Following on from my previous instalment here is the second addition to my list of tips for travelling in Nepal.
Tip 6: Order food at least 30 mins before you’re hungry
Life in Nepal has another rhythm and it isn’t exactly a speedy one. In Kathmandu, service can be speedier though still slow by European timeframes. Outside of Kathmandu be ready to wait quite a while. They have not forgotten your order, they just need to prepare everything from scratch. The upside is that the food will taste great and you will also get to enjoy the views or get to know your travel companions a bit better.
Tip 7: Don’t be afraid to explore
Nepali towns can be crazy if you stick to the main streets. You will be hassled and might even end up getting stressed! To avoid that and also ensure you see a little bit to of what it is like to be a Nepali, go into the dingy little streets. You might end up in someone’s courtyard but a quick smile and a “namaste” will get you out of more trouble than you’d think was possible. Also you’d be surprised at the beauty of some of the things hidden away inside Nepal’s courtyards!
Tip 8: Be prepared to say no… a lot!
This doesn’t just apply to the street vendors, it is also a good tip for when buying anything, agreeing on a hotel price or even buying tourist bus tickets. Everything is negotiable in Nepal. The best way to get someone to lower the price of something is to flat out refuse to discuss it any further and then walk away. Don’t be afraid, they will come after you with a better price or if not you can try again at the next corner. Very few things you can buy are only sold in one shop in Nepal.
Tip 9: Always get the price first
Whenever looking to buy anything or rent a service or book a room, make sure you get a price first. If they say no, then insist and if they refuse, give a price that is 50% of what you’re really after. They will expect it and then will give you a price that will still be too high but it’s a starting point. I hate showing my hand and letting them know what I’d be willing to pay as it is really hard to lower that first number.
Tip 10: Don’t judge a restaurant by its entrance
The 2 best places I have been to so far in Nepal had dingy horrible entrances. To get into one I even had to walk through a woodworking workshop and then a freight service office! With the lack of electricity and windows in lower floors in Nepal, most place look horrible. Wait until you get there to judge. Even then, I’d trust more what my fellow travellers (or me) are saying than the appearance of the place.
Hope you enjoyed these. I’ll post more as I collect them!