the machine in the immigration arrival area on arrival. The link to the online platform is as below.
Your Address in Nepal and Address of the hotel are the same:
The Flow Once you land in Kathmandu
Move quickly to the arrival hall and have your documents and a pen ready. First, grab a small arrival card then line up in the queue for the visa fee payment (far wall as you walk in). You must pay for the visa in cash (any convertible currency); no credit card etc. You need the 30 day visa for $40.
After Immigration head downstairs to pick up your luggage. There is one x-ray check for your cabin baggage downstairs, they are checking for gold. Your checked-in bags can take an age to be unloaded, so don’t worry if you are a long time in the visa queue. (If you don’t see yours do look around and ask, and if it did get lost, see if you can get the form you need for that.)
Go through customs, have your luggage tags handy. In the foyer prepare for the real Nepal. Look for an Expedition Himalaya logo sign with your name amid the touts. Our trusted operations staff will be there with a vehicle. They will take you to the hotel, no tipping needed, nor for the porters at the hotel.
Note that until you get to the hotel, you do not need any Nepali rupees, so can avoid the charges and less than good exchange rates there. So, it is probably best to change money after arriving at the hotel at money changers in Thamel (open until around 9pm). If you are arriving at night or your flight is late then change some money at the airport.
Exhange Rate : http://www.nrb.org.np/
If your flight is delayed then text message or email the office, if possible. It is likely our staff will meet you at the airport still. If there really is nobody there to meet you, ask around, then after that double check, you can take a taxi to the hotel, all taxi drivers know where it is. The price is fixed, book at the taxi counter.
Local office contact
Bal Magar +977 98636 32953
Pasang +977 98010 25435
Expedition Himalaya : Nabin 98010 04278
Its suggested that you bring US dollars/Euros/Sterling/Aussie cash (or other hard currency) for some spending money in Kathmandu. It is possible to use ATMs, however sometimes the limits are low, around $140 equivalent, sometimes they don't work, and also there are charges. US dollars cash and other main currencies (larger notes), including Singapore dollars, are accepted by all moneychangers. The New Zealand dollar is not accepted.
In Kathmandu you will probably spend $25-$50 equivalent a day on lunches and dinners and other minor things.
As far as buying last-minute gear in Kathmandu, if you buy from the original Mountain Hardwear shop and a couple of other shops there, they do take a credit card however some places charge an extra 3.5%. For all other shops it is much easier to deal in rupees. The staff can show you the shops.
Although tipping is optional, generally everybody puts in a similar amount into a pool and it is distributed by one of you. We suggest approximately 5% of the trip cost.This money is better brought on trek in rupees, as we will give to the porters and crew in rupees at the end of the trip.
If you have roaming enabled, your phone should work in Kathmandu.
The hotel has free wifi, as do many restaurants. Do update your phone apps etc before arriving in Nepal and try to turn of background data.
Do warn friends and family that during the ENTIRE trek you will be out of contact. Do you consider putting an auto reply on your email.
Don’t drink the tap water here, don't even brush your teeth in the tap water; used bottled water (sadly, for the environment).
Occasional multivitamins are very useful, particularly in lessening the risk of cold sores and other infections on a long, tough trek, especially multivitamin and mineral tablets that dissolve in water.