|Be sure to always use this type of ATM machine that allows you to hold onto your card.|
Step 1. NCELL and Namaste mobile phone stores are together and you will need to walk right past them. Although there are promotions going on all the time with the mobile phone companies, the savings are not always passed along to tourists at the local stores. There is no fixed price on the card, either. Although NCELL seems to be the biggest in the Kathmandu Valley, the other network, Nepal Telecom-Nameste, works better when you get outside the valley for trekking. They provide a great price on calling back home. It's less than 2 NRs. to call the US, with most other places costing more. It is the better network and a bit less expensive, not that it's a great expense, but don't be fooled into taking the NCELL card. They usually have better specials for the SIM card, but any savings will soon be gone and you will be paying more for your calls. Better still, get one of each. The networks get congested and you'll be glad to have a choice.
|This is a very expensive hotel and there is a restaurant next to it, but I don't recommend it.|
Step 2. Check at the Tourist Information Desk for their best price for a taxi so you will have an idea of how much to negotiate for, and head out of the airport. You can also get a good price on a room if you'd like. If you do not already have a room booked they can give you a good price and a free ride to the hotel. If you do not like the hotel you can pay the taxi driver a preset amount and find your own guest house. They will show you the rack rate from the guest house's brochure, call to confirm it and provide a free ride. This is the best way to do it if you come after business hours. Hopefully you will have taken the advice from our book and either booked for a short stay or just plan to show up.
Step 3. After getting your SIM card go outside, turn right and go to the far end of the terminal to the Rastriya Banija Bank. One issue I need to mention is that this is an ATM machine that is just out in the open rather than being in an inclosed room. I wouldn't worry about it because the airport is well lit and plenty of security personnel. If you do not have any rupees with you it isn't usually a problem if you have either Indian rupees, Euros or dollars. Just be sure they give you your change in Nepali rupees. Do not let them just round up and forget your change. They never seem to remember to give change.
How safe is it in Nepal for a woman traveling alone? One day I while waiting for a bus on the far side of Bhaktapur a young man started a conversation with me. He said he was waiting for a friend who didn't seem to be showing up. He said he was going and offered me a ride on his motorbike. It was only after he had come up for tea and left that I realized I could never have done that in my own home town in the US. They don't always just want your money, but if they do they require you to be smiling when it magically finds its way into their pocket. You are safe 999,999 out of a million times. By far the vast majority of Nepali seriously only want to have a new friend.
Notice the Airport Hotel picture. There is a very inviting restaurant next to it, but I cannot recommend it. When I went there the waiter insisted that I pay for bottled water with my meal. All restaurants in the Kathmandu Valley, with few and very obvious exceptions, serve filtered water with all meals. It is actually safer to drink the free filtered water from restaurants than to purchase the 'mineral water.' Why? The government of Nepal inspects the bottled water treatment plants, but not the pre-bottled mineral water that may even be imported from India.
Nepal: A Tourist’s Manual-For more information check out our website. If you enjoy this blog and the website you will enjoy the 299 page eBook. It is a well illustrated, easy read with over 1,000 tips to help you get the most out of Nepal.