There is no doubt that traveling in Nepal can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, the unprecedented events one may experience, the scenic beauty along the road, the amazing people one gets to meet on the journey, it’s all truly bliss. But amidst all this unforgettable experience there are a plethora of unavoidable major problems which are annoying, dangerous, and overall bad for the traveling experience. Here are some ways that the travel experience in Nepal could be improved:
Transportation while traveling in Nepal
There are a lot of problems regarding roadways in Nepal; even the major highways are not so safe to drive on. Being a 3rd world country, Nepal’s roads are not that great, you can find potholes every other meter, and that is in the urban areas. The rural areas on the other hand have gravel roads with little to no safety. Just developing the routes and the roads can bring such a great change in the overall traveling experience. The rural communities would greet a lot more guests and the travellers would have a comfortable ride. Building international airports for easier communication would be a plus point.
There are not a whole lot of places where one can be completely safe or feel at ease, there is no CCTV camera to ensure a bit of safety and there isn’t any immediate helpline to call for in desperate times. Basically, one can steal things and vanish, completely unnoticed. You could get mugged and there would be no proof of it. One hundred percent of the travelers would appreciate the improvement in security, every traveler could have a sound sleep knowing their possessions are well guarded and there is no threat. There are many documented cases of pickpocketing and bag stealing. Also, in the poorly lit areas of the cities, getting mugged is a probability; lighting every corner of the streets and installing a CCTV camera in suspicious areas would be a great step to start with.
Punctual timing, mannered and well-disciplined service are a big no while traveling in Nepal, in most cases. There is no consideration for one’s time, flight delays are not uncommon in Nepal, and flights delays are as much as 8 hours on average on domestic flights. Buses stop by mid-highway to let people in, most taxis are not in optimal condition for driving, outdated vehicles are still being driven emitting a lot of black smoke. These are things that hamper the traveling experience in Nepal. People, especially, drivers, pilots, flight attendants, and airways, should be more aware of the timings and should be prepared ahead of time. Timely departure would be appreciated by everyone regardless of their destination or their purpose of visit.
There are days when travellers do not get to go visit their well-planned destination because some political party has announced a strike or a curfew. This is really annoying and can turn out to be dangerous too, as members of the political parties are known to be full of rage and destructive in nature. Travellers are stuck in some place they would not want to spend their precious time. Not only is this a complete waste of time but also a mood killer, this affects the traveling experience. Only if political parties would stop using desperate measures as such to reach their agenda, the traveling experience would sail smoothly. 5. Recreational activities
It does not matter if you are traveling for business purposes or vacation or maybe you are visiting a relative, a bit of fun and adventure on the road would be a great way to battle the laziness you get from sitting for a long time. Some casual activities to get the travellers engaged for some time would freshen up the mood. Demanding recreational activities such as boating, rafting, and bungee jumping would be an unforgettable experience for people who have a lot of time in hand. These kinds of activities would be a part of the traveling experience, slowly but surely.
Cleanliness and sanitisation
Sanitisers were not a thing in Nepalese culture before the COVID-19 pandemic, the people are not “dirty” per se but they are unsanitary. People do not wear gloves or wear hats while cooking, this is not a problem in the comfort of your home but when you are traveling this is a major problem. An unsanitary eatery could give anyone a bad stomach, which is the last thing you would want to get while traveling. Likewise, cleanliness is another sector that should be taken care of. It is not an unusual site to see plastic wrappers, plastic bottles, and different garbages by the roadside, around popular destinations, in parks, in water bodies, and trash is scattered everywhere. Getting rid of these wastes would not only improve the scenic views but also get rid of the foul smell.
Most of the deluxe buses and the tourist buses which are comparatively expensive claim to have free wifi facilities when in reality they do not. On the other hand, mobile networks are not reliable; even in the outskirts of major cities, the network coverage is not impressive. Someone traveling to a village or any rural area will definitely face network issues, this is also the reason why most parts of Nepal are not well-promoted even though they are a perfect attraction. Improving cell services or internet ranges would save so much trouble for travellers.
Roadways are the most used means of travel in Nepal, more than 95% of the total trade and transportation are executed through the roadway. Roadways are the top priority in Nepal but still, the roads are narrow and congested. There are rarely any 4 lanes or 6 lanes on roads in Nepal. Most roadways are two ways, filled with potholes. Congestion is also responsible for frequent roadblocks. Making the roads wider would be such a great change, people would get to travel more efficiently without any time lag.
Traffic rules and implementations
People rarely see any traffic lights or zebra crossing in Nepal, even in major cities it is not a popular concept. In the busy area of major cities, one could drive without a license and no traffic police would even know because they are busy managing the incoming traffic, and having a checkpoint at such a place would further increase traffic jams. Drivers and riders are equally irresponsible as they do not tend to care about the rules, one could travel at 90km/hr on the free highway; there is no sign of a speed limit.
Ineffective laws against traffic rules violation
One could argue that drivers get fined for breaking the rules, there is a law for the penalty, traffic policies assign a ticket for the driver as a fine, etc. but does this really stop people from breaking the law? The answer is clear, “No, it does not”. This is also one of the reasons why road accidents often occur, drivers simply do not learn from their previous mistakes because the laws are not as strict. Suspension or revocation of license for engaging in an accident is a rare case to witness.
Lack of systematic parking space
It does not matter whether you are driving to your closest supermarket or to another city, there is absolutely no parking space. The driver has to park the vehicles by the roadside or in the parking space of other establishments. If one has to stop the vehicle mid-highway, the driver has to steer the vehicle towards the off-road section; there is no pull-over lane. A tiny space to pull over would be a great relief for long-distance travellers.