Common misconceptions and clichés about life in Nepal

Hello everyone,

Old clichés die hard, as the saying goes... and living in Nepal can generate lots of misconceptions in the eyes of the people.

What are the most common misconceptions about the expat lifestyle in Nepal?

What are the most common clichés about life in Nepal in general?

Did you have a biased view of the country before moving there? What is you view now?

Thanks in advance,


People think that since the national average pay is $800 per year that people don't need much money. People in the Kathmandu Valley and Kathmandu city have to pay $50 for one room (no kitchen or running water) with a bathroom shared by everyone in the building. Yet if they live far from the city they will have to spend 3 hours a day on the bus.

Since they cannot farm and live in the city they will need to spend at least $100 on vegetables and rice. Lentils are $2-3 a kg. It's hard and they seldom complain. Petrol is $1 per liter and sometimes men need to wait in line for hours for petrol. Sometimes there is none and people have to walk.

I've read that Nepali are lazy, but have found that not to be the case, but seriously, how much effort will you expend for a dollar?

One misconception about Nepal is that everyone has equal rights.
Let's face it.  They do not, and if Expats think they do, they will be in for a shock.

What do you mean equal rights? Surly everyhas rights and respect is given to all?

You are right to raise the issue. I am with you 100%. One dictionary defines the term equal rights as follows: "Every person is to be treated equally by the Law" - So, let's take Equal Opportunity as a starting point, #1. I think you will find this information in Expat already or previously cited, but here goes again anyway.
POINT #1;  It's actually an article written by a highly respected nepali Advocate entitled: "Employment of Non-Nepalese citizen in Nepal is Exceptional and not the General Rule" - And in his link information cited hereafter, Advocate Saroj K. Ghimire, could not be clearer when he says "If foreigners are to be hired, it is to insured that such foreigners are selected upon non-availability of local skilled personnel....even after publishing vacancy twice in a national level newspaper" He goes on to say that this process in required and may take something like two months. He also says that basically, the foreigner has to prove he is "exceptional" and ..."prove that expats are better suited candidates than their nepali citizen counterparts" - In same article, it is stated that foreigners are the "last resort" (exact words) for employers based in Nepal....and they need to pass tests "to demonstrate competency"
Because it is not my intention to quote any of this most useful and reliable information out of context, coming from such an eminent person - nor would I want to mislead you (or anyone) in any way,  I would invite you to read the full text by consulting the source information in question directly and in its TOTALITY.  But in doing so, please note very carefully that the whole dissertation on the subject is regulated by none other  than the cited Labor Act 1992 of Nepal. Yes, it is the LAW here. To read more,
click: … nepal/8203
After reading the article, you can make up your own mind and, at that point, if you are still left in any doubt about what the Advocate has written, or have any comments, questions about the Law of the Land of Nepal, you can contact this very fine Advocate directly. Not being a lawyer myself, I do not feel qualified, to answer.
Shifting now to an altogether different POINT #2 which is separate and - must stress TOTALLY unrelated to the above source, I would simply like you to read something else, which this time was put out by none other than the BBC and which has to do with equal rights/human rights and Freedom of Speech and Expression. As you will appreciate, human rights is another aspect of equal rights. In this context, that right may be defined as "the right(s) that everyone should have in a society to express opinions about the Government anywhere around the world, or have protection therefrom"
With no further ado, I now refer you to that information, so that again, you can judge for yourself:
click on: and draw your own conclusions, about this Canadian man who was here in Nepal working in IT for quite some time and posted a Tweet, with the result that he was arrested and told to leave the country in two days.
Have no doubt that you will enjoy Pokhara very much, and do a most creditable job there. Nepal needs people like you. Once you know how things work here, there is NO basic problem at all. Life in Nepal can be beautiful and the people are great. I love it every time I come and send a lot of people to visit that country, too.

Correction:  second link in previous post should read:

It's true. Not a lawyer either, but the labor legislation I've now looked up on the net does appear to give an unquestionable priority to nepali citizens and favors them for job opportunities in Nepal. The matter can be debated both ways, for and against, but that is the way things stand, under that Law of 1992. Some will argue it is normal and/or to be expected here, but others can also argue it is a form of discrimination  because "non nepalese citizens" like expats, for example, do not enjoy equal rights and work opportunity privileges in the way the natives of the country do, at least in this one specific field. Forgive the pun, but that's the way the cookie crumbles!

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