Business Uniform

During a recent visit to London, my eye couldn’t help but notice a blatant conformity in business uniforms. A weekday, of course, not seen on Saturday or Sunday as much, these 6 snaps were taken within 5 minutes walking down Piccadilly in Mayfair.

General Characteristics: Blue slim-fit suit, brown shoes (if you have it right) and occasionally no socks…

Nepal to China

After my trekking spirit is all depleted and out of my system and a visit to Chitwan or Bardia is complete, it’s time to move onto China via Tibet.

To Llasa

I’m looking forward to the T28 train to Xi An.

Chitwan, Bardia & Lumbini

There are several national parks in southern and western Nepal. Chitwan is the most famous. Bardia is much harder to get to but may be attractive since far fewer tourists take advantage of it and it apparently has much better wildlife populations. Lumbini is the official birthplace of Buddha.

^ Chitwan National Park, Lumbini and Bardia National Park

After some R&R in Pokhara, a visit to Chitwan and/or Bardia may be nice. A return to Kathmandu would be needed if an exit to Tibet from Nepal is planned.

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^ Chitwan National Park

A 4-6 hour bus trip from Pokhara – Greenline US$17-20 to Sauhara is probably why Chitwan is popular.

Sounds like accommodation at Chitwan Gaida Lodge would be a good choice. Refer to The Longest Way Home guides for more information.

Ox cart tours, private elephant trek (1.5hours) & 3 day jeep jungle package.

The direct return is 5 hour by bus to Kathmandu.

^ Bardia National Park

Alternatively, a trip to Bardia National Park if the 12 hour bus trip is tempting. This may include a tourist bus from Pokhara to Bhairhawa (7-8 hours) and change to Ambassa (7 hours). 2 hours longer but one half is on a better bus and you get a break halfway. You get off at the gate at Ambassa and hopefully get picked up by your accommodation. It’s another 13km to the accommodation areas near Bardia. The Forest Hideaway Hotel and Cottages sounds like a good bet for a stay.

^ Lumbini

The official birthplace of Buddha. It’s not far (30 minutes) from Bhairahawa, but Bhairahawa is at least 7-8 hours from Pokhara. It could be a good way to break the journey from Pokhara to Bardia which would be a 12-14 hour bus in one hit via Butwal.

Lumbini is nearly 8sq km of gardens and temples. Not sure if that is too much temple for me.

Nagarkot & Bhaktapur Visit

Bhaktapur is an ancient city in the Kathmandu valley about 16km from the capital. The Newar people were the original inhabitants of the valley and Bhaktapur was their capital, or one of them. The calendar of the Newar people is something special. The year of origin is 56 years prior to the Gregorian Calendar, but there is another calendar which places their origin some 2,000 years before that. I shall research this some more. The locals are rightly very proud of the history and architecture. Nagarkot is a small hill top village a little further out in the same direction. It’s a popular spot for a day or overnight visit. If you’re lucky you get early morning views of Mt Everest.

^ Bhaktapur

Quake-hit Bhaktapur

I’ve been to Bhaktapur a couple of times. I recall that the people who live there have a unique calendar which places their believed origins well before the egyptians. The multi-storey buildings in the old city have doorways which have very low heads and floor to floor heights which betray the size of the inhabitants during construction. The recent earthquakes (2015) would no doubt have caused significant damage.

But I haven’t been to Nagarkot. It will be a pleasant diversion while I wait for trekking permits. I’ll make a 2 day visit to Nagarkot followed by a visit to Bhaktapur on the way back to Kathmandu.

Drying Grain

Swing

Country House

In 1984, the trip to Bhaktapur was easy on a bicycle. It was like riding along country roads. I remember stopping several times along the way to look at pottery and children playing on swings. In 2000, I wouldn’t have dreamt of it. The traffic was far too dangerous.

^ Nagarkot

The bus to Nagarkot is supposed to get out there before the accommodation runs out. Some people make it a one day trip but I think an overnight stop is more relaxing.

Nagarkot is only 32 kilometres away from Kathmandu with regular buses. If the weather is good, there are views of Everest in the early morning.

It’s also quite possible to trek back to Bhaktapur in the morning before a bus trip back to the Kathmandu.

 

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South East Asia

It would be nice to retrace my steps of a trip in 1984 which started in Bali. I spent 2 months in Indonesia, then Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma, India and Nepal for a total of about 7 months.

^ Retrace My Steps from 1984

Some of the main stops along the way out of Australia are shown below. Bascially, a flight to Denpasar followed by a bus to Singaraja got me out of the main tourist areas straight away.
A ferry to Java and bus to Mount Bromo and Yogyakarta was the main stops on the main island.

Move the map down to see points of interest in Nepal.

The ferry to Padang from Jakarta and the boat trip from Pekanbaru to Batam were quite memorable. I stopped on the cost at Padang and experienced an earthquake there before moving on to Bukittinggi. The bus to Lake Toba was almost unbearable but the stay on Lake Toba was very pleasant. Residents of Lake Toba are christians guarded by a ‘mote’.

The boat trip from Pekenbaru to Batam and Singapore was a major highlight. The people on the boat were really nice, the food stops were great and the scenery was spectacular. The let down was arriving in Singapore and being met by really officious customs officials.

Singapore offered a nice respite with good food. Thailand was very easy to travel around. A river boat trip from Thaton to Mae Sai was another highlight.

A short trip to Myanmar (Burma) to see Inle Lake and Bagan (I was sure it used to be Pagan). and then on to Nepal via Calcutta. Darjeeling is a nice stop on the way to Kathmandu.

The trekking posts provide some highlights of the trip through Nepal.