Andes house in Kathmandu, NepalNovember 3, 2016 in Nepal ⋅ 🌙 15 °C
Woke up quick this yesterday at 4:40am to rummage around and finalize packing and check out from Tarntong Boutique in Chiang Mai. We took a taxi to the airport departing through Bangkok to Kathmandu. Arrived after 1pm and were completely overwhelmed with the amount of paperwork we had to accomplish. Luckily we read ahead online to see what it would be like and it was a bit of a gong show. So we were given two immigration forms to fill out on the flight, then filled out another smaller yet identical form to fill out again once arrived. Then went to a passport scanning machine which basically formalized the exact information electronically, then we went and stood in a line like confused idiots just like the rest of the foreigners with no visa with all of the paperwork plus some passport photos (that were no use to anyone after all). The line was to only pay for the visa corresponding to the amount of time you wish to stay. 30 days cost 40$ usd. Little conversation was spoken as the guys working were all business ripping paper and frantically writing scribbles on allegedly important forms (really just writing a receipt). Then we went to another line with our portfolios and chuckled as we watched other foreigners who were more confused than us stumble through everything without directions or advice from anyone. Lastly the immigration officer just scanned my passport again and made sure I looked like my picture and waved me through. Also this was all in a terminal that looked like it was built in the 70s and had not been upgraded at all.
Onward to the sea of taxi drivers all jousting for position and gesturing to come with them. We put up a fight negotiating before we found a really nice local who was very friendly and more laid back. I thought Thais were friendly, wow this gentleman was one of the kindest, most optimistic souls I have ever met. (Next to Bethany) After a nice lift to our hostel we checked in and went for a walk. I've been lugging around 12 pounds of laundry so we dropped that off at a small shop down the road from us and we met another amazing couple. They invited us in and fed us hot black tea with sugar and we had a wonderful time visiting with them. They run a school/home for orphaned kids and ended up showing us a lot as they pulled out a laptop from the 90s and clicked away on their facebook account sharing many stories.
The streets here are soooo narrow and cars and scooters just honk politely as they whizz by less than 4 inches away. We are staying in backpacker central and it's the busy season here so all the shops are eagerly awaiting anyone half interested. The trick is to walk with a purpose and not make eye contact. A slow meanderer looking around will get heckled and approached more. I am overwhelmed but I love it.
Today we visited the great Boudha Stupa which is a world heritage site and also the largest and most significant Buddhist monuments in the world. Wow!Read more