PART 1 - NEPAL and TIBET
Kathmandu Travel Blog› entry 1 of 30 › view all entries
Welcome to KTM. We got off the plane at an airport that can be best described as an Italian/Maltese cane farmers house from Ingham, straight out of the 70's.
The airport was as quiet as a mouse because of a 3 day transport strike. We slipped through customs and realised that the only money changer was back inside. So I just smiled and walked back past everyone including the officials, changed some money to get into town and walked back out through customs with nobody blinking an eyelid, except for the tourists still trying to get through customs.
Anyway because of the strike, we decided to catch the bus that had 6 armed police on it. Without incident we made it to Thamel a suburb in KTM where the majority of the tourists stay. We booked into the Red Planet Hotel in the heart of Thamel at a cost of $5 AUD p/p including ensuite with 24 hour hot water, toilet paper, western toilet, and balcony, and enough room to swing 10 cats.
For the next couple of days we checked out the tourist agencies and stuff to get an idea of what we could do and when.
We walked to Pasuptinath on the outskirts of KTM which is a holy river where on a good day you can see the bodies of dead people being cremated. We arrived on a good day and were lucky enough to catch grieving Hindu or Buddhist relatives saying goodbye to loved ones. Those leaving us were dressed in a bright yellow dress/robe, placed near on the steps leading down to the river and where the body was laid onto logs and then set on fire. There was quite a crowd of locals and tourists there to celebrate the moment. Later that day I got a little sick; not sure if it was from drinking the local water in the shower or from standing down wind at the ghats during the cremation.