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Nepal Travel Tips

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Insider advice for your Nepal vacation


cutecat
First timer in Kathmandu 1 stars
Hi All! I'm thinking of heading to Kathmandu, Nepal sometime this year. Any idea what are the must-see's?:)

Thanks a bunch!
Cath


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AbFab
Thamel’s eating places 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
There are some great places to eat out in Thamel (the main tourist area in the capital of Kathmandu) that cater for all and are up to Western standards. These include Italian cuisine at La Dolce Vita and something more traditional with Nepali and Newari choices at Thamel House Restaurant in Paknajol. My favourite restaurant would have to be Rum Doodles, where I gazed at the decorated giant yeti footprints covering its walls. If you ask to decorate one, the bar staff will give it to you (complete with some colourful marker pens) free of charge. Hopefully my yeti print will remain on the wall for a long time yet. Another cheap and cheerful place is Fire and Ice Restaurant – a perfect combination of everybody’s favourite foods…pizza and ice cream!


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vincemcc79
Hiking Fees and treking in Maoist areas in Nepal. 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Due to social and political circumstances that are probably out of scope for this travel tip (check this up yourself on google – it makes for interesting reading) there are actually two governments in Nepal. The government backed by the monarchy which prevails in most of the big cities and the Maoist government that controls most of Nepal’s countryside. Clashes between the two factions are common place but as a tourist you will usually be quite safe as both sides value the tourist dollars as much as the other.

When you want to hike in Nepal you are required to pay a fee at a trekking office before setting off into the wilderness. This licence will be asked for periodically over your trek at various military check posts. Seeing as this is one of Nepal’s big sources of revenue and that Nepal is amongst the poorest countries in the world it is perhaps ethically important you pay this fee. From a trekking point of view, because of this fee the Nepali government will continue to keep trekking routes open and safe(ish) as it is in their interests to do so.

However, this fee is only paid to the government and not the Maoists so understandably the Maoists you meet on your route will ask you to pay a fee (which is significantly less than the official one). You will usually be confronted by a group of young boys and one elder man at important bridges on the large trekking routes. They will ask how many days you intend to trek for and then charge a fee on a daily basis. After you pay you will be given a receipt from the Maoist government of Nepal which you can show to other Maoists further on in the trek if they try and charge you again. Although this sounds simple enough it is a bit intimidating the first time you are confronted by three or four teenagers with machetes and guns demanding your payment. Just stay calm and pay it you are in no danger here unless you start an argument. Talk to eldest person there if dealing with teenagers makes you uncomfortable and don’t argue that you’ve already paid the government fee. This carries no weight here and will only piss off the kids if you repeat this over and over again. (personally I don’t think I’d ever annoy a sixteen year old with a Machete that’s just inviting trouble) I actually saw a couple being turned away and not allowed cross a bridge at the start of the Jonsom trek because they argued so much with the Maoists.

All in all this fee is very small and if you consider that the cost of paying these two fees wont amount to any more than a four hour bus ticket in Europe it really is silly to get upset by it.

Factor both of these fees into your costs before hand, trek safe and enjoy the air at the top of the world.


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