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  • The Museum in Jomsom
    The Museum in Jomsom
    by day-at-the-beach
  • View from the Museum
    View from the Museum
    by day-at-the-beach
  • Approaching Jomsom from Kagbeni
    Approaching Jomsom from Kagbeni
    by day-at-the-beach
  • into-thin-air's Profile Photo

    Which is the Cheapest route to Fly UK – Kathmandu

    by into-thin-air Updated Aug 10, 2013

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    Air Arabia

    The cheapest way to get from London to Kathmandu is If you can be flexible with your dates to book an easyjet flight from London to Istanbul, Sabiha Gökçen Airport and from there a flight with Air Arabia to Riyadh and from there to Kathmandu – Prices start at around £400 Return Inc of all taxes !!!!

    The next Cheapest is by finding a cheap ticket to Delhi and then from there up to Kathmandu.

    Then there are various other routes, the most popular and hassle free ones are via the Gulf with airlines like Qatar and Etihad
    My last three trips (2010, 2012, 2013)I have used Etihad and by booking in advance I have usualy managed to get a good deal – These days Southall Travel seam to offer the most competative prices)

    Good Luck and Happy Flying
    Rob

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    Be Ahead of the game

    by into-thin-air Updated Aug 6, 2013

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    Arriving at Kathmandu Tribuvan Airport

    Be Ahead of the game and first through Immigration when you arrive at Kathmandu Tribuvan Airport – How ??
    Simple, Visit this web-site, Download your visa application form and fill it in before leaving home, then once you arrive, All you have to do is pay your visa fee, get your receipt and then present your Pre-filled in your visa application form with your photo already stuck in position and your passport, Your visa will then be issued and you will be heading to pick your bags up before the masses have even finished filling in their forms !!

    2008 update
    The government has revised existing tourist visa fee to be effective from Shrawan 1, 2065 (July 16, 2008). As per the new fee structure, US $ 25 or equivalent foreign currency is required to obtain Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 15 days. Likewise, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 30 days can be obtained by paying US $ 40 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 90 days can be obtained by paying US $ 100.

    Likewise, the government has also revised fee required to extend days of stay and visa renewal. As per the revise fee structure, Tourist Visa can be extended by paying US $ 2 or equivalent Nepalese currency per day. Likewise, Multiple Entry facility can be obtained only for the extension period by additional US $ 20 and visa fee for the extended period. Similarly, tourists can renew their visa by paying Nepalese currency equivalent to US $ 3 on the regular visa extension fee.

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    Flights from Jomsom to Pokhara

    by day-at-the-beach Updated Jun 22, 2013

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    Approaching Jomsom from Kagbeni
    2 more images

    Many people opt to trek the Annapurna Circuit from Besisahar to Jomsom and then fly out of Jomsom to Pokhara, rather than continue the trek along the Kali Gandaki to Pokhara.

    There are some very important things to know about flying out of Jomsom. Jomsom is a tiny little airport serviced by prop planes. Since it gets very windy in Jomsom and the surrounding area, the flights leave early in the morning and are subject to cancellation. The airline typically books 4 or 5 flights, with the first flight leaving around 6:00 a.m. for the 15 - 20 minute flight from Jomsom to Pokhara. BEWARE! If you are booked on the 3rd, 4th or 5th flight, your flight is VERY likely to get cancelled due to weather. If your flight is cancelled due to weather, go to the airline office in Jomsom (it is in town, not at the airport) and get your ticket stamped for refund. You will have to take your stamped ticket to the place where you bought your ticket in order to get a refund. Now, if you try to get on the 1st or 2nd flight the next day, you are out of luck because those flights are already fully booked! You can take your chances trying to get a flight out, but you could be stuck in Jomsom for days.

    Jomsom isn't a great place to be - it is windy, dusty and there is nothing to do but use the internet or go to the little museum at the end of town to get out of the wind for a little while. So, you're probably not going to want to take a chance hanging around waiting for the opportunity to get on a flight in the upcoming days.

    We got to Jomsom the day before our 8:00 a.m. flight and checked in at the airline office in town. The clerk kept saying: "You are on the 4th flight." We didn't know what that meant and our guide didn't say anything about it. When I asked our guide if there was a possibility of cancellation, he said there would be no problem - the flight wouldn't be cancelled. Our guide and porter left the next morning on the 7:00 a.m. bus out of town and we headed to the airport for our 8:00 a.m. flight. When we arrived, we learned that the 1st flight (the 6:00 a.m. flight) hadn't even arrived at the airport for take off yet - due to rain in Pokhara. We stayed around the airport until 12:30 p.m. when we were advised that the 4th flight was cancelled. At that point, we began trying to figure out how we could possibly get to Pokhara that same day so that we could get our ride to Chitwan that was scheduled for 7:00 a.m. the next morning.

    Most important of all, book the 1st or 2nd flight out of Jomsom or be prepared to take action once your flight is cancelled.

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    Air Asia flies to Nepal cheaply.

    by cachaseiro Written Jul 13, 2012

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    Air Asia flies to Kathmandu.
    1 more image

    Since july 2012 Malaysian budget airline Air Asia has been flying cheaply between Kuala Lumpur and Kathmandu and they are worth having a look at if you are coming from South East Asia and want to go to Kathmandu.
    Air asia is a no thrills budget airline, but they are opne of the best budget airlines in the world and actually quite nice flying.
    So have a look at their website for any special deals if you plan to head to nepal from South East Asia.

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    Getting to the trail heads – Flying to Lukla

    by into-thin-air Updated Jun 7, 2012

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    Lukla Airport
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    More and more people now fly both into and back out from Lukla when trekking Everest Base Camp / Kala Pattar , The big advantage of this is that you can then do the EBC trek in around 14 days.
    There are several airlines flying the route, Yeti, Gorkha and Nepal Airlines (Formally Royal Air Nepal) to name three,
    Personally I would go with either Yeti or Gorkha as Nepal Airlines has a reputation for being unreliable !!
    You can Reserve your flight at a Thamel travel agent like HMA and pay for the air-ticket when you arrive in Nepal or book your flights on-line, If you are trekking in the high season I would recommend that you do this, It is also advisable to book your return flight, leave yourself plenty of time to complete your trek comfortably when you do this as when you get back to Namche Bazaar you can telephone Lukla and try and bring your flight forward if you are ahead of schedule, as long as there is availability of seats then you will be able to fly out earlier, if there is no availability of seats you can have a couple of extra days around Namche which is a Lot nicer place to stay than Lukla !!
    Also if you are running late, Again you phone the airline office and reschedule your flights for the next available flight with spare seats.

    2012 update - Tips for flying out of Lukla

    1) I always try to arrive in Lukla around Mid-Day / Early afternoon the day before I am flying
    2) I choose to stay at “The Sunrise Lodge” as the lodge owner has a certain amount of “Power” with the airlines
    3) When the airline office opens myself accompanied by the lodge owner make our way down to the airline office to ensure that my name is on the list
    4) The next morning I head to the airport early, the lodge owner is at the check-in desk, I pay my 200NPR departure tax, my luggage is weighed and I am issued with a boarding pass.
    5) As long as the aircraft arrives I fly

    There are many things that can go wrong at Lukla, the most common of these are flight cancellations due to bad weather (Either at Kathmandu or at Lukla – Lukla might have clear blue skies but there might be fog in Kathmandu and visa versa)
    Backlogs soon build up and when this happens Lukla soon descends into Pandemonium with the guides in charge of the large groups exerting pressure on airlines to try and ensure that their group flies as soon as possible, and at the same time individual trekkers trying to bribe officials.
    Therefore most experienced trekkers allow several buffer days to try to cover this eventuality and in the worst-case scenario walk out to Jiri to avoid missing their international flight home.
    It is unlikely that things will improve in the future as Lukla can only take small planes, the weather will always be unpredictable and because of the recent air crashes in Nepal airlines are now a little more cautious than they used to be.

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    Problems with Qatar Airways - 18 Days no Luggage

    by axelebert Updated Nov 28, 2011

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    German Version Probleme mit Qatar Airways

    Sometimes Travelers get attracted by the little cheaper air fare and flight time and think about choosing Qatar Airways to take them to Nepal. If you depend on your schedule or luggage you should consider alternatives.

    I had 2 flights, and on both reconfirmed travelers had to stay on the ground because of heavy overbooking. 1 passenger was offered to be flown to FRA instead of ZRH, but from there he should arrange on his own.

    We were 18 days without trekking equipment and there was no Qatar Airways support or compensation whatsoever to allow continuation of our trekking plan, except 100 USD on the departure day after a huge administrative effort. In fact airlines can choose themselves how to treat delay and even loss of luggage. Further compensation was declined. "Please be assured the offer is fair, reasonable, and in compliance with Qatar Airways policy."

    Finally we located the luggage ourselves in a warehouse at Kathmandu airport. It was waiting for us since 17 days with the original baggage tags. Qatar Airways did not know about it. Functional wear worth 600 USD was stolen and the theft never compensated either.

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    Arriving at Kathmandu Tribuvan Airport Part 1

    by into-thin-air Updated Aug 17, 2011

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    Nina Arriving in Kathmandu

    To enter Nepal you need a visa, It is possible to obtain these before you leave your home country but most people get theirs on arrival, The following information is designed to get you through the airport as quickly as possible.
    You need
    1 passport photo
    $25 US for a 15 day visa, $40 US for a 30 day visa and $100 US for a 90 day visa

    Once off the plane, you will probably have a short airport bus ride to the terminal, Once inside follow the signs to Custom as Immigration. This is a large hall, you will find desks with forms to fill in, You need to fill out two forms,Unless you have downloaded the visa application form and have it ready pre-filled in (Please see my “Be Ahead of the Game” Transportation tip on here for details and downloads)
    1) Visa application form, The usual form with details of your passport, home address, proposed length of stay in Nepal, reason for visiting etc etc
    2) Disembarkation form (Sometimes these are handed out by the airline that you fly in with, so if this is the case you can be ahead of the game !!)

    Once you have filled these forms in (as quickly as possible is my advice) you first go to the desk on the left hand side of the hall and pay your visa fee and hand over your passport photo. You will be given a yellow receipt.
    Then take this receipt along with your passport and disembarkation form to one of the immigration desks to the right of the visa payment desk, hand over your passport and yellow receipt and you will be issued with your visa.
    It’s as simple as that !!

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    Fly Kingfisher Airlines

    by lalikes Written Jun 17, 2011
    Cabbie to the airport

    We took Fly Kingfisher Airlines from Delhi to Kathmandu. Thought it was odd the airline was named after a beer but the service was great and as an anxious flyer in general, it was a good experience. They even served a good meal even though the flight was 1 hour and 40 minutes. I would highly recommend this airline and I chose them because they had good reviews so I concur.

    I don't think their phone numbers work unless you are in the area.

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    Airport Tax (Domestic)

    by into-thin-air Updated May 14, 2011

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    Kathmandu Tribuvan Airport
    4 more images

    If you are taking an internal flight, This also includes a Mountain Flight, You now have to pay 169.5 NPR Airport Tax, You have to buy this before checking in form a counter at the Terminal, Save yourself some time by buying it Before you join the Queue – You would be surprised at how many people don’t then get to the front of the queue only to be turned away !!!!

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    Buddha Airlines

    by Saagar Updated Mar 1, 2011

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    Buddha flies

    Buddha Air doesn't fly when visibility is less than 5 kms on non-instrument airports. In the haze of Nepal in the spring time - March-June, that means the occasional cancellation and delay.
    Buddha Air's schedule is very tight with a high turn-around speed of planes, so the schedule may be thrown into disarray. If problems, try to fly Gorkha Air, Sita Air or Yeti Airlines instead, using smaller aircraft, Dorniers and TwinOtters and the like.
    But when things are normal, do fly Buddha for efficiency and good planes. Second choice is Yeti.

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    Nepal visit by air transit/stopover

    by Saagar Updated Mar 1, 2011
    Sic transit!

    Nepal is a bit difficult to reach by plane; the country is off the main air routes, and there are few intercontinental flights there. Due to this the cost of flying to Nepal is significantly higher than flying to neigbouring Delhi. You are forced to detouring to reach Nepal. It may even be hard to find seats on these shorter, regional flights connecting KTM. The reasons are that Nepalese guest workers pack the planes, and that travel agents book early en block in the expectation of good travel seasons. Another reason is that one-runway Kathmandu Airport - the infamous Tribhuvan International Airport/TIA among friends, has extremely high landing fees and high cost of fuel (all being transported up from India by small tanker trucks). The seasonality of tourism also makes it weird, with seasonal air operations. You have a good number of flights during September-November, and again a peak in February-March. I have described elsewhere what airlines fly there and from where.
    As of now, there are no scheduled flights to Nepal from Europe, and few hubs to recon with: The Gulf countries (Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Qatar especially), Delhi, Hong Kong or Bangkok. Going to Nepal involves either a side track or a change of airlines and complicated ticketing. There are some interesting options, going from West Asia to East Asia via Kathmandu (Korean, Air China, Dragon, Thai). It may pay off to find a travel agent in Kathmandu who can prepare your exit travels from Nepal.
    An interesting option is flying Druk Air (Bhutan) from Delhi to Kathmandu, and after a transit of as long as you wish, proceed by Druk to Paro in Bhutan. From there you can go back to India (Calcutta, Delhi) or to Bangkok, still by Druk. This segment shouldn't cost a whole lot.

    continuing....

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    Which airlines fly to Kathmandu?

    by Saagar Updated Mar 1, 2011

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    Flying past the Himalayas on Thai Airways

    I notice that there is some confusion as to which airlines fly to Kathmandu in some other VT tips. It changes all the time, of course, but this is the list by April 2008, with some updates 2010:

    1) Silk Air from Singapore thrice weekly.
    2) Air Arabia from Sharjah.
    3) Bangladesh Biman from Dhaka, three times+ weekly.
    4) Indian Airlines from Delhi, up to twice daily; from Varanasi a few times a week; from Patna, ditto; from Kolkatha, daily.
    5) Druk Air from Paro (Bhutan) and Delhi twice or thrice weekly.
    6) Thai Air from Bangkok daily, twice daily during the high season.
    7) Nepal Airlines (NB - much reduced from the past!!!) to/from Delhi, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Osaka.
    8) Gulf Air from Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Bharain three-four times weekly.
    9) Qatar Airlines from Doha about 10 times weekly.
    10) Air China (reformed China South-Western Airlines) from Lhasa 4 times weekly.
    11) Royal Brunei (occasionally, and rarely after the demise of the monarchy in Nepal)
    12) Pakistan International 3 times weekly from Islamabad.
    13) CIA-chartered airlines used to arrive frequently.
    14) Sahara Airlines from Delhi (daily).
    15) Jet Airways from Delhi (daily). Also from Kolkata, Varanasi and Patna.
    16) Yeti Airlines to Delhi, expanding to other cities (daily).
    17) China Southern from Guanzhou (2 times weekly).
    18) Etihad Airlines from the Emirates (Dubai) thrice weekly.
    19) Pukhet Air from Bangkok occasionally.
    20) Dragon Air from Hong Kong twice weekly.
    21) Korean Airlines from Seoul weekly.
    22) GMG from Dhaka 4 times per week.
    23) Kingfisher from Delhi daily.
    24) Spice from Delhi daily.
    25) Fly Dubai from Dubai 3-4 times weekly.

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    Routine for checking in at Tribhuvan Int'l Airport

    by Saagar Updated Mar 1, 2011

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    Tribhuvan International Airport departure location

    Leaving Nepal by plane is a bit complicated, but here's the routine:
    1) From the taxi stop at "departures" get a luggage cart - no need for a porter unless you have more than you can handle. They seem to hijack all the luggage carts, though.
    2) Should you nevertheless need porter(s), agree the price per item luggage and ensure only one person handles your luggage (or you will have to pay the others involved, too). Note that there is a short walk only to the doors, and porters are not allowed inside the airport departure hall.
    3) Find your correct entrance door (airlines are sometimes listed). Show your ticket and passport to the police at the entrance door.
    4) Prepare for x-raying you luggage to be checked in. Certainly not for your exposed films, in this machine! While your luggage warms up in the x-ray, your body will be frisked.
    5) Put baggage back on cart, proceed to check-in. On most airlines you do not need to pay extra airport tax as you used to do in the past.
    6) Check-in at the appropriate counter - may take some scouting... Ensure your baggage is correctly tagged to your destination and lifted onto the luggage band.
    7) Show boarding pass at the foot of the escalator to the upper floor (only one escalator, can't go wrong), proceed to passport control in the hall above.
    8) Lost your departure card? New ones are found here along the wall to the left. Now, did you bring a pen?
    9) Find your correct passport line (scouting again, but less options here: nationals, foreigners, diplomatic/official), get through - hopefully - and proceed to the proper departure hall.
    10) Souvenir and tax free shops, a restaurant lounge and the Star Alliance (Thai) lounge to your right, a small cafe counter with drinks a bit further ahead. Upstairs is a good restaurant with a view.
    11) Security check, hand luggage into x-ray machine, you through metal detector, and they'll frisk you. Note that there may be long lines, separate for men and women.You will be directed to manual search of your hand luggage.
    12) Get your boarding pass signed and stamped after having your luggage searched manually.
    13) By now it's only the departure gate left, but you may find you're stuck here for a long and claustrofobic and hot time. It is not a good idea to rush through the security check to come here, because the waiting area is without drinks, proper toilets, sufficient seats, stuffy air etc.
    14) A rush of people as the door opens, and a quick last body frisking at the plane before you get on board. Indian Airlines may have slightly different routines.

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    Arrival at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan Int'l Airport

    by Saagar Updated Mar 1, 2011

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    Exit from the airport

    This is the routine:
    1) Follow the flow of people from the plane into the arrival building.
    2) If you have time, change money at the bank counter to the left of the immigration lines - no hassles and you'll have some rupees in hand as you leave the airport for taxi etc.
    3) Fill in appropriate forms unless you have already done so on the plane. You need one visa application form, one customs form and one embarkation/disembarcation card.
    4) Find a line suitable to your situation: Indian Nationals/SAARC/tourists with visa/Tourists without visa/Diplomats & official.
    5) Have your papers ready, prepare for what could be a long wait. If you need a visa, make sure you have the correct visa fee and photo ready. Currently one photo and 25 dollars for a 14-day visa. First they will take your money and give you a receipt.
    6) Finished with immigration formalities, proceed downstairs and go through checking of hand luggage. Sometimes this check is not manned. Notice the scale for weighing gold at the metal detector gate. Try to avoid sending your film reels through the x-ray machine, ask for manual check.
    7) Continue to the luggage "carousel", two long conveyer bands rumbling though the hall with, by now, hopefully your luggage. Baggage handlers will offload luggage from the bands when they fill up, so look on the floor alongside the band if you cannot locate it on the band itself.
    8) Take luggage and yourself through appropriate red or green channel (it's the same!). You may or may not be asked to put your checked luggage through the customs X-ray machine.
    9) Head for the exit if all is ok and find a hotel booking counter and sometimes a "Nepal Traveller" bureau official giving you a city map and travel guide for free (useful). Past the first exit door you will find a taxi service counter on your right. They won't cheat you - see my pre-paid taxi travel tip elsewhere on VT. Then head out for the crowds - see photo.

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    Visa's

    by into-thin-air Updated Feb 28, 2011

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    Durbar Square -- Kathmandu

    It is easy to obtain your visa on landing at Tribhuvan Airport, All you have to do is fill in the Visa application Form, take it to the immigration desk, hand over $40 ( U.S.) and a passport photo and you will be issued with your visa there and then. The visa lasts for 30 days.
    Also if you are planning another trip back to Nepal it is worthwhile picking up a few extra visa application forms then next time you can be ahead of the game by already having yours filled in !!!!

    2007, This information is still good but I have now written the entry procedure at Kathmandu Tribuvan airport in more detail under arriving at Kathmandu Tribuvan Airport, part 1 and 2

    2008 update
    The government has revised existing tourist visa fee to be effective from Shrawan 1, 2065 (July 16, 2008). As per the new fee structure, US $ 25 or equivalent foreign currency is required to obtain Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 15 days. Likewise, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 30 days can be obtained by paying US $ 40 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 100 days can be obtained by paying US $ 100.

    Likewise, the government has also revised fee required to extend days of stay and visa renewal. As per the revise fee structure, Tourist Visa can be extended by paying US $ 2 or equivalent Nepalese currency per day. Likewise, Multiple Entry facility can be obtained only for the extension period by additional US $ 20 and visa fee for the extended period. Similarly, tourists can renew their visa by paying Nepalese currency equivalent to US $ 3 on the regular visa extension fee.

    How long does your visa last ??
    This is an often-asked question – In effect a visa lasts for one more day than you originally might think
    If there was such a thing as a one day visa, you would buy it on day one and it would expire on day two, likewise the same rule applies to all other visas, a 15 day visa expires on the 16th day, a 30 day visa expires on the 31st day and 90 day visa expires on the 91st day– So all visas last one day more than you might think.
    Having said that, you must double check the date of the expiry of your visa as soon as you get it, then you can always query it if you think It is wrong – This also applies to Visa Extensions as “Mistakes” often happen, and if you don’t spot this until sometime after it has been issued then it is almost impossible to have this “Mistake” rectified – a case of Buyer Beware ;-)
    Good Luck and Happy Travels in Nepal
    Rob

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