Saturday, November 14, 2020

Learning the Nepalese language-Can You Do It?

Many travelers enjoy learning languages along the way and learning a bit of Nepali is a great way to ingratiate yourself with the local people you’ll meet. Merchants and other Nepalese you meet will appreciate it if you speak a word or two of their language. When you make a phone call and the person isn’t available the recording says, ‘Mof garnuu ho la.’ ‘Sorry about that.’ If I’m walking in a crowd and accidentally bump into someone I like to say that. It puts a smile on their face every time. Nepal has many spoken languages, over 120. In fact, Nepali is not the native language of the majority of Nepalese, even though its the national language. It’s actually a pleasant language, though. Sometimes when I hear people outside talking the chatter just sounds like my native English. I’ve heard languages spoken that were more guttural and one that reminded me of the spitting sound. Nepali is much more pleasant. That being said, I have to confess that it is the most difficult language for me to learn. I learned enough Italian in just a few weeks to be able to understand a conversation, but Nepali is much harder for me. I still don’t know many words, and when I try to say something in Nepali it seldom comes out right, but I have fun with it and have incorporated a few words into my vocabulary. Surprisingly, I can read Sanskrit, which uses most of the same symbols. If you speak Hindi you won’t be able to understand Nepali, but most Nepalese will be able to communicate with you in Hindi. Here’s our Doodly video on just a few words to know if you are coming to Nepal. If you would like to stay in Nepal for a longer time you can get a student visa to learn Nepali. If you do take this visa you will need to take you studies very seriously; if you fail to pass the class you may be denied a ‘tourist’ visa. There are some similarities to Japanese, so if you speak Japanese you may have an easier time with it, but it has a reputation for being a difficult language for most foreigners. If your reason for wanting to learn Nepali is to stay in Nepal longer, I noticed there is an Ayurveda Department at the university, which may be less of a challenge. This would be an international degree, taught entirely in English, an awesome addition to anyone in yoga, coaching, massage therapy or other healing kinds of professions. Note that there is COVID insurance required, so if you haven’t shopped for your travel insurance please click on the link below. Proceeds go to fund our NGO, Kay Garnay for Nepal.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

9 New Regulations for Tourists Coming to Nepal : COVID-19

 Short answer is 'yes' and 'no.' Yes, it's open for organized trekking and mountaineering, but not for much of anything else. However, this is only step one. The last festival of the year has just finished. This will probable cause the cases to spike, but then the cases should subside. 

We were fortunate to have found a wonderful administrator who helped us to understand the new regulations. Here's her interview. Stay tuned for more information as things change. 

The written regulations are in the description of the video below. Please like and subscribe.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Patan’s Lovely Durbar Square, Exploring Local Life in the Kathmandu Valley


The Kathmandu Valley had three kings during its long history in the Malla Dynasty and each of these kingdoms had a palace and lovely square that surrounded it. Each of these historical sites are worth spending a few days to explore, depending on your time constraints. On this particular day we visited the Patan Durbar Square. 

Tips on getting the most out of interactive 360 5K videos: 

1. Use the mouse, screen or rotate a mobile to see in any direction.
2. Use VR goggles to actually get a 3D feel.
3. Adjust the setting to the highest possible video quality.
Let us know in the comments how you enjoy this format and if you had any trouble navigating.



Although there are still several temples under construction from the earthquakes of 2015, there is still so much history and beauty to explore. We took our new 360 camera with us and filmed a post for our Youtube channel, ‘What About Nepal?’  I hope you click on the link above to watch the video. Remember, it's 360 interactive, so be sure to scroll around.




We began our time by checking out a local restaurant, The Cafe Du Temple. Due to my ‘granny’ stomach, I had pizza, but Sujit chose better; he had a delicious dumpling noodle dish. Both meals were prepared well and came in a timely manner-something that doesn’t always happen.

A not-so-spicy Tibetan dish

There is a lot to see at this UNESCO site with temples of various styles. We strolled through the square just to give you an idea about what’s there to see. The people are friendly and the shopping prices are incredible bargains that you can easily have shipped back home. Spending time here will allow you to explore this community on a variety of levels. There are many interesting things that go on here that you just won’t see anywhere else. The customs in Nepal are localized, so even if it’s a festival to celebrate a particular deity it’s done in a unique way.

Travel Tip: Be sure to check the calendar to see if there is a full moon during the time you’ll be in Kathmandu. Most festivals are done during the full moons from February-March to October, but the last one is more for family like Christmas is done in the west. If you come during this festival time it can be difficult to find businesses open in Kathmandu due to everyone going home for the holiday. It’s not as much of a problem as it used to be, but it can become a scheduling issue. Additionally, it would be good to ask your guesthouse managers if they will be fully staffed during Dashain (pronounced ‘Dos-I’). I’ve heard plenty of stories of health problems due to restaurants being under-staffed.

How to overcome the food service issue in Nepal?
1. Make sure the food is thoroughly hot when it’s served. I don’t suggest sending food back; just be gracious and order something else if it isn’t to your liking.
2. Be gracious and patient; don’t complain in a harsh way.
3. Order local foods instead of western foods.
4. Be very careful about street food and local eateries.

Enjoying the local culture ends up being at the top of most travelers’ list of most memorable memories. You do not need to leave the Kathmandu Valley to find amazing, local experiences. Just explore one of Nepal’s ancient Darbur Squares. Patan’s Durbar Square will leave you with a deep appreciation for the local people, history and their customs.

Our business contacts in this video:

Roshan Handicraft Center, Manufacture, Wholesaler & Exporter of Nepalese, Tibetan & all kinds of Goods
Roshan Kumar Shakya, Proprietor

Showroom:

Mahapal, Patako-16
Lalitpur, Nepal
+977 9841220216

Healing Bowl Center Showroom:

Amogha Handicraft and Healing Bowl Center
Amogha Bajracharya, 9860569934
Haseena Shakya, 9869726819
AmoghaHandicraft@gmail.com
Illanai, Patan-Backside of Golden Temple

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Our Links: Our travel insurance link will take you to the best values for your money on travel insurance. This is a shopping platform similar to Booking.com or Tripadvisor.com. They are suppliers of the highest-rated policies from international travel insurance companies. Not only are the policies the same prices as offered by the travel insurance companies directly, but if you do need to put in a claim. Insure My Trip will provide you with an advocate who will help you get everything you can out of your policy. You really do not want to go through it alone.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Exploring Gokarna Forest-Day Nature Hike


Exploring Nepal is always full of surprises, sometimes in a good way and sometimes not so good. When we moved into our new home near Lazimpat I could look out the window and see the lovely hilltop where the famous, Kopan monastery sits. I wanted to go explore the area since March,  but shortly after we moved in we were in and out of Covid lockdown for 5 months or so.

We just got out of lockdown, so I decided we’d check it out right away.  After being turned away at the Kopan monastery we made our way to the other side of the area to  a lovely part of the Gokarna Forest. We were quite surprised to find the Peace and Martyrs’ Park and quiet nature trail.

The best part of the day was that we brought our 360 camera so we could share the day with our viewers. This camera features high speed, 5K videos that can be seen in 3D if you have VR goggles. But even if you don’t have the goggles, just turn the prospective of the screen to see the sky, behind the camera or look to the side as we walk. If you don’t see an incredibly clear video you will need to adjust your Youtube settings using the button on the bottom of the video. Bring it up to the highest setting.

Although the park isn’t quite open yet, I think it will be completed within the next year or so. That means you can see it as a work in progress and enjoy its familiarity when you come to Nepal and spend that all-important day on your warm-up trek.

This area, Gokarna Forest, is huge and holds some relaxing resorts and and a trekking route that surrounds the Kathmandu Valley. We are planning to do more exploration in this area so I hope you subscribe to our channel. Beyond the Gokarna Forest, the Kathmandu Valley is surrounded by forest, either rural villages or government conservation areas of undeveloped regions.

What I’d like for you to consider is to take a few days at the beginning of your time in Nepal doing a few practical things to get the most out of your time here. In this video we explored the warm-up trek, but in the upcoming videos I’m going to focus on some ways you can benefit from your trip in some surprising, financial ways.


Let us know in the comments how you enjoy this format and if you had any trouble navigating. Thanks so much for subscribing whether you’re subscribing today or you’ve been watching our videos for a while, we really appreciate it. Check out our merch. in the description, if you plan to do any traveling. See you next time. Our Links: Our travel insurance link will take you to the best values for your money on travel insurance. This is a shopping platform similar to Booking.com or Tripadvisor.com. They are suppliers of the highest-rated policies from international travel insurance companies. Not only are the policies the same prices as offered by the travel insurance companies directly, but if you do need to put in a claim Insure My Trip will provide you with an advocate who will help you get everything you can out of your policy. You really do not want to go through it alone. 

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Saturday, April 11, 2020

Insects of Nepal



Wherever you go, the local people know what to avoid and what’s not a problem. Insects are one of those things. They are life forms and fellow earthlings, so please be gentle with them. Just like humans, they just want to live their lives in peace.

If you come to Nepal you may have some reservations due to the insects and other natural critters. Here in the Kathmandu Valley there really aren’t any insects you need to really worry about, although there is a yellow caterpillar that can cause quite an irritation, which I haven’t heard of any tourists to be effected.

There is little to worry about here in the Kathmandu Valley, but I have to disclose a neighbor in the village where I lived got bit by a spider on his big toe and it caused pain and swelling all the way up to his groin. He was in a village home without a good floor or even glass in the windows.

Insects can be pretty scary, but they are so important for life on our planet. Scientists say that if just the bees die we will also; that’s how important they are for life on our planet.

No, I don’t like them to crawl on me or anything, but I sure do admire them from afar.

To understand just how the insects will affect you, you’ll need to realize that Nepal has 3 very different climates. First, Chitwan is in the flat elevation like people think of as India. You really can’t tell just where Nepal ends and India begins and it’s full of all kinds of problematic critters-from the very small insects to the occasional wild bull elephant. If you go to Chitwan be sure to bring a pair of binoculars. The birds and wildlife are amazing there.

Then, there is a more temperate climate like in the Kathmandu Valley. It’s great for farming. Although there have been reports of Dengue fever even in the higher elevations, there isn’t a big likelihood that you’ll be affected by it unless you are volunteering and living where people have it, usually by the river or at the hospitals.

Then there is the higher country where there really isn’t a need to worry at all about insects, but be sure to keep your distance from the larger animals, such as cows and mountain cats.

If you go to Chitwan you will need to take a few precautions or at least heighten your awareness about insects. Here are a few tips for you to consider.

1. If you have an aversion to insects or an outright fear you’ll want to stay in a bit better guesthouse and stay as high up as you can-3-4th floor will make a big difference.

2. You can have your guesthouse staff check your room with you in the evening. You will need to lift the bed up to check for spiders and snakes. Yes, if you are staying in a resort with the thatch roof you will need to check under your bed nightly.

3. Use a sleeping bag liner to help keep insects and spiders away from you in bed. You can find them in Thamel or just about anywhere they sell trekking supplies.

Ants: Interestingly, we are not bothered by fire ants here in the Kathmandu Valley. Although originally from Africa, these aggressive ants are difficult to avoid in many parts of the US.

3:27 in the video: Unfortunately, this blue bee got lost in our apartment and I was unable to get a good video of him. These are rare and beautiful, so I’m including her.

2:47 in the video: This beetle was about 4 inches long. We also have some smaller ones that buzz around the lights and bang into walls. They are fun to watch and completely harmless.

5:55 on the video: If you do hiking during the monsoon season you may get one of these leeches on you. Don’t worry if you do. They are gross but perfectly harmless.

Mosquito: If you are concerned about Malaria or Dengue Fever check out the video on that subject for more information. 


Our travel insurance link will take you to the best value for your money on travel insurance. This is a shopping platform similar to Booking.com or Tripadvisor.com They are suppliers of the highest-rated policies from international travel insurance companies. Not only are the policies the same prices as offered by the travel insurance companies directly, but if you do need to put in a claim Insure My Trip will provide you with an advocate who will help you get everything you can out of your policy. You really do not want to go through it alone.

Learn more about Ama’s work in Nepal. (http://KayGarnay.org

We have an e-Book to help you have a great time in Nepal with even more tips. Our eBook, Nepal: A Tourist’s Manual. http://Payhip.com/Nepal Save 50% by using coupon code WhatAboutNepal

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Friday, February 28, 2020

How My Health Has Been Effected By Moving to Asia







One of the biggest reasons to stay home in the West is the belief that health care in developing nations is scary. I agree that it can be. I was a person who spent about $100 a month at the health food store and went to farmers' markets to buy vegetables as often as I could afford. My doctor wanted to give me a plethora of vaccines, which I started to comply with but then decided not to. Many tourists get everything they can, hep. B, polio booster, etc. and I wondered if I had made the right decision.

I had been in a home and had taken a meal with a woman who shortly afterward was diagnosed with TB. That was scary, but I think you have to be a bit unhealthy in order to contract it. Everyone spits and then the run-off water is collected and put on roofs in those big, black containers. I remember reading that some viruses can stay dormant on a cold dry surface for months. So, how has my health been affected by living in Nepal for 4 years?

I've gotten sick on a few occasions. The first time I just stayed in my guesthouse room until it passed. It was pretty horrible. I learned from that experience, but not enough to know what to do the next time.

The next time I got sick my assistant de jour had been taking his 'rake' every time he did anything or took me anywhere. I didn't have enough money to go to a proper hospital without having to juggle money around. This time I had to go where the local people go. It was pretty scary, but they tested me, said I had a bladder infection and I was fine in a couple days. This time I learned a couple of lessons, the first being to pull back on the trust factor.

I write about health care in Nepal in my eBook, Nepal; A Tourist's Manual, but since it seems to be 'out of print' again I will provide one huge tip from the Health chapter. Do not go to CWIC, the tourists' clinic near the British embassy unless you have travel insurance that will allow you to get treated without having to take from your budget. It's a fine medical provider, but expensive if you have to pay out of pocket. At CWIC you will over-pay by about 400% or so. Instead, you will need to find the right hospital. For example, if you have a heart issue there is a wonderful, new cardiac care hospital in the Lazimpath area. If you pulled your back out or broke your leg you would need to find the proper hospital for that. Bottom line: make sure it isn't a government hospital. 

You should also be sure to bring a local Nepali with you to the hospital. Although the doctors do speak English, the procedure is quite chaotic. The hospitals don't provide anyone to help so it would be $10 well spent to have a local person accompany you. Just ask your guesthouse manager or staff for someone. 


So, what do I use for a health food store and farmers' market? There are these wonderful, little franchised store called Patanjali, a creation of Baba Ram Dev of India. I get coconut oil 1 NRs. per gram, healthy cookies, alternative flours and many other interesting things. We buy local vegetables so there are seldom any chemicals, although they are not certified organic. There are farmers' markets weekly throughout most of the year, too.   

This blog post is supplemental to our video channel. If you enjoyed this post, you'll enjoy our videos. We explore one topic at a time with the intent to help you to have the best time in Nepal. Subscribe to our Youtube Channel to get travel tips and tricks for travel through Nepal and other parts of Asia.

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Sunday, January 26, 2020

Getting the Most Out of Nepal-Panauti Ancient City



Bhirab Temple near the Panauti Museum

We went to Panauti for a few days recently and explored the area. I have to say it was a much better experience than I had anticipated. There is something about this ancient city that draws me. If I go to nearby Dhulikel I try to make time to visit Panauti. But it's rustic and I'm not always able to deal with 'rustic.'



Your admission to the temple site area includes the museum. Although it's small, it's got a nice selection of many artifacts from Nepal's past. 


We are doing a three-part series on this ancient city with the first being a good place to stay there, Panauti Hotel. There just aren't many guesthouses or hotels that are anywhere near international standards, which can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you enjoy a local experience there are several homestays in Panauti. Here is our video about this moderately priced hotel.



We also visited a little orphanage, making me a real hypocrite. I always said I wouldn't support an orphanage, but then I met up with an old friend. He told me about one in Panauti that was struggling and yet doing a lot of good for actual orphans, which is not always the case in Asia. 

Typically, orphanages exploit children but as my friend explained, the government of Nepal has cleaned up the industry and the orphanage complies with the new laws. I was impressed with the enthusiasm and love each of the staff expressed. I could also see the children loved them and are being taken care of.



I hope you follow along with me as I interview the staff. I was really impressed with the enthusiasm of each of them. The children seemed happy, too. Here's the link: 





So, if you are wondering if a day or two in Panauti would be of value during your time in Nepal, here are some reasons it might be for you. 

It's just a lovely place that any tourist will enjoy, but it has these advantages:
        It's flat, which makes it easier for the elderly and tourists with health challenges. You will still need to be able to walk up at least one flight of stairs; there doesn't seem to be any elevators in Panauti.
        It's outside of the Kathmandu Valley and often has crispy clean air.
       There are few tourists who go to Panauti, compared to nearby Bhaktapur, so you can experience authentic culture.
       It's on the Valley Rim Trekking Route.
       It has a smaller admission price than nearby Bhaktapur. Panauti is only $3 for westerners while Bhaktapur is $15, much less for SAARC nations.
     
*Travel Tip:
If you go to Bhaktapur be sure to pay 1,500 Nepali Rupee instead of western money. The sign says to pay either one, but $15 is more than 1,500 Nrs.
 
We happened upon this interesting handicraft store.


Items inside the little store

Bhirab and other artifacts in the museum

This museum is small but quite interesting

Our travel insurance link will take you to the best value for your money on travel insurance. This is a shopping platform similar to Booking.com or Tripadvisor.com They are suppliers of the highest-rated policies from international travel insurance companies. Not only are the policies the same prices as offered by the travel insurance companies directly, but if you do need to put in a claim Insure My Trip will provide you with an advocate who will help you get everything you can out of your policy. You really do not want to go through it alone. Our affiliate linkhttps://www.insuremytrip.com/?linkId=8507 

Learn more about Ama’s work in Nepal. (http://KayGarnay.org

We have an e-Book to help you have a great time in Nepal with even more tips. Our eBook, Nepal: A Tourist’s Manual. http://Payhip.com/Nepal Coupon code for 50% off: WhatAboutNepal  

Website: https://WhatAboutNepal.org Website: https://WhatAboutNepal.org


Friday, January 3, 2020

Happy New Year Visit Nepal 2020



We had such a lovely time in Dhulikhel, just outside the Kathmandu Valley, for our New Year celebration. The views were so lovely when the sun came up over the Himalayas; it was breathtaking.

Our travel insurance link will take you to the best value for your money on travel insurance. This is a shopping platform similar to Booking.com or Tripadvisor.com They are suppliers of the highest-rated policies from international travel insurance companies. Not only are the policies the same prices as offered by the travel insurance companies directly, but if you do need to put in a claim Insure My Trip will provide you with an advocate who will help you get everything you can out of your policy. You really do not want to go through it alone. Our affiliate linkhttps://www.insuremytrip.com/?linkId=8507 Learn more about Ama’s work in Nepal. (http://KayGarnay.org) We have an e-Book to help you have a great time in Nepal with even more tips. Our eBook, Nepal: A Tourist’s Manual. http://Payhip.com/Nepal Website: https://WhatAboutNepal.org Website: https://WhatAboutNepal.org

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Christmas in Nepal – Thamel Everyone Loves a Festival! 2019-2020



Most people planning to visit Nepal don't think too much about celebrating Christmas while they are here. In fact, 99 percent of the people leave to celebrate the holidays back home. But, what would celebrating Christmas in Nepal be like? Well, we went to Thamel and enjoyed the night.


       
If you are someone who gets depressed around the holidays you might want to break that cycle by doing a 'Christmas Escape.' 2020 promised to be an amazing time to go to Nepal, but with the pandemic thing, it will be great to celebrate our 2020 + 1. The roads are surprisingly good now compared to a few years ago, but it's still as crazy and exciting as you want it to be.

Christmas may have been great when we were children, but now that our grandparents have passed and everyone seems to have scattered many people become depressed and cynical during the holidays. Here's one way to make the most of it.

Nepal's government has been working hard to make tourists feel welcome and safe for their big tourism year, 2020. It's all canceled now, but Nepal is always here for you.

By December it is too cold to do a lot of trekking, but in the Kathmandu Valley, we have mild winter weather. Below, in the flat region at the Indian border, it's nice and warm in December.

 When you get to Kathmandu you'll want to do some Christmas shopping for your family and friends. Due to weight, as you can explain to your family, you were limited in what you could get them. Here are some very frugal suggestions:

For $20 gifters you can buy handcrafted calendars that are even hand-painted. They will cost you about $1-2 each.

For $50 gifters you can get lovely pashmina scarves and shawls for about $10 if you buy a few of them, excellent quality if you shop well.

For gifters of $100 or more, you could get an original, thanka painting and have it mounted in a traditional silk frame. Thankas can be found for $10 that would make an impressive gift when framed in a $35 silk frame. They are also lovely matted and framed behind glass.

Bonus tip: You can go to the Tourism Board (Exhibition area) in the huge open park area in the center of Kathmandu, Ratna Park area, and get some free posters of Nepal. They are quite nice and are easily valued at $20. They can be rolled up along with the thankas or simply slid into a shipping sleeve.

You can get great values on incense, fabric, hand-carved semi-precious stones, jewelry and so much more. You may even save money even when you factor in the airfare.
A recent video we did:



So, after you buy the gifts you can have one of the young men who work at your guesthouse mail everything to you in one box. We have some insights into the Nepal Postal Service in this video, above. With his tip plus freight charges, shipping can be less than $50 and you can hand-deliver the gifts when you get home. Not a bad plan, uh?

Stay tuned to our Youtube channel, What About Nepal?, to learn more about the shopping values you can find in Nepal. You can do a 10-day meditation, get a yoga certification, volunteer or just see all the sites in the Kathmandu Valley, so don't think you'll be bored or lonely. There is plenty to see and do to keep you busy even if you don't go for a trek.

Back to the 'Christmas' subject, how many times have you been excited about the holidays and been disappointed? Perhaps it's time to do it a bit differently, 'Nepali Style.'

So, What About Nepal?



Our travel insurance link will take you to the best value for your money on travel insurance. This is a shopping platform similar to Booking.com or Tripadvisor.com They are suppliers of the highest-rated policies from international travel insurance companies. Not only are the policies the same prices as offered by the travel insurance companies directly, but if you do need to put in a claim Insure My Trip will provide you with an advocate who will help you get everything you can out of your policy. You really do not want to go through it alone. Our affiliate linkhttps://www.insuremytrip.com/?linkId=8507  

Learn more about Ama’s work in Nepal. (http://KayGarnay.org

We have an e-Book to help you have a great time in Nepal with even more tips. Our eBook, Nepal: A Tourist’s Manual. http://Payhip.com/Nepal 
Website-Still a work in progress: https://WhatAboutNepal.org 


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Nepal Festivals Indra Jatra 2019




Indra Jatra is the last Tourist-Friendly festival in Nepal for 2019. They will tell you the biggest and best festival is yet to come, Dashain, but that really isn't very tourist-friendly.

This year the Royal Kumari comes out on Sept. 13, Friday and it promises to be an amazing day.

Why do we celebrate this festival? To thank Lord Indra for the rich monsoon rains. However, there are other stories about the origin. Whatever started it, it's just one of those things that will enrich your time in Nepal.

* * * * * * * 

Our travel insurance link will take you to the best value for your money on travel insurance. This is a shopping platform similar to Booking.com or Tripadvisor.com They are suppliers of the highest-rated policies from international travel insurance companies. Not only are the policies the same prices as offered by the travel insurance companies directly, but if you do need to put in a claim Insure My Trip will provide you with an advocate who will help you get everything you can out of your policy. You really do not want to go through it alone.

Learn more about Ama’s work in Nepal. (http://KayGarnay.org

We have an e-Book to help you have a great time in Nepal with even more tips. Our eBook, Nepal: A Tourist’s Manual. http://Payhip.com/Nepal Save 50% by using coupon code WhatAboutNepal

Website: https://WhatAboutNepal.org

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Fun With Fire!




 Fun With Fire!

Co-Written by blogger, Pramesh Lakhaju


We all can agree on one thing, that the Newari caste, their culture and festivals are very unique. This culture is rich and ancient so the stories and legends of the festivals carry a lot of meaning and stories behind them. There are actually more than 100 different festivals and celebrations each year just for our caste. Today was one of our more lively celebrations. This festival is called Gathamaga, not Ghantakarna. It's often confused with an Indian festival. It was indeed Gathamaga originally. As for the meaning and story behind this festival told by my ancestors or elder Newars, here is a bit of background. 

 

Back in a day, farming was the most important thing in peoples’ lives in the Newari culture. People had to store food for the whole year, especially rice at this monsoon season. And as the story goes, back in a day they didn't have machines and tools like in modern days. It was very important to farm and store food for the year for families and even the whole kingdom. And it was a very hard job and lots of physical work was needed to do the entire planting and farming process. So they say back in the day they used to call spirits/demons to do all the physical tasks to finish farming which was hard or impossible without this spirit-power.

Every worker is due his pay and these demons were no different. It was impossible to keep feeding these demons because they were bigger and stronger and they ate a lot. The people had to send them away. This festival celebrates this day, the day they stopped the relationship with demons. 
 

During this festival, they make statues from bamboo and straw, and after carrying it down to the river, or another special place, everyone chants vulgar words and carry this demon statue made with bamboo and straw to the intersections in the villages, as we believe demon resides in these intersections. So we send them away on this day by burning the statues on these intersections, as to farewell goodbye to these demons who had helped us in farming. This being a special spiritual night. People who practice black magic it's a special day for their practice, too, they are supposed to do pujas and sacrifices in the cemetery to go onto the next level or receive more knowledge on black magic. So tonight is a powerful night for both good and bad spirits. And I am super glad we still celebrate it regardless as to people commenting about speaking or shouting vulgar words in public. 


Follow along with us for even more tips and tricks for having a great time in Nepal on our Youtube channel.

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Learn more about Ama’s work in Nepal. (http://KayGarnay.org

We have an e-Book to help you have a great time in Nepal with even more tips. Our eBook, Nepal: A Tourist’s Manual. http://Payhip.com/Nepal Save 50% by using coupon code WhatAboutNepal

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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Coming to Nepal in January-February? Come for Losar, Tibetan New Year



One of the most enjoyable things you’ll find in Nepal are the random festivals you’ll stumble into. They say there are more festivals in Nepal than days of the year, but few are celebrated throughout entire Nepal.

I often find myself mesmerized by the sudden crowd coming down the street wearing amazing traditional dress, playing unique musical instruments and carrying chariots with one or more gods. It’s usually quite lively with dancing and often a rather long parade of devotees following behind.

But how, when and where to get the most out of such an experience? Our recent guests wondered how they should proceed from the Star View Guest House for some short-term valley trekking. I suggested the Valley Rim trek whereby they continued from Changunarayan to Nagarkot and then up through Dhulikhil to Namo Buddha.


 Namo Buddha has a lovely Buddhist monastery, as well as some amazing views. Even on an ordinary day it’s quite nice, especially for those here for just a short time. But they happened to find themselves there on Tibetan New Year, that easily became the high point of their time in Nepal.

The mild spring-like weather made the trek quite enjoyable and then at the end they found this lovely celebration. There was a huge amount of food, which was free to everyone.


Another treat was seeing so many children in the red robes. In the Buddhist tradition, the second child is often given to the local Buddhists to raise. This provides some economic assistance for the family and provides a better life for the child. The families live in abject poverty, so having one child taken care of can be real help. And yes, the children are happy, really, really happy.





Many people celebrate Losar in Boudhanath, but if you are someone who likes to do things a bit different you might want to celebrate it in Namo Buddha or another Buddhist center. If you plan to go trekking you could easily incorporate such a festival by researching some of the monasteries in the Himalaya. However, it’s still a bit cold in the higher elevations. This is the best time to see Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, but since it’s at the opposite side of Nepal, I don’t know how big this celebration would be there.




Festivals are only one of the many reasons to come to Nepal. There are actually 6 different New Years’ Celebrations in Nepal, so be sure to check with your travel agent to see which festivals will be celebrated during your time here.

To illustrate what I'm referring to here, please check out this festival. It's the last 'tourist-friendly' big festival of the year.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The ATM Ate My Bank Card!

I wrote about bank card safety issues in my eBook, Nepal; A Tourist's Manual because it can be a real time-waster for visitors to Nepal. Power cuts, being unfamiliar with the machine and hitting the wrong button or taking too long can cause the machine to keep the card. This can cause a tourist to waste at least one full day of their time in Nepal.

Well, after 6 years of being in Nepal it happened; the ATM machine kept my card. The problem was that the machine must have had some kind of program upgrade. The simplest way was the predefined amounts of 5,000, 10,000 etc. That no longer worked and after three attempts the card got swallowed.

I had Kamal, my Nepali son, find out where to retrieve the card and then he called for a car to take us the next day to Kathmandu. Our first stop was at the main branch of Nabil Bank; we arrived before the courier and discovered we could have picked it up at the bank in Bhaktapur the day before. This is a hidden advantage of using only ATM machines that are actually physically attached to the bank.

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Our travel insurance link will take you to the best value for your money on travel insurance. This is a shopping platform similar to Booking.com or Tripadvisor.com They are suppliers of the highest-rated policies from international travel insurance companies. Not only are the policies the same prices as offered by the travel insurance companies directly, but if you do need to put in a claim Insure My Trip will provide you with an advocate who will help you get everything you can out of your policy. You really do not want to go through it alone.

Learn more about Ama’s work in Nepal. (http://KayGarnay.org

We have an e-Book to help you have a great time in Nepal with even more tips. Our eBook, Nepal: A Tourist’s Manual. http://Payhip.com/Nepal Save 50% by using coupon code WhatAboutNepal

Website: https://WhatAboutNepal.org


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