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Kathmandu

Money & costs

Money

It is worth checking banks' exchange rates and commission - both vary. There are also dozens of licensed moneychangers in Thamel. Their hours are longer than those of the banks (until 8pm, later if things are busy), and rates are pretty consistent, though slightly lower than the banks.

Himalaya Bank (4250208; Tridevi Marg; 10am-7.30pm Sun-Fri) The most convenient bank for travellers staying in Thamel is this small branch, opposite the Three Goddesses (Tridevi) Temples. You can change cash (no commission) and travellers cheques (commission of 0.75%, minimum Rs 150), get cash advances on a Visa card and access their ATM here.

Nepal Bank Ltd (4221185; 7am-7pm) The main branch on Dharma Path near New Rd is handy if you're staying in Freak St; has long opening hours.

Sita World Travel (4248556; wu@sitanepal.com; www.sitanepal.com; 9am-6pm Sun-Fri, 9am-1pm Sat; Tridevi Marg) One of hundreds of local agents for Western Union money transfers and the closest to Thamel.

Standard Chartered Bank (4228474; Kantipath; 9.45am-7pm Sun-Thu, 9.45am-4.30pm Fri, 9.30am-12.30pm Sat & holidays) Has an ATM for credit-card withdrawals. It has a 1.5% charge (minimum Rs 200) for changing travellers cheques and Rs 200 per transaction for cash. There's no charge for a rupee cash advance on a credit card but you pay 2% to get the cash in US dollars. There are two more Standard Chartered ATMs in Thamel - opposite the Third Eye Restaurant and in the compound of the Kathmandu Guest House - and others on New Rd, Durbar Marg and a couple of other locations around Kathmandu.

Yeti Travels (4221234; yeti@vishnu.ccsl.com.np; 10am-4pm Mon-Fri) American Express (AmEx) agent, which has its office just off the southern end of Durbar Marg. It provides AmEx cash advances, purchase and encashment of travellers cheques, and client mail services.