Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Nepal Thoughts 1

I visited Nepal for the first time recently and would highly recommend it as a place to visit for Indians. Nepal is a small, hilly country and the first thing that strikes you as you enter Nepal from the Tribhuvan International airport, Kathmandu is that it looks like any hill station in India. Small roads, hills, quite crowded, disorganized traffic and nice weather.

And then you take a closer look at the vehicles. It looks like old cars from around the world come here to serve our their pensioner life as taxis. There are very few buses in Kathmandu - if at all, they are mostly for tourists. The locals use some sort of mini-buses for commuting within the city. And then there are the Safa EVs (a separate post on this later).

The culture of Nepal is a lovely amalgamation of Hindu and Buddhist culture. They give you anything as an offering - money, change, goods. I found this to be a very endearing tradition. There are roadside temples everywhere you can see. Interestingly Nepal has a half day on Friday and has its weekly off on Saturday - another Hindu tradition.

The going currency rate for IC (Indian Currency) is 1.6 NC (Nepal Currency). Kathmandu is a nice place to shop as well - especially Thamel. The good thing about Thamel is that it it is still not swamped by the mall culture and only sells traditional Nepalese and Tibetan items and not imported plastic toys from around the world. And yes, dont forget to buy yourself the Khukhri- the Nepalese traditional war knife/sword.

Food is nice - and Nepal perhaps makes the best masala tea in the world. Nepali fusion music is pretty cool to hear as well.

And Nepal is a great destination for treks, adventure sports, pilgrimage, spirituality or just chilling out...

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