NEPAL: Arrival and Departure

Visas, Money, Getting Around & Health

Visa on Arrival is available for most residents of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.

They are available in either 15, 30, 60 or 90 days as you can choose when you arrive. The price will be determined by the length of stay. My 15 day  cost me $25USD. Visa fees are payable in US dollars only. So please bring this with you. There is no place to change money to pay for this. 

Money: Please bring a supply of  US Dollars with you. This is key to survival there and accepted everywhere. You can change these easily in Thamel in Kathmandu. (Thamel is the main tourist shopping area.) If you do change money KEEP THE RECEIPT. You will require this to change any left over Nepali Rupees back at the airport when you leave the country.

Health Insurance is A MUST IN NEPAL. Please make sure it covers repatriation to your home country. There are many illnesses in Nepal and better to be safe than sorry. Health care outside of Kathmandu is either nil or primitive at best. Kathmandu has one foreign tourist hospital Ciwec Travel Clinic.  Foodbourne illnesses are abundant as well as parasitic infections and hepatitis. Vaccinations are suggested. Sanitation in almost nil. Rubbish is in the streets as well as  animal waste as cows, chicken and goats roam the city freely. Monkeys can be aggressive and bite. Rabies is prevalent in the animals within Nepal.  Advisable to bring sufficient antibiotics in with you and get a rabies and hepatitis vaccines. 

2 Years After The Earthquake

In April  2015 Nepal suffered a major 7.8 earthquake. As I was there in June 2017 I can report the following.

The infrastructure is significantly damaged. Many hotels are operating while under reconstruction or are completely closed.  However the rates do not appear to be discounted due to such.  

Roads are heavily damaged but they are still in use. Thamel the main tourist has rubble and dirt for the alley ways. The shops are open and operational but it is really the only area where I saw active construction being rebuilt.

Many persons are still homeless or living in what the West would consider not habitatable places such as tin sheds or make-shift houses or tents.


Volunteering in Nepal: They Still Need Your Help

This report though truthful is in no way meant to scare you but to assist you in making an informed choice.

There are many volunteering opportunities in Nepal for teachers, construction, animal welfare workers and social workers as well as medical personnel.  If you would like some information on this please feel free to email me and I will do my best to suggest an organisation to contact.

This country is in severe need of assistance but you should be prepared for the level of living and lack of amenities in the country. WIFI is slow and unreliable.  Electricity blackouts are frequent. Eating fesh fruit and vegetables be wary due to potential infections.

However the rewards of volunteering are immense. I donated school supplies to an early childhood centre. They were well received and so desperate for them.

Himalayas

Magical Himalayas. As Nepal boasts 8 of the worlds highest mountains. The jewel of this is Mount Everest.  Towering at 8,848 meters above seas level it isone of the toughest challenges in the world. However, many everyday people go to the   Annnapurna Trek circuit or complete the Everest Base Camp Trek.  This is one of the main reasons for tourism in the country.  Other than trekking there is limited tourim opportunites and the added damage by the earthquake and limited reconstruction have not assisted this.