1 Day on the Streets of Kathmandu Nepal
I gotta fess up.
I spent more than 1 day on the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal.
Kelli and I spent 1 month on the streets of this charming, fascinating, mysterious city. We lived in Lazimpat for the month but often found ourselves in Thamel for the thriving scene, commerce, eats, and the overall vibe in that fun little neighborhood.
The impressions, activities, sights and sounds shared below can be experienced in 1 day. I promise.
When I was not being bitten or hitten by wild men in Kathmandu I had a great time.
Kathmandu reminded me a wee bit of an urban version of Bali. Just a bit.
Culture bled through the town, to the point where temples, holy men and a spiritual energy permeated through the area.
This is not unlike more remote areas of Thailand too. Worldly life plays some part in the day to day but the spiritual grounding in a city like Kathmandu is refreshing and dare I say, maybe, a smidge enlightening?
Vendors sold colorful fruits from baskets attached to their bicycles. Green, organic venture all the way around.
I was taken aback by how outrageously tasty the dark red pomegranates were.
Note; never wear white during a pom feasting session. The sweet, tart, wholesome treat literally bleeds on all but the most mindful eaters. Meaning stained white or lighter shaded shirts or pants or coats.
I had a love affair with a delightful snack – or meal – in Kathmandu.
My fling was with the momo (Emily does a great job discussing the momo and best momo eateries in the city).
These delicious, satiating snacks are steamed dumplings filled with wholesome goodness.
I feasted on a few momos during our month long stay in Kathmandu, often dipping these suckers into succulent, savory, sensational sauces that tickled the tongue and stretched the limits of my alliterative abilities.
Temples Temples and More Temples
Like Bali, temples dominate Kathmandu.
Walk a few minutes in any direction. You are bound to see a temple.
Kelli and I spend a few mornings exploring various shrines around the city, being in awe of the attention to detail on these fascinating buildings.
Check out Valen’s inspired guide to visiting Boudhanath Stupa.
Kelli and I loved our time at Swayambhunath Temple perched high atop a hill overlooking Kathmandu.
Proof that I was high atop a hill in Kathmandu. With monkeys.
A Scam? Why Not?
OK; maybe it was not a scam.
But, I am always down for a good scam. Or, a good non-scam that felt like a scam because someone withheld the truth when if they only told the truth they would have received the money they so desired.
At the very best, the tour operator lacked clarity in the services rendered, the money owed, and the overall delivery or his…..venture.
Some dude offered to take us around to see a few spots as a friend. He said, as a friend. I asked how much. He said no cost. He said free. I repeated that it was free. He nodded up and down.
My intuition told me to walk away. I did. But he reeled us in again.
I own this experience. Smart way to be free of the experience. Or to tell a fun travel story about the experience, down the road, removing the bitter charge.
The dude walks us around for about 30 minutes. I reached into my wallet to give him a tip. He refused.
He then turned to his left, facing a little store front, and asked us to buy groceries for his family for the month.
After initially getting really pissed off I took a deep breath, smiled, noted that he probably should have asked for money up front instead of lying to us that the tour was completely free, a gift from a friend, then offered him money.
He refused to take it. Said it’d be an insult. I said that insult would feed your family for a few weeks. He refused, I walked away, he cursed me out, I smiled.
Fear and desperation are the only reasons people do stuff like this. I have greater compassion for desperate folks these days. I also know that I do what is in my power and release them to do things from a higher energy space, as many folks in their country are doing.
Eats, Eats Eats
Restaurants dot the city, but Thamel is a fine, fine eatery haven.
Nepali, Italian, Vietnamese, good old fashioned American….you have it all in this part of the city.
Thamel restaurants offer you range, both in terms of fare and pricing. Drop a little more for a classy experience. Or if you are on a tight budget, feast without breaking the bank.
Either way, Thamel, and Kathmandu in general, have you covered.