Kathmandu to Patan, Nepal – Walked around Kathmandu this morning looking for yet another hotel because the one I am in is too expensive. Did find a room at my mom’s hotel for 80 rupees, more my style, grabbed breakfast, then picked up my photos that I had taken the day before at the stupa. Those photos were awesome. I am getting better at it, but still need to learn what the difference an 11 and a 5.8 F-stop will do time I guess.
Headed through the craziness of the market street over to the bus stop, jumped on a bus, which was uncrowded, an amazing thing for Nepal and rode the 15 minutes out to Patan, a city to the south that is divided from Kathmandu only by a river. Patan is just like Kathmandu in architectural style and feel, but the difference is there are not tons of people in cars everywhere, a nice change. Started walking towards Durbar Square, yes there is one in Patan as well, but managed to find the Golden Temple down at side street instead. Of course, I had gotten lost and just happened to stumble on to this temple, but I found it all the same.
Had a look at it, but could not get as close as I would have liked for all the leather articles are banned in the inner courtyard and when your money belt is made of leather, it prevents you from doing such things. From there it was to Durbar Square, which is literally jam-packed with temples and Tibetan crafts salesmen wherever you looked. There were not that many tourists here, so it was a much nicer environment. I wandered around the Square looking at the temples, but after seeing so many in India, they are all beginning to look the same. In addition, you are not allowed to enter any of the temples, so there is no way for you to differentiate between them, they all look very similar.
Most are the three to five tiered Nepalese style with a few of the Hindu/Ranakpur Indian type temples interspersed here and there. After looking at the temples and walked around the city, I found a Buddhist monastery, which was actually very impressive. The courtyard of this structure, which is both a temple and a monastery, was packed with all sorts of intricate metal sculptures. There were also a few children running around as well. After my look around, I went through more back streets back to the bus station for my return journey to the Kathmandu.
Rested at the hotel a bit, then ventured out to do a bit of shopping. I went into one of the numerous shops, which sell those strong cotton woven duffel bags. I needed to buy one due to the sheer quantity of stuff I purchased in the Nepal. I needed a separate bag to contain it all in to be shipped back from Bangkok.
I went into the shop knowing I would not pay more than 200 rupees for the largest one. The shopkeeper and I began the bargaining process and no more than 5 minutes later, I was leaving the shop with my new duffel. The price started at 350, I was not in the mood to play the bargaining game. The shopkeeper’s comment was that I was a quick man to bargain with. It was getting dark, so I bought some food for dinner and upon returning to my hotel, I noticed they had the satellite feed from Hong Kong broadcasting the North Carolina versus Kansas NCAA quarter final basketball tournament. I was estatic and immediately glued my butt down on to the couch to watch the game. Too bad I was changing hotels the next day. I might be able to see the final game.