My Visit to Thamel and Kathmandu
My Visit to Thamel and Kathmandu
I had a friend in Kathmandu and she needed my help in some business related problems. I got only 2 days for preparation for a visit to Nepal. She told me that the Kathmandu weather was rainy and so temperature there was cool. I took a break from my work and booked a flight from Delhi to Kathmandu. Kathmandu airport’s name is Tribhuvan Airport. Someone suggested to me to stay in Thamel Grand Hotel but I did not find any room their on my dates. So I booked another hotel in Thamel. It is a commercial neighborhood in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Thamel is known as the center of the tourist industry in Kathmandu for decades.
I was just carrying a shoulder bag containing some jeans and T-shirts. Practically I was not well prepared for this trip.
I had been to Nepal once when I was 11 years an old kid. However I had some faded memories about that trip with my family. But naturally time has passed like anything by since then. I was expecting a change now in Kathmandu, Nepal for sure.
I boarded my Indigo flight from T-3, Delhi International Airport. You do not need your passport for traveling to Nepal. You can use Election ID card in stead of your passport. Dont bring Adhar card and other IDs. They are not accepted there.
It was 1.45 hours flight. Near Kathmandu,weather was a bit rough but landing was smooth. In migration it took only 10 minutes. I came out and my friend was waiting outside for me. By then weather was a bit shiny. For Thamel you need to take a taxi. It will take Nepali Rs 700.
On road you will encounter a huge traffic and literally your cab will crawl. Somehow I reached my hotel. My friend signed off for a meeting. I decided to take some rest.
I found Thamel was quite noisy. After some time I decided to explore the place. You will find this place full of shops of handicrafts, clothes and food joints. If you are a vegetarian, you may face trouble to find right food for you. You may do shopping here for handicraft items and cotton T-Shirts. But you need to bargain a little bit.
I faced only one challenge here and that was for drinking water. You need to purchase drinking water here as there is sometimes a clear cut shortage of water. Nepal had to face a major earthquake recently and the situation is yet to get fully normal. Streets are very narrow here. If you have decided to walk this awesome place, you will get lost easily. So if you are walking, do carry the business card of your hotel with you.
I had a dinner in an Italian food joint and came back to the hotel. Next day I had a whole day program. So I chose to sleep early.
Next day morning I had a European bf at the hotel and started waiting for my friend. She came on time and picked me for meeting. Our meeting got over around 1 pm. As I had to return back to India, so we decided to go to explore new places in Kathmandu. I saw King’s Mahal that has now been turned into a museum for the public an tourists. My friend suggested to me to go to a new place which is famous for the tallest Lord Shiva of the world. It was in a place named Sanga, Bhaktpur. From Thamel it was almost 1.30 hours’ drive. Return fare for a cab was Nepalese Rs 2000. You must visit this place. It is a very beautiful and scenic spot. You can go to a small cafeteria there and grab some sandwiches before sitting on a bench. Enjoy cool breeze there.
Around 7 pm we returned back from Sanga. My friend dropped me at Thamel and I was returning to my hotel. Here something happened that I want to share with you so that whenever you go there you will have to take care of some kinds of scams that are very common there.
BEWARE OF SCAM
When I was on my way to the hotel, all of a sudden a man popped up in front of me and asked ” Can you donate some amount for widows who are suffering a lot after losing their husbands in the recent earthquake?”. When he started pleading , I nodded yes. I asked, ” How much?”. He replied, ” I think you are not believing me. You come and see them yourself. They are here itself in an NGO office”.
If you decide to go to see them, it means you are trapped. They will take you to some office kind of place where you will see girls sitting all around. And definitely they are not widows. If you observe that office minutely, you will find that you have landed yourself in a dance bar. Girls will sit around you. All of a sudden a man will start serving alcohol products to those ladies. Once your attention slakens, the man who broght you here will disappear. And when you start leaving, 2 bouncer types of men will enter the scene telling you to pay the bill for ladies. Now you will find yourself fully trapped.You will have to pay some amount to them. Then only you can go out.
I reached my hotel back having such a bitter experience. I slept because I needed to catch my flight back for Delhi next morning.