Nepal Travel Blogs

Starting this blog to document my travels to Nepal and hopefully connect with some other expats living in Kathmandu. I am moving in March to Kathmandu to begin volunteering at a childrens' orphanage. I am a graduate student from the US... having just finished my Masters in Education and planning to attend law school. My interests lie in international education equity issues and women's rights. That is largely what brings me to Nepal. My initial intent is to stay for 3 months, perhaps longer. I have applied for a Fulbright Grant to stay there so that is an option I am considering.

While in Nepal, I am planning on doing some exploring and trekking during my stay. Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna Circuit are on the wish list. Currently, I am in the process of researching places to live in Kathmandu and I am finding the process more than a little daunting. Hoping to find something near Naya Bazaar... a few have recommended Thamel to me but I am wondering if I will find it too touristy to live in for 3 months. Hmmm. Right now my plan is to just keep researching online but then devote a few days to apartment hunting upon my arrival.

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Tom Hughes Comment by Tom Hughes on March 9, 2011 at 4:36pm

Just sent a post, but then only just read more of your details, and saw what your interests were.


Thamel is an easy place to stay, but you're right about the double edged sword. Though, for meeting open minded travelers it's perfect.  I had wanted to come out and find an apartment, though, Thamel is just so easy, and good in terms of making friends, so I think I'll just stay there for good now. I have a Nepali friend that I met in Europe, and have joined a choir, the Kathmandu Choral, in Patan so having a good time settling in. Sim cards are easy to buy in Thamel, but maybe a bit cheaper if you go to New Road, the main shopping street in Kathmandu that Nepali people use. I'm going to be trying to do some fun weekend trips, Nagrakot, Chitwan, Pohkara, to do treks, bike rides, etc and then when I finish my internship around May 7th, then I plan to trek everest base camp. If I manage to take some time off work before then, I will try to do Annupurna, or at least Poon Hill.


My background is a Law and French LLB, then an LLM in International Criminal Justice and Human Rights, I've just finished an internship at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague, and now here for 3 months working on transitional justice issues, then some environment and refugee law.


Just thought I'd add some more stuff, seeing as when I tried to add you as a friend, I didn't send a message with the request, not fantastic with computers!


Would be cool to meet up in KTM.




my nepali number is 9813418093 and email; either [email protected] or [email protected]

Brian L. Smith Comment by Brian L. Smith on December 2, 2010 at 8:21am
My suggestion would be to look for something on the south or west side of Lazimpat, and around the British Embassy area. Depending on where you would be working in Naya Bazaar it would put you within a 20 minute or so walk from where you work. Although it would put you further outside the central part of the city another option might be the area around Swayambhu, although I don't know any of them personally, I do know that other expats live out that way. That would most likely be a similar walking time. I don't go into the Naya Bazaar area that often, but I think it would be possible to find something decent in that area as well, though i'm not sure that there are many other foreigners there.

There is a google group called ktmktm, which might be worth it for you to join. People often advertise places for rent, and flat shares. Also a good way to know what events are going on in the city.

Yeah Thamel is very touristy, and because every one in that district is believed to be a tourist you are constantly hassled to buy things. It's crowded, there are many late night bars that play loud music, "dance clubs" which are strip clubs, and the traffic can be more obnoxious then the rest of the city. It has its charm and its a very unique backpacker quarter for people to visit when traveling, but it isn't where you want to try and relax after a day of work...most of the time anyway.
Brittany M Comment by Brittany M on December 1, 2010 at 11:51pm
Thank you for the feedback Brian, I will absolutely be checking out your blog and I very much appreciate the offer for advice... I am sure I will be taking you up on that more than once! I am going to be working in Naya Bazaar so I was looking for something within walking distance of that area. I've heard that Thamel is overly touristy... any tips on areas within walking distance to Naya Bazaar that are good for expats? I've looked at maps but it is hard to know what is walking distance or not. ( Per your advice, I will make sure to allot more time for apartment hunting:)
Brian L. Smith Comment by Brian L. Smith on December 1, 2010 at 2:43pm
You will not want to be in Thamel for three months, I can almost guarantee that. While Thamel has its charms, its a place to visit occasionally and to be honest I tend to avoid it if I can. Most expats live in Lazimpat, Naxal, Bulwatar, or down in Patan. Finding a place can be difficult as no one advertises services here because Nepali's all rely on a large personal network of people that are their friends or contacts that know other people, that can hook you up with someone who is a real estate agent or a house owner looking to rent a room or apartment. Ask around once you're here and someone will hook you up with someone that can help. Keep in mind that everything takes time here, and efficiency is not a virtue in high regard here, so possibly plan for more than just a few days of apartment hunting. It took my wife and I roughly a week, and we're not incredibly picky people.

If you have any other questions about moving here or need any help feel free to send me a message. I've documented my transition here on my blog Mr. Smith Goes to Kathmandu, which may or may not be helpful to you.
Amanda S Comment by Amanda S on November 30, 2010 at 11:25am
In March I will have been in KTM for a few months so I might have some tips for you by then. I have no idea about the housing situation. I am hoping it will all fall into place after I arrive.

Which orphanage are you working with?


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