Not so crazy taxis
Trip Start Jun 04, 2006
252Trip End Sep 04, 2007
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Last night we had dinner at a place called Rumdoodle, which is suppose to be a must see place here in Kathmandu. The food was really nice. Today has been a day full of interesting and different things which I have no idea where to begin. Firstly the trip to the surroundings of Kathmandu wasn't as crazy as I would have hoped to be! :) you may think I have lost the plot, which probably I have. But I was suppose to travel to five different things today using the public transport and taxi. But last night I managed to strike a deal with the receptionist at the hotel. Considering that today is a very holy day here in Nepal, most of the transport systems are either not functional, or if they are they will charge you double! So after having had a chat with the young receptionist I managed to get one of his friends who has a taxi, to drive the three of us for the whole day around the different places we wanted to go and see, the cost would be 2500-3000 ruppies, which is less than 30 pounds between the three of us
At 6:45 in the morning I received a call from the receptionist, telling me that the taxi will be arriving at 7:30 and that the cost with the village tour would be 3000 and without the village tour would be 2500. For the sake of 500 Ruppies we decided to go with the tour including the village. Got up had one of my phantom showers, made it down to the deception, went out to get some breakfast, from the German bakery by the way! :) and made it back to the hotel by 7:35. Of course the Taxi bever turned up till gone past 8! All that rushing around first thing in the morning was not needed afterall. None the less, the driver turned up and he happened to be a very pleasant chap!
On the way to Bandhanalk Stupa, which is the largest stupa or pagoda here in Nepal, I was looking outside the car window and saw this cute goat, and with a blink of an eye, away went his head! That took me by quite a surprise. I was told that there will be many sacrifices happening today all around Kathmandu, I just didn't expect it would when I am looking and admiring a particular goat! The sacrifices are very different to the Islamic sacrifice of the lamb
Our first stop was The Bouddhanath stupa. This is a world heritage site and it is situated about five kilometers noth east of the city centre of Kathmandu. It is the biggest stupa in Nepal, in terms of height and expansion. The Stupa is known as Khasti Chaitya, Khasau Chaitya and Khasa Chaitya. The Tibetan name of the stupa is Jyarung Khasyor.
From there we went to the Hindu temple. The name of the temple is Pashupatinalk. It is very similar to a Buddhist temple, only the men and the women are dressed quite differently. As you can imagine the women are dressed more in Indian style and the men have yellow dresses rather than red. The women in this part of the worlk use more cosmetics. In fact looking back on my travels in China and even in Africa, I don't recall seeing that many women with make up on. The closer we got to Nepal and in some parts of Tibet, cosmetics seems to be more important in every day life than it was back in China. And again as you can imagine the women here are not as petit as the ones in China
The third place we visited today was the oldest capital city of Nepal, Bhaktapur. This city literally is called the City of Devotees, it is renowned for its elegant art, fabulous culture, cxolourful festivals, traditional dances and the typical Newar lifestyle. Of which we saw none! :( One thing you come to realise, or at least we did, is that the squares of each of the different parts of Kathmandu valley are very similar to each other. By the end it felt like you have seen one, you have seen all! So by the time we got to Lalitpur and Patan square, we quickly visited the city and decided that we should have a rest and get some food. It was nice. We ate at the restaraunt called the third world country! It was nice, I had french fries and my favourit orange fanta, which reminds me of my good days in Africa.
The last stop was the village called Bungmati village. It is a very peacefull and pretty village. Away from the Chaos in Kathmandu. Steve and I were comparing thoughts, and we both think that as much as we have been lucky to be in this place, it is not somewhere where we have been given positive vibes and it is possibly a place that we both would like to come back to if we are doing some kind of trekking or hiking. It is a nice place, it is full of young, happy and hippy travellers, but the locals bug you alot into buying stuff and we both miss China very much. It is strange, China had some tranquility to it and it wasn't only because we had a fantastic group of people with us and a fantastic tour guide, but it was because people left you to do your own thing and no one came hassling you
We made it back to the hotel around 3:15, which was sooner than we thought, we said goodbye to our driver and headed straight to our room and collapsed on the bed! It was nice to have a short nap before facing the crazy Thamel again! Once you leave Thamel, Kathmandu seems like a totally different world. Almost free of any tourists. We hope that we can get some food tonight with Emma, as she is joining her new group tonight and she will be off to Bhutan for her new tour and Steve and I will be off to Thailand tomorrow afternoon. It has been great having Emma and the rest of the people on this tour. I am going to miss her as I was sharing my room with her for a little while. Now I can go back to bugging Steve! :)