Blogs from Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, Asia


Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu Valley October 2nd 2020

I can’t put off writing this travel blog any longer. And I resent writing it now – as everyone who had fantastic travel plans and had to cancel them resents the way covid has changed the world. Though I should consider myself fortunate that covid has affected only my travel plans. I had a week in Nepal in November 2019. I went from meeting to meeting not leaving Kathmandu to establish collaborations and plan subsequent field visits for my research. Then two weeks in Nepal in February 2020 where I visited project sites in Kathmandu Valley and the lowland Terai region. The next visit in April was going to take me to the projects in the high Himalayas: in Mustang, in Far West Nepal, and around Tsho Rolpa Lake. From a research perspective, my project suffered ... read more
Langtang peaks from Shivpuri Nagarjun National Park
Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple), Kathmandu
Rhino in Chitwan National Park

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu Valley April 28th 2019

As usual, woke early at 06:00, we all met for breakfast at 07:30 in The Beatles room as usual and got a call from our guide at 08:30, but when we got down we couldn’t see him but could see our van so we went out but no guide. We asked the driver, who was the same driver we had on our early city tour, and he said the guide was in the hotel lobby so we got him to go back with us and point him out. Finally found him sitting in a low chair near the travel desk and off we went. His name is Som and he was a little hard to understand but he tried hard. It seemed like he had set spiels for certain places and he would rattle them off ... read more

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu Valley April 14th 2019

After breakfast we met with our trek guide Sudarshan who is also taking us to today’s visit to Shivapuri National Park. It took about one hour to drive there but that’s when confusion started. First we stopped at a point on the road going up and Sudarshan said some people hike from this point but he said we could also drive further up in the jeep if we wished. Luckily as it turned out, we opted to drive further up and we started our hike at around 10:30am. Our impression was that the hike to the top would take about 2.5 hours and then 1.5 hours down so we were happy with that but the reality turned out to be much longer than that. The first part was walking gradually upwards on a dirt track but ... read more

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu Valley April 13th 2019

Pick-up today for our tour of the Kathmandu Valley was at 10:00 so we had plenty of time to enjoy our buffet breakfast as we all managed to be ready by 08:00. Mitch, Krissy and Nick even had time to do a bit of shopping before the pick-up time. Our guide today was Prem and our first stop was to Swayambhu Stupa, better known as Monkey Temple because the huge monkey population that inhabits this temple complex. Thankfully, the monkeys here are not at all aggressive like some you encounter in other Asian temples. Prem says they are well fed. Whulst there we had a go at tossing a coin into lucky fountain and we visited an art studio specializing in Mandala art and special paintings for meditation. Being our first temple probably made this visit ... read more

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu Valley December 24th 2018

With an extra 12 hours what do you do to pass the time? First, you sleep in and enjoy a warm shower. Next, move your bags down to the lobby to avoid being late for check out. Finally, you roam the roads because you realize you can’t drive and have no idea who or where to ask for a ride to go somewhere to see something. Finally, you find a sunny roof top cafe with live music and spend the rest of your day ordering more food than you realized, drinking a nice coffee and people watching. Not a bad way to kill some time. Back to the airport prepping for more travel. The Buddhist Wheels went all around the temple and were aesthetically and philosophically one of my favorite parts of the Kathmandu tour.... read more

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu Valley December 23rd 2018

The day of fear has come and gone. I was dreading being on a bus for 7 to 15 hours and not feeling well. Yesterday, Raj was trying to prepare or terrify me with what to expect. He said it was not uncommon for the bus to get stuck in a traffic jam due to other people popping tires, breaking axels, or engines overheating. I committed to refraining from eating and drinking anything but water during the journey and we made it back to our hotel in 7.5 hours with no major incidents. Going the oopposite direction this was not the case. There was one semi that had two flat wheels and another had been there long enough for the owners to have started a fire by the side of the road and started cooking. We ... read more

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu Valley November 27th 2018

The Sunderjal Chisapani Nagarcott trek. I had knowingly let things a bit loose on this trip. My intention was always to go with more than one other person in addition to the guide. This would have given encouragement from fellow travellers and made the exercise to come within the budget. Unfortunately Bimal (the manager at the hotel) dragged on the issue too long and there were no others to go with me. To compound that our guide did not turn up till 10AM and it was 11 AM before started the drive to Sunnderijal. With traffic and road conditions it took longer than 1 hour. So it was well over mid day when we started on the trek. Our estimate was that it will take approximately 6 hours for the trek and we will be in ... read more
at Sunderijal with Kumar
Steps on the trek
Narrow slope up

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu Valley November 23rd 2018

Thamel and Chandragiri Hills. I had no problem when I get back to the hotel. Just tired a bit, and after a shower decided to take a lie down and rest which was a mistake. I fell asleep and. When I got up after a couple of hours had to struggle even to get out of bed. Just severe aches mainly on the calf muscles. It was evident that I am paying for lack of training. In a way I was lucky that the pain was setting in only now. Had it hit earlier it would have been necessary to carry me down. Realizing the condition I decided to walk it off, starting very slowly. Within 15 minutes it eased a fair bit band I was able to manage to move more freely. I met Pat ... read more

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu Valley October 9th 2018

Left the hostel at six'ish and walked to the bus pickup point. There was a bus stop for three or so busses and every 10 seconds a new bus came and another took off. All with just Sanskrit texts on the front and a guy at the entrance that has a lot of money in his hands. He shouts the name of some places, people get in, pay him and the bus gets off. Yesterday, we found that the bus is about 700 roepies pp, but you have to call to make arrangements. In Nepalese. 'your hotel can do that', the site says. They did, but took almost 30% commission on it, without saying. Still, just a few euros :/ We had some time before 6:30, but couldn't see how we would recognize our bus. Asked ... read more
We had the blue bus
Road is OK here
The view

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu Valley June 10th 2018

The flight time from Dubai to Kathmandu is about 5 hours so I decided to splurge an extra $60 for a front row seat with lots of leg room (both ways). It is amazing how few people are willing to pay a few dollars for a little comfort on generally uncomfortable aircraft. Total cost at this time of the year is $400 return, this is the only good thing about living in Dubai. I cruised through the airport so quickly that my hotel transfer had not yet arrived, so we had to wait for about ten minutes in the muggy evening heat, I pack extremely light these days with one 35 litre backpack which makes quick airport access and exit assured. We arrived at the hotel, confirmed some arrangements for the next day and got to ... read more
Patan Durbur
Patan Durbur
Patan Durbur

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