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  16.03.2007 Formalities: Nepal
Date of Border Crossing 16.03.2007
Point of Entry Sunauli border to India
Passport and Visa Passport has to be valid for at least another 6 months and you need a visa to enter Nepal. The visa can also be obtained at the border but they will not issue a visa for longer than 60 days. Regardless of what you request. The visa can be extended in Kathmandu, and Pokhara. See Additional Information
Insurance I did not have a valid insurance for Nepal. Nobody checked or seemed to care.
Drivers License Did not get checked, but I am sure that officially you are required to have one.
Motorcycle papers You will need a Carnet de Passage to take your vehicle into Nepal, unless you have a vehicle registered in a SAARC country, which are excempt from customs duties. Also you need to have your 'vehicle passport' (vehicle registration papers) with you
License plates Own license plates are sufficient.
How it went

The first building on the right as you pass the border is the immigration. Here you will be given and entry form, and a visa application if you do not already have a visa. Fill both forms out, and return them along wiht a passport picture for the visa. Pay $30.00 and you will receive your passport with a stamped visa back in approximately 10 minutes. Simple and painless.

The customs is just down and across the street from the immigration. The procedure is a little more time consuming than immigration, but overall not too bad. The Carnet guy will fill in his book, you will sign it. He will stamp your carnet, and run off and make a copy (Some people have had to pay a nominal charge for the copies, I did not). For some reason at Sunauli the guy who fills in the Carnet, insists on putting a 60 day limit on it. No amount of insistance gets around this. This causes problems later on as you will need to extend the Carnet if you want to stay longer than 60 days. Officially the temporary importation of vehicles is 6 months, but for some reason he will make it the same length as your visa. (See Additional Information)

Point of Exit Tribhuvan airport (Kathmandu Airport)
How it went

Getting to the airport early is important as it can get pretty hectic. Other than the usual security checks, the most important thing is to go to the bank and pay the airport tax. The tax varies and is cheaper (by about 200Nrs) if you fly the national airline out of the country. Currently the airport tax is 1690 Nrs. Once this is paid, you can check in. Don't bother going to the line before paying the tax as they will send you back. After that the immigration and gates are upstairs. A taxi from Paknajol will cost between 300 and 500Nrs depending on how well you bargain, I recommend having the hotel/guesthouse arrange the taxi and the price, it saves on a lot of hassels. Also see "Changing Money" in the Additional Information.


No issue, fill out a departure form and get the passport stamped.


No issue, as the bike was shipped per container. Read the whole story here.


Additional Information

Extending a Visa:

Getting the visa exteded in Kathmandu is fairly painless. The immigration office is on Durbar Marg, across the marching field from the Kathmandu Mall (N27 42.119 E85 19.027). You fill in your visa application form, which a couple of guys there will help you fill out. Stand in line at one counter where they take the form and passport, and give you a receipt. With this receipt you pay your 2000Nrs at another counter, and you can get your visa in 3 hours or so. The time is noted on the receipt that you get.

The guys who helped you fill in the application form, will, for a fee promise to return your passport in 10 to 15 minutes!

The visa will be extended for a maximum of 30 days at a time, and they literally count the days.

Extending a Carnet:

In order to extend the carnet, you will need to go to the airport cargo/customs building (N27 41.417 E85 21.173). If you approach the airport from the south it will be just north of the juction, around 1km south of the Airport entrance. If you come from the north, just pass the airport and the building will be on your left 1km further down. They don't start work until 10.30 or so, and the head customs guy doesn't show up until around 11.30/12.00, so don't bother going early.

You will need to see the chief customs officer, he has an office upstairs, and one downstairs, so pick one and explain what you require. They will track him down and he will then send the document around to get some signatures, and a stamp and you are on your way. They will need to see your passport, and will extend the canet to the date of your visa. The time I did this, it was news to them that there was a 60 day limit on it, and insisted that customs officer at the border had done it wrong. The actual lenght being 6 months. Of course they weren't willing to extend it that long themselves. And extending the visa for more than 30 days is also not possible.

The whole procedure from the time the chief customs officer got there to the time I got the document back in my hands was 1 1/2 hour. So bringing something to read isn't a bad idea, as you will just wait while someone runs around getting the relevant information.

Changing money:

You can change your Indian rupees at a set rate (1.6 to 1, see below), at the "Change" booths just down from the Nepali immigration office. The Nepali rupee (Nrs) is pegged to the Indian rupee (Inr) so the change offices will charge a comission or surcharge. The rate is 1.6 Nepali to 1 Indian rupee. Of course all other manner of currency transactions are also available at these booths.

On leaving make sure that you get rid of your Nepali rupees.

At the airport: Other than the airport tax, there are no other fees or costs involved. The waiting lounge area has a snack bar and duty free as well as internet and kiosk, and a bank (which is NOT open for the early flights), so do it downstairs where you paid the airport tax.

These are the details of the border crossing into this particular country. The information is correct as of the date on which the border was crossed. But, due to the stability and vagaries of the regimes involved, it is prudent that you get additional data directly from the embassy involved, preferably in your own country. Also you should keep in mind that the procedure can vary depending on exactly who is on duty. So never assume anything is a particular way, and regardless of what anyone says, the impossible is often possible if you are in the right place at the right time. Good Luck.


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