Day 165 (2): What's the difference?
Sunauli Travel Blog› entry 206 of 260 › view all entries
Isn't it surprising that as soon as you cross a border everything changes? Well not so when crossing into Nepal from India. India was crowded, the Nepali side of the border was just as crowded. At the Indian side of the border I was attacked by rickshaw drivers and money changers, all wanting my money. On the Nepali side I was attacked by taxi drivers and money changers, all wanting my money. The Indian money changer where I changed my last Indian Rupees into Nepali Rupees tried to rip me off (“you have to change dollars or euros with me for a shit rate, because in Nepal it is public holiday and all exchange offices are closed, honest!”). The Nepali money changer, who wasn't aware of any public holiday, tried to rip me off (“no, really, this is the official rate. The rate you saw on the Internet, which is 15% higher, is last week's rate, honest!”).
Nope, so far no noticeable difference between the two countries.
Obviously my taxi to Lumbini cost more than the train to Gorakhpur and the shared taxi to Sunauli combined, but I had expected as much. But as it was already past five o'clock I didn't want to take any chances with public buses (which meant having to change buses at least once).
Even with the taxi I didn't arrive until well after dark. I hadn't made any reservations for accommodation, but fortunately my first choice, the Lumbini Village Lodge, still had a room available. First noticeable difference between India and Nepal: rooms are a lot cheaper here!
Lumbini is little more than a one-street town, it seems, and I could only find one restaurant, The 3 Fox. It didn't matter, it was a very nice place, with lots of interesting food on the menu. Nepali food is pretty similar to Indian food, perhaps a little less spicy though. I had a very nice curry and a beer (Nepal's top brand: Everest).