Stage II

Kathmandu Travel Blog

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A makeshift ping-pong (table tennis) table that I saw on the drive over from Tribuhvan Airport.

Well I've made it to Nepal.  And if I thought Thailand was a bit rough around the edges, well Kathmandu puts it to shame.

I've a bit more to write about my activities in Bangkok and I'd like to summarize my time in Thailand as a whole, but that will have to wait.  Limited a bit on time and this being Kathmandu we are currently running on generator power as the electricity has been out all day.  But just wanted to let everyone reading this know that it is on to stage II.  Annapurna Circuit starts on Monday.  Of course at that point I will pretty much be off line.  So I'll have to keep my journal the old fashion way and update when I get back to Kathmandu (around April 11).

First views of Thamel

See everyone later.


Well am officially out of Thailand now.  Stamped out threw immigration and waiting on flight to Kathmandu.  Nothing much more to say on Bangkok than what I wrote yesterday.  It's hard to believe I leave Thailand behind after 2+ months and that I am now well over 1/3 of the way through my travels.  Things become more interesting in a sense from here though.  Now I truly travel for the next 3+ months instead of being based principally in one location.  Now there are miles (or kilometers) to go before I sleep...

The Thai Airways flight was uneventful (777-200, seat 51F).  Watched Quantum of Solace and the flight passed quickly.  Landing at Tribuhvan Airport in Kathmandu I had to go through the Visa on Arrival process which took a while but eventually made my way outside.

Thamel after a rainstorm
..into the throngs of touts, taxi-drivers, and thankfully the driver to Kathmandu Guesthouse where I am staying in my $18/night room as I write this entry.

The drive over was incredible.  Thailand holds nothing to Nepal on culture shock.  And then there's Thamel.  The tourist digs for Kathmandu - a gaggle of narrow streets that our van driver crawls down, bellowing on his horn as the roads aren't wide enough for the throngs of people, motorbikes, and cars to share.  It's a constant battle for space.

I think that I've been accosted more here in one day than in a week in Bangkok.  Been offered marijuana and/or hash at least a half dozen times when I was out today.  Unfortunately it seems to be poor kids that are pushed into being pushers on the street.

Thamel - an absolutely crazy, insane environment
  Other than that Thamel is a mish-mash of guesthouses, restaurants, gear suppliers, book stores, souvenier shops, and trek outfitters.  It started pouring while I was out in the afternoon.  Lightning, thunder, and hail too.  Lots of backup generators running, but Kathmandu has serious electrical load-sheddding problems, so not sure if it was standard occurrence or storm related (addendum - likely standard operating procedure for a day in Kathmandu).  Still managed to find an internet cafe working on backup power to send a quick e-mail home in midst of all the rain to let the family know that I arrived safely.

That said, its chilly here.  I don't think it's been this cold since I left the USA and that includes morning lows in Thailand.  Oh well, need to keep working on sorting gear into what's coming on the trek and what's staying behind at the guesthouse.  Pulling things out of luggage that I haven't seen since I packed in January.  The times they are a changin'.

McManamon says:
Enjoy the Annapurna Circuit. That hike sounds Awesome!
Posted on: Mar 23, 2009
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A makeshift ping-pong (table tenni…
A makeshift ping-pong (table tenn…
First views of Thamel
First views of Thamel
Thamel after a rainstorm
Thamel after a rainstorm
Thamel - an absolutely crazy, insa…
Thamel - an absolutely crazy, ins…
Courtyard of the Kathmandu Guest H…
Courtyard of the Kathmandu Guest …
Crazy traffic on the roads in Tham…
Crazy traffic on the roads in Tha…
Dal Baat for dinner in Kathmandu
Dal Baat for dinner in Kathmandu
Stocking up on toilet paper at the…
Stocking up on toilet paper at th…
photo by: sharonburgher