Ascent to the Mera Peak

Nepal Travel Guide

Practical information

Nepali Rupee
Time zone
GMT +5.8

Nepalese history

Nepal's early history is depicted through the tales of the Newar, the indigenous community settled in Nepal Valley (now known as Kathmandu Valley) as early as the 9th century BC. There is substantial archaeological evidence of a Buddhist influence even during these early years; a famous Buddhist column inscribed by the emperor of India in 400 BCE sits at Lumbini, the birthplace of Guatama Budhha, for example. For many centuries the country was peaceful, with small kingdoms settling in the valleys and the steep mountainous terrain protecting them from conflict. However, as Tibet began to rise in power, the northern Himalayan passes became a trading route and Nepal found itself in the centre of a commercial exchange. A trade relationship was briefly built with China, but quickly disposed of due to warring between Tibet and China. During this time the Lichhavis were a strong ruling family and they laid a foundation for Nepalese culture.

Then, in the 14th century, Jaya Shtiti, a great ruler in the Malla dynasty, imposed laws and social codes into the Nepalese society based around his Hindu beliefs. His successor chose to split the kingdom into three areas and gave each of his sons control over an area: Kathmandu, Patan and Bhadgaon. Although the dynasties ruled the majority of these areas, some small principalities retained their independence through traditional familial power. One of these, Gorkha, began to assert dominance over the hillside and posed a threat to the dynasty ruled valleys. The Mallas couldn’t match the power of the Gorkha ruler Shah and in 1729 he conquered the valley and chose to move the capital to Kathmandu. The Shah rulers encountered many problems in trying to unite a country so used to localised politics and extreme diversity. With their power waning, after two successive rulings by minors of the Shah family, there proceeded to be around 150 years of confrontation between the royal family and other families of nobility. The Shah was relegated to an honorary position whilst the family that dominated in these confrontations ruled the country. It wasn’t until 1950 that Nepalese politics moved on from a precedence of family loyalty over the crown. This occurred because the current royal, King Tribhuvan, launched a revolution against the current dominant family, the Ranas, with the backing of diplomats from New Delhi. Under significant pressure the Ranas accepted a settlement in which riling was returned to the throne and the rebel forces gained positions in Nepali Congress.

A constitution was approved in 1959, however controversy between king and cabinet caused it to be dismissed by 1962 and a new one formed. Then with the succession of a new King in 1975, the “non-party” political system was challenged, reassessed, elections held and finally altered. In November 1990, following the appointment of an interim government who developed a multiparty system, King Birendra agreed a new version of constitution which provided for both a constitutional monarchy and a multiparty political system. At the general elections in 1991, Nepali Congress won and appointed G.P. Koirala as the head of government. The government struggled with modernising Nepal’s years of traditional rule and with an uprising from the Maoists, the next decade proved very unstable. In 2008, it was declared that the monarchy would be abolished and Nepal was declared an independent democratic republic. Although Nepal’s political situation is still developing, it is now run through general elections and, as with any democratic country, the country is split between the parties it votes for.

Time Zone

The time zone in Nepal is GMT + 5.45 (this results in an ongoing joke that the Nepalese are always 15 minutes late)



The official language of Nepal is Nepali.
English and Hindi are also widely spoken especially in the major towns and tourist areas. 

Useful Phrases

  • Namaste - Hello, Greetings
  • Namaskar - The more respectful version of Namaste
  • Hajur - All purpose term meaning yes? Pardon, Excuse me?
  • Kasto Cha? - How are you?
  • Thik Cha - I am fine
  • Khana khannu bhaiyo? - Have you eaten?
  • Dhanybhad - Thank you
  • Tapaiiko naam ke ho? - What is you name?
  • Mero naam Ann-Marie ho - My name is Ann-Marie
  • Pheri bhetaunlaI - Hope we meet again


Nepali Rupee

The Nepali Rupee is a closed currency so you will not be able to buy this before you arrive. It is advisable to travel with US Dollars, as these are widely accepted. It is very important that US bills be new (less than 10 years old), crisp and untorn. If you want some local currency then we can take you to an ATM or bank. Alternatively all the hotels in Kathmandu will change money for you. We recommend that you take local currency on the actual trek with you, as the teahouses prefer local currency to dollars. You will also get a more favourable exchange rate in Kathmandu.

If you are relying on a credit or debit card for emergency funds, make sure you tell your card issuer that you will be using it abroad, or you may find that it won't work when you really need it.



There are 2 types of electrical sockets in Nepal – type D which are old UK style (3 round pins) and type C  which are standard European style (2 round pins) – and are 220v, same as the UK. The type D socket is commonly found in India, so any adapter that is suitable for India will be the right size, and a European adaptor will be fine for the type C socket. 

When to go

Weather should be the first thing you think about as you decide when to trek. Nepal has a bad monsoon season during the summer when the rain is torrential nearly every day. During this time Ladakh provides a drier, safer option for those wishing to travel to the Himalayan region. In the winter, the temperatures can be very, very low particularly at night. This means that, as a general rule, the best weather for trekking is in Spring and Autumn.

There is though a lot of variation in the weather between the Everest and Annapurna regions, as the Annapurnas are much drier and cooler, even during the summer monsoon period. While you should definitely avoid the Everest region from June to August you can still trek in parts of the Annapurna region during this period.

In winter, it is normally quite dry everywhere in Nepal, but it will be very, very cold. This means that trekking is possible on most routes, but you will need extra warm sleeping bag and plenty of suitable warm winter clothes. Trekking peaks and routes like the Annapurna Circuit, which involve crossing high passes, are closed during the winter.

Safety and Security

Your safety and well-being is always the number one priority at Kandoo Adventures.

We operate all our travel destinations in accordance with the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice, which publishes travel advisory notices for British nationals. We also closely follow the advice of ABTA (The Association of British Travel Agents) which provides support to UK tour operators.  

In addition to this, our extensive, directly-managed operations in each of our destinations, provide us with detailed knowledge and up-to-date information, which enables us to make informed decisions and operate our trips safely. 

Our office in Kathmandu is your first point of contact for any issues that arise once you are on your way to Nepal, and for the duration of your time in country. Whether you have booked an airport transfer and your flight is delayed, or you need assistance exchanging money, we have English-speaking representatives who will be able to help you with any query, and they have the advantage of being in the same time zone. These contact details can also be found on your itinerary.

Contact telephone: +977 9851207386 or +977 9851207387

We always recommend that you regularly check the FCDO's travel advice, in order to keep up to date about the country you are planning to visit.

If you are not a UK resident, we would recommend that you visit your government's travel advisory website for further information:

Alternatively, you may wish to visit our Travel Updates page or seek further information from the World Health Organisation.

Lost or delayed luggage

We recommend that you wear your walking boots to travel and pack as many essential items as possible in your carry-on luggage. If your luggage is delayed we can then do our best to kit you out to start the trek on time. In the event that your luggage is delayed or lost, our procedure is as follows: 

  • Establish what items are missing and a contingency plan for each critical item
  • If it reaches 6pm on the evening before starting the trek and your luggage has not arrived we recommend buying and/or hiring items immediately as a precaution
  • We will take you to a shop where you can buy toiletry items, e.g. toothbrush. You will be able to find everything you need in Kathmandu.

We will do everything we can to help if your luggage is lost or delayed. Be sure to check your insurance policy coverage for lost luggage cover.

Domestic flights in Nepal

The system for booking internal flights in Nepal is unlike anywhere else in the world and this can cause confusion and frustrations. When an internal flight is booked in Nepal it is booked for a particular day NOT for a day and a time. You cannot book for a particular timed flight. For each itinerary, eg Lukla, Pokhara etc the airlines run shuttle planes many times daily, with the number of planned flights reflecting booked volumes. When a booking is made, you are allocated to the airlines passenger departure list for that day and then allocated a flight based on when you booked. The first person to book KTM-Lukla on any date will be on Flight one. The further down the list of bookings you are the higher your flight number will be.

For example, if you book with Tara Airlines and book reasonably far ahead you might be on Tara Flight 3. What this means is that at the start of the day Flight 1 will leave as soon as conditions at KTM and Lukla are safe for take-off and landing.

Once Flight 1 departs, Tara may have a second plane on this itinerary so Flight 2 may depart quite quickly. Flight 3 though will then be the same plane that went out on Flight one so it has to go to Lukla and then return to KTM before you can depart, so there will be a wait. If there is bad weather at Lukla, all flights will be delayed. This might be for an hour or it may be all day and at any point until late in the afternoon nobody will know if any flights are going.

If you book late, and are on Tara Flight 7 there is a much higher risk, if there are any delays, that your flight will not go at all. An added confusion is that the airlines only have stamps with which they mark a boarding pass up to 4 so flight 5 becomes flight 1 again on your boarding pass although the airline knows which flight is which. Inevitably this process is time-consuming and frustrating as you need to be at the airport early and then may have to wait all day before being told your flight is not leaving that day.

Please also note that there are no allocated seats on the plane so clients will not be given a specific seat number.  On the Lukla flight there is a rush to get seats on the left hand side outward bound and to get seats on the right on the return as these offer the view of the Himalaya.

Please accept that delays at Lukla and what appears to Westerners as total chaos is beyond our control and is the same for all tour operators and travelers.


Flight safety in Nepal

You should be aware that flights in Nepal have a poor safety record compared to international flight standards. In 2013, all carriers from Nepal were put on an aviation banned list, preventing them from flying in EU airspace. This ban does not mean that these airlines are prevented from flying in Nepal, nor does it mean that an EU national cannot fly with one of these airlines. Since the ban, some airlines have been proactive and have retained an independent aviation safety expert to audit their operations. Wherever possible, we use one of these airlines.


Flight Delays

The majority of our trekking itineraries in Nepal involves a domestic flight. Airfields such as Lukla are among the most remote and difficult to land on in the world and are a challenge for even the most technically proficient pilots. It is not uncommon for bad weather to cause lengthy delays, as the airport will be closed if the cloud cover is too great. We include one day back in Kathmandu as a contingency in case flights to or from Lukla are delayed but we recommend you also consider one of these options:

•       Book an international flight with a flexible ticket that can be changed at no cost

•       Book further days in Kathmandu as contingency days

•       Be prepared to pay for the cost of a helicopter which can fly in bad weather (around US$300-500 per person)


Please be aware that in the event of a delay that affects your onward international flight, you will be responsible for re-booking and for any associated costs. These costs should be recovered from your insurer.

Flight changes during Peak Season

Please note that during peak season (October - December) domestic flights will depart from Ramechhap rather than Kathmandu. Ramechhap is a 5-6 hour drive from Kathmandu and as this is a national alteration concerning all domestic flights to the Everest region, flight companies will provide transfer buses to Ramechhap from Kathmandu.  The change has been implemented to put less stress on Kathmandu airport as the number of domestic flights to Lukla increases with the popularity of the region. This will only affect trips to the Everest region not Annapurna. If your trip overlaps the dates these are implemented, you may find that you fly into Lukla via Kathmandu but return via Ramechhap.

Unfortunately, in classic Nepalese style, the exact dates this will affect will not be released until a few months prior to the trekking season starting so we aren't yet able to provide dates this will affect in 2024. 
Annapurna Sanctuary


From north-west to south-east, Nepal stretches 800 km in length and 90 to 230 km in width. Modest in size, Nepal is a mountainous country unlike anywhere else. The North of the country has 10 of the 14 world summits exceeding 8,000 m, including Mount Everest, the highest point on the planet at 8,848 m .

To the south, the flat expanse of the Terai is an extension of the long plain of the Ganges River over the border in India. This rice paddy region is bordered to the north by the Churia hills (average altitude 900 m), the first of the successive mountain ranges which extend over the entire width of the country. The next is the Mahabharat chain, very steep but still not very high: between 1500 and 2700 m.

The Pahar region is made up of fertile valleys (that of Kathmandu in particular) and is home to nearly half of the Nepalese population. In the North, the Trans-Himalayas is a high desert region similar to the Tibetan plateau.