Nepal is a small, landlocked country, 800km long and 200km wide making a total land area of 147,181 sq. km. The landscape soars from just 150m above sea level to 8848m at the tip of Mt. Everest. Nepal covers only 0.1% of the world’s surface area but is home to 8% of the world’s species of birds, including 72 critically endangered species. Geographically, Nepal can be divided into three regions: 1. Himalayan (snow peaks) Region 2. Hilly (mountain) Region 3. Tarai (plain) Region
The climate of Nepal can be broadly divided into two seasons: The dry season runs from October to May and the wet (monsoon) season runs from June to September. Because of the varied topography, the weather in Nepal can vary from one region to another. As a general rule, temperatures fall and rainfall decreases the higher up we go. The most popular season to visit Nepal is the dry season i.e. October to May, with October and November recognized as having the best weather for trekking; the landscape is green and lush from the recent monsoon rains, the air is crisp and clean and the views of the Himalaya are crystal clear. During this season the nights are cold in the mountains, but the bright sun makes for pleasant daytime temperatures. At higher altitudes temperatures range from about 20 degree Centigrade down to -0 degree Centigrade at night. By early December winter is starting to creep in and the cold can be bitter and dangerous at high altitudes and the trails are often blocked by snow. The pre monsoon period from May to early June is very hot and humid with temperatures soaring above 30 degree Centigrade. From mid June to September the monsoon rains lash Nepal turning the foothill trails into the mud river, rafting rivers become more furious and roads are often blocked by floods and landslides.
A travel insurance policy that covers medical expenses, evacuation, theft and loss is recommended. Make sure the insurance also covers all the adventure activities during your stay in Nepal.
Nepalese Rupees are found in denominations of 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, 1 notes. Coins are found in denominations of 1, 2, 5 rupees. One rupee equals 100 paisa. Major international currencies, including the US dollar, euro and pounds sterling, are readily accepted. In Nepal the Indian rupee is also like a hard currency – the Nepali rupee is pegged to the Indian rupee at the rate of INRs 100 = NRs 160. Be aware that INRs 500 and INRs 1000 notes are not accepted anywhere in Nepal, apparently due to forgeries. Banks in Katmandu are open 10 am to 3:30 pm Sunday through Friday.
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