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Facts About Nepal

147,181 sq km (56,827 sq miles).

Size of the population: 24 million (2000) with an average annual growth rate of 2.1%. The life expectancy at birth is 57 years (2000) and the literary rate is 45%. The size of the urban population is 12% of the total population.

Population Density
178.69 per sq km (2007).

Capital: Kathmandu.
Population: 1.5 million (2007).

The official language is Nepali (spoken by 49 per cent). There are many other languages, including Maithili and Bhojpuri. English is spoken in business circles and by people involved in the travel trade.

Mainly Hindu (81 per cent) and Buddhist (11 per cent), with a small Muslim minority (4 per cent).

220 volts AC, 50Hz. There are frequent power cuts.

IDD is available to all major cities. Country code: 977. The Telecommunication Office, Tripureshwar, deals with telephone calls and cables. The International Telephone Office is open Mon-Thurs 0900-1400 and Fri 0900-1330. Hotels and private communication centres provide long-distance telephone services (ISD, STD).

Mobile telephone
Roaming agreements exist with some international mobile phone companies. Coverage is sporadic and variable.

There are Internet cafes in Kathmandu (Thamel in particular), Patan and Pokhara. Internet services are also provided by most good hotels.

Business Hours
The normal workweek is five and a half days from Sunday through Friday. The office hour for the civil service, banks and business organizations is from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (in winter from 10.00 am to 4:00 pm). The office hours in Kathmandu valley is from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm from Monday to Friday.

Postal services are available in most centres. Make sure that letters are hand-cancelled at the post office (post boxes should not be used for important communications). The general post office in Kathmandu (near the Dharahara Tower) is open Mon-Fri 0900-1700. Main hotels will handle post, while Pilgrims Bookshop in Thamel sells stamps and has a post box.

Press: English-language newspapers available in Nepal are The Himalayan Times (website: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/), The Kathmandu Post (website: http://www.kantipuronline.com/) and Rising Nepal. Other dailies include Kantipur and Annapurna Post. The International Herald Tribune, Newsweek and Time can all be found in Kathmandu. State-owned Gorkhapatra is Nepal's oldest newspaper.

TV: Nepalese Television Corporation (NTV) is state-run. Private channels include Kantipur TV, Image Channel TV, Avnues TV, ABC TV, Sagarmatha TV, and Channel Nepal.

Radio: Radio Nepal is state-run. HBC 94 FM is operated by the Himalayan Broadcasting Company. FM station Radio Sagarmatha is a public, community station. Kantipur FM, Image FM and Hits FM are commercial stations. BBC World Service is available on FM in Kathmandu.

GMT + 5.45.

Nepal Tourism Board
Bhrikuti Mandap, PO Box 11018, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: (1) 425 6909 or 6229.
Website: http://www.welcomenepal.com/

Nepalese Embassy in the UK
12A Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QU, UK
Tel: (020) 7229 1594 or 6231.
Website: http://www.nepembassy.org.uk/
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1700; 1000-1200 (consular section).

Nepalese Embassy in the USA
2131 Leroy Place, NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Tel: (202) 667 4550.
Website: http://www.nepalembassyusa.org/