Monday, August 11, 2008

Kathamndu airport visa

One interesting thing about Nepal is that you can acquire (purchase for $25) a temporary tourist visa at the airport. You need a visa to visit Nepal, but you can buy one when you get there...this is pretty unusual in my experience...usually if you need a visa you must have it BEFORE you leave the US.

Onward to getting my visa at the airport in Kathmandu...

When the flight landed in Kathmandu, a group of people began to run (or at least walk very quickly) off the plane toward the far end of the airport...hmmm....what is going on??

Well, it turns out that this is the location of the "Purchase Visa" activity. It is not very well staffed and involves a fair bit of paperwork and exchange of money (of various kinds). So, can be a bit of a delay, in fact, a huge delay measured in 1-2 hours if you are unfortunate to be at the back of the line.

I was fortunate to be in the relative front of the line (did not walk quite fast enough as I was unprepared) and it took me about 20 minutes to move 5 places forward in the line (which finally expanded into two lines to meet demand).

You do get your visa...eventually...but...

My advice...get your visa in the US. By the time you get to Kathmandu, you will be too tired to deal with this one final huge, gigantic hassle....

Tomorrow....touring in Kathmandu. Being a tourist in Nepal.

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