We wanted to post some details about arriving into Kathmandu, as we know it can be daunting to travel to a new location for the first time. You have all booked flights independently and will be arriving at different times, so please read the following note carefully to know what information pertains to you.
Upon landing in Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you will need to both fill in an arrival card and apply for your on-arrival visa. The arrival card can be done by hand and the visa is done electronically at booths in the airport entry area. The fee to pay has just been increased, so if you are staying more than 15 days you will have to pay $50 for a 30-day tourist visa. If you are 15 days or less, you will buy a 15-day visa for $30. You will need this is USD. For the purposes of the forms you can write your address in Nepal as: “Shechen Guesthouse, Boudha, Kathmandu” or “Bhaktapur Guest House, Bhaktapur.”.
Just so you are prepared, the airport and baggage claim area can be particularly chaotic. When you leave from customs you can change some money. We recommend only a little as the rates are not great.
For those of you arriving more than 2 days early, you have already been in touch with me about accommodations. I have recommended that you stay in Boudha at the Shechen Guest House, to have a soft landing and to have access to all the facilities you might need. For these folks, you will have to make your own airport pick-up arrangements with the guest house or get a taxi. There are prepaid taxis available inside the airport, or you can try your hand at bargaining with the taxis waiting outside. You should have the address/phone number of the guest house with you to share with the driver, although they should know where the guesthouse is as it is attached to a large and famous monastery of the same name. If there is any confusion, please ensure that you are NOT taken to Boudha Gate, but instead that your taxi turns left at the Pasang Lhamu Sherpa statue along the Mahankhel road. The guesthouse is well known and easy to find from there.
For those of you coming just a day in advance, we have you set up at the Bhaktapur Guest House (BGH). We will arrange for someone to pick you up at the airport and have a sign with DRAGONS written on it waiting just outside. Because of the location, it may be easiest to eat your meals right at the guest house, however the staff can arrange a taxi to bring you into the city of Bhaktapur if you care for an adventure. Please note that entering the main gated city will cost you about $10 USD.
We will all be convening on the evening of the 17th for an informal group dinner at 7 pm, payed for by Dragons. Before dinner we can get folks settled into their shared rooms. This may require some folks who have been there moving rooms. Our course officially begins the following morning at breakfast.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions to my email or post your questions in a yak.
We are looking forward to welcoming you to Nepal very soon!
Shannon & Suren