Friday, November 6, 2009

Boy Scout Motto Time: BE PREPARED

Kathmandu Airport
Traveler's advice about the airport leaves one a bit, well, wanting to be prepared.
"have a plan before you walk out of the will be astounded at the mob of people shouting and trying to take your bag to a cab.. isn't aggressive in a rough way but definitely intimidating...beware of people who follow your cabby and want to carry your bag. They are not with him and and will expect to be tipped."
"Fill up your travel visa (with photo attached) beforehand and get ready for exactly US$30  for visa fees..will save a lot of time ( at the airport) me."
"When leaving the airport have all your luggage in a firm grip. You will be stormed by men who want to carry your suitcases and backpacks to any expensive taxi they see, and expect a rather large fee for this 'service'. Be rude to them if that is the only way to get rid of them! Even if you are not a good negotiator, don't pay more than 200 rupees for taxi-ride to  ...hotel. If haggle is your sport you should be able to get it for 100 rupees."
And the best one...
"When we were checking in to our flight back..few uniformed guys at the baggage counters, openly demanding a bribe to let baggage thru without paying excess baggage charges..also to jump the queue..In fact we had forgotten to X-ray our bag since we thought we were running late. The guys at check-in didn't seem to think it was a problem..checked in our bags without X-ray screening. A few weeks later, same flight..was hijacked to Kandahar, ...not surprised that the hijackers chose to board at Kathmandu."
And if you'd like a visual:
I'm not sure all my luggage would fit in this vehicle.
And my last reading"..recommend taking a prepay taxi for one primary reason, your safety...present cost 500 Npr. ($6.32) The fee includes a record of your trip , of which you and the service desk have a copy. This ensures that if anything happens to you or your luggage while in transit, there is an official record."
Jeeze that's comforting. An official record that I did leave the airport with a cabby in such and such a cab.

However once I arrive at the hotel -

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