Sunday, May 24, 2009

Kathmandu, Nepal


What a great and crazy place Kathmandu is. I started my day yesterday with a stroll around Thamel, the main tourist district, walking around the tight maze of chaotic streets full of shops, bars and guiding companies. I stopped for some breakfast and met some nice American guys, Scott and Mark, who had a guide for the day to show them Kathmandu and invited me to join in. We jumped into Prashant's car (our guide) and headed off around town. We visited both sides of the Monkey Temple where the monkeys literally run the place and eagles soared overhead, then the Boudha Stupa which is the biggest Stupa in Kathmandu. We went into the monastary there and I got blessed by a Tibetan monk. Then we had some lunch at a small local Tibetan place and then after lunch we went to see Pashupatinath Temple, a temple for Shiva and the biggest Hindu temple in Nepal where all the bodies in Kathmandu are cremated. Seeing people play music and dance, while people watched bodies burning at the same time as children digging through the river mud that the bodies ashes are washed into looking for jewelry and coins was eye opening to say the least.
The start contrast of the huge monastaries and the slum buildings was around every corner, as was the reminder that this is a very poor place, with beggars and the infirm at every turn.
After a long day I relaxed a while, went and had some dinner while watching a traditional Nepali band and dancer, then a beer at Sam's Bar followed by much needed sleep. Today should be a relaxing day then I am off on a flight to Pokhara tomorrow!
You can see more of my photo's on facebook or at:

A Macaque monkey overlooking Pashupatinath Temple

A cow in the streets of Kathmandu

The Boudha Stupa

Scott, Mark and Prashant in the Tibetan Buddhist Monastry at Boudha Stupa

A beggar girl at the Monkey Temple

The golden Buddha at the Monkey Temple

Prayer wheels at the Monkey Temple

The streets of Thamel, Kathmandu

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