Sunday, January 6, 2013

Kathmandu Nepal Tourism

Buddha statue in Kathmandu, Nepal

taxi driver in Kathmandu
Hare Krishna
There's nothing I like better than just hiring a cab to drive me around, sometimes with no destination in mind. I met Hare Krishna at the Tribhuvan Airport when I flew in from Pokhara. He helped me to find a hotel room in Kathmandu without making me feel I owed him two kidneys in return.

I liked him so much, he was so talkative and friendly and we had a great vibe together that I arranged for him to meet me the following day to take me to the airport for my flight to Oman. I told him to come early so we could drive around the city in the early morning and take pictures. No one on the road at that hour - bonus! The streets of Kathmandu are usually jammed with traffic. It reminded me of Manila, but without the mid-afternoon heat and car touts. Kathmandu's broken streets are interspersed with temples and tea shops, dilapidated apartment buildings, muddy, polluted trenches and rotting garbage. And because of all the roadwork - dust. I had a great time with Hare Krishna, he stopped everywhere and when he finally dropped me off at the airport I gave him a massive tip, all the Nepalese money I had left. He was so surprised he stood gazing off into the middle distance long after I had entered the airport and disappeared.

streets of Kathmandu early morning Kathmandu poverty in Kathmandu rubbish in canal in Kathmandu pollution in Kathmandu

I stayed at the Crown Plaza my final night in Kathmandu and when I checked in the buffer at reception said he had no single rooms available, in fact, the only rooms available were the most expensive ones. I looked around the lobby. 'Dude, the only thing I see moving around down here are the dust balls. Come on.' On top of the price he wanted me to pay a sales tax, a room service tax, and if could have made up another tax, he would have. I rolled my eyes.  'Just give me the cheaper room.'  I finally paid $20, lower than the $50 he wanted, but I had to nasty him to get it.  I don't know how many times somebody has tried this which goes to show that rooms, like anything else, have to be bargained for.

The crowded lobby.

Crowne Plaza, Kathmandu Crowne Plaza, Kathmandu

Was somebody murdered in this bathtub?

Dinner around the corner from my hotel. It was delicious!