Monday, October 27, 2008

Travel advisory :: Update

I have received a lot of complaints that this blog is outdated and I did not write on it at all regarding the safety situation in Nepal... 

All for a purpose... and it pertains to safety... Nepal is fine as on now and I saw no reason to write about safety anymore... but I guess that was a mistake.... people out there are still concerned and I should still put in updates... I will be better in the future... my bad!

Anyways, to the updated advisory:-

1. Travel is safe. Be prepared for some delays though. Some inherent in a country like Nepal, but some also due to the huge political upheavals that are taking place in Nepal, which means demonstrations, strikes, general strikes, closures... we also have an interesting one called Chakka Jam... which literally means "wheel lock" - yeah, no transport.

2. Notwithstanding the above, travel in Nepal is still fun.

3. Earlier, the problems would be in the villages and in remote areas.. now the disturbances have come to the capital, and the rural areas are fine... so if you want to trek, you are going to enjoy it.

4. If you want to trek again, come during the end of the season or the beginning, if you want to avoid the tourist traffic. Was reading reports today that Manang, in the Annapurna Region, was becoming clogged this year again (the last time that happened was in 1999). So if you avoid peak seasons, you might enjoy it.

5. This also means book air tickets well well in advance... Nepal is still not very well connected and the single strip international airport at Kathmandu does not help.

6. As always, pad your trip with a few extra days. It can be a bonus, allowing you to see new things and allow for that little added plus into your trip... if there is a strike or closure, you can also still enjoy your planned holiday, as you can move your activities around this.

7. Keep in contact with someone in Kathmandu. Most agencies will provide information for free, no obligations, and there is nothing that beats local knowledge.

Did I cover everything...??? hmmm.. maybe...

See you in the mountains!