Entering Nepal was a huge relieve for us – we were very tired of Indian lowlands (chaotic, crowded, noisy and polluted) and literally seconds after we crossed the border we knew, that Nepal would be completely different. Seeing a modest building of the immigration office in Mahendranagar told us a lot about the country.
We started our 50-days-long visit just in the middle of a Nepali holiday, with lots of people dancing, playing music and being decorated with the traditional “tikka” mark on their foreheads.
Straight away Nepal reminded us of South East Asia. Some places looked 100% like Laos or Cambodia, the others like Chinese Yunnan. Houses built of bamboo and clay, water buffaloes and half wild pigs running around and the people’s faces could be easily mistaken for South East Asian.
We were surprised by the variety of the people of Nepal and mixes between Tibeto-Burman and Indian. All sorts of faces surrounded us!
Even though we did not focus on wildlife spotting, we crossed through some national parks full of animals!
We really liked the traditional way of living we could see all over the country.
In almost every village children used to spend their time playing with each other or just swinging on huge, bamboo rope swings.
The capital of the country, Kathmandu turned out to be the dirtiest, noisiest and most polluted of all Asian capitals we had visited so far. On every corner there were piles of trash, stray dogs were running around in huge packs (sometimes being aggressive), narrow streets made it impossible to coexist for the motorcycles and pedestrians. On top of that people had the tendency to clean their throats and spit wherever they want, so you can imagine how this strange mix add to our final impression.
Luckily we could find enough power to focus on the positive aspects of Kathmandu and even managed to find some architectural gems.
It was much easier to enjoy the former capital of Nepal – Bhaktapur:
We crossed the entire country, from the very West to it’s Eastern frontier and it was definitely a nice experience. Roads were mainly good, some built by the Japanese (means: quality).
On the lowlands of the East people are more Indian than in India, and they take advantage of the wetlands spreading all the way to Bangladesh.
Nepal is still a very poor country, and that often corresponds with a low standard of accommodation, especially in small villages. We discovered bed bugs in our bed twice and sometimes finding a guesthouse equipped with proper mattresses was a miracle.
We celebrated 20000 kilometers cycled in Asia during our last days in Nepal. We wish we can cycle at least twice as much in the future!