Overview

  • The ten days that we spent in Nepal afforded us a view of the breadth of the experiences that the relatively small country holds in store for tourists. In Kathmandu, we saw bustling streets that were crowded with fruit vendors and rickshaw commuters. In Pokhara, we relaxed in the company of a placid lake and countless shops peddling fake North Face goods to Annapurna-bound trekkers. As we hiked along the Annapurna circuit, we witnessed the daily lives of impoverished farmers, all conducted in the shadows of the towering mountains. Although we never fell in love with Nepalese cuisine, we were charmed by the country’s warm people and by its breathtaking scenery.
  • In each locale, we saw evidence of the suffering born of Nepal’s diminished tourism levels. Endless lines of unoccupied rickshaws–all waiting for a fare that, at best, is worth less than a dollar; countless empty restaurants and shops that never seemed to make a sale: such is the result of Nepal’s disempowered rulers and their continuing conflict with the Maoist rebels. One can only hope that a political solution lies in the very near future and that it quickly translates into a new influx of travelers.

Blog Entries We Wrote

  • To see all the blog entries we wrote about this country, please click HERE.

Pictures We Took

  • To see some of the pictures we took in this country, please click HERE.

Cities/Areas We Visited

  • Kathmandu (Nov. 20-23, 2007; Nov. 29-30, 2007)
  • Pokhara (Nov. 23-24 2007; Nov. 27-29, 2007)
  • Annapurna Region (Nov. 24-27, 2007)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Places We Stayed

Kathmandu

  • Kathmandu Guest House – Kathmandu (Nov. 20-23, 2007): the rooms aren’t great for the price ($30 a night is a LOT in Kathmandu), but the backpacker-filled atmosphere almost makes up for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Hyatt Hotel Kathmandu (Nov. 29-30, 2007): Not that expensive once we negotiated a discount, this place provided a much-needed dose of cleanliness and predictability following our trek.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pokhara

  • Hotel Fewa – Pokhara (Nov. 23-24 2007; Nov. 27-29, 2007): A great place on all fronts: excellent, lake-side location, good restaurant, nice rooms that were adequately clean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annapurna Region

  • Musk Deer Valley Resort – Khanti (Nov. 24-25, 2007): It had no heat, but it was cosy and fairly clean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • National Guest House – Ghasa (Nov. 25-26, 2007): Remembering this hotel brings a chill to our spines. “The National” will forever be synonymous with “worst hotel on the face of the planet.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Old Kamala Guest House – Tatopani (Nov. 26-27, 2007): We would’ve liked it more if it hadn’t been the scene of the robbery of Michael and Kelly’s room. Be forewarned that if you stay in this place but, like us, opt not to eat all of your meals there, you and your porters will be subjected to the wrath of the management.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Places We Ate

Kathmandu

  • J.D.’s Road House: This place served up what was to be Michael and Kelly’s favorite pizza of the trip. It also had–hallelujah!–a Baskin Robbins ice cream counter!
  • Restaurant at Kathmandu Guest House: Decent food on a patio that’s great for people-watching. Derek fell in love with their bacon and their lattes.
  • Diyalo Restaurant near Freak street: This was the setting for Shanna’s unfortunate first encounter with Nepal’s interpretation of mashed potatoes (think oatmeal with rice in it; potatoes seemed to play no actual part in the dish). The Lonely Planet recommends this place; we have no idea why.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Fire and Ice: We found our favorite pizza here. (We became connissuers during our time in Nepal.) This place was reportedly a favorite destination of Nepal’s ill-fated prince (the one who shot his family and then turned the gun on himself).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Alfresco Restaurant at the Crowne Plaza Hotel: The chef here should win some sort of award, both for the quality of the Thanksgiving Dinner that he served up and for the incredibly short time in which he created it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Yin Yang Restaurant: Excellent Thai food; we highly recommend the tom ka gai and the som tom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Restaurant at the Hyatt Hotel: The food was good, but ridiculously over-priced.

Pokhara

  • Mike’s Restaurant: Conveniently located right on the lake at the Fewa Hotel, this place had some of the best food in Pokhara. (We highly recomend the BLT and the grilled cheese; two things you start to miss when you’ve been on the road for awhile…)
  • Everest steakhouse: The Lonely Planet definitely led us atray when it recommended this one. The garlic bread alone was terrifying (why was it sweet??). We won’t even get into the steaks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Lemon Tree: This place offered servicable food in a charming building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Bistro Caroline: The fanciest restaurant in Pokhara, and a good bet if you’re in need of a reliably decent meal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annapurna Region

  • Paradise Restaurant – Marpha: They had apple pie like grandma used to make. For real. We searched in vain for something like it for the rest of our trek.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Musk Deer Valley Resort – Khanti: The fact that the electricity went out right when we sat down didn’t stop them from serving up a meal full of decent fascimiles of Western favorites.
  • Old Namaste Guesthouse Restaurant – Lete: Not bad, except for the pasta that they served Kelly; it’s now affectionately known as “hairghetti.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • National Guest House – Ghasa: Upon tasting her fried rice, Kelly mournfully noted that her food tasted “like the room.” Given that the room was an improvement over sleeping on the street only in that it had a roof, this was, indeed, an apt description.
  • Dhaulagiri Lodge and Restaurant: The food’s not bad, but stay away from the desserts; they’ve likely been on the shelf since at least last season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things We Did

Kathmandu

  • Took a walking tour of Kathmandu, visiting Durbar square and other sites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Climbed the countless steps to the Monkey Temple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Walked the kora at Bodhnath Temple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pokhara

  • Relaxed on the shore of the gorgeous lake
  • Paraglided off a nearby mountain

Annapurna Region

  • Hiked Jomsom Trek (from Jomsom to Beni) with Michael, Kelly and our porters–Mr. Bihm and Obada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Shanna lost a tooth while eating candy (not a lot of dentists to be found anywhere nearby)
  • Michael and Kelly had camera and ipods stolen and then recovered
  • Soaked in hot springs in Tatopani

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Country Facts

  • Capital City – Kathmandu
  • Currency – Rupiah
  • Exchange Rate – 64 Rupiah to $1