The following article outlines Tourist Safety in Nepal.
Nepal used to boast an excellent record for tourist safety until recent years. Unfortunately however, tourist confidence in the safety that once existed in Nepal has been jeopardised by Maoist violence.
There are a number of travel warnings to ensure the safety of tourists which have been issued over the last few years to tourists who are planning to travel to Nepal. It is advisable therefore that tourists intending a trip have a look at the relevant safety warnings which have been issued on governmental / embassy websites regarding Nepal.
Whereas revolutionary communism is all but extinct elsewhere in the world, the previously small group of disorganised Maoist insurgents in Nepal, have now become a fairly formidable fighting force and their cause is growing. It is not uncommon to see Maoists roaming about the Nepalese countryside with weapons in full view and for this reason tourists travelling in areas outside of the key Nepalese cities should exercise extra caution to ensure their safety.
The threats to the safety of tourists visiting Nepal have primarily been in relation to Maoist insurgents seeking to extort money. A group of Polish tourists were recently held captive by Maoist insurgents when they refused to hand over money. Most of the attacks on tourists have taken place in the Nepal countryside and for this reason, the majority of individuals visiting Nepal on formal visits do not travel by road outside of the Kathmandu Valley due to the inherent safety risks.
General safety for tourists in Nepal unrelated to Maoist activities is primarily good compared to other countries and violent crime is generally low. However, there are cases of street crime in Nepal and tourist safety is often jeoardised by street robberies.
To ensure your safety whilst visiting Nepal, then the following suggestions aimed at tourists should be considered:
Never trek on your own. Always travel with a companion
If you come across a protest, then keep well away
Register with your respective embassy on arrival in Nepal and take on board any safety advice that they may be giving to tourists
Eat your evening meal early and retire to your hotel – i.e. do not jeopardise your safety by staying out late (even in well frequented tourist areas)
Female tourists in Nepal should take extra preventions to ensure their safety and it recommended that females do not travel independently whilst in Nepal.