PART 1 - NEPAL and TIBET

Kathmandu Travel Blog

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Near Monkey Temple KTM Nepal

The Brisbane to Bangkok Flight departed at around 10pm on the 5/4/04 and saw us get into Thailand at 5am via Thai Air.  After a 5 hour wait we boarded the Thai Air to Katmandu Nepal -KTM-.  3 hours later we were touching down on what looked like a cow paddock, with cattle walking around, people using the runway as a cut through and a thick heavy cloud of pollution.

Open air cremation Pasuptinath on the outskirts of KTM Nepal
 

 

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. 

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Near Monkey Temple KTM Nepal
Near Monkey Temple KTM Nepal
Open air cremation Pasuptinath on …
Open air cremation Pasuptinath on…
Kathmandu
photo by: sharonburgher