KATHMANDU CALLING By Dilara Hafiz
I think I’m going to Katmandu, That’s really, really where I’m going to. If I ever get out of here, That’s what I’m gonna do. -Bob Seger 1975
Feel like a little adventure on your next holiday? If you’re bored by the five-star luxury of typical vacations, then consider visiting the capital of Nepal for some amazing scenery, cheap souvenirs, and authentic cuisine from its its neighbouring countries (India, Tibet, China). Kathmandu lies in a valley surrounded by towering, snow-capped mountains. At an elevation of 1,400 metres (4,600 ft.), it’s a cool retreat in summer and the first stop for trekkers of all abilities who are eager to explore the famed Himalayan mountain range. The popular 7-day trek to Everest Base Camp requires a 25-minute flight from Kathmandu to Lukla where trekkers can then hire a guide and porters to lead them through the Khumbu region. Rest houses along the way offer shelter and a needed acclimatization restoration as the high altitude can rob visitors of energy. Tourists to Kathmandu flock to the Thamel neighborhood. Accommodation in guesthouses and hotels ranges from $25$200/night, depending upon the level of quality and amenities. After settling upon a hotel, your first meal should include the popular local treat called ‘momo’ - a steamed or fried dumpling, which can be ordered vegetarian or stuffed with chicken or buffalo meat. It’s delicious when dipped in the spicy tomato chutney accompaniment. Authentic 78 DESTINATION JEDDAH
food is easily found in the many cafes and restaurants lining the streets of Thamel; some of the best finds are down the side alleys. Follow your nose to uncover the tempting Indian curries, Nepali stir-frys, and Chinese noodles. Fresh juices, the ubiquitous sodas, and local brews are all widely available. Visitors can spend days happily wandering this area, bargaining with vendors, sampling the food, and soaking up the sights and sounds of multi-cultural Kathmandu.
DJ Issue 44 - September 2012