Considering a move to Kathmandu. We would be living in the Lazimpat area most likely.
The shops closest by would be Bigmart, the larger BhatBhateni and Sureways. What are they like in terms of the quality and so on etc;?
Also the costs look VERY cheap, one house (3 levels, 5 rooms, partially furnished, photos look fine) costs close to £330 per month, using a currency converter. I've looked around and this seems fairly normal/higher than some simiar homes cost wise, and food costs (looking at BhatBhateni online, at least) are also very low. Does anyone know if this is generally the same across most areas of living- petrol, heating, electricity etc; ?
Also, pollution and traffic. Apparently both are problems in Ktm, and it can be foggy. Is the driving there safe in general or not, roads very packed/blocked etc; and is the pollution a big problem?
And finally- any advice/tips to do with learning Nepali (and the expectations about learning it), settling in, anything general like that? If you had the oppurtunity, wwyd?
We spent 6 weeks in Kathmandu when DD1 was 2.5yrs, DP worked in the local children's hospital (I can't remember the name now) & we rented a little flat just outside of Thamel. I 'stayed at home' with DD1 - spent lots of time watching the world go by & feeding pigeons in Durbar Square.
We did some shopping at BhatBhateni - you can get loads of stuff there, but I did think it was fairly dear for some things eg imported tinned tuna, not dear for rice/local goods.
I didn't drive but traffic was bad at rush hours. We got taxis & local buses around. Pollution also bad but not terrible, I think we might have been there at a good time of year though?
I didn't plug into expat scene at all but I believe there are playground etc through the British club. International schools too, two of my friends went to school there happily.
Yes, DC would hopefully go to The British School (which seems lovely!). Thanks for the advice on BhatBhateni, makes sense about the imported food costs I suppose. What are local buses like then? I don't fancy the idea of driving and currently walk to work, so would like to avoid the car aspect.
Would you have a car as a family? I think you would want one ideally, to be able to make the most of living there & being able to get out of KTM easily. It's a small city, you can see the mountains all around - beautiful. Local buses are ramshackle & crowded but okay (to my mind but I am used to roughing it!). DP found it perfectly reasonable to commute to the hospital by the bus (see disclaimer though!).
DH lived in Nepal before we had children (I didn't go, as was working elsewhere). He had a different experience than the one you will be looking at as a family. In general he enjoyed it, particularly the experience of traveling in the region.
He found working there frustrating at times (he was working mainly with locals and the Nepalase government). The electricity supply was not reliable, and he did have some issues in monsoon season (power lines in flooded streets / unable to travel). He found large areas of Kathmandu unsafe. And was briefly evacuated due to civil unrest -but this is about 9 years ago, I'm not sure what the political situation is like now.
That said he is enthusistic about the culture and people. We have since made off-the-beaten track postings work well as a family. You may need to be creative in terms of entertaining children - prioritise finding a house which they can really enjoy, a garden for them to play in etc, as you will likely be out and about less. In terms of medical insurance, check that you are happy with your Medevac centre - it may be a India from there?