Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The US Travel Advisory

The US is back at hitting hard at Nepal again, a new travel advisory came out yesterday, advising as follows: "The Department of State remains concerned about the security situation in Nepal and urges American citizens contemplating a visit to Nepal to obtain updated security information before they travel and to be prepared to change their plans at short notice"....read more about the US travel advisory here

Well, I think what they write is completely justified. But remember to read between the lines, and the learnings from this advisory would be:

1. Do not walk alone inside a jungle, specially if you are a woman (the two incidents in the forest)
2. Solo trekking is not always safe (not only for personal safety reasons, but also you never have backup in case you have a trekking injury, or high altitude sickness)
3. Tourists are not necessarily the targets.. American NGO's are considered to have more money, hence excellent for extortions.
4. Some pilferage in hotels rooms in Kathmandu is possible. Kathmandu is a big city and normal levels of city crime exists. Be careful where you keep your valuables.

So you see, the travel advisory does not necessarily say that you cannot travel into Nepal, just you need to be cautious, be informed, and take usual precautions like when you travel anywhere in the world.

And the one part that I like a lot in the advisory, be ready to change plans quickly... this is absolutely true. In a country with a situation like in Nepal, that is probably the best advice people can come with... be flexible, ready for change....

Remember.... plans seldom survive reality, change can be inspirational, embrace it.... this cannot be more true in Nepal.

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