Nov 17, 2014

NEPAL : Finding Beauty Amidst the Mess

The plane circled a few times, allowing me enough time to appreciate a marvelous bird's eye view of Nepal before it's final descent. The Himalayan range was covered with thick clouds and nowhere in sight but that didn't dampen my spirit. The mountainous landscape of mostly hues of green and terracotta from below is more than enough to overwhelm my senses. I'm not climbing Mt Everest, I wish I can, nevertheless, I knew it's going to be a unique experience exploring an epic destination usually reserved for extreme adventures.
Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal

Air Asia Nepal flight
The nerve-wracking landing is proof that every activity you experience in Nepal is an adventure in itself.

As we hold on to our seats before the final stop, triumphant mood filled the room as if we conquered something big when the plane skillfully completed a successful touchdown.
 Air Asia Nepal flight
Seemed like everyone braced their arms against the seats during the landing ... we're safe!;)
I wonder, did I just ride Air Asia or entered a time capsule? It felt like I'm in a time warp. I felt giddy when my feet hit the grounds of Tribhuvan International Airport, could be from excitement or the thin air, that, I'm not sure. But maybe it's the anticipation of the very long queues we'll have to endure to formally enter Nepal. 
Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal
We followed the huge crowd walking towards the immigration. There were several long lines of foreigners queuing up to secure a Nepal Visa. I'm glad I did my homework and applied online for the Nepal Tourist Visa, it saved us the hassle of filling up the forms and attaching a passport size photo to it. Still, we have to line up and pay the 25 USD tourist visa fee.
Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal
fill up the disembarkation card and the Nepal Tourist Visa application form before lining up
Waiting in queue took forever until we found something to entertain ourselves with. 

Cooky, look behind me, I whispered. 
"Ohlalaaaah!", he muffled, obviously excited with what he just saw. 
I think he's following us, I whispered again and then we laugh like thrilled teenagers kidding ourselves.
paying for Nepal Tourist Visa
And before we become delirious, it turned out the tall, model-like, mestizo looking guy was indeed following us, well, not exactly how we envisioned it, hahaha.  He's also a Filipino and he saw us holding the same passport among a huge crowd of different nationalities. We exchange pleasantries and learned that he's there to model and compete for an event called Nepalinked. He showed us a photo of the huge tattoo on his back which reminded me again, I need to get inked real soon and I feel having it in Nepal would add value to that tattoo. Too bad, I missed that once in a lifetime chance, time was not on my side.
Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal
here's where you need to muscle your way to the front of the baggage conveyor
Getting past the immigration was a relief and waiting for our checked-in baggage was more challenging than I thought. The influx of people of different looks and varying built, all wanting to get in front of the lone baggage conveyor is hard to get past at. You need some manly force to muscle your way to the front (I did!), otherwise it will take us forever waiting for that baggage to arrive. After almost an hour, we got out.
Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal
Finally, a breath of strange air welcomed us, as we stepped out of the airport. The weather is cold and dry, the dust-like atmosphere filled the air and the chaos outside tripled in number, everyone is busy doing their own business while we seemed lost in another dimension.
Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal
feeling lost in another dimension
Several guys approached us offering a taxi ride. I said yes readily to the first guy who agreed to 1000 rupees who will bring us to the doorstep of our guesthouse in Bhaktapur. We need a bigger taxi to accommodate the four of us including our baggage.
Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal
our taxi ride
Seeing everything peculiar happening right before our eyes is overwhelming enough. I knew this is going to be one helluva ride. Brace yourselves, NEPAL it is! Love it or hate it. My choice led me to find beauty amidst the chaos and the mess. You'll find out more in my succeeding posts.

Nepal is madness, as is love.

Nov 4, 2014

Malaysia - Nepal Trip Itinerary 2014

This itinerary might help those planning to do the same route as ours; Malaysia and Nepal for a total of  9 days. I've itemized our expenses per pax based on a group of four for easy reference and budgeting ideas. For now, while I'm still gathering my senses after the trip, this will serve as a primer for my Malaysia and Nepal series. 
Asian Map


1RM =14 PhP

1 USD = 98 Nepal Rupee 1 USD = 45 PhP
Date Time
Activities Particulars Cost / Pax
Day 1 (Oct15) 4:00 AM Leave for NAIA T3 Airport Fees 49USD

10:25 AM ETA KUL (KLIA2)

11:25 AM Airport  to KL - Hotel drop off Star Shuttle RM15
2:00 PM Check In Hotel Orange Pekoe Guesthouse 38USD
2:30 PM Lunch
10:00 PM Jalan Alor / Dinner 15 RM
11:00 PM
Back to Hotel

Day 2 (Oct16) 7:00 AM Breakfast unlimited basic breakfast

8:00 AM
Leave for KL's Bus Central Terminal Bandar Tasik Selatan Terminal

9:00 AM
Leave for Melaka TBS Bus Terminal
11:00 AM ETA MELAKA Sentral Shuttle Bus Ride 1.50 RM
11:30 AM Lunch at the famed JONKER 88 Full packed diners 15 RM
12:30 PM
Walking Tour while raining / eating 15 RM
7:00 PM
Leave for Kuala Lumpur Taxi /TBS Bus Terminal/LRT 18.3 RM
9:00 PM
Dinner at Nagasaki Curry House near our guesthouse 18 RM
11:00 PM
Overnight Orange Pekoe

Day 3 (Oct 17) 7:00 AM Breakfast unlimited basic breakfast Free
8:00 AM Leave for Batu Caves KL Sentral /KTM Komuter Line-Last Stn-Batu Caves 8 RM
9:00 AM Explore Batu Caves

11:00 AM Lunch at KL Sentral LRT / Pepper Lunch 30 RM
12:00 PM Explore Mercato Supermarket Milk Coffee & Tea Tarik 80 RM
1:00 PM Merdeka Square Masjid Jamek Station
3:30 PM Central Market 25 RM
6:00 PM Bukit Bintang / Dinner Chicken Rice 15 RM
9:00 PM Back to Hotel

Day 4 (Oct 18) 7:00 AM Check Out/ Breakfast unlimited basic breakfast Free
8:00 AM KLIA2 Airport Terminal

11:50 AM ETD KUL

2:00 PM ETA Kathmandu Taxi to Bhaktapur 1000 NPR
3:00 PM
Check in Hotel Heart Of Bhaktapur Guesthouse 16.17 USD
4:00 PM
Explore Bhaktapur Entrance Fee : 1500 NPR
7:00 PM
Dinner Sunny Rooftop Cafe 320 NPR
10:00 PM
Overnite Bhaktapur

Day 5 (Oct 19) 8:00 AM
Breakfast nice breakfast :) Free
9:00 AM
Explore Bhaktapur more

Checkout / Lunch Cafe Nyatapola 350 NPR
1:00 PM
Taxi to Nagarkot/ Check In Hotel Peaceful Cottage & Cafe De Mont 72 USD
2:00 PM
Explore Nagarkot / Sunset View
4:00 PM
Merienda Peaceful Cottage & Cafe De Mont 230 NPR
10:00 PM
Overnight Nagarkot

Day 6 (Oct 20) 5:30 AM
Sunrise Viewing at the terrace of Peaceful Cottage with free coffee/tea
8:00 AM
Breakfast very nice breakfast with a superb view :)) Free
Lunch Peaceful Cottage & Cafe Du Mont 520 NPR
1:00 PM
Walk Around Nagarkot

5:00 PM
Sunset Viewing / Merienda
150 NPR
7:30 PM
Dinner Peaceful Cottage & Cafe De Mont 230 NPR
9:00 PM
Overnight Nagarkot

Day 7 (Oct 21) 7:00 AM*
Breakfast very nice breakfast with a superb view :)) Free
9:00 AM
Check out Nagarkot

10:00 AM
Early Check In Thamel HOTEL TAISHAN 4USD/dorm
1:00 PM
Walk to Kathmandu Durbar Square(750NPR) then hire a taxi to Swayambunath(200NPR), Pashupatinath(500NPR), Boudhanath (250NPR) - (UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES)
2:00 PM
Explore Thamel

5:00 PM
Pasalubong Shopping
7,000 NPR
8:00 PM
Dinner /Socials Hotel Cafe Norling 390 NPR
10:00 PM
Overnight Thamel

Day 8 (Oct 22) 8:00 AM
Breakfast Big Belly Restaurant 300 NPR
10:00 AM
Prepare for Checkout

11:30 AM
Leave for Tribhuvan Int'l Airport Taxi Cost is 400 NPR 100 NPR
3:15 PM
Depart Kathmandu

10:15 PM
ETA KUL / Dinner
16 RM
12:00 AM
Sleepover at KLIA2 Airport while waiting for flight to MANILA

Day 9 (Oct 23) 8:00 AM
Breakfast at Popeye
26 RM
11:45 AM

3:00 PM
ETA Manila


2USD - 5 USD Average Cost of Meal in NEPAL

6 RM - 15 RM Average Cost of Meal in Malaysia

NEPAL VISA on Arrival - 25USD


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