Thamel & Durbar Square

Thamel is the touristy area of Kathmandu full of restaurants and shops, and Kathmandu’s Durbar square is an old part of the city about an half hour walk from Thamel. We walked through both on our first day in Kathmandu. I’ve never been in such a busy place with so much going on, every breath was a totally different smell and you always had to watch what you stepped in while staying out of the way of honking motorbikes and cars trying to fight their way through the crowds. It was all old hat for Sean though. I was surprised not to be hassled by vendors in Thamel, but in Durbar there was a lot more of that, especially by people who wanted us to pay them to take us on a tour. Durbar square is full of temples covered in intricate carvings, a lot of them strangely erotic and featuring a lot of weiners to ward of the god of lightening. Durbar was very busy as the festival of lights, known as Tihar, was going on. I saw things I’d never imagine, like a leper missing his fingers and toes begging for money, men huffing gas out of paper bags as they walked down the street, and a lone toddler popping a squat in the middle of the sidewalk. Everything was so busy because of the week long Tihar festival it was a hassle to get bus tickets, rooms or even food. We ended up staying longer in Kathmandu because of that and poor Sean got sick from the food right off the bat and had to start antibiotics.

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