What to expect when moving to Nepal

Hello everyone,

Is there anything you wish you had known before moving to Nepal? For example, transportation, internet speeds, types of housing, aspects of the culture or social life.

In your opinion, what's the most important thing to know about Nepal?

When would you recommend someone should begin planning their move to Nepal?

What were the most helpful ways you found to get organised? For example, did you use a checklist, were there any particularly useful websites or apps?

What advice would you give to future expats preparing to move to Nepal?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

If as I must assume, we are talking about foreigners intending to move to Nepal, the very first point to clarify is: for how long? Stays limited to no more than five months' in Nepal in any one calendar year (read Tourist Visa?) Or longer, like 6-12 months (read Business Visa?) or 12 months or longer (read Residential Visa?). This critical determining VISA question - KEY factor in considering any move to Nepal is well explained by jl1234 on Expat right here with the most useful and detailed information he provided readers on July 22, 2017 under topic of "Retiring In Nepal". Retirement or no retirement, the point here is that unless the foreign applicant can get assurances he/she will be able to obtain the right type of visa corresponding to applicants needs and expectations, the move to Nepal remains a moot point. Visas is the pre-requisite to any move/planning in Nepal.
After that, if readers want to know more about all these other things such as transportation, utilities, types of housing in/out of city, restaurants, sports and leisure, childcare, clothing and shoes and practical information on rental costs, depending on whether the person/persons want to live in city or outside of city, etc, I would refer them to:

https://www.numbeo.com/quality-of-life/ … ntry=Nepal

Worth noting that in their section "quality of life", Numbeo gives a score of 89.04 out of possible 200 (max) to Nepal (SEE BELOW) and a lower one of 73.93 I believe to Kathmandu/Kathmandu valley.
On inside pages, readers can even find a section where as of August 2017, this site will state, for example, that if - say - a family of 4 were to come and live today in Kathmandu in-city, that family's monthly costs would presently amount to 1061.33 Euros per month, plus the rent. After the monthly rent is factored in - they mention a figure of 26,500 Nrs - or 219 Euros currently, the grand monthly total will then come to a sum of 1280 Euros or $1,509.00 according to their detailed information, at current exchange rate which readers can verify.
The rental they cite for living outside of city is somewhat lower, as would be expected.  Similarly, costs for one person only will be lower, as they mention.
The highlights of that Numbeo information on their country page (Nepal as a whole) are the following, based on maximum/highest score of 200:
PURCHASING POWER INDEX:                    23.30    very low         
SAFETY INDEX:                                             63.34    high
HEALTH CARE INDEX:                                 58.71    moderate
CLIMATE INDEX:                                          92.11    very high
COST OF LIVING INDEX:                             33.12    very low
PROPERTY PRICE TO INCOME RATIO       21.67     very high
TRAFFIC COMMUTE TIME INDEX              42.09    moderate
POLLUTION INDEX                                      85.22    very high

QUALITY OF LIFE INDEX IN NEPAL        89.04    moderate

But for those who are interested, many detailed prices for each and every item under the sun are provided in same site, covering everything from vegetables to transportation, taxis, and much more.

As for planning, I find it is difficult if not impossible to plan anything here really, because things always seem to turn out differently from what you expected them to be, which  in turn explains why Nepal is such an irresistible great Adventure!! (I never even bothered to do "checklist" for that reason!) How to plan?

Good information from Monica. In all the websites I visited before coming to Nepal, like she points out that same all-important question keeps popping up, namely: Can you obtain the necessary Visa or Work Permit, before moving to another country, ...Nepal or anywhere really? If not, what's the point or at least a re-think?
Other typical questions these sites raise in a long list of questions, and among them:
- Will you have  health care coverage in that country you move to?
- Can you rely on local healthcare service once there?
- How long are you prepared to be away?
- Can you speak the local language?       
- (Perhaps more importantly they say) ..Will you embrace the local experience and keep a positive outlook, no matter what surprises await you?
- Do you know how much it will cost you to live in the country you think you want to go to?
In the website  www.thewanderlanders.com/25-things-you- … r-country/
they list 25 points they think people should consider prior to moving to another country.
Question of cost, personally I am inclined to agree with that USD1,500.00 per month figure that was quoted as being applicable to Nepal, so we are talking USD18,000.00 annually. But then, if a couple has, say, one young school age child - and this was pointed out in Expat last year because I read it there - that additional parental cost of sending him/her to a really good school like the British Secondary School in Kathmandu for the first/initial year, will alone cost another USD18,000.00 - doubling the required budget to USD36,000.00
The home away from home in Nepal has to be a rented place, as was correctly pointed for the good reason that foreigners are not authorized to purchase. On the other hand, I have every reason to believe they could purchase a car if they wanted to with the right kind of Visa. All I know is that prices of new automobiles here in Nepal are very high because of import duties and/or taxes on virtually all transportation vehicles.

For a single person, it's very cheap to live in Nepal barring any health issues. I lived in a very nice furnished apt. in Pokhara for $~200USD a month all included. Make sure you bargain for all included. Living expenses were less than $100 a month but i dont eat out or drink beer. The only difficulty is finging a place that is quiet in town. There is construction going on almost everywhere. I did find a quiet nook in Lakeside though.

Expect nice walks, beautiful lake and mountain views, cows in the road that would love a leaf of lettuce or two and, of course, never ending honking on street and sidewalk.

Points well made about Nepal being cheaper, barring any health issues.  Equally true that with so much construction going on in the big cities, dust, noise, honking like you say, those are the very reasons why I try really hard to spend most of my time in the villages or in the mountains! I love the country.
On costs, unfortunately Numbeo provides no data for Pokhara, but they do give comparative monthly cost of living for a single person in Kathmandu which they say is presently USD350.69, without rent. When rent is added (after conversion of both their euro and rupee figures), their monthly total cost of living figure in Kathmandu for that one person comes to USD487.70
But the point remains that for a couple or a couple with one or more children to educate who might wish to move to Nepal on a more permanent basis, that family of say 3-4 might have no alternative but to find the best schools, the best hospitals, the best doctors, the best shopping facilities and the rest of it, ONLY in Kathmandu and all of that comes at a price, with the kind of figures previously cited.
One major point remains: sorting out the Visa question, which is where the crunch comes, especially when people intend to move to Nepal expecting to live here for 12 consecutive months, and they find they are not even allowed to spend 6 consecutive months in any one calendar year. More simply put: what kind of Visa can authorize them to do that? And what about the education of their children in that event? Serious considerations here.

Regarding visa issue, from my experience you can stay in Nepal for 10 months straight before you have to leave. 5 months Aug-Dec and 5 months Jan-May. Yes, for a family, taking a 2 month trip to india every year might be a burden. For a single person or couple it would be a boon i would think.

Hi
I'm new on this forum, I'm coming to nepal pokhara, I have been offered work as a contract pilot training local guys and some tourist work I would assume.

What is it like there I'm quite social guy, fit and while not a party animal I do enjoy a drink.

Any advise will be appreciated I'm a bit concerned

Regards

I have to agree with your advice. If people are going to move to Nepal, it's best if they come with low expectations and this way, they run less risk of being disappointed.
You talk about Electricity, but does anyone really know when the much needed and long awaited Melanchi Drinking Water Project - a dream of the population of Kathmandu - will be completed? As recently as August 10th last in the HT paper, the Project Manager of that project was quoted as saying that of a 27,6 km tunnel they require, his company had "yet to dig 2.9 km" as he put it. The article goes on to say that this project was started in 2001 -- some 16 years ago, which seems hard to believe...but anything is possible in Nepal!
About the GP generalist doctors you refer to, I was told by my friendly and very competent now retired doctor at Himal - who had no reason to exaggerate anything - that literally 95% of all GP's in Nepal will prescribe things like penicillin or other antibiotics, just to cite one example, without ever performing a blood test on the patient beforehand. Without that test, no way of accurately determining which antibiotic is most suitable, and more importantly determine which ones the patient may be resistant to, etc. I am no doctor but I must admit I find this surprising.
We can only hope that problems will be sorted out, that the country will find an equilibrium and not reach failed state like you seem to indicate, but I admit that together with other expats, we sometimes express doubts among ourselves, with multiple reservations about where the country is heading?  It's all in the hands of Nepal's policymakers.
King Prithvi Narayan Shah, the 18th Century King who unified the country, once described Nepal using these exact words:
                                                    "A DELICATE YAM BETWEEN TWO BOULDERS"

and of course, he was referring to India which is 22 times bigger and China which is 66 times larger, in terms of area.
Time will tell.

Thanks Guys for the reply

Im must say Im a bit concerned about the upcoming trip, but am picking up the issue of water and cleanliness.

Im will be going for a typhoid injection before I leave (04/09/2017) and hope it will go well.

We are on a 6 month rotation and Im hoping to make the best of it.

Beadwindow,
I stayed in Pokhara for 10 months. After the 10, you have to leave for 2 months not 7. You can stay in the country for 150 days per year and the year starts january 1st. Arrive August 1st and stay 5 months and then on January 1st, renew visa for another 5 months. One can continue on the 10 in/ 2 out cycle as long as they dont change the rules.

Ha! So true. I rarely ever ate out for that reason. One time i had my food sneezed on right in front of me. But, you have to develope a thicker skin to live there. As I always said to myself when i got ticked off by something, "It's not my country".

He he seems bead is a man I could enjoy a single malt with.

While we are on the subjects of Nepal .......how's the women? I hear from a French pilot who is leaving that it's not happening abd like many things that are scares in Nepal women are on the list 🙁

Reading your comments Beadwindow, it feels like you are enjoying your life a lot here !

Any feeling about a place/country/city is of course very subjective. Coming in Nepal with western expectations if a course the last thing you wanna do. Common sense, right ?

Yes Nepali people wash their hands (they even take shower and wear clothes). In more than a year living here and eating out almost every day, I have never gotten sick.

Sure you cannot pay with your debit card at the momo shop, sure roads are bad, sure you cannot find all the commodities people have in the west. But wait ... people survive, they even smile and seem happy !!! Awesome. To buy things people pay by cash. Unbelievable.

No loadshedding anymore in Kathmandu valley. Meaning you have electricity 24 hours a day. Terrific.

Corruption ... Am sure politics from the US or Europe could give good lectures on the subject.

You mention corruption:  Corruption like a cancer. As long as the dreaded disease affects only one part of the body politic - like one organ - and it can be contained, that's one thing. But if the malignant cancer spreads, that's the end.

I fear you are right. Many people pinned their hopes on the nomination of Sushila Karki when she became Chief Justice of Nepal. Certainly, at that time, her nepalese supporters never made a secret of her taking a strong stance against corruption and this, throughout her one year tenure as Head of Nepal's Justice system and Head of the Supreme Court. But all hopes were dashed in May 2017 when she narrowly escaped being impeached for her views and presumably had no other choice but to retire early in June when she turned 65 anyway.
If we are to believe Aljazeera, this reformer lady "took too tough a stance against corruption and was too aggressive, which annoyed the legislators and politicians alike"
The same source points out that "Nepal has had 9 governments since the end of the civil war in 2006"
Expats who make a decision to move to a foreign country naturally expect to find a situation of reasonably good  "Political Stability" in any place they finally decide to settle in, no?

Update about what foreigners should know before moving here.
Ambitious plans for future expansion of Kathmandu Valley Development have just been officially announced. Authorities are reported to be in first stage of awarding contracts to make that branching out of the capital of Kathmandu possible. Plans call for the creation of four major "smart cities" de facto implying the building of new roads, power plants, water supply networks, schools, and other infrastructure.
The stated objective of this Kathmandu Valley Project is to "ease the population density in Kathmandu downtown".
Of the four main cities in the valley, the first would stretch across the eastern part of the Valley connecting Jorpati, Sankhu, Malpani, Gothatar with beautiful and historic Bhaktapur. Plans are that this one "smart city" will cover, they say, 125,000 ropanies of land, which is the equivalent of 12,500 acres.
The second "smart city" being planned will reach out to Lalitpur Patan area and out toward Bungmati, Khokana and out that way.
Still according to plans for everyone to read in the Press, the second, third and fourth areas will all cover smaller areas, in the order of 10,000 ropanies each. Similarly, planners are saying that no one "smart city" should have a population exceeding 500,000 inhabitants. So taken at face value, these four planned "smart cities" will create housing for a maximum number of  2 million inhabitants.
In 1950, Kathmandu's population was 104,000. Today, in 2017, Kathmandu's population is 1,266,000  inhabitants and if suburbia is counted in, Kathmandu Valley population has an estimated 2 million inhabitants, or more already. 
A clear call and need for greater water and electricity resources. Plans give an indication and foresight that the number of people residing in Kathmandu Valley could very well be expected to progressively increase from present level towards the 3 million mark, at some given point in time. And assuming the planners have got their estimates right,  in terms of future population growth, extrapolated from these announced plans of each "smart city" being able to acccomodate 500,000 inhabitants each - the  projection sends a message that population in Kathmandu Valley could very well double in the future. Time will tell!

Keep Kathmandu. I'll take Pokhara.

As recently as April 4, 2017, The Economic Times quoted Nepal Electricity as saying that it would have to import electricity worth Fifteen Billion Rupees from India, to end power cuts in this country.
You are right about everything taking ages in Nepal.
You are also right also, of course, about water resources being available in the country (read still mostly undeveloped). But people in cities and elsewhere need good quality potable drinking water and as you no doubt know, Kathmanduites, have been waiting for the Melanchi Water Project to be completed since 2001 to bring that kind of water to the city. Let's hope that the Melamchi Project doesn't take a 1,000 years to quench peoples' thirst!
"Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink".......!!!!!
P.S. On a more serious note, it is estimated that up to 75% of the water supply in Kathmandu today is polluted.

I understand the fact that many of these complaints/issues are factual. I think it's also important to understand that Nepal was forgotten from the time Magellan sailed around the world until Sir Hillary climbed Mt. Everest. It missed the industrial revolution.

When I was a child in California, US I walked to school on a dirt road. In my lifetime I saw it totally develop from little better than Nepal to what it is now. So, maybe a bit of patience could be given to Nepal.

When I see the American politicians voting to end health care for millions because their pockets are lined with bribe money it's hard for me to even begin to compare it to this developing nation. At least it's still illegal here.

We have 5 MBPS WIFI now from broadband and with our battery backup system and solar we haven't had to use rechargeables or candles more than a couple times this past year. Life is pretty good here for me as a lower income retired American than it was back in the US. I eat better and get great health care for pennies on the dollar. I find it 100 times better than being poor in the US and I get plenty of interaction with Westerners because I have a guesthouse and I have a loving Nepali circle of influence here that is much bigger and better than the support system I had in the US, so I miss nothing from the US other than the second-hand stores and maybe Home Depot. It's so cheap to call the US I seem to talk more to my family from here than I did when I lived there.

The most important thing for me is that I matter more here and can do more for my community than I could in the US. Imagine this: I gave someone a very small amount for schooling when I first got here 6 years ago. A few months ago a woman came by with someone to our guesthouse and told me that her sister was doing well now because I helped her. I truly do not remember anything except I remember that I had helped a young woman. You can't even take someone out to lunch for such a lttle bit, yet I helped her so much that she made sure her sister thanked me 5 years later.

I'm happy to help anyone to come to Nepal to live a better, more enriching life. Just send me a PM. People often need a bit of guidance and support.

"So did you really come here to "help" people and feel good whilst wearing your cheap tie-died t-shirt or did you come to live on the cheap?"

No, actually I was trying to get to Madagascar to help the people there, but they had a coupe and then I ran out of savings in Europe and had to go to India. Then I had to leave India in 3 months. Thank God for my little widow's pension. You are right that I never really lived my life to make money. When I got to Nepal and saw a glimpse of the Himalayas from the bus window on the arduous bus trip, I cried. It was like coming home.

"If feeling good about helping out someone who will still die 40 years before their time, then knock yourself out. As for eating better? Where did you eat in the US? You clearly needed to get out more."

I worked very hard but never earned enough to buy organic vegetables. My God! When your life is over are you going to regret not having faster internet? I don't care if we all die tomorrow, I will live with enough compassion to help people along the way-wherever I am.

I'm having a richer, happier life than I had in the US. If anyone has a helping, patient attitude and wants to give Nepal a try please feel free to contact me. But if your life is going really well and you can afford organic, non-GMO vegetables picked the same day, a full-time housekeeper who even gives foot massages, a full-time cook who will make anything you like, then you are really blessed and I'd want to stay where I was, too. But my life never was like that and at one point I was the housekeeper. But now that's exactly what my life is like. Everyone is so kind to me I feel like I'm the luckiest person on the planet. Now, I find it hard to pray. All I can say is, 'Thank you, God.'

Personally, I don't suffer from electrical outages and we have broadband WIFI and a dish network for backup. We sit up on the hilltop at Changunarayan temple village and have clean air, gentle breezes, quiet nights and so much more. People come to our village for a night and end up staying for months. I'm not suffering or compromising in any way. I lived in a 1972, single wide mobile home for a time and even lived in the back of a box truck mostly at Walmart parking lots. I've been up and I've been down, but Nepal is a serious upgrade in many ways. I never cared about money, but here in Nepal, I have more than enough to live a better lifestyle than I ever did before and even enough to share. Amazing for a person who never had a stock portfolio, huh?

Beadwindow, come to Changunarayan before you leave Nepal. It will help you to remember why Nepal is so beloved by so many.

Actually I understand Beadwindow perfectly when he says done is done. Many of my friends originally also came to Nepal with a dream about this country, and many of them have either already left or are thinking hard about leaving. Dream is not reality and the reality of Nepal of 2017 is sadly totally otherwise. To know that, one has to be able to scratch the surface. Things are not what they appear to be, only images.
I agree that those in charge are corrupt and in the lot, you can throw in not only the NEA but also the Justice Dept (which lady Chief Justice S. Karki tried in vain to clean up, only to get the boot for it last May/June) and the TIA airport authorities, Land Registry, you name it.
The Himalayan mountains will always be outstandingly beautiful but here again, like you say, those mountains you can't move just do not outweigh all the negatives of today's Nepal.  Up until the Royal Palace Massacre of 2001, Nepal had long been a one man rule, a type of governing which somehow better seemed to  suit the country. But all that changed abruptly on that sad and regrettable day.
Like a nepali friend of mine said to me just recently, today Nepal doesn't have one King, it has 600 kings - referring of course to the number making up the Constituent Assembly! But then, we can ask: How can 600 kings possibly efficiently rule a country, especially when using money and power, they successively each taking turns, they put self interest ahead of public interest? A tight ship has only one Captain, and too many chiefs spoil the broth. Is this a "democracy" nepali style? or a joke, i.e. a democracy in name only? In democracy, the people come first, or so it is written in the textbooks.
I also agree that zero progress not only characterizes Nepal but I would say that the country is going backwards, not forward. The economic indicators are there to prove it.  And yes, you are right, they seriously lack initiative - and in addition resist change. Economic quasi stagnation, zero development in productivity are the result, with political incompetence thrown in. 
In the wake of those terrible and devastating earthquakes of April 4 and May 12, 2015, with so many people losing their life, hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed.
Within the last few days, a friend of mine returned from Eastern country, Gelu/Ramchhap area, and told me that finally after 2 1/2 years, the authorities were granting the local people one lakh rupees
(about 800 euros) to rebuild a one family home there. In stage two, provided the foundation of the house is properly re-built in concrete, they will release a second payment of one lakh rupees. Problem this nepali person says is that the cost of the total cost of rebuilding a house on average there is 10 to 12 lakhs. This means that a typical family can hope to recoup 10 to 20% of the cost and this after having waited two and one half years. 
To finance the rest of re-construction, my friend says that the family in question will have to rely on selling livestock/cattle. The reconstruction of their home may take several more years, this man said.
In the wake of those earthquakes, Foreigners and donors from around the world promptly and generously responded by giving billions to Nepal and contributing to the so-called "Prime Minister's Earthquake Relief Fund" - That being so, and I remember because I was a witness of those dramatic events at the time, we can legitimately ask: why did it so long for these reconstruction funds to be disbursed? why in such small proportionate amounts of reconstruction?
Yes, patience will be required, that's for sure.

I know what you are saying. Nepalis are so very proud, so incredibly full of pride, the thought that they might be wrong never even enters their mind. Blind to criticism really. With such people who are so oblivious and blissfully unaware of their own state of mind, nothing a westerner can do. And when we push them a bit too much and try to pin them down, we cross their red line. Result is they short circuit and go bananas.
For them, it is simple:  there are the only ones who hold the truth.
What to do? Nothing except for us to exit.
Not easy people to educate, that's for sure.

I hear you. God knows what's going to happen to this country after you leave and get back safely to Europe? All I know is that, being so short-sighted, the people in charge of the rudderless ship have no vision of the future - absolutely none. So it is just a matter of time as to when the tidal wave you mention will come? The people I really feel dreadfully sorry for are the poor who of course account for the greater segment of the country's population. They have already suffered enough hardship as things now stand and they deserve a better life. They are being dealt a raw deal.
If I may say so, I think you are doing the right thing, to go now and not wait. The tidal wave will come soon enough.

H O L Y  C O W !

Speaking of the holy animal, we can say that one of the differences therefore between Nepal and a country like Switzerland is that in Nepal - as everyone knows - it is strictly forbidden to eat cow meat here but cows are totally allowed to block traffic in city streets - whereas - in orderly Zurich, you can eat cow meat but you can bet your bottom dollar that their presence in city streets will never be tolerated by the police there!
Other animals in Nepal are not so privileged. If we are to believe the Daily Mail, some 300,000 animals  or more, are killed every year to bring worshipers good luck, mostly goats of course, but also buffaloes and even birds.
The greatest outcry from the rest of the world, therefore outside of Nepal, continues to be voiced over the annual bizarre (to most westerners) ritual of the killing of a female goat at time of 900 year old Khokana Festival. That day an unfortunate female goat is thrown in a pond and torn apart until it dies while it is still alive. Barbaric and back to the times of Moses too. 
These little tidbits of information fit in nicely with the topic here of "What to Expect When Moving to Nepal"

Over everything that's already been said here about energy production or lack or it, it's really hard to believe that according to CS Monitor dot com, this Himalayan nation of Nepal - sandwiched between India and China - has sufficient (undeveloped) water resources - but nevertheless the actual potential to generate 80 times the electricity it needs today - and this according to a generally agreed estimate. CS Monitor then goes on to estimate that Nepal's full potential of electricity production is 83,000 Megawatts.  But in the century since construction of the Pharping Hydropower Station, they add - Nepal has only been able to harness 900 Megawatts notably due to reasons of instability, cost and corruption too.
No wonder then, that the press is now reporting that those in charge of NEA have to buy more electricity from India, and renew their current contract, in their best effort to forestall any power shortages in Nepal this winter.

What this tells me is that to-date, Nepal has only used its vast potential of water resources to produce electricity to the extent of a paltry 1%. We can legitimately ask ourselves how long will it take for this nation to develop the remaining 99% of those untapped resources? Another century? In the meantime, this country just goes on and on to buy electricity from India, year in and year out, which only serves to deepen even more its already very alarming trade deficit. A real scandal really, because with all those God given vast water resources, Nepal should by this time be a net exporter of electric power to its neighbors, instead of an importer  of that precious commodity.

And it cannot be said that they haven't had the time to develop those direly needed natural resources. They've had 30 years to do it. The consumers themselves cannot do it - The country's leaders must.
With no planning and no vision for the country's future, we can legitimately ask how many more decades it will all take for any meaningful development to take place? People are waiting.

Not a pretty picture of alarming proportions about AIR POLLUTION on a grand scale has just been brought to public attention  here in Nepal by Priyanka Adhikari, who just used these words to describe the situation when she reported the following in the HT newspaper:
"Relentlessly increasing air pollution in Kathmandu VALLEY is proving to be a peril to the health of its inhabitants, calling governmental agencies to recognize the situation as a public health emergency. The air quality of greater Kathmandu is deteriorating with each passing day and the population do not know when or if any improvement in the quality of the air they breathe will come? No longer a general topic of conversation as it's all posing serious threats to the health of the general public"
The air in the rest of the country - remote mountain areas and all - may be better, but with omnipresent air pollution coming in cloud formations from India, the situation is not that good either according to well documented sources, and all based on air samples from those various areas.

Think you are right, Bartonursula. They are now saying that if Lumbini has such high levels of air pollution,  1.5 times higher than in Kathmandu, it is due authorities believe to dust and pollution from cement factories located in neighboring India. Exactly what you thought.

I am hesitant about moving to Nepal from Germany now. It's now been confirmed that voice communications system control tower directing air traffic at Kathmandu's only international airport of Tribhuvan (TIA) is disfunctional. Ongoing problem for one whole month already, and still not fixed. My nepali friends are saying the air controllers are using some sort of back-up system but nobody seems to know when this control tower transmission system will be fixed. I had heard about not so good runway conditions, but this is a bit much for me. I had planned to come mid-february. Think I'll just postpone for now, anyway.

I see the airport from my rooftop terrace and planes are coming and going fine, so far. I spend much of the days up here and all looks fine, no circling around or delays for our guests.

I just had my assistant call the airport directly. The man who answered the phone  said there was no problem. He was unaware of any problems. There is a 5 hour or so time difference from Europe, but here are a couple of numbers. We called the second one.
General Manager +977    01-4113261    
International Terminal Management Section    +977 01-4113163

I hope you get to come to Nepal. It's really lovely here. If I can help you in any way just let me know.

I invite those interested to read the article published in the Himalayan Times issue of February 5, 2018, headed:
     "Month on, TIA fails to fix voice communications system Control System"
and draw your own conclusions. The HT is a highly regarded newspaper in this country and known for the serious nature of its reporting, as well as for its accuracy in reporting facts as they know them to the public.

It was my dream to retire in Nepal. I don't know, now.

I lived in Thailand for 5 months, first. I really enjoyed it. I never got sick with minimal precautions and public transportation was cheap and plentiful. I may end up back there after a couple of years.

I can live with the many problems mentioned above. Even the lack of public transportation is not that big of a deal with me. The main issue is water safety. That issue effects so much. I don't mind physical hardship. But, I hate being sick. After 2 months of learning how to live here, I have been sick only once, when trying a new restaurant. But, I feel like I am under siege.

The lack of clean water effects so much and determines the quality of life. I am determined to stay 2 years studying Nepali. After that . . . ?

If I stay, I guess I could open a guest house. I don't really want to run a guest house. And, I don't need to make any money. However, doing this would give me total control over hygiene in my own little Nepali fortress.

I really like the people here. I have made some great Nepali friends. I have also been able to help some other Nepali people. $100 goes a long way here in making a difference Even more important, I think, is my American optimism.  "Have you tried doing it his way?" "Did you notice that that situation presents you with this opportunity.?"

I read about a week ago in the Himalayan Times that they want a huge increase in tourism. The continued lack of safe drinking water and, consequently, safe food will greatly limit the increase in tourism.

Until they address this situation, progress in Nepal will grind to a halt and the world will forget the country exists. Putting up with all the other problems can be a hassle. But, if your reward for doing so is diarrhea, people will go elsewhere.

You are absolutely right. If this number one problem of safe drinking water is not solved, Nepal will grind to a halt and the world will forget the country exists, like you say. Here everything seems to take a goon's age, witness the Melamchi Water Supply Project to bring safe potable drinking water to Kathmandu, which still isn't completed. That project was started in 2001, and ordered to be completed by 2007. Going on two decades later, it appears that this project may be nearing completion. It will bring 170 million litres of water per day. Problem is that after all this passage of time, authorities readily also admit at this point that they now need TWICE as much or 340 million litres to meet the growing city's needs, presumably due to big population growth in intervening years. If that's true, the city of Kathmandu will need a second Melamchi pretty fast!
Agree with you, too, on importance of safe food of course.
You omitted to mention, the other major problem in this country, the polluted air. As you are a reader of the Kathmandu Times, I would refer you to the article published a month ago, which states "Air quality is deteriorating with each passing day and proving to be a peril for the inhabitants here"
I too read that report that they want to attract as many as 2 million tourists two years from now. We can all hope they will achieve this one day, but in the meantime, official tourist arrival figures to Nepal show they haven't even reached the half way mark of 1 million, to date, in last 5 years or ever. Read: 940, 218 visiting tourists in 2017 to be exact - Ambitious goal.
As for going into guesthouse business here, if you say your situation is such that you really don't have to, don't want to, why do it? Nothing easy about going into business in Nepal, I can tell you that!
Besides, you'll need to invest no small change and have all the hassle of getting a business visa to boot. Why have headaches when you can avoid them!? But your decision, I respect!

Terrible tragedy of yet another plane crash at Nepal's only International Airport (TIA), in or near the capital, with such heavy and regrettable loss of life, 51 by latest count.  Condolences to all next of kin. Here's wishing the survivors of that crash a prompt and full recovery.
As the well informed Independent news channel puts it here in Europe, "Kathmandu's plane crash tragedy shows that air travel to Nepal remains as high a risk as ever". I also viewed and heard a detailed transcript lasting several minutes released online on YouTube of the actual conversation which took place between the Captain of doomed flight BS211 and the Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) at TIA just prior to crash landing. It certainly sounds as if there was much communications confusion between them. I am in no position whatever to judge and remain neutral. All I know is that already both sides - ATC and the Bangla Airline - are blaming each other for the tragic accident. 
Be that as it may, whichever the results of an official inquiry to be made, I see no point in waiting months and months for those results to be made public. I have made up my mind. I have cancelled my projected trip to Nepal.

I can understand the full value of what you are saying. Many of my foreign friends have contacted me here to express fairly similar concerns. Let's face it, the contents of that YouTube video have raised many eyebrows characterized by much confusion going on like you say, not to speak of poor quality sound, noisy background not to speak of sub-standard level of english used by ATC in their communications with plane's pilot. As you are German, no surprise then that the EU has maintained its blanket ban for the last 5 years  on any and all flights from Nepal to the 28 country EU bloc. In the process the EU Commission has never made a secret of their lack of confidence in either the ATC at TIA or the Civil Transportation Authorities of Nepal.  We can only hope that things will improve in the future for everyone's benefit and safety.

Perhaps one day the public will be told what really happened to that airliner on that fatal day, but it's equally probable that we will never know the whole story. In the meantime, we are now learning this further bit of information from FirstPost that the doomed Bangla aircraft circled TIA airport - not once - but twice that fateful day, waiting to land. The source is none other than the Bangla airline Manager, who made this allegation in talking about the worst air tragedy in Nepal in this last quarter of a century.

My last trip from Bangkok, we had to wait 45 minutes to land. We made a lot of left turns up there in the sky. So, that is no big deal (safety-wise).

From reading about what happened and listening to the transcript, it appears to be pilot error. The runway is clearly marked and visibility was good.

The pilot seemed calm the whole time. Maybe he was on drugs. I don't mean like heroin, etc. I am thinking more like a prescription drug for a medical condition. He seemed to not be able to focus. It would be interesting to investigate his medical/drug history, as well as his sleep times the previous 24 hours. Lack of sleep could also cause lack of focus. But, then, where was the co-pilot? Lots of investigating to do.

I think TIA is still a safe airport (especially compared to Kathmandu taxis (grin)). However, since I don't want the long layover in Kuala Lumpur, I just take the 1 direct flight to Bangkok they have on Thai Airways. Since that flight is every day, fly to here in the morning and back to Bangkok in the afternoon, I assume the pilots are pretty experienced with the 2 airports and they can handle whatever comes up.

Still, when it is your time, it is your time.

What ABC news online provides by way of factual information about Abid Sultan, the pilot of that plane, is the following:
- The man was a former Air Force Officer
- He had piloted a Bombardier Q400 type aircraft for more than 1700 hours
- He was a flying instructor with the airline
and from another source, I read that Abid Sultan was an experienced pilot, having flown aircraft to Kathmandu, and therefore in and out of TIA about 100 times.
That a man with those qualifications should be on drugs is pure speculation, until proven factually otherwise.
In commenting the communication between ATC and pilot, ABC says points to the real confusion there was about which direction the pilot should use to land on the airport's single runway...from the North? or from the south? (i.e. 02 or 20)
Like you say, lots of investigation to do. But with so much at stake, we may or may never know the "whole truth, and nothing but the truth" and in my humble opinion, and not for years and years at the earliest. No great expectations there knowing Nepal as I do, and how long things take here for anything to be completed. Bound to be contested too. I'll betcha' a fiver on that!

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