The Himalayan Tourist Code
By following these simple guidelines, you can help preserve the unique environment and ancient cultures of the Himalaya.
PROTECT THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
- Limit deforestation. Make no open fires and discourage others from doing so on your behalf. Where water is heated by scarce firewood, use as little as possible. When possible choose accommodation which uses kerosene or fuel-efficient wood stoves.
- Remove litter, burn or bury paper and carry out all non-degradable litter. Graffiti are permanent examples of environmental pollution.
- Keep local water clean and avoid using pollutants such as detergents in streams or springs. If no toilet facilities are available, make sure you are at least 30 metres away from water sources, and bury or cover wastes.
- Plants should be left to flourish in their natural environment. Taking cuttings, seeds and roots is illegal in many parts of the Himalaya.
- Help your guides and porters to follow conservation measures.
THE HIMALAYA MAY CHANGE YOU. PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THEM
- As a guest, respect local traditions, protect cultures, maintain local pride.
- When taking photographs, respect privacy, ask permission, use restraint.
- Respect holy places — preserve what you have come to see, never touch or remove religious objects. Shoes should be removed when visiting temples.
- Giving to children encourages begging — a donation to a project, health centers or schools is a more constructive way to help.
- You will be accepted and welcome if you follow local customs: Use only your right hand for eating and greeting. Do not share cutlery or cups etc. It is polite to use both hands when giving or receiving gifts.
- Respect for local etiquette earns you respect. Loose, lightweight clothes are preferable to revealing shorts, skimpy and tight fitting action wear. Hand holding or kissing in public is disliked by local people.
- Observe standard food and bed charges but do not condone overcharging. Remember when you are shopping that the bargains you buy may only be possible because of low income to others.
- Visitors who value local tradition encourage local pride and maintain culture. Please help local people gain a realistic view of life in Western countries.
BE PATIENT, FRIENDLY & SENSITIVE REMEMBER — YOU ARE A GUEST