Dilemma for a Nepali Traveler

Dilemma for a Nepali Traveler

We Nepali people probably have one one of the weakest passports in the world. Blame it on the unsteady politics, poor economies or both. I did an internet search and found out that our passport ranks 201 out of 221 countries in the rankings. You could travel to few countries like India, Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Philippines  without requiring a visa or get one on arrival. And to travel to other countries, the visa application is the pain.

I am only focusing on the Ordinary (Green) Passport in this post. Image Source: ktm2day.com
Let me summarize again, there are around 30 countries in the world (out of say 221) where you could travel with less bureaucracy (given that you follow all the immigration rules) ranging from a week (Togo, with visa on arrival) to unlimited stay (India). For other countries, you should not even think of traveling unless you have made plans in advance and have acquired visa.

Being a Nepali, you know traveling is hard. Money is always the problem. If I had enough money, I would first fulfill my necessity, buy good computer, laptops, iPods, iPads, etcetera and etcetera. International travel would be at the bottom of my priorities but would always dream of traveling. You must have heard the stories of migrant workers who need to borrow a million rupees to make arrangements to secure an "okay" paying job in the Middle East. For some people in the west, that just might be a biweekly paycheck. Therefore, generally traveling is a niche luxury only few people can afford.

But with the attraction to international education and work abroad, this door is opening. Globalization, as you know, plays a great role. You can get to any country of the world in matter of hours. You can begin your journey to any destination from our own Tribhuvan International Airport. And thousands of Nepalese take these opportunities.

I thought about writing this post after reading some rather nasty comments about Turkish Airlines service and hospitality in Nepal and for Nepalese. Few months ago, Turkish airlines started four flights a week route between Istanbul Ataturk International and Tribhuvan International. This might have been the first service that connects Nepal with the western world since the discontinuation of Nepal Airlines's service to Europe over a decade ago. Istanbul is a great city and is a premier destination for travel and business purpose. Turkish Airlines operating this route is a great opportunity for our country.

I am not trying to defend Turkish Airlines service not the complains of Nepalese travelers. I understand the plight of both sides. I probably will use this route in month to come primarily because of the economic price and takes much less time during my journey. I have heard cases like missing flights, bad customer services, long waits after missed flights, frequent cancellations an delays and many more things. One of the comments was that this traveler was not given a transit visa for over a 12 hours layover. Things can be improved, but remember where you come from. Look at the strength of your passport. Understand the history behind politicians and athlete going out of contact in other couturiers. Hope that, in near future, Kathmandu route will be eye candy to other companies or hope that our domestic companies will grow up and start services far away.

Following things "could" change the way we Nepali people travel forever.

  • Increased and stable income with high per capital growth rate (a line that probably every poor country knows)
  • Strong foreign relations and international trade and commerce ties with developed and fast developing countries 
  • Foreign direct investment in Nepal and availability of skilled labor and their job security.
  • Attitude and performance of diplomats, politicians and professional athletes who compete abroad. 
  • and many more...... (add the points I missed)
With the new constituent assembly and hopes for the better future, we can only hope that situations will improve and hassle free travel opportunities will be in reach of an ordinary Nepali .

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