Thursday, January 08, 2015

Nepal Tribhuvan Airport and Immigration

Last night, my Dragon Air flight from Hong Kong landed at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal around 10:25 pm local time. There are no tubes that passengers can walk from the plane to the passengers terminal. People get off the plane, shuttle buses wait for them below and bring them to the terminal, a short drive.

All photos below I got from the web, not one came from my camera.

The immigration was a bit chaotic. I was filling up the form for foreigners, then I noticed an online application kiosk. The procedure requires filling up many boxes, I got confused. Luckily an airport personnel helped me, he ignored many of those boxes and just clicked "Next" to various pages, and I got a small stub printed by the machine. I thanked him.

Nepal issues visa upon arrival, convenient for  foreigners actually as they do not have to get a visa at a Nepal consulate or embassy in their home country. We were informed by the Asia Liberty Forum co- organizers to (a) prepare our invite letter to the conference, (b) have two copies of passport photos, and (c) prepare US$30 or its equivalent in  other  major currencies as visa fee.

Two lines  to queue, first to pay the visa fee, they ask how many days of stay,  I  said 8 days. They charge  only $25. After paying, they issue a receipt, then  I  went  to the immigration officer, who again  asked how many days of stay. They issue 15 days, 30 days, 90 days, etc. visa. Different fees for each. It was relatively easy.

So the immigration only asked  one question, "How many days of stay", they did not ask for the visitor's purpose in coming, did not ask for the passport photos, did  not ask for return flight itinerary. Cool.

The messy part of the airport is the baggage claim. Only 3 or 4 baggage carrel, our flight should be in #3. After some passengers got their bags, the engine stopped running, we waited what happened, then we were told to go to #2, meaning  bags from two international flights were mixed there.

This photo below, you multiply the number of people by 3x or 4x last night. 

Finally got out of the airport more than one hour upon entry. The taxi to the hotel would cost about $9, I changed some US$ to Nepalese Rupee (NR). Outside it should be around NR102/$, at the airport yesterday it was 99.2, not a big difference. Most of the airport taxi are the small ones, photo on the left. I got the medium one,  on the  right, NR 950. 

It was already past 12 midnight. Travel time was only about 15-18 minutes and I was at the hotel. I greeted the driver Happy New Year after paying, he smiled.

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