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Guide to Venturing Kathmandu Nepal

Nepal – a perfect getaway for backpackers, history and culture enthusiast and for the thrill and adventure seekers. Located in the Himalayas in South Asia. It is where you can find the world’s highest mountain, Mt. Everest. 

We have planned to visit Pokhara, however, due to limited time we ended up exploring only Kathmandu Valley and its nearby cities. Not to worry, it may not be the planned vacation but still worth the visit.

Visas

Visiting Nepal with a Philippine passport is quite easy as we are visas on arrival, for other nationalities you may check the Nepal Immigration website for more accurate information. http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visa. If you want to skip the queue especially during peak season you may visit Nepal Embassies stationed in your country or fill out the Visa form from the website and have it ready upon arrival in Kathmandu Airport together with a copy of your passport. Upon arrival skip the kiosk and proceed to the payment centre ( bank) located on the left side of the entrance and pay the exact amount according to your visa requirement. Cash or Credit Card, but still best to bring Cash in case of unforeseen circumstances. Once paid, proceed to immigration for visa stamping, claim your baggage if any then proceed and explore Kathmandu.

Transportation

Air – Reserved my plane tickets 2 months ahead of time. The flight took four hours plus two hours waiting time from the airport. 

Land 

Taxi – From Kathmandu Airport you can arrange a pick up with your Hotel for USD 10.00 (NPR 1150.00) which costs a lot because when we arrange a taxi from my hotel to the airport on the day we left it was only NPR 350 which is USD 3 to USD 3.50. When visiting tourist sites you can always bargain the price as its way easier and cheaper than taking multiple taxis to every location.

Bus – The main mode of transportation when visiting other cities. It’s a lot cheaper but the travel time takes a minimum of four hours depending on the city you are planning to visit. Pokhara takes about 6 hours from Kathmandu. Most buses are open and have no air conditioning (AC).

Private Cars fromTravel Agencies – A bit more expensive but much more comfortable. You will have a private guide, driver and car all by yourself. A bit boring if you are all alone, however, if you are used to travelling alone like me. You will definitely love this.

Accommodation

Booked my accommodation in booking website and we choose a 3-star hotel located in Thamel – Kathmandu’s central shopping district. Literally located in the middle of the city. A 15-30 minutes drive to and from the airport without traffic.

If you are unable to book any hotel before arrival. You can wander around Thamel and book one for yourself. Thamel is famous for budget Hotels, guest houses and bars.

Shopping – Few hours is not enough to explore the narrow streets lined with stalls selling various products. From trekking gears to pieces of jewellery, dress, pashmina, paintings and all other things. A must-do when shopping in Thamel is to bargain/haggle even for just a sim card (requires any photo (2×2 or 1×1) and passport copy). When haggling I usually start 25% of the given price and haggle all the way up. The lower the price the better. 

FYI. Card payment in Nepal incurs an additional charge of 4% of the total bill. Some stalls are waiving this charge so it’s better to ask in advance before making a purchase.

Food – a journey to great adventure is the Food.Food is life. Nepal’s local cuisine is mostly spicy however, you can always ask them to reduce the spiciness of the food.

I tried two restaurants in Thamel area as It was highly recommended by travellers from trip advisor. Upstairs Restaurant and Kathmandu Steak House Restaurant. For the rest of my stay, I eat on the road while travelling or eat breakfast from the Hotel.

What to Bring:
Aside from your daily OOTD ( outfit of the day)
Cash - plenty of Cash 
Credit Card - (optional) to save 4% charge
Passport ( original and copy)
ID Photo - at least 4 pcs - 1 for visa on arrival and 1 for sim card then 2 extras
Water Bottle 
Sun Glasses
Camera
Face Mask
Cap
Sun Block

You may check my Four Days Guide to Kathmandu to start planning your Nepal Adventure. Happy Travels!

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