Money Exchange in Nepal for EBC Trek:

Money-exchange-in-nepal-for-ebc

The Everest Base Camp trek is a dream for many adventurers. This once-in-a-lifetime journey requires accurate planning, especially when it comes to finances. Understanding the process of money exchange in Nepal for the EBC trek is very crucial for a smooth Everest Base Camp trek. Here, we provide a comprehensive guide to help you manage your finances effectively for the EBC trek.

Understanding the Currency in Nepal

currency-in-nepal

The official currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR), symbolized as रु. Currency notes come in denominations of NPR 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000, each featuring important national figures and landmarks. Coins are available in NPR 1, 2, 5, and 10.

ATMs in cities and major towns facilitate NPR withdrawals, and banks offer currency exchange services. Digital payment methods are also becoming more popular. Major banks like Nepal Rastra Bank, Nepal Bank, and Himalayan Bank provide reliable banking and exchange services.

For tourists, it’s advisable to carry small denominations of NPR for convenience and to be cautious of counterfeit notes by familiarizing themselves with security features.

Where to Exchange Money in Nepal?

money-exchange

Kathmandu is the primary hub for exchanging money. Upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, you will find several currency exchange counters. However, the exchange rates at the airport might not be as favorable as those in the city.

In Kathmandu, you can exchange money at:

  • Banks: Banks like Standard Chartered, Nabil Bank, and Himalayan Bank offer currency exchange services with competitive rates. They are reliable and secure.
  • Money Exchange Counters: Thamel, a popular tourist area, has numerous money exchange counters that offer good rates. Look for counters authorized by the Central Bank of Nepal.
  • ATMs: ATMs are widely available in Kathmandu and major towns along the trekking route. They dispense NPR but be aware of withdrawal limits and fees.

How Much Money to Exchange for the EBC Trek if I am Trekking with a Company?

If you are trekking with a trek operator then you should not worry about most of the primary expenses during your trek but secondary expenses are on your own. To cover these secondary expenses, you should carry Nepali currency.

Usually, a trek operator offers 3 timed meals (Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner) with a drink but sometimes a single-item meal is not enough, because you will be hiking a minimum of 5 to 6 hours per day in such cases if you feel extra hungry and you order extra food item, there the extra food expenses are not covered by the company so, you will need to carry some extra Nepali currency.

While trekking in Everest Lukla, Namche Bazaar offers you a local market where you might want to grab some souvenirs on the way back home. Or by any chance, if you miss any essential trekking gear then you can also get it there. So, you will need money for these essential purposes.

After a rest day at Dingboche, you should not drink tap water. Because Lobuche and Gorakhshep do not have any direct water source. The water is brought from the glaciers. Even after boiling it or filtering it, there are still some potential risks while drinking tap water. So, we suggest trekkers to buy mineral water in these two places. Which will cost 500 rs Nepali currency approximately in both places. So, for this kind of essential thing, trekkers need to carry some Nepali currency.

Around 250$ to 300$ should be fairly enough.

How Much Money to Exchange for the EBC Trek, if you are trekking independently?

The amount of money you need for the EBC trek depends on several factors including the duration of your trek, your spending habits, and whether your trek package includes meals and accommodations. Here’s a detailed breakdown to help you estimate your budget.

Daily Expenses

On average, you might spend between NPR 2,500 to NPR 4,000 per day approximately. This includes:

  • Meals: NPR 1,500 – NPR 2,500
  • Accommodation: NPR 500 – NPR 1,000
  • Drinks and Snacks: NPR 500 – NPR 1,000
  • Miscellaneous: NPR 500 – NPR 1,000

Permits and Fees

  • Sagarmatha National Park Permit: NPR 3,000
  • Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit: NPR 2,000

Transportation Costs

  • Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and return: Approximately NPR 40,000 – NPR 50,000.
  • Local Transport in Kathmandu: NPR 1,000 – NPR 2,000

Emergency Funds

It’s prudent to set aside some funds for emergencies. An additional NPR 10,000 to NPR 15,000 should be sufficient.

Total Estimated Budget

For a 12-day trek, your estimated budget would be:

  • Daily Expenses: NPR 30,000 – NPR 48,000
  • Permits and Fees: NPR 5,000
  • Transportation: NPR 50,000 – NPR 60,000 (Lukla Flight and other transportation covered)
  • Emergency Funds: NPR 10,000 – NPR 15,000

Total: NPR 82,000 – NPR 108,000 (Approx. USD 630 – USD 830)

Best Practices for Managing Money on the EBC Trek

  1. Carry Sufficient Cash: While ATMs are available in Kathmandu and Namche Bazaar, they might not always be reliable. It is advisable to carry enough cash for the entire trek.
  2. Use Small Denominations: Carry smaller denominations (NPR 100, NPR 500) as change can be hard to find in remote areas.
  3. Secure Your Money: Keep your cash and valuables secure in a money belt or a secure pocket.

Other Payment Options

  • Credit Cards: Accepted in Kathmandu and major towns but not in remote trekking areas.

If you want to know more about the cost breakdown of the Everest Base Camp trek then click here.

Can we use the dollar in the Everest Region?

Yes, dollars are accepted in the Everest region but the only problem is you might not get a fair price for a dollar. So, we suggest to use dollars as a last reserve. It’s more efficient to exchange Nepali currency in Kathmandu.

Can we exchange any other currency than USD in Kathmandu?

Yes, you can exchange other currencies besides USD in Kathmandu. Popular foreign currencies that are commonly exchanged include:

  1. Euro (EUR)
  2. British Pound (GBP)
  3. Indian Rupee (INR)
  4. Chinese Yuan (CNY)
  5. Australian Dollar (AUD)
  6. Canadian Dollar (CAD)
  7. Swiss Franc (CHF)
  8. Japanese Yen (JPY)

Major banks, authorized money exchange counters, and hotels in Kathmandu offer currency exchange services for these and other currencies. Always check the exchange rates and fees before making a transaction.

Is it reliable to use cards in the Everest Region or cash is better?

Money-Exchange-in-Nepal-for-EBC-Trek

In the Everest Region, it is more reliable to use cash rather than cards. Here’s why:

  1. Limited Card Acceptance: Many small lodges, teahouses, and shops do not accept credit or debit cards.
  2. Unstable Connectivity: The region has limited internet and network connectivity, making card transactions difficult or impossible.
  3. ATM Availability: ATMs are scarce in the Everest Region. You may find a few in Namche Bazaar, but they can run out of cash or may not function properly.

It’s best to carry enough cash in Nepalese Rupees (NPR) for your entire trip.

Which is the best currency to take while trekking to the Everest Region?

The best currency to take while trekking to the Everest Region is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR). Here’s why:

  1. Local Acceptance: Nepalese Rupees are accepted everywhere in the Everest Region, ensuring smooth transactions.
  2. No Need for Exchange: Using NPR eliminates the need to exchange foreign currency during the trek, which can be inconvenient or impossible in remote areas.
  3. Convenience: Carrying NPR allows you to pay for accommodation, food, services, and any additional expenses without issues.

It’s advisable to convert your money into NPR before starting your trek, preferably in Kathmandu, where exchange rates are better and services are more reliable.

What is the difference between the exchange rate in Lukla and Kathmandu, which is better?

The exchange rate in Kathmandu is generally better than in Lukla. Here’s why:

  1. Better Rates in Kathmandu: Kathmandu has numerous banks and authorized money exchange counters, offering competitive rates due to higher competition.
  2. Limited Services in Lukla: Lukla has fewer exchange services, leading to less favorable rates and higher fees due to limited competition and the remote location.
  3. Convenience: Exchanging money in Kathmandu before starting your trek ensures you get the best possible rate and avoid potential issues with limited exchange options in Lukla.

For the best value, exchange your currency for Nepalese Rupees (NPR) in Kathmandu.

Tips for Safe Money Exchange

  • Avoid the Black Market: Exchange money only at authorized counters to avoid scams.
  • Count Your Money: Always count your money before leaving the counter and keep the receipt.
  • Exchange Receipts: Keep your exchange receipts in case you need to reconvert NPR back to your home currency.

Proper financial planning is essential for a hassle-free Everest Base Camp trek. By understanding where and how to exchange money, and estimating your expenses accurately, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable trekking experience. Prepare well, stay safe, and enjoy the majestic beauty of the Himalayas.

About Author

Bikash is the youngest member of the company. He finished high school in 2020 and now studying bachelor's in travel and tourism major. Currently, he works as a content writer and prepares the best, creative and informative blogs and articles.
During his free time, he loves to travel, explore new places and learn new things.

Leave a Reply