Packing for a trip to Nepal? We suspect you’d be bringing your important electronics like a smartphone, laptop, digital camera, and charger.
But you first have to understand the electrical situation in the country to ensure that you’ll be able to use your devices and enjoy a pleasant stay in Nepal.
Table of Contents
Electrical Voltage in Nepal
The very first thing that you need to know is that Nepal has an electrical voltage of 220-240 volts. It supplies current at 50Mhz. Exactly how different is this from other countries?
In the US, Canada, and South America, an electrical voltage is 110-120 volts/60Mhz. The situation in Nepal is similar to many countries in Asia, Australia, and Europe.
It’s important to learn about the electrical voltage in Nepal (or any other country you intend to travel to) because plugging in a device to an electric source with a different voltage is very risky. You run the risk of shorts, or worse, start a fire. It is essential to check the voltage rating of the electric source and of the device/ appliance as well. They need to be compatible in order to ensure safety.
Plug Adapters in Nepal
Another important information that you need to learn about Nepal is that they use a different type of plugs or sockets from the country that came from. It is safe to bring plug adapters for your devices so you can plug them into the socket and make a use of the available electricity.
You must know that electric plugs in Nepal are those with two or three prongs that are round in shape. In the US, the prongs of the electric plugs are flat. It’s likely that some or all of your devices will not match the shape and appearance of the sockets in Nepal. For this reason, you need to bring a universal travel adapter and attach this to the plug of the device before fitting into the wall socket. Only then can you use and charge your device.
But it still depends on the appliance or device you intend to bring to Nepal.
For instance, if you’re bringing in the electric shaver and hair dryer to your travel, you will not only require a travel adapter but also a voltage converter. What the converter does is convert the electric voltage from say, 110-120 volts to 220-240 volts. This will bridge the incompatibility of voltage between the device and the electric socket. It is important to note that voltage converters are designed for appliances and devices that you use for a short period of time (1-2 hours maximum).
In some cases, you will also need to use a transformer. These are used to aid in the electric operation of devices with low wattages such as laptop, cameras, radios, and chargers. The transformer allows you to use electricity continuously or for a longer duration.
What Should You Bring?
Depending on the appliances and devices that you intend to bring in Nepal, you might only need a universal travel plug adapter or a voltage converter or transformer. For instance, most chargers and laptops are now designed to operate in 220-240 volts. For this case, you will only need to acquire a travel adapter so that you can charge such devices to the socket while in the country.
However, if you’re going to bring an electric hair iron, shaver or blower, you are most likely going to require a voltage converter. For convenience, consider opting for combo converter that comes with both a converter and transformer. You’ll only need to switch between modes depending on the device that you are going to plug in. And if you forgot to bring a travel adapter and converter, you can buy one in Kathmandu. Do make sure that you purchase a good quality converter and adapter with surge protection. The electric situation in Nepal has a lot to be desired for.
Electric Situation in Nepal
There is a good facility of electricity in most parts of the country. The facilities are very common in the most popular trekking routes like in the Everest Base Camp trek, Annapurna Base Camp trek, and many others. But in the remote trails like Manaslu Circuit trek, Kanchenjunga trek you may not find this facility in higher altitudes. For such trails, you must go prepared with backups.
While the situation can be frustrating, you can expect to find that most hotels in Nepal now have fuel cells and generators as backups. These power outages can damage your devices if you’re not careful. You need to equip them with high-quality universal adapters and converters to ensure smooth and safe operation.
Nepal is a beautiful country blessed with great scenery and panoramic views. But the country still needs to work on its electric situation. If you’re traveling to Nepal, it is best to pack the much-needed travel adapters and converters or purchase them as soon as you land in Kathmandu. Finally, be realistic with your expectations regarding the electric situation. The many exciting things that you can do in the country will more than make up for this small flaw.