How Safe Is Kathmandu, Nepal? Time To Visit The Land Of Gods

How Safe Is Kathmandu, Nepal? Time To Visit The Land Of Gods
Dhruva
Dhruva 
Updated

After suffering a devastating earthquake in April of this year, Nepal, as a country, is attempting to move forward and adapt. I recently spent ten days in Kathmandu and its surrounding regions and when I left, a unique impression was imprinted into me that only a handful of places in the world have had. In my short time there, the resilience humans have in the face of adversity was clear; observing firsthand how humans have adapted to continue persevering with their lifestyle after such a traumatic event was beautiful to witness. People have gravitated towards tying links, shedding former grudges for the sake of community.

Hoteliers in Kathmandu are warm and welcoming

how safe is kathmandu, nepal? time to visit the land of gods | hoteliers in kathmandu are warm and welcoming

Kathmandu, commonly known as the Land of Gods, has fallen back into its natural rhythm while accommodating the recent events with the result being a beautiful mess of controlled chaos. The capitals renowned hotels are fully functioning and accommodating of all guests. They are very welcoming to us in allowing us tours of the hotel itself. Dinner and drinks are always on offer at almost every hotel. With the decline in tourists to the city, hotel owners tended to cater to each guests’ individual needs, even sitting down and having a drink with travellers coming through the city. Hostels are filled with young backpackers discovering Nepal, taking advantage of the lack of tourists to explore sights in solace.

Thamel’s aromatic smell whets your appetite

how safe is kathmandu, nepal? time to visit the land of gods | thamel’s aromatic smell whets your appetite

Thamel, the tourist centre in Kathmandu, is lined with shops full of curios and all kinds of souvenirs that sell everything from wholesale manufactured goods to intricate individualised works of art. Most cafes and restaurants are open from early in the morning to late at night. If you’re heading out early in the morning for a drive out of the city, you can be safe in the knowledge that something will be open to satisfy your hunger. The most popular food in Kathmandu is the momo, a dumpling which has its roots in the Tibetan mountains. They are available fried or steamed and stuffed with buffalo, chicken, or veggies. You can easily get your momo fix at anytime of the day or night in Kathmandu. A Nepali set meal will usually include rice, daal, vegetable/meat curry, a vegetable dish, pickle (achar) and curd. Usually, you can let them know the level of spiciness that you prefer.

Kathmandu is safe to visit once again

how safe is kathmandu, nepal? time to visit the land of gods | kathmandu is safe to visit once again

Life in Kathmandu is now starting to stabilise and it is safe to visit. Infrastructure damage has been minimal with only a small number of roads closed in the city. A number of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites are currently closed, but others are open to tourists and more should be opening soon. Right now, Kathmandu needs visitors to help re-establish the tourist aspect of the economy. The nightlife in Kathmandu has not been affected with bars and clubs open until late in the night. The small bars that are open are usually filled with expats and travellers who each have fascinating stories to tell of Kathmandu or their own earthquake experience - for more of a local experience, head to a local bar in Thamel where you’ll find everyone has a story to share and a voice to be heard.

Take caution when visiting the Kathmandu Valley

how safe is kathmandu, nepal? time to visit the land of gods | take caution when visiting the kathmandu valley

The surrounding towns of Gorakhpur, Nagarkot, and most devastatingly Bhaktapur were the most affected yet life seemed to go on there as it has for decades past. Buildings, half-collapsed, were jutting out, or the roofs had slid off. I was apprehensive walking through the city let alone living there, yet when I quizzed a local shopkeeper, a wizened old man, about it, he smiled at me and replied, “This is all we know.”

Kathmandu is stablised and on the rise

Kathmandu, as a whole, is an extremely safe city. The sense of community that has emerged post-earthquake has revitalized the country for the better and everyone is on the look-out for one another, especially at night. Feel free to walk around the city by yourself at any time of the day. At night, take caution walking by yourself outside of Thamel, but inside the well-lit tourist area, you’ll find night-time walks to be both safe and surreal.

As soon as the earthquake struck, international aid organisations mobilised and their work has affected the communities for the better. The results of the work they’ve put in is evident throughout the region. Kathmandu is moving on. It has moved on. Moving forward, it now needs your help as a traveler to come in or return to country with a heart and help out in any way you can. Even bringing yourself in for a holiday will aid the economy in its revival.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Dhruva Balram is a freelance journalist, essayist and travel photographer. His work specialises in societal critiques, cultural commentary, travel and editorial features. Dhruva has been featured...Read more

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