Categories Nepal Recent Discoveries

A Journey Through the Streets of Nepal

Saturday, July 12, 2014
A Journey Through the Streets of NepalLike0

A Journey Through the Streets of Nepal

By Rama Darwish

If you are like myself with a natural tick, an itch, a need to get that fix, traveling from somewhere to anywhere new at least 2 to 3 times is a must! So cities began popping up here and there but organically we landed in the arms of Kathmandu followed by our next stop Lhasa. This is not a diary about hiking or trekking but a discovering the cities and culture journey. Our first stop is Nepal followed by Tibet.

First Stop: destination Kathmandu, Nepal:

For our first stop my travel partner & myself agreed on a 3 day visit in Kathmandu which was absolutely sufficient especially when you aim to hit the City not a hiking or trekking journey which might need more time. Trip launched in the early month of June whereby we got struck by the magic wand of luck as we dodged the excessive monsoon rains that hit by night followed by the bright rays of light that shone bright by day! If you live in the UAE and wish to stay on a budget book via FlyDubai or AirArabia they have direct flights to Kathmandu a mere 4 hour flight which is great! For most VISA is not an issue you can obtain upon arrival or no need for one at all (needless to say please do check prior).

Pick a place in which most recommendations fall in Thamel street since it’s within the popular downtown district but then again you can go slightly further out for a more quieter venue as we did. If you are a fan as we are of boutique hotels Shambaling Boutique Hotel was our pick the price is relatively decent, clean and the staff are incredibly kind and attentive!

Travel light as a feather, believe you me you don’t need anything fancy, if you’re a fussy eater then get your energy bars/nuts/dried fruit what have you as the climate is hot and humid so energy boosters are a must along with buckets of water NOW if your tummy runs as free as your spirit then definitely indulge in the local cuisine, my all-time favorite was the vegetarian platter which includes dhal, butter masala, veggies (with some red sauce), white rice and butter nan!

Nepal food

Kathmandu: the Himalayan kingdom makes a great weekend getaway. The Nepalese people are beautifully charming and solicitous; they are extremely helpful yes even the guy who picked my pocket was not without redeeming points. So don’t be timid allow yourself to be generous in every way possible, turn that frown upside down. Yes, again you will need to be alert and aware, haggle rates but a piece of advice take a second in your head and do the math you will realize once the currency conversion is made that it wasn’t even worth the hassle! Give back with an open heart as guaranteed they will smile back and be gracious for your ‘foolish’ generosity as many may say. In the chaotic streets of Thamel street (a must stop) you will be showered by an abundance of invites into little gem shops for some shopping don’t resist or hesitate; from pashmina’s, to accessories or local apparel definitely worth a look and a purchase if not yourself for your family and friends back home! For a quick day rest to post some Instagram pictures pop in any hole in the wall restaurant (go with your gut to sit or not to sit) for some good food or tea/milk too. Unlike the rest of the country where dahl bhat is the normal fare, the chefs of the capital – long inured to catering to western whims – so, if need be will whip up any dish you want.

ART image Nepal 3

Kathmandu the city itself is crammed with culture, adventure and amazing sites from it’s narrow streets that open out into large palace squares that still exude much of the feel and charm they had when they were first built. It couldn’t be more different from the UAE’s high-rise, high shine streets-capes. But with just a few days to explore the vibrant city, here were my five must-sees while in the Kathmandu Valley (one already listed above Thamel district).

Boudhanath Stupa It may be close to the centre of Kathmandu but life at Boudhanath Stupa runs at a calmer pace. As it’s the focal point for Buddhists in Nepal (core religion), you’ll see many monks going about their daily lives here but tourists are still welcomed into the monastery. The stupa itself is also open to tourists although you are advised to give a donation on entry or exit. The surrounding shop sell a variety of traditional Tibetan jewellery, as well as locally hand-made clothes and souvenirs – but things here are generally more expensive than in the main shopping district of Thamel.

N9 Nepal 9 Monks Jewelry

Swayambhunath also known as Monkey Temple which is far more easy for us tourists, Swayambhunath is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offering uninterrupted views over Kathmandu Valley from its hilltop position, again like I said EXPLORE don’t hold back don’t be intimidated by certain sounds and sights, if anything switch your senses and instead I promise all will sparkle around you!

If you’re a book worm like myself & need your dose of words then to disconnect head to the Garden of Dreams – set yourself in the grounds of a colonial-style residence it’s a rare patch of green in the middle of the city, for some reason the minute you step in all that polluted city noise are automatically parked right outside the doorsteps of this serene palace.

READ

Pashupatinath is Nepal’s most important Hindu temple it has a distinctive gilded rooftop, intricately carved rafters featuring members of the Shiva’s family (Lord Shiva was one of the primary forms of God, one of the three most influential in contemporary Hinduism). However, tourists cannot enter the temple itself nonetheless a lot to see roaming the exterior and its surrounding buildings are definitely worth a look!

A heads up though for the faint hearted, in front of the temple it’s solely reserved for the open viewing of cremation ceremonies, and to add to that well basically there is a constant cremation in progress, followed by a ritual bathing in the river adjacent to log fire.

 

Only when lost one can discover the power of sight, from the streets of Nepal to the spiritual altitudes of Tibet

Next stop…Tibet

Cremation

 

Travel Junkie Diary

A bohemian traveler

2 comments

  1. monakaraoui says:

    Beautiful soul you are my ramz! Love this post xx

  2. Hanan Al-Shehri says:

    Reading that made me flashback to my journey in Nepal. Awesomely written.

Leave a Reply

Follow @ traveljunkiediary
  • I’ve been trying to (really focusing more this time) to wake up and sleep with affirmations. It used to help me a lot in the past then somewhere along the way, I stopped for a while.
I’d love to read what’s yours!! Everyday, I try to read and write new ones so here goes mine for today and I hope it resonates with you 💕:
“If I want it, I can attract it” Abraham Hicks
  • I am always surrounded by love (and water) because all I see is love 💕 
Happy Easter everyone!
  • A huge shift in my energy today as I start working on our next @travelwithtjd - Scandic countries holds an exhilarating amount of joy and peace in my heart, which I’ve learned not to search anymore for reasons to explain it, because some things cannot always be expressed in words. 
We have recently launched Sweden’s Arctic experience on @travelwithtjd other than Finland, Iceland and Norway. The link is in bio if you like to join our polar journeys and have an adventure of a lifetime. Only 2 spaces left for Sweden. Hope to see you on our TJD trips! 
Photo by @dennisstever 
#TravelwithTJD
  • Sunrise view from my room facing the Athenian Riviera from @fsathens from Arion side of the building which is more laidback.
I have to admit though, it’s good to be back home and back to a routine. I tend to pick up emotions from the people and environment around me, and from time to time, it’s good to be grounded. Thank you Four Seasons for a wonderful experience and congratulations on the opening! ❤️
  • It was 18 degrees at the most one morning, and the sun was shining. Jumped on a @fsathens boat and sailed to visit the Poseidon Temple and an afternoon lunch at hidden gem by the sea with the sweetest people. I love being on boats and grew very fond on them since I was very little. ❤️
  • I was lucky enough to have had 3 sunny days in Athens before the weather turned into beautiful rain. It was a great weekend celebrating @fsathens opening. This is one of the pools at sunset from Nafsika side with private cabanas on the sides. That’s my weekend, how was yours? ☀️
  • I landed in Athens couple of days ago to celebrate the opening of @fsathens - Four Seasons Hotel Astir Palace Hotel Athens is a luxury escape resting on a peninsula along the Athens Riviera, just 30-minutes from the historic city centre. 
I ALWAYS love coming back to Greece 🇬🇷
  • I’m caption-less this morning. Might be because my mind is either overloaded or too relaxed, does this happen to you? 😊 - but here is @joalimaldives from where I drone. Happy Thursday everyone!
  • Back in Dubai for 24 hours and summer has already begun here and there is no way I can manage to have Charlie look at the camera!! My summer plans are getting together and with a little inspiration from @theitalianwayuae we are adding Italy’s coast on our itinerary as well! #TheItalianWay
What are your summer plans?
  • Located on Muravandhoo island on the Raa Atoll in the northern Maldives, @joalimaldives celebrates the ‘Joie De Vivre’ ... the joy of living, the joy of everything ❤️
  • You’ve got to find that soul friend... You’ve got to find that person. I’ve always truly believed that. 
Those which answers to these questions—does our friendship feel easy? Am I better for knowing this person? Do they help me become closer to the person I ultimately want to be? Can we be quiet together for a long time?That's the person I want to be be forever friends with. That's my soul person. Do you have yours? 💫
  • I’ve traded my snow gear to flip flops! I’m always happy to be back at @joalimaldives and since the pre-opening, it has flourished so much and the island has come alive! I’m always impressed with the incredible work they do here in attempts to save the marine life, the co-operation they do for the local islands and the incredible staff that has become good friends of mine now! ❤️
How gorgeous is this overwater villa?