October 4, 2006:
Bangkok to Kathmandu
Woke up and had breakfast in
the hotel. Then I left and took
the hotel bus to the terminal of
the brand new airport.  I
checked in for the Thai Air
flight to Kathmandu. After a 3
hour 15 minutes flight from
Bangkok,  I arrived in
Kathmandu midday.
Unfortunately, it was pretty
cloudy, so we could not see the
Himalayas on our flight in. The
Kathmandu Valley was lush and
green as it was right after
monsoon season.
In Raj's office, we talked about my trip. I had booked a guide through him as well as the flights to
and from Lukla. As my return flight to Bangkok was not before October 31, I was originally
thinking of making a short trip to Lhasa after my Everest trip. However, China Air apparantly is not
flying anymore the end of October, so we were talking about alternatives. We finally agreed on a 5
day/4night trip to Poon Hill in the Annapurna area. Shortly thereafter, I met my guide, Bharat, who
was with me for the next 4 weeks. Raj invited me for dinner at his house.
Bharat and I then went to Durbar Square. We walked through the narrow roads of Kathmandu
until we reached it. Durbar Square is a World Heritage Site. It holds the palaces of the Malla and
Shah kings who ruled Kathmandu for centuries. The oldest temples and buildings in this place date
back to the 16th century. For more detailed information on Durbar Square, please click on this link:
As we were supposed to be at Raj's house for dinner around 6 pm, we went back to my hotel.
There, I discovered that I did not like my room at all where they had put my luggage (a tiny bed
and no a/c amongst other things), but as the hotel was full I couldn't change it. I asked Raj later to
change my hotel, as my original plan was to stay in the L'Annapurna Hotel anyway. On the way to
Raj's house, the car ran out of fuel. As there was a festival going on, gas stations were closed, so
there was no way for the driver to fill up the tank earlier. So Bharat and I walked the last 500
meters or so to Raj's house. Dinner was excellent and well prepared by Raj's wife. Deepak, the
other owner of
Adventure Thirdpole joined and Bharat, of course was there as well. We talked
about many things, including the ethnic diversity of Nepal, local customs and traditions, Maoists,
and many other interesting things about Nepal and its people. It was a very enjoyable evening.
When I got back to my hotel, they actually changed my room to an a/c room.
Going through customs and immigrations was a
breeze. Raj from
Adventure Thirdpole waited for
me outside the airport terminal and a driver
brought me to my hotel while Raj was riding his
motorbike.  At the hotel, the Tibet Holiday Inn in
Thamel, I dropped off my bags and then went to
Raj's office which is just around the corner. I road
on the back of his motorcycle, I am sure that was
quite a sight!!!