If you want a one-word answer to the question about safety, then I will say ‘Yes! Nepal is safe for female travelers and much safer than countries you have traveled or on the list of countries you have planned to in the future. And believe me! I have met and seen more female travelers than male travelers on the street of Nepal.
We normally fear people, especially not knowing their nature. Before moving onto the details, take your time and learn about how are Nepalese by nature in general.
1. Nature of Nepalese and attitude to Foreigner and female solo travelers in general
Nepalese are considered one of the kindest, the most helpful and cheerful people in the world.
In many countries around the world, people don’t like it if you look at people and smile. But here in Nepal, it’s the opposite. People appreciate it if you smile at them as a sign of gesture. You don’t need to feel shy to start a conversation with any person and in almost any place you go.
And please, please don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need one. It might sound funny but if you ask a route to go somewhere to a person, quite likely they will drop you to the place. Try out! You can always ask for help if you need one. You can easily have a perfect connection with people starting from your hotel to the taxi driver as you travel around.
2. First few days, How you must feel
Once you start to see the mountains just before you land in Kathmandu, very likely you will begin to have a different emotion. You will feel it’s an entirely different world altogether. And If it’s your first time in this part of the world, you will feel like coming to a new planet.
Most of the foreigners end up spending their first few days in a touristic area of Kathmandu called ‘Thamel ‘(Remember the name). Kathmandu is a small valley with almost 5 million people, and Thamel is just a tiny place. During the day it’s usually quiet and business as usual. Don’t be surprised if the locals stare at you because you look different than them. Who doesn’t look at something different and even so when it’s beautiful?
Keep in mind that in Thamel you will come across sellers coming to you asking you to buy things you might be or might not be interested at. You can just say ‘Thank you’ or ‘Dhanyabad. They might push for you to buy stuff, but it’s ok not to buy.
After a few days in Kathmandu, you will be familiar with people and culture. And life will be much easier.
I. Is it safe to travel at night?
In Nepal, regular businesses start to close from about 5 pm in winter and seven or even at eight in summers. But in Thamel, it gets busier and livelier at night with lots of music and parties happening. You can travel around freely shopping and looking at markets. Believe me; it’s safe and worth it.
If you are not staying in touristic areas, try to have your things done before 5 or 6 pm and have your dinner before 8 because restaurants close after that. And there are only a few people in the street at night and no shops open.
Are you a morning person? If you are, then you will find a lot of people in the street going for prayers, walks, and businesses from as early as 4 am. So, if you want to experience that, you can go to see people worshipping in temples. It can be unique and once in a lifetime experience for you.
II. How much money to carry when traveling?
I don’t suggest you carry too much cash. Usually, $(30-40) is enough for you to enjoy your day in the city area. You don’t need to fear pickpockets. Just like anywhere in the world, café, restaurants have started using the POS machine, QR code for payment so you can use your ATM card to pay your bills.
3. What’s the language? Do people understand English?
It’s common to worry about the problem of language. You might not believe it, but trust me almost everyone understands basic English. Many Nepali words are similar to English terms like toilet, road, mobile, etc.
Speaking Mandarin Chinese is becoming common these days in tourist areas. So, why not try Mandarin as well?
4. How do I dress?
If you don’t like attention, I would personally suggest you not wear clothes that are too fancy in the city areas. But if you do, you will have many men and even more women staring at you, which I guess is common in your home country. It’s completely safe and reasonable for foreigners to dress the way they wish to.
I assume you will be dressed according to the activities when you are off the cities for activities like trekking, jungle safari etc.
5. Traveling away from cities
I. Things Not To Do When Trekking
When you go trekking, the most crucial thing to fear is from accidents. Your guide is your ‘God’. So, follow the instructions, and I am sure you will have a fantastic experience. So, you will need to have a personal or a group guide for you. You don’t have to fear anything else like looting or rape. Rape and robbery I tell you won’t happen.
Even if you have accident or trouble up in the mountains, most likely you will be rescued by helicopters and taken to hospital, probably the best ones.
II. How it’s like being in Homestays?
When you are away from cities, you can choose to be a guest in ‘homestays’. People treat you very well, and for females, they treat you like a daughter or a sister. Is not that awesome? It’s home away from home.
Your host doesn’t make a lot of money, and typically one family is dependent on the earning of homestays. Please be kind and polite to your hosts. It’s an excellent way to appreciate what they are doing and motivating.
Actually there was no question about safety for any traveler. I was obliged to write because there’s very little information on the internet but many people willing to travel. Finally, Is Nepal safe for a solo female travelers? what do you say?
From my side, I can say from Nepal is very safe for everyone and very safe for a female traveler.
If you have any questions and comments, you can always ask me.
Contact of various security offices:
- Tourist police offices: https://cid.nepalpolice.gov.np/index.php/cid-wings/tourist-police
- Nepal tourism board: https://www.welcomenepal.com/