Category Archives: Kathmandu

Diwali in Nepal

We were very fortunate that our trip to Nepal not only coincided with the holiday Dashain, but also with a few days of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights!

Day 1: worship of the crows

Day 2: worship of the dogs

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Day 3: worship of the cows

Day 4: worship of the oxen

Day 5: Celebration between siblings.
Sisters put a tika on their brothers forehead and then the brothers give their sisters a tika.

The lights of Diwali

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Nepal: Food and Drink

BEER
One of the first things we noticed about Nepal was that it is clearly a beer country. There are many different Nepalese beers. Stores and restaurants also sell Tuborg (Danish) and San Miguel (Spanish) because the breweries in Nepal are licensed to brew them.

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WATER
Do not drink the water in Nepal, it can make you sick.
Best to stick to bottled water or to purify the water in some way (i.e. iodine tablets, uv stick, lifestraw, etc.)

MOMO
In Nepal you can find a delicious something called a MoMo. They are basically dumplings and are so good!
You can get them fried or steamed; vegetarian, chicken or buffalo.

The best ones we had were in Kathmandu at a restaurant called Yangling

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the sauce was a base of tomato and onion

The momo we ordered along our trek had a different sauce. This one was made from pickled tomato

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GARLIC SOUP
Garlic soup is apparently very good for you in high altitude so we ordered it a lot during our trek. It is also delicious!

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DAL BHAT
This is Nepal’s national dish.
You can get it with meat but we always ordered the vegetarian version.
This dish is rice, dal lentils, curry, vegetables, and a cracker type thing.
Most restaurants will give free refills of everything in this meal as much as you want. Excellent for when you are very hungry.

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TIBETAN BREAD
One morning for breakfast I ordered tibetan bread with an omelet. It was surprised because the tibetan bread tastes almost the same as Navajo fry bread half a world away.

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YAK CHEESE
During the Everest Base Camp trek, if you ordered anything with cheese, the cheese was yak cheese.
Here was the first time we tried it.

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COFFEE
If you are a coffee lover and like strong coffee, you might want to bring some instant coffee with you to Nepal. The coffee is fine but very very weak. Most mornings Glenn added extra instant coffee packets to his morning coffee.

TEA
Tea on the other hand is excellent in Nepal. Highly recommended.

Kathmandu

We arrived in Kathmandu around 18:00.

Right away you can tell you are, let’s say, “not in kansas anymore”
The airport is dated, dark woods, old floors, looks like it has not been renovated in about 30 years. Baggage claim is tiny and guards actually check your luggage tag with the sticker you are given (on the back of your ticker – presumably to stop people from stealing bags which I guess happens.
Once you are out of the airport, all you see is taxi drivers trying to get your attention.

Advice: book a hotel or hostel that will pick arrange your airport transfer for you because these taxi drivers waiting at the airport will most definitely overcharge you because you are a tourist.

Our hotel did arrange airport transport but we were not able to send them our flight information in advance due to internet issues. We thought it would not be an issues. However, upon landing we realized it was. Both ATMs in the airport were broken and taxis do not accept credit cards.
We were able to call our hotel though and they sent a car for us right away so it all worked out fine.

Advice: Come to Nepal with US dollars. These are worth much more to locals than their own currency.
We did not have US dollars as we came from Denmark and Dubai and we made out just fine, but having some USD will make your trip to Nepal that much easier.

Our hotel for the first few nights was lovely. We stayed at Madhuben Guest House.
http://www.ktmmadhuban.hostel.com
The rooms were basic but clean. Our room had an ensuite bathroom and a TV. Our booking included the airport pick-up for free if you stay 2 nights or more and they included a very nice breakfast every morning.

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Choice of:
set breakfast: eggs any style, potatoes, toast with jam and butter and coffee/tea
Cornflakes
Porridge
We got the set breakfast every day 🙂

The hotel is also just around the corner from the Thamel neighborhood, the best place for tourist to be in Kathmandu – full of restaurants, shops, etc.

The hotel also had a travel desk to help with tours of the city, booking treks, etc. Later we found that this travel desk was actually part of a separate company called Adventure Bound. Rajan helped us so much! We arranged city sightseeing with him as well as our trek (more on that in another post).
http://www.adventureboundnepal.com

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