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Nepal / Tibet

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1. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Hi EVeryone

I'm looking for as much information about Nepal and Tibet as possible..

Someone told me that it's not possible to get into Tibet as a tourist - is that right?

Do you need a VISA

Where are the best places to go

Any stories/tips/suggestions all welcome...trying to gather as much info as possible.



2. Posted by Pardus (Respected Member 2356 posts) 11y

Hey Evelyn,

this is my third attempt to post my reply, I am getting kicked when the stupid password request pops up. So I am going to be brief now, but since you're living in Ireland we could maybe meet up and have a chat somewhere, maybe if you'd come to Dublin for the drinking session?
I've been to Nepal in April '99 and had a really amazing time. I stayed there for 3 weeks and it was the first time I've been outside Europe. What a culture shock! I think you've read my view on Kathmandu in the Worst places thread, so I spare you that.
As for Tibet, it should be no problem getting into Tibet, you'd need a visa though. But China has loosened their grip a bit.
What to see in Nepal:
Kathmandu: Bodhnath and Swayambunath - Tibetan stupas
Pashupatinath: Hindu Tempel
Bhaktapur: Newari town with the old buildings preserved due to Unesco status, good craftsware shops, chance to see craftsmen at work (particularly potters)
Pokhara: good base for Treks into the Annapurna massiv, big Tibetan community, scenic location beside a lake
Chitwan National Park: Biggest National Park in Nepal

I am currently doing research for my big trip next year on this area, I will let you know when I find out more.

3. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

hey again pardus,

great - no-one I know has been to that side of the world and it's where i want to go most of all. i'm a bit hesitant about the whole thing seeing as I'll be travelling on my own. I mean I prefer it that way usually but I'm not sure how safe these countries are. What do you think?

i dont know if i can make it for the drinking wknd in feb as it looks like i have to work that sat but i have two free wknds coming up - one in march and one in april so i might be able to get to dublin one of those wknds. it would be great to actually get some sound advice before heading off.

i'm not planning on going until about next october. when are you heading off?

4. Posted by Pardus (Respected Member 2356 posts) 11y

As soon as I got enough money, but I set the deadline to June 2006. As for travelling on your own, I don't think Nepal or Tibet would be too dangerous, just be careful. But the good thing about travelling on your is that you are much more independent and more likely to get in contact with other travellers. That's what happened to me anyway, I always travelled on my own and I met so many good people. It's tough sometimes though, you have to run around and arrange things and it can be quite expensive, unless you join/form a group with other travellers, eg. if you go trekking you can split the cost for porters and guides, etc.
Talking about porters: These guys are fabulous. They carry a weight of about 40kg, but some carry as much as a 100kg. And once they're in motion there's no stopping them, you can hear them from quite a distance away, the clapping of their cheap chinese flip flops.
If you see them you would not believe that they can carry that much, they look so tiny and fragile. We a had a guy trying to lift one of the packs when were on the rafting trip, big, bulky kind of guy, unlike me. He managed to lift the pack but he could not take one step forward, he just stumbled backwards.
yeah, we should definitely meet up so that I can bore you senseless. I am usually not doing much on weekends anyway.
BTW: Did you check out Michael Palins book or saw his series on the Himalaya? I've only got the book and hope to get the series on DVD (haven't got a TV and been in Africa while the series was shown anyway)

5. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Yeah I totally agree - travelling on your own is far better for the most part. In the past, I have found that going with friends from home can even be a bit of a hindrance because they expect you to behave exactly as they know you at home. But, seeing as I've never gone as far away as Nepal alone before (and being a girl) I am a little nervous. Not enough to put me off though! :)

I was going to buy Michael Palin;s book for my brother for Christmas - he loves climbing and he's always wanted to go to the Himalayas. I saw an interview with M.P. on tv recently as well - he's so laid back and amused at everything. I reckon he'd be a great travel partner!

Well, my travel plans are an ongoing process at the moment - I'm really trying to decide where to go and what to do. Initally, my plan was to go and live in Austria for a while, then Italy (i was thinking of bringing my car) but now I'm leaning more towards Asia or a RTW trip. I think I nearly just want somebody to say, "This is what you're going to do Evelyn" and just make the decision for me.

6. Posted by Pardus (Respected Member 2356 posts) 11y

Forget Austria and Italy, you can do that later when you don't want too much excitement while travelling. It's better to go travelling while you're young and without ties. You never know, you might go to Austria, fall in love and have kids and never see Asia, and back in your mind you're thinking "if I'd only gone when I had the chance".
That's my philosoply anyway. (Not that I probably ever get married, but who knows.)
And Nepal is such an amazing place, I really want to go back there and explore it more - maybe even go into Mustang, but that's horribly expensive, the entry alone is 70 USD per day, but it would be something not everybody does.
So take the opportunity, go to Asia and have an amazing time. And don't make too many plans, if you're travelling on your own, they will change! The thing I do is make a list of things I must see, and things that I would like to see and then see.
I always met people who were recommending places or that I ended up travelling with for a while to places I wouldn't have thought of before.

7. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Yeah I know you're right Pardus. I'm 25 now, if I dont get my ass in gear I'll find myself with a mortgage and 2.5 kids. All I know at this point is that Ireland (while I love it) has nothing to offer me personally at the moment, so I need to get out there and live a bit before I start to sprout here in my office chair.

It's good to talk about it - sometimes your motivation wanes a bit. You start reminding yourself of all the reasons why you shouldnt travel, e.g. sacrificing career, back to square one when you get home, etc. etc., but hearing other peoples experiences really whets the appetite again.

I'll definitely be picking your brains over the coming months regarding Nepal!

8. Posted by Pardus (Respected Member 2356 posts) 11y

Yeah, sure, keep the questions coming, you can ask Nikki, I just love to talk about things I am passionate about. And if I can't talk about that, I talk s***! At that way I have to continue my research, I tend to become lazy!
Travel can actually help you with your career sometimes, or completely change direction like in my case.
If you have travelled to exotic places on your own you are able to cope with difficult situations, make your own decisions, adapt to different environments. That's something to talk about in Job interviews. And also, it makes a difference later in live. I've met people who were completely happy with their life, made their experiences in their youth and then settled down, and gained a much more relaxed approach to life.
Oh yeah, check out (I think that's the right address - Michael Palins website) It's got amazing photographs of the Himalaya there, absolutely astonishing.
Are there any other countries you'd be interested in? I would like to visit China, Mongolia, the former Soviet Republics in Central Asia, Russia, etc.

9. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Vietnam and Cambodia are high on the Evelyn To Do List. Might try and get there if I head out to Nepal.

Just back from lunch - gonna go and check out the Michael Palin photos in a few mins. My boss keeps popping up out of nowhere here (have to keep minimising which is v frustrating!)

10. Posted by Pardus (Respected Member 2356 posts) 11y

If got a friend who got married in Cambodia recently. He would be able to give me infos. Are you looking for anything in particular? Angkor Wat must be spectacular.

Isn't that just annoying when bosses just pop out from nowhere? I am quite lucky, I handed in my notice and there's no work at all, although they just dragged me into a meeting and now I have to do a Work instruction manual