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Health & safety

Dangers & annoyances

Kathmandu is frequently the focus of political demonstrations, strikes and even occasional curfews. These generally just affect transport but they can turn violent so are best avoided. Bandhs (strikes) paralyse the city every now and then, closing shops and shutting down transport.

The main annoyances in Thamel are the crazy motorcyclists and the limpet-like hash/tiger balm/chess set sellers.

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While you're there

Medical services

Bir Hospital (4221119) Government hospital where terminally ill Nepalis come to die; not recommended.

CIWEC Clinic(4424111; www.ciwec-clinic.com; 9am-noon & 1-4pm Mon-Fri) Just across from the British Embassy, to the northeast of Thamel and used by many foreign residents. It has operated since 1982 and has developed an international reputation for research into travellers' medical problems. The clinic is staffed mostly by foreigners and a doctor is on call around the clock. A consultation costs around US$45. Credit cards are accepted and they are used to dealing with insurance claims.

CIWEC Dental Clinic (4440100; ciwec dental@subisu.net.np) US dentist on the top floor of CIWEC Clinic. A consultation costs around US$35.

Nepal International Clinic (4434642, 4435357; www.nepalinternationalclinic.com; 9am-1pm & 2-5pm) Just south of the new Royal Palace, east of Thamel. It has an excellent reputation and is slightly cheaper than the CIWEC clinic. A consultation costs about US$40 (US$50 at weekends). Credit cards accepted.

NORVIC Hospital (4258554; www.norvic hospital; Thapathali) Private Nepali hospital with a good reputation for cardiology.

Patan Hospital (5522266) Probably the best hospital in the Kathmandu Valley, in the Lagankhel district of Patan. Partly staffed by Western missionaries.

Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (4412808, 4412363; Maharagunj) Reasonably well equipped (and carrying a ventilator), northeast of the centre.

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