On the way to Kathmandu


We admired breathtaking landscapes and met beautiful people during the 30 days that we spent in China till the day when we reached the other end of the Himalayas. And everything was left behind us, as we passed through the customs control at the Gyrong border and made our first steps into Nepal.

The Nepalese Visa

The visa for Nepal, at the time when we were there, in May 2018, was 25 USD for 15 days. We planned a longer stay, so we paid 40 each for the one month visa. A passport size picture was required for the visa application form and needed to be prepared before the arrival in Nepal as there was no option to make one at the border.

While the visa procedure went quite fast and easy, the custom control on the Nepalese side took a while. The emigration officers weren’t using any technical equipment for checking the luggage, so the whole process was done in the traditional way and their fingers went through every small corner of our backpacks. After packing and unpacking everything three times in a row, our carefully organized luggage looked totally messed up. But other members of our group had an even unpleasant experience. Their nicely wrapped presents for the loved ones at home had to be carefully inspected as well.

The long drive to Kathmandu

Not just the custom control happened to be different, but also the landscape changed dramatically. We climbed down the white mountains in Tibet and continued driving through deep green valleys, during a 13 hours long ride that ended in Kathmandu. Gigme, our Tibetan guide, organized a jeep transfer for all of us and doing so was probably the best option as organizing a spontaneous transfer would have been an impossible task.

Nepal is well known for its poor infrastructure and the earthquake that struck the country in 2015 made things even more difficult. One of the two main access gates from Tibet into Nepal, Zhangmu Port, is still dangerous to travel through and the one that we arrived at, Gyirong Port (Rasuwa Port on the Nepal Side), reopened only in August 2017.



While driving through these valleys was indeed beautiful and fascinating, most sections of the road were quite crowded and dangerous to drive on. If you are an adrenaline junkie, this might be a destination for you. But there are of course many other reasons to visit Nepal. The kindness of the people here will make you feel welcomed and the food will excite any traveler in search of exquisite flavors.

It was already dark when we finally saw the lights of Kathmandu. Busy, crowded and dusty streets formed an image that would continuously repeat itself during our whole stay in the country. A warm “Namaste” from our host made us feel happy again, knowing that we could finally enjoy a warm meal and a comfortable bed.

We wanted to start our experience in Nepal with a deeper look into the local lifestyle, which brought us at the Sunrise Farm in the Kathmandu Valley, where we did our second Workaway project.

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