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Nepali for Travellers
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Money and Banking in Nepal
Payment in hotels, travel agencies, and airlines are made in foreign exchange. Nepal has modern banking facilities and some of the International Banks have their own offices in Kathmandu. Almost all foreign currencies along with credit cards such as American Express, Visa and Master Card, etc. are accepted in Nepal at major hotels, shops and restaurants.
Remember: Check your credit card expiration dates if you are leaving for an extended journey.
All visitors are required to exchange their money through the bank or authorized agents. In Kathmandu banks have money exchange counters. These facilities to change money are quick and convenient. We are told it is necessary to ask for receipts when money is changed. On the return journey, if you are left with Nepalese rupees, they can exchange 10% against exchange receipts to about 10 or 12 different kinds of foreign currency at the Tribhuvan International Airport Kathmandu.
Standard Charted Bank (used to be Grindlays Bank) is offering ATM service in it's different branches in Kathmandu and Pokhara. You can get cash advances on both Visa and Master card. These ATMs are accessible 24 hours a day. One is located down the drive to the Kathmandu Guest House in Thamel, another one is next to the Roadhouse Cafe in Thamel, another one is located in the bank's head office - New Baneshwor and one at the branch on Kantipath.
Banks are open 9 am to 3 pm Monday through Friday, Nepal Bank Ltd. on New Road (Ph: 4221185) is open 7 am to 7 pm all days of the week. The Kantipath branch (Ph: 4227375) is open 9 am to 3.30 pm Monday through Friday, 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday, and closed on Sunday. Rastriya Banijya Bank exchange counter at Bishal Bazaar (Ph: 4223776) is open 9 am to 3 pm daily except holidays.
Exchange rates are published in English daily newspapers such as The Rising Nepal and The Kathmandu Post. Nepalese Rupees are found in denominations of 1000, 500, 250, 100, 50, 25, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are found in denominations of 10, 25 and 50 paisa. One rupee equals 100 paisa.
Note: Indian rupees are excepted and freely convertible in Nepal. 100 Indian Rupees = 160 Nepali Rupees. Do not worry about exchanging your Indian currency when traveling north into Nepal.
Money can be wired through Western Union (costly, but efficiently), MoneyGram - fast, safe, easy and cheaper (Ph: 4417775 or 4418508) or through banks (very tedious and sometimes timely). Major Nepal banks use the SWIFT system, in place of the older telex systems, to negotiate wire transfers. The major banks also have accounts in New York and other world banking centers to expedite transfers.