Are solo women travelers safe in Nepal?
Your safety is our utmost priority!
You will notice that you are of interest to the locals mostly because you are a foreigner and your gender. However, you soon start seeing that they are just as curious about male visitors. Here are a few helpful tips for a woman who is travelling solo.
Most parts of Nepal are generally safe and secure for women travellers. The Nepalese are quite curious but tolerant at the same time rather than a threat or danger to single travellers. You might come across some young men in bars who fancy themselves as Casanova in towns and cities, but most Nepalese men, especially in the villages, are chaste, very modest; they are mostly respectful and welcoming to foreign ladies.
It is quite unlikely to encounter sexual harassment that could upset your travels: you might get the occasional staring, catcalls, or even an attempt to brush against you in a crowd, but it is nowhere near as bad as in India or some North African countries.
It is better to avoid revealing clothing, cover up your legs, wear loose dresses, etc., to prevent unwanted attention. It is safe to go trekking on your own if you have done it before and are experienced. However, some individual trekkers go missing, never to be found again. There have been attacks and murders of solo women trekkers in the past. It is advised to take a guide with you if you are on your first trek. You need to choose the right guide; it is recommended that you meet several guides, ask their bosses if the guide has been reviewed on Trip Advisor, etc., so you can read about previous trekkers’ experiences with the guide. It will be a disappointment if the guide who is supposed to be your protector turns up being an annoyance from sexual advances. Ask the guide you have chosen if he is married and if he has kids; talking about his family on the trek discourages the guides from making sexual advances. If you are looking to have a relationship with a Nepalese man, there is a long tradition of women travellers falling for their trekking or rafting guides.
If you are looking to travel with other female travellers, you can easily meet them at renowned restaurants or bars and clubs in cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara. It is always safer to have company if you want to trek without a guide. Family-run guesthouses in towns and villages are the right place to strike up a chat with local women. It is best to bring your feminine necessities such as panty liners, tampons, or sanitary pads (this can be helpful to even a guy)
In one group, some group members had caught the stomach bug in Delhi before coming to Nepal; while most of them recovered in a couple of days, one guy suffered from loose motion for longer. Finally, he confessed to using his wife’s sanitary pad, saving him from soiling himself and embarrassment.
If you visit Nepal for the first time and want safe accommodation, always opt for hotels or guesthouses near or in the central tourist areas close to transport hubs. For first time visitors, it is better to invest in a mid-range or highly recommended hotel. Many of these hotels offer complimentary airport transfers. Paknajol is a famous area in Kathmandu, while the lakeside is the central tourist hub in Pokhara. If you are looking for a place to stay in Chitwan, then the main road has some hotels, lodges, and resorts for all budgets. Always carry a flashlight with you and avoid walking alone in dark, isolated streets to be on the safe side.