Crazy Nepali woman attacks British family on Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

During summer 2017 I was hiking with my stepson in the Annapurna region of Nepal. On that hike I called at a tea shop and there was an incident which I filmed which then went viral around the world. The video can be found here: Crazy Nepali Woman attacks British Family on Annapurna Circuit

Until now I have remained silent at the hate which I have received, the death threats and the disgraceful side of humanity that has been laid bare and aimed at me.

Nepal was, and still is one of my favourite places in the world. Rugged mountain ranges, lush green valleys, immense culture, and some of the softest, most gentle human beings that I have ever met who despite a tumultuous history still find goodness in their hearts. Every day is filled with the welcome of genuine individuals who offer hope, warmth and generosity. Hiking in Nepal is second to none, even following absolute decimation by the 2015 earthquake the Nepalis just put things right and moved on regardless. It is this endeavour for happiness, through poverty, hardship, natural disasters and a ruthless history that really does summarise how amazing the Nepalese are.

You shouldn’t haggle over $1.50

I have travelled to many countries throughout Asia and even volunteered at a rural school in India. Not only do I respect cultures, but I admire the discipline and the hope, and I have never ever disrespected any culture, anywhere in the world. On this website there are images of me dressed in a hijab in the Middle East, with my shoulders covered in temples, dressing modestly on beaches etc. It has been suggested to me that I don’t care for culture and that I shouldn’t haggle over a cup of tea when it costs just $1.50. The issue is this, first of all I didn’t haggle. Though in Nepal haggling is part of daily life and culture, on the trails I never haggle, even in the markets of Kathmandu I feel uncomfortable haggling and rarely do. I am the typical tourist in that I know I always pay over the odds for things due to my nature. Secondly, being overcharged in Nepal is commonplace.

 

Not due to dishonesty, simply due to the fact haggling is expected,

A price will usually be quoted on the very assumption that you will negotiate to a reasonable price. This is not what happened at the Deurali tea house. On the Annapurna prices tend to be relatively fixed, with you paying the same at all places. At the Deurali tea shop I was quoted three times the price. It is irrelevant whether this amounted to $1.50 or not, there are no ATM’s on the trail, trekkers carry only cash and they carry the cash they think they will need. Stories of hikers travelling with hoards of money just does not happen. If I paid 3 times the price for everything I would have left my stepson and I in a very tough position. The simple fact is, I was being ripped off and I paid it, knowing this. I simply made a comment acknowledging that I knew I was being ripped off.

You had your own mug that was 3 times the size

Not true and one of the early lies given out by the woman. When you hike anywhere in the Himalayas there are certain things you must consider. The main one is health. If I was to carry my own mug, I would also need to find a safe place to clean it every time I used it. What is the point in doing that when tea shops provide cups? How impolite would it be bringing my own cup and then giving this to someone to fill. I think that would be rude. Another thing to consider is weight, carrying my own mug would be pointless weight. I do carry a bottle, it is a bottle that filters the water and does not require cleaning, but protects against any waterborne disease, this isn’t needed for hot drinks as the boiling process eliminates any water borne diseases.

You stayed at the tea house and refused to pay

This was the first lie the woman told. Probably in haste as it didn’t take people long to realise this was impossible since she has no rooms at her tea house.

Getting produce to the village is tough

It is, I 100% acknowledge this. I have seen guys in Nepal carrying weight which is at the limits of human capability and it breaks my heart seeing people have to work that hard for such minimal amounts of money. But lets put this into perspective for a moment. (Despite the fact tea is grown locally)

Assuming a tea bag was used, lets say that 1 tea bag is equal to 2 grams.

Lets say that a local will carry 50kg up to the village. That is a total of 50,000 grams or 25,000 tea bags.

At the price of $1.50 per tea bag, that means the load has a value of $37,500

Considering the current GDP per capita is $2,400, that means that one person, for that one load, carried up to the village a load that would represent an average 16 years of earning for the average Nepali. Now lets consider the porter used a horse that can carry 100kg…

Lets be realistic here.

Also, the teashop runs a porter service.

You pulled a knife on the woman

This is the most ridiculous of all the lies that have been touted by the woman. In a recent video she claims that I pulled a knife on her. When I first saw this response I laughed it off due to how ridiculous an accusation it is, but what has stunned me is how many people actually believe this would happen.

In the Annapurna region the people are renowned for being hard working, for being the type of people that are fierce in the face any challenges. That spend their days doing back breaking work that would reduce most of the world to tears. To even contemplate that any tourist would ever, in the middle of the Himalayas and over the price of a cup of tea, would pull a knife out on a local is simply insane. It is so far removed from any reality that it has dumfounded me that people even entertained this would be true.

To pull a knife, or even pick up a weapon in this part of the world against a local would be suicide, not just amongst the locals, but the police too. I would like to think I live in a world where that simply does not happen.

I hit the woman with my walking poles/a stick

Again, this is so far removed from reality that it is pure fantasy.

The ‘truth’ video

In this video it is claimed that I asked the price, then haggled and then threw the money on the floor. This is a lie, I don’t know anyone that would act like that, it is a complete lie.

It is then alleged that I started filming the Nepalese woman with my phone, this is impossible as I use an old phone due to its a very long battery life and that has no recording capability. I had on my chest a GoPro 5 capable of 4k filming, all I have to do is say ‘GoPro record’ and it starts to record. I did take a photograph of the outside of the shop, I was writing an account of my travels and was going to later write about how stopping here would inflate the price of a drink to three times that of other places. It was in fact this attempt at a photograph that triggered the situation.

It is then claimed I pushed the Nepali woman and then pulled out a knife. As I have already explained this is just ridiculous. I will also add that the husband was there the whole time, at no point did he get involved. If what the woman says is true, he would have. It is then claimed I somehow managed to find a log and attempted to hit the woman. Again, not only is this so far removed from my character, that I don’t believe any tourist would even dream of doing this.

This woman has changed her story multiple times, to the point of fantasy.

The reality of what happened is simple. She ripped me off, I commented on it, paid it anyway and then left the shop to take a photograph of the name. She became angry and tried to hit my phone out of my hands, she then tried to me with a stick which I blocked with my walking poles. I then ran, she chased me and threw rocks before outrunning me and then going crazy over me. My stepson was running ahead as I screamed for him to get help, the trail was along a steep banking that would have meant certain death had I fallen and the man my stepson managed to get was not the woman’s brother as she claims.

I put the video on YouTube to show anyone hiking the Annapurna where to avoid and I still stand by that decision. This woman is dangerous, when I reported her behaviour at the next village people laughed at me explaining that this was commonplace, and she is well known for exploding at tourists, knowing she will get away with it due to the nearest police being far away in Manang. Her behaviour was not unique to just me, there have even been people comment on social media and this video that they came across this woman and she went crazy at them too, and one day I really do believe she will kill or seriously injure someone.

The Nepalese tourism board contacted me, and official statements were taken. They are aware of the danger she poses and I stand by my initial naming of the video: Crazy Nepali woman attacks British family on Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

I hope that bringing this woman to the spotlight and that by showing her actions I have in some way warned others of the danger this woman poses to tourists.

Stay safe on the trails.

Gemma Wilson

 

Author

Just a dad trying to live the dream with my kids.

40 Comments

  1. Praveen Rao Reply

    Hi Gemma – that video somehow popped up on my (UK) feed today and I am so glad you are able to put your full response here.
    I was looking for further information apart from the video responses painting you in a very poor light as you mention above.
    There are a lot of people all-too-willing to believe what they want to hear, and in their defence the level of irateness displayed would normally be attributable to some terrible grievance…
    Happy trails and best wishes! 🙂 Praveen

    • Whiteys supporting white people across the earth. Sad, but you righteous white will never get it.. all stick together, can’t even pay for a cup of tea… or 3 cups…

  2. I believe you 100%, but hay don’t let the negatives get to you, they existed before all this happened they are existing at this moment and they will exist into the future. Just surround your selfwith the positives, happy trails.

  3. I believe you 100%, but hay don’t let the negatives get to you, they existed before all this happened they are existing at this moment and they will exist into the future. Just surround you self with the positives, happy trails.

  4. Nathan Lee Reply

    Just pay it instead of insulting the woman. It was pennies.

    • Is that what you do when you are overcharged. When you have a finite amount of money and no other way to get cash.

  5. 3 times the price? Are you serious? You spend thousands of dollars traveling to and fro with your kids, and you really feel that you were in the right here? Have you ever eaten at a restaurant before? Do you think that it costs the establishment $2 to provide you with a soda? No, it costs around 20 cents. Seriously shame on you and your gross entitlement, making tourists everywhere look bad. You posted the video calling this woman crazy and it backfired. Seriously shame on you. I hope at least your kids will learn from your stupidity and the infamy you brought yourself.

    • Prices are fixed on the circuit, there are no ATMs en route, you have a finite amount of cash. My wife simply questioned why the price was higher, the woman was then triggered. You might go through life saying nothing where overcharged, potentially putting yourself and your child into a difficult situation. We don’t. And what has backfired? I’m in Nepal right now enjoying a beer watching the sunset.

      • I feel it is just communication and cultural gap
        Nepalese people are very patient until you provoke them
        It is my advised not to argue with Local residents or people
        It means people mis understand or take it otherwise
        For few bucks to put your and your family life in danger
        Mainly it is only communication gap
        If you become friendly kind to anybody he she will give you anything for free even to stay at thier premises
        They will ask according to your capacity .They may never ask local or Neighbouring countries to pay more

      • I just cant imagine how u people react with out reading??‍♀️
        She is in the mountains .,no atm
        And if i am the store owner .,why will i be this harsh .,we can all sit down and talk about any conflicts what if this tourist get into accident .,does it pays off for the that amount of money .i know its hard to earn money and keep up business but ,seriously are we that desperate to hurt people just for this ?if yes then RIP humanity??‍♀️

      • Tani Denisson Reply

        You’re stupid white bitch! A tea bag in UK is easy to get but in the Himalayas it’s difficult that’s why the price is 3x especially for tourist. Locals have difficult life so they give each other local price unlike you bitch feeling special. Your son is 15, not 5 years old. I don’t believe that you didn’t say anything to trigger the lady especially a British woman. No ATM?? Then why go there with less cash? Just because you’re white you expect special treatment. The lady won’t be harsh if you were friendly or kind enough.

  6. It’s clear, if the menu said 50, and the woman asked 150 she wasn’t right. This is not legitimate, even in the mauntains. In addition, you paid the price. She was angry because you photographed the menu. (I guess) She thought this would be evidence for you to take a report at the police. Whatever it was, threatening and attacking you, was a crime. Maybe this woman is mentally disabled, or at least she has a low intelligence. To be honest, I would have used the walking poles. It was a lethal threat. Me, or she. She didn’t leave any other option. You had a huge fortune that she didn’t attack you, because you couldn’t defend yourself. That wasn’t sure, not at all! That woman was unpredictable! Maybe the poles have saved you. Maybe she was afraid a little, that if you have to, you would use it to save your life. In my opinion, without them you would have been surely injured.

    • I just cant imagine how u people react with out reading??‍♀️
      She is in the mountains .,no atm
      And if i am the store owner .,why will i be this harsh .,we can all sit down and talk about any conflicts what if this tourist get into accident .,does it pays off for that amount of money .i know its hard to earn a living and keep up business but ,seriously are we that desperate to hurt people just for this ?if yes then RIP humanity??‍♀️

  7. YourCrazyNotThatNepali Reply

    Nobody could tell now what really happened there but for my opinion, it was your way of confronting her about your so called “OVERPRICED FOR A DOLLAR and half” (i still could not believe you saying this shit) that started it all. Maybe she made her story more complicated. Maybe, you were right about her doing this kind of intimmidation to the tourist. But this facts, you gathered it to get sympathy. You said it yourself, she’s crazy but you, knowing the fact that you have the higher way of thinking and to be even started arguing with her, what do you think you are now? Commenting on something you knew that is negative or bad to someone’s services or products right in front of the owner is never in a million will get into anything good to you. If you have a limited amount of money, if you explained it to the woman in a very nice and polite way, this will not happened. There is no way no way that that woman will chase you base on your reasoning.

  8. I think this is just a case of cultural ignorance/nievity. I used to sell advertising and on the wall of one small store hung a sign, “We shoot every 10th salesperson. The ninth one just left.” Maybe the woman was just tourist burnt out. The tourist may have been a bit beaten down already by the touts in Thamel. I’ve been cheated by so many Nepali. I just hope none say that about me; I’ve never lost more than I could afford and it doesn’t happen so often when you understand the culture.

    I’ve lived here for 7 years now and I love it, but people see me as a billionaire when the reality is I’d be very poor living on my small pension in the US. So, some Nepali think of me as a ‘tourist tree.’ Many westerners continue to spout how much happiness there is in the villages because ‘they may not have a lot of money but they have family and community.’ The truth is it’s a horrible thing to be cold and have to resolve yourself that you won’t get warm until July and seeing your children die in infancy, going to bed hungry and so many more indignities to the human condition. Poverty is a bitch. This was just so unfortunate. So glad the tourist lady didn’t take it out on all of Nepal. Nepali are really wonderful, warm, kind, gentle.

  9. Thanks for making this public! I’ve never been there but it’s definitly something i consider. I’m shocked after seeing this. I imagined it was a safe place. Never thought people would get attacked in such way in such remote place for such tiny amount. If that **** or any other psyco do this to me on a trail, i wouldn’t think long : somebody is going to fall and it’s definitly her! Wish she get burned someday soon..

    • Not so fast Mister.
      When you kill a Nepali in the mountains you get the group’s reaction. It is not an individualistic culture. You get linched. And then you get arrested by a corrupt police little man and you can rot in a cell, or pay a ridiculous randsom in order to get released.
      Who in his right mind is going into those mountains without a guide? The stupid do. It could costs you your life.

    • Chhoing Moktan Reply

      Hi i’m Chhoing and i’m from Nepal. But I live in United states, New York. And I think that lady in the video was probably asking for some more tips??‍♀️ But i’m not SURE about it though. When I always come to visit Nepal to meet my Families, other Nepali people thinks my family is “rich” because I live in USA even though that’s not true. Even my “Friends” from Nepal used me because I had “a lot” of money. I think that lady thought you had extra more money to give her the tips??‍♀️. But again, i’m not SURE though. And I can’t believe that crazy lady called you a cow ? which made me super triggered. And I think she’s saying that she didn’t had enough money or something like that. But for us, Nepalese, Those things are normal for us. Nepali people don’t really make a huge deal out of it if they have a fight with other people, Like the crazy lady in the video. But, You can surround yourself with positive and good people you like??. And just forget about it.

  10. The Nepali are free loaders, they are spoilt, many countries in the world support Nepal for over 50 years. They see foreign visitors as walking banks, they smile but they want your money only. This is also the case with the Tibetan monks, who are most infected with HIV and have got AIDS.

    But who goes by themselves into the Nepali mountains without a guide? No one does that in his right mind in the mountains which are not familiar to “walkers” and climbers, not anywhere in the world. The stupid do.

    Many Nepali women have mental illnesses and or have not husband available (any more) and have to survive on their own.
    Nepali people procreate like crazy hence the future of Nepal remains hopeless.

  11. Way to twist the truth! Everyone knows your expected to haggle i think this was explained to you but you were already dreaming of your trip and didnt pay attention if you dont haggle you have to pay what they say very simple concept! My 1st time cost me $80 for a ride that should have cost me about $10.The money you spent getting there had to be in the tens of thousands and your going to try to get over on some poor villager for $1.50? try getting a cup of tea in london for that price! It also doesnt take into account how expensive it is to have everything carried into the mountains. People like you should not be allowed to travel. I really try to see your point and from both the stories in the details your not being totally honest! The napalese people are known to be very warm inviting, and forgiving people, but whatever you did to make this woman so mad as to chase you onto a mountain trail im sorry it had to be bad. I also believe there was some miscommunication that did factor in. It’s sad that you really tried to twist this story over the fact you wanted to pay 50 cents for a cup of tea! had she had a camera or phone you could of been in a napalese prison for pulling the knife! Consider yourself lucky and for the worlds sake don’t travel anymore until you know how!

    • Dennis Woodhouse Reply

      I see you chose to believe someone who changed their story multiple times (the tea vendor) as opposed to the tourist who has video evidence.

  12. Hi Gemma,

    My name is Josh and I am messaging from a production company called Attaboy TV. I would love to have a chat with you about this incident if you have a chance. My email address is josh@attaboytv.com

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Josh

  13. WTF you were very lucky if someone throws money on me I would beat that person to hospital.

  14. Your post sounds very zen. However, I’m very suspicious of your “version of events”. This tea stall owner likely serves tea to hundreds if not thousands of foreign tourists. She gets it – if she’s rude or treats them unfairly, she won’t be able to make ends meet.
    If you wanted tea, you should’ve asked and made sure of the price and quantity BEFORE it was served – the same principle applies when you walk up to the counter at any Starbucks. Now, if you didn’t like the price for the quantity (2x, 3x. 4x volume of her standard serving size), then just walk away. WHY would you try to haggle AFTER you were served your order?
    And, if you didn’t do anything wrong, and this woman is truly crazy, why is there only a single video of this lady chasing only YOU? Why don’t other tourists also post videos of being chased by this “crazy” Nepali lady?
    You can show up in a really poor part of the world, but don’t have the heart to part with a quid or two for what you’ve rightfully bought, then better stay home. If you forgot to enquire about the price & quantity, and think you’re being charged more, just acknowledge and learn from your mistake. She was clearly NOT asking for all your cash that you supposedly claim were carrying.
    And if you’re so transparent, why only post part of your interaction with this lady?
    Own up to your mistake, don’t blame the poorest of poor for your shitty attitude.

  15. On your “you shouldn’t haggle for £1.50” section. You mentioned your volunteering/charity work in South Asia and you concluded it up with “It has been suggested that i don’t respect culture..”
    How does volunteering relate to haggling for £1.50? So in response to you shouldnt be haggling for £1.50, your only response was I didn’t haggle and haggling is common place in Nepal.
    Although, I will try not to jump to a conclusion, it makes me hard to believe that a Nepali woman up the mountain would chase your wife and your son with a wooden stick just for simply letting her “acknowledge shes knows she is going ripped off”. There must have been a lot of negative non-verbal messages; body language and tone of the voice, as how much can the Nepali woman understand English? Also, if the price really was that much of a issue, why didn’t you just not buy it?

  16. Hmmmm. I’ll say , there two sides. And after your taken the time to explain yours. I’m incline to believe you. I can’t really imagine any tourist in the middle of no where on a trek pulling out a knife.

  17. I believe you and I can’t believe the nasty comments on here.. I’ve lived in Asia for eighteen years including Nepal… Anyway, I’m sorry this happened to you and even more sorry for the hateful comments… Obviously they didn’t read the full article.. Happy trekking

    • I’m taken aback by the racist anti-white comments here. A lot of people have inferiority complex, which they try to compensate for by spewing venom and hate toward whites. I’ll leave you with this, haters: The only reason we know you exist is because you wrote a few hateful words on internet using a technological device with an operating system – all three invented by the white folk. Mull on that champs! By the way, I’m not white.

  18. Jean-Philippe Chaussé Reply

    You’re a white tourist. In this day and age, people will see you as evil. Its sad. Good on you for defending yourself.

  19. Paolo Rosso Reply

    Violence is always shocking and I’m very sorry that this woman had this scary situation but consciousness is very important.
    You belong from a country that made a crazy mess in that region, you can really feel it there nowadays too, there is a mix of huge admiration and hate towards England, a kind of Stockholm sindrome. You have to understand this and be aware of every steps you make.
    Plus is true that you are a white tourist being a rich Traveller in a region in which there is a lot of sufferance, you should be aware of it. Take some extra money before you leave to help someone that you think is in need on the way with no stupid ATM excuse, money are not heavy and if you keep in a secret pocket you don’t have the excuse to be scared of being robbed.
    If you take the picture of the place in the middle of nowhere in which their only income is from tourists, probably with a huffy and upset attitude, you are not a champion of justice, you are just a stubborn last creation of a colonial empire.
    I can understand that traveling can be tiring and a certain point you are not just able to be generous with somebody that is making a (very little) fraud on you, but if you can’t stand it you just avoid to go there.
    Violence is not only about fighting and hurting people, there is a very nasty violence embedded in the tourist existence in these places, smiling and being lovely in a very superficial way from their upper position but with no interest of having the shock of the context in which they are passing by, where there is a beautiful nature but people starve and die easily. There is no thing such “I help poor kids in a school” so I’m doing good when I can, your position is uncomfortable every moment every day , only acknowledging this can make you a conscious traveler

  20. i have had a similar situation. A man tried to double charge the quoted price and when I refused to pay, he started going up with the price. I started to walk away and he grabbed onto my arm shouting at me. I gave him a strong verbal warning and then turned to walk away again. He grabbed me again and that time I grabbed him back pitching him to the ground. I was immediately detained by police and spent the next couple of hours getting it sorted out.

    Watching your video, I will say that you acted with a lot of grace and mercy. Throwing rocks is dangerous and she could have really hurt you. The fact that you did not send one of your walking sticks across her head tells me that you never intended her harm and you have a lot of restraint.

    Thank you for sharing.

  21. Amina Shan Reply

    As soon as she said You English white people are “RICH” I knew instantly that she wanted money more than what was expected to be paid regardless of what it was you purchased… Now on a note she’s very lucky that you didn’t retaliate out of fear and adrenaline especially with a minor to protect

  22. Steve Wonder Reply

    Hi Gemma, I really feel for you for what happened. However, it would be absolutely wrong for anyone else apart from those involved to comment on this incident. Only you and her know the true story. I’m surpised to read all these negative/positive comments listening to just one side of the story.

    Don’t let yourself put off by this though. Confirm the charges before you use any services. Can’t say about in Nepal but definitely do this when you are in Italy!
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/07/british-tourists-complain-mayor-charged-463-lunch-venice/

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