So I’ve been telling everyone is gonna be a backyard wedding, but this not the case any more, is out of my control but is gonna be at a reception place. Is still gonna be small ( about 30 people including you fine folks) but is definitely a more proper event than before.
What do I wear to the wedding?
We’re aiming for a smart causal kind of thing, so don’t feel like you need to take a fancy dress that you would usually wear to wedding here. Anyways since is not the West, nothing too above the knee, but exposed shoulders is ok! As my girlfriend puts it so eloquently, don’t show boob, butt and vagina! Bless. But midriff is fine if you get something traditional there. I guess if you’re not sure best to just ask me and I’ll let you know! Yeah like I said feel free to get something a little traditional there too!
What wedding gift should I get?
Honestly, it means the world to me that you guys are already flying half way across the world to be at my wedding. Your presence makes me feel pretty lucky to have friends like you guys, so really no need for any gifts!
I will mention that there is a part of the reception where we have to sit on these red throne like chairs (I am not looking forward to this part haha) and most people will come up to us to say congrats and give us gifts (usually just cash in envelopes to keep it simple) before putting a tika on us. So if you’re feeling the gifting spirit, this would be the right time to for it!
1 AUD Approx 80 Rupees. 80Rs for short.
When I write $, I mean AUD
KTM = Kathmandu
We’re picking you up from the airport! Since most of you guys are on the same plane, just get your visa at emigration and then come and meet us!
Do I need to get shots?
Most likely! My GP said Hep A & B, typhoid and malaria tablets, I would save a few dollars and get the malaria tablets in Nepal. To be honest I never took them when I was there and if you consider we’re just gonna be in the city and the people actually live there every day don’t take them either, it should be ok, but I’m not a doctor so your mileage may vary! You might be good for Hep B already if you got it done at school, anyways the best thing is just go to your GP asap and find out!
Do I need a visa for Nepal?
Yes! You can get one on arrival and at the airport. It’ll costs USD25 for a 15 days visa, but you can pay in the equivalent amount in AUD (at a slightly crap rate) and get Nepali Rupees for change. Bring a passport sized photo to save some time and trouble. You could also get a visa in Australia in advance but is double the price.
Will I get denied a visa at the airport??
No, unless you have a crazy criminal record or decide to carry hardcore drugs you’ll be fine! Nepal loves tourists, it makes up almost 10% of their GDP!
What do I do about money?
You definitely do not need to exchange any rupees before you come. You have two options for rupees, you can exchange some for decent rates in KTM, or you can just withdraw some from an ATM. Since we are picking you all up from the airport don’t worry about withdrawing until after we check you guys into your accommodation! Most hotels exchanges money at decent rates as well so there’s a lot of opportunities outside the airport.
With ATMs, there is a limit of about 30,000 rs (~$370) per withdrawal at a specific banks ATM, with a ~$5 atm fee. Most ATMs are 10,000 rs, but we’ll take you guys to the 30,000rs one after checking you guys in.
How much should I budget for?
I really feel like $370 will be more than enough to cover a lot of your week there (minus the hardcore adventure stuff and souvenirs.). In fact the smart way to do it would be pull out the $370 limit first, and then see how you go and then just go to the ATM again when you’re getting low on cash. Anything you don’t end up using you can give to me and I’ll transfer AUD back to you. You could also convert back to your original currency at the Airport at what I assume would be a crap rate, but you need to keep your ATM receipts or the invoice from a currency exchange booth for this.
Also definitely need to bargain for goods and souvenirs! The good key would be start with 50% of what they asked and settle on 75% of what they asked.
Is Nepal Safe?
Yes, is very safe, no pick pockets or bag snatchers. You guys will be staying at the tourist area so it stays a bit busy with tourists even at night. So walking back to the accommodation at night on your own at night wouldn’t be a problem either.
Just as a general rule of thumb with traveling to any country. I wouldn’t carry a bunch of money so I think the $370 limit first is the right way to do it. ATMs are everywhere. Carry the amount you’re prepared to lose I suppose as you’re definitely not gonna get your wallet back if you drop it somewhere so yeah!
How much are tourist sites, how are we getting around?
Entrance to a site cost $2 – $10 for foreigners depending on place.
Getting around we can take buses or van size buses. I think on the first day we can try doing it the local way and take the van buses, which is going to cost about 20 to 50rs per trip. After the first bus trip I doubt you guys will never want to do that again so we can taxi it for the rest of the trip, this is going to cost about 5-10 times more after some bargaining and then splitting between us. So still not too bad. I thought about hiring a van but need to look into it more so yeah watch this space.
How much is food?
At places catering to tourists around 400-600rs for western food, 300-500 for Nepali-Tibetan-Indian food, local prices are in general about 100-200rs cheaper.
Is about 150-250rs for coffee and tea or soft drinks.
Here’s a picture of the menu of a more tourist type of place.
Here’s a great page with pictures of local food, and local menus.
Alcohol: 300-500rs for a can of local to international beers, about the same for cocktails, spirits and wine.
How do I get a sim card?
You’ll need Passport and a passport size photo for a sim card. You are able to get some at the airport. I prefer if you guys just sort this out after we check you guys into the accommodation first. I’ll carry a phone with me when I pick you guys up so you can message back to say you’ve landed and all that jazz! They are mostly prepaid, this page has some good info about the rates.
I’ll definitely make sure the accommodation have wifi of course!
Can I drink the water there?
No. Don’t be like this American girl I knew who decided to go full native and drank the local water, she ended up getting super sick for days! Might be a good idea to bring a water bottle as some hotels usually have free drinking water and you can fill up your bottle. Always say no ice when you order a drink as you don’t know if they’re using filtered water! I’ve brushed my teeth fine with the water there. Though once again your mileage may vary!
Do I need insect repellent/Sun cream?
You should bring them if want to have your own but I’ll have some and I’m sure someone else will to. Same goes for Hand sanitiser.
What’s the weather like?
Is going to be pretty warm to a little hot during the day (mid to late 20s) and cool at night (mid teens).
When you say KTM is a shithole what do you actually mean?
I just mean Kathmandu is really really polluted. Infrastructure is there but is run down, really busy with people and dirty. Is also very very dusty, so lots of people wear dust mask out of necessity. We will provide a bunch of them but feel free to bring your own too. Pokhara is much nicer in every single aspect and will be a nice way to see what Nepal really is like outside the pollution. 🙂 Sunglasses is a really good idea.
What do I wear?
Shorts are fine, summer dresses are fine, just make sure is nothing too revealing. The more exposed you are just means you’re gonna get stared at more than you’re already are for being a foreigner.
Definitely bring light jacket or sweater or something like that. Anything that’s good enough to keep you warm on a plane ride should be fine as well. It does get a little cooler at night but will be in the hotel by then so yeah.
For footwear, a pair of running shoes or laced shoes will suffice, and maybe flats. You won’t want to wear thongs or sandals outside, is too bumpy and dusty and dirty.
I’m a girl, will I need a male chaperone to go out?
No, Nepal is mainly a Hindu/Buddhist country, so once again just don’t wear anything too revealing and you’ll be fine!
Does that mean there’s only veg food there?
No haha if you had a quick look at the menu you’d be able to see it wasn’t just veg food, you won’t be able to get beef (maybe you can but, I wouldn’t recommend it) but everything else you’ll be able to get (avoid sea food too since Nepal is landlocked.) Is mainly buff (buffalo) meat and chicken though!