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Published: April 14th 2019
This is to get in. On the other side there is a
For the first time ever I had the best seat in economy. Front row, looking down the aisle into premium economy. Ie Lots of leg room. It was a great flight, I read, I watched movies, I slept. Awesome (perhaps Singapore air wanted to make up for the BestJet fiasco) The flight was late getting into Singapore although I still had an hours to make my connection to Kathmandu. Which was late leaving so it all worked out fine. The second flight I booked a window seat thinking I’d be able to see the Himilayas as we came into Kathmandu. I don’t know what I was thinking because it was dark when we touched down, so I spent 5 hours crammed in a window seat to see the lights from above!!
Once down, negotiating the airport was quite easy. Its not a big place and I was so glad I sorted my Visa before I came, there were three people in the queue. The queue for people getting their Visa on arrival was five miles long. Wandered through security and customs and out into the main hall. Lots of places to pre-book a taxi, only one currency exchange
What could possibly go wrong here?
and I really needed an ATM. I wasn’t able to book a cab with my card but I did have some US$ that I could use for the taxi and that worked. In true developing nation style the taxi was and experience. I’ve hoped into a car that is probably my age, noted the seatbelts did not work and then hurtled off into the night. I felt pretty comfortable as we drove through Kathmandu, lots of people and traffic and plenty of bright lights. However as we approached Bhaktupur the spidey senses started twitching. The roads are narrower, and clearly not fully developed. At one point my driver asked for the hotel number so he could call ahead. He stopped the cab, took my booking sheet and walked across the road to some friends to call the guest house. I’m left sitting alone in this rust bucket, in the country, very little lighting and feeling a bit vunerable. He came back after a few minutes and we were off again, down more narrow winding streets until we get to an old gateway. This is the entry to Dubar Square where my guest house is. Taxi driver calls the guest house
and the receptionist says they will walk down to meet us. I try to get out of the cab only to find the latch doesn’t work. The cabbie opens the door from the outside and grins, “Nepali door.” As we are waiting for the receptionist to arrive I notice a little sticker on the back window. “It is our responsibility to make the tourist happy” Then I realised my spidey senses were overrated and I’m safe. These guys want to take care of their tourists.
Some quick notes on my first experience of Nepal hotels. Now my standards are not high, as I tend to be tight on budget when it comes to hotels I have three basic requirements. 1) Room must be clean 2) bed must be comfortable and 3) wifi. Now on the surface my hotel meets all of these requirements. However, I picked this place because recommendations on Trip Advisor and Expedia mentioned the hot water, which I had been advised to look for. And I will say it does have hot water…in the morning. The bathroom however is something of a hazard. While it is impeccably clean, the toilet, shower and hand basin
all occupy the same space. So I have a shower and the toilet paper gets soaked. Not to mention there are exposed wires leading to the light. Which thank fully is above the shower little chance of electrocution, but still, a little unnerving. My biggest concern is the one step down into the bedroom. So here is me, naked, stepping of slippery wet tile into the bedroom and all I can think is…please don’t slip and break your skull McGrath.
Not to matter. I didn’t come here for the 5 star accommodation, and the main point is the room is clean and the wifi works. Also, on the upside, I slept like the dead. It is so quiet and dark at night here. It’s like a night in the country. The population here is only 81,000, but it is not far from Kathmandu, population 1.2m (according to my trusty LP guide) There was no traffic noise and I woke to the sound of roosters crowing.
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