If you visit Nepal, you will need a visa on arrival. Choose 15, 30, or 90 day durations. I highly recommend completing your application online in advance. The line can be long and you’ll be ready to not be in an airport longer than necessary.
Print the completed application or take a photo of the digital version, which they will also accept. You are required to pay *in cash* with US dollars only and those bills must be in perfect condition- no marks, rips, wrinkles, etc. No exceptions. Arrive prepared.
The airport signage in Kathmandu is confusing. Know you need to first pay for your visa at the counter to the left then take your receipt to the visa/customs queue where they will process your passport.
Then you are free to get your taxi. I found the taxi situation confusing but there is a board that shows metered and prepaid options. The metered taxi stand is to the right of the Exit. Drivers aggressively walk around trying to get your business and may approach you offering a ride for the prepaid rides. Use your intuition. I chose a prepaid and paid about $1 more than my friends who took a metered cab so it wasn’t a big difference.
Plan to experience a bit of chaos as soon as you deplane. This is normal and the sooner you accept that this is the energy of Kathmandu, the sooner you’ll start having fun. Also, do not expect to maintain personal space or have others follow customs you may take for granted like having everyone patiently waiting in line, taking turns, etc (especially if you are from the United States). I’m told it’s a lot like India here and it’s every person for themselves however they need to get it. There a reason the hotel elevator had beautiful zen music playing. It helped the transition from street.
This morning I heard the call to morning prayer, horns resonating throughout the city. What a lovely way to start the day as the sun rose over the mountains, illuminating the city. Saturday is a big day for the Hindus here as they make their way to and from temple to pray. Prayer is a serious commitment here.
The Pashupati Temple, one of the largest in Nepal, is a world heritage site near the airport and was brimming with people today.
Before embarking on our journey we scouted the shops on the streets and visited the Garden of Dreams. Though quick, it was worth the visit.
Our group of 18 has come together from all corners of the world to participate in collective learning and self reflection through meditation and trekking. We began with a flight to Pokhara followed by a group dinner and a heart-moving opening circle. Pokhara is to Kathmandu what Kennebunkport, Maine is to New York City; hubs of different scale and energies.
Grateful to be here in the Himalayas- the world’s highest mountain range- in nature, tuning in, learning, making new friends, nourishing existing friendships, creating space, and meeting myself in a new way.
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