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Saturday
Oct182008

Good Time to See Nepal

One of the concerns people have expressed to me in the time leading up to this trip has been: "Is it safe?"  The question is a good one for any international travel and, in this case, stems for the decade of civil war that tore through Nepal until recently.  After the elections over the summer, however, it appears that the Nepalese have settled into a period of peace and are focused on rebuilding their compromised society. 

Part of that repair can come from tourism -- folks from outside the country coming to meet its people, enjoy its hospitality and see its natural beauty -- and I'm happy to pitch in.  While travel to countries like Nepal does have an element of risk, it's not as great as Hollywood would have you believe!  With a good bit of prudence and great planning, there's little cause for general concern.

One way to stay on top of what's going on is to remain in contact with your tour operator or guide in the period leading up to the trip.  They don't want anything bad to happen to their customers, so they will usually keep you very well informed.  Such was the case with Geckos Adventures, our trek planner.

Another way is to reach out an make new friends that are on the ground and can give you the local view.  This is how I met Raj Gyawali, whose company Social Tours is based in Kathmandu.  A quick visit to Raj's site and a subsequent email to him yielded the following friendly and informative email:

Namaste!

Nepal is fine to travel! Its safe and totally OK to trek specially.

We are having major political upheavals, which means that crime is on the rise in Kathmandu etc... but that is still far far lower than most cities of the world. Political changes means demonstrations and strikes etc. but once you are in the ground you will pretty much know where to go and what to avoid. Much like anywhere else in the world.

However, if you are trekking, then once you are out in the open, you are totally in a different world... nothing seems to matter in these areas... political upheavals in Kathmandu, the stock exchange crashes, nothing! Its plain fun....

When in Nepal, feel free too to drop into our office an talk to our staff, they will be more than willing to venture information. There are no obligations involved to providing you information of course.  We are more than happy to help a traveler coming in.

Enjoy your travels.

Raj
As you can see, it's great to have friends in high places.  Thanks Raj for helping put my mind at ease!

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