Health Guide and Culture Etiquette
Health care services in Kathmandu Valley are sound. All kinds of medicines, including those imported from overseas are available in Kathmandu. Kathmandu Valley also offers the services of major general hospitals and private clinics. Health posts have been set up by the Government in different parts of rural Nepal. For major health crisis or emergency, one may have to be evacuated to Kathmandu.
1. A travel insurance policy that covers medical treatment is recommended for all tourists.
2. Similarly, we recommend you to make sure that the insurance covers activities such as trekking, rafting etc. that you will be undertaking during your stay in Nepal
3. Getting special vaccinations are not necessary when visiting Nepal.
4. We still recommend that you consult with your physician regarding special immunizing against any tropical disease.
5. It may be a good idea to get a complete check up before departure.
6. We recommend that you undertake training programs to be physically fit if you plan to go high-altitude trekking or mountaineering when you’re visiting Nepal.
7. Please read up on altitude sickness (AMS), diarrhea, Giardia, Dysentry, Cholera, Hepatitis, Rabies, Typhoid, Tetanus, Meningitis, Diptheria, Malaria and HIV/ AIDS. Information and little precautions can often save lives.
8. Please make sure that food is thoroughly cooked and served hot when eating out.
9. Please make sure that salads and fruits are washed with purified water or peeled when eating out.
10. Beware of food that has been kept out in the open for long.
11. Always make sure that your water is clean by opting for boiled and then cooled water, treated water or sealed water from reputed brand.
12. Always carry a bottle of water when trekking or venturing off away from the city/ town.
13. Do not walk bare feet on damp mud and grass in unknown areas.
14. Please do not swim in lakes and water bodies, especially where depth and vegetation are not known.
15. Always carry and use mosquito repellant when in Terai region or during summers.
16. Please have a handy medical first aid kit ready for any situation.
A simple but adequate medical kit can be very useful while traveling. The following items are recommended: Aspirin of Panadol, for pain or fever; Antihistamine, as a decongestant for colds, allergies and to help prevent motion sickness; Antibiotics, useful if traveling off beaten track but they must be prescribed; Kaolin preparation (Pepto-Bismol), Imodium or Lomotil, for upset stomach; Rehydration mixture – for treatment of severe diarrhea; Antiseptic, mercurochrome and antibiotic powder or similar dry spray- for cuts and grazes.
Other things to be included are: Calamine lotion to ease irritation from bites or stings; bandages and band aids for minor injuries; scissors, tweezers, thermometer, insect repellent, sun block lotions, chopsticks, water purification tablets, throat lozenges, moleskin, Sulamyd 10 percent eye drops, paracetamol and antacid tablets.
Some tips on the common etiquettes practiced by Nepali people should be useful to visitors.
1. The form of greeting in Nepal is “Namaste” performing by joining both palms together. It literally means “the divine in me salutes the divine in you”.
2. As a mark of respect Nepalis usually take their shoes off before entering someone’s house or place of worship.
3. Food or material that has been touched by another person’s mouth is considered impure or “jutho” and, therefore, is not accepted unless among close friends or family.
4. Touching something with feet or using the left hand to give or take may not be considered auspicious.
5. Women wearing skimpy outfits are frowned upon especially in the rural parts of the country.
6. As a part of the tradition some Hindu temples do not allow non Hindus to enter.
7. Leather articles are prohibited inside some temple areas.
8. Walking around temples or stupas is traditionally done clockwise.
9. To avoid conflict photography is carried out after receiving permission from the object or person.
10. Public displays of affection are considered scandalous.
11. Nodding of head means “Yes” while shaking of head means a “No”. A slight dangling of head from left to right means “OK”.