Kathmandu Travel Blog

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New Delhi Airport
It was 26 hours to get here...a 16 hour flight from L.A. to Istanbul, 5 hours from Istanbul to Delhi, and 1.5 hours from Delhi to Kathmandu, plus two 2-hour layovers. Turkish Air was a pretty good flight on a 777 - good service and in-flight entertainment, and the Air India flight was not as bad as I thought it would be, but it was an hour late (the reviews said that is standard).

The visa/passport control process and re-checking in were confusing and a real pain - we had one brusque, impatient, pissy passport control guy, we got conflicting information (many airport personnel thought Kathmandu was a domestic flight) so we were sent off in all directions, the airport signs were not clear at all, and the lines were interminably slow, so I guess it was a good thing that the flight was an hour late! We never would have made it! And we had a lovely view of the Himalayas on the approach.
View from our floor, Hotel Moonlight, Kathmandu, Nepal

Arriving in Kathmandu, we were prepared for the long visa process there. First airport where I have had to go through security to get IN the country. We felt like all the lines we had to stand in during the journey were like being in the DMV line from Zootopia with the sloth behind the desk. Thank goodness for our Priority Passes so we could get into all the lounges for all of our stopovers...free food, Wi-Fi and peace of mind!

We took a pre-paid taxi to Hotel Moonlight...the whole city kinda looks like a war zone...not sure how much of that is due to the earthquake in 2015 and how much it was kinda like this already. It seems like there is some screwy infrastructure...the electric lines look even worse than in Hanoi! Dozens of them on every pole, and unconnected ends hanging all over.
Another, less appealing view from Hotel Moonlight
The roads are pretty bad, and there are half-built buildings everywhere. Our hotel is pretty good...the room is mostly updated and has all modern amenities and great service. Morgan took a nap for a few hours, and I went downstairs to the lobby, discovered the hotel has a little garden and 24-hour restaurant, and sat down with a (damn good) cappuccino to stay awake.

We met our tour leader, Vijay...a 6 foot 5 guy from Jaipur and our 5 tour mates: Sarah Jane and Jeremy, a couple from Adelaide, and 3 single ladies, an Aussie from Perth who has been working as a nurse in the Nepalese hills for a month, Caroline, a Brit who lives in Sheffield, and a German girl who is living and working in Beijing right now. Looks like it will be a great group!

We found out that Morgan and I got the wrong Indian visa.
Coffee and cash
..Vijay said e-Visas are not accepted when you cross the border overland. We read that in our trip notes, but thought that meant that they do not accept visas from your mobile phone, so you have to bring a print-out. Poor Vijay probably made 15 calls to try to sort this out. Of course, the embassy is closed tomorrow. The annoying thing is...we already went through Passport Control when we arrived in Delhi, so we have the visa stamp in our passport with the correct dates and multiple entries, but apparently that is often not accepted at land borders.

It looks like we will go to our next Nepalese stop, Chitwan National Park, with the group and then try to use the e-Visa at the border (the system is corrupt...sometimes they will accept the eVisa, or maybe they will take a bribe!) and if it does not work, we will have to fly from Chitwan to Delhi and then Delhi to Varanasi (we would miss Lumbini, birthplace of Buddha) and meet the group in Varanasi. And of course pay for the flights. Grrrrr.

The drama! Stay tuned...
starship1 says:
Interesting blog and congrats on it being featured today! Didn't realize there were 2 types of Visas for India, but good information to know.
Posted on: Feb 16, 2018
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New Delhi Airport
New Delhi Airport
View from our floor, Hotel Moonlig…
View from our floor, Hotel Moonli…
Another, less appealing view from …
Another, less appealing view from…
Coffee and cash
Coffee and cash
A Nepalese Thali dinner
A Nepalese Thali dinner
Hotel Moonlight
Hotel Moonlight
photo by: sharonburgher