We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Just how bad is the pollution in Kathmandu really?

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
456 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
Just how bad is the pollution in Kathmandu really?

I'm flying into Nepal next month for my first trip and I just got a Rough Guide. It makes it sound like the pollution in Kathmandu is almost guaranteed to make you sick, and they suggest you should only stay a couple of days max before getting out of the city.

I'm planning on staying about 3 months in Nepal so I had planned to stay about a week in Kathmandu, do some day trips out of the city, and get my bearings. However, if it really is as bad as they say, I'll change my plans and only spend a couple of nights there. I know travel guidebooks tend to be overly dramatic about everything, so it's hard to know how serious the problem really is.

So how bad do you find the pollution there?



Bethesda, Maryland
Level Contributor
428 posts
136 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Just how bad is the pollution in Kathmandu really?

The air is pretty bad, due to inversions trapping pollution in the valley from diesel buses and coal-fired brick kilns. I went to college in Los Angeles in the 1970s, and thought it was bad, but Kathmandu is worse. I picked up a bronchial infection there last December when we stayed a week -- it showed up on the second day of our trek and made hiking pretty miserable.

I smelled the pollution whenever a bus went by, and the haze (smog) is visible from any high point. For me, it seems to make the nasal passages raw and inflamed, and then they are a happy landing spot for any wandering bacillus or virus. For our trip next year, we will fly to Lukla just 2 days after we arrive, hoping to avoid the disease this time.

Destination Expert
for Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, Jomsom, Mustang Region, Namche Bazaar, Sagarmatha National Park, Annapurna Region
Level Contributor
3,450 posts
80 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Just how bad is the pollution in Kathmandu really?


Welcome to TripAdvisor forum for Nepal!

Kathmandu is pretty bad in terms of pollution. You will experience it soon but trust me that as soon as you go out of the town for some treks or tours you will feel glad that you visited this beautiful country. The hilly areas are amazing, not polluted and a lot fresh.

I stayed in Nepal for quite long, my office placed me in Kathmandu for quite long. In another hand my spouse is also Nepali. I left Nepal about 2 months ago. I could survive there.

If you are planning for treks or planning to out of Kathmandu then you shouldn't worry. Stay few days in Kathmandu then start exploring.

Good Luck!

Kathmandu, Nepal
Destination Expert
for Nepal
Level Contributor
2,291 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Just how bad is the pollution in Kathmandu really?


Kathmandu is quite bad during daytime. Night time specially after 9 / 10 PM is fine. Morning is OK until 7/8 AM then lots of vehicles starts moving on the road the the air becomes same. As said on previous posts you can stay in Kathmandu less and travel around other places.

4. Re: Just how bad is the pollution in Kathmandu really?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 25 October 2015, 13:16