Saturday, February 25, 2006

Safety in Nepal

Raj Gyawali

Ten years of internal conflict between the Maoist guerrillas and the establishment has meant that travelers are very concerned about the safety issue when planning their trips to Nepal. This fact, combined with some attacks by the guerrillas in remote districts and in the vicinity of the Kathmandu Valley on government targets and the international media coverage of these events have created more concerns on potential travelers. This is very understandable.

Here are some facts about the conflict that might help travelers make a more informed decision

• The Maoists have only targeted government targets – civilians and specially foreigners are not targets at all
• The Maoists also recognize the importance of tourism – in fact in many Maoist run villages in remote areas, they put welcome gates in the entrance of villages.
• There has not been any tourist casualty resulting out of the conflict in Nepal in these 10 years.
• Maoist charge a travel permit fee in their areas, amounting to about 20 USD and give you a receipt so that you do not get doubly charged.
• The agitating political parties and the Maoist sometimes announce valley wide and nation wide closures and blockades, which results in hassle and delays in surface travel. This does not affect air travel.
• Closures announced in Kathmandu mean that this is the perfect day to cycle around the city without the pollution and the public love it (when it is not for many days)
• The government sometimes imposes curfews (partial and sometimes complete) which means you might have to stay indoors. Its pretty boring and a big hassle. These are rare. This does not affect air travel, and special arrangements are there to shuttle travelers to and from the airports.
• These closures, blockades and curfews do not affect tourism activities in remote villages, where most of the tourism takes place in Nepal.
• These closures, blockades and curfews however, can affect access to these areas, if the timing is wrong.
• There are lesser tourists in Nepal now (scared because of the conflict) which means it is a better time to come. You get better service and can enjoy the attractions and activities more.

Suggestions

• Be informed of planned activities by the political activists and the Maoists and plan your trip accordingly.
• Be prepared to modify your plans when in Nepal to account for the unplanned events.
• Pad your travel with a few extra days to allow for unforeseen delays due to the country situation. (Not really applicable for travel only into Kathmandu)

1 comment:

  1. Nepal is more then mountain country blessed with rich natural attributes & with cultural history. More than anything else, it's birthplace of Buddha 'Light of Asia' who led the world towards peace and serenity. That's why we always have religious tolerance. There has been tradition of brotherhood between every caste, creed and religion and therefore Nepal always enjoys the distinction being only Hindu Kingdom in the world though there is harmonious confederacy of several religions and creeds.

    Nevertheless, for the past some years, entirely due to political instability, image of Nepal has been deteriorated in the international world for ongoing argument between rebel party "Maoist" and government. There is no hesitation to say that thanks to selfish attitude of some so - called high - standing leaders, the tension has been emerged. Recently, after the royal proclamation, the things are getting positive gradually in Nepal . But in fact, Nepal is absolutely safe for to travel and other purposes. There is nothing to despair regarding security concern. The thing is that the way, which the rebel party - Maoists have chosen, is not aimed at foreigners, rather they are traumatized only about entire political regime of Nepal .

    Truly they have got high sense of humanity. Till the moment, no distressful remark has been experienced from them in the field of tourism industry. As a matter of fact, they are no more concerned with commoners nor with foreign people. We have been operating our trekking / touring activities successfully without any interruption all through kingdom. We want to assure that Nepal is completely safe for the tourist destination and no frustrating mystery will remain while doing traveling with us. Find out how considerately friendly the Nepalese people are. Glimpse of pristine nature, prosperous traditional culture, eye - appealing snowy mountains, legendry spirit of Nepalese hospitability, all these and more are all that await you to be rewarded with here in Nepal. Discover Nepal where nature abounds with wonder offering you heavenly pleasure!
    For the Details visit us at:

    Mr Ammar Raj Guni
    Gokyo Treks & Expedition Pvt Ltd, Kathmandu Nepal.
    Post Box No; 8974 CPC 378 Thamel Kathmandu Nepal.
    Communication (cell phone) 9841249988
    Wesites: www.sundarnepal.com

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