Friday, November 23, 2012

Nepal Trip Part 1

Islamic New Year was observed here last 15th of November so I took the chance to make a quick vacation in Nepal. The decision came just two weeks before the holiday so my preparation and research for this trip was limited. I was surprised how cheap Gulf Air is so I booked a business class with a stopover in Bahrain going to Kathmandu. Upon arrival, I immediately noticed that the airport is so small and the line wasn't properly organized. Nevertheless, the staffs were very accommodating and all smile and very helpful. As a tourist, I have to pay 25 USD for visa on arrival. I booked for a prepaid taxi and I was shocked when I saw the "taxi". It was a small and very old minivan but still, I got to the hotel safely.

I checked into Hotel Shanker in Kathmandu at around past 12 in the afternoon. It was an old palace that was converted into hotel so the architecture and environment is magnificent. Internet access was free with welcome drinks. When I entered the room, it was kind of okay and wide enough for me. The only downturn of the room was the smell. It was a room full of bathroom smell. I wasn't sure if it was due to some air freshener that they used. Also, there was no toothbrush and toothpaste. I rested for a while since I haven't slept for 36 hours that day.

At around 3 in the afternoon, I decided to take a little walk around the area just to familiarize the city and embrace their urban culture. During that time, it was cold in Kathmandu. The temperature was below 20 degrees so I was excited to take a long walk since it wouldn't be that tiring. The city isn't fully developed yet. There were no proper traffic management, no pedestrian lane and was kind of polluted. I saw many people having cover on their nose just to avoid the mixture of dust and smoke. On the other side, the city is quite beautiful since it is surrounded by valleys and hills. Anywhere you point your eyes, you will see a shadow of valley. I took some pictures and looked for a store where I bought toothbrush and toothpaste. I came back to hotel after almost three hours of walk because I felt very tired that day and I knew that I need to catch some sleep.


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