Do’s and Don’ts in Nepal
Every mindful traveler know that it is essential to recognize some basic protocols while going to any country as it makes travel much tension-free and pleasant. Nepal is one of the easiest places to travel to and the people here always welcome its visitors with such great warmth and happiness however, you may be totally unfamiliar to the country, its people, food and culture etc. And like any other places in the world there are some things to take into consideration for your assistance while travelling to Nepal. This will make your stay in Nepal remarkable!
Dos & Don’ts:
- Doing Namaste by joining your both palms together is the most common yet a respectable way of greeting to any new or acquaintance you meet in Nepal. This form of respect is very appropriate esp. for women as they can be quite hesitant of shaking hands with the opposite sex.
- Use both your hands while giving or receiving anything as it is a gesture of appreciation and respect. And always use your right hand for everything if you are using one hand.
- In Nepal, the locals are offended if a finger is directly pointed to anything- esp. people or religious monuments – always use the flat extended hand to specify anything.
- When entering a home, temple or monastery in Nepal, remember to remove your shoes or slippers as reverence and before taking photos in these places, always ask for permission and try to avoid using flash.
- Nepal is largely a Hindu country with uncountable Hindu temples sprinkled all around so, you should know that some of the temples entrance may be prohibited for non-Hindus – look for signs or ask before entering the temple and also avoid any of the leather products inside the temple as they are strictly prohibited.
- While walking around any religious monuments, always go clockwise – keeping the monuments to your right side.
- Public display of love or any intimate physical contact, skimpy clothes or nudity is always frowned upon by the locals. So, walking decent and respecting the view of the people is advised.
- Be careful while buying antiques or any products that are made from endangered animals- it is illegal and if you buy, you will certainly contribute to illegal trading. However if you must buy, go for antique replica from the authorized stores and do not forget a receipt of authenticity when purchasing, as it will be of use while taking it out of the country.
- You will see beggars and children asking for money, never hand them down any money. You may want to give some food but not money as they can spend those money in all the wrong things and it will also encourage them to beg more.
- If you want to donate anything and help, please make sure to do it through a reliable source and also make sure your donations fall in the right place and to those in need.
- Avoid arguing about sensitive matters like religious and political issues. While light conversation may add to the delightful atmosphere, heated discussion may end up leaving you with explosive arguments and bitter feeling.
- In Nepal, the locals may not follow much of the dining table etiquettes except in corporate world, but few things to bear in mind:
- Never eat with left hand unless you are a lefty.
- While drinking water directly from the bottle, maintain a distance between a bottle and your lips.
- Wasting food is considered unpleasant so, take only as much as you need. Food is highly worshipped in Nepal.
- Most of the common Nepalese use their hands to eat esp. at home and fork, knives and spoons are used only in an exceptional case, so do not get offended if you see anyone eating with hand.
- People may or may not like to share the food in the same plate, so, always ask if they mind sharing or eating in the same place.
- Take food only as much as you can eat and do not leave anything uneaten over the dish.
- It is quite common in Nepal, to lick fingers clean if you like the food. It is kind of approach to appreciate food. Do not get shocked or get offended with the sight.
- Nepal is famous for all kinds of hikes and treks. If you plan to go for any short or long trek here, you have to understand that the prices for things like food, drinks or even rooms may get little expensive as you get to the countryside but this is not with an intension of charging any customers with extra money. This is because it actually takes a lot of effort and hard work and also money to reach the stuffs in these destinations. So, bargaining should be avoided as much as possible because when you do that, you not only respect the local people’s hard work, you also directly or indirectly contribute to enhance their livelihood.
- Avoid drinking direct tap water and always use sealed bottle water for drinking.
- In the city, respect the quoted price for handicrafts, souvenirs, trekking services and small businesses. It will give the merchants a fair return.
- While going for camping, hiking or trekking, as a civilized human being, please do not litter and help keep the surrounding clean – every one of us like the clean surrounding after all.
- Do not get involved in any illegal matters like: drugs, thieving or physical fights. The laws can be inescapable.
- Avoid walking alone esp. in the dark with your valuables.
- Always insist on using meters in Taxis for fair payment. And if you are being denied of the service or cannot get hold of any taxis, look for traffic police around and ask for help. They will willingly do anything to help you.
- Do go for hiking or trekking as some of the finest trekking trials lie here in Nepal and any trekking enthusiast would agree on this. These are also definitely few of the adventurous things to do in Nepal.
Try local cuisines. While in Nepal, you will find varieties of local cuisines that are mouth-watering.
- Interact with the locals. Locals here are very tourist-friendly and a cheerful people. Hardly anywhere in the world you will find a country where tourists are loved and respected so much.
- Attend festivals. We know that every other day in Nepal is celebrated with festivals. You will not only enjoy these festivals but it will help you observe local people their life and culture closely.
- The capital city Kathmandu is filled with beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites – visit them, it will give you close knowledge and be familiar with interesting history of Nepal.
- Always respect local traditions, customs, values and sentiments attached to it.
Knowing basic etiquettes are always a rescue to your travel. People, their culture, language, lifestyle from all around the world are different and to each, its value is immeasurable. And irrespective of whether you are a local tourist or a foreigner, if you respect the country, it will always respect you back. The above mentioned: Dos & Don’ts are of course the most basic ones. As you enjoy your stay in Nepal, you will find more!