Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cafe Mitra in Kathmandu

While researching about Kathmandu, I chanced upon Cafe Mitra. Seeing that it's one of the highly-recommended restaurants on Tripadvisor, I decided that I will eat there when I got to Kathmandu.

After the trip to Nagarkot, my friends and I decided to eat lunch at Cafe Mitra in Thamel. The entrance is small and we actually passed by it without noticing and had to turn back to find it. The interior is quite big though. The place is tastefully-decorated and cozy.

They offer both outdoor and indoor dining but because it was noon, we opted to eat indoors. I would say it has a different feel from the other restaurants I've been to in Thamel as most of them are not this modern-looking.

There's an iPod classic and a speaker if you want to hear music.

The menu was limited and the food was kinda pricey compared to other restaurants in Thamel (from NPR500 to above NPR1000 or ~USD12 to above~USD24).

We were the only customers that time.

Surprised by the price range and being the cheapskate that I am, I ordered one of the cheapest items in the menu: goat cheese with mashed potatoes and vegetables (NPR550).

The goat cheese was quite strong and sour to me at first but eventually, I got the hang of it. It was really good. 

This photo makes me really hungry.

My food may not look like much but it was very filling and super tasty. Even my friends who tasted it loved it. It may also be one of my most expensive meals in Nepal but I think it's really worth it! At first, I even felt a bit guilty about dragging my friends to an expensive place (not that I'm aware of it) but even my friends said the food is worth it!

If you have money to spare, I say you should try Cafe Mitra at least once during your stay in Kathmandu.

Relaxing in Nagarkot, Nepal

With the hustle, bustle and pollution in Kathmandu, being able to stay overnight in Nagarkot was really refreshing. 

Nagarkot is a village around 32 kilometers away from Kathmandu. It is said to be a great viewing deck of the Himalayan ranges (Mt. Everest included).

It is possible to take the bus from Kathmandu (which is a lot cheaper) but my friends and I opted to take the taxi. It cost us NPR 2500 (~PhP1250 or ~USD30) one-way. It wasn't a huge pain in the pocket though because we divided the fare among the four of us. The [scenic and super bumpy] ride took less than 2 hours. For our way back, the taxi driver offered to pick us up the next day and charged us NPR 3000 (~PhP1500 or ~USD36).

I don't think there's much to do around Nagarkot except to relax and to enjoy the view. You can go around the village though (which is very interesting) by walking.

There are a bunch of hotels in Nagarkot. We stayed at Peaceful Cottage and Cafe du Mont. They have a deck which offers a 360-degree view. When I went there, they had two buildings (one of which is still under construction but some rooms can already be occupied). We stayed in the new rooms in the building under construction. They were big and fabulous for the price though still smelled of fresh paint. The toilet and bath was big and the fixtures were the expensive kind (trust me, I know these things haha). There's also a big terrace though there's nothing to see except trees and crows. However, the only problem I had with Peaceful Cottage was the comforters. The comforter on my bed smelled bad as if they weren't dried properly after washing. I ended up wearing my thick jogging pants, thick jacket and scarf to bed because it's really cold in Nagarkot. Phew.

A view from the deck

I shared the room with my friend (it was a double room) and I paid only around PhP600. I wasn't able to ask my friend (who used a credit card to pay for our rooms) how much it was exactly but I would guess it's around USD25 per night.

The wi-fi in Peaceful Cottage performed great. However, wi-fi didn't reach our rooms so we had to go to the restaurant (the common area) each time we wanted to surf the net. The difference in elevation of our rooms and the restaurant is around 60 feet (around six floors) so imagine having to climb up six floors each time you need to go to the restaurant to eat or to surf the net. Added to that, the air is very thin due to the altitude so I always end up panting whenever I go up the restaurant. It wasn't bad, though. I mean, it's still exercise. :)

I don't know about the other hotels in Nagarkot but I would definitely recommend Peaceful Cottage to anyone who will stay in Nagarkot. Just make sure to ask for fresh-smelling comforters.


April is totally not the best time to go to Nagarkot (it was proven by the lack of guests in the area) as the clouds cover the view of the mountains. When we went there, we saw no snow-capped mountains. The best time to go, according to the staff, is around winter when it snows but the view is really great.


Solar water heaters are very common in Nepal


A postcard of Nagarkot

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Finding Oneself

This is where I am right now:

This place has offered me so much new experiences in just 24 hours. Let's see how I'm going to fare over the next few days haha.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Handmade Stationery

I owe this blog a lot of stories, seriously.

The past couple of weeks (maybe you can even say the past month) has been really tough on me. It's not the bad kind of tough but the challenging kind instead. And I'm always up for challenges.

I also realized that for the first time since kindergarten, I am not directly affected by the first day of classes. I worked as a university instructor immediately after graduating from college so now that I've resigned from the academe, there's a feeling which is so difficult to explain. It's neither good nor bad. Maybe it's just a weird feeling.


Last Thursday, I woke up early (despite staying up until 3am, working) and made this stationery before going to work. I've written a letter on it to send to a penpal. I still want to make more!

made with kraft paper, felt-tip pen, sakura puncher and handmade sakura stamp

I haven't written a lot of mail recently but maybe when I regain my footing (which will probably happen when I stop overbooking my weekends), I can get back to my hobby (and write all my overdue blog posts too).