Just to update. Went to Nepal (Kathmandu and Pokhara) as planned on 5 Feb to 14 Feb, and it was a really wonderful trip. Beautiful scenery and friendly people. Even though there was an election on 8 Feb, everything went on very smoothly for my friends and I. We met Maoists in the mountain areas (and pay "protection money" to them, as mentioned in many guide books) and they were actually very friendly and reasonable people.
In summary, I think Nepal is very safe for tourists. So for anyone contemplating to go Nepal in the near future, I would want to summarise to say that Nepal is a very safe place to go!
Thanks to all those people who offered advice in this forum before my trip!
Have fun too if you decide to go!
Here's an article from 'Asian Tribune'
Date : 2006-02-16
Nepal – Visitors are advised to avoid travelling
London, 16 February, (Asiantribune.com): Unnecessary travel to Nepal is warned and it has been pointed out of the dangers regarding the upsurge of terrorism in the country. British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has reissued its travel advisory to British travelers to Nepal and warned them from traveling - "against all but essential travel."
The Terrorism and Local Travel section of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in its latest travel advisory which was reviewed and reissued with amendments has indicated of the possibility of further escalation of violence and disturbances in Nepal in the near future, example on 19 February, on the Democracy Day of Nepal.
The travel advisory pointed out about Nepal: "The political situation remains tense and unpredictable following the elections on 8 February 2006, and there is a possibility of further violence and disturbances in the near future, eg. 19 February Democracy Day."
"If, despite our advice, you travel to Nepal, or are already in the country, you should continue to monitor the situation carefully, and ensure you are comfortable with your personal safety arrangements. You should also consider whether your presence is essential," the travel advisory indicated.
The Terrorism and Local Travel sections of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office further adds in its travel advisory to British visitors traveling Nepal as follows:
- There has been an escalation of Maoist violence throughout Nepal since they ended their unilateral ceasefire on 2 January 2006. In the intervening period they have carried out a series of bombings and armed attacks on security forces and Government targets across Nepal.
- Mobile phone networks are partially operating, though pre-paid mobile phone services are still disrupted. Land-lines are working at present.
- Countrywide and local Bandhs (shutdowns) are regularly called and have caused widespread disruption including to transport. You should avoid road travel during nationwide Bandhs. Bandhs and political demonstrations can flare up quickly and with little warning and may turn violent, as they did several times in 2005, and in February 2006. You are strongly advised to avoid demonstrations and large gatherings of people.
- The majority of problems encountered by British tourists in Nepal are trekking accidents and drug-related incidents. If against our current advice, you do decide to travel to Nepal, you should only trek with an experienced guide and in a group. If you plan to travel to out-of-the way areas, please contact the British Embassy in Kathmandu on arrival for latest advice on the security situation in the area.
- We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before traveling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.
- Asian Tribune –
Is it wise to obtain my visa for Nepal in England before i go? I will be crossing the border from India into Nepal?