Every tourist visiting Nepal goes through Kathmandu and you'll see it on the streets. In some parts of the city there are more tourists than locals. E.g. Thamel is full of trekking agencies, rickshaws and small shops that sell to tourists (with tourist prices so remember to barter).
Nepalese hindus burn their dead in Pashupatinath. The platforms by the river are categorized by caste. The higher caste platforms are upriver, which is practical:
the remainings are swept off to the Bagmati river and every now and then some valuables end up to the river with the ashes. Entrepreneurial guys downstream try to find gold and jewellery using a net. (see the photo! this guy is working downstream by a lower caste platform.)
Luckily we had hired a porter. It was a rough and fast-paced hike through the national park to Chisapani but the views were definitely worth the effort. There was only one tea room along the way and the paths were quiet (as in: there were no other people, lots of sound by birds and insects though).
Chisapani was the first stop on our hike around Kathmandu Valley. The tiny village is a good hike from any decent road (although we saw a few people on motorcycles struggling their way through the bumpy paths). The air was very clean and crisp up there.
Getting to this temple took two hours by 4wd car from Dharan. The muddy road winded along the Khola river and went through a couple of small villages. The villages kept getting smaller and smaller, and in the end we had to leave the car and walk the rest of the way. The whole place was just like in the India Jones movie... :)
We took a ride from Dharan to a small village on the nearby hills. Bhedetar was very quiet and peaceful, and the main sight is the Charles Point viewing tower (in the background of the photo). The view over foresty hill area is definitely worth the trip.
Go here and you'll get a grasp of Indian history, culture and art quickly. Efficient and tiring. :) The museum's collection is huge, presenting multiple perspectives of every era and style. Prepare for information overdose.
Dude, these Sikhs are cool! The temple was a mixture of a market place and quiet decorative indoor hall. We paid a tiny donation and got some food from which to offer to the gods. I guess it means good luck for me for the coming year..
So many westerners dressed in orange here. We happened to be there right on time for the service. The heavy curtains before the altars were slowly opened - and some people started taking photos while others threw themselves on the floor to worship. Strange.
Despite the location, this hotel turned out a great choice. Not least because of the managers who knew how to run a good hotel and were able to provide what we needed. Nice roof terrace, free wifi, no gym.