Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Safety and Security - Road Travel

You must have an international driving licence to drive a vehicle in Nepal. Carry your licence with you at all times when driving as well as any documents relating to the vehicle itself.

Traffic in Nepal drives on the left, as in the UK. The general standard of driving throughout the country is poor and badly regulated. Roads in Kathmandu are very congested. Many drivers are not properly licensed, trained or insured and vehicles are poorly maintained. There are few pavements outside central Kathmandu and motorists do not yield right of way to pedestrians.

Other road users often have scant regard for motorbikes and bicycles (which are available for rent in Kathmandu, Pokhara and some other destinations). It is the law to wear a helmet when riding a motorbike. You should also wear a suitable helmet when riding as a passenger, and when riding a bicycle.

Bus travel is particularly hazardous and multiple-fatality accidents are common. Avoid travel on overnight buses. On some routes (e.g. Kathmandu to Pokhara) tourist buses are available.

Road conditions are generally poor and difficult even in the best of conditions. During the Monsoon season (June to September) many roads outside the Kathmandu Valley are prone to landslides and become impassable.

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