Nepali Visa

Ok so things have changed slightly since I last came here. So here is the quickest and easiest way to get a visa

So go to this page
https://online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/tourist-visa

Fill it in, once you submit it, you will receive an email, print it out and take it with you to Nepal.

I’ve filled part of this in to help you guys. You can find it on this page.

If you do this you won’t need a passport sized photo. (I still recommend taking one with you anyways just in case.)

If you do this you also won’t need to fill out the arrival form that you get on the plane.

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When you get into the airport you will see a sign that says VISA FEE COLLECTION COUNTER. Head straight to that. Usually there is already a line. Line up. Wait in line and then when you get to the counter say you want a 15 days visa and you want to pay in Australian dollars.

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It will most likely be $35 AUD. Maybe $30, so take a 20 and a 10 and a $5. Or keep things simple and take a $50 note or two $20 notes and get some change. I got $1USD back as change yesterday. Not sure if they still give out Rupees as change or not.

After you pay you will receive two small piece of papers. Take them with your printed email and line up for the immigration desks. Can’t miss them is on the right of the counter above. There is also an cash exchange counter there. My advice is just wait until after you’ve checked into the hotel!

Once you’ve clear this, head down stairs put your stuff through the X-Ray and make your way to the exit. Walk pass the checked baggage collection point. After that you will see it splits into two lines, line up at the shorter one. Just show and tell the guards that you have no checked bags (i.e no tag on your bags or tickets) and walk straight through to the exit.

I will be waiting at the exit outside the building! 😀

 

FAQs

Wedding stuff

So I’ve been telling everyone is gonna be a backyard wedding, but this not the case any more, is out of my control but is gonna be at a reception place. Is still gonna be small ( about 30 people including you fine folks) but is definitely a more proper event than before.

What do I wear to the wedding?

We’re aiming for a smart causal kind of thing, so don’t feel like you need to take a fancy dress that you would usually wear to wedding here. Anyways since is not the West, nothing too above the knee, but exposed shoulders is ok! As my girlfriend puts it so eloquently, don’t show boob, butt and vagina! Bless. But midriff is fine if you get something traditional there. I guess if you’re not sure best to just ask me and I’ll let you know! Yeah like I said feel free to get something a little traditional there too!

What wedding gift should I get?

Honestly, it means the world to me that you guys are already flying half way across the world to be at my wedding. Your presence makes me feel pretty lucky to have friends like you guys, so really no need for any gifts!

I will mention that there is a part of the reception where we have to sit on these red throne like chairs (I am not looking forward to this part haha) and most people will come up to us to say congrats and give us gifts (usually just cash in envelopes to keep it simple) before putting a tika on us. So if you’re feeling the gifting spirit, this would be the right time to for it!

Travel stuff

1 AUD Approx 80 Rupees. 80Rs for short.

When I write $, I mean AUD

KTM = Kathmandu

We’re picking you up from the airport! Since most of you guys are on the same plane, just get your visa at emigration and then come and meet us!

Do I need to get shots?

Most likely! My GP said Hep A & B, typhoid and malaria tablets, I would save a few dollars and get the malaria tablets in Nepal. To be honest I never took them when I was there and if you consider we’re just gonna be in the city and the people actually live there every day don’t take them either, it should be ok, but I’m not a doctor so your mileage may vary! You might be good for Hep B already if you got it done at school, anyways the best thing is just go to your GP asap and find out!

Do I need a visa for Nepal?

Yes! You can get one on arrival and at the airport. It’ll costs USD25 for a 15 days visa, but you can pay in the equivalent amount in AUD (at a slightly crap rate) and get Nepali Rupees for change. Bring a passport sized photo to save some time and trouble. You could also get a visa in Australia in advance but is double the price.

Will I get denied a visa at the airport??

No, unless you have a crazy criminal record or decide to carry hardcore drugs you’ll be fine! Nepal loves tourists, it makes up almost 10% of their GDP!

What do I do about money?

You definitely do not need to exchange any rupees before you come. You have two options for rupees, you can exchange some for decent rates in KTM, or you can just withdraw some from an ATM. Since we are picking you all up from the airport don’t worry about withdrawing until after we check you guys into your accommodation! Most hotels exchanges money at decent rates as well so there’s a lot of opportunities outside the airport.

With ATMs, there is a limit of about 30,000 rs (~$370) per withdrawal at a specific banks ATM, with a ~$5 atm fee. Most ATMs are 10,000 rs, but we’ll take you guys to the 30,000rs one after checking you guys in.

How much should I budget for?

I really feel like $370 will be more than enough to cover a lot of your week there (minus the hardcore adventure stuff and souvenirs.). In fact the smart way to do it would be pull out the $370 limit first, and then see how you go and then just go to the ATM again when you’re getting low on cash. Anything you don’t end up using you can give to me and I’ll transfer AUD back to you. You could also convert back to your original currency at the Airport at what I assume would be a crap rate, but you need to keep your ATM receipts or the invoice from a currency exchange booth for this.

Also definitely need to bargain for goods and souvenirs! The good key would be start with 50% of what they asked and settle on 75% of what they asked.

Is Nepal Safe?

Yes, is very safe, no pick pockets or bag snatchers. You guys will be staying at the tourist area so it stays a bit busy with tourists even at night. So walking back to the accommodation at night on your own at night wouldn’t be a problem either.

Just as a general rule of thumb with traveling to any country. I wouldn’t carry a bunch of money so I think the $370 limit first is the right way to do it. ATMs are everywhere. Carry the amount you’re prepared to lose I suppose as you’re definitely not gonna get your wallet back if you drop it somewhere so yeah!

How much are tourist sites, how are we getting around?

Entrance to a site cost $2 – $10 for foreigners depending on place.

Getting around we can take buses or van size buses. I think on the first day we can try doing it the local way and take the van buses, which is going to cost about 20 to 50rs per trip. After the first bus trip I doubt you guys will never want to do that again so we can taxi it for the rest of the trip, this is going to cost about 5-10 times more after some bargaining and then splitting between us. So still not too bad. I thought about hiring a van but need to look into it more so yeah watch this space.

How much is food?

At places catering to tourists around 400-600rs for western food, 300-500 for Nepali-Tibetan-Indian food, local prices are in general about 100-200rs cheaper.

Is about 150-250rs for coffee and tea or soft drinks.

Here’s a picture of the menu of a more tourist type of place.

Here’s a great page with pictures of local food, and local menus.
http://your-photography.com/blog/nepalese-food/

Alcohol: 300-500rs for a can of local to international beers, about the same for cocktails, spirits and wine.

How do I get a sim card?

You’ll need Passport and a passport size photo for a sim card. You are able to get some at the airport. I prefer if you guys just sort this out after we check you guys into the accommodation first. I’ll carry a phone with me when I pick you guys up so you can message back to say you’ve landed and all that jazz! They are mostly prepaid, this page has some good info about the rates.

http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/Nepal

I’ll definitely make sure the accommodation have wifi of course!

Can I drink the water there?

No. Don’t be like this American girl I knew who decided to go full native and drank the local water, she ended up getting super sick for days! Might be a good idea to bring a water bottle as some hotels usually have free drinking water and you can fill up your bottle. Always say no ice when you order a drink as you don’t know if they’re using filtered water! I’ve brushed my teeth fine with the water there. Though once again your mileage may vary!

Do I need insect repellent/Sun cream?

You should bring them if want to have your own but I’ll have some and I’m sure someone else will to. Same goes for Hand sanitiser.

What’s the weather like?

Is going to be pretty warm to a little hot during the day (mid to late 20s) and cool at night (mid teens).

When you say KTM is a shithole what do you actually mean?

I just mean Kathmandu is really really polluted. Infrastructure is there but is run down, really busy with people and dirty. Is also very very dusty, so lots of people wear dust mask out of necessity. We will provide a bunch of them but feel free to bring your own too. Pokhara is much nicer in every single aspect and will be a nice way to see what Nepal really is like outside the pollution. 🙂 Sunglasses is a really good idea.

What do I wear?

Shorts are fine, summer dresses are fine, just make sure is nothing too revealing. The more exposed you are just means you’re gonna get stared at more than you’re already are for being a foreigner.

Definitely bring light jacket or sweater or something like that. Anything that’s good enough to keep you warm on a plane ride should be fine as well. It does get a little cooler at night but will be in the hotel by then so yeah.

For footwear, a pair of running shoes or laced shoes will suffice, and maybe flats. You won’t want to wear thongs or sandals outside, is too bumpy and dusty and dirty.

I’m a girl, will I need a male chaperone to go out?

No, Nepal is mainly a Hindu/Buddhist country, so once again just don’t wear anything too revealing and you’ll be fine!

Does that mean there’s only veg food there?

No haha if you had a quick look at the menu you’d be able to see it wasn’t just veg food, you won’t be able to get beef (maybe you can but, I wouldn’t recommend it) but everything else you’ll be able to get (avoid sea food too since Nepal is landlocked.) Is mainly buff (buffalo) meat and chicken though!

 

On the Subject of India

So I think if you guys all came just a few days right before the wedding is gonna work out pretty well.

Fly on the 21st of March, get there on the 22nd. Wedding is on the 25th so we can show you around KTM before the wedding. Again this page has some amazing info, so in the few days before we can show you all the places in KTM in one day, and on the 2nd day we can do Patan and Bhaktapur.

Because of the paper work I can’t leave until the 3rd day after the wedding, there may be wiggle room on this. We can go to Pokhara in the mean time. Or go jump off a bridge! More on this stuff as I know more.

Ok we’d love to go to India and show you guys what it’s all about, and I was talking to Linh and we figured when else are do you guys are ever going to come to this part of the world again? I mean places in south east asia is always gonna be on your list to be done sooner or later, so while in Rome, do as the Indians do.. I think that’s how that goes.

I don’t expect you to read all these links, they’re more for looking at photos purposes! I also normally dont usually plan it all out this but thought this would give off the vibe off i know what I’m doing and would be more reassuring than just saying ‘Let’s go to India!’

I came up with 2 different routes that we could do. Both very different from each other and in a different part of India. I have actually been almost all these places before (unless stated over wise) so I think you’re gonna be in safe hands. 3 trips to India and still have one kidney left!

These are just suggestions, happy to tailor a shorter version or separate after some days or something. I think most places listed are pretty interesting one way or the other so have a look at it all and decide for yourself! (I have now added a third shorter route)

So both start from flying from Kathmandu to New Delhi (About $90-120). There’s nothing to do here. If you thought KTM is shit, this is the worst. I’m kidding, but is too crazy busy and polluted and nothing really worth seeing beside the Bahai Lotus Temple, even that is a crappy variation of the opera house. There’s better versions of other sites else where in India too. Sooooo is literally a transit point.

Route 1 South India

Screenshot-2018-1-14 Google Maps
Pros: Better food, nicer people, a more nature orientated trip. Less busy and easier going in general.
Con: Is gonna be hot. There’s a long travel time for one part.

Day 1

Once we get to New Delhi, fly to Kochi for $70 (No direct flight from KTM sorry) Go to the Backwaters in Alappuzha. I haven’t been to the backwaters myself, but lot of tourists comes here to hire a house boat and have it slowly sail just kick back for the day and sleep there for the night. The boats can be as amazing as you want it to be or average or cheap haha. Or we could also just check it the areas on a local boats and stay on dry land.

Day 2

Spend the rest of the day in Kochi before leaving on an overnight night train to Mettupalayam.

Day 3

Had to take an overnight train because there is a toy train journey that goes up to Ooty at 7 in the morning! Is like a mini Harry Potter train.. through the hills of india! We get to Ooty and stay there for the night.

Day 4

We can do a day trek through the Teas plantations of Ooty. Or go on a nature safari at the national park near by. Is part tiger reserve too. I have not done these so I’m not sure how good they are. The trek I’ve done and is not bad, lots of eucalyptus trees actually… not sure why we came all the way here to see eucalyptus trees. When in India… do as the Australian’s do and bring this tree over so they blow up and burn the forest down..

Day 5

Wake up early and get the bus to Mysore. We can see the Mysore palace there. Could choose to spend the night there, otherwise just have to take an over night train to Hampi.

Day 6

Trek around Hampi. Is amazing, here is another video about it. There was a restaurant with a river view that does the best mango lassi on the planet! (It was also the first time I ever had a mango lassi so don’t take my word for it.)

Day 7

Take the train to Goa. The beach mecca of India. From there we can part ways as you fly from Goa to lots of places overseas! Having said that if we’re not sick of each other’s shit by then we could spend the day there and stay on in a ‘beach hut’ (I bet these look a lot nicer than you thought ay ;p) depending on the beach they can be literally right on the beach. Beaches range from really quiet to party party. They’re not super far from each other, so we can say pick a quiet one to stay, check out a busier one then just come back to our hut at night. The sea food in Goa literally comes from the sea right next to the beach so is fresh and amazing and cheap as chips Indian prices. I stayed in Agonda I’m pretty sure… (As Elvin will know, I’m not a massive beach person so this is pretty optional for me especially I’m gonna go to Thailand later on.)

Option 2 Rajasthan
Screenshot-2018-1-14 Google Maps(1)

Pro: More touristy landmark things, A Camel Safari, sleeping under the stars in the desert
Con: More busy and dirty, people are way more pushy for your tourist dollar.

Day 1

As soon as we get out of New Delhi airport, we can take a train to Agra. If we get to Agra early enough we can go and see this.

Day 2

If not we can wake up early and see the Taj from across the river at Sunrise. After seeing the Taj, we can tuk tuk to see Fatehpur Sikri. Before coming back to Arga for the night.

Day 3

Take the train to Jaipur. I’ve never been here before and have always wanted to go, and based on this link here it looks awesome, lots of things to see!

Day 4 Optional

Option 1: Bus to Pushkar. We can kick back here and relax, there’s not that much here to do. Besides seeing some temples and checking out life over the lakeside. Haven’t been so yeah.
Option 2: Train to Udaipur. Some people call this the Venice of the East. Having been to Venice and Udaipur, they are wrong. Is still really nice though! With some different things to do.
Is a nice place but I feel this could be optional because is slightly out of the way so have to watch the travel time.

Day 5

Train to Jodhpur. This is where the blue city is. We’re getting closer to the desert now. So it starts to have a very Indian afghan kind of vibe! Here’s another link because more nice pictures! There’s a really cool Flying fox that goes over the fort!

Day 6

Train to Jaisalmer. We are really in on the outskirt of the desert now, we can do a Camel safari and sleep under the stars. I’ve done before and it is was definitely an experience, this link and this link gives you a pretty good impression of what is like. Jaisalmer is also known for it’s government approved Bhang Lassi. Is a weed lassi and is totally legal hahah.

Day 7

Explore the fort and city in Jaisalmer, then take the train/plane back to New Delhi. We can actually do the last few cities in a different order. I know is cheaper to fly back from like Jodhpur than Udaipur or Jaisalmer. So yeah, from New Delhi we can separate once more!

Oh this page has a great table of how much things cost in general. I honestly think the per person spend is gonna be less than $500 for the whole week on either options unless we go pretty crazy on accommodation.

Thanks for making it this far. I just thought of a shorter route.

Option 3 A shorter Visit
Screenshot-2018-1-14 Kochi to Goa

Pro: Is shorter, see Mumbai. The Ajanta and Ellora caves!
Con: Is Mumbai really worth seeing. Ehhhh… Also lots of rock stuff.

Day 1

Fly to Mumbai . Is a not bad city to walk around to see how an major Indian city functions. Some not bad sites, tourists come here usually do like a slum tour or be an extra in a Bollywood film.

Day 2

Take trains to see the Ajanta caves. Want to be like a tomb raider of sorts? This is it… kind of. I have not been but have wanted to go since my first trip! Stay the night there.

Day 3

Travel to the near by Elora caves. Stay the night in there or take the night train to Hampi.

Day 4

Hampi refer to Option 1 Day 6. Stay the night there.

Day 5

Take the train to Goa. Refer to Option 1 Day 7.

P.S.

There are a lot of different places in India but option one and option two is mostly what people do their first time here! With the Taj if you guys are really keen on seeing it anyways can add that onto Option 1 or 3 and it adds like an extra day and a half.

I haven’t really looked into accommodations but there’s a wide range from amazing to basic available generally everywhere we are going to, some can be really interesting like sleeping in an old fort, or village stay, stuff like that.