Yesterday was spent visiting the local temple in Kathmandu called Swayambhu or Monkey temple in English. Today I decided to venture out further. A friend recommended I see this ancient city with some wonderful architecture. The place is called Bhaktapur and it is about 20-30 min out of Kathmandu. I ordered a proper taxi this time. Even with Kathmandu temperatures at about 25°C it was pretty chilly on the bike the previous day when it was warmer.
Cost me about 850 NPR to get there and I dropped off what seems like the edge of the city centre. All of a sudden I get besieged by a couple of guys trying to aggressively get guide work. And then another guy making me go in an office to pay a fee. Really didn’t like the situation I was in and needed to make sure I wasn’t being scammed. Looks like tourists are required to pay a fee to get into Bhaktapur. I payed but I politely declined the guides. I do actually prefer to explore places by my own. Not that I would not want to contribute to the locals. But I’ll do it my own way. The pestering of the guides did not end, when I came to the main entrance to the old city it got much worse.
Anyway, it really is a beautiful city and well worth the visit and the entrance fee. First you have the stunning buildings with the intricate wooden ornaments (not sure what tey are called). The photos speak for themselves.
Then there are the old streets where you will find merchants selling you kashmir,jewelry and everything down to a Snickers bar. Getting back was a bit more of a stressful event as I had difficulty haggling the fair price of a taxi back to Kathmandu. Luckily I knew the fair price to get to Bhaktapur so in the end they relented. I did give the drive a good tip in the end just for not being a dick.
The one thing that stood out was the number of wooden support beams you saw propping up a lot of the buildings. This is from the damage that they incurred during the disastrous 2014 earthquake, magnitude 7.8 on the Richter scale.
Had another wander round the touristy part of Kathmandu called Thamel and did some shopping. Then back to the hotel for a swim in the pool. The walk back to the hotel wasn’t the most pleasant. Had begging children running up to me and trying to hug my legs. This is a known tactic that parents will teach the kids and its a but upsetting when you have to say no. Not giving begging children money was something the local guides also advised as its actually more of a scam rather than actually positively contributing to the Nepalese economy.