Destinations, My room in, Nepal

My room in Kathmandu

May 15, 2011

The view from my guesthouse room in Kathmandu, decorated for Diwali

When I arrived in Kathmandu from Tibet, my first order of business was to organise my Indian visa.

Actually no. That’s a lie.

My first order of business was to eat pizza and drink beer. The Indian visa came second.

Once the first order of business was out of the way, I quickly discovered it was going to take ten days to apply for and have my visa issued by the Indian embassy in Kathmandu.

Usually, Indian visas are issued in half that time but the upcoming festival of Diwali meant an extra long weekend, and an extra long wait to get my passport back.

This wasn’t exactly unwelcome news. I love Kathmandu. I’d been there a couple of years before and I know I’ll probably return many times. I knew I’d have no problems filling the ten days.

And fill them I did. Those ten days disappeared quickly as I fell into a routine that revolved around eating falafel, chocolate, pizza, scrambled eggs, real brown bread and one of the best burritos I’ve ever had, shopping for DVDs, CDs and second-hand books and of course using any and every wifi connection I could hook my laptop or iPhone up to.

Because if you hadn’t worked it out yet, Thamel is also backpacker wonderland. And it was heaving with trekkers and travellers of all ages from all over the world.

(Though sadly Thamel often lacks functioning ATMs, which you’ll need if you’re spending a fortune on Western food like I did. I like Nepalese food but after two months of living off carrots, potatoes, fried rice and 2-minute noodles in Mongolia and Tibet, pizza and imported snacks were rapture-inducing)

My room in Kathmandu before my backpack exploded everywhereBefore my backpack exploded everywhere

Bright and breezy, my 600Rs/night room in Kathmandu was the perfect place for working online, reading the Dalai Lama’s autobiography, watching Eat Pray Love and chowing down on the Australian snacks my wonderful friends from home were kind enough to send me poste restante.

With the care package from Australia in my room in Kathmandu

I even had a window seat.

My bright and breezy guesthouse room in Kathmandu

Of course, I didn’t just hang out in my room.

I did plenty of sight-seeing with some of the friends I’d made while travelling through Tibet. I took a day trip out to a village in the Kathmandu Valley and celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights, by eating Mexican food and drinking cocktails.

Truth be told, when the guesthouse owner rushed my passport up to my room at the eleventh hour on the evening before I was due to travel to my yoga retreat in Pokhara to start my diet of daal bhat and meditation, I was a little sad.

After ten days of routine, Kathmandu and my sunny room had kind of started to feel a little bit like home.

And after several months of being constantly on the move, it was exactly what I’d needed.

 

This is the beginning of a new series here at OnMyWayRTW.com.

My room in… will give you a glimpse into the kinds of places I stay while I’m on the road – from those dodgy railway station hotels that rent rooms by the hour, to European hostels, to the (rare!) fancy-pants five stars.

 

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16 Comments

  • Reply Amer May 15, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    quick thinking! Based on your description and the photos I’m seeing, that room really feels cozy.

    • Reply MeganRTW May 16, 2011 at 6:59 pm

      It was a great place to spend 10 days, and very cozy. I loved the sunshine that streamed in through most of the day, too

  • Reply Tijmen May 16, 2011 at 12:57 am

    That looks like a great room in Khatmandu! Did your Australian friends send tim tams for you? šŸ˜›

    • Reply MeganRTW May 16, 2011 at 7:00 pm

      Haha no tim tams sadly (potential poste-restante-package-senders take note: I LOVE double choc tim tams), but plenty of lollies/sweets!

      • Reply Tijmen May 17, 2011 at 7:11 am

        They are great, couldn’t stop eating them when I was in Aus and NZ. Even had a friend send 12 packages over to Holland a few months after I came back home šŸ™‚

        • Reply MeganRTW May 18, 2011 at 6:39 pm

          It’s got to be double choc though – regular just doesn’t cut it anymore!

  • Reply Andrea May 16, 2011 at 5:46 am

    So jealous of your care package – wish one of our friends or family would send us some Aussie snacks!

    • Reply MeganRTW May 16, 2011 at 7:01 pm

      Poste restante is actually surprisingly effective (well, except from in India where the package never turned up and arrived back battered and bruised in Sydney six months later). You should drop some major hints! It was so much funny getting the parcel at the post office. Made my week!

  • Reply Oneika the Traveller May 19, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Very very cool!! Sooo nice to feel like you have a home base after being on the road for so long! I went to Nepal a year and a half ago and LOVED Kathmandu. So much going on, so much crazy stuff and cool colours and random cows in the main square and holy men and markets…. Give me more!! I was only there for three days but would love to go back and see it properly! Found your blog via Kay’s India blog and I will keep on reading along!

    • Reply MeganRTW May 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm

      Hey Oneika! Kathmandu is just crazy isn’t it? It’s a place you can just lose yourself in completely.

      Glad you enjoyed the post šŸ™‚

  • Reply Jenny May 21, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    I love your ‘my room in’ section, it’s so cool to see because it does give you a good idea of what kind of rooms the city your staying in has to offer, giving you a good idea about what the city in general has to offer you. And, btw, I’m super jealous of your care package!

    • Reply MeganRTW May 22, 2011 at 11:35 am

      Thanks Jenny! There will be more posts in this series, so check back again soon.

  • Reply GRRRL TRAVELER May 27, 2011 at 2:44 am

    Nuh-uh. I can’t believe you got a care package on your trip! So J. Pretty nice sunshiney room– when I was there my room in Thamel was a bit of a dive! Good shopping.

    • Reply MeganRTW May 28, 2011 at 9:04 am

      Hey Christine – yeah, there are some pretty miserable places in Thamel – I was really lucky with this one! I loved the big windows (although it meant people standing on the rooftops of taller buildings could see in – yikes!).

  • Reply Mike Lenzen | Traveled Earth June 3, 2011 at 3:00 am

    I’ve been looking into poste restante. I’ve really been wondering how reliable the mail service is outside of developed countries. Glad to hear it works. Do you know if it was sent as a registered parcel to ensure delivery? If regular post (no signature) works, I can definitely see me taking advantage of it.

    • Reply MeganRTW June 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm

      Hey Mike – it didn’t work in Delhi though! The PO insisted they didn’t have the box and it turned up back in Sydney six months later! The one to Kathmandu wasn’t sent registered post, but they need to see a passport for poste restante anyway.

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