Safety and Security
Fueled by an unstable political environment, there are periodic small-scale improvised explosive device (IED) incidents throughout the country and youth wings of political parties continue to engage in violent extortion efforts.
Bandhs (General Strikes):"Bandhs" (forced closure of businesses and schools and halting of vehicular traffic) occur in Nepal frequently and are commonly used as a form of political agitation. Bandhs tend to be unpredictable, may include violent incidents, and may take place without any prior notice. In past years, bandhs have lasted for periods as short as a few hours to as long as several days or even weeks, causing acute shortages of daily food supplies and bringing vehicular traffic to a complete halt. Individuals who do not comply with a bandh may be harassed by bandh organizers. In the past year, bandhs have been most frequent in the Terai, with fewer significant bandhs in the Kathmandu Valley. Bandhs in the principal trekking areas are infrequent but do occur from time to time. Although bandh activity generally is not directed at foreign travelers, tourists attempting to defy bandhs may be subject to intimidation and/or violence.
During bandhs, U.S. citizens are urged to avoid all unnecessary travel. If travel is necessary, you can check with the U.S. Embassy, with local police by dialing “100,” or with traffic control by dialing “103.” The police can advise which routes and forms of transportations are advisable to use. If you are planning air travel to or from Nepal during scheduled bandhs, be aware that transportation to and from airports throughout Nepal could be affected, although bandh organizers often allow passage of specially marked buses operated by the Nepal Tourism Board to circulate between the airport and major tourist hotels. Consult the U.S. Embassy website for security-related messages for U.S. citizens, as well as the Nepal Ministry of Tourism for the latest security information.