Saturday, Spent All Day Exploring Kathmandu

Kathmandu, Nepal
Saturday, October 20, 2018
After breakfast at the hotel, I started the day at 08:00 by walking from my hotel in Thamel down to the Kathmandu Durbar Square (Map Location: 27.704233, 85.306768 ). I came in the back way so didn't even realize that you have to buy a 1000 rupee ticket just to walk through the square. There was a lot of damage from the 2015 earthquake so many of the buildings are propped up and have scaffolding so they aren't very photogenic.

Next, I took a taxi for 500 rupees to the Patan area where the other big square is, Patan Durbar Square. It had some interesting temples and a lot of pushy guides hawking their services. I paid the 1000 rupee entry to the square. I also walked up to the Golden Temple and then took a taxi to Pashupatinath which is near the airport at Map Location: 27.710659, 85.348575 .

Pashupatinath is the holiest Hindu site in Nepal. It's a complex of temples along the Bagmati River. The main attraction here is the cremation platforms where they burn bodies. While I was there, there were four or five burning and farther up they were preparing two more bodies to burn.

Across the river there were some holy men who had their faces painted and were asking for ridiculous amounts of money to take pictures. The "holy men" seemed to be making a lot of money.

I climbed up the stairs and followed the path past more temples and then past a deer park. I went out the back way, crossed a little bridge across the river, and then walked a couple of kilometers to Boudhanath where Tibetan Buddhism is practiced. There is a huge white stupa there that is taller than the surrounding buildings. You can see the stupa as you exit the Pashupatinath area to the northeast.

Around the stupa is a circle of tall narrow buildings that are hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops. It is a nice area to spend some time and eat and have tea. I had an excellent chicken curry at a Thai place. Entry to the stupa complex is 400 rupees. The stupa is at Map Location: 27.721498, 85.361965 .

In the afternoon, I went to a tour office and worked out a little trek for the next few days. The guide came to my hotel to introduce himself.