Pokhara - Kathmandu - Delhi - Singapore
Trip Start Nov 03, 2009
40Trip End Jul 15, 2010
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Where I stayed
At the airport LOL
We are currently at Changi Airport in Singapore and we're chilling here overnight before getting a flight to Langkawi early in the morning, then it's a speedboat across to Koh Lipe and lots of snorkeling/scuba diving. Wicked.
Changi is probably the most hi-tech, efficient, vast and comfortable airport either of us has ever been in and we're holed up in a coffee place with 6 hrs free Internet and our bags on a trolley. This is the high life I tell thee!
So lets rewind a few days back anyway and explain a little bit about what else we've been up too
We got a bus from Pokhara to the capital and there happened to be a road block along the way as the Maoists were protesting (and rightly so) about the government and corruption in general. Pics to follow soon.
Ended up staying in Sacred Valley KTM branch as they were so cool with us in Pokhara, and once we got to KTM we only had one full day to do stuff as we arrived so late after our 9 hour bus journey through the hills.
Our last day in Kathmandu was spent with Monkeys, Buddhists, and stairs as we walked over to Swayambhunath to visit this historical site close-by to Thamel, we toyed with going to Bhaktapur (another Nepali district and one time Royal City) but felt we didn't have the time to do it and as we later found out a Bandh had been called for the next day (when we fly out!!) which is basically a nation-wide strike and if anyone such as a taxi is caught out working on the streets after 6am it's effectively game-over for his car, they won't hesitate in smashing it up
Anyway back to Swayambhunath AKA The Monkey Temple, it was pretty spectacular for sure, a huge site of immense historical & religious importance situated on a hill overlooking the whole of Kathmandu. The monkeys that frequent this place are really funny but also quite thuggish, especially if you are silly enough to eat food in their presence (we were warned of this!) and we managed to get quite a few pics of these local Macaque's doing all sorts of madcap stuff. After that we headed back to the hotel and met up with a few friends we met whilst trekking and had an Indian followed by cocktails (lots of cocktails), it was our last night and we were already resigned to the fact that we were going to have a very hard and stressful next day so we thought sod it, lets get drunk. Finally went to "bed" at 3am but due to the imminent bandh, we had to leave in a taxi at 5am to catch a 10am flight, which leads me to my next bit, Checking in at Tribhuvan International Airport. Never before have I ever witnessed such madcap, erratic but extremely funny methods in checking in people for flights. This Airport won't ever win any awards for style, comfort or service and resembles something from the 70's with it dated decor and crumbling interior. It isn't nice really unlike the rest of Nepal, even though they have a serious issue with rubbish/waste disposal.
When we landed a few weeks back things were easy granted, leaving became a whole world of pain involving constant "security" checks and general hap hazard behaviour from most of the staff employed there
Hotel Elegant is where we decided to stay after booking in advance. It was about about as Elegant as a sledge hammer. The 1st room we were given was so shocking that we demanded to get moved to another, this wasn't much better but it was just one night and we both needed a decent sleep after the previous nights revelry. Finished season 2 of The Wire and ate Chicken Tikka, Sof was fast asleep by 7pm and I followed soon after. The cab driver was booked for 5:30am although the way he drove was more akin to a Rally Driver or simply utter maniac. Some incredibly audacious driving for a 19 yr old kid and we had a fair few near misses en route to Delhi International.
Delhi does have a bad rep and I'm sure it's got lots of interesting places to check out but i'll be honest, i wanted to get the hell out of there as soon as we arrived.
Funnily enough a guy asked to sit with us in the coffee shop in Departures whilst he was waiting for his flight to London, we later found out that he worked at Water Aid and knew our very good mate Claudia. Small small world huh!
5.5 hrs later and after watching the truly diabolical G.I Joe movie we were at Changi in Singapore which is where we still are and will be for the next 12 hours...it could be (and has been) worse I can assure.