Saturday, May 4, 2013

Namaste, Nepal!

I just got back from a trip to Nepal-- something I had planned since December 2012.

"Why Nepal?", you might ask as did everyone who learned about my travel plans. Well, I initially wanted to go to a country in another continent (like USA or Australia) but I wasn't confident about getting a VISA in those countries. I didn't want to risk it (I'm pertaining to the expensive VISA fees) so after scanning the world map a couple of times, I settled with Nepal where I can get a VISA on arrival. I met some Nepalese friends during the Summer Course 2012 so I got pretty interested with their country. Thankfully, three classmates from high school were also up to the "non-mainstream" idea.

There are no direct flights from Manila to Kathmandu so what we did was to fly from Manila to Kuala Lumpur via Cebu Pacific and then fly from KL to Kathmandu via Air Asia. The total airfare is quite expensive but that's  pretty much what I spent for the most-- airfare, since everything is pretty cheap in Nepal (yes, even cheaper than the Philippines!)

We had a 10-hour stopover from 2am to 12nn at Kuala Lumpur which was spent sleeping at the airport and visiting the Petronas Towers. Come to think of it, it was my first time going to a South East Asian country (other than the Philippines, of course). All of my travels prior were to East Asia!

Honestly always wanted to see these towers.

I never reserve seats for my flights (yeah, cheapskate, I know) but the seat I got from KL to Kathmandu was very lucky for a couple of reasons: (1) I got a window seat. (2) I got a seat beside my friend even though we didn't book our flights together. (3) Right in front of my seat was a lavatory so I had A LOT of legroom. (4) I was able to see the Himalayas from my window (I was seated at the left side if you're facing the cockpit).

We arrived at the Tribhuvan International Airport and had to endure the looooong lines at the Immigration (which included getting a VISA on arrival). Our baggage were already off the carousel by the time we finished our Immigration business. While getting our luggage, we met two Filipino flight attendants who were equally surprised to hear us speaking in Tagalog! I actually thought that we won't be meeting any Filipinos there like we usually do in other countries. It was then that I realized "Oh, Filipinos really are everywhere."

It was afternoon when we finally settled at our Bed&Breakfast (which I'll write about later on). We took some rest first (because we were really tired from the loooooong journey) and then proceeded to dinner.

Kathmandu sunset as seen from our B&B's rooftop. 

We went to a place called Revolution Cafe. We ordered Dal Bhat, a famous Nepali cuisine. It was full of spices but not the hot kind. I do love curry but I really just hate cilantro.

We also had buff momo (buffalo dumplings) which came with some curry sauce. I think it's better with soy sauce and lime (or calamansi) but maybe I'm only thinking that because I'm Filipino.

I wanted to have some dessert (to wash away all the spices in my mouth). My friend and I shared an apple pie (110 Nepal rupees, around PhP55, told you stuff is cheap in Nepal!) The serving was big and it was pretty good. It's not exactly among the best apple pies I've had but compared to other desserts I ate in Nepal, this is a lot better.

Now pardon the bad lighting. Kathmandu gets very frequent power cuts (brownouts, as we call them in the Philippines) so candlelit dinners are the "in" thing there.

That's pretty much my short stopover in Kuala Lumpur and my first day in Kathmandu. I'll post more about my trip (and the beauty of Nepal) in the coming days (or weeks). :)


  1. Wow Claire, in fair ang lakas ng trip niyo ng friends mo! hahaha. Ang galing! And I love your shot with the towers!! :)

    1. Aww thanks Ghoent!

      Onga ang hirap puntahan eh, sobrang pagod sa biyahe pa lang @_@ pero I would say, sulit naman!