Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
403Trip End Dec 31, 2018
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Where I stayed
Hotel Ganesh Himal Kathmandu
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Read my review - 4/5 stars
It is this, but much much more. It's quirky and full of contradictions. The sounds, colours and smells assault the senses. The many UNESCO World Heritage sights are bustling and full of Nepalis going about their business, rather than being overloaded with tourists.
Kathmandu is amazing, intoxicating and exhausting!
We arrived at the airport after a 5 hour flight from Dubai. The visibility had been amazing and we lucky enough to see massive snow capped mountains on the way, before we dipped into the Kathmandu Valley and its surrounding shroud of city smog
It is not the tourist season at the moment as it is Winter, and many of the trekking mountain trails are closed, however the weather was sunny and soon we were shedding our thick jackets. We were later to learn that the sunshine and warmth is on a definite time frame of between 10am and 3pm only. Outside of these hours it is COLD!
On arrival at our hotel, we were given a cup of coffee while checking in, waiting for our room to be cleaned, and also waiting for the vague possibility that the power might come on
We soon headed off out into the streets of Thamel, the general area most travelers stay around in Kathmandu and found ourselves a restaurant for a late lunch. A full meal for both of us with drinks cost us around $5A. Then it was to a bookshop where we found ourselves a fully photocopied Lonely Planet on Nepal for around a quarter of the price normally paid (with a promise of a 50% refund if we returned it). Now we were set to go out exploring!
The next day was a full day spent out on foot exploring Kathmandu. I think we probably walked at least 12 kilometers! We visited the amazing Buddhist temple complex of Swayambhunath high on a hill. It easily earns its nickname of "Monkey Temple" as monkeys are everywhere, showing off and scavenging for food. We shared museum and Art Gallery viewing with groups of excited and giggling school children in perfect uniforms who wanted to practice their English on us
Our final visit for the day was to Kathmandu’s Durbar Square. Durbar means palace and this was, until a century ago the home of the ruling king of Nepal. Most of the buildings are of 17th century and have masses amounts of intricate wood carvings (some of an extremely erotic nature - too erotic even, for this family rated blog!). the whole area is UNESCO World Heritage listed but life goes on as normal for those living and working there and we hardly saw any other western tourists there. One final thing before bed was to check out our route for the morning as we were to catch an early bus to Pokhara, another city, and while the bus stop was walking distance we would be doing it in the dark with our packs on so we did what we like to call a “dry run” to time ourselves and know we were going to get there on time.