Lost in Kathmandu

Dec 22 – Thursday, 8:50 pm. I boarded the plane bound to Muscat, Oman –> Muscat to Kathmandu. The scene inside the aircraft was overwhelming. There were only 3 ladies, 4 including me and you’d feel like you’re in the wrong place where you don’t belong at all. To my surprise, the two guys sitting next to me were Nepalese heading home to Kathmandu. I received a warm welcome up in the air and they even gave me tips where to go, which temple to visit, and the imperative do’s and don’ts. To cut the long story short, I met new friends who accompanied me until we arrived at Tribhuvan International Airport – Kathmandu, Nepal. This was a good sign to start with.

Dec 23 – Friday, 8:30 am. We landed safely and disembarked a few minutes later. It took me only 5 minutes to get a visa. Wow! Much faster than ordering a meal. Thanks to the early arrival, I’ve avoided all the hassle. 15 minutes later, I headed to the arrival area. I was about to call Narayan’s mobile when suddenly someone put a flower garland around my neck and said Namaste! Welcome to Nepal.” Woah! I was speechless for few seconds and my egghead stopped to process anything at that surprising moment. I didn’t see that coming!

 

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A glimpse of Thamel from our lodge rooftop.

We arrived at Bag Packer’s Lodge exactly 9:10 am. The joy of being able to stretch my arms and legs after 10 hours’ flight was fabulous. My first breakfast or should I say brunch in Thamel was served around 10 am. The Nepali salad with organic black tea was beyond perfection for the cold morning.  I had whole day to spare in Kathmandu, however, taking a nap for few hours would be a great idea to regain energy.

I began to wander around Thamel later in the afternoon. The busy street was staggering and seeing huge numbers of tourist who traveled across the globe to get here was simply amazing. Everything you need from food to mountaineering gears, electronics, souvenirs, etc. are up for grabs. Quality goods are easy to find though bartering skills is a must if you want to save some cent.

30 minutes later, I found myself roaming around Kathmandu Durbar Square. The scenery was phenomenal and I was ecstatic that I got a chance to visit this place. The remnants of the devastating earthquake back in 2015 was still evident in this historical site. It would be great to see this place fully restored.

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More pideons in Kathmandu Durbar Square.

I was wandering around when I met a couple from Japan, and a solo traveler from India. We chitchat a little bit, took photos for each other then, parted ways.

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The exciting part was when I realized that I lost the map and hotel business card.  My international mobile data was not activated, no local simcard either, yet I knew that it’s going to be fun. Well, I guess getting lost was part of the adventure. Wasn’t it? I took pleasure in walking the streets of Kathmandu instead. You must be very careful here. There’s no such thing as traffic laws. Taxis, motorbikes, cycles, rickshaws and pretty much all other kinds of vehicles just pop-out from anywhere and ply on the narrow streets alongside with jam-packed of people. Amazing!

After 2 hours of walking around the city I decided to hire a taxi going back to Thamel. 15 minutes later, I figured that the driver didn’t know where he’s going so I humbly asked him to pull over. I met two Russian guys along the way and luckily their hotel was opposite to mine. They draw an imaginary map (pointing fingers which way to go) and told me to ride a cycle rickshaw which I did.

We were circling around Thamel for 20 minutes and I was laughing so hard realizing that we are so lost. The rickshaw driver tried his best to find the hotel but just can’t. Haha! We laughed at ourselves and I told him to just give up and I’ll walk. After 5 minutes of walking, the streets, shops, and hotels looks familiar and I knew that I’m on the right track. Few more steps and the Bag Packers’ hotel was in sight. Thanks to my sense of direction, it saved the day.  Continue reading ->


If you just landed on this page then below is my short story how it all started and the complete list of my Mardi Himal Base Camp adventure.

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