Before I went to Pokhara, I traveled to Kathmandu to renew my visa, so that I could stay in the country longer. I stayed in Kathmandu for five days. I stayed in a neighborhood called Thamel. Thamel is where most tourists stay. Kathmandu is a busy city filled with millions of people that are active twenty-four hours a day.
Local Time: 12:00pm
Time Zone: KTM
How far did we travel this week? 50 miles
How far have we traveled on our journey so far? 50 miles
How did we get around this week? I drove to Kathmandu in a bus. While I was in Kathmandu, I walked or taxied everywhere.
What was the most interesting place we visited this week? Swayambu temple was the most interesting place I visited this week. This temple is a Buddhist temple also known as the “Monkey Temple” because nearly a hundred monkeys live there.
This Week’s Travel News: This week I learned how to navigate through Kathmandu and negotiate with cab drivers. Immediately after arriving in Kathmandu, I realized cab drivers do not turn on their meters. They like to give you a price. Often, the price is too high. By the end of my first day in Kathmandu, I figured out how to handle cab drivers and get a fair cab fare.
Being in a cab in the middle of Kathmandu was something to get used to. There are street signs, street lights, and rules, but no one seems to follow them. At times, I found my cab on the wrong side of the road or making U-turns in the middle of a traffic jam. I realized it was not just my cab driver who did not follow traffic rules. Most drivers did not pay much attention to the law! I am still not used to it. Surprisingly, I did not see any car accidents.
Partly cloudy: 3
What is the air temperature right now? 90 degrees Fahrenheit
How was the weather this week? The weather was very hot this week. It was hot during the day and at night.
What animals did we see this week? There are a lot of stray cats and dogs in Kathmandu. Unlike back home, cats and dogs are allowed to live outside on the streets. They are not dangerous. People feed them or they raid trash cans. Also, I saw over fifty monkeys at a Buddhist temple.
This Week’s Nature News: Kathmandu is home to millions of people. There is a lot of dirt, car exhaust and trash in the city. I saw a lot of people in Kathmandu wearing face masks to protect themselves from the pollution in the air. I thought I would not need a mask. Boy was I wrong. I ended up purchasing a mask and had to use it on a few occasions.
What languages are spoken here? Nepali and English are spoken in Kathmandu
What type of money is used here? Nepali Rupees are used in Kathmandu
How much does a bottle of water cost? A bottle of water costs 20 Nepali rupees.
What was the best meal this week? The best meal I had this week was at a Tibetan restaurant. I had a noodle soup called thukpa. It was delicious with a tasty broth and plenty of vegetables.
What music did we listen to this week? I listened to traditional Nepali music!
What activity was the most fun this week? Having time to be a tourist, for the first time in Nepal, was the most fun this week. I went to Hindu temples, Buddhist temples, and several different old neighborhoods in Nepal. I learned so much about the history of the city.
This Week’s News: There may not be much nature in the city, but Kathmandu is unlike the rest of Nepal. The local people are used to seeing tourists and there are a lot of places to see. You can go to several different ancient neighborhoods. My favorite palace was the king’s palace and pottery square in Bhaktapur. Pottery square is the best place to buy pottery in Kathmandu. There are people everywhere. They make religious statues, bowls and vases. It was so interesting to see this in the streets. I spent nearly four hours just watching and trying to learn how to spin a bowl.