Friday, March 23, 2012
I was wondering why December is a low season for tourism in Nepal; I mean it doesn’t matter when you visit the Himalayas, it is always frozen in the snow given the altitude. It became crystal clear to me when I experienced over 10 hours of power outage on a daily basis during my trip. Apparently the water that is used to generate power freezes in the winter, along with fast modernization in the cities and politics makes power restrictions necessary. I heard so many complaints from the shops in Thamel, the center of tourism, unless you have a generator, no one is going to spend money on handicrafts like Thankas when they can't see the beautiful details.
news about the safety of traveling in Nepal: "In recognition of improved conditions in Nepal, the US Department of State has canceled the travel warning that was most recently issued on January 12". The second day of my journey, I encountered a general strike that crippled normal life in Nepal. I had to walk across the city as the only cars that moved was the ambulance and truck loaded with armed soldiers. My lunch was an energy bar that I brought from Taiwan as the only store that opened was a pharmacy. Despite the fact that all streets were garrisoned by armed soldiers, the strike was largely peaceful as claimed by the party. Teenagers played football in the streets that are usually filled with traffic. Who would think that a general strike in Nepal would be a perfect day to explore the city?
I was warmed about the harassment from beggars and street vendors in Nepal but I found it wasn't so annoying, at least for most of the time. Most of the people would go away if you smiled and said no. I had a good laugh with two brothers who tried to sell me a sarangi in Pokhara, at the end I didn't buy the sarangi but we sang the most popular song Resham Firiri and drew attention of the crowd.
Walking tours in Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur
Patan and Kathmandu Bus/minibus route map