I recently visited Nepal last month. Again it was a business visit and limited time (like 10 days or so, which trust me, are quite less to enjoy a country like Nepal). I will still try to be as resourceful as I can. This post would be more around Kathmandu and not the complete country.
Discretion: These posts are not from a traveler’s perspective and only cover the places I personally visited..
- Here are the links to all the posts:
Travelling to Nepal
Being an Indian living in NCR, I boarded my flight from New Delhi-T3. My travel team booked an Indigo for me, though almost every day there are 3 pocket friendly to-and-fro Nepal Airlines flights available too between Delhi and Kathmandu.
So it is a 1 hour 50 minutes journey at max. However the weather at Kathmandu was too stormy for us to land, so we flew back to India at Lucknow airport for fueling after being in air for more than 2.5 hours.
Anyways, I reached Kathmandu with my team at around 16:30 or so and the first thing we noticed was the amazing mountain range surrounding the complete city.
Later that evening the cab driver told us that on a clear day the hills and mountains are even clearer to see. Being brought up around Delhi, this place had already notched up in my excotico-meter!!
Unlike to what I knew, this place is visited quite a lot by tourists across the globe. Hence, if you are not a citizen of any of the SAARC countries then the line of the immigration counter is pretty long. However, if you are from India, then it is really easier for you. You can even travel with [only] your Aadhaar with you if you are from India.
It is visited frequently by tourists across the Globe, and hence you can easily get the local currency at a local Forex shop. If you have Indian rupees then it’s even better: Almost every taxi driver, restaurant, hotel and shopkeeper accepts Indian currency notes of 100, 200 and 500 (they tend to be little over cautious while handling notes smaller than 100 INR and also with the 2000 INR note)
Take your winter clothes with you if you are travelling around winters. Rest of the days it is warm enough to wear just a shirt and a windbreaker.
If you plan on to visit the mountains, then you can always rent gear from numerous trekking shops available throughout the city (mostly around Thamel).
You can also get a local Ncell sim by showing a valid ID from telecom shops and it would be valid for at least 7 days with one topup. Also you don’t need to worry about internet issues. Worldlink is a local ISP in Nepal and thanks to them you have free wifi almost everywhere you go in Kathmandu.
Staying at Nepal
Kathmandu is filled with amazing hotel options, specifically in Thamel. Thamel is what you can call a hub of hotels and shops.
Some good options were:
- Hotel Jampa(I stayed here) – Awesome staff with really friendly attitude and prompt service
- Dalai La – Pretty good ambiance
- Kathmandu Eco hotel – Amazing food at quite pocket friendly budget rooms
- KGH – Kathmandu Grand Hotel – Some friends of the people staying at my hotel suggested that for better food (haven’t tried myself though!).
These are options if you are in Kathmandu for work or for trekking i.e- when you only need a place to crash in.
However, if you are looking to spend some peaceful time with your own self and with not too much crowd around, I would firmly recommend Summit Hotel in Kopundole Height. The rooms are awesome, food is delicious and the best part – it’s peaceful!!
Talking of people planning to stay here for long (like more than a month), trust me and book a hostel. There are some really good dormitories around Thamel.
Travelling in City
The transportation is pretty good; there are regular local buses and taxis around. Better would be to go for a local taxi if you are not familiar with local language. Almost all the taxi drivers are familiar with English and Hindi both.
Talking about your fare: Taxis would be most expensive around the airport, usually from airport to Thamel should be around 400 NPR maximum to a local Nepalese guy, however the more exotic you look to them, the more they will charge you. I paid 1000 NPR for my ride from the airport to my hotel, which later I found out was preposterous.
Next in line come your hotel cabs: Only use a hotel-offered cab, when there is not any other option as they tend to overcharge you too.
And of course almost any taxi that you find in Thamel will not charge you less than 500 NPR for anywhere, unless you negotiate with them. They can be bargained down to as much as 250 NPR if you have a local resident with you.
To give you a general idea, you can travel pretty much from anywhere to anywhere within Kathmandu within mere 500 NPR.
When not in a mood to spend a lot, you can walk around through the complete city. It is super relaxing and rejuvenating, if you have sufficient time.
At the end of the day its all about how and where you can find peace for yourself!!
This post was all about the preparation and staying. My next posts would be around: