I’ve only been here 2 days but there are already a few things I’ve learnt. I’ll try to post these things whenever I have a bit of downtime. These are a bit random but hopefully useful.
Tip 1: Don’t be afraid of the bus.
I’ve met a few travellers so far that have been taking taxis everywhere they go. Don’t get me wrong, taxis are great if you are in a rush or too tired to walk to the bus stop. They are also relatively cheap but they are nowhere near the price of a bus trip.
I have taken a few buses so far and I am loving it! They are dirt cheap (0.20€ from Kathmandu to bhaktapur) and you get to see how the people of Nepal actually get around. As long as you can grab a seat you’ll be fine. They are a bit cramped (especially for a 185 cm tall big guy) but so far they are my preferred method of travel.
Tip 2: Pack small.
You will be doing a lot of walking and squeezing into tight spaces so the smaller the better. If your backpack’s bigger than 45 litres, you might have a tough time.
Also, never pack sharp or pointy objects on the outside of your pack. You’ll soon end up getting jabbed a few times.
Tip 3: Chill out.
Nepal can be stressful at times, especially Kathmandu. You will be hassled by a lot of people trying to sell you things and will invariably end up swimming through a throng of people, cars and motorbikes. This can end up fraying your nerves and make you not enjoy yourself.
Whenever that happens just breath and enjoy it. It’s all a new experience and you should try to see it in that light. Remember there’s no rush to get anywhere. There’s also no such thing as wasting time, if you feel you need a break, take it! 🙂
Tip 4: Trust yourself and go with it.
You will never be 100% sure you are on the right road or on the right bus. Most people speak very little English and there are no Street signs. In case of doubt, trust your gut and go with it. In the worse case you’ll just end up seeing something off the beaten track and have to go back. It’s really not worth stressing out about it.
Tip 5: Get change and water
Whenever you exchange money you will be given a lot of large bills. Most places will have trouble changing a 500 rupee note so get change whenever you can. Also, it gets pretty hot walking round so I would recommend always carrying a bottle of water. They cost 20 rupees for a 1 liter bottle but some places will try to charge you more as you are a tourist.
Well that’s all I have for now. My room at the hostel is ready so I’d better drop off my bag and go see bhaktapur!