Time in Nepal – Part 1

It is the first time I have visited Nepal, it makes me feel a bit nervous and excited at the same time. I’ve traveled to quite a few places, including multiple places in India and Africa which I think are not very much a holiday destination, places you could for foreigners who don’t speak local languages.

I think it’s a bit out of my comfort zone for coming to Nepal this time, maybe because I’ve known little about the country before coming here. All I know is pretty much it’s famous for hiking, it’s between China and India geographically, so the culture may have a lot of influence from both places, a lot of Buddhists and Hindus in the country, and part of Doctor Strange was shot in Kathmandu. This is going to be a relatively long stay in Nepal too, I think there will be many new experiences, and I hope to learn more about Nepal.


I expected Nepal or Kathmandu(since Kathmandu valley is the place I’ve been staying so far) to be a bit like those big cities in India(Pardon me to compare Nepal with India, I was looking for a familiar place to me to get myself mentally prepared), processes and traffic could be a bit chaotic but works in their own way, which is both kind of true and not true.

So as I said, a bit nervous and excited, after about 4.5 hours flight from Singapore, I stepped on the land of Nepal. I was ready to transition from a humid summer to a dry winter and ready for the coldness. I arrived in the afternoon, it was sunny and warm. At the airport, I’ll need to get my visa on arrival, I’ve been a good kid and filled in my pre-arrive visa form a few days before I arrive, I went to the immigration and showed the airport staff my documents. When it was my turn, I was told I’ll need to pay for it at a different counter in the airport. I was ready to be yelled at based on past experiences, statistically speaking. But the officer just smiled at me and told me where is the place to pay and asked me to come back after paying. She was so friendly, it feels like she was one of the unties in the neighborhood, who always helps you with this or that small thing when you failed to do so. I went to the payment counter, and when it was my turn, they asked me where I’m from, I said Singapore, and when I was ready to pay in USD(since their website stated the price in USD), they told me I needed to pay with the currency where I’m from so SGD, I was confused. I don’t usually carry cash with me in Singapore, and I didn’t have enough to pay for the visa fee, so I ended up giving them whichever amount of Singapore dollars I had plus US dollars for the rest. Then I went to immigration again and managed to officially enter Nepal.

I rented an apartment in the heart of Patan, which is also called Lalitpur by its ancient name. It’s part of the Kathmandu Valley, in the south of Kathmandu. It’s famous for its craftsmanship and culture of art. Patan has a lot of temples, shrines, and a lot of woodcarvings, silversmithing, and paintings around the place. I can see painters painting and hear the hamming sound from smithing work when I walk through those old, narrow lanes, the doors of the house I stayed in are beautifully carved wooden doors with a lot of details of Hindu Gods, and many other houses in the neighborhood are with woodcarving doors too. Indeed, it is a place of craftsmanship.

On the first day, I decided to find one of the closest restaurants nearby and have a simple dinner and rest for the day. So I went to a local café. There are some people inside, watching football around the TV, young couples and friends enjoying their food and conversation. There’s a table full of helmets on it(it’s popular and convenient to ride bikes here); the chef was at the front of the restaurant making food, with people just sitting around the cooking space and a friendly dog walking in and out from time to time.

To be continued…


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: