Eat Pray Nepal Blog: April 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Fastest Best Internet in Nepal

If you live in Nepal, and want to get high speed internet, what are your options and the speeds you can get. Luckily since the past few years the internet speeds have improved tremedously. Common internet speeds nowadays are around 512 Kbps. Yes I know it is still slow compared to most other western countries.

From my testing NCELL has the fastest speeds topping around 2MBps in the day, while at night the speeds are unbearably slow and useless.

NTC was slower around 512kbps but the speed was consistent thru out the day.

Overall winner in Nepal NTC ADSL internet in terms of cost, speed, quality of internet.
(see test result below)

Update May 2014- Now with NTC releasing WIMAX for public use, the speeds are much faster. See my review on WIMAX in Nepal.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Its true theres a Walmart in Nepal

Small businesses in Nepal are shaking with fear. Walmart has made a grand entrance in Nepal with the smallest store you can possibly imagine.

  Location of Store from the picture: Pokhara, Nepal)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Does India interfere and manipulate Nepal ?

According to the Wiki leaks document, there is a pattern of interference by India in Nepal. Up until the leaks, there has been lot of rumours but no proof.

Also India knowing that Nepal is a land locked country has tried to make Nepal buy Indian products.

See below for more details of the leaks from the New Indian Express news.

The Kissinger Cables, released by WikiLeaks, contain revelations about the Indo-Nepalese relationship during the Emergency, with a cable noting that Indian intelligence agencies have “a capacity for mischief-making in Nepal, and occasionally use it.”

 The October 15, 1976 cable, sent from New Delhi to the Department of State in the US, accuses Indian intelligence agencies of meddling in Nepal’s internal affairs.

Another cable,dated November 8, 1976, revealed the resentment in the region against the Indian government playing a “Big Brother”. According to the cable, in a meeting with US ambassador Marquita Maytag, Nepal’s ambassador Krishna Bom Malla criticised India’s “high-handedness” in the region.

“Ambassador Malla told ambassador Maytag that India sees itself as the successor to the Great Britain in the region and seeks to dominate its neighbours. This, he asserted, explained the strong negative reaction of the government of India to the Nepalese zone of peace proposal,” said the cable.

The cable reveals Nepal’s concerns regarding  India’s extremely rigid position in the trade and transit treaty negotiations. By refusing to facilitate the transit of Nepalese imports through India, India sought to make it so costly for Nepal to import from other countries that it would have to purchase mainly from India.

“Nepalese counsellor Jai Rana observed that this was a result of the increasing concentration of power in Mrs Gandhi’s hands. Once a position was taken, her subordinates had no latitude to negotiate and generally were unwilling to take the initiative to seek new instructions,” read the cable.

Nepal’s permanent representative to the UN Shailendra Kumar Upadhyay had said that his country required good access to the sea, but India did not help them.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Nepal Trekking - Poon Hill & Ghorepani trek

Ghorepani trek offers a wonderful opportunity to witness the beauty of the Annapurna region with a shorter trek. This place is rich of hidden treasure of Nepalese culture and tradition.
During the trek the trail passes through world's famous 'the Gorkha warrior' clan the Gurung and Magar's charming village, dense rhododendron (Nepalese national flower), Oak forest full of birds, and green hills.
Just about every angle is a tantalizing glimpse of Mt. Fishtail (6,993m,) Annapurna (8,091m) and Dhaulagiri (8,167) range on the initial part of the tour is breathtaking.
Once you reach the top of the trek, the place called Poon Hill one can observe the entire mountain ranges; specially beautiful in morning.

Best Time to Trek
March/April/May (The weather is perfect and not too cold nor too hot)

Read about my Trip to Poon Hill and Ghorepani(with pictures)

Visa to Nepal and current visa fee

Like most countries Nepal has multiple types of visa but we are going to focus on the most common types used - Tourist and Non Tourist Visa

Visa can be obtained on Arrival at Nepal's International Airport -Tribhuvan International Airport or thru Nepalese Embassies abroad.

Tourist visa

US $25   -  15 days multiple entry visa.
US $40   -  30 days multiple entry visa.
US $100 -  90 days multiple entry visa.

Non tourist visas
US $5   - Nepalese origin with foreign Citizenship.
US $10 - Licensed Journalists
US $10 - Foreigners married to Nepalese citizen

SAARC Countries

(Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan, Afghanistan)

- No visa for 30 days stay

For more information on Nepal Visa please check with the official website of Ministry of Immigration

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A review of Nepal's only Zoo- Central Zoo of Kathmandu

Central Zoo of Kathmandu is Nepal's one and only Zoo. I have visited it many times over the few years and was curious to see how its doing.

So earlier this year 2013, I paid the RS 100 fee(for nepalis only) and entered. I will let the pictures below describe the condition and the zoo. Overall the good news is things haven't worsened. The bad news is things haven't improved much either. 

Definitely the Zoo administration needs to do more to give space to the animals. Looks to be a bit too congested for certain animals that need space. For Nepal this is relatively clean, organized, good.

Overall Rating 7 / 10

   Boat Rentals available

   Children's playground near the animal area. Im sure animals dont appreciate the noise.

   The tiger taking a nap.

   A leopard in what looks like a Jail cell.

   Bears - notice the electric fences inside.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A night at Hotel Garuda Nepal

Hotel Garuda is a nice hotel located in the heart of Thamel. It was founded in the year 1989 and, since then, have served casual travelers to famous mountaineers. The hotel location makes most attractions within walking distance including numerous restaurants and bars. I would recommend it for most younger people, adventurists and people who like the Thamel atmosphere. 

Room Rates at time of writing:

Room Type
Standard (With Phone No TV)US $ 15.-US $ 20.-US$ 24.-
Hi-Standard (Phone, TV & Heater)US $ 25.-US $ 30.-US$ 34.-
Air Conditioned (Heat/Cold)US $ 35.-US $ 40.-US$ 44.-

Some of the reviews from Expedia Guests
"Sights are within walking distance and there are plenty of restaurants and souvenir shops along the road"

"The hotel is quite well maintained, and it is subject to mention, it has electricity for 24 hours... I know, it sounds ridiculous, but if you are researching about Nepal, you'd better consider that fact."

"Hotel Garuda is an old and well known institution in Kathmandu. The location in the middle of Thamel with all the restaurants and shops are just around the corner. Rooms are basic and not overpriced your breakfast you take at "Crazy Burger" downstairs, not crazy at all."

Rating: 8  (out of 10)