Flying into Kathmandu
The flight to Kuala Lumpur from Hong Kong was a smooth three hour ride. The four hour flight to Kathmandu was a different story. Every five minutes we would drop a few hundred feet. Once we got to the outskirts of Nepal, the pilots had to fly around the mountains and weave through the hills to land the plane. The flight was brutal.
Once the plane landed, I was relieved to be on the ground. I noticed that the airport was extremely small compared to other international airports.
Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Thamel District was the first area I walked in with Sujan.
Sujan met me at the airport. We rode in his Hotel's van to the hotel office. There I said hi to his father and older sister before going out to eat. We headed to Sujan's favorite bar, Phat Kat. We had two dishes consisting of Choupsy (hard noodles with veggies and egg) and Sukuti Sadheko (buffalo jerky with veggies).
Phat Kat bar and restaurant.
Sujan's childhood friend met up with us at Phat Kat. We proceeded to go to another restaurant with more variety of Nepalese foods. We ended up at Zaika Nepalese Restaurant.
Me (left), Sujan (right with orange shirt) and Zenith (right blue shirt) sitting at Zaika Nepalese Restaurant for dinner.
We ended up ordering four dishes, beer and shisha (see photos below).
After dinner at Zaika, we all headed to Sujan's house in Bhuktapur. As we were driving, I noticed that the flow of traffic didn't exist in Nepal. There are no lines or signs on the road to directing two-way lanes. Instead, we weaved in and out of oncoming traffic as pedestrians swarmed the streets with no fear. Motorcycles don't slow down for cars and pedestrians, instead they fly by with ease. The cars have to be aggressive, or no one will ever get anywhere. The whole concept of driving in Nepal was a culture shock at first, but it's the way of life here. I have zoomed through the streets of crazy Taipei on a scooter, but I couldn't gather the courage to drive in Nepal!
Once we got to Sujan's house, his mother had home cooked food ready for us to eat. I didn't take photos because it would have been rude. But, we had rice, curry potatoes, curry chicken, a veggie that helped digest the spicy food and lentil soup to pour over the rice. The catch to this meal: eating with hands instead of utensils. Supposedly, this brings out more flavors in the food, as well as mixing the foods together.
My first reaction to being invited into a Nepalese home was shock. I was treated like a celebrity. In the Nepalese culture, a guest is considered a God in the household. I was given the full treatment: an amazing meal, dessert, beer, whiskey, some great company and a king bed to sleep in. I was blown away by the hospitality by my friend's family.
The first day in Nepal was incredible. I was culture shocked the whole day. I never expected to be so welcomed into a home. Tomorrow I will be visiting the ruins of the earthquake in the heart of Bhuktapur.