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Old 09-11-2006, 06:44 AM   #1
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Question looking for a travel buddy

hi there. i'm new and would like to go travelling in Aug 07. i haven't a clue how to start planning my trip. has any one got any tips for me? also, is there anyone else thinking about travelling at this time who wants to travel with someone new?
cheers-ccaseyhaden
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Old 09-12-2006, 02:54 AM   #2
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Thumbs up Namaste

Dear Casey,
I am Dipendra Khand representing 7days Pvt. Ltd. from Nepal.
Let me tell you in short about Nepal.
Nepal

We are landlocked, 21000 sq kms large and about 27 million people live here. We have as many ethnic groups in this small land as you have Hindu Gods. We have so many ethnic groups and traditions that we are "culture shock" conditioned. Probably why Nepalese are tolerant and patient, we experience different cultures since the day we are born. You will find Hindus, Buddhists, and a handful of Muslims and Christians living in complete harmony. Though a multitude of languages are spoken nationwide, Nepali is the national language and the first word you have to learn is "Namaste" which is the greeting meaning "I worship the God in you" said with your palms pressed together in front of your chest.

About us,

We are very friendly and a smile is always plastered in the face of a Nepali. Easy going and laid back, proud, gentle, helpful, flexible would be the words to describe the positives of the people.

How to get there?

Air travel is the most common mode of entry. Kathmandu has an international airport. Major airlines who provide connections into Nepal are Thai, Qatar and Gulf. If you are traveling from Europe, use Qatar Airways or Gulf Air. It makes a stopover in the Gulf Region (pretty boring) before flying to Kathmandu, but it is convenient and priced pretty right. In season, some charter flights also come in which are cheap from Vienna and also from Amsterdam. If you are planning on a Thailand stopover, consider a connection through Bangkok (Thai Airways). If an Indian stopover, Delhi is the best place to search for connections. 5 carriers fly daily from Delhi into Kathmandu. So using the gulf, or Thailand or India as hubs, you can find great connections to arrive into Nepal.

Visa:

Easiest is to get it at the airport on arrival (if you do not mind waiting in a queue for a while). You do need a couple of photographs and USD 30 in cash though for a 30 day permit.

Currency:

We use the Rupee. One dollar will fetch you Rs. 72, a euro Rs. 90 and a pound Rs. 126 (it can fluctuate a bit). There are ATM's in Kathmandu and Pokhara so do not carry all your money in cash or travelers cheque. Many bigger shops and travel agents will also accept major credit cards.

Weather:

We have distinct seasons. The monsoon hits Nepal in mid to end June, but there is a likelihood of pre-monsoon showers which are not quite only London drizzle, but more of a downpour. This continues on till about end August when the rains taper off, giving way to crisp, clear and lovely autumn weather for about two months before the winter sets in. Depending on where you are in the country, the temperatures can vary from tundra to tropic. Even in peak winter, the plains in the south still have temperatures in the mid-twenties.

Health:

You are likely to get the "Kathmandu belly", a small bout of diarrhea, because the food here, the spices etc. may not match your constitution. No worries, it will not be serious. Carry your Imodium though. If you are trekking, "altitude sickness" is what you have to worry about, though it is easy to cope with it, if you catch it when it is still mild. You need to inform yourself about it. We will cover that in the trip briefing, but if you need information on that beforehand, just write to us. A list of vaccinations you might consider is listed at www.ciwec-clinic.com on the web.

Food:

You can virtually find any food in the planet (that's a bit grandiose) in Nepal, also on the popular trekking routes. However, we still suggest that you do sample the local delicacies, specially the Dal Bhat (rice, lentil soup and vegetables) and the ethnic cuisine (specially the Newari food of Kathmandu) Safe bottled water is available all over Nepal, but we recommend that you minimize the use of plastics, so carry the water bottle and iodine or chlorine purification tablets. On treks, you can ask the lodges to boil water for you and leave it overnight. Do not drink from the tap in Nepal.

Political situation:

A lot has come out in the international media about the disturbed politics in Nepal. Well, we are a developing country with a slow economy and poor education. One cannot expect everything to be perfect. However, we are at a crucial stage at the moment. The Maoists are on the drawing board along with the government, chalking out a new Nepal. People coming in now will witness a new Nepal in the making. It is safe to travel in Nepal. It was safe earlier too, but now it is safer and the hassle factor is also not there anymore.

Some travel advisories:

American Travel Advisory: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_927.html
British Travel Advisory: http://www.fco.gov.uk
Australian travel advisory: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-c...w/Advice/Nepal
Our travel advisory board: http://nepaltraveladvisory.blogspot.com

Other websites of interest: News on Nepal: http://www.nepalnews.com
Nepal Tourism Board: http://www.welcomenepal.com
Sustainable tourism network: http://www.welcomenepal.com/stn
We will make sure you are well informed before you travel into Nepal.
For further inquiries, please write to us at noorahdeep@gmail.com
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