5 Reasons to Hit Up Kathmandu (video!)

So this second travel blog is a big of a cheat – again!  I visited my dear friend Wendy in Kathmandu to meet her family and see the sites.  Two weeks of livin’ in the citaaaay . . .

Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder – livin’ for the citay!

Posted below is the VIDEO(!) I wasn’t able to upload in Kathmandu or India due to slow internet and inconsistent connections.  My monologue is notably repetitive – I wasn’t reading from a script, just woke up and busted out the camera for a stroll through town.  So bear with me!

And here are the previous Kathmandu posts from the old “Indialoha” blog . . .

5 Reasons to Hit Up Kathmandu

If you’re a trekker, a hippie, a tourist or just curious, Kathmandu is an incredibly unique place to visit. For me, this was a purely personal adventure, connecting with Wendy and meeting her family – checking out the city was more of a cherry on top. But after my 14 day stint there, I can say with 100% certainty, I’ll be back – this time to climb that mountain!

So, top 5 reasons to consider Kathmandu for your wishlist . . .

1. The people. Not so much shiny happy people as dirty and content.  The locals take pride in their resilience, their ability to adjust under some seriously rough conditions.  Shopkeepers are always eager to share a cup of tea, if you’re so inclined, and it’s not all about the hard sell. I also have great appreciation for the hordes of people who pinched Alex’s cheeks throughout the trip.  Literally, the boy would gather the masses, like some kinda reincarnation Buddha Baby!

CLICK THE PHOTO TO SEE THE FULL ALBUM:

People of Kathmandu

2. Tasty tid bits! MOMOs, the delicioso local dumplings, are found in pretty much very restaurant you go, Nepali or not.  The dahl, rice, spicy potatoes and pickles are must-eat faves in the city.  And of course, whatever international cuisine you want, Kathmandu’s got it.

CLICK THE PHOTO TO SEE THE FULL ALBUM:

Tasty Tid Bits – Kathmandu

3. The shopping here rocks.  Wooly sweaters and hats for the chilly mountain winters, and cotton-hemp blends for the sunny dry summers.  I am in fashion heaven! Need a Pashmina for your Gramma?  Journal for your crazy traveling niece?  Used book to keep you company on the plane ride?  Not a problem.   Singing bowls, Buddhist paraphernalia, incense, jewelry and wooden crafts pour out from every tiny doorstep.  And if it’s trekking gear you’re after, the city is teeming with it – just don’t forget to haggle hard!

CLICK THE PHOTO TO SEE THE FULL ALBUM:

Kathmandu Shopping

4. Adventures round every corner. Yes, life here is often bizarre for us foreigners.  Even my Thai friends were shocked to hear I was going to visit a third world country, rife with political issues.  “Nepal.  Dirty?”  Asked my 10 year old private student, with a look of utter confusion.  A country where the monarchy was massacred by one of their own only 9 years ago.  Where uprisings and censorship are as common as steamed dumplings, everywhere UN agencies trying to figure the next best move.

CLICK THE PHOTO TO SEE THE FULL ALBUM:

Bizzaro Kathmandu

And that’s just the big picture.  Take a closer lookand you’ll find butcher shops on the side of the road so dire it’ll turn you vegetarian.  Little old ladies screaming bloody murder through the streets.  Millions of pigeons coming at you at lightning speed!  Sounds like your kinda holiday?  I didn’t think so.

But there’s something fascinating about life on the precipice of change, and yet at the same time, bound by the inertia of tradition.

And fortunately, Nepal also boasts trekking sent down from the gods, with the regal Mt. Everest just over the horizon.

5. A good balance of exotic and safe. Being here with Wendy and The Boys, I have a whole new perspective on traveling.  When you’re with loved ones, you worry about their health, their safety, and of course, their holiday cravings.  It’s not the easiest city in the world, but hey, it’s the third world. When I got lost looking for the Indian Embassy, friendly locals made sure I got there. And never once did I feel threatened, walking around alone – even at night.  The eats are clean in most places – in fact, I only got sick once, from eating market-purchased grapes and not washing them in iodine – my bad!

Big thanks to Amar Bajracharya for some of the photos in the albums above (and all the photos below)!

I made a ten minute video but haven’t been able to secure internet for more than 3 hours in a row to upload it online.  Electricity goes out all the time in Nepal, and even in Delhi, India!

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