Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bhaktapur

I just heard lots of honking outside. Probably because of the snow, but the sounds immediately transported me back to kathmandu. Suddenly reminded of my evenings in Sanu's House where i'd sit in the library around 5ish with a good book and a pot of hot masala tea, listening to the sounds of incessant honking coming from the ring road in front of the guesthouse. I'd be starving and just waiting for it to be 6.30, so that I could head to the kitchen and have Sarita's amazing homecooked dinner. It was just something like 150rs per meal of vegetarian daalbhaat but it tasted so damn good and the number of  free refills I shamelessly helped myself to, i'm surprised she didn't kick me out of her guesthouse.

You know what, I even miss the honking.

Anyway, my second last day there I headed to Bhaktapur. Got on the right bus, got off at the correct stop (Suryabinayak) but then i immediately walked in the wrong direction. Mixed up my lefts and rights again..

Bhaktapur's a very interesting place, most visitors say it's like stepping back in time and i have to agree. Very quaint, full of nooks and crannies crammed with surprises, and despite the package tour groups going camera crazy in its Durbar Square, Bhaktapur as a whole is untouristy and has a genuinely authentic feel to it. Definitely worth a peep and a wander, despite the slightly pricey admission fee.

A few pictures.









Thursday, January 17, 2013

Kathmandu

I had very low expectations of Kathmandu. Most of the online reviews i came across weren't very keen on the pollution, the chaos, the touts. But you know what, I loved the place. Not hyperventilating with excitement at the thought of the dust and smog, but I loved the madness and the chaos, the overcrowded colourful buildings, haphazardly arranged. It's incredible to just wander around, lots of alleys to poke around in, and narrow congested roads that seem endless. All good fun, and the touts didn't bother me because i look local, or so i was told..


I stayed at Sanu's House, a homestay/guesthouse in Patan. Amazing place to stay, mainly because the lovely lady who runs the place goes out of her way to help you out. There were loads of little things she did that made my trip so much more enjoyable. Maps, suggestions, directions, endless pots of masala chai. Each time i was going to take public buses, he would come with me to the main road and help me get the correct bus since the signs were in Nepalese.

The rooms themselves were simple, clean and freezing cold in the winter. Mine had its own little balcony. There's a nice little library and wifi all day.



dusty road in Patan


Swayambhu




Durbar Sq, Kathmandu



Shahid Gate


random building

leaving Kathmandu


After a couple of days in Kathmandu, I left for Pokhara by bus. Didn't buy a bus ticket the day before and was glad I didn't because when I got to Kantipath (where the buses leave from) that morning, there were so many tourist buses and not many passengers. I could get a ticket right there for 500rs which was slightly cheaper than it would have been to prebook..

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Nepal

The past few weeks have been very exciting. Finally traveled to Nepal, a place which i've been wanting to visit for such a long time now! Picture from the 4 day Poon hill trek: