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Naturally Nepal

It’s been a while since I posted. Last week, I went to Nepal and toured around the eastern side of the country. Visiting Nepal was definitely a moving experience. The country is the poorest country I have been to to date. While I did have fun with the various activities I did, I became more aware of the real poverty situation (Canada’s poverty is luxurious compared to this) in developing countries.

The people of Nepal live without electricity for 16+ hours a day. Power is turned on after 10PM and turns off again before many people wake up. All the guest houses/hostels we stayed in had minimal back up power so we could see at night. However, for citizens, no power means no refrigeration, no microwave, no entertainment – just the bare basics.

I took a picture of one of the most extreme scenarios I saw when in the capital.

One of the streets I saw in Kathmandu reminded me of WWII history - Stalingrad in Russia

 

My trip began in Kathmandu where my friends and I toured a few temples and Durbar Square. The most interesting temple was Pashupathinath Temple. My friends and I found it quite overwhelming as we saw cremations taking place and were educated a great deal about Hinduism (many things I did not know). I was told that the way Mecca is to Muslims, this temple is a temple that all Hindus try to go to once in their lifetime because of how sacred it is. I was actually pretty astonished that I stumbled upon it coming to Nepal.

Some pictures below of the temples and a view of Kathmandu:

Pashupathi - 5 animals are sacrificed in this particular temple.

Boudhanath Temple

View of Kathmandu from Swayambhunath (Monkey) Temple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also visited Bhaktapur and Durbar Square, both part of Nepal’s many World Heritage Sites. Temples and buildings in these two areas date back to the 15th century and the intricate detail on the statues and temples are amazing.

Detailed carvings in stone for a temple in Durbar Square

 

The next day we headed out to Chitwan National Park where we toured an Elephant Breeding Camp and also went on an elephant safari. During the safari we saw crocodiles, rhinos, peacocks, deer. Apparently, seeing a peacock brings you good luck for the rest of the day!

The Elephant Safari at Sunrise in Chitwan

 

After the safari we rode a sketchy local bus that went through the mountains (saw a bus hanging off the cliff during one trip…) to Pokhara. Pokhara is a very touristy area where travellers go to do many treks. Because our trip to Nepal was pretty short, we did the Panchase trek to get a nice view of the Himalayans. Luckily I bought gloves and a hat as it got pretty cold at night (0 C) and we had no heat and light (just candles) at the top of the mountain. We woke up early in the morning (after going to bed at 8PM) to see an amazing sunrise against the Himalayans.

At the top! - Behind me: Mount Annapurna South (7219m) and Mount Machhapuchhre (6993m)

 

Sunrise along the Himalayas

Bundled up at sunrise.

"It's a kodak moment!" - Lots of greenery and the Himalayans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next day we decided to take it easy and do some canoeing and shopping in Pokhara.

We reached the pinnacle of our trip (no pun intended) with a mountain flight around Mount Everest where we saw the surrounding region and Everest itself. It was quite a spectacular site to see the highest ranges in the world.

Before the flight

Mount Everest! - in the center and the tip is slightly covered by clouds

Gauri Shankar (7134m) and Melungtse (7181m)

 

As Nepal Tourism’s slogan goes: Once Is Not Enough. Hopefully I can go back when I’m older to do another trek and even help out (some development) in someway or another.

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Categories: Exchange
  1. Mom
    March 11, 2011 at 12:46 am

    Hi Son – We are very happy you had the opportunity to see what poverty is really all about. We hope some day you and Priya would be able to help others who are less fortunate than you.

    I hope you are buying me bells from all the places you are visiting.

    Love Mom and Dad

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