Nepal: Leaving Bhutan for Kathmandu

20 December 2015

No doubt, the capital of Nepal is a fascinating city with plenty of artistic and cultural wonders to admire.  Nepal is still recovering from the aftermaths of the April and May earthquake. Many UNESCO sites are now in ruins.  I’ve had some friends who suggested delaying my trip and avoiding it at all cost. Supplies are down and I’ve heard about the fuel crisis currently facing the country however if I delay my Nepal trip then who knows when I’ll have the time to see her beauty. Seize the time so here I come.
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Leaving Bhutan – last glimpse of Paro airport and hello Mt Everest

Paro to Kathmandu is another short flight. Initially I was suppose to leave at around 7:45 am however there was a delay so I ended up waiting for two hours. I’m ok with that since a part of me didn’t want to leave Bhutan at all. While waiting for the flight,  I saw a tall figure walking towards me.

“Hey! it’s you!”

I looked up and saw a familiar face.

It’s Ugyen ( the flight crew from the Dhaka – Paro flight).  It might seem meaningless and trivial for some  but for me, it is such a great “ you again” moment.

“ Wow, so great to see you ! That’s twice now. Do visit my country again in the future and hopefully I’ll see you again on your next Bhutan flight,”said Ugyen.

He also told me that the Captain for this flight is the same Czech-Slovakian pilot on the Dhaka-Bhutan flight (another coincidence). It was a fantastic way to start and end my Bhutan trip.

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Drukair Captain and Ugyen- Kathmandu

As I waited, I saw my wonderful Victoria ( If I’m a guy, I’ll marry her). Looking beautiful as always, she was sipping on her coffee and getting ready to board her flight back to Delhi. Kind of sad that our honeymoon is over but I have a feeling we’ll travel again in the future.

If Victoria wasn’t introduced to me by our mutual friend Bo (another hot producer and also my former colleague) and we didn’t talk about our ideal travel destination over dinner that September night in Beijing, then there will be no memorable Bhutan honeymoon. Without Victoria’s contacts, I would have struggled with trying to locate a reputable tour agency since there are too many to choose from. Bhutan Dorji Holidays really made it special. Seeing Victoria was comforting but saying goodbye is extremely difficult. It’s a weakness of mine and my pessimistic nature makes a normal departure more emotional, unnecessarily sentimental and teary. I thought about Bhutan, Will I see Bhutan along with all the lovely friends again? Will I cry over the possibility that Bhutan might be changed by this awful modern world or will I have the chance to laugh and feel even closer to achieving happiness in my next trip? Since we’ve only discovered the Western part of Bhutan, Victoria also felt that we must leave the Eastern part of Bhutan for our next honeymoon. I like that but….will that happen?

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Slowly as the plane approached the airport, I could feel the contrast between Nepal and Bhutan- it is very much a cluster of chaos- a developing country suffering from fuel crisis and the damages from the April and May earthquake. It was only after arriving at my guesthouse that I realised the country is also going through a power cut due to the dry season.

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I headed straight to Monkey Temple also known as Swayambhu (West of Thamel and North-West of Basantapur). Built 2500 years ago, it is a mixture of both Buddhism and Hinduism. There are some 3000 monkeys around the temple complex and of course, I went to see the stupa with the mesmerizing eyes.  I end the day at the Kathmandu Durbar Square  “ Where living culture meets ancient history”. The ancient square is where the Kings of Nepal were once crowned and legitimized. It is a living museum and still remains an important site for Nepal’s religious ceremonies. There are countless temples, structures and courtyards in the square and many were built between the 16th and 18th centuries with some inscriptions dating back as early as the 7th century.

Kathmandu Durbar Square before the earthquake (Photo: Internet)
Kathmandu Durbar Square before the earthquake (Photo: Internet)

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