Nepal is one of the most travel-friendly destinations in the world with so much to see and experience. Every place here is so amazing that it’s a tough call to make on where to start and what to explore throughout the stay.
It has vibrant cities, exquisite art and culture, traditional architectural temples, and a rich history. Kathmandu is a cultural center with so many historic sites, religious shrines, and primordial villages whose splendid backdrop has now changed.
You can always skip a day or two for shopping in the city’s fanciest market and uptown mall. Avid mountaineers can fly to the Himalayas for extreme adventure and natural magnificence filled with sweeping landscapes, tranquil forests, and shimmering snow peaks.
But its scope and distance can make the trek a great challenge for trekkers especially those who are beginners. Hence, every traveler must know what they should avoid while trekking rather than what they should do during the expedition.
However, it isn’t just the mountains where the holidaymakers have to be cautious. They have to be mindful almost everywhere within the country. There are many things you shouldn’t do in Nepal which include picking on random people, leaving the details of your hotel behind, and not using the left hand to give to others.
This is considered rude and disrespectful. Another thing you should do in Nepal is to book a taxi without a certified meter as it charges a high fare which is what you want to avoid. If you don’t want to bump into any kind of trouble, then follow these tips and you’ll be fine.
Things you should not do in Nepal
As an outsider in a new country among new people, it’s really hard to cope with different cultures and languages. It’s even more difficult to follow the ground rules and avoid ill-fated circumstances. There are certain things you should not do in Nepal which are listed below.
1- Don’t: drink tap water
If you don’t want to spoil your vacation or spend the rest of your days at a health center in Nepal, then say no to tap water. They contain lethal bacteria and germs which cause waterborne diseases like diarrhea, dysentery, and cholera.
Most of the time tap water is unfiltered and contaminated with chemicals like arsenic and nitrates that conceal from the naked eye. Drinking such water will not just upset your stomach but even put your health at risk.
So instead of using direct tap water to drink, have mineral water or natural spring water that carries minerals and calcium. They’re pure and don’t taste flat or boiled, doing wonders for the body.
2- Never underestimate the road
You have no idea how crowded the streets and pavements of Nepal are. The sidewalks in the city are filled with mobs that it becomes hard to navigate. Don’t get the wrong impression of having an empty road all to yourself late at night as there are people who commute from sunrise to sundown.
Traffic is real and keeps the road busy around the clock, making it super hard to get to the other end. During rush hours, the vehicles run at high speeds, increasing the chances of road traffic injuries.
Nepalese don’t like it when travelers intervene in them or block their roads just to glare at old buildings and temples. People who’re in a big hurry trying to get to the job on time may find it annoying, therefore, don’t poke strangers.
3- Don’t: make the mistake of walking into temples with shoes on
Nepalese people, particularly Hindus, are pious and strict about their creed. They don’t allow devotees to wear footwear inside the temple. So don’t hurt their religious sentiment by entering the temple, wearing shoes.
It’s considered impure and discourteous behavior toward people’s beliefs and culture. You can be fined for it or take strict action so don’t even think that you’ll get away with the offense. Moreover, the shoe carries lots of germs, so it’s not good for the health of others walking the temple barefoot.
4- Don’t: get into a fight with Himalayan Yak
It’s okay to travel in the alpine zone but never pick on the yaks there or try to get too friendly. They’re quite aggressive and can hurt the stranger anytime, leaving deep cuts and bruises. Himalayan yak has sharp handlebar like horns with long hair that impedes visibility, making the animal even more threatening.
People who thoughtlessly mess with Himalayan yak must realize that they form a herd and attack in a group. If that wasn’t already bad, they even weigh up to 585 kg so if you don’t want to injure yourself, turn down the fight with yaks before it starts.
5- Don’t: rely on credit card
While you’re likely to get around with a credit card in cities, most obscure places in remote areas only accept cash. Most of these places don’t have a banking service near to withdraw cash which thus can see the traveler struggling to make ends meet.
Nobody wants to grieve away from a delicious meal and trade the warm dwelling with an exposed meadow that endures a strong breeze. So, to keep yourself away from all inconvenience, carry some extra cash.
6- Don’t: travel to extreme places with prescribed medications
Unlike places in the hills and lowlands, the Himalayas are extremely cold with freezing temperatures. Trekking such places requires strong physical strength and endurance power to overcome altitude sickness. But sometimes things get out of control and it becomes impossible to combat illness at that high altitude. To prevent such an unfortunate situation, you must carry a personal first aid kit with medicines advised by the doctor.
7- Don’t: hire bikes and cars
Roads in Nepal vary from well-pitched to rugged and are filled with stones and gravel. Driving the shuttle like bikes and cars involves high-risk on such lanes, especially when you’re new in the country.
They may be a convenient way to get around but don’t take the chance as it can cost someone’s life. It’s even likely to make you a loathe driver which is the last thing you’d want. To add, hiring a car is expensive and can cost you a lot when there’s no extra passenger to share the price. It only turns out well when you’re visiting the country with family and friends.
8- Don’t: let the germs die
High altitude destinations like that of the Manaslu circuit have extreme weather, which prevents bacteria from growing except the one in your stomach. But the lack of oxygen in the air can kill these microbes which would have otherwise improved your digestive system.
Without gut flora, plant cellulose becomes indigestible and causes a severe disorder. Unpleasant symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, and bloating make it difficult to walk, much less trekking.
Hikes are already difficult and when the bacteria stops aiding as a food tolerant, it gets even tougher. So, for back-up carry probiotics with yourself to keep the gut healthy if not restored.
9- Don’t: fall for fake brands while mountaineering
Some shoppers in Nepal deceive travelers with counterfeit products, trying to make big bucks out of it. The unauthorized replica does look similar but lacks both quality and value. Hence, protect yourself from such looters by putting your trust in accredited shops in Thamel.
They offer original products from the label without the intention to swindle trekkers. Local shops also have the best singing bowls made in Nepal. They usually make a perfect gift set but you can also take it as a souvenir and use it to resist mental stress and anxiety. The resonating sound of the singing bowl has great healing power.
10- Don’t: yell in public
Nepal is a peace-loving country with the kindest and most soft-spoken people all over the world. Every visitor no matter the color and race is welcomed warmly and treated with respect in the country. It’s because of that Nepal has become the favorite holiday spot of travelers.
So you just can’t go around and scream at people for nothing. This is unacceptable behavior and also impolite to people who value your presence and give you so much without any expected return.
11- Don’t: expect beef in Nepal
As a Hindu religious country, Nepal worships cows as a god. It’s a sacred animal here so trading the beef is considered illegal in Nepal. Don’t wander around trying to find the shop that sells beef as it will take you this entire life to get one.