Suddenly Kathmandu

I would rename Doha International Airport – Doha Central Bus Station. Because they shuttle you between planes and terminals in tons of buses on seemingly never-ending distances. Not fun… only if you thrive on the thrill of always being on the verge of missing your connection. Otherwise, getting from Bucharest to Kathmandu seems such a breeze now that Qatar Airways connects the two cities in less than 10 hours with a stop over in the above mentioned bus station.

Where them touts at?

I found Kathmandu different. Less of that happy hippy glare to it as years go by. Unchanged was the slowness of the passport control/visa on arrival people who never stop to amaze me (and thick rows of other tourists) with their inadequacy for the job. Certainly the airport has been modernized since my last visit three years ago. But the touts outside were few and traffic on the way to Thamel really tamed. The fact that it was a Saturday morning maybe helped. Still it was the beginning of the high season and I counted no less than four just arrived planes at Tribhuvan.

Looking good

Towards Thamel

Restaurant with cabin?

And to fast forward it a bit: left the luggage at the hotel, went out for daal bhat and a white coffee, back at the hotel, shower and some two hours of rest. I’m back in Kathmandu expecting nothing. That’s just a strategy of mine thinking that when you don’t expect anything, surprising things happen. Namaste!

Ex-royal palace

Thamel, everyone


Later the same day

Slept the whole afternoon only to be brutally woken up by the guy from the agency who called my room to remind me of the official Nepali Traditional Dinner. Food was diversified, bad and little spiced but went perfectly with the lack of enthusiasm the dancers and singers in charge with entertainment displayed. Everest beer though was exactly how I remembered it. The first taste always makes me think that this beer is made with sour water.

On my way to the hotel I looked for some photocopied editions of Lonely Planet guide books. No luck – they say they don’t sell photo copies in Nepal. Anymore, I think. In Cambodia and Vietnam they are a big business, here you can find only original copies at original high prices.

In Thamel the bars were all there, The Bamboo, Tom and Jerry, Le Bistro, Sam’s Pub, Irish Pub. Tourists were few and by 9 o’clock shops were closing. Tour of the city tomorrow and my biggest dilemma tonight is should I or shouldn’t I wear shorts tomorrow in case we visit Swayambounath and the monkeys are in a playful mood.

Some guys from the group had their luggage lost by the airline. Still no sign of them but here’s hoping for tomorrow. I’ve been in that situation many times and not always I got it back. Damn you, Alitalia.

Always a pleasure watching Asian channels in my hotel room before the internal clock tells me it’s time to sleep in my country.

Morning update

Great breakfast at hotel Vaishali. Glorious sunny day. Re-reading the above… I must have been in a pretty bad mood yesterday after the sleepless night on the plane. Wearing shorts for the temple, folks. More photos when the internet connection allows it.

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