At least they’re half right. Walking down the streets of Kathmandu we’re more often greeted with ‘Ni Hao’ than their traditional greeting of ‘Namaste’. There are so many Chinese tourists here, I can forgive them for thinking we all look alike. Started the day with an impromptu Rickshaw ride around the city, it really felt like off-road driving. The poor driver was sweating his arse off but was still so friendly throughout.
The rest of the day was spent exploring the 5 main religious sites around Kathmandu:
1. Pashupatinath Temple (Entry fee: RS 1000 approx AUD$10)
A site of worship for the Hindus and also a place where human cremation occurs. Unfortunately we couldn’t actually enter the temple because we’re not Hindu but it was interesting to see just how many large groups of Hindus came to worship
2. Bodnath Stupa (Entry Fee/; RS 150 approx AUD$1.50)
One of our favourite sites so far. I don’t actually know how to describe it, its a huge Buddhist monument which represents the stages of reaching enlightenment. If looking from a birds eye view it would look like a square with multiple layers inside each representing a different stage. We had lunch at the 4th story of a restaurant where we had a great view of the Stupa
3. Sleeping Boudha (FREE Entry)
We literally spent 10 minutes here. Enclosed behind a large concrete wall lies the Sleeping Boudha floating in a pool where those who wish to come and worship can. Quite a spectacular site to see as the Boudha itself is approximately 5 metres long.
4. Monkey Temple (Entry Fee: RS 200 approx AUD$2)
Another one of our favourite sites. It is what it sounds like, monkeys freely roaming the temple. These monkeys are very used to humans. We saw a monkey jump into a persons car and steal their bag full of food and another monkey stuff six biscuits into its mouth at once. This site is not all about the monkeys, the temple itself lies at the top of a hill which overlooks the whole of Kathmandu city.
5. Dunbar Square Kathmandu RS 750 approx AUD $7.50)
Not really that interesting, very similar to Bhaktapur but with more people.
We were exhausted by the end of the day. Got chatting to Sabina, the girl at the desk and she asked us ‘Is you two love marriage or arranged marriage?’. We just laughed and explained that we don’t really have arranged marriages in Australia. She told us that generally girls in the country have arranged marriages at 18-19yrs but that girls in the city often can seek ‘love’ marriages.
This morning we were picked up at 7am by Amrit, the owner of the Nepalese Cooking Class. We were joined by an American father/daughter duo Catherine and Hugh. Amrit showed us around the oldest market in Kathmandu where fresh produce is brought in daily. From there we walked to his humble home of 4 stories high tucked away in a little alleyway. Up on the 4th floor is where they had their simple yet functional kitchen. His daughter Anu who is 17 yrs old took the class and showed us how to make vegetable Mo-Mo (Nepalese Dumpings), Dahl Baht and Curry, Rice Pudding and celebration bread. This definitely is one of the highlights thus far. Amrit even gave a quick Nepali language lesson. They not only taught us about Nepalese food, they showed us their way of life, Definitely recommended if you’re visiting Kathmandu (Ranked #1 on Tripadvisor)
So thats it from Kathmandu for now, we’ll be headed to Pokhara by bus tomorrow to begin our trek to Poon Hill!
Till next time
Ann & Jason