Our arrival in Kathmandu was met with a chaotic, tiny airport in the heart of a little mountain town in the Himalayas. Well, it’s not so little. It’s a big mountain town. But it has a small town feel throughout.

The landscape is absolutely incredible. There is no mountain range that can rival the Himalayas.

The drive through the town was a much greener, wetter version of India. The dirt roads were packed with cars, donkey-driven carts, bikes, families on foot, cows, and stray dogs, directed by police officers with machine guns.

The hotel was a majestic, Nepalese-style fortress built on the edge of the downtown and bordering a more peaceful, quaint area of Kathmandu that was home to Kathmandu’s Boudhanath Stupa, a Tibetan Buddhist temple. We loved that the area had such a large population of Buddhist monks, dressed in traditional maroon and orange Buddhist robes. It was an incredible vibe, and the people were so kind.

This is the Boudhanath Stupa, aka “The Happy Temple.”

I loved all the colors, the flags, and the face on the temple! It was amazing to see hundreds of people, most of them monks, circling the temple in a clockwise direction, which we later found out was a traditional Buddhist prayer ritual.

We took these pictures on top of the temple, which you are actually allowed to climb in order to pray (and have a better view of the city!).

We poked around in all the little stores surrounding the temple, where I bought a bright purple bag with eyes on it, just like the temple! My mom and I were in love with all the bright colors.

We spent the majority of our time in Nepal exploring the safest part of Kathmandu near the temple. After a long day of travel, we finally made it back to our hotel, where we were surprised to experience our first power outages. We had heard that parts of Nepal experience power outages for up to 16 hours a day, but we didn’t expect our hotel to have outages as well! The hotel was prepared with flashlights on every bed…and we quickly learned to place them in the bathroom, as it was not very fun to be in the shower when the lights went out!

It’s not much of a surprise that there are such power outages when you see this picture though!

On our way to the airport the following day, we learned that Nepal is currently experiencing gas shortages as well. Dozens of cars filled the streets, in line at the gas stations waiting for gas to be delivered from India. It was eye opening to see such commodities that I have always taken for granted in such scarcity in Nepal.

Despite the hardships of daily life in Kathmandu, I truly saw hope in the eyes of the people. It was inspiring, and so beautiful.

The funniest part about our stay in Nepal happened in the airport as we were leaving. We turned around while standing in the customs line and saw a family that not only lives in the teeny little area that my family lives, but used to live on our street, a mere two houses away! Here we were, in Kathmandu International Airport, talking with our old neighbors. It is such a small world.

Kathmandu, Nepal

Where to Stay

Hyatt Regency Kathmandu
The Hyatt Regency Kathmandu is an incredible Nepalese-style hotel located just five-minutes away from the Boudhanath Stupa. In a city that has had security issues in the past, including robberies from hotel rooms while the occupants were sleeping, the Hyatt is definitely the safest place to be in Kathmandu. The combination of security guards roaming the property and the hotel’s location 10 kilometers away from the city center made my family feel safe and secure both at the hotel and in the surrounding area. The rooms were clean, though not as luxurious as the Imperial Hotel in Delhi, and the service was excellent.

What to Do

As my family’s stay in Nepal was less than twenty-four hours, we had to prioritize what we wanted to see. Most of all, we wanted to get a feel for the city and see the culture. We were very happy with our walk from the hotel to the Boudhanath Stupa, where we were able to see what everyday life was like in Kathmandu. The Stupa was an incredible experience, especially after joining in with the crowd of Buddhist monks that were circling the temple.

We did not have time to take the Buddha Air flight around Mount Everest, but our old neighbors did and shared their experience with us while waiting in customs. It all comes down to luck when scheduling these flights, for some days the visibility may be great and you will be able to see Everest, while others you are not so lucky. On our neighbor’s flight, the sky was overcast and stormy, which made it difficult to see any mountains, including Everest.

Where to Eat

I recommend eating all of your meals at the hotel.  I stuck to carbs just to be safe!

Next Stop: Doha, Qatar!

36 Responses to nepal

  1. Your passport must have some amazing stamps on it! Usually I think of adveture and “remote” traveling as something young people take off to do own their own. So cool that this is a family experience. 🙂

    • Star says:

      Thanks Leslie! It is kind of funny – a lot of my friends have gone off for their Euro Trip adventures. Both ways of traveling sound so fun, but I love going with my family!

  2. Wow! I think I would’ve been scared to go but you guys seem to have a wonderful time. It is so sad how the women and children are treat in so many countries. Right here in the United States there is so much poverty, schools that are falling apart and children without books or even enough food for the day!

  3. beautiful photos lady! and wasn’t that documentary amazing? have you read half the sky by nicholas kristof? there is a lot on trafficking in there- eye opening, for sure.

    • Star says:

      Thanks so much Mary!!! That documentary was amazing. So well done too. And no I haven’t read Half the Sky! I’ve heard of it – sounds like an interesting read. I’ll have to try it. Thank you for the suggestion!

  4. Meg says:

    Wow seriously Star you are making me jealous with all your traveling posts right now. can I buy a plane ticket and travel with you next time?
    it is so sad that people will do cruel things to other people like CNN displayed, very tragic to say the least

  5. Loving these travel updates. I’m with Meg…Can I buy a plane ticket and travel with you next time too?

  6. Absolutely fascinating. It is such a treat to get a firsthand view of such a fabulous trip!

  7. What great photos – it’s been such great fun to follow along with your trip! I love your outfit – did you buy it there? And that jewelry, how fun!

  8. What an incredible trip!! Nepal looks like such a fascinating place.

  9. Tang says:

    Wow, I love places with so much colour and culture. It looks like such an amazing place to explore!

  10. What a crazy amazing experience! I would have been pretty scared if I saw that documentary right before leaving..So sad that things like that are happening around the world… But good for you guys to still continue plans with your trip. It was obviously worth it! That jewelry shop looks like my kind of place!! Did you buy any of those necklaces?! LOVE THEM!! Ahhhh I cant believe all those crossing wires..yes no wonder they are having power outages! Crazy!
    So happy to hear you had a good trip and THANK you for sharing your trip experience with all of us!

    • Star says:

      I actually didn’t buy any of the jewelry!!! It was too hard to make a decision! So I went with the bag instead :). Thank you so much for your sweet comments and amazing blog support Lindsay!

  11. Ohhh and you have beautiful skin!! I notice things like that 😉

  12. Jennifer says:

    Another great travel review! That picture of the electric wires cracked me up and seriously how crazy that you ran into your old neighbors?!! It is a small world. Thaks again for sharing.

  13. Hi Star! I’ve been waiting for this post for ages but I’ve been so sick since last Friday. Am slowly getting better. It was so interesting to hear your stories of Nepal. I had friends visit years ago and although still very poor they were able to get out and about a lot more. I’m sorry your trip there was only short but it sounds like you managed to capture a lot of what Nepal is about.

    Looking forward to the next instalment.

    Anne xx

    • Star says:

      Hi Anne! I am sooo sorry to hear you’re sick. And your family is sick too :(. I hope everyone feels better soon. Thank you for your sweet comments!

  14. Karen says:

    Star your write so well, when I read your stories I feel that I am there. We have been to some of the same places and it is great to see them through different and much younger eyes. I will have to put Nepal on my wish list. Can’t wait to see what comes next.

    • Star says:

      Karen – thank you so much for subscribing to my blog and leaving such kind comments! I so appreciate your nice words about my writing. Thank you!!!

  15. priscilla says:

    Happy to have read today’s blog entry. Been checking lol.

  16. it looks like a lot of fun, and I was looking at the pic of you with all the necklaces behind for a solid minute, so many pretty pieces!

  17. Catherine says:

    We just got internet & I’ve just been combing through your travel posts. What beautiful photos! You’ll be talking about these experiences for years, I’m sure!

  18. What an adventure! When I was in high school a friend and I saw the movie Brokedown Palace and now I’m terrified of going to ANY Asian country, so I don’t think I’ll ever get to those places. I hope you bought some fabulous stuff while you were there.

    • Star says:

      Oh no! I’m glad I never saw that movie!!! The world is a big place and there are plenty of other places to visit! Thanks for your comment Belinda!

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