If you are planning on a Trekking holidays and decide to Travel to Nepal, you are in a treat since Trekking in Nepal will provide one of the best if not the best experiences of your lifetime. While we obviously are biased about ourselves and consider ourselves the best tour operator in Nepal, it would be a dishonest assessment to say that there are no other tour operators that are like us who have an excellent operation as well. While there are many good tour operators in Nepal and while it is true that world class hotels and restaurants are abundantly available in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan and other popular tourist destinations, entering Nepal via the only international airport can sometimes be a daunting task. In this article we hope to better prepare you so that getting out of the airport will not be an unpleasant surprise for you. It is also our hope that this article with better prepare you to get out of the Kathmandu airport as efficiently as possible.
A test of your patience:
If you are traveling to Nepal you will probably fly into Nepal via destinations such as the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Seoul or some parts of India. We hope you enjoyed traveling through these airport because sadly, the experience will not be matched at the Kathmandu airport. The Trivuwan International Airport (TIA) is a poorly managed airport that was constructed about half a century ago when air traffic used to be very light. With flights coming in in volumes that are more than five times what the airport can handle, this one runway airport can run very stressful. Sorry for the bad news, but we will make it up to you when we are under our care. The airport is not something we have much control on so all we can do is prepare you. So due to poor management, outdated technology and infrastructure and the sheer volume that is too big for the size of the airport, getting out of the airport can be stressful. Please come prepared with some extra patience while you are at the airport since you will more than likely need it.
Be proactive with your Visa:
If you can at all manage it, please get your visa before your arrival from the embassy or consulate of Nepal located in your country. This will save you a great deal of headache since the visa on arrival can be a cumbersome process. After you arrive and come to the arrival section, immediately fill out the arrival form and proceed to the immigration line. The two or three lines at the far left as you are looking at the immigration line are the ones for tourists. If time does not permit you to get a visa prior to the arrival, a couple of things to consider. Firstly, carry exact change for visa fees. The visa fees are US $ 25 for 15 days Visa, US$ 40 for 30 days Visa US$ 100 For 90 days Visa. Secondly, carry 2 recent passport pictures. Lastly, carry a pen that writes well please. As soon as you arrive at the airport, fill out the arrival form and the visa application form and get in line as soon as you can.
Packing and Luggage:
Nepali people are one of the most trustworthy and friendly in the world. There is no doubt about that. The reality however is that no matter where, there are always some that give everyone a bad name and this applies to Nepal as well. While none of our customers have become victims of theft, we have heard of incidents where things have gone missing from people’s luggage. Please do not pack any valuables in your luggage that are zippered. Either carry them on your carry-on or a hard-shell luggage. Again, this is another very rare incidence, but if your luggage do not make it to the ancient conveyor belt, please see the airline representative who is wearing an airline ID instead of at airport staff. Let them know that they need to find it, insist on it and make them go look for it. Sometimes your “missing” luggage might be stuck at the loading dock. You are better off spending some extra time to ensure that you luggage was not in the airplane than having to come back and get it. If the unfortunate happens to any of our customers and if they need to come back to get the luggage since it did not make it to the airport, we will be with you throughout.
Customs and airport helpers:
Getting out of the customs with a foreign visa is relatively easy. If you do not have anything that you have brought in for commercial purpose, you are use the green lane, get your luggage through the scanner and off you go. On your way out, you might be offered help to carry out your luggage. It is better not to talk them up for the help and carry out your luggage by yourself since they might expect you to pay for it as you come out. Just grab a cart and take care of your luggage by yourself.
One of the best perks of being our customer is that from the time you come out of the airport to the time of your departure, we are at your service. Based on your reservation type (individual, small group, large group etc.), we will ensure that we inform you on how to find our staff for your transportation. If you are traveling by yourself, you might be a bit overwhelmed with people offering you transportation. Luckily, the vehicles that are allowed to transport tourists are only the ones that are licensed to carry foreign tourists and the prices are usually set. Nevertheless, discuss the fares beforehand. They should be somewhere between 8-15 dollars based on where your hotel is.
Traveling to Nepal has many rewards. Getting out of the airport unfortunately is not one of them. The poor management of the airport, the age of the airport and the crowd can make you question your intent of coming to Nepal in the first place. Talk our word for it, once you make it out of the airport, you have tackled the biggest challenge that comes with traveling to Nepal including, yes, trekking the Everest Base Camp. Once you make it to your hotel and grab a chilled lager, this will all be behind you. New airport coming in the future thankfully!