Well first of all let me say that first impressions of this crazy city are all good! The first thing that hits you on the drive from the airport into the centre of town is the traffic! Like many Asian cities there’s LOTS of it! Imagine London rush hour all day, double it, and then add in double the number of scooters again! Infrastructure is poor and the roads are in bad condition, many have more resemblance to off road mountain bike tracks! Most are either narrow or very narrow! They are left hand drive although I would say that this appears to be optional? Throw in a whole load of pedestrians and it’s bedlam! We got the opportunity to cycle through Kathmandu two days after I arrived and it was a real adrenalin rush but a lot of fun!
We were staying in the Thamel district which is very touristy and caters for all the Trekkers and Backpackers. Despite this I actually quite liked it. Yes there are a lot of shops selling cheap souvenirs and “North Face” jackets but there is also a really buzzy atmosphere and plenty of good places to eat. It’s also central enough to walk to Durbar Sq which is well worth a look!
Being able to get out of central Kathmandu and take a cycle into the surrounding hills was also a great experience! We got to see how lush the area actually is, cycling through agricultural land and rice paddies. It was really beautiful (if a little muddy due to the heavy monsoon rains). It also gave as a chance to see some of the smaller surrounding villages. I have found the Nepalese people to be really friendly and chatty. Very keen to know where we are from and what are plans are in Nepal.
I have so much more to tell you but as the itinerary of this trip is quite full on it’s difficult to find the time and a good enough wifi connection to get it all down. I will definitely post more once I get a chance to process everything and go through my photos but it might have to wait until India, when hopefully I will have a bit more time on my hands. In the meantime if you want to know more about how I’m getting on along the way then follow me on my Facebook page as I am getting the chance to post shorter updates and random photos there!
So far so good and everything is living up to expectations! 🙂