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
  • Legend says that there is an intangible string of fate that binds two souls destined to be together... Whether as best friends, lovers or two crossing paths.
Those connected are bound no matter of time, place or circumstance.
The red string of fate is derived from an ancient East Asian belief. According to this myth, the Gods tie a red string around the ankles of those that are destined to meet each other or help each other in a certain way.
And so, no matter how near or far you are from the person, the thread remains. 
There will be times when mentally or physically, you feel distant from the person, but that doesn’t affect the thread that binds you two together. 
If you feel that with a lover, friend, or someone you just met... take a minute to remember what you just read and always be kind to one another. 💫
  • She turns 7 and my world upside down and inside out. 
I gave her a heart stronger than a thousand warriors... but it will take her years to learn that not everyone loves like she does... and still... she will love. 💫
  • Are you at work or at the beach? 
I’m sitting on my laptop behind my desk at work... but all I want to do is be on the beach 🏖
  • You will always be the one person I’ll never stop looking for in a crowded place 💫
  • It’s been so good to be back to my second home in Dubai and back into routine work life. I know I’m very lucky to be always on the go, traveling and exploring but I crave routines sometimes. It keeps me grounded, a little balanced and back into my yoga practice. So I always try to have a balance of both worlds... even if it’s for a few days until I start craving the adventure again. 
A little bit of the @theitalianwayuae mood in my home this morning.
  • Maybe if I close my eyes strong enough and click my heels three times I could go back! Would that work?? Happy Sunday 😊
  • The Elephant is a symbol of strength, loyalty and power. In other cultures it also symbolizes fortune, protection and honor. 
There are 3 types of elephants: The African bush elephant, African Forest Elephant and the Asian Elephant. Which one do you think this beautiful elephant is from? 
Please don’t ride elephants and don’t support any organization that allows you to ride them 💕
@travel4apurpose
  • If you are a person who is always there for others, know that your heart is rare. 
Know that you have the ability to calm storms in people... know that you give people hope and feel like they have a purpose but, also remind yourself that your heart needs rest...
I just felt like sharing this today...💫
Thank you Bianca 💕
  • I’m craving the sun ☀️ who would you go with? Tag them
  • I’m not going to lie, 2019 is looking pretty damn big!!
That’s the only way I can think of expressing at the moment! 
A lot of changes happening in my professional career and it’s frightening in an extremely exciting way. Does that make any sense! 
Most of all, I’m so proud of what has become of @travelwithtjd and the beautiful team behind it, in which we are slowly building to help make it grow. 
In about month, I go back to Tromso to sail the arctic wilderness once again for the 3rd time, but this time, weather conditions will be even stronger than ever and all this will be covered in white snow!
2019 is opening more doors for conquering the polar regions and new windows for the southern regions. Hope I meet some of you on one of our @travelwithtjd trips!
  • Back in my element. From snowboarding to diving. I’m so in love with both but ready for the beach and warm weather for a little break.
Which do you prefer?
  • As we sometimes give all the love we have to others... we sometimes forget to love ourselves more. I’ve been on a little roller coaster ride the past couple days with mixed emotions... it’s a good reminder on how I need to always fight for what I believe in. 
Each one of us might be fighting a battle that no one probably knows of, or will ever know, so its always important to give people a break from time to time and let them just be. 💫