Blogs from Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal, Asia

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Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu » Thamel April 27th 2019

Woke up at 05:45 to pack the duffel bags for our 06:30 pick-up. A bit of confusion on check-out which I had half expected in regards to the lunch and dinners on the first day. Rusha had confirmed the company would pay for the first day’s meals, but the hotel did not know about it, so Mitch paid for them and will deduct the costs from the money owed for the bungee jumps. The same guy who picked us up from the airport took us to the bus station and had our tickets and seats organized. It was just a 15 minute drive to the bus station which was near the airport so we had a 30 minute wait before the bus left on time at 07:30. It was pretty hairy ride with only a 2 ... read more
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Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu » Thamel November 4th 2018

We had another early hours alarm to be ready for collection by Ransinga and our driver at 7.20 am. I can't say I leapt out of bed raring to go! Still, we didn't have to travel far to the airport - five minutes and we were there. I was really sad to be leaving this wonderful country and its people behind. I had grown especially fond of Ransinga, who had a brilliant self-deprecating sense of humour. He described himself as tall, dark and handsome - I could grant him the dark and handsome bits but he was smaller than me! He said he felt sure we would meet again, in either this life or another one. And of course I never got to meet King Jimmy 5. He has said his only wife is the only ... read more
Kathmandu stringy light boys
S chillin' with a beer
Festival dog

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu » Thamel October 25th 2018

After three nights at the Newa we relocated to our next (original) hotel. We'd had a wander around previously to see what it looked like but we couldn't find it in the rabbit warren of streets. This time we stumbled across it almost by accident as we killed time waiting for our luggage to be collected from the Newa. What started out as a walk turned into a complete relocation as our new hotel-keepers insisted we stay, even though we had a dog from the Newa who had 'adopted' Steve in tow as it had decided to join us on our walk. We felt we had not said a proper goodbye to Prem but decided not to go back as he would have had hundreds of questions for us about our new lodgings. You may have ... read more
Prayer Flag Street
Electrical Gizmo Street
Janis and the rubbish

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu » Thamel October 23rd 2018

Did you know that the Nepalese flag is the only one in the world that isn't square or rectangular? Me neither. It's like two pennants stuck together and is all the more interesting because of that. We initially decided to stay in Kathmandu because our future plans included trips to two nearby countries both at reasonably high altitudes. Kathmandu was the closest we could get and acted as a 'hub' for both countries. It would also mean we could acclimatise in the slightly elevated altitude of Kathmandu before moving higher. It is, however, also incredibly difficult to get all the visas and other documentation in place independently so we started to investigate using a 'facilitator' many months before leaving home. It was all a bit of a lottery ... How did we know that the names ... read more
Nepal map
Achut ManCanDo (left)
Getting my dog 'fix'!

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu » Thamel October 22nd 2018

The journey to the airport was super-quick - don't know where all the traffic had gone. In fact, we were too early to check-in but we were soon on board the 9.00 pm Qatar Airways flight from Amman to Doha, in Qatar, where we would transit. The plane was lovely, an A350 XWB, with loads of films, entertainment, seat space, wifi and proper cutlery! It put BA to shame. We landed in Doha about midnight and the 3.15 hour wait between flights soon passed as I chatted with a woman from Oxford with not much of interest to say and a young man from NE England who I guessed was in the military as he was taking the long way home to Newcastle from Afghanistan via Kuwait, Qatar and Manchester. He was funny and entertaining and ... read more

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu » Thamel October 8th 2018

Returning from the monkey temple, yesterday, we had this interesting idea of just getting small bits of food in different places, which worked great. That evening and the next day, we took it easy, had some good conversations with mostly Marynard, but also Jarod and Julien from Germany. In the afternoon, we picked up a simcard. In the end we went to our non-preferred provider, ncell, which they say has great coverage in the big cities, but not so much when we go hiking. We'll see. The reason for the change is that after going to many different shops, we couldn't find one that offered a lot of data for a good price. We should have gone for the deal at the airport: 28GB for 1200 rupees (9 euros), but the best thing we could find ... read more
Mark climbing the tower
Simon climbing the tower

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu » Thamel October 6th 2018

We arrived in Kathmandu from Delhi the afternoon of Weds 3rd October. The small airport was very easy to navigate and the new electronic visa application meant we didn’t need to use any of our passport photos and speeded up the form filling process. Despite the fact they prefer you to pay in cash (ideally US dollars but all major currencies now accepted) they will accept visa with a 2% surcharge. Unlike our experiences in India we found everyone incredibly helpful and smiley. I even ended up chatting to passport control about the importance of work life balance for quite a while (I was the last in the queue). Our hotel picked us up from the airport for free and we were soon in our beautiful hotel, Taleju, in Thamel. We were greeted with mango juice, ... read more
The packing game
Cocktails!

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu » Thamel October 5th 2018

Arrived safe and sound. After some initial trouble passing customs, finding the right truck and getting trough the busy Kathmandu traffic, we arrived at our destination: shangri-la boutique hotel and had a hearthy welcome from the manager, Bino. Had food (an Indian curry for me) at a place I think was called 'French kitchen', with Holly from England, who we met in the bus. The next day we arranged a driver and guide and went to see Patan and the royal palace. We would never have found all the small places that were interesting. Nothing is marked. No street names entryways, signs, etc. So on the way there, we dove into a small alley / square, took off our shoes and went up the stairs into a house. At the top, there was a small 2 ... read more
Nice cloud formations over nepal
Our luggage, safe and sound
Welcome!

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu » Thamel May 31st 2018

We got a hot and sticky bus back from the mountains back into civilisation which took almost the entire day. First problem was a huge section of the road had disappeared into the valley so there were 3 diggers creating a new route to drive along. That took about 2.5 hours, then we had to stop at garage for some reason or another and then we had a tyre blow out as we were snaking a hill. By late afternoon we were back in the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu. We showed Jaap Shantipur Hostel and he decided to check in too. We all headed up to the roof terrace and sipped Masala Teas watching the sunset over the bustling city. After a long day cooped up on the bus we wanted to stretch our legs ... read more

Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu » Thamel May 2nd 2018

After a solid 17ish hour journey we arrived in Kathmandu. Wow we’ve missed Asia! As soon as we landed we felt the humidity and heat again, there was a plethora of taxi drivers wanting to be your best friend AND our bank card was playing up again -just like old times! We met “Binayle” and helped us out with a cheap fair for the 3 of us into Thamel (one of the districts in Kathmandu). He was kind enough to walk us to an ATM and our hostel, Shantipur. The streets were dusty, narrow at times, cows all over the show and loads of smiling faces. The streets were decorated with flags pinned up like bunting and the goods in the shops looked awesome! Also the prices were a welcome treat too. When we got to ... read more




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