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Nepal, Kathmandu and Mount Everest.

Elissa had organised to meet her mum Leonie in New York for a week or so and Pete, who wasn’t invited, decided to go and do something that Elissa wouldn’t probably never want to do, look for tigers in India. However when I reached Heathrow I found out that I couldn’t get a visa on arrival (New Zealanders can, but not Australian) and so instead of splending much time in London trying to obtain one I was well advised to do get it in Nepal.

Nepals claims to fame. Pretty impressive really....

Nepals claims to fame. Pretty impressive really....

It was great to see Nepal. I flew into Kathmandu and stayed in a hotel in Thamel, Kathmandu city centre, for few days. This is where most tourists stay. Thamel has heaps of hotels, restaurants, tour operators and life about the place. It was safe and my hotel room wasn’t too expensive for a touristy place, only around $30USD per night at a reasonable hotel. You can find cheaper if you look but its definitely the area to stay in.

The busy streets of Thamel

The busy streets of Thamel, Kathmandu

Not a bad room for $30USD per night.

Not a bad room for $30USD per night. Blue Horizen Hotel.

There are several temples, both Buddhist and Hindu, and monuments in and around Kathmandu. I visited all the main and most impressive ones, such as Swayambhunath or monkey temple, which is about a 15 mins drive west of Thamel.

There's a few stairs you need to negotiate before reaching the temple.

There's a few stairs you need to negotiate before reaching the temple. There is an entry fee (300NR) only about $4

Swayambhunath Temple, is worth a visit...

Swayambhunath Temple is one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage places. I saw a lot of buddhist giving offerings and worshipping here.

A monkey of the Monkey temple (Swayambhunath)

A 'Holy Monkey', as they are known, of the Monkey temple (Swayambhunath).

There is a place in Basantapur, a 10min walk south of Thamel, which is where you’ll find Hanuman Dhoka in Durbar Square, a World Heritage Site. This is a complex of palaces and monuments that is quite impressive. Its worth the 300 Nepalese Rupees for a visit.

ddd

Hanuman Dhoka Palace in Durear Square. A World Heritage Site, in Basatapur.

Yet another Temple which I wouldn’t perhaps bother with especially if you’ve seen others, is Boudhanath. Although it is one of the holiest buddhists sites in Kathmandu. It is not far n0rth of the airport. The airport incidentally is east of the Thamel (Kathmandu City) and around 500NR which is around $7usd in taxi, dont pay any more than that.

Me at Boudhanath temple

Me at Boudhanath temple. You can climb on up on it which is cool.

A huge statue of Buddha in the Boudhanath temple

A huge statue of Gautam Buddha in the Boudhanath temple.

Young and Old monks in the temple

Young (Right Hand Side) and Old (LHS) monks worshipping in the temple.

The most fascinating temple was in Gaushala (right near the airport) and is the Holy Area of Pashupatinath. Its the most significant Hindu temple in the world. There are lots of locals there, for various reasons, such as worship. But the most amazing thing I saw were open cremations by the river. High priests get cremated on one side of the brigdge and other castes cremated on the other. No one looked at me disapprovingly when I took picture (from close up) of the process either.

The Pashupati Holy area. Locals 'hang out' on the river bank

The Pashupati Holy area. Locals sitting on the bank of the Bagmati river.

Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath Temple. The holiest Hindu place in the world.

Temple

People come to pay there last respects to women at in the Pashupatinath Temple.

Temple

A dead women with uncovered head is about to be covered in straw and cremated.

r bo

The womens body burns with the help of wood and straw.

deer

On lighter side, you can also visit a fenced park next door to the holy site where there are lots of deer and monkeys. It was a great surprise find...

Aside from that, Kathmadu is another very busy city. The driving is crazy. The people are pretty friendly. They always asked me where I was from and guessed Australian before I could answer. The begging, especially from kids can be intense. I had a situation where I bought a postcard from one kid then he told ten friends and I almost had to run.

I also had a situation where a older looking mother followed me into the supermarket asking me to buy her “meail” “meail” “meail” I worked out she wanted milk and I thought ‘well thats better than giving her money’ but when we went to the milk aisle she pointed out the biggest powdered milk box I’ve ever seen and claimed she had 5 kids!!! I gave her a bit of money…

There is no shortage of traffic in this city.

There is no shortage of traffic in this city.

I must admit the only thing I really knew about Nepal, apart from the fact that monks lived there, was that it was the home of Mt Everest. The tallest mountain in the world!!! 8848m high to be precise. I didn’t have time to climb even just to base camp. It takes about 10 days to get there and cost ~$1000usd. Instead I hooked up with a mate, Tim Heath, and we decided to get a chartered flight to see the 8848m high Mountain Peak. For $130USDpp for the flight we thought it was money well spent.

The Himalayan Mountains. Nepal has 12 of the 14 highest peaks in the world. The other two are in Pakistan and India.

The Himalayan Mountains. Nepal has 12 of the 14 highest peaks in the world.

Mount Everest with a little cloud cover.

Mount Everest with a little cloud cover. We booked through Mukesh, he gave us the best price. He approached me in Thamel, Kathmandu. www.nepalguidetreks.com

Mount Everest

Mount Everest is also found in Tibet (China) which also has a base camp. In Nepalese Mt Everest is known as Sagarmatha, in Tibetan it called Chomungu.

Tim and I. proudly holding our certificate acknowledging that we flew to Everest and back. Been there, done that, bought the tshirt, next!!!!

Tim and I, proudly holding our certificate acknowledging that we flew to Everest and back. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, next!!!!

I’m glad I took the advice on the steward at India airways and visited Nepal. It was good to see. Getting my visa, by the way, only required a morning visit to the India Consulate in Kathmandu (need to apply before 12pm – best get there around 9am) and then I picked up my passport with visa that afternoon (its cost aprrox $30usd). Visa on arrival for Nepal – $25USD.

If I had more time in Nepal I would have loved to have visited:

Chitwan National Park. It is the oldest and most well known NP in Nepal and is a world heritage site. It takes about 4 hours to drive there so you need to do it over a few days. There’s a chance of seeing Bengal tigers, gharnials (elongated/narrow snouted crocodiles),  Asian Rhinos and occasionally Asian Elephants as well as countless other cool wildlife….

Lumbini, 200kms east of Kathmandu. Why here? Because its the birthplace of Buddha.

Check out a few more photos in the gallery:

 

  • Sanjib Adikhari ist recomended 2010 by German trekkers Sabine and Frank from Berlin
    The
    ultimate compliment for Sanjib came from fellow trekkers we met along
    the way who remarked how lucky we were to have a guide so personable,
    knowledgeable and dedicated to us and our experience. We could not have
    agreed with them more. *We did a 21 day Annapurna circuit, Annapurna
    base camp trek and Langtang Valley trek and having never trekked this
    length before, we were both novices. It is without a doubt, that had
    our guide been anyone other than Sanjib, we would not have had nearly
    the rich, authentic and thoroughly enjoyable experience we did. When
    trekkingwith Sanjib we enjoyed:*
    honest, knowledgeable and sincere discussions regarding anything from
    Nepal’s history and current politics, local religions and culture
    history, to geography natural landscape and all Mountains Name* a sensitivity and sensibility to allow a good balance between conversation and respecting an
    individual or couple’s need for privacy * over 9 years of trekking guide experience* a respect for an individual’s desired pace and physical condition
    * an intimate knowledge of the best accommodations, tea stops and
    places of interest along the way, according to our own individual
    budget
    We would highly recommend any potential trekker in Nepal to enlist the
    services of Sanjib Adhikari. It is without a doubt that you will be
    richly rewarded if you do so Trek in Nepal his contact address is: sanjib-adhikari@hotmail.com and his website : http://www.nepalguideinfo.com 

    further picture

    Silvana Pagani from Italy wrote in 2011: “My friend Sanjib Adhikari, Nepalse Guide
    Silvana Pagani from Italy wrote in 2011 about my experience in Nepal and recommends as guide, Sanjib Adhikari.

    This year at the end of february i went in Nepal for 18 days for the
    second time and i did a small trekking in the Annapurna region, I went
    to visit Pokhara, Kathmandu, Bakthapur and Nagarkot and I saw the
    National Park of Chitwan and in this trip I had the pleasure to meet
    Sanjib Adhikari.
    He is an independent trekking guide and tour operator in Nepal and he has already obtained
    trekking guide license from the ministry of tourism, government of Nepal.
    In
    his work Sanjib is a person very responsible and serious, very helpful
    and attentive to his customers, he knows very well the mountain because
    he has many years of experience and is also an excellent guide for
    visiting the cities.

    He is someone very competent in his work and always ready to find the
    best solution, if necessary and speaks English very well.During the
    trekking and the tours he will tell you many interesting things about
    culture, about life in the villages, mountains, history and traditions
    in Nepal.
    The
    best thing is that Sanjib loves his country very much and loves his
    work and always manages to convey all his enthusiasm with simple ways
    and always with the smile. He is a very nice person and is always
    attentive to the needs of his customers. Sanjib is also very funny and
    after this experience we became a very good friend. Next year at the
    end of January I will return for the third time in Nepal and Sanjib
    will be again my guide. 

    For these reasons I am very glad to report all references of Sanjib

  • Recently we returned from a four-day trek with a friend in the Annapurna Himalayan range. Boasting spectacular scenery, rugged terrain and extremely welcoming locals, I’ve never visited another place on earth like Annapurna.
    Helping us get the most out of our trek was our friendly and knowledgeable guide Sanjib Adhikari, a specialist trekking guide and expedition organizer based in Thamel, the bustling heart of Kathmandu. He skillfully guided us across treacherous mountain passes, pointed out the rich variety of flora we passed and, in the evening after hiking, served our meals and played cards with us.
    Knowing that there are quite a few other less capable and experienced guides than Sanjib, I’d certainly recommend him to other trekkers. His website is: http://www.nepalguideinfo.com
    sanjib-adhikari@hotmail.com
    977+98416138822

    Written Oct 26, 2010

    Address: Annapurna Range

    Phone: 977+9841613822

    Website: http://www.nepalguideinfo.com

    Read more: http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Nepal/Things_To_Do-Nepal-Trekking-BR-1.html#ixzz1YTXf03bW

  • Alltreknepal

    David William recomends Kamal in 2010:
    Our trekking with kamal was more than an
    amazing experience and kamal is more than a wonderful guide. He will
    help you choose the best trek for you, by
    taking into account your interests as
    well as your physical condition. He will show you all the hidden
    beauties which characterize Nepal and its mountains.
    Consequently, at the end of your trek,
    you will recognize all the plants, trees and animals and will have
    incredible experiences to tell your friends.
    Thanks to kamal, we have been able to
    experience few evenings among native Nepalese people with whom we have
    shared a glass of the local alcohol and food.
    We recommend you to get kamal help if
    you are planning to trek in Nepal, as he is the best! His web site http://www.alltreknepal.com , his Email is rimalkamal@gmail.com

    David William

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