Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Yes, tourists visas are available upon arrival to citizens of most countires at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). TIA is currently Nepal’s only international airport (although other international airports in Nepal are planned in both Pokhara, a major tourist destination, and Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha).

TIA receives flights directly from Europe, the Middle East and Asia and beyond through connections to major travel hubs.  While in-flight to Kathmandu's TIA, an airline flight attendant will pass around an arrival form for visa entry to Nepal. Additionally, Nepal has many embassies and consulates throughout the world and visas might be obtained in your home country prior to visiting Nepal.  Please have passport-size photos with you to process the visa and bring more photos for processing travel documents in Nepal including trekking permits (a half dozen passport photos should be enough). 

Visa fees are $25 U.S. Dollars (or equivalent amount in foreign currency) for a 15-day visa, $40 for a 30-day visa and $100 for a 90-day visa. Depending on the length of your holiday, please obtain the appropriate visa (extensions can be processed in Kathmandu and Pokhara) and arrival at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).

Money changing facilities are available at the arrival area of Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). The rates in Kathmandu city are better than the rates at the airport. You can also find Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) in Kathmandu and other cities if you do not want to carry a lot of cash on you. However, ATMs often limit the withdrawal amount and withdrawal fees can add up quickly. If you plan to offer tips to your airport escort, then using small denominations of your home currency can be sufficient if you do not wish to change money at the airport itself. 

Yes. SOH will welcome you at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) and provide transportation to your hotel in Kathmandu Valley. An SOH representative at the airport arrival area will be holding a signboard with both your name and agency name and logo, too, for a smooth transition from your internationl flight to your hotel -- check in and can relax and refresh before exploring the town.

Most people prefer the autumn season from mid-September through October and November. The climate is milder then and the weather is typically more reliable with better mountain vistas compared with other seasons. Additionally, this period is just after the monsoon and the natural scenery is at its richest and fullest.

Springtime, generally from late March through May is the second most popular season for visitors and the weather is relatively more pleasant then. This is also the time of year for viewing rhododendron blossoms –  the rhododendron is Nepal’s national flower and seasonal blossoms are spectacular, lighting up hillsides in color.

The monsoon period typically begins in June and finishes around mid-September. Several off-season activities are appropriate at this time including rafting when rivers are full and thrilling to ride, too. This is also a good time to trek in areas north of the Himalayan Range in an area referred to as the ‘rain shadow’ as the mountains tend to block the rain clouds from going north.

Winter months (generally December, January and February) can be downright chilly and there will be fewer tourists and mountain views can be excellent, too. Winter is also a chance to visit the lowland plains for a jungle safari at a time when it is cooler.

Because of Nepal’s extreme variation from sub-tropical jungles to snowy peaks, exciting activities can be found any time of year.

Please enjoy a story by SOH founder Alonzo Lyons in ECS, Nepal's leading culture magazine, Nepal's All Season Bounty

Nepal has an extensive array of footpaths and most Nepalis outside of city dwellers regularly use footpaths for travel. The trekking trails of Nepal generally follow the same dirt trails that locals use for their travels. Sometimes the footpaths are laid in stone and mostly they are earthen.  Because of Nepal’s geography as a Himalayan nation, the trails can be steep and pass through thick forests with hanging bridges that cross over rushing rivers. The trails connect scenic villages and often travel through the villages cultivated, terraced farmland, too. Along the way, most trails have tea shops and small stores as well as lodges for food and accommodation and for relaxing after a day’s hike with a warm or cool drink and locally sourced meals. 

 Yes. SOH often has single trekkers join group journeys. We will aim to accommodate your style, too, and you can join in with group activities as much or a little as you prefer. We often have our single travelers share rooms or tents with other members of the group of the same gender or a private room and tent can also be arranged as necessitates.

Lodges (often referred to as tea-houses) in the main trekking destinations of Nepal will generally provide a mattress, pillow and a blanket. We advise our guests to bring a warm sleeping bag and cover sheet as a layer to put over the lodge accessories, especially for cleanliness. Room styles and standards will vary from place to place along the way. Usually, private rooms are available for two people with twin beds, but walls between rooms can be thin and bringing along a pair of earplugs is highgly recommended. Most lodging facilities have an adjoining dining room where guests take meals, relax and enjoy more warmth and coziness while taking in nice views and pleasant conversation, too. 

SOH has had Himalayan specialists and experts design all of our itineraries for a proper rate of travel including ascent to higher elevations.

At a pre-trek departure meeting we will inform all group members about altitude illness and points of awareness and concern. Our veteran staff will always be on the lookout for symptoms of altitude while trekking at altitude.

For people especially concerned about this issue, medication might assist (please bring this up with a personal physician prior to departing for Nepal). The best way of preparing for altitude is by ascending at a proper rate and the best remedy for issues with altitude is descent.

Mild symptoms of altitude sickness are --

  • headache
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • difficulty sleeping
  • dizziness

Serious symptoms include

  • loss of coordination
  • persistent cough, coughing up fluid
  • difficulty breathing
  • rapid resting heart rate
  • blueness of face and lips
  • confusion
  • headache
  • vomiting

If immediate rescue is necessary, a helicopter evacuation will be called in for transfer to Kathmandu (clients must arrange rescue coverage before arriving to Nepal in addition to standard travel medical insurance).

Please obtain travel medical insurance including rescue coverage in your home country before a trip to Nepal. If necessary SOH can guide you to insurance providers in Nepal, too, but we highly recommend obtaining insurance in your home country. 

Yes, SOH will have standard First Aid supplies with us on all treks, tours and adventure activities. Additionally, people taking personal medications are advised to bring enough medicine with them for their entire visit in Nepal.

Several vaccinations are recommended for visitors to Nepal. Please contact a personal physician or visit a travel clinic in your own country before coming to Nepal for updates and travel specifics. Please inform us of medications that you will be taking and pre-existing medical conditions at the time of booking travel with SOH. Please inform us of your blood type in the event of a medical emergency, too. We also suggest a dental check-up before international travel and your visit to Nepal.

Please let us know of any meal requirements at time of booking. SOH will do our best to accommodate your specific requests. Meals and drinks are given a priority on all of our journeys. As well as a foundation for a good trip, meals can be a highlight of a journey. In the main trekking destinations, the lodges, tea houses and restaurants along the way offer a delicious selection of food items from local to international (most of it can be satisfactory to vegans). Typically, we can arrange hot drinks like tea and often coffee and snacks at waypoints between daily stopover locations. Generally, we will have our dinner and breakfast at the lodge where we overnight and a lunch meal along the way to the next lodge. On our camping journeys, daily food is prepared by SOH's skilled chefs.

For more information on Nepali's national dish of dal-bhat, rice, lentil soup and vegetables, then please click HERE

Water for drinking will be boiled and available along the way. Bottled water is also available in the urban areas and typically on the rural trails, too. If you wish to use water at taps along the trailways, then we strongly advise using a purifying agent like iodine tablets that you bring with you from home or find in the tourist shops of Kathmandu and Pokhara. 

At most locations along the main trails and sometimes in out of the way places, recharging batteries and electronic devices is possible for a minimal fee from the lodge owners. 

At most locations along the main trails and sometimes in out of the way places, internet is available and more and more wi-fi facilities and phone services are available alond the trailways, too. However, Nepal is still fairly behind in technology here and there, and especially at higher elevations in remote areas access to services might be minimal to unavailable. 

Along with a valid passport, about a half dozen passport size photos will be needed for processing visa and trekking documents. Please have a copy of your travel insurance documents, too. SOH also recommends scanning important documents for access on mobile phones and email, too.

Bring all your usual hiking gear including a reliable pair of footwear and flashlight/headlamp, and keep in mind that most necessary items can be found at reasonable prices in the tourist areas of Kathmandu and Pokhara. Specific necessities will be determined by the activities you will be participating in and your own personal preferences, too.  The following are gear recommendations that are standard for a wide range of activities in Nepal: backpack, hiking shoes with ankle support, sleeping bag, water bottle, sunglasses, sunscreen, hat with a visor, windproof and waterproof outer coat, warm internal layers, gloves, headlamp, personal toiletries, warm socks, universal adapter for electric sockets, camera with extra re-chargeable batteries and memory cards.SOH also suggest having your own water purfication materials, too, as a backup, and we especially recommend iodine tablets above other methods for purifying water.

If you have any more questions and concerns, then please contact us by email at any time [email protected]. We hope to hear from you, soon, and will reply as quickly as possible. In the meantime, explore the Best Treks in Nepal

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