April 13-20, 2018
7 Days in Kathmandu
Location: 8848 Hostel, Thamel (neighborhood), Kathmandu (city), Nepal
With 2 nights pre-booking at the newly built 8848 Hostel, it was a painless start for me to begin a 30-day mini life in Kathmandu. I simply have to figure out what happens to me after those 2 nights. Being newly built, the hostel was clean and everything was functional. I got a bed in a dorm room on the 6th floor with a balcony overlooking the city. Cool! Breakfast was not just toast/coffee but a full breakfast with egg, potatoes, toast, jam/butter and coffee. Wifi was decent. Owners are also hands-on ensuring smooth operations.
Travelers at 8848 Hostel
The energy also felt positive at the hostel. Upon my arrival, I already met my dorm mates and bonded with them over dinner after taking a walk out in the street. Like a revolving door, travelers checked-in and out after a couple days stay. I met and shared plenty with most of them. We'd go out for a walk, have tea and just get a sense of the city. I was enjoying every bit of it, completely immersed in my elements.
In sharp contrast to Kuantan where I recently spent a 30-day mini life, Thamel is exciting with energies unbound. Thamel is the tourist hub of Kathmandu. Shops, restos, cafes, bookstores, hotels, art galleries all line-up the narrow maze-like streets. It is colorful as it is animated.
And yes, it's seriously dusty, you need a mask!. I can't leave my hostel without a mask, a hat, long sleeve top and long pants - all to protect me from the insidious dust. You had been warned! I was told however, that not all of Nepal is dusty - only Kathmandu.
Travelers go to Kathmandu to trek. The entire tourism industry hinges on that. They check-in for a few days in Kathmandu, leave their heavy stuff behind in their hotels, and go for a multi-day trek to jump-off points up to 8 hours away by bus. Treks go as high up as the Everest base camp.
As a budget backpacker, I default to street food - it's filling, cheap and readily available. The popular eats in Kathmandu are the momos (steamed dumpling served with curry sauce, NPR 60/10 pcs). Another fav is chapati bread in Indian nooks (NPR 15 + NPR 20 for currry dish). Milk tea is served everywhere, but you have to keep an eye on it - it's usually served from a very small space it's easy to miss out. I try to look for benches on the street - that's usually a give-away there's milk tea (NPR 20). Most of the street food is served in dusty places so I take extra caution, going to the more interior ones.
Kathmandu's energy overflows. I know if the place is right for me by way of abundance landing on my lap. It's almost like the universe is telling me to stay put because I belong there, at least while the moment lasts. Already, through my web offers, I have secured my lodging until May 12. My offer has also been accepted by a few yoga studios in exchange for compli yoga classes. I was offered to be involved in a yoga movement under the tutelage of a yoga teacher. It's all the validation I needed to make me stay. I love Katmandu!
Pretty much like Kuantan, my 2 Cambodian Vipassana friends decided to join me here in Kathmandu - Girlly and Sothy. Together, we roam the animated streets and stop by cafes and trendy eats.
5 days into Kathmandu and the dust issue got the better of me despite the face mask. I started sneezing and coughing. My eyes were itchy and watery and my throat was scratchy. I felt weak, I could hardly finish a yoga session. It became apparent that I had to cut short my planned 30-day mini-life in Kathmandu and leave for a more hospitable place. It was time to pack-up again.
I kinda feel bad about how things ended up. Kathmandu was so perfect for me - except the dust. The energy was vibrant, the abundance was overflowing - I secured barter lodging for the next 28 days, unlimited barter yoga classes and even an offer to develop a yoga brand for another studio. But I have to walk away from all that. All this abundance don't mean much if I can't function normally.
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Next stop: Fitness in Kathmandu
Kathmandu (city), Nepal
Travel Tips for Kathmandu
- Kathmandu is dusty and you'll need a mask
- if on a budget, cheap staple comfort food in Kathmandu is momo, local price in local eateries at NPR 60/10 pieces
How to get to Thamel (Kathmandu) from the Tribhuvan International Airport
- You can take a cab for about $7
- Airport by bus to Thamel (Ratna Park Bus terminal)
But if you want to save money and don't mind roughing it, you can take a bus. Walk out of the airport and turn left on the rotunda just outside the airport gate. This takes you to the main road where buses ply. The bus signs are in Nepali, but you can hear the bus conductor shouting, "Ratna Park". NPR 20, 30 minutes
Travel Tips for Nepal
- tourist visa up to 15 days = $25, up to 30 days = $40, up to 90 days = $100, transit = $5, and they will accept currencies from 18 countries
- best to register for a tourist visa online (http://online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/tourist-visa). This saves you time, trouble and the hassle of bringing in a picture with you. You get the approved form printed and just show it to the Immigration guys in Kathmandu
- NPR (Nepalese Rupee) 100 = US$1
- nearly every food served is spicy...there is no escaping it
Nepal Blogs by TheLoneRider
- Visiting Boudhanath, Nepal's Largest Stupa Apr 19, 2018
- Vinyasa Yoga with Dipendra at the Mandala Yoga Studio and Spa, Kathmandu Apr 18, 2018
- Hatha Yoga with Madhab Prasad Dhakal at Sawar Yoga Studio, Kathmandu Apr 17, 2018
- Fitness in Kathmandu Apr 15, 2018
- 7 Days In Kathmandu April 13-20, 2018
- The 18-Hour Trip from Kuantan, Malaysia to Kathmandu, Nepal April 12-13, 2018
- India Visa Snag May 9, 2018
- Exploring Lumbini - Buddha's Birthplace May 5, 2018
- Storming out of Dhamma Janani on the 4th Day May 1-5, 2018
- Visiting Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave, Pokhara Apr 26, 2018
- Exploring Devi's Falls, Pokhara Apr 26, 2018
- Trekking to the World Peace Pagoda Apr 26, 2018
- Exploring Pokhara, Nepal Apr 20, 2018
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