two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I took the one less traveled by Robert Frost
As the early morning rain filtered in through the gaps of the surrounding buildings we jumped into a beat-up Suzuki Maruti for the short ride to our next destination, the medieval town of Bhaktapur. Formerly the capital of Nepal this walled town now forms a living-breathing UNESCO heritage site. Our first task was to run the gauntlet of taxi drivers and guides before reaching the gate and buying a pass to get in. If only we were Chinese!!
Using the directions sent to us by our guesthouse ,(and we needed them), we navigated our way to the Heart Of Bhaktapur Guest House. Set up in 2012 by a charitable home for disabled children, the guesthouse funnels all the profits back to the home(situated on the lower floors) and also provides employment opportunities to some of the children on adulthood. Each of the 13 rooms was named after one of the original children the home helped. We stayed in room 2 (Sapin’s room). It felt really good to stay in a great place like this that we asked to stay an additional night. The breakfast was also very good, omelettes and pancakes, and with a rooftop dining room was a great treat.
Unencumbered of our bags we struck out to explore this wonderful city the best way we know how. Yep you guessed it, a John Rose walking tour. With no traffic this was easier than Kathmandu. Highlights of the tour were getting severely lost, following a trail of chicken blood, expensive lunch in Thakali Square and a host of temples and sights.
We didn’t venture out at too late at night as there are no street lighting whatsoever. Karen was reminded of that night in Hoi An with Paula.
The next day we set on a bus trip to Dhulikel to catch a glimpse of the Himalayan Mountains. We jumped on a local bus on the highway and eventually worked out where to jump off. The buses are a lot more easier than in India.
Our destination was the viewpoint tower overlooking the town but on reaching the critical junction and ignoring all the signs we went left after John was assured that was the correct path to take.
What followed was a 2 hour detour through forgotten villages and a chance encounter with a cafe owner who played drums in a System Of A Down tribute band. When we got back on track the heavens opened. We managed to make it half way up the hill to the Buddha statue before turning back. John drew the ire of Karen by walking around in his socks on the soaking wet Buddha platform.
There was no hope of any view of the mountains anyways so we were not too disappointed. Before leaving we had some cracking lunch in small restaurant. 2 waters, 2 portions of MoMos and chapattis for £1 total. Great value. The bus back was packed (Saturday night and everyone heading to Kathmandu). Karen saw our stop and like a rugby center, ducked and weaves to the door. John like a rugby pack got stuck amongst the crowd and only for the fact that we hadn’t paid our fare the bus would have left with one half of JKRoaming still on it.
Bhaktapur is a great place to stay and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Our guest house website for any future travellers is:
Next up is the short trip back to Katmandu airport for the plane to Pokhara!