Nepal  Trekking Resources

Variety of Resources designed to help you prepare your Nepal Journey are summarized on this page. Select link below to learn more about each category

Travel Logistics Gear Altitude Culture Links

Nepal Travel and Visas

Mount Everest RangeMount Everest RangeDistant Mt Everest in Nepal Himalaya Mountains seen from the airplane window flying to Kathmandu
Distant Mt Everest (center) seen from the airplane window flying to Kathmandu

Although there are some overland trekking routes -- via India or Tibet -- vast majority of trekkers will fly in via Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport (KTM),   Nepal only international airport.  If coming from Europe or Africa, east direction is logical choice.  If coming from North (or South) America one has a choice:  east over Atlantic, or west over Pacific Ocean.  Direct flights are impossible and several layovers are required in both cases;  also note that going west will mean crossing international date line (24 hours ahead), while going east over Europe will require constant time zone adjustments.   Regardless of direction jet lag will be a factor. Katmandu is 11hr 45 mins ahead from standard Pacific Time Zone, so almost directly on opposite side of the globe and little can be gained in term of overall distance / price.  Plan arrival to Kathmandu 2 calendar days after departure (if coming from North America). 


Both times I visited Nepal it was from Canada flying west, via Vancouver BC.  Second time in November '19 I strongly considered flying over Atlantic, with layovers in London Heathrow (LHR) and Muscat, Oman (MCT).  Price was good and overall flight length acceptable, but eventually picked west direction again because of desire for layover in Tokyo (Haneda International Airport, HNN). I never visited Japan before and had a chance to spend full day in on return.   First time in October '07 I flew via Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China;  layover in Hong Kong was pleasant, but I will strongly advise against flying over China for many reasons.   Best option as last stop before Kathmandu is probably Bangkok, Thailand (BKK);  from there several airlines fly directly to Kathmandu and flight takes close to 4 hours.   Consider spending time shopping around:  good sites are  Cheapflights  and Expedia.  Two things to keep in mind:


  • Book your airfare early.  The closer it gets, the more expensive it will be.  3-4 months before is minimum,  6-7 is better. 
  • Look closely at fine print.  Lower end airlines will have surcharge for backpacks over certain weight.  This is why their prices appear cheaper on the surface.  Your checked-in luggage will likely be heavy and might get over that limit, requiring extra cost at check-in counter you did not plan on


In terms of airlines, I recommend All-Nipon Airways (ANA);  I flew Vancouver (YVR) -- Tokyo Haneda (HNN) -- Bangkok (KTM) with them in November '19.  Lots of leg room,  punctual, great entertainment choices and they feed you until you simply can't take anymore.  From Bangkok to Kathmandu I flew Thai Royal Airways, and it was not so good -- towards end of inbound flight everyone was rushing to the bathroom, myself included;  fish they served for lunch was suspicious indeed.  Might be an isolated case though.


Nepal Visas

Nepal VisaNepal VisaNepal Tourist Entry Visa, obtained at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu Nepal Tourist Entry "Visa-on-Arrival", obtained at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu


Except for limited number of countries (China, Brazil, Russia, Thailand as of this writing) that do not require travel visa for Nepal visit based on reciprocal Waiver Agreement,  trekkers will need to obtain valid Nepal Tourist Visa.  For full details, including required fees, consult official Nepal Immigration Site.  "Visa on Arrival" is very convenient and can be obtained upon landing on Tribhuvan International Airport;  I had no problems whatsoever both times I flew into Nepal.  Couple of suggestions:


  • Prefill required form in advance online, then simply print out the scan and bring in your passport.  If will speed things up.  This scan is valid only for short time, so fill within 2 weeks of planned arrival, not earlier
  • Carry USD cash.  Although one can presumably pay fee with credit card, this is never reliable option in 3rd world countries.  Also carry exact change, in small bills.  


Visas are multi-entry and issued for certain amount of time.   30 day VISA is probably most popular, and costs 50 USD as of this writing.  In unlikely scenario you overextend length of your stay, you will need to get new Visa;  they won't let you leave the country otherwise.  Travel agencies in Kathmandu or Pokhara can help with this.