Recommendations/Advice

This is part of a summary of the current situation in Nepal written by stilltrekkin for the Lonely Planet’s ThornTree forum:


  • Inform yourself prior to going to Nepal. Research, ask questions, seek answers from appropriate sources and carefully weigh the pros and cons. Consult Government Travel Advisories and recognize that they are the extreme right of the “conservative” scale. Read news items, but remember they are often #1 on the “Sensational” scale. Build a balanced view. Remember that ultimately the final decision has to be yours. No one can give you a guarantee of safety or predict events in the future. Only you can decide how you will cope with a given situation

  • Adhere to local laws, curfews and other security measures that may be in force at any given time.

  • Avoid highway travel during strikes if possible. If you must travel, look for the safest option. Budget a little extra so you can fly, if necessary or hire a car and driver. Use Tourist Buses. Avoid local buses, and night buses.

  • Avoid solo travel.

  • Carefully consider the added safety factor gained when you organize your travel through a reputable agent/company vs a spontaneous, do-it-yourself program – especially if you want to be off the beaten track. The additional cost is often minimal.

  • It’s a good idea to bring an extra padlock when you go trekking. Most Tea Houses do give you locks for your doors – but the quality varies. Lock your door when you leave your room, even for a short time.

  • Despite the current political situation, the greatest threat to your personal safety remains the human tendency to underestimate the quickly changing face of Mother Nature and the high altitude of the Himalaya. You must be prepared physically and be properly equipped before undertaking a trek in Nepal.

  • Avoid political demonstrations and street meetings. Don’t be tempted to get that “special photograph” to show friends back home or to show your support of a local issue. As a foreign visitor in Nepal, you must remain non-political as hard as that may be.

  • Avoid travel on local, intercity buses if there are other choices available. They take longer. They are much less comfortable. You will encounter significant delays at Security Check-points. The few rupees that you save will not compensate for the aggravation in most cases. There are better ways to have close encounters with Nepali people.

  • Avoid giving voice to your frustrations over delays and making rude or loud comments at security check points. This helps no one – especially you – and will not be appreciated by your fellow travelers.

  • Avoid and/or decline invitations from unknown individuals, local or foreign, to accompany them to isolated destinations. There is safety in numbers. If you wouldn’t do it at home, it’s probably best to avoid the situation while traveling in a foreign country. This is good advice not only for women, but any solo travelers.

  • Check the details of your travel insurance policy well in advance. Some insurers will not pay out if your government has advised against travelling to Nepal. In general the political situation has no bearing, for insurance policies, on personal illness or accident related problems when it comes down to evacuation coverage. The explanation that was given is that the Government Travel Advisories do, however, negate any claim that could be related to injuries resulting from the political insurgency.
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