Sunday, 18 September 2016

Entering Nepal

Nepal ! I did not know what to expect about Nepal and flying in, I kept remembering all the raised eyebrow when people knew I was heading towards Nepal since it was just after the major earthquake in April 2015. Nepal is in ruins, you won’t see anything but rubble. I did not for once consider changing my plans for even if it’s in ruins it will take years before it will be back to normal and I was not willing to wait that long just to see a beautiful sight. I was going to Nepal to see Nepal in its authentic way and not just the UNESCO sights after all.

Landing in Kathmandu airport I notice a lot of military aircraft and helicopters. The airport looked more like an army base than an international airport. Just before disembarking the airplane a heavy thunderstorm broke and for the first time I was rain upon trying to get out of the airport to the shuttle bus.

Immigration at Kathmandu
I did my homework long time ago and I was pretty sure I did not need a visa to enter Nepal. So long ago that I forgot that although I did not need a visa, in fact it was supposed to be Visa on Arrival.  I saw the Visa payment counter but decided since I don’t need one based on my fuzzy memory I headed straight to the immigration counter.

Malaysia ?


Do you have Visa ?

I don’t need Visa. I have checked the internet, I answered

A confused officer looked at me flipped through my passport and finally pointed me to the Visa payment counter and just said Visa. 
Payment for Visa on Arrival

The Nepal International Airport now has a computer booth to allow visitors to apply visa electronically once you touchdown the airport hence I did not have to scour around trying to get a two picture passport size photograph and filled up a manual written form. A service attendant was even there to help me out with the application process and in 5 minutes process was done and I was directed towards the Visa Payment Counter.

Queuing up I notice that they took almost all currency. Best of all they took Malaysian Ringgit as payment too. My turn came and they would ask for how many days you are planning to stay in Nepal. The visa fees varies from 15 days, 30 days and 90 days. The more you stay the cheaper it is per day I assume but I took the basic 15 days.

RM 100 the officer informed me and I had no ringgit on me right now other than inside the hidden pouch in the backpack which I had yet to claim from the conveyor belt. I had some GBP, USD and Euro on me and decided to use GBP to pay that Visa. 18 pound was the price for a 15 day visa and I gave them a 20 note only to receive back change of 3 USD.

A little sticker was issued and stuck to my passport crookedly and now I was good to go into Nepal. I choose another counter to avoid the same immigration officer since I was a bit embarrass and all the officer did was write the date of departure 15 days later. No stamps in the passport to enter Nepal, just a visa sticker.

Welcome to Nepal.

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