Will this address get my letter to where it wants to go in remote Nepal?
October 13, 2014 11:25 AM   Subscribe

Please help me decipher a Nepalese address so that my letter will get to its proper remote destination!

I'd like to send a letter to our guide from a trek in Nepal from a couple years ago. Here's what he wrote for his contact info, in labored Western characters [redacted for private info]:

[Full name]
District Dhading
Basarie 5 Ramcha
mobaal [may also say mobaas] [10 digit number, no spaces or hypens]

I'm guessing the last line is a phone number. I'm also pretty sure the correct Western spelling is Basari, which is a remote village in Dhading, and I've seen evidence of "Basari-1," 2, 3, and 4 online so the 5 makes sense. My Googling has turned up zippo for what Ramcha might mean.

It appears there is no street or zip code-type information in this address. That might be totally fine for a remote village in Nepal, but I just don't know, so wanted to ask and figured some Mefite out there might be able to confirm I'm not sending this into oblivion, since I don't expect to hear back.

If I throw these first three lines on an envelope with the word NEPAL at the end, will it make it there? Is there a way I can improve this address to improve the chances my letter will actually make it? It's just a letter, but it has some photos and a few leftover rupee bills in it from our trip.

Thank you for your help!
posted by letahl to Society & Culture (4 answers total)
Best answer: That mobaal is probably "mobile" with the 10 digit number ...

There are zip code equivalents for nepal ..they are called postal codes. but they might not be unique for a village .... the web site has the list of postal codes for dhading.

I am not sure if you have got "Ramcha" right ... there are similar sounding places in Nepal but not in Dhading, as far as the internet search and google maps tells me.

you could format your address as :

[full name]
Basarie 5
District Dhading, Nepal

And I think it might be helpful to add the mobile no. I have heard of post offices using the the mobile number to confirm/clarify the address.

The rupee bills might be a temptation, if someone figured out that the mail has some rupees in them. you should aim for an opaque, stiff packaging or leave out the rupee notes.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 12:09 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Dhading Phulkharka 45103 A.P.O. seems to be nearest to Baseri ... you might as well add it... people in the post office there should know where is baseri-5.

Hell, chances are they might know the guy as well.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 12:15 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

If that is in fact your guide's cell number (country code is 977), you should send him a text message and ask, labored English and all. If he is going to read a letter, he should be able to make out 160 characters, no? That's (probably) your best chance for it to arrive.

As of a few years ago, there was no reliable home mail delivery in Kathmandu, and I would expect that it would be even less reliable outside the Valley or the Pokhara area. Street addresses were not actually *in use*, although the government had decreed them, and locals often would not know their own house number or even, at times, the government-name of their street. People who expected mail would get "boxes" at a local mailbox shop, where the mail would actually show up regularly.

In short, I wouldn't rely on the Nepali mail if your guide isn't expecting it. Plus, as a guide, he probably won't be near home this time of year anyway.
posted by migrantology at 12:37 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hey all, thanks so much. With your help and advice, I trust the letter will make its way to Lok. He finished up the season in October and his family lives there year round. I have packaged the letter well, you'd never know what was in it without opening. And even if the few bills disappear, they will still be in a better place than languishing in my desk drawer.

Namaste, all. :)
posted by letahl at 7:28 AM on October 14, 2014

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