The Complete Guide To Solo Travel In Nepal
June 6, 2022
Nepal
By guy yefet
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Thinking of solo travel in Nepal? Nepal is a popular destination for solo travelers. On this blog, you will find everything you need to know before you visit Nepal.

The complete guide to solo travel in Nepal

Welcome to Nepal - the country where eight of the ten highest mountain peaks in the world are located, including the summit of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world.

Nepal, the gateway to the Himalayas and one of the most beautiful countries in South Asia, is stunning in its beauty and is considered by travelers as one of the most spectacular places on earth.

Nepal is a stunning combination of jungles, rice fields, temples and deserts, rich culture, and the highest mountain ranges in the entire world.

Nepal is without a doubt - a paradise for travelers.

I arrived in Nepal at the end of September, the peak of the tourist season, the best time to go out into the mountains and conquer Nepal by foot.

I visited Nepal for 6 weeks and got to experience this wonderful country in a good way that left me with a taste of more.

kagbeni nepal

Is it safe to travel alone in Nepal?

I found Nepal as a country that is very safe to travel alone.

The crime rate is low. The people are kind and always smiling.

I would say that the Nepalis are the most smiling and nicest people in East Asia.

Of course, as with any trip, one should pay attention to the cases.

Like other Third World countries, there are cases of theft in Nepal.  

It's not common, but be careful and cautious.

Be careful not to leave valuables in your guesthouse when you are away.

Overall the feeling in Nepal is very comfortable and safe for anyone traveling alone. Most of the Nepalis you will meet along the way are kind and charming people, most of them speak pretty good English, so it is easy to communicate with them and get help from them.

solo travel in nepal

When to visit Nepal?

When asked "when to visit Nepal?" one usually means to ask "when is the best time to trek in Nepal?" because this is the most common tourist activity in the country.

There are two good times of the year for a trip to Nepal that includes trekking:

The main seasons occurs between mid-September and late November.

This season there is excellent visibility and favorable weather for trekking, when at the beginning of the season, it may still rain (end of the monsoon season), and at the end of the season, it gets colder.

The secondary season occurs between mid-March and late May.

This season the visibility is less good, but the weather is favorable for trekking.

The beginning of the season is cold, and there may be snow at the high mountain passes.

Towards the end of the season, it rains more, and the visibility gets worse.

It is important to note that in recent years the season has been delayed - if we used to talk about March-April, today we already talk more about April-May, and sometimes even the beginning of June.

backpacking nepal solo

How to get from Kathmandu Airport to Thamel?

Kathmandu Airport is 5.5 km east of Kathmandu.

Getting from the airport to the city center by taxi takes about 20-30 minutes depending on the traffic.

The Pre Paid Taxi service will be on your left as soon as you leave the arrivals gate, the prices there are fixed in advance.

A prepaid taxi at the airport costs about 750 Nepalese rupees.

You can get out of the airport, catch a local taxi on the street and easily get a taxi for 400-500 rupees to Thamel.

Once you have collected your backpacks and left the terminal, dozens of Nepalis will be waiting for you with signs and binders of all kinds of hostels and hotels. They will offer you a free taxi if you come to the hotel.

Sometimes these are good hotels, but often the hotels are in remote parts of the Thamel, and every time you want to go to the Thamel center (where everything happens), you will have to walk 10-20 minutes or take a rickshaw each time, and it is a waste of money.

Do not hop on the first taxi that arrives, until you have finished crossing the road, you will already hear lower prices, and of course, do not be afraid to bargain.

nepal road

   

Accommodation in Nepal: Where to stay in Kathmandu?

The best area to stay is in Thamel, the main street that houses all the tourists who come to Nepal.

In Thamel, you will have everything, guesthouses, restaurants, travel agencies, and trucking equipment stores.

4 best places to stay in Nepal for solo traveler

Elbrus Home - Great hostel! 5 minutes walk from Thamel center.

Nice atmosphere, Spacious rooms, and cute garden area.

Definitely, one of the best places to stay in Kathmandu.

Flock Hostel Kathmandu - The hostel is clean and has a cozy dorm, with many showers with hot water.

The beautiful common room and the restaurant offer great food.

Rest Up Kathmandu Hostel - Convenient and relatively cheap place, cozy, good location close to many places in Thamel, and a quiet and pleasant atmosphere.

Hotel Jampa - It's not a hostel and has no dorm rooms, but if you are looking for relaxation and privacy it's a perfect hotel.

The hotel is located in the center of Thamel, but in a quiet alley, which makes all the difference.

The hotel has Strong Wi-Fi and is close enough to any point in Thamel.

Where do you stay during the treks in Nepal?

Most treks in Nepal offer quite comfortable accommodation along the way.

On some treks, you will stay in tea houses, where you can stay in modest rooms with a bucket shower (A funny experience) or shared toilets and showers.

There are guesthouses, which offer more comfortable conditions, and sometimes, also a restaurant that serves food west.

On other treks, accommodation is in family homes in the local villages, and this is a great opportunity to get to know the local life.

Accommodation in Nepal

How to get around in Nepal?

When talking about transportation in Nepal, it is important to talk about the roads.

Most of the roads in Nepal are unpaved, and most of Nepal is not connected by roads.

Many villages in the country are connected by footpaths only, and when there is a road, it is usually a dirt road.

In Nepal, you can get around in several ways:

Rickshaw

Rickshaws are a very standard way to get around nearby places in Kathmandu.

Usually, the trip is an experience - in the open air, with all the noises and smells around.

Do not forget to bargain for the price of the trip!

nepal rickshaw

jeep

The most common form of transportation on roads (dirt roads) is trekking. The jeeps usually leave from a fixed point in the village and leave when his full. Get ready for a particularly bouncy ride.

Bus for tourists

Buses run between Kathmandu and Pokhara, Lumbini, and Chitwan.

You can order tickets on the 12go Asia website, the best website for booking transportation in Asia!

taxi

The taxis in Kathmandu and Pokhara are small and clumsy but traveling. Probably more expensive than a bicycle rickshaw, but relevant to longer journeys, and probably also faster.

Local bus

Locals are regular buses with local passengers, hence the name.

On the local bus, the seats are less comfortable, they are not air-conditioned, the places are not marked, and at certain times can be crowded.

On the other hand, there is no need to book tickets in advance, the frequency can be high, and they are very cheap.

Traveling locally will give you the full Nepali experience - you can talk to people and experience the road directly, a bit like a rickshaw.

The ride on a local bus is tough, but provides a rare experience and glimpse into the daily lives of the Nepalese.

nepal local bus

Best things to do when traveling alone in Nepal

Trekking in nepal

The main reason hikers come to Nepal is the impressive treks and ridges. Whether your stay is long or short, do not give up on the experience.

It is important to choose a reputable travel agency, take a guide, and even a porter to help carry the equipment so you can enjoy the route.

Most popular treks in Nepal:

Everest Base Camp

Duration of the trek: 12-18 days

Experienced hikers will be able to enjoy a trek that reaches as far as the base camp at the foot of the mountain.

A more challenging route of the trek includes the Kala Patthar and crossing the tracks between 5,360 m and 5,550 m.

The route is a kind of collection of observation points on the various ridges, the most prominent of which is Mount Everest.

Annapurna circuit

Duration of the trek: 10-14 days

The trek revolves around the Annapurna ridge area which is part of the Himalayan mountain range. The circumferential route and the heights in it vary and so do the diverse landscapes you will encounter along the way.

The trek is defined as a light-medium level and includes a 5,416 m high strip.

Annapurna Base Camp

Duration of the trek: 8 days

During the trek you will pass the heart of the Annapurna Reserve and reach a peak of 4,000 m. The view that will accompany you on the way will be the mountains that the best climbers in the world try to conquer every year.

The Langtang Trek and the Frozen Lakes

Duration of the trek: 7-14 days

You can perform the trek in combination or choose one of the routes.

The Langtang Valley is mostly identified as a glacial valley where the landscape alternates several times from green to the route of snowy mountainous terrain.

You can combine a trip with a visit to the frozen lakes located at an altitude of 4,000 m, a spectacular view when the water of the lakes turns to ice, especially in the winter months.

how to choose which one?

The various treks have different degrees of difficulty and comfort and last several days to several weeks.

Everyone will be able to find a trek that suits his physical ability, the time he has left, and his pocket.

All popular treks have a lively movement of people, and you will get to know travel partners easier.

Although these are touristy treks, they do not detract from the charm of trekking in Nepal and the impressive Himalayan ridge.

For those who travel alone in Nepal, especially for the first time, and intend to go on a trek alone, it is worthwhile to go on one of the most visited and famous treks I have mentioned here.

On these treks, You will surely get to know people and gain tremendous shared experiences.

try adrenaline activities

Nepal is best known for the quality rafting it offers to many travelers. Streams of varying difficulty and hikes start from several hours and last several days.

You will not have to worry about equipment, everything is included through the various travel agencies in Pokhara and Kathmandu.

Apart from rafting, you will find in the Kathmandu Valley a bungee jumping site alongside the possibility to learn to kayak on the Bhote Kosi River or paragliding in the Pokhara area.

pokhara nepal

visit nature reserves

Apart from the nature reserves in the mountainous area of ​​Nepal, you will find two interesting reserves located in the south of the country, in the flat Trai area.

The Radiyya Nature Reserve and the Chitwan Nature Reserve offer an introduction to wildlife such as elephants, tigers, rhinos, birds, and more. They can be reached through an organized trip from one of the agencies in the cities or independently.

nepal nature reserve

Volunteering

Nepal is a third-world country, one of the poorest in the world.

Western tourism that comes to it helps the local economy, but the best help comes from the actions of tourists who join the various organizations in the country and volunteer to give their time and energy for the benefit of the weak population.

Do some shopping

You can buy everything here cheaply.

In addition to a variety of handicrafts and handicrafts, you will find climbing and trekking equipment, cameras, spices, clothes, and more in Nepal.

nepal shopping

Trip to Nepal: How to plan?

For travelers whose time is limited and limited, it is advisable to know in advance which trek they want to do.

Some go trekking independently, and some choose to take a guide or porter who knows the way.

Porter is a local whose main job is to carry the equipment for you (it is important not to overload it too much).

The porter is well versed in the route and will help you find good places for accommodation and food.

Sometimes the porter will take you to a place you may not like, for the reason that he gets free meals there or that his friends are there.

The porter must be attentive to your needs.

travel nepal alone

How to find partners when traveling alone in Nepal?

Did you come to Nepal alone? Did you go out with partners, and things did not work out? Don't worry.

Nepal is a friendly country for travelers alone, women and men alike.

The Thamel in ​​Kathmandu and Lakeside in Pokhara, are packed with travelers all day long. Including countless restaurants and inviting travel agencies, where you can leave a sign (many do this), and even while wandering or shopping you may meet your next partner.

Did this happen, and you did not find a partner?

Do not be afraid to go out alone with Porter - on the trek you will meet lots of travelers!

Whether during the walk or at your accommodation that day, you will stay in small villages where most hikers sleep in the same places, and it is impossible not to know people.

If you go on a trek around Annapurna, after 2-3 days, you will already know all the hikers who started the trek in your time.

travel to nepal alone

As mentioned, I traveled to Nepal alone and met lovely people already on the first day of the trek.

I left Kathmandu for the Annapurna circuit trek alone, and I was a little apprehensive at first if I met people, and it was easier than I thought.

Already on the jeep from Kathmandu to the village where the trek begins, I met amazing people who had a quick connection between us, and we went the whole trek together, and we stayed together for the rest of my trip in Nepal.

Beyond that, even on the trek itself, I met a lot of people each day, and for a moment, I did not feel alone.

Of course, I'm talking about touristy treks like the Annapurna circuit trek or the Everest Base Camp trek, that many hikers from all over the world come to do.

So do not be afraid to visit Nepal alone, you will never feel alone, and you will have the opportunity to meet enough people along the way and make new friendships.

* It is important to emphasize

You need to have a TIMS card and a national park/conservation area permit to enter and trek in these areas. But all parts of these regions are not safe.

The more frequent trekking routes are advisable to trek alone but I recommend you not to trek alone in Nepal.

Nepal is not like Europe or other places in the world where you can easily go trekking alone without any worries.

When trekking in Nepal, you need to make sure that there will always be people around you, even if you do not know each other, they can help you if something happens to you.

On popular treks, it is rare to be alone, but in any case, never try to cross a mountain pass when you are alone!

If life is important to you, be responsible enough, and stick with one group or someone else.

Of course, I traveled alone to Nepal, but I never had a day when I hiked alone in Nepal.

There were always people around me, whether it was the partners I met or other hikers in sight.

It is important not to underestimate this because no matter how much experience you have in trekking, trekking in Nepal is a completely different thing than what you are familiar with.

backpacking nepal

Local communication and local SIM card

It is easy to connect to WiFi in the accommodation and restaurants, and even on the touristy treks (Annapurna Circuit and Everest Base Camp), there is WiFi available.

Of course, in the mountains, the wifi will be slow and temporary, and sometimes even expensive.

It's very convenient to walk around with a local SIM.

Where to buy a local SIM in Nepal?

You can buy a SIM at the airport in Kathmandu - at the exit of the airport, there are stalls of the two Nepali cellular companies.

It's a little more expensive than buying in Thamel, but not significant.

There are two companies - NCell and NTC \ Namaste.

As long as you're not on the trek, it really does not matter.

In the Annapurna area, it is better to use NTC, and in the Everest area, it is better to use NCell.

nepal landscape

How do you communicate on treks when there is no reception?

Satellite messenger device.

It is a device that allows sending a distress signal in case of emergency, and to send an 'everything is fine' message to the family.

Not everywhere on the trek, there is cellular reception, and there are places where you would like the opportunity to be in communication for your safety.

This is why more and more travelers today want to take a satellite device for their trip, especially if they are traveling alone.

Important to note!

* Do not go on a trek alone without a satellite device.

* Do not go on a trek alone without insurance that includes extreme locating and rescuing.

Even if you have maps, lots of experience, and have done a lot of research.

If you catch altitude sickness, lose your way, or fall - the satellite device can make the difference between life and death.

I'm not saying these things to scare you, but to be alert enough and understand what you're heading for.

I met enough people during the trek in Nepal who thought they were brave and could do anything, and they thought they could not get altitude sickness and eventually realized this the hard way.

Trek in Nepal is not a scary thing, and it is a fun and wonderful thing. But it is important to know all the possible scenarios and be prepared for them accordingly.

trekking alone nepal

Travel insurance to Nepal

The Himalayas attract many adventurous hikers.

In addition to them, the flowing rivers are a sought-after, exciting rafting attraction.

This means that many visitors to Nepal will experience adventures that involve a certain risk.

It is important to choose an insurance policy that will cover the various activities in Nepal.

No one wants anything bad to happen to him during the trip. But if this happens, you should have health insurance and not be left helpless in a foreign country.

Travel insurance to Nepal must include challenging activities, locating, and rescuing.

nepal helicopter rescue

Responsible Tourism in Nepal

The culture in Nepal is not similar to the Western world, therefore gestures and deeds that we think are simple and natural, are sometimes considered insulting and inappropriate by Nepalis.

For the most part, they will not say anything, but the locals will greatly appreciate and respect the travelers who will behave according to their culture.

Dress: Nepalis believe that in Nepal, you should dress like Nepalis. Short or bare clothes are not well received as well as intimate contact between a man and a woman.

Naked or shirtless walking is unacceptable.

You may notice men or women walking hand in hand or hugging members of the same sex, but this shows intimacy and not the sexual background.

Conversation: When meeting people, greet each other by saying Namaste which is accompanied by clasping hands on each other. This action blesses the person standing in front of you, and the Nepalis respect those who practice this way.

Behavior: Do not touch the head of another person (especially children), do not pass over someone sitting lower than you.

In receiving and giving objects or money, it is customary to use both hands or the right hand with the left palm resting on the right elbow.

Behavior in temples: Shoes should be removed and left at the entrance to temples.

When passing near or around a stupa, temple, or walls with prayer wheels, should be done clockwise.

Smoking is not allowed inside them, and a modest donation is welcome.

Photography: Ask permission before photographing people and holy places.

Respect the privacy at public ceremonies and events (especially cremation and bathing in the river).

Table manners: Eating around the Nepali table is done with the right hand. Mix the food, turn it into lumps using the five fingers, and inhale from the palm to the mouth.

Because the right hand is dirty from the food, the left hand is used to drink, add food, etc. However, in tourist restaurants, cutlery is served.

nepal culture

Useful sites and apps for a solo trip to Nepal:

12GoAsia - The best site to book tickets for public transport, buses, and trains in Nepal and Asia.

Booking.com - Comparison of hotels and accommodations

Hostel World - the best site for booking a hostel and dorms

Expedia - Compare prices of flights to Nepal at attractive prices

Xe currency- Currency conversion app

Maps.me- Navigation offline.

You can download the maps in advance to navigate offline, very useful.

You can use the App even on various treks!

Y.r - Weather. I use it all over the world.

Tripadvisor - recommendations for places to eat, accommodation, agencies, and more

Hey Mondo - Travel insurance for Nepal

Final thoughts on a solo trip to Nepal

In my case, the decision to travel to Nepal has always been there.

I knew I wanted to get to this fascinating country and walk to the foot of the Himalayas.

Today after I have already visited Nepal alone, I can say that it is the best thing I have done.

I met amazing people in Nepal, had tremendous experiences, charming trekking partners, and got to know a fascinating and different culture from what I know.

As with any trip I take, when I go on a trip alone, I always know people from different places in the world, and ages, and that is what is beautiful about traveling alone, and Nepal is no different in this matter.

Now all you have left is to look for an attractive flight ticket, organize a bag, do not forget to take a camera of course and visit one of the most beautiful and fascinating countries in the world!

nepal travel guide

Thank you for reading!

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