Frequently Asked Questions: Travelling to Nepal
Law, Order and Safety
Nepal is one of the safest places in the world. Violent crimes are very
rare, and the only real concern to a traveller is petty theft. However, if
you take basic common sense precaution, there is nothing to fear. Don't
bring valuable things with you unless necessary for your trip. Keep your
money and other valuables in a money belt or pouch strapped around your
waist. Lock your bags and luggage.
Not really. You will be fine in most well trafficked area. But if you will
be trekking particularly in remote areas and during times of the year when
there are fewer travelers (June-September), it is generally advisable to
team up even though cases of trouble are few. Teaming up not only deters potential trouble-makers, of
which there are not many, but also will be of help in case of any other
emergency. You can easily find welcoming fellow tourists along popular
trekking routes or in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Report it immediately to the police. They are normally at least comforting
if not helpful. If you need a police report for insurance purposes, you
have to go to the Interpol Section of Nepal Police located at Naxal. Dress
smartly and be very polite, you will come out much ahead than otherwise.
The terrorists, popularly known as Maoist, generally ignore Western Tourists and direct all their guerrilla activities toward government bodies. However, travellers should be aware of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Trekking and traveling at night in the regions of Rolpa, Rukum, Gorkha, Jajarkot, Dolpa and Salyan are not recommended.
Yes, two. First, smuggling --particularly of drugs and gold-- into Nepal
can run you into serious legal trouble. Second, proselytizing is against
the law and is punishable by years in prison. Preaching of Christian
religion by organized missionary groups has become quite widespread
recently, but it is safest to keep your religion to yourself. There have
been cases of unsuspecting tourists being jailed for distributing
religious materials to locals.
Yes, especially in the form of staring and catcalling on the streets. But
the problem does not even come close to what you will face in India and
other parts of Asia. Just mind your own business, the harassers rarely do
anything more. If you
are not interested, a firm but gentle disapproval will solve the problem.
As in any poor country with enough "rich" foreigners, Nepal has its share
of street beggars and middle-men touts trying to sell you everything from
information to drugs. There is no need to be intimidated by them. If you
are not interested, mind your own business or tell them to leave you
alone. They will.