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Kathmandu like LIS

I love this ‘city’! Or shall I say big village? It’s like time stood still. Red brick buildings, shitty cars, old bicycles, every day a few hours without electricity, big watertanks on rooftops for showers. What I like most is daily life.  People here don’t use the internet to read bullshit, check out everybody else’s lives or buy stuff. Here everything happens in the streets. And that’s why the first thing on the ‘things to do list’ will be… 

DO
Just walk around. Wander through the daily Nepali life. Take the side streets, see where the locals live, what they do, how the kids play. Buy a ‘massala chai’ in one of the tiny local ‘restaurants’ and just stand still and look around. Feel the energy! You might get lost but who cares? There are taxi’s and Rikshaws everywhere (maybe Lala is not around but there will be a Lala #2) and they will bring you back to where you came from. Just remember the name of your guesthouse or the area you sleep. You can walk for hours without a dull moment. Everybody will smile at you and say ‘Namasté’.

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DO
Practise yoga! There are many places to do yoga. As I mentioned before I can recommend Pranamaya yoga. They have all sorts of classes and you can check out their schedule online. I also went to ‘The institute of Natural Medicine‘. They do Hatha yoga. It’s a bit cheaper (400 rupies for a drop in which is about 3 euro’s) and also good! More private and very much the local kind of feeling.

DON’T
All the books recommend Durbur square but I really don’t know why. Nothing special, just a square with lots of people selling souvenirs. There are a few tempels but nothing compared to the ones I mentioned before. Skip it, waste of time!

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SEE
Take a bus or a taxi to Patan. About half an hour drive, if traffic is not too bad. Took me an hour to get back around 6pm :) It’s a nice area to walk around, there is a square with a few tempels but again…just walk, walk, walk! enjoy the local life by going away from the touristy places.

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SEE
Go to the ‘Boudhanath’ Stupa. It’s a very peaceful place where you can easily spend the whole day. The Boudhanath Stupa is one of the holiest and most recognisable sites in Kathmandu. Also it’s the largest Stupa in Nepal and one of the largest in the world. Don’t only come to see the Stupa but also walk around the area, there are many monateries around and you can have a look inside. Chat with the monks, maybe teach the kids a little English…

If you want to stay in a more quiet area, I can definitely recommend this area. Check out Kailash Guesthouse, they have clean rooms for a very good price. And they can cook a very nice meal for you…

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SEE
Nepal’s most important Hindu temple, the Pashupatinath. Although you are not allowed to go into the temple (because we eat cows and cows are holy for hindu’s), it’s still a very interesting place to see. Normally I never have a guide, I just want to walk around by myself, but this time this very enthusiastic kid came up to me and I couldn’t say no. Immediately he started telling me stories about the religion, history, etc. But not in a boring kinda way, no! He was telling jokes, making fun of me, but still being very informative. So DO take a guide here, it’s very interesting to get to know more about the place. And ask for Kamal…
Pashupatinath is next to the Bagmati river and the riverbanks are a popular place for cremations. There are cremations 24/7 so no chance of not seeing one (if you want to…).

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EAT
Eat the Nepali dish. It’s healthy, delicious and cheap!
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Doesn’t it look tasty? You get a plate full of bowls. One filled with rice, one with Dahl (lentil soup), one with a curry (vegetable, chicken or beef), one with curd (the only bowl still full when i’m done eating) and a chappati. Plus random veggies on the side. Oh and also ‘pickles’, veeeery spicy! And after this you’re kind of full..;)

DO
Have a sandwich at the Pumpernickel bakery in thamel. Just like home… very jummie. They also bake good cakes! Go, go, go!

DO
Find a streetdog to take care of. I’ll show you mine if I find one…Maybe this one?

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DO
Walk clockwise around the tempels.

DO
Bargain for taxi’s. They always ask too much.

DON’T
Buy new trekking stuff back home. You can find everything here, for much cheaper! Also saves a lot of weight on your way to Nepal…

DON’T
Forget your earplugs. Dogs are barking during the night.

DON’T
Forget to bring some hand sanitizer. Every time I wash my hands water is brown…

EAT
Momo’s. They are like dimsum’s but even better! My favorite snack :)

LIS.