Arriving in Nepal

The Tribhuvan International Airport is a tiny airport, so getting around is pretty simple as following the crowd. As you arrive, a short bus ride or a walk leads you into the arrival corridor from where you walk to the immigration area, differentiated into Visa on Arrival, Travellers with Visa, Diplomats and of course Nepalese Citizens. You need to fill in a disembarkation card, which is quite simple - given by the airlines on the flight, or you find the forms in this hall.

Visa on Arrival

Nepal is one of the few countries in the world with a very easy visa process, and the arrival visa works really efficiently. Very few countries are exempt (updates on the official Immigration website here) from this process. Come in with the VISA fee in CASH (Dollars, Euros or Pounds Sterling), two photographs and a valid passport - fill up a form and present it and you have a visa in no time.

TOP TIP: 14 days before you arrive, you can apply online using this form, print out the confirmation, and come with just a copy of your passport information page and the VISA fee in cash. This way you can avoid the lines. The only thing you need thats complicated here is an address in Nepal - your hotels address, or your contacts address, or you make it up... all works actually!


Once you have gone through immigration, follow the crowds down to the baggage carousels, which constantly get the numbers vs the airlines messed up on the signs - so again follow the crowds. There are only four carousels so its not that bad!

TOP TIP: Retain your baggage tag, as the check on the green channel will ask you for the baggage tag to ensure you took your own baggage (in case you had other things in mind :-) )

Once you collect your baggage, walk out of the Green Channel, present the baggage stub, and walk out towards the Arrival Hall which has currency exchange counters, coffee shops, pre-paid taxi counters and Sim card sellers.

Go down using the lift, or the escalator or what they call a walkalator. Mostly, we shall we waiting for you here, Look out for a social tours placard with your name on it and go to the person holding it. Thats one of our representatives, who has come to the airport with a car.

TOP TIP: You can let our representative handle your baggage, but no one else should touch it, as they might ask you for a tip later (and mostly in foreign currency). Ask the representative for help in case you cannot shoo away the guys trying to help you.

If you are coming to the city on your own, consider using the pre-paid taxi service. They are a bit more expensive, but an easy way to get to the city on the first day, minus the haggling, though that can also be fun.

The airport in Kathmandu is in the city, and it takes very little time, barring the crazy traffic during rush hours to get to anywhere at all. Thamel, where most travellers land, is about half an hour off.

Raj Gyawali

I am usually never in the office, and my colleagues call me the Tourist. I think strategically, and align the company to the future. I enjoy developing new experiences the most, and of course nothing can beat leading a group on a unique journey through Nepal. Uh Oh I forgot, I would rather be in the mountains! Also own if you are looking at travelling in other parts of the world in a similar way