Friday, May 11, 2012

Nepal Travel Advisory | May 2012

With the Constitution due in the end of May from the Constituent Assembly in Nepal, different groups in Nepal are pulling up their pants and coming to the streets to try and pressurise the already strained parliamentarians into putting some of their demands in.

What does this mean for travel? More demonstration and 'closures' (called BANDH in Nepal) which is a general strike. Is this dangerous? not really, unless you get into the thick of things. I saw some tourists today deciding to join the group of protestors for fun, even though they have no idea that the Brahmin Chhetri groups were chanting anti-government and pro-ethnic slogans. Stupid I must say.. as they would never notice the different in pitch as the tensions rise, and God forbid, it gets to riot management levels by the police, they might get hurt, either in the stampede, or through a tear gas canister.

So the advice again is - Listen to the locals, avoid places where demonstrations are going on. Kathmandu is a reasonably sized city and demonstrations are concentrated around power centers. If you are travelling in Nepal in the next few weeks, you should be ready for some delays in your plans. Thats it!

My experience says that all this excitement in the streets will die in a couple of weeks after the constitution comes out. Then its time for Nepal to sit down on our haunches and start building this nation.

Happy Travelling!

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