Kathmandu Warnings and Dangers
Visiting Kathmandu Nepal is bound to be full of adventures, follow these tips and warnings to make your trip more enjoyable.
You will be approached by beggars during your time in Kathmandu. Resist the urge to give any beggar a few rupees, others will notice if you do, and before you know it you are likely to be surrounded by a horde of beggars wanting a handout. There are also children or teenagers that are sent out to get money from sympathetic tourists. In general, when in the city, it’s best to completely ignore anyone asking for money. If you encounter a lone individual pleading for rupees during a trek in the mountains, you could donate to them without having to worry about being surrounded by beggars.
Air, Water and Roads
The air quality is extremely poor in Kathmandu, it is not unusual to see locals wearing masks to avoid ingesting fumes. The dusty and dirty roads can also make breathing a challenge, take a cue from the locals and wear a mask if you feel you need one and wear glasses to protect your eyes.
It is highly advisable to drink and even brush your teeth with bottled water in Kathmandu. The tap water here has a yellow tinge to it, even in the most prestigious hotels, so stick to bottled water.
The roads in Kathmandu are mostly made of dirt, are very narrow and are mostly in bad shape. Take extreme caution when near or on the roads.
Kathmandu’s electricity goes out quite frequently and it might be switched off for hours at a time. These outages are done on purpose in order to supply other parts of Nepal with power. Additionally, stores in Kathmandu close between 8 and 9 pm and once they do the streets become dark quickly. Therefore it is essential to always be prepared for power outages, make sure you have a flashlight or other forms of light handy.
Travel with a companion as well whenever possible, Kathmandu is generally safe, but as with most places, tourists are an easy target for thieves and criminals looking to do harm. Females, in particular, should shop or keep company with a companion whenever possible. Don’t accept drinks or other consumables from strangers, stay in populated areas and stay street smart, if a situation feels off or dangerous, get away from it as soon as possible.
Whenever possible hire a porter or guide from a reputable agency in Kathmandu or Pokhara before you leave for a mountain trek. These guides are much more reliable than one that you might find in a village along your way.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about safety tips in Kathmandu, Nepal.