Thursday, July 09, 2015

Nepal - Still open for business?

I recently visited Nepal to do disaster recovery, and realized that although Nepal suffered 2 earthquakes, the popular tourist locations are already cleaned up for visiting.

After talking to several business owners, they informed me that their businesses is badly affected even though they have rebuilt from the earthquake. There is simply a lack of tourist. 

The big question remains, "Is this Nepal great to visit?"

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Most of the UNESCO sites are not damaged by the earthquake, so it is still a great place to visit.

Budget wise, hotels are relatively cheap in Kathmandu.

Guest houses range from US$8 and up (Whole room to yourself)

Hyatt costs about US$135 and Shangri-La costs under US$100 a night.

Meals costs about US$1 per meal (Dumplings), Beer in restaurants cost about US$3.

Transportation is rather cheap as well. Taxis start at US$0.25, and usually cost about US$1.50 - US$2.50 within Kathmandu. However, at night or when it rains, the Taxis will all have faulty meters, and the fares are usually US$5.

Even in the most touristy parts of the city, the gifts are relatively cheap and affordable.

The buildings are rather quirky and the roads small are rather bad. However, the temples and Stupa are unique to the region. It both combines South Asia and North Asia with Hindu temples and Tibetan Prayer wheels.

With the Himalayas just a stone throw away, you can also easily get to places to catch a view of the tallest peaks in the world.

Airfares are relatively cheap from Asia as well. A return Malindo Air Flight from Kuala Lumpur costs US$210...

With the disaster in mind, a good way to support Nepal is to Visit Nepal... Showing solidarity through tourism is a win-win situation: you get a cheap holiday in a beautiful country; Nepal gets a much-needed injection of cash for economic recovery.

-- Robin Low

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