Fake Sadhus( Hermit) of Pashupatinath.
Well this can't be a tip on Warning or Danger! I could not find a suitable head for the tip, so I put it here. Actually, they are poor people dresssed/ disguised as Sadhus( Sage) otherwise they have no relation with religion, yoga. They are there to earn some money from the visiting tourists by posing as Sadhu.
Then why I am writing this tip out here? Well I saw some of them giving discourse to the visiting foreigners( see picture), then I asked him in Hindi, what does he know about Hinduism and he is delivering lectures on religion to the gullible foreigner, maligning our Religion? He smiled at me and said he will give me dollar!! I said fine then you should ask for money and should not give discourse! I don't think he is cheating people but only adopting a smart way to earn his living. I request the tourists not to take them as Sadhus or the Holi men of Hinduism as the real Sadus never come to the ordinary people or ask for money!!!
Massage Parlors in Thamel area of Kathmandu.
Every time I visit Kathmandu, I find there is a surprise waiting for me. This time, I found the infamous dance bars are closed but there are lots of Massage parlors have emerged in Thamel area. Our Vt friend Basu Thapliya ( Thapliya) and also Mr.Ritwik Das the owner of Tajmahal Restaurant ( Earlier known as Sree Lal Bhojanaya) informed that most of them offer sleaze, in place of genuine massage. These are mostly dens of corruption and illegal in Nepal. They have a modus operandi to inform the police if they feel the customer is wealthy. The police is also hand in glove with them. So they conduct raid at the time the customer is in compromising position and demand money. They also informed a few Indians were arrested in recent past and were released after their family paid hefty sum as bribe.
Those with chicken heart please stay away from these joints, instead go to SPAs, they are safe place for massage after hard walking. Hope I am clear.Related to:
- Spa and Resort
You can obtain your Nepalese visa prior to visit or upon arrival. If you do it upon arrival - if you have an extra passport size pic with you bring it along because you will need one to get a visa - you can get your picture taken at the airport as well for about $USD - but only Indian and Nepalse rupees are accepted.
It cost 22 euros (other currencies accepted) for a visa and will take approximately 30minutes or so depending on the number of people also applying for one.
There is no ATM inside the airport - there is one outside of the airport but it wasn't working when I was there.
Don't drink the water
Be wary of unboiled water and unclean food hygiene to avoid diarrhea or stomach problems.
Stay with bottled soda, hot drinks or quality packed drinking water,. Avoid peeled fruits and fresh vegetables. Eat hot and well cooked food.
Bargain for whatever, from shopping to the GH
If there is one thing you have to learn as quick as possible is this: Bargain! Regaurding whatever, from stuff, to food, to drinks to also the Guesthouses. When somebody is asking 100, you gotta pay not more then 30!
Reguarding tghe GH you should not ask for the 30% of the inquiry, but for sure go down to the first price called by the owner.
Airport tax Scam
This seems to be a common scam at the airport.
this happens only when you pay your airport tax and then your flight gets cancelled (frequent with Royal Nepal airline). You have to go back to your hotel and the next day when you return to board anoter flight.
They want you to pay airport TAX again. Now on day two they DO NOT give you a receipt just sign on the receipt , take the money and say OK.
Basically their is no record so they pocket the money.
What you should do is say "NO" its not my fault the flight got cancelled and I will not pay again - "I have NO Money"
One passanger did this and they let him go when he shouted and screamed it was a SCAM.
Warning to Women
This requires an urgent update to your page on Kathmandu.
A friend of mine recently returned from Kathmandu. She was shopping in Thamel and journeyed into a gem shop. The proprietor struck up conversation with her, and gave her his card. He was very nice, and asked if he could sketch a piece of jewelry she had worn into the shop... He said it would only take a few minutes, and asked his assistant to make some tea. My friend agreed, and followed the proprietor into his back office where he proceeded to sketch and
engage her in pleasant conversation. When the assistant brought in the tea, he only brought tea for one... the proprietor declined.
My friend sipped her tea ... but after a few minutes a wave of light headedness washed over her and she felt like she was going to pass out. She immediately knew what had happened, and without a second thought, bolted from the store. She was understandably frightened, unsure whether or not whatever she'd been drugged with was going to cause her to lose consciousness altogether. Apparently, the "assistant" had used too little to render her useless before she was able to escape.
Later, she wondered if she could ever find the shop again... and remembered she had put his card into her wallet. Retrieving the card, she realized he'd given her a business card from Noor Gems, on Durbar Marg - a reputable gem shop in another part of Kathmandu. Hence, even if she wanted to pursue action against this would-be mugger-rapist-human trafficker-murderer (insert your desired law-breaking noun here), she would likely never be able to find him... although given the stories about police in Kathmandu and their attitude about crimes against women, it would most likely be a lost cause anyway. My friend was extremely lucky.
Don't shop alone, if you can help it. Stay in visible, populated areas. Avoid accepting beverages, etc. that are offered to you. Stay street smart... Human trafficking is a very real thing, it is a very big deal ... in a moment of being trusting, open to new experiences in new cultures, and a little naive, your entire life could change - or even end. If you feel like you've been slipped something, don't sit around second guessing... get into a well populated area right away, get something to eat and something to drink. Best bet... stick with people you know, and only travel with people you trust.Related to:
- Women's Travel
- Family Travel
Bring a flashlight
Stores close between 8-9 pm and when they do, the streets become quite dark especially if there happens to be a power outage at the same moment. Try to be back at your hotel beforehand or if that's not possible, be sure to have a flashlight and have a companion. While KTM is generally safe, it's always best not to tempt fate by making yourself an easy prey for thieves.
This tip also holds true for Pokhara.Related to:
- Road Trip
Crossing the road
All the drivers at first seem to be crazy. Honking horns taking no notice of other cars or pedestrians. Gradually it appears there is some order but crossing the road is tricky. Eventually we just slowly walked across assuming the cars would avoid us.
Sadly pollution in Kathmandu was really bad. The air was filled with the smell of generator fuel and we quickly developed irritating coughs. The smell of this fuel gets on everything your clothes, hair, luggage.
The rivers were also really polluted. I assume rubbish is thrown into them to dispose of it, because at low water level in the dry season when we were there the rivers were choked up with rubbish. Very sad.
Exhaust Fumes, Dirt and Dust
The air quality is so extremely poor in KTM. Many locals wear masks to avoid the ingesting the horrible fumes - be prepared for this. Also the dust and dirt roads will also make it hard to breath. Wear glasses to help protect your eyes.
Careful about the prices, espcially food
Like most tourist places the food is exorbirantly priced. If you are travelling towards Pokhra and stop mid way to have food in the road side restaurants be careful and clarify the rates before you order. If you dont do that they will charge some insane prices so be careful.Related to:
- Luxury Travel
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Hiring a Porter for Treks
It's always better to hire a porter or guide from an agency in Kathmandu or Pokhara (and take him with you) rather than rely on hiring one from a village in the mountains. I have seen trekkers come unstuck when a porter has turned out to be unreliable and either abandons them or lets them down. This happens when the guy regularly gets drunk on the trek or stops off in villages to gamble or doesn't take care of his eyes in snow conditions and become snow-blind. Any of this is liable to spoil your trek.
- Budget Travel
- Mountain Climbing
- Hiking and Walking
Because of the power shortage in Kathmandu, power failure is very common so please don't be surprise if it happens. Furthermore, there are periods during the day and night where the power is temporary cut off to conserve it.Related to:
- Business Travel
- Budget Travel
Avoid drinking from the tap!
I think I need not stress too much on this warning because it is very evident. Unlike in other countries where tap water is not potable though it looks deceptively clear and odorless, the tap water in KTM and Pokhara have a yellow tinge even in 5-star hotels. I don't wish to know (and probably neither would you) why it is so.
So bottomline: drink (and gargle with ) bottled water only!Related to:
- Road Trip
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