THE A-Z NEPAL – Part 5

There are three posts today so if you want something else then there is more below. Anyway…
A few years ago I spent some time doing voluntary work (building a school) in rural Nepal.

It was far and away the best experience of my life. The warmth and the friendliness of the people despite everything they have to put up with is something I will never forget.

When I got home I wrote a 6000 word A-Z of Nepal for the volunteers the next year so they would have a bit more of an idea when they arrived.

This was all 4 years ago so some of the information is out of date. Nevertheless, I am going to serialise it here.

Here is the 5th part, P.

Parts 1-4 can be found by scrolling down at this link.

The A-Z of Nepal

P

P is for People – aside from the odd chancer in tourist areas it is difficult to describe just how nice the people in this country are. Travellers who have come to Nepal from India often comment on how the difference is like night and day. Well mannered in their own way and courteous at all times, many of them would like nothing better than for you to eat daalbaat with them, no strings attached. Crime is incredibly low and you can feel safe walking down streets at night or leaving your things in your hotel room. They have an infectious habit of laughing when faced with adversity which can put you completely at ease with a situation. Whether they are making money from you or not, most of the people simply want you to enjoy yourself (and enjoy daalbaat).

P is for Pokhara – Pokhara does a fairly convincing impression of paradise. Take as an example this diary entry……….Ke Garne?

love-pokhara.jpg

picture from http://www.pokharalodge.com/

The Nepali national saying (if there is such a thing) is “Ke garne?” which means “What to do?”. What to do indeed if you have just finished a month in a remote village in fairly harsh conditions. In Pokhara, mid-Nepal, for a foreigner, this is the essential dilemma you are faced with, but it’s a positive dilemma.

An early wake-up at 7am is followed by a stroll onto the hotel rooftop garden for a cup of tea (and a cigarette – if you are so inclined) and to see the entire Annapurna range of the Himalayas before the monsoon clouds roll in. That said though, they only roll in a little so as to slightly obscure the view, Pokhara itself remains in brilliant sunshine.

You may then want to get in touch with home to rave about the views. No problem, Internet is available everywhere and is about 2 pence per minute (if you are feeling flush you can phone home for a pound a minute). Then its off for a leisurely breakfast – with all the other things you can’t get in the rest of Nepal – this may all seem extremely important if you have been in a village and eaten nothing but lentils and rice for more than a month.

Then you may wish to take a boat out onto Phewa Lake. This will cost about 350 rupees (3 pounds) for a whole day. On the lake you are still afforded magnificent Himalayan views and you can simply wallow in the sunshine. You may want to take a CD Walkman and listen to music, which you haven’t done properly for a month either. If the rowing becomes too strenuous it is possible to put in at any number of little jetties (or not if you don’t feel like it). Just a little further along you will come to an excellent restaurant called “Typical Restaurant”. The reason why it is called this, I regret to say, I can’t fathom. Here you will sit in the garden and eat freshly caught fish from the lake which is both excellently prepared and delicious.

If all this relaxation gets a bit much for you, you can get in your boat again and head back to the shore (slowly of course). On this journey you may come across your friends who are happily swimming in the river and/or rowing themselves around. Even if your friends don’t fancy rowing (well, it’s a bit much like work isn’t it?) they can balance on an underwater pipe to stop them from drifting (drifting, it must be added, very slowly, even the currents are relaxed in Pokhara). After you have exchanged pleasantries with them about hampers, scones, and straw boater hats (Henley Regatta jokes are allowed here), you will probably feel its time to get to shore, after all, its been about 3 hours without a cocktail and that has become your most pressing concern.

All this moving about does get tiresome. So, to ensure you don’t have to do too much of it tomorrow, you can go into one of the many excellent restaurants and arrange for the following evening for you and your friends to be served food in a private room at no extra cost and watch a film of your own choice, after all, you may not have seen one for a month.

Later on in the evening after you have sunbathed and read in the 30-degree heat (books of all persuasions from the sublime to the silly are readily and cheaply available in the many bookshops), you might feel a bit peckish. Why not then, go to the best restaurant in Pokhara (the Lemon Tree)? You can have Indian, Nepali, Chinese, or European food – all excellently prepared – hell, why not have a cold beer or two also because those cocktails can get too fruity after a while can’t they?

After consuming this excellent repast you may feel it is time for fun and to play a game or two. So you go forth to pub/club where you can play pool for free and your friends, if they so wish, can set up and perform an open stage set through the P.A. system as you play pool! You may even meet two people from Motherwell (well – you can’t have everything can you?). After your friends have finished their live performance you will be allowed to choose the music in the club. And finally, after a mini lock-in,

5f.jpg

you may choose to buy a beer more each by way of a nightcap and toddle off to your hotel safe in the knowledge of a job well done and confident you have only spent about 11 pounds.

P is for Popcorn - for some bizarre reason happy hour in Nepali bars means you get free popcorn with your beer.

P is for Porters - apparently the average porter can carry up to 80kg. This is more than the weight of an average person being hauled up a mountain. And all of this is done of course, wearing flip-flops.

P is for Powercut – frequent but short-lived. Landslides or thunderstorms can cause them in the monsoon season

P is for ‘Pheri Betola’ – which means ‘see you later’.

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27 thoughts on “THE A-Z NEPAL – Part 5

  1. i do not at all mean to seem insensitive with this post. i wnet there and i lived in the villages.

    i am just trying to boost tourism because it helps that country greatly and it is a genuinely fabulous place to go.

    in many countries tourism is a genuinely disruptive influence but in nepal, because of topography, war and a few other factors it is absolutely vital.

  2. What a gorgeous photo…though it makes me shudder ever so slightly: my best friend and his wife were killed in a bus accident just outside Kathmandu in 1990. I’ve sort of had a morbid desire to visit the country where they perished, but…well…

  3. sorry to hear that about your friend. i can see how it would happen tho. they still have a lot of bus crashes there. the drivers are a wee bit insane and there is a steep drop off on one side of the road and no decent barriers or anything

  4. The above mountain and lake photo had been taken by me. you can see on my many websites. I would like to suggest all that if you use any bodys picture please put photo soures on the button.

  5. In my personal view,
    As i am the student of Hospitality Industry i just want to say that this kind of information is most important to bring more developed for tourism in Nepal and those who are reading such information {this page } i just want to tell them please beleive us it’s the great information that u really wants ever in your life for relaxing and enjoying and yes the great distination for journeying ever in ur life for what ur searching in ur life {just ask what ur defination to live with urself i mean with ur soul}
    the people of nepalease are really freindly they are quite helpfull they just think that tourist are their own family they must treat them as there own family ,they are the person who just looks for love and smile ,in each inches of distance of their way ..
    at last whom ever this site visits plz this is all about my feelings forward life and experience and i just want to sear that Nepal is The country of Pure Natural Beauties what is really pure life search for.

  6. Hello, I want to appeal to all tourist that, Nepal is one of the beautiful country in the world, and we want to boost our tourism industry as worldwide. You should tell your friends to visit Nepal. We will treat you as a good. If u don’t believe us, u can search our related links.

    Our motto” Tourist as like our God”

    Visit Once NEPAL…..

  7. I love Nepal heartly.

    It’s glory for we all Nepalese that we have more natural beautiful Lakes, Mountains, Hills and Mt.Everest

    Thanks,
    Md. Majibul
    Vill. Pokharbhinda
    Distt-Siraha (Nepal)

  8. YEAH! Nepal is really very beautiful place to visit. I bit. HA HA…..
    Though i myself is from Nepal but i just admire its beauty and talking about Pokhara its the must place one should visit who are a real admirer of natural beauty. Oh! the Himalayas are so beautiful you just cant take your eye from it. A kind of peace you will get, when you will see those Himalayas.
    Besides Pokhara there are lots of such places in Nepal where you can have your good time, and remember it for your whole lifetime. Just don’t regret it that you didn’t get the chance. Hurry, pack your bags and get ready for the real wonderful adventure.

  9. yes nepal is the most attractive country in this whole world but lot of political disturbances are going on this nation which is degrading the culture and all other rituals of the nation.not only the culture aswellas foriefners aretoo getting bad EFFECT BEcause of this therefore i want totell all the people to make this nation attractive as like before. i love my nepal………..

  10. ummm.. tea-time, maya pub and a few others cant remember their names… pokhara was great…. cant wait to get back there….

  11. very nice blog with himalaya picture on lake.A man is waking with big bag.i thing its very difficult to walk. nepal is very rich in natural source and himalaya.but people are poor so carring big bag on his backbone.it is bad luck because nepal is very rich but nepali people are poor even every things are here

  12. nepal is one of the beautiest country where we find ourselves in the heaven. This is the place where the people who visits once wants to visit again and again.

  13. Its a beautiful city of country Nepal. I love very much Pokhara.its a really beautiful and imaging place.it always make you feel love and want to fall in love with pokhara.

  14. Something about Nepal: Although Nepal is a small, undeveloped country, it far deters visitors from coming. Amazingly, you can find visitors from all parts of the world here traversing over foothill trails or roaming through small alleys in the capital. There’s certainly an attractiveness that brings millions of tourists each year to Nepal; most people may think it is because of the majestic mountain vista views but a closer examination into the culture and visitors especially frequent ones will tell you it lies in the charm of the Nepali people and their warm hearts engulfed in a medieval, predominantly Hindu republic that are landlocked between political turmoil and modern development.
    Traditionally, Nepal has always been the dream destination for adventure seekers. But Nepal has something for all tastes and pockets. The glorious sunrise from Nagarkot, the majestic mountain flights, shopping for Nepalese handicrafts as well activities for leisure seekers and other activities such as nature or bird-watching walks, boating and fishing are increasing in popularity. Newer activities such as those in ballooning, mountain biking, gliding, bungee jumping are also entering the market. All in all, Nepal has probably the best of all-around leisure activities that a small and landlocked country can offer.

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