Local laws and customs

Penalties for drugs related offences are severe. Possession of small amounts of marijuana can lead to a prison sentence of over 5 years, usually after a lengthy and expensive legal process. An increasing number of people are being caught smuggling drugs in to and out of the country.

Bringing precious metals into Nepal is strictly regulated. Foreign nationals are permitted to carry gold ornaments up to 50 grams and silver ornaments up to 100 grams. Undeclared gold or silver will be subject to a fine equivalent to the value of the goods and imprisonment from one month to five years depending upon the value of the goods, in addition to the confiscation of the goods. They may be also taken into judicial custody (detained) during the proceedings. For more information, please contact Nepal Immigration.

It’s illegal to buy, sell, kill or capture any wild animal or trade its parts without a license. Nepal is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which bans trade of wildlife products without a permit. Those caught purchasing or trafficking such goods as well as accomplices who knowingly assist anyone in committing any offences against the law will be prosecuted and receive prison sentences or fines or both.

Women should avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless tops where this might be seen as inappropriate, eg temples and other holy places. Remove shoes before entering certain holy places. Non-Hindus are not permitted in some temples.

Nepal is generally open and tolerant to LGBT issues, and same-sex relations are not criminalised. A Supreme Court ruling in 2007 ordered the government to end discrimination against sexual minorities and to ensure equal rights. However, all public displays of affection, irrespective of sexuality or gender identity, tend to be viewed as inappropriate in Nepali society and may therefore attract negative attention. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

You should carry your passport with you at all times. Leave a photocopy in a safe place or with friends and family in the UK.