LETTERS: Cheap destinations

Apropos of the news story “Pokhara best value city for budget visitors” (THT, June 12, Page 15), Nepal seems to have become a hot subject for international agenda.

After hogging limelight in corruption index, environment, poverty, development, free press etc it is time for Nepal tourism ranking, price-wise.

It is ironic that Forbes magazine, which lays its claim to fame by ranking richest people on earth that can buy out Pokhara and Kathmandu if ever they were on sale, should waste ink and paper on coming up with the list of top 10 cheapest destinations placing

and Kathmandu as the first and sixth cheapest places to visit on planet earth.

Travellers who visit these twin Himalayan tourism citadels anticipating a room, three meals, three beers, two public transportation for the prices advertised by Forbes will get shock of their lives.

The cheapest room I received during my recent ‘ghumfir’ was Rs 600 for a night, Rs 200 for a meal of strict vegetarian dal-bhat delight, Rs 350 for a beer on a highway eatery.

That would total to Rs 2250 or USD 20.98 a day for room, three meals and three beers. Of course, if you drink beers at a shop you can get it for Rs 200 a bottle. Local city bus transportation, however, is cheap if time and convenience are not a problem. What about VAT, TSC, entrance fees? It costs USD 10 in Bhaktapur alone.

The Forbes prices seem to have been inspired by the ancient Fodor’s guide when rooms in the world famous Freak Street was available for Rs 5 or less, noodle soup for Rs0.50, lemon tea for Rs 0.15 and hashish for Rs.0.05 a stick during the happy hippy days.

I might be dim-witted but cannot figure out how USD 15.79-USD19.71-a-night tourist will help the tourism entrepreneurs unless they are a one or two-man business operating out of quake-damaged house, or rebuilding the country wracked by 7.6 and 6.9 quakes last year.

If we get two million tourists at these rates, we will all go back happily to tilling and toiling on paddy fields.

We can ask the tourists to join on our farm for USD 20 a day to their credit.

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu


This refers to your thought provoking report “Road accidents continue unabated” (THT, June 12, Page 4). More than 1,200,000 people are killed in road accidents worldwide every year.

It is not the speed but poor road conditions and inconsiderate pedestrians that cause the frequent road accidents and subsequent fatalities.

Very often, it is the result of an unpatched pothole that exists for months or some uneven or rough patches of road, sometimes caused by the government agencies that dug up the road and did not repair them on time.

The most important method to bring down accidents is strict enforcement of speed limits. 90 % of accidents can be avoided by strict enforcement of speed limits.

Heavy penalty should be imposed on all those who cross speed limits. If this is strictly implemented, nobody will dare to go at high speed.

Existing speed limits should be brought down further.

Vinod C. Dixit, Ahmedabad