Nepal is considered to one of the safest tourist destinations in the world. She is gifted with a large variety of climatic zones, wildlife and vegetation. As a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country, one can find variation in culture and tradition. The land of the Great Himalayas including Mt. Everest (8,848m), everyone from around the world, wants to visit this country once in lifetime!
Is a solo female traveler safe in Nepal?
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Travelling Nepal as a solo female traveler is also safe as this is the birthplace of Lord Buddha. Also known as the “Light of Asia”, Buddha is regarded as the Messenger of the World Peace and Fraternity. Although Nepal has a male-dominated society and its practice, women are regarded respectfully. Another reason for safety environment for a solo female traveler is that the Nepalese consider their nation as the Mother.
Maybe the Nepalese male counterparts are not educated, they know the contributions of their better halves. And it is also possible that there is conflict between husband and wife in the household. However, the Nepalese think and practice that they should respect the women travelers. The honesty and respectful manners shown by the Nepalese make the guests feel more secured and welcomed here!
No doubt, a solo female traveler can visit all around the country without any problem. They can do from city tours to adventure sports in Nepal as per their wish and choice. Visiting the cities like Kathmandu, Chitwan, Pokhara, Lumbini and others is also a good option. Similarly, a solo women traveler can try some adventurous sports like paragliding, zip flying and hot air ballooning in Pokhara. Moreover, they can also go for trekking in Nepal to different popular Himalayan regions.
For more specific information, let’s take a quick look into some facts prevalent in the Nepalese society.
Solo Trekking in Nepal for Women
You can go for city tours around the major cities as a solo female traveler. The city tour in Nepal doesn’t have any problem as the tracks are well defined, boards are hanging all around. You can get help from the locals and the administration as well. You can visit the socio-cultural beauties of the urban areas on your own. Nowadays, you can hire a taxi or even travel in bus to reach many tourist destinations of the town.
The drivers and helpers of the cabs and buses understand and talk in English as they are educated at schools and colleges. Next, they have been familiar with the technology that introduces the international languages with them. They know how to respect each other’s profession and affection at the fullest. They may sometimes charge you high amount but relocate to the place of your choice.
Nevertheless, trekking in Nepal is not as safe as city tours for a solo female traveler. Especially, if you are visiting Nepal for the first time, you are not be familiar with the trekking regions. It is hard to find out the right track to a particular region, so, you might miss the trail. Missing the right path may result in some unwanted results. There are many cases that the solo travelers in Nepal have been missing or dead falling from the cliffs!
To avoid such misfortune, we highly recommend you to book a particular trip via a local tour operator in Nepal. The trekking agency appoints a professional tour and trekking guide and porter if needed. The registered trekking guide has all the details about the trekking itinerary, best time to trek and local languages as well. If you happen to suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), they will help you fight back it.
Apart from this, you can take all the details about the guide you hire from himself or the agency itself. You can take the pictures of the certificates of such assistant and share with your relatives. Nowadays, it is quite common to find about the details of the guide from himself. Next important thing is to have your travel insurance for prompt rescue in case of emergency. The agency coordinates with your insurance company and proceed for necessary rescue services.
Social Position of Women in Nepal
Nepal is a common home for the people from different ethnic groups, cultures and religions. Different culture and religion may have given different positions to the women. Majority of people of Nepal belong to Hindu religion and then stand Buddhists in the second position. There is a significant number of the followers from other religious sects, too. All these groups have understood that women are the counterparts of the family and society.
Tourism in Nepal is one of the important sectors in creating employment opportunity. Millions of Nepalese have been earning their livelihood being involved in tourism. Tourism industry in Nepal is broadly divided into adventure and community-based tourism. Adventure tourism is dedicated to fulfill the desire of daredevil travelers who love to try some thrilling activities. You do skydiving in Everest, which is the most courageous activity in the world.
In community-based tourism, women are the central part to give it a considerable drive. To promote community-based tourism, the Government of Nepal introduced this concept in 1993 by declaring Sirubari and Ghalegaun as homestay sites. Since then, the Nepalese women are involved in this and generating income while working within the kitchen. The improvement in income source has resulted in overall development of them.
The greatest impact of this tourism has resulted in the positive perspective that the society has on women in Nepal. In case of a solo female traveler in Nepal, the people from the rural to urban area looked at them respectfully. If there is any kind of problem with the travelers, they are always ready to help. There might be some superstitious belief in the society, but no negative attitude is found regarding women travelers.
What to Wear while Travelling in Nepal?
There is not particular set of clothes to wear in Nepal except in the case of the national dress: Daura Suruwal Dhakatopi. All the ethnic groups have their own typical and unique cultural dress. They wear this set of the clothes on special occasions like their major festivals. Older generations of women wear sari and blouse while the middle generation prefer kurta salwar most of the times. The younger girls prefer pants and t-shirts including mini-skirts in some occasions.
The majority of people believe in wearing full sleeve clothes that can hide ankles and heels till the date. Although you are on a tour to Nepal, if you wear the traditional dress of them, they will really praise you. If not, try your best to wear the long clothes, especially in the rural areas. The rural people don’t like women and girls wearing short clothes as it is a taboo among them.
Finally, as a traveler from the land of civilization and knowledge, you are to respect the host country. It doesn’t mean that the Nepalese don’t want you to wear the clothes of your type. But, what I mean is that you avoid wearing provocative set of dress! For your comfort, you can wear jeans and t-shirts as wearing Nepali clothes may not comfort you.
Mode of Transportation
You can use flights, roadway transportation and private jeep or bus to travel from one location to another. The major cities and the remote areas not connected with the roadway network have airports or airstrips. The domestic flights can be utilized to travel to those areas in case of emergency or you want comfort. But nowadays, as all the 77 district headquarters are connected into road network, you can drive along the off and blacktopped roads.
Flying to different locations gives you the aerial view of the snowcapped peaks, lush valleys and high altitude villages. You can learn about the geography of the particular location in a short time. Contrarily, following the roadway lets you learn more about the natural and socio-cultural aspects of the settlement areas on the way. You can also hire a private jeep or bus to reach different locations.
Travelling in a taxi is faster and more luxurious than using a public bus. You cannot stop at the place you want to have beautiful scenery or take a short break. However, it is comparatively more expensive than traveling by bus. All the staff of the bus or taxi understand and can speak English as well as other international languages as well. They are helpful and cooperative that if you have any problem they are ready to help you solve it.
Even while you are trekking alone in the Himalayan region, you find the people of heart! The country people are really warmhearted that they regard the guests as the God. In the restricted area of Nepal, trekking alone is not possible. You must be in a group of two assisted by a professional guide and porter. But in the easy trekking in Nepal, if you happen to misunderstand the right track, they will show you the right one. To your wonder, sometimes, they will escort you up to the destination as well.
Food and Accommodation Facilities for Solo Traveler in Nepal
You can find food and accommodation facilities from basic level to luxurious while travelling in Nepal. The major cities like Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan and Lumbini provide you the world class facilities. The cost of such facilities is also high according to the standard. Other areas have hotels, lodges and teahouses that provide basic food and accommodation facilities at the reasonable cost.
In some of the cities and villages, you can also find homestay sites to provide such facilities. Although you don’t get the standard facilities in these places, you will really love as they give you a different memory. Staying with the local family and sharing their kitchen is something you always love for. Moreover, you can exchange culture with the host families and participate in their daily activities. Above all, you can get the pure organic food items produced in their own farmlands at the cheapest price!
Before you book a hotel or lodge or even homestay, you had better collect the required information about them. The facilities of food and accommodation, the quality of service and the cost they charge on you are really important, aren’t they? Check the condition of the room you are going to spend the time alone. If you find any problem, immediately inform it to the owener.
Some things that you should never forget and neglect while as a solo female traveler are the following:
- Book the hotel away from the isolated area.
- Don’t forget to carry a torchlight.
- Don’t get out of the room if the restroom is out of the room or house as well. For this manage some bucket for urinating.
- Don’t trust on the people you have recently met with.
- Always put your name and address on the luggage.
- Don’t meet with a single trekker but with a group.
- If the latch of the door of your room doesn’t work, get it replaced or change the room.
- If you feel it insecure or uncomfortable, change the hotel as soon as possible.
Communication Mode in Nepal
Comparing with today with a decade ago, it is really very easy to communicate to the people in Nepal. You know, most of the people understand and can speak English; they don’t sound like a native though! You can talk with the people to know more about them and let them know about you. It means you can communicate with the host family or staff of the hotels or teahouses easily.
If you are not an English-speaking traveler, don’t worry in this situation, too. There will be at least someone to help you deliver your message to the Nepalese people. Due to the promotion of tourism in Nepal, many of the touristic hub in and out of Kathmandu can speak other international languages as well. For your information, I suggest you to learn some basic Nepali words before flying to Nepal. Or you can also learn it in Kathmandu before heading for tour or trekking.
Meeting with Nepali Women
In the beginning of your arrival, it may be quite challenging to befriend with the Nepali women. They may not trust on you in the first phase; but once you talk to them they are really fantastically friendly! Nepalese women are really simpleminded and frank as they run with their heart than the mind. They narrate you all the interesting stories behind their family or society in the course of the conversation.
In the homestay, you can learn to cook the typical Nepali cuisines by looking at the maid preparing it. You can talk to the women even in other places like restaurants, clubs or public parks. They don’t keep any doubt on you as you respect them and their culture as well as converse politely. The number of travelers doesn’t matter: alone or in an organized trekking or tour, there is equal priority and respect.
Sexual Abuse of Women in Nepal
Due to the socio-cultural practices of Nepal, there is very rare case that the Nepalese men ever think of sexual abuse. Most of the men in the rural areas cannot even talk freely with the women of their own society; let alone foreigners! Next thing, they believe that sexual abuse is sin that throws them into hell after death. If you feel any insecurity, shout loudly before anything unwanted happens. Sexual abuse is a social taboo in Nepal, so, be confident even if you are a solo female trekker in Nepal.
Concept of Menstruation in the Nepalese Society
The urban society in Nepal has become quite open with the concept of menstruation. You can find safety pads or tampons in the health institutions of the city area. But in the rural area, menstruation is something almost prohibited to talk about. Although the women know it is physiological incident, they don’t openly talk about it. You don’t find such safety measures and materials in the villages away from the cities. Therefore, before you set off for the journey, don’t forget to pack some of the tampons.
In this way, there is always safety guaranteed in Nepal in rural as well as urban areas. It is your choice whether you go for tour, trekking or even adventurous journey, Orit Alpine Adventure is always with you. Book any trip with us, your safety is our first priority and “Clients’ Satisfaction is Our Motto!”