VIP in Kathmandu

Thamel, Kathmandu

VIP = Very Indian Person

And for a change, almost a VIP in a foreign country. You can get in to the country showing any Indian  government id, you have a separate line in immigration, you don’t need to remove your electronic devices for security check, and best of all, you can use Indian rupees freely and it actually has more value there!

Excerpt from family Whatsapp chat:

Any language issues?

No, most people speak or understand Hindi and English. If you know Hindi, you can follow Nepali.

Did they ask for vaccination certs for kids?

They accepted Corbevax for kids. With negative RT-PCR report, as she’s only had one dose. And we had to fill up a ccmr form before leaving. (And Air Suvidha on return)

Now for the fun stuff. We stayed in Hotel Yukhang in Thamel, a touristy area with narrow lanes full of souvenir shops, courtyard restaurants and rooftop music bars. The hotel had quaint brick exteriors and wooden interiors. The staff were equally warm.

“It’s like coming home!,” exclaimed Tarana when we returned here from Pokhara. More on Pokhara in the next blog.

Rosemary Kichen and Coffee Shop, Thamel

With tons of international cuisine available, even my picky 12-year old was happy. We had apple pie and nachos at the Rosemary kitchen. Paid repeat visits to Yin Yang for their delish yellow curry rice, and to Jhomsi for corndogs (for her) and Tibetan cuisine (for me). What about traditional Nepali cuisine, you ask? I had the wholesome dal-bhat-tarkari plate, with an added meat curry. There were interesting Newari dishes in Jatra – I had chatamari, a stuffed pancake. I thoroughly enjoyed the Tibetan meal in the pic below.

Ting mo (steamed bun) and spicy dum aloo

Nepal has amazing green teas, black coffees, local beers, whiskies, spiced rum and a rice wine called raksi. While it’s the ultimate destination for mountaineers and adventure-seekers, there’s a lot for those looking for culture, spirituality, food and drink, or any one of the above. Something for everyone. So the question is not, “Have you visited Nepal?”, but “Why have you not visited Nepal yet?”, especially if you’re in India and it’s so easy to slip across. So slip slide away, and I’ll leave you with a lesser known nugget of Kathmandu in the final pic.

Garden of Dreams, a little landscaped getaway in the heart of busy Kathmandu

About Sandhya Ranganathan

Sandhya is a dreamer, a writer and a globetrotter. She has authored a children’s book, “Mia finds a home,” and co-authored her father, Lt. Col. V.S. Ranganathan (Retd.)’s autobiography, “Burma to Bangalore”, represented by The Book Bakers and published by Locksley Hall Publishing. Her poems have been featured in various anthologies. She currently heads a Technical Communications team in an MNC and is on the board of Manage The Docs industry leadership community. She enjoys pottering around her home and garden in Bangalore, India, with her human and feline babies. Oh, and she loves miniatures and clouds.
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