Nepal Travel Information

Photo Nepal is among the poorest and least developed countries in the world with nearly half of its population living below the poverty line. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing a livelihood for over 80% of the population and accounting for 41% of GDP. Industrial activity mainly involves the processing of agricultural produce including jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain. Production of textiles and carpets has expanded recently and accounted for about 80% of foreign exchange earnings in the past three years. Agricultural production is growing by about 5% on average as compared with annual population growth of 2.3%.
Since May 1991, the government has been moving forward with economic reforms, particularly those that encourage trade and foreign investment, e.g., by reducing business licenses and registration requirements in order to simplify investment procedures. Nepal's society is predominantly rural. Social life in the village revolves around the family, which is headed by the father. Extended families sometimes break apart as sons separate from parents and brothers from each other in search of additional land. Family property is divided equally among sons at the time of separation. Consequently, family land holdings are extremely fragmented. Villagers often pool resources and labor to implement village-level projects such as irrigation ditches or channels. Rice is the food staple in most parts of the country. Barley, millet, and potatoes are important food staples in the Himalayas. In Nepal women are generally subordinate to men and have less access to education, economic resources, and political power. Their plight, however, varies from one ethnic group to another. Among Tibeto-Nepalese communities female status is relatively better than in Indo-Nepalese communities. Generally, women work harder and longer than men, taking care of household chores, fetching water and animal fodder, and farming. Women in upper-class families, however, have maids who do household work and other menial chores.

Important: Travel to Nepal may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Nepal visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
Capital city: Kathmandu
Area: 147,181 sq km
Population: 29,890,686
Ethnic groups: Chhettri 15.5%, Brahman-Hill 12.5%, Magar 7%, Tharu 6.6%, Tamang 5.5%, Newar 5.4%, Muslim 4.2%, Kami 3.9%, Yadav 3.9%, other 32.7%, unspecified 2.8%
Languages: Nepali
Religions: Hindu 80.6%, Buddhist 10.7%, Muslim 4.2%, Kirant 3.6%, other 0.9%
Government: federal democratic republic
Chief of State: President Ram Baran YADAV
Head of Government: Prime Minister Baburam BHATTARAI
GDP: 38.08 billion
GDP per captia: 1,200
Annual growth rate: 3.9%
Inflation: 9.6%
Agriculture: pulses, rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, jute, root crops
Major industries: tourism, carpets, textiles
Natural resources: quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore
Location: Southern Asia, between China and India
Trade Partners - exports: India 57.4%, US 9.6%, Germany 5.4%
Trade Partners - imports: India 57%, China 25.9%