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Month: March 2019

Day 12 – 15: Pokhara

Day 12 – 15: Pokhara

Lumbini to Pokhara

A long and arduous bus trip.

The majority through winding mountain passes.

Having a puncture, more of a blow-out, set us back a bit. All in all, the whole trip took around 10 hours.

On arrival in Pokhara, had booked ahead and it was just a case of finding my way to the hotel.


Perhaps the most touristy type place I’ve visited in Nepal.

Lakeside seems to be set out entirely with tourism in mind.

Pokhara Centre Point
Pokhara Centre Point

Unlike Thamel in Kathmandu, it’s not so much the shops with nik-naks or hiking gear, herbs or Nepalese products, but restaurants and eateries, live music cafés and places to spend money in that manner.

There are shops of every nature, and Europeans seem to be much more in evidence.

It’s all pretty spread out.

I’ve got a bike, and I’m going to be using that to get around.


Today is Holi Festival which is a big thing in Nepal and in India.

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Day 10 -11: Lumbini, birthplace of Buddha

Day 10 -11: Lumbini, birthplace of Buddha

As the title says. And as you can imagine, it’s kind of a Mecca for Buddhists all over the world.

Not a Buddhist personally, but am kind of interested in sites of a historical and cultural nature.

Maya Devi Temple

Is the actual birthplace of Buddha and is a designated World Heritage Site.

There are lots of tourists here, and when you’re in the temples and religious areas, you’ve got to take your shoes off.

Sometimes its normal to light some incense, and make an offering.

The modern Devi Temple is surrounded by the ruins of the first monastery built here around 200BC.

Maya Devi
Maya Devi

As you wander round, there’s a pool and a tree at the front. The pool has large catfish, carp and turtles rolling on the surface, taking air and enjoying the sunshine.

The tree is the ‘Buddha Tree’ and is adorned by hanging prayer flags.

If you want, you can light some incense under the Buddha tree.

The garden extends off in various directions with lawns and flowers and walkways for the barefooted visitors.

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Day 9: Cycle ride to 20,000 lakes

Day 9: Cycle ride to 20,000 lakes

After writing for half the day, only read had the back-end of the afternoon in which to do stuff.

It really wasn’t worth hiring a motorcycle for that long so I decided to get a more humble mountain bike @ 350rps (£2.20).

20,000 lakes

20,000 lakes is a reservation area close to the Chitwan National Park.

It’s more wetland, as you can imagine.

Our guide on Friday told us that you can take a bike in, no problem.

It’s not possible to go on foot, because, like Chitwan, it’s a little bit dangerous.

When I got to the gate I discovered that my bike got in for free, but I had to pay, so had to cycle all the way back to the ATM.

By the time I actually got into the park area, it was 4.30pm.

Here’s a picture of my ride

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Day 8: Chitwan National Park – Walking tour

Day 8: Chitwan National Park – Walking tour

With two guides; it’s not safe enough to walk around on your own.

There’s a video below of us nearly being chased by a large jungle beastie which is testament to that.

After yesterday’s hotel drama, got settled. Woke by the mosquito’s at about 6am. Had to be at the tour centre for 7.

Got some rolls, bread, crisps and water, binoculars and a kit-kat from the shops around the village. Cost about £2.50 in all, (not including the binoculars). Waited around a bit for the two other tourists, a pair of Ukrainian ‘journalists’.

Once they arrived, we all set off on our merry journey.

Chitwan National Park – Canoe Trip

The first hour of this journey is spent on the canoe, drifting down the Rapti river and observing the various wildlife that cared to present itself.

I was one of the few people to bring binoculars, and I felt kind of smug about this. Also, they give you a much better view of what you’re looking at.

The temptation to get the camera out is much less, making it that little bit more enjoyable and relaxing.

Rapti River - Chitwan National Park
Rapti River – Chitwan National Park

There are many birds and ducks, although I suspect not as many as there were in the past. Still, they were out there.

Egrets, Kingfishers, Starlings, Miner birds, Storks etc. Couple of swifts and martins, although, I get the impression, not as many in the past.

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Day 7: Chitwan National Park

Day 7: Chitwan National Park

Or Chitwan national park as they call it.

A UNESCO world heritage site, as designated in 1984.

We’re staying just over the water in the non-reserved bit. A town called Sauraha.

Bus trip

From Kathmandu to Sauraha bus park.

Fairly painless affair only taking 4 hours in total with a couple of stop-offs along the way.

My guide told me there was a strike in operation throughout Nepal, and the streets would be empty.

Obviously this worked in our favour.

Quick and easy journey.

Bus journey from Kathmandu to Sauraha
Bus journey from Kathmandu to Sauraha


When I was planning my trip to the village, I booked some accommodation at I always use, through my travels across China and the Far East. When I do book ahead, they seem to have a good network and reasonable prices.

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Day 5 – 6: Bhakptapur

Day 5 – 6: Bhakptapur

Day 5. I basically did nothing.

I was going to go to the Royal Palace, but it was closed on a Tuesday and Wednesday.

Spoke to a girl who was hanging around the Kaiser Library, which is next to the hotel.

She said I should go to Bhakptapur…

Nepal soup and Nepal bread
Nepal soup and Nepal bread

Tried soup and Nepalese bread which came with honey.

Very tasty…


Took the student’s suggestion and spent today in Bhakptapur, one of Kathmandu Valley’s oldest cities.

It’s featured in the Lonely Planet Guide pretty heavily. I’m sure if your ever going to go there, you can read all about it there.

I know I did, and not much has stuck in my memory.

It does have a kind of charm though…

One of the more prominent features are it’s old wooden buildings, winding streets and water ponds.

The fee to get in is £10. Steep by Nepalese standards, so after having my breakfast, I set off straight away, to get my money’s worth. The ticket does last 1 month apparently.

Bus to Bhakptapur

There’s a specific bus stop which caters for buses directly to Bhakptapur. It’s close to Ragna Park. I’ve marked it on the map.

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Days 3 – 4: Touring the Temples, Kathmandu

Days 3 – 4: Touring the Temples, Kathmandu

Yesterday and today toured the two major temples within the city area of Kathmandu.

One is called Pashupati, near the airport. Here, they have a ceremonial burial, similar to the Hindu pyre and river rituals. Whilst I was there. I was lucky enough to experience a ceremony.

The other is Swotambhu, the opposite side of town. It’s called the Monkey Temple.

Hiring a motorbike in Kathmandu

In order to visit these temples at my own slow pace required the hiring of a motorcycle.

Lonely Planet guide advises about the safety of the Nepalese roads. There are many accidents etc.

I found them much like India; as long as you tootle along slowly, drive paranoid, watch the bumps, know where your going, you won’t go far wrong.

Unfortunately, I did see and accident on my first day on the bike.

Motorcycle Accident - Kathmandu
Motorcycle Accident – Kathmandu

This guy actually passed me, with what seemed to be his sister on the back.

He was going pretty fast compared to me at the time.

He impacted the SUV, and both ended up on the road.

Not a lot of blood. He was rolling around. The blood mostly seemed to be on his sisters leg where she skidded along the road.

These are kind of mild compared to the Brazilian ‘Road Pizza’ accidents you see on liveleak.

I have no doubt he’ll be up and riding his bike again in no time.

Still, it’s drama you can do without.

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