Kathmandu Airport Arrival Experience
After our awesome Etihad A320 flight from Abu Dhabi, we were hoping for a quick and easy Kathmandu airport arrival experience. Well, we’d come to learn that quick and easy are two words that are rarely spoken in Nepal.
We arrived off of the bus from our remote stand to the terminal to find this welcoming sign…
There was a wall of machines to assist with the Visa Processing, but this is what happened when you got close enough to actually use one…
It should be noted that the majority of countries need a visa to enter Nepal. You can get them online but you still have to pay when you arrive. They accept a lot of currencies (which is good) but it is cash only, so make sure to have the right amount of cash on hand.
Filling out your paperwork online actually does save you time when you go to clear immigration. There is one line for e-visa applicants and another for non e-visa applicants. The e-visa lines were wide open while the apply-in-person lines were about 100 deep. It didn’t help that when we arrived a China Eastern flight had just landed as well.
Once you get your visa in your passport, it’s a quick walk to grab your luggage.
Before leaving the baggage area, a security guard will check your ID to make sure it matches your luggage. Nice touch…
There’s a wall of people waiting behind glass for their loved ones.
ATM to the left, and an information desk to the right. I would suggest that you get a little bit of money out of the ATM if there isn’t a big line, as ATMs are around, it’s just difficult with the traffic and the people to make a decent stopping point.
We booked transport directly with our hotel to not have to worry about fighting with the hoard of taxi drivers at the airport. A one-way to the hotel was $20, and he was waiting for us with a sign. Could not have thought of a better way to spend a twenty!
Navigating the airport was a good primer for the trip to come. It’s sort of like sticking your toe into the pool to see if the water temperature is good enough to swim. The chaos that would ensue for the next three days was an adventure in and of itself!