Biratnagar is a city with about 200,000 inhabitants, near the border with India and it is also where you fly into for visits to Koshi Tappu for birdwatching. Its a lovely rural area, very undertouristed and people are of course, this Nepal, very friendly. It takes about 2 hours by jeep to the camps and the huge river which is dotted with islands and sandbars. The birdlife is plentiful. Be careful of arna or wild buffalo.
Biratnagar generally has a rather warm and humid climate. Temperatures are around 30 °C or more during the hotter March to October period and from June to September it also is the rainy period. This time of year is not advised for a visit. Winters last from November to March and still are relatively warm and for most parts dry as well. The best time for a visit probably is the October to December season when it is dry, clear, warm but not too hot or cold. The monsoon has ended by then.
Biratnagar Airport (BIR) offers flights to/from Kathmandu, Bhojpur, Lamidanda, Taplejung, Thamkharka and Tumlingtar.
It is also easy to travel to and from India by trains from Jogbani railway station, just across the border in India. There are direct trains to Kolkata and the Indian capital New Delhi from Jogbani. The border crossing from Jogbani has acustoms checkpoint. A survey for an extension of the railway track from Jogbani to Biratnagar has been done.
The best way of getting around the city is by using cycle rickshaws and taxi. There are also auto rickshaws running short distances but they don't operate in the main market area. For easy roundabout of the city there are tempos and rickshaws.
Internet connectivity is increasing rapidly, and obviously its availability is most widespread in Kathmandu (especially in Thamel and around the Boudha Stupa in Boudhanath) or Pokhara. In those two cities, most hotels and lodges will have free Internet connection with Wi-Fi. So will many restaurants. More and more villages will have Internet available at some lodges, usually with Wi-Fi.
See also: International Telephone Calls
There are two main mobile operators in Nepal. Government run NTC (Nepal Telecom Company), and private Ncell (previously called Spice Mobile and Mero Mobile). Both operators allow tourists to buy SIM cards for about 200NRs in Kathmandu and most major towns. You will need to bring a passport photo, fill in a form and have your passport and visa page photocopied, expect too also have your finger prints taken. Try to buy the SIM card at a shop owned by the phone company as if you buy it from a corner shop it can take some time for the card to be activated, despite promises that it will be done in " a couple of hours".
Ncell SIM's - can be bought from many stores, but are best bought from official stores in Birgunj or Kathmandu. Micro SIMs can be cut for free if you need. Ncell offers two different SIM cards. The first is a usual SIM card that allows you to make calls to any phone (local calls are about NPR2.5/min), and you can also buy mobile data to use. The second is a data only SIM card, and can not be used for making or receiving calls. The advantage to the second sim being the rates for data are significantly cheaper than a call and data SIM.
Nepal Post is the Postal Service Department of the Nepali Ministry of Information and Communications and the national post office of Nepal. Services are terribly slow, especially to international destinations. Post offices are generally open Sunday to Thursday from 10:00am to 5:00pm, and on Friday until 3:00pm, although some offices keep longer hours. For packages, it is recommend to use international courier services like DHL, TNT or UPS.
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