Nepal in 2011: abused, raped, plundered & forgotten

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ February 7th, 2011. Published in: Travel blog » Discover World Culture » How to live overseas » Nepal.
Old monk leaning out a window in Kathmandu, Nepal

An old monk reflectively looks out on a very different Nepal ...

Nepal is one of the few countries I have hope for

It’s a country like no other I’ve visited. A cross between old and new. Centuries old cities mixed with new society and a blend of otherworldly qualities.

On the outside it’s a great place to travel, hike, find solace, enjoy, experience.

Stay a little longer, see beyond the top layers, and you’ll be heartbroken. At least I am.

I’ve been sick recently. Its given me some time to look at the other side to this journey.

Years on I still think of Nepal

As many people reading here will know, Nepal is the only place I’ve categorically stated “felt like home“. It was a sledgehammer like feeling on the side of the head I will never forget.

Why did I leave is the usual question, and the answers are always long. Read my Nepal Travel Blog to get an idea.

In summary: The country was kicking out its King at the time, was in the middle of a Maoist uprising, and I was on an overland mission.

The trouble with Nepal is one many people come across. Once it gets to you, it stays with you.

A summary of Nepal’s problems

Medics walking through tear gas during riots in Kathmandu, Nepal

Medics walking through tear gas during riots in Kathmandu, Nepal

  • It’s one of the poorest countries in the world
  • It’s sandwiched between two giant super powers (India / China)
  • Its political system is a disaster
  • There is very little media coverage on Nepal’s plight
  • Nepal has many religions & many holidays for them all
  • Nepal is landlocked, and has few natural resources available to it
  • Regular electricity is a thing of the past
  • Kathmandu is overdue for an earthquake that seismologists have said will flatten it & cause one of the worst humanitarian disasters of the modern age
  • Tourism is its primary source of income

A soap opera like brief history of modern political problems in Nepal

  • 1959: King Mahendra unites the country under democratic rule
  • 1960: King Mahendra dissolves parliament, abolishes democracy, and changed the constitution to monarchy lead or rather a “partyless” system.
  • 1972: The king’s son Birendra took over, political reforms were put in place and a prime minister elected
  • 1992: Continued protest mount to riots over land and economic reforms. Human rights violations occur and the country erupts into massive protests.
  • 1996: The communist party (Maoists) lead the charge to replace the parliamentary monarchy. Violence again spreads across the nation as it’s view split
  • 2001: Crown Prince Dipendra went on a crazed killing spree. The death toll included 9 members of the royal family along with his own father the King, and the Queen. He ended the shooting spree by killing himself. Prince Gyanendra (Birendra’s brother) took over the throne.
  • 2004: The monarchy’s popularity waned in the rise of revolution. In 2005 Gyanendra abolished the government, and put the country into emergency rule.
  • 2005-2006: the country is in turmoil with human rights violations and freedom of the press being curtailed. Political rallies mounted over the entire country
  • 2007: A seven party coalition government abolished the monarchy.
  • 2008: The Maoists win a majority victory to rule Nepal.
  • 2009: The Maoist Prime Minister leaves office in protest at Nepalese presidents sacking of an army chief. A new communist leader is elected.
  • 2010: A new constitution is still not seen as deadlines pass with infighting between political parties. The prime minister resigns. The UN leaves Nepal.
  • 2011: Nepal is still without a stable leadership, nor constitution. The economy is in dire straits, the country dwindles on candlelight, imports and foreign aid.

Lack of international media on Nepal’s plight

Sadly Nepal seems to be forgotten by much of the mainstream international media. It’s not violent towards its neighbors. Nor is it an oil-producing nation. They’ve had their protests and civil wars. This is what’s left.

With China and India on either side vying for economic and political control over the tiny nation few international politicians want to mention Nepal; even in passing.

Nepal is well and truly on its own. Least its own “leaders” sell the country out to one of its bidding neighbors.

My personal experience from a few months in Nepal (2007-2008)

I found Nepal is be a truly wondrous place during this pivotal time in its history. And, an amazing place to witness a change such as this happening. It was the end of an old country, and the start of a new one.

Stupa and Nepalese mountains

Stupa overlooking Nepalese mountains: only a few places hold this sort of beauty

There were very few tourists, and yet the place was filled with optimism. The few tourists that were there; were of a different class. Adventure seekers, expats, and travelers.

“I felt like Nepal was the last bastion of true old school travel”

I held out in optimism that one day I would return if things got better. Times have changed, and Nepal has too. But its age-old internal strife has not.

2011 Nepal’s year of tourism and plunder

My friends in Nepal keep me updated. They know my feelings about the country. Their emails are sad and trembling. Yet, as always, hopeful. NGO’s continue to pop up everywhere, as do orphanages. All seeking aid. A great money-maker that tics many people off. I’ve seen it, experienced it, and rescued plenty from it during my time there.

The current government is promoting 2011 as best they can using such outdated trends as marking Nepal a “Gay” friendly country. Offering free visas (but only if you are going up Everest), and saying Nepal: Once is not enough. Least we forget a myriad of entry fees for just about anything these days.

India controls Nepal’s source of fuel, and food. Meanwhile from the North Chinese investors smile at last years agreement to allow chinese banks to open in Nepal.

It’s like the country is selling itself off; on the streets.

Nepal’s leaders get a slap to the face

It seems Nepal’s people are also at their wit’s end. I read recently on the BBC about a local Nepalese man who slapped the chairman of one of the main parties across the face.

He likened it to feeling like “soft cotton”.

A sign of the times as Nepal’s temporary politicians dine and live in relative luxury due to “expenses paid“. While most of the nation’s weather beaten people live hand to mouth in a country currently living on electricity rationing of up to 16 hours a day.

Corruption on top of corruption

All is not so bleak though. On the streets of Kathmandu rich business types from China and Korea wish to buy up and renovate vast ancient areas. Replacing old historical building and walls with profitable shiny new ones. Malls are being built near some of the oldest buildings in the world. Shadowing them in freshly imported concrete dust. India dictates new fuel prices, and food prices have only doubled.

Even Nepalese passports are made in India.

Take solace in the upper class “oxygen bars” that are appearing in Kathmandu; so expensive only the elite can breath in the imported air. A respite from the smoggy fumes rising low from the mass of imported motorbikes outside, churning away on low-grade fuel.

Turn a blind eye to the profitable NGO’s setting up camps all over the nation. Adopt a baby, sponsor a family, or volunteer: all for a few hundred or thousand dollars a month depending on your gullibility.

A friend of mine in Nepal once said this to me:

Nepal is a big cake, the politicians today have divided it all up for themselves; and left us mere crumbs.

A hopeful rise of woman power may solve Nepal’s troubles

Indeed as I read my Nepalese emails I do see a change.

Women protesting in Nepal about the government protesting for strikes

Women protesting in Nepal against the government who were protesting for strikes

The one thing I find amazing in Nepal is the power of the Nepalese women. While the men are outspoken, can talk for hours and have done so for decades. I notice Nepalese women taking the reigns.

In a class system many women have little say in public matters. But times are changing. Last year a consortium of local female business leaders took to the streets of Pokhara to demand that the Maoists “not” hold yet another protest strike.

“We’ve had enough of this. No more strikes. We want our businesses open and our children going to school”

It’s a shrewd move supported by the men too. The violent political youth gangs that have terrorized previous “male” protests were powerless. Admitting that not even they would want to raise a hand against their own grandmothers.

It worked. The Maoist party did not go on strike. And, the nation applauded the women’s defiance.

Last week Nepal voted for the 17th time in 6 months for a new Prime Minister. Yet, it’s the same old faces vying for power – with this sort of behavior; it doesn’t look good for a stable future. But will the international media even report on this story?

Is there hope for Nepal?

I still have a lot of hope for Nepal. It is the bridge between two massive super powers and should surely be taking a far more assertive stance than its current sub-servant role. It’s up to the people of Nepal to decide their future, no one else.

Surely the new government should be obedient to the needs of the Nepalese people, and not just to their personal wants. As education spreads throughout this tiny country people are waking up to this and seeing the plunder around them.

From South East Asia comes hope

I sit here in tropical South East Asia with a fever. Common flu that I will recover from. But, it’s given me some time to sit and watch.

Some internet, and a laptop enable me to have a room with a view on a world in turmoil. It’s like watching a Science Fiction movie from the 90’s to watch international news today. And, I think of the little forgotten country sitting on the roof of the world.

I hope one day soon Nepal will walk a new road towards enlightenment. I hope they will have room for my return. I hope the strong kind people of Nepal will find their way again; before it’s too late.

This is an additional editorial featuring travel related articles, view points, conversational topics and helpful resources based on experiences I’ve learned from my around the world journey

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44 Great responses to Nepal in 2011: abused, raped, plundered & forgotten

  1. Dave says:

    I have a fondness for Nepal too, after visiting in 2008 during the elections that brought the Maoists into power. It’s true, once is not enough, as I was already looking forward to next visit before the first had even ended.

    • Never knew you were in Nepal at that time Dave. Maybe we passed each other on the street! And yes, once is never enough. Have you plans on going back soon?

      • Dave says:

        No, for at least the next 12 months or so, I’m focused on seeing South America.

        Some day I’d like to try and visit Tibet again — my first attempt failed due to pre-Olympic rioting in Lhasa. I’d also like to see Bhutan, but that’s a lot more costly an adventure. When I’m in Asia for an extended time again, I’d definitely like to see more of India…and Nepal. Lots to see! haha

  2. ciki says:

    Very moving article. who can read it and not feel a prick of guilt? Nepal is forgotten and sadly the people too. Let’s hope more articles like yours, written from the heart will move the powers that be to change life for the destitute for the BETTER not worse. Thanks for sharing.

    • I often wonder if it’s too late for Nepal. It’s two big neighbors seem to dictate everything it can or cannot do. There’s always hope. But sometimes reality needs to be addressed too. It’s a country that needs to be seen to be believed. Hope you guys make it there one day

  3. lois says:

    I do hope one day I will get the chance to see Nepal. I want to see what Iyer describes as the closest place on earth to the remotest place on earth.

  4. iamthewitch says:

    Reading this piece tugs at my heart. It certainly opened my eyes on all the underlying issues of Nepal, not something that is covered widely/in-depth by the media. I certainly do hope that Nepal will change to be better…..and I hope to visit it one day.

    • Thanks :) I really like Nepal. And, rarely see it make the news other than for riots. So many people just go for the trekking etc, and never think about the issues there. If more people know, hopefully it will raise awareness

  5. el buen samaratin says:

    Well, well, well. I went back to Nepal (in my mind, after smoking a huge bowl of home-grown), and may go back. But, I was there for 5 months -2 in KTM, 3 in Pokhara. But, as is usual, staying in place that long, well, I am bound to screw up. I did, left in the middle of the night. Switched hemispheres just to hide my shame. Nobody got hurt or anything like that. But, maybe I might go back someday, but for some screwy reason (the pot?) I’m thinking Uruguay.
    The world is like a (too many choices) menu. Thanks for the report.

    • Well that’s a story alright! Yea, perhaps Nepal is best avoided during Shivratri. It is quite a different place, half a world away to say the least. It’s changing faster than you can say imported honda’s. And, there’s money there. But, as always the majority don’t always see it. Strangely it’s become a hangout of solo lady travelers too. Very different to a few years ago. Would love to make a return. If for anything, a break from the humidity of SEA!

      • Sue says:

        I went to Nepal as a solo lady traveller for a month last New Year after my Mum died. It is one of the most welcoming places I have experienced. I wasn’t expecting to see so many really young kids glue sniffing & was offered sex by quite a few in KTM which was heartbreaking.
        A van journey to Pokhara with 10 Nepalese eager to know about my non existant educational achievements, made me go to University on my return to the UK!
        Get well soon.

  6. Prash says:

    Namaste! You are welcome back, we talk of you still and always read where you are now. Hopefully we will be fixed soon and you come back strong.

  7. Fraser says:

    This was a really interesting read. I haven’t felt for a country quite like how I feel for Nepal since I visited last year. The people, the politics, the sense of hope and worth, it was all so emotive. I am very keen to go back this summer and enact whatever positive change I can, because seeing such a beautiful people let down by a system so infected with corruption was extremely difficult to take.

    • Hello, glad you found it interesting. Glad to hear you are returning to Nepal this year. Yes, there are many problems in Nepal. I hope you manage to find a way to help. Unfortunately there are many NGO’s and org’s taking advantage too. I always say, find one you like in person, then ask to see the accounts :)

  8. Ted Nelson says:

    Wow, did not know much about Nepal except for its mountains till reading this article. Looks like a country with a lot of problems. Thanks for the enlightening article.

  9. One of the most important parts of traveling, is sharing stories and experiences like this. It may not be easy times for the people of Nepal, but without visitors to tell the outside world about their plight, we would never know. We can’t leave it up to the “regular” media to bring us these stories. They are too busy covering the likes of Anna Nicole Smith and Paris Hilton.

    Thanks for sharing your insight into what is going on in Nepal, I learned a lot.

    • I very much agree with you Ken. In “social” times, many people do indeed prefer to see news about what’s in Paris Hilton’s bag than see the blunt reality of the world we live in. I think this is largely in part due to the fact many people are feel the weight of the world these days. And, “Like to escape”. Hence it’s rarely covered. As 100,000 protesters gathered in Egypt, 50,000 gathered in Serbia at the same time, yet it was hardly mentioned. Guess Serbia is low on oil these days.

  10. Ryan Chow says:

    I visited Nepal in 2010. My impressions was that of an essentially failed state, wrecked by years of internal conflict between parties.

    Electricity was load shed for hours at a time, garbage was piled on the streets to rot due to politics, and crazy choking pollution in KTM isn’t something even India prepared me for.

    I’ll never forget the children sniffing glue/paint in Thamel nor the ones working in the sweat shops in Naya Bazaar making carpets for sale because their hands were small for the fine needle work. Or walking past the Ministry of Foreign Affairs compound every other day to see lines of Nepali line up to get passports to leave the country in hope of somewhere better.

    Few tourists see the rawer side of Nepal cocooned in the bubble of Thamel, where the extreme contrast of the Garden of Dreams with its beautiful manicured lawns and ponds is just a wall away from the beggars outside.

    I still have the scars literally from my time in Nepal and was glad that I had the ability to pay for the medical care required. I would one day like to go back.


    To clarify – The UN has not left but the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) has departed at the conclusion of its mandate in Jan 2011. UN agencies are still in Nepal.

    • Hello Ryan, yes you bring up some good points. Essentially Nepal has been an illegal country without a constitution for the past year or so. At least according to some political types. It’s the same old “cotton faces” and same old pay rolls that keep appearing at the forefront of the issues here. I don’t think the Nepalese situation will end like many others around the world. I think there will be a very different outcome. Perhaps from one of it’s neighbors.

      Indeed there are still many UN agencies in Nepal. But, each on their own mission. United, I do not see. Then again, there is only so much a united anything can do in Nepal.

      I continue to hold out hope for Nepal, I really do. It’s a wondrous place, that has the potential to do so well.

  11. Agne says:

    I hope to see Nepal one day too… Thanks for interesting blog post ;)

  12. nepaliketi says:


    First and foremost Thank You/Mahalo/Dhanyabad for sharing the issues in Nepal and putting a very optimistic and hopeful perspectives for the future. As a Nepali-American , with very solid ties back home, I am also very hopeful for Nepal’s political-social and economical growth, despite being living abroad. I do go back ,rarely, but I understand the plight of my countrymen from the cities to the far corners of the nation.

    I am very optimistic! and people like you who understand and respect our culture can only help progress the nation.



    • Namaste,

      I’m glad you still have strong ties, and remain in touch. I think through the spread of families living abroad some good things will come to the people back home. Good to know you keep up to date with everything happening there. Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Jason says:

    Dave, a truly well well written post showing a an unpleasant insight into the troubles of this absolutley beautiful conutry. Nepal is one of my most favourite destinations on this planet, but I am as you describe ‘An Adventure Seeker’ whilst in this country and spend little time in the cities of where most of what you describe above takes place. Although it’s been many years since my last visit and the country has gotten much worse since I was last there, I feel in a small way I have also neglected her, in the way the inernational media has. Over the years when I’ve spent time there I tend to head straight to the mountains and valleys, of where there is (or was at the time) little unrest. I then return home and speak nothing but utter delight of the country, when in reality if you (as you have described above) scratch the surface a little and find there are many great problems Nepal faces. Lets hope things can improve and also that you post opens the eyes of people who travel to the country in the comming months and years to what is just below the surface.

    • Hey Jason, yes scratching the surface of many things can reveal a lot. Then again, if we did that to everything, or every place, I wonder how far we would get!

      There are few places to me that are like Nepal, hence I always keep the country and people in the forefront of my mind. Especially these days. Perhaps to others they too have a place, or country they always remember and think of with a passion. I have a feeling you have one of those places too!!

      Much like someone I talked to the other day who kept mentioning the problems in their beloved Serbia, I thought of Nepal. I feel for the people of Serbia, but I don’t really have a massive desire to write about it. I guess it’s a personal thing, triggered by many events.

      Ha, I wonder if all that made sense! (having, one of those days!)

  14. Rebecca says:

    I’ve not yet visited Nepal and to be honest the thing I also first think about is Everest. You’ve opened my eyes up to the issues that the Nepalese people face. I’m glad to see that you’re still keeping in touch with people there and the situation. It’s just a shame that the media isn’t focusing on it and making people around the world aware. Thanks for sharing your insights.

    • Thanks for stopping by Rebecca. Yes, Everest is a huge draw in Nepal. I also really like the old towns too. They are still lived in, and look thousands of years old. Quite unique in todays world. How long it will last, I don’t know.

      By the way, if you ever do get to Nepal (and, I hope you do), try the Annapurna circuit. The views and trek are a lot nicer than Everest Base Camp. And, Gokyo is breathtaking is you really want to see Everest. Base camp itself is a little let down. But, then again, it’s got the name Everest!

  15. I have just returned from spending more than three months in Nepal. Like you, I had the utmost feeling of “home” from the moment I set foot in the country. I was astonished by your article; it was as if you were in my head, writing words I have been thinking. I am in the process of writing an expose on corruption in the volunteering/voluntouring/NGO industry and was going to incorporate much of what you write as well, but there is no way I could improve on what you’ve said, so I will just link to your post. Hope you are feeling better. You didn’t say where you are now, but I’m in Thailand at the moment and if you are as well, I’d love to meet up if you’re feeling up to it.

    • Hi Barbara,

      I wonder if you also noticed many young overseas “volunteers” in Nepal during your stay too? I found a 50/50 feedback response from asking them about their experience volunteering in Nepal. The older Masters/Phd types seemed to see quite a lot of this NGO/volunteering corruption. Whilst the younger “GAP” year students seemed oblivious to it. Not sure if this is a youth vs experience thing, but I found it quite disturbing that so many were paying so much for things that really did not add up.

      Indeed there are a few of us out there that really feel for Nepal. I am glad to hear we’ve had similar thoughts and experiences. Not too many people have written about this side of Nepal. Possibly due to the economic woes of the nation. Or, perhaps due to the trekking element. Or perhaps it’s just because people don’t like to “mention” it. I think it’s good to get this out in the open. Otherwise that little country will continue to spiral into chaos.

      For me it’s Sabah Malaysia for now. But I am looking at flights late next month as I’ve a few unexpected things popping up. Not sure if you will still be in Thailand then?

      • I spoke to any number of young volunteers while I was there and found the majority of them disgusted and disillusioned. There were horror stories, which I will soon be writing about, and those who just sort of “took the bull by the horns” and made their own volunteer experience.

        I think the reason so few people write about this side of Nepal is that they don’t stay long enough to see beneath the surface veneer. But after a month or more, it starts to peel away and the underlying problems are exposed.

        I’m in Bangkok for a few more days then on to Phang Nga for a Yoga retreat. After that, was planning on Cambodia, but with the current armed conflict at the border I may just skip Cambodia and go n to Laos. I never really know where I’m going to be more than a few days out and I like it that way.

        Hope you are feeling better; Sabah seems a great place to recover. Traveling mercies to you and hopefully we’ll get to meet up on the road someday.

  16. Nicole says:

    A tough post to read, but very much appreciated. It’s amazing the resilience of the Nepali people and your mention of women taking charge gives hope. Thanks.

  17. Mason says:

    A wonderful post, learned a lot. This sort of thing encourages me to see places like Nepal. Thank You

  18. Lito says:

    What a very interesting post.. what i thought of when we mention Nepal is the Mt. Everest that’s so widely popular. I never thought of a big problem in that country.

  19. I am in Nepal at the moment. You are incorrect about the electric. We are currently having 14 hours per day of load shedding (no power) up from twelve last week. Within the month this will begin to improve as the temps warm and the snow in the mountains melts, sending water into the rivers and increasing the country’s ability to produce hydroelectric power.

    Yes, Nepal is in crisis, but my view is that things are beginning to improve. A Prime Minister is now in place and the constitution is being hashed put. There is some violence in the capital as political factions fight one another, so this is a situation that needs to be watched closely, however it does not appear to be a result of the Maoist party, which is now a legitimate part of the government. There is even progress on the Maoist forces being absorbed into the Nepal military.

    Please remember that Nepal’s monarchy was abolished only in April of 2008 in the midst of the Maoist insurgency. In political terms, four years is a nonosecond when discussing the restructuring of a government. Even the USA, which declared independence in 1776, did not have a constitution until 1787.

    As for food and water, you are correct about shortages. A large percentage of the population exists in abject poverty, but Nepalis must take some of the responsibility for this. There is a large contingent of local people who have followed the example of NGO’s and INGO’s in the country, discovering that setting up an orphanage is a quick way to become rich (Check out this recent post, where I tried to expose some of the corruption:

    Though the caste system in the cities is starting to be less important, just five miles out of the city it is still prevalent to the point that if a lower caste person drinks water upstream for a higher caste person, that higher caste person will refuse to ever again touch the water. The trash and sewage problems are immense but again, foreign influences must take responsibility for some of this mentality. You may enjoy a recent post I published about just this issue:

    Nepal has many problems, but I love the country and hope to see things continue to improve. It is such a beautiful place with such wonderful people.

    • Hello Barbara,

      I’ll have to correct you on the electricity. And, yes, I generalized in my previous comment. Load shedding in Nepal is regionally based. For example in Shivalaya there is only 2 – 1.5 hours of no electricity every other day. It’s close to a hydro-plant is the easiest answer as to why. While in KTM load shedding is today 24.00-04.00am 11am-16.00 and 23.00-02.00am. A total of 9 hours split 3 times. Now move to the Terrai region and see all the cables coming in from India.

      Add to this last years government ban on Indian power inverters due to huge importation of batteries, and the load used to charge them. Then add in the massive, and I do mean massive, amount of money being generated by the importation of diesel from India. The situation is not getting better. And won’t due to the extreme level of corruption and money being made from having Nepal stay without it’s own hydro-power.

      Least we forget about the paper submitted for a proposed nuclear power plant – which thankfully and hopefully will never see the light of day.

      2011 is the year of tourism in Nepal. The numbers of independent tourist are down since last year based on the first 3 months, while the yes, the number of group Asian tours are up. An across party agreement has insured no strikes this year. Personally I’ve witnessed many strikes and riots here, and have never had problem with them physically. I do with the “strike mentality” though.

      As mentioned in the article the number of attempts to elect a PM has gone beyond a joke. Least the constitution timer start off again. During the Maoist time, and I am not a fan of Maoism, things did improve greatly. Especially in terms of corruption.

      Daily life in KTM has become disproportionate to the rest of the nation in terms of cost of living, and gang violence. While 5 plus years ago, gang shootings were barely heard of, sadly they are a reality today.

      I agree with you on the Caste system loosing a certain amount of value. It differs to the Indian system in many regards, but it is good to see the younger generation hold it in less regard. Though, there is a scary amount of wealth amongst some of the more elite young who still marry within their own “educational / wealth level” something not specific to Nepal at all.

      As you know, I also hold Nepal in very high regard. But, at the moment, as has been happening over the years I see Nepal loosing it’s identity in the future. Even today, Mero Mobile is now Ncell, which is 50% Russian. Huge portions of historic KTM are being bought up by Korean and Chinese investors. Even Nepalese passports are made in India.

      Slowly, bit by bit I see Nepal selling itself away. And, I don’t see a good silver lining here. And this, to me, is heartbreaking.

  20. Charley Wright says:

    I have been coming here to Nepal on and off for over 10 years. I’ll have to agree that the country is indeed getting worse.

    Right now the wondrous failure that is Nepal 2011’s true pride and joy is no banda(strike). It’s already broken as this week there is a planned strike. The rest will follow.

    Electricity is getting worse, there is not doubt. Next year I read about up to 20 hours of no power a day. I will not come. I’ve had enough.

    Sad to see westerners profit here too. So many NGO’s, and dithering old people set up shop here and making money. I just met another French man who’s “leading” trekking tours. This should really be stopped, there are French speaking Nepalese who can do this.

    As you say though, the country is selling itself like a cheap addict on the side of the road. Heartbreaking indeed.

    • You were right Charley, last week Nepal did have another bandah. The strike will probably be one of many more to come this year. More broken promises, worse yet is that it was done on the direct unilateral agreement that there would be no strikes during 2011’s year of tourism.

      Sadly, much like the touted offer of free visas in 2011, it’s another reason why people cannot take Nepal seriously. And yes, many rich people are benefiting from Nepal’s current state of flux. The price of property in Nepal is staggeringly unregulated.

      I don’t see things changing here for the foreseeable future. 2012 will usher in more elections and political upheaval, this is all I see happening.

  21. sanjiv says:


    First of all I would like to thank you for the interesting post reveling the reality of Nepal. Being a Nepalese I understand the plight of Nepali people and the problems we are facing.
    Nepali people are well aware of the all the political problems and reasons behind them, everybody is waiting for the new constitution, hoping for better future.
    The people in power knows the game of the Nepalese politics very well, everybody is looking for their own profit including Nepalese media. Politicians for the power, youths to go abroad in search of better life, businessman looking for more profit by whatever means.

    Corruption is inevitable and can be found in every sector. Living in India for my study, I now understand the interference of Indian government in the Nepalese politics. How can a member of high level talks coming to India can put their points strongly and argue on some points when outside the talks he asks the Indian officials for recommendation of Indian scholarships or admission in top institute of education for his son or daughter. this is just one of them.
    Incapability of Nepali media to raise the issues of political interference in the works of governmental executive and administrative bodies.
    Hope after new constitution brings us a better Nepal with stable political situation.

  22. bibhu says:

    As said, ‘Devil is in the details’ and that is applicable to all the countries in the world, Nepal being no exception. From the Maoist Revolution to Federal Republic,. Poverty is rampant and miseries in all smiles however, what we are struggling now is for the generation to come. It is of course frustrating to see present, well some generation have to pay the price i guess. Your article indeed reflected lot of truth along with a sense of optimism. But comparing to the published date and Oct end if you reflect again you will be more jubilant.

    The electricity has gone far better in the main cities (many villages are independent from National Grid). Tourist arrival in all time high this year a growth of about 25 percent. Chinese Tourist are one of the highest spender, so an increment from Asia Africa or Europe really does not matter, all are our guest and guest are God. Peace Process is about to materialize and Constitution drafting gearing up. Caste system is like the black and white thing…..applicable for many and baseless for the rest regardless of being in a civilized(un) world. Corruption cases have significantly gone down and even ex-minister has been jailed(Nepal have the most powerful anti corruption laws in south asia) however its implementation part remains a challenge.

    Well these are few updates i thought would make the travelers acquainted with present context. Despite being in turmoil we need all your support and optimize as always and very thankful for all those who love Nepal.


  23. samita says:

    I am from Nepal, currently studying in US. First of all, thank you so much for writing about Nepal, sharing your experiences and above all, appreciate very much for still being optimistic for the forgotten land.
    I wanted to bring light on something you have stated above: among the problems in Nepal, in 2001, you have stated Crown Prince killed his parent and himself. This was published by the government then, but with no proof and no proper investigation. There was no post-mortem examination for the dead bodies. The bodies of Royal family were cremated while imposing curfew in Kathmandu (with an order to shoot anyone who comes out of their house) because people were demanding post-mortem and proper investigation. Most Nepalese believe that killing of the Royal family, including that of Crown Prince Dipendra was part of a conspiracy involving Gyanendra, who became the last King in Nepal.
    As I witnessed this time, I understood how easily history can be manipulated. One who has the power writes the history on his favor.Its a very sad truth. Nepalese had high hopes on Crown Prince Dipendra, who had a good reputation, while King Gyanendra and his son-the last Crown Prince Paras do not have good image. Both are infamous for their involvements in rapes and murders.
    It is very sad to realise how the most powerful family in the country was killed and someone innocent was blamed for it.