as a by-product of not doing any planning for this trip (i just picked a tour company, signed up for a one-week private tour of Nepal, and left it at that), i had no idea what Kathmandu was like. i am not even sure i even thoroughly digested the Wikitravel entry like i normally do for places i visit. so, here is Kathmandu: the chaotic, backpacker-filled, no-you’re-not-in-India center of Nepal.
ok, ok. so that’s cultural and religious Kathmandu. what’s it really like? you’ll see a lot of people wearing face masks — i have a feeling it has to do with pollution and not hygiene. it can get quite dusty out in the streets, and you may get run over by a motorcycle or car while walking, despite the incessant honking. also, yes, there are a lot of tourists, and for some reason, a lot of tourists who are hippies. i kinda thought that whole phase petered out a long time ago, but no. you’ll see barefoot people with dreads all over, as well as enough billowy pants to make playclothes for the von Trapp kids several times over. on the other hand, because there are so many tourists, wifi is easy to come by in restaurants, cafes, and even regular ol’ shops, but they are always password protected, so you’ll need to be a patron most likely.
Finally at a place with wifi — can work Instagram! Waiting for lunch. pic.twitter.com/rdtTEoOU9x
— Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) April 20, 2015
it looks calm and peaceful, but it’s not! heading up to Swayambhunath (the “Monkey Temple”) is a really nice respite from the frenzy of the city below.
p.s. this is the famous dish, momo. it’s sort of like a Chinese pot sticker/dumpling, but nothing like it at all. the inside usually has a bit of a spicy sauce in there, plus the spicy pickled condiment you dip it in/eat it with can be a bit strong as well. definitely worth a try, especially if you’re a dumpling fan! (also because they’re cheap noms.)