Sunday, December 30, 2012

Nepal : Pokhara - Kathmandu

No plans really today. Just going back to Kathmandu, this time via flight at 2.45pm. Journey would take only 30 minutes! We took the Yeti Airlines which cost us USD 80 per way. We booked it online via Smile Adventure and paid via Western Union. Transfer fee charges apply.

Since we didn't have any plans for today, we decided to just chill and relax. We walked  to the beautiful Lake Phewa to catch the sunrise (that was the plan, but we came quite late haha), then went back to the hotel to have outdoor breakfast in their lawn. After breakfast, again we walked back to the lake and had mint tea while just enjoying the view and talked.

enjoying our last view of Lake Phewa

breakfast included in room rate. nice!

our lovely hotel garden

our lovely little inn - Silver Oaks Inn

We went back to the hotel at 11am to get ready for check out at noon, then had another round of tea in their garden while waiting for the taxi to fetch us at 1pm. Taxi to the Pokhara airport costs 250 Nepali rupees per taxi per way. It was just a short journey, about 15 mins.

The Pokhara airport is small and the flight check in counters are very simple. Ours wasn't opened yet until 1 hour before departure. No wonder the hotel manager recommended us to only go the airport at 1.30pm. Plus our flight was delayed to 3.15pm. We had to pay for airport tax separately for Nepali rupees 200 per person at a designated counter prior to flight check in.

check in counters

weighing scale

After check in, we still had time so the airport staff asked us if we wanted to have a drink first at the first floor restaurant where we could sit at the verandah and watch planes taking off and landing up close. It was really cool! When it was time for boarding, the airport staff signaled us and we proceeded back to the ground floor to the departure hall where we had a body check which was separated by gender.


airport verandah cafe

runway view from airport verandah
departure gate

Our plane was a small turboprop - I think it was a 30 seater. 1 seat on the left row and 2 seats on the right row. I remembered this time to sit on the left side of the plane to view the mountains. While I was busy enjoying and taking pictures of the view, a German guy beside me on the right row asked me to snap some pictures for him. I happily obliged. :) As for refreshments, we were served a soft fizzy drink and a packet of peanuts. Not bad :)

mountain view from our flight
approaching Kathmandu

Arriving at Kathmandu, we were transported to the domestic arrival by bus, but it was not in a building where we the baggage claim was. It was just a simple roofed structure. We love Nepal!

yes, that's the baggage claim area. no conveyer belts, heck no building!

Our lodging in Kathmandu this time was at Rosebud Hotel and airport transfer is provided. We were surprised to see the person greeting us was wearing a helmet - he's not going to bring us to the hotel on his bike is he? Luckily he was just there to greet us, transportation was via a van. Lol! As per Khangsar Guest House, this isn't really a hotel, it is just a 1 star guest house with basic amenities and attached bathroom. Room rate is 15 USD per room per night. No luxuries here. It's a bit cheaper than Khangsar as it's a bit further from Thamel - the centre of the tourist main attraction. But still within walking distance to Anatolia - our halal food eatery - and that's the most important thing to us at this point of time - we were famished!

After checking in, we went to Anatolia straightaway and had early dinner of Nepali vege curry set (yummy!), butter naan, mutton korma (yummy!), mint tea and jasmine tea - all for Nepalese rupee 810. After dinner, it's time for souvenir shopping which we had yet to do to minimize the items in our bags and leave it until just before departing back, so today was just nice. There are many souvenir shops around Thamel - and all are within walking distance, mostly selling t-shirts, key chains, Nepali caps (like colourful songkoks), trinkets, wool woven (from yak) made items like bags blouses and decorations, and prayer materials (for Buddhists and Hindus). There are also many shops selling trekking items such as shoes, windbreakers, jackets, thermal garments, backpacks, hiking sticks etc; and bookshops selling Lonely Planet / travel guide, religious, historical  books and fridge magnets. Yes, fridge magnets are sold at bookshops. That's where you'd find them.

Since it was Deepavali day, there was a lot of singing and dancing at the streets with kolam decorations t a few places. Tourists were seen enjoying themselves with the performers. After souvenir hunting, we then went back to our hotel to rest for the day. Btw, there are many channels on the TV - mostly Nepali and Indian, and also satellite channels tailored for the Indian market - such as Fox/HBO/Star Channels India and Cricket channel.

Kolam at Thamel

Deepavali lights at Thamel

Singing and dancing continues...



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