I recently asked a police officer how many Westerners had to report a violent crime recently and he couldn't think of any. Usually crime involving tourists are only about money issues. Well, one issue; we have it and most Nepali do not. But they are not violent, almost never! When there is a problem it's almost always because the tourist got involved in drug abuse or some other illegal activity. It happens.
I've been here for over three years and I've had my share of problems with my Nepali helpers, but never, never, never has there even been a threat of violence. It's mostly pilfering or not showing up. They have their issues, but it's not violence and I feel very safe here.
Although Kathmandu and Nepal is much safer than almost any other place on the planet, there is still a need for prudence. Here are a few suggestions, but the best thing you can do is to be aware of your surroundings.
1. Don’t shop alone. If you must, then bring along an invisible man or two. ‘Are you alone?’ Just look around and say something like, ‘I am at the moment.’
2. Never use a credit card while shopping in Nepal. They usually charge an additional fee (up to 5%), but I have not heard about problems associated with credit cards fraud. Rupees come out of ATMs.
3. Ask the guest house manager to be sure to call you as soon as your husband comes. Leave your phone number and ask if he’s come yet so the staff can hear when you come each evening.
4. You should always plan to be in your guest house within an hour or so of dark, not because of human danger but street dogs.
5. Be sure to take extra business cards of your guest house. There is usually a map on the back. If there is no map just visit a nearby business and take one of theirs. It is very easy to get lost without this map. Also note landmarks like a bank or major guest house. Sometimes it's easier to ask for the Kathmandu Guest House or Himalayan Bank.
6. Shop owners in Asia often invite you to take tea with them. I’ve read that women believe they may get drugged from store owners, but I seriously doubt it it happens in Nepal. Just be aware of how the tea is served. It is usually delivered by a young boy.
7. Log the Tourist Police phone number into your mobile. 01 424 7041. Use it at the first sign of trouble.
If Nepal is such a safe country for women why am I listing these tips? As you can see, there is no need for mace or anything else for your safety. Even the street dogs are just annoying, not usually bad.
Why the invisible husband? Because so many women come to Nepal and have a vacation romance with the locals. I've had offers from Nepali as young as 21. Rumor has it they aren't such a 'big' deal, but, seriously, they just want your money.
My apologies for the book falling off the internet again. It will be available soon. But check out my website for more insights into life in Nepal. http://UnconventionalTourist.com Maybe the link will work there.
Here are a few pictures of the Kathmandu Valley.
|I couldn't help but admire this beautiful animal just randomly tied up in Thimi|
|So laid back in Bhaktapur|
|These swings can be seen during festivals. If you swing on them||you will be more youthful.|
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