Travelers occasionally report immigration difficulties in crossing the Nepal-China border overland in either direction. U.S. citizens planning to travel to Tibet from Nepal may contact the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu for current information on the status of the border-crossing points. Travelers may also wish to check with the People's Republic of China Embassy in Nepal for current regulations for entry into Tibet.
Public demonstrations and strikes are popular forms of political expression in Nepal, and they may occur on short notice. These demonstrations are usually nonviolent and not directed towards foreigners. On occasion, however, rock throwers have targeted vehicles, and acts of intimidation by strike supporters have been reported. During general strikes (called "Bandha" in Nepal), many businesses close, and transportation and city services may be disrupted. Americans are urged to exercise caution and to avoid travel from the evening immediately preceding a strike through the evening of the strike.
Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical evacuation, and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Supplemental health insurance that specifically covers overseas treatment and air evacuation to the nearest adequate medical facility is strongly recommended. Please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Safety of Public Transporta Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
American citizens should be extremely cautious when traveling overland in Nepal, especially by bus. In general, roads are in very poor condition and lack basic safety features. Many mountain and hill roads are impassable during monsoon season (June-September) due to landslides, and are very hazardous even in the best weather. Avoid travel on night buses - fatal accidents are frequent. In the Kathmandu Valley, roads are congested. Traffic is badly regulated, and the volume of vehicles on the roads is increasing by 15 percent a year. Many drivers are neither properly licensed nor trained. Vehicles are poorly maintained. Sidewalks and pedestrian crossings are non-existent in most areas, and drivers do not yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Of the 4,500 traffic-related deaths in 1997, two-thirds were pedestrians.
Because most trekking areas have no phones, trekkers are advised to leave their itinerary with family or friends in the United States and to check in at police checkposts where trekking permits are logged. U.S. citizens are also strongly encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy upon arrival in Nepal (please see the section on Embassy Location and Registration below).
Registration by e-mail: U.S. citizens may also register with the U.S. Embassy by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the following information: full name; date of birth; U.S. passport number, date and place of issuance; home address and phone number; emergency contact person's name, phone number, fax or e-mail address; travel/medevac insurance information; address and phone number in Nepal; travel or trekking agency contact in Nepal; planned itinerary in Nepal; and traveling companions' names and nationalities. Finally, please indicate to whom, if anyone, the Embassy may divulge information regarding your welfare and whereabouts in Nepal.
As there is no direct commercial air service by local carriers at present, nor economic authority to operate such service between the U.S. and Nepal, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Nepal's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards.
For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at telephone 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet home page at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/iasa.pdf. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact the DOD at telephone (618) 229-4801.
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