Sunday, November 11, 2018

Life in the Slow Lane-Making the Most of your Time in Nepal


Want to get out of the over polluted metropolitan area of Kathmandu? Then, Changu Narayan could be the right place for you. Being situated on a small hill at about 20 km away from the city centre you‘ll enjoy a nice view over the valley, just outside of the smog zone. But what to do in this tiny village? While the temple looks great and the town folk are charming and friendly, it is easy to get bored in this village unless you came for relaxation. If so, you’ll find the quietness of this village will set the mood quite well. 

Guests often enjoy evenings with a local family celebrating Lord Krisha with local mucical instruments, singing and dancing. With WIFI as a recent upgrade for the village it's easy to keep in touch with family or work remotely. There are trekking trails, lovely sunsets and views and excellent village values for suveniors. Others come to learn traditional thanka painting or mask carving.


The Star View Guest House is sponsoring some activities to help tourists get to know the area better. Soon the village will sponsor a treasure hunt where you can find local landmarks. But for now, you’ll find the new hiking map with 5 trails into the neighboring areas to be excellent warm-up treks and quite enjoyable.

One important reason to spend a few days with such activities is to make sure your health and gear are ready for the remote areas of Nepal. Imagine having to be airlifted back to Kathmandu due to blisters on your feet! Shoes, health issues and such are important to get sorted out before you get up to the high country. As you trek safely while you are near stores and doctors, you may decide you need to pack some yak cheese and nuts, or perhaps you’ll want to buy a walking stick before you leave the Valley. There are few shoe stores or pharmacies outside the Valley, either.

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel to get travel tips and tricks for travel through Nepal and other parts of Asia. 

If you like our tips and are looking for travelers’ insurance I think you will enjoy our affiliate link:     Shop from 10 travel insurance sites at one time here.

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.
https://www.youtube.com/channel

This blog is also supplemental to our eBook, Nepal: A Tourist's Manual. $19.95 Use Promo Code to get 50% off: WhatAboutNepal

We also have a small guesthouse in Changunarayan Village, in the Kathmandu Valley. If you have an interest in staying with us for short or long-term stays, see our website at https://StarViewNepal.com
Follow along with us
Twitter:
@FrugalTravelsNe
@KayGarnay4Nepal
@StarViewChangu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frugal.travels
Like our pages:
https://www.facebook.com/starviewretreat/
https://www.facebook.com/KayGarnay4Nepal/
https://www.facebook.com/Changu.Bhaktapur/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaygarnay/
HelpX.Net: http://www.helpx.net/host.asp?hostid=17074
Websites:
http://WhatAboutNepal.org
http://StarViewNepal.com
http://TraditionalArtofNepal.com
http://KayGarnay.org


#WhatAboutNepal #TravelNepal #FrugalTravelsNepal #Nepal #Kumari #IndraJatra



















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 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.

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel to get travel tips and tricks for travel through Nepal and other parts of Asia. 

If you like our tips and are looking for travelers’ insurance I think you will enjoy our affiliate link:     Shop from 10 travel insurance sites at one time here.

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.
https://www.youtube.com/channel

This blog is also supplemental to our eBook, Nepal: A Tourist's Manual. $19.95 Use Promo Code to get 50% off: WhatAboutNepal

We also have a small guesthouse in Changunarayan Village, in the Kathmandu Valley. If you have an interest in staying with us for short or long-term stays, see our website at https://StarViewNepal.com
Follow along with us
Twitter:
@FrugalTravelsNe
@KayGarnay4Nepal
@StarViewChangu

Connect on Facebook
Like our pages:
Star View Guest House
Kay Garnay for Nepal
Changunarayan Village
Kay Garnay on Instagram
HelpX 

Websites:
What About Nepal?
Star View Guest House
Traditional Art of Nepal
Kay Garnay for Nepal, Registered NGO


#WhatAboutNepal #TravelNepal #FrugalTravelsNepal #Nepal #Banking #ATM

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Vibrating to a Higher Drummer for that Special Relationship-Content Blogging Series for Extended Travel

We hope you follow along with our Frugal Travels practical method for being able to continue traveling. This portion of our blog is to provide an example of ways to continuing your traveling by doing simple chores online. Presently, we are working witha few brands and include this here in our series. We hope you can see how easy it is and perhaps you’ll be inspired to write a bit for yourself.

                         * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A positive relationship can be truly life changing. The ‘sweep you of your feet and transport you to a happier place’ kind of relationship that can happen at any stage of life is what it’s all about, isn’t it? A guest stayed with us a few years ago who told of something that could only happen in Kathmandu. He was walking down the street and almost stumbled into his old high school lover. That wouldn’t be so interesting, but my friend was in his late 50’s and hadn’t heard from his old girlfriend in over 40 years!

Things like this can only happen when the two people are on the same positive wave-length, or as they say in metaphysical thought, they need to vibrate at the same frequency. Fortunately, for my friend, he had a positive attitude even before he met up with Sally. But that day marked the best day of their lives, at least during that initial stage of romance.

The funniest thing about it was they were from Great Britain. They could have easily met via one of the local sites like dating sites in suffolk These free dating are becoming more and more popular all around the world. What used to be really scary behavior, meeting someone on the internet, has come into vogue in recent years. Not only has it become mainstream, but it has allowed people to come together based upon more deeply held beliefs rather than superficial things like physical appearance.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that a person will attract exactly to the vibrational level that he/she vibrates. So, if you’ve given up on life, become calloused about life, well, you are likely to attract a person who will help you to become even more calloused about life and you’ll really want to give up on life when he/she gets through with you.

If you are at that stage how can you attract someone better, who will pull you out of the funk? You already know the only person who can do that for you. That’s the person who was there when you were born and will be there the day you die; that person is you.

Start now to raise your vibration by forgiving and releasing the past. Let go of that weight and free yourself of that baggage. Don’t do it for the other person, but do it for yourself. Forgive and release and feel a bit lighter. Forgive and release some more and you’ll be even lighter and freer than ever.

Who to forgive first? Yes, it’s that same person, your best friend, you. So get in the habit of looking in the mirror and thinking a good thought about yourself. When you feel yourself mentally brow-beating yourself stop and listen. ‘Oh, I’m the worst person who ever walked the planet?’ Remind yourself how far you’ve come. That little baby with the ear infection that no one discovered, give that little child a mental hug and love that baby.

When you become your own best friend you won’t let anyone speak about you like that. Your habit can become to answer that voice back with a strong retort. You do not have to believe negative, hurtful things about yourself, even when it comes from your own inner dialog.

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel to get travel tips and tricks for travel through Nepal and other parts of Asia. 

If you like our tips and are looking for travelers’ insurance I think you will enjoy our affiliate link:     Shop from 10 travel insurance sites at one time here.

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.
https://www.youtube.com/channel

This blog is also supplemental to our eBook, Nepal: A Tourist's Manual. $19.95 Use Promo Code to get 50% off: WhatAboutNepal

We also have a small guesthouse in Changunarayan Village, in the Kathmandu Valley. If you have an interest in staying with us for short or long-term stays, see our website at https://StarViewNepal.com
Follow along with us
Twitter:
@FrugalTravelsNe
@KayGarnay4Nepal
@StarViewChangu

Connect on Facebook
Like our pages:
Star View Guest House
Kay Garnay for Nepal
Changunarayan Village
Kay Garnay on Instagram
HelpX

Websites:
What About Nepal?
Star View Guest House
Traditional Art of Nepal
Kay Garnay for Nepal, Registered NGO


#WhatAboutNepal #TravelNepal #FrugalTravelsNepal #Nepal

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Dating Sites in Nepal?

Many young men in Nepal resist getting married and seem content to hang with their buddies rather than settling down with a family. Even when the young man has a wife and children he often still continues to hang with his friends rather than go home. Sometimes the young man admits that he has to get married, not because he got a young woman pregnant, but that his mother needs help with the housework and need care.

Times are changing fast for young people in Nepal. Young women are becoming a lot freer now, with the good and the bad side of the love issue for marriage. Many young Nepali women are stepping up and asking for more. I find it quite nice.

With sites like E-harmony in the US and dating sites in jersey jersey dating site and free dating sites for the British being mainsteam, it seems only fitting that Nepal's dating site business would become mainstream, too, sooner or later.

Nepal's young people are also more likely to marry a non-Nepali if they have the opportunity and many tourists come to Nepal for 'Tourism Sex' more so for female tourists than men. It's easy to see the appeal. These young men have a lovely inocense about them, lots of energy and enthusiasm to go abroad.

I do worry that there will be no going back and the young people will forever be changed. Although it may be a good thing for the young women, the young men who succumb to the European or American tourist may get more than he bargained for. He may come away with a sexually transmitted disease, since there is still a much higher insident in such things from the west that in Nepal at this time. This is a worse problem exasserbated by the fact that the men generally have no education in health or hygeine from any formal school here in Nepal. Those things are not spoken of and those certain things-of all else-should not be ignored.

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel to get travel tips and tricks for travel through Nepal and other parts of Asia.  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. https://www.youtube.com/channel

If you like our tips and are looking for travelers’ insurance I think you will enjoy our affiliate link:     Shop from 10 travel insurance sites at one time here.

This blog is also supplemental to our eBook, Nepal: A Tourist's Manual. $19.95 Use Promo Code to get 50% off: WhatAboutNepal

We also have a small guesthouse in Changunarayan Village, in the Kathmandu Valley. If you have an interest in staying with us for short or long-term stays, see our website at https://StarViewNepal.com
Follow along with us
Twitter:
@FrugalTravelsNe
@KayGarnay4Nepal
@StarViewChangu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frugal.travels
Like our pages:
https://www.facebook.com/starviewretreat/
https://www.facebook.com/KayGarnay4Nepal/
https://www.facebook.com/Changu.Bhaktapur/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaygarnay/
HelpX.Net: http://www.helpx.net/host.asp?hostid=17074
Websites:
http://WhatAboutNepal.org
http://StarViewNepal.com
http://TraditionalArtofNepal.com
http://KayGarnay.org

If you are single in the UK, please visit our featured websites:
https://www.datejerseysingles.co.uk
https://www.welovedates.com


Medical Care Available in Nepal


Before I left the US in 2010 I started to take the advice of my doctor before snapping back into my own world. I got a tooth taken care of and one in the series of Hep. B vaccine. Then when I broke a tooth on a buff mo; mo I learned a valuable lesson; I could have used the dental money for my flight to Nepal and still had money left over.

 I wonder if I would have accepted an offer to fly to Nepal to get such things taken care of if such an offer would have been available. On the one hand, American doctors are held accountable if they have an 'oops' moment, Nepali doctors probably aren't. OK, good point. It's not worth anything if you end up getting the wrong tooth pulled or something worse. Things can go wrong anywhere, but when you travel disasters can cost a lot more than money.

To illustrate the point of how bad things can get, one tourist friend told me about his experiences. First, a dentist damaged his jaw bone and he had to have dental surgery to have three bone pieces removed when he got back to Finland.

The second experience was equally discouraging for him. He got kidney stones and went to a world renown doctor with a kidney clinic in Kathmandu. This operation would cost a Nepali only $200, but the doctor wanted to charge a tourist price of $2,000. My friend went back to Finland where he got it done for free. This procedure is the one where they only cut a two-inch incision, state-of-the-art: $200.

The irony is that if my friend would have been from the US he would have realized what a bargain it was. Another friend had both eyes operated on by another world renown doctor for under $300. They used state-of-the-art lazar equipment and the results were excellent.

My thought is that everyone needs to weigh the risks and understand how to select the right doctor or hospital. Also, please understand that if you go to a developing nation and randomly walk into a hospital because you heard it's all really cheap, well, you just might not walk out. It's important to take responsibility and do your homework. Additionally, Nepal is definitely not for elective surgery that is high risk.

What is Nepal's healthcare good for?

Dental care: If you have teeth that need to be straightened somewhat, but not majorly, you can get Invisalign tooth adjustment treatment/apparatus from Nepal. The cost will be about $500 but might require you to come back for the adjustments. So, if a person has a small problem it might be worth $500 and another trip to Nepal. I'd suggest exploring this as soon as you arrive so you can make sure you have a good fit. Then, on your last day in Nepal, you should see the dentist again.

If your teeth have been neglected and now it's time to take care of them, Nepal can be a good place to get things done. I had a root canal in the US done before I left the country and finally got it done properly in Nepal. It cost less than $250 plus transportation. Now I go to a better place and have had even better results, written about in other blog posts.

Medical testing is discreet in Nepal; they do not even ask for your passport for ID. Sometimes it can be difficult to upgrade your insurance policy when symptoms crop up. I've even seen the MRI splice offered here. Before symptoms begin there may be something a person can do if they know about such a weakness. For example, is your liver fattier than most people at your age? Are both kidneys of equal size and health? Do aneurysms run in your family? Wouldn't it be good to know about such a potential health hazard before symptoms show up?

On-going health issues such as chronic pain or inflammation conditions such as lupus can be treated here for much less than your insurance deductible. By coming to Nepal in August, you could stay until the end of March and then come back in November. We could easily send medication via UPS or DHL. Then you could have a check-up with your Nepali doctor.

You may have heard about counterfeit medications. Although it can be a concern, use the guidelines in this post to know how to tell the bad from the good.

There are several excellent articles on the internet about counterfeit drugs and how to tell if they are genuine.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel to get travel tips and tricks for travel through Nepal and other parts of Asia. 

If you like our tips and are looking for travelers’ insurance I think you will enjoy our affiliate link:     Shop from 10 travel insurance sites at one time here.

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.
https://www.youtube.com/channel

This blog is also supplemental to our eBook, Nepal: A Tourist's Manual. $19.95 Use Promo Code to get 50% off: WhatAboutNepal

We also have a small guesthouse in Changunarayan Village, in the Kathmandu Valley. If you have an interest in staying with us for short or long-term stays, see our website at https://StarViewNepal.com
Follow along with us
Twitter:
@FrugalTravelsNe
@KayGarnay4Nepal
@StarViewChangu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frugal.travels
Like our pages:
https://www.facebook.com/starviewretreat/
https://www.facebook.com/KayGarnay4Nepal/
https://www.facebook.com/Changu.Bhaktapur/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaygarnay/
HelpX.Net: http://www.helpx.net/host.asp?hostid=17074
Websites:
http://WhatAboutNepal.org
http://StarViewNepal.com
http://TraditionalArtofNepal.com
http://KayGarnay.org















Tuesday, October 16, 2018

10 Things Every Solo Female Traveller Needs To Know About Nepal Part I



Follow along with us as we share important travel tips, particularly as they relate to Nepal, but each tip may be of importance in your upcoming itinerary.



If you've been to Nepal please give us your thoughts in the comments. 
Subscribe to our Youtube Channel to get travel tips and tricks for travel through Nepal and other parts of Asia. 

If you like our tips and are looking for travelers’ insurance I think you will enjoy our affiliate link:     Shop from 10 travel insurance sites at one time here.

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.
https://www.youtube.com/channel

This blog is also supplemental to our eBook, Nepal: A Tourist's Manual. $19.95 Use Promo Code to get 50% off: WhatAboutNepal

We also have a small guesthouse in Changunarayan Village, in the Kathmandu Valley. If you have an interest in staying with us for short or long-term stays, see our website at https://StarViewNepal.com
Follow along with us
Twitter:
@FrugalTravelsNe
@KayGarnay4Nepal
@StarViewChangu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frugal.travels
Like our pages:
https://www.facebook.com/starviewretreat/
https://www.facebook.com/KayGarnay4Nepal/
https://www.facebook.com/Changu.Bhaktapur/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaygarnay/
HelpX.Net: http://www.helpx.net/host.asp?hostid=17074
Websites:
http://WhatAboutNepal.org
http://StarViewNepal.com
http://TraditionalArtofNepal.com
http://KayGarnay.org






Wednesday, October 10, 2018

What Every Female Solo Traveler Should Know About Traveling in Nepal



This blog post is supplimental to our Youtube channel: http://bit.ly/2NTzjyM

The first thing you’ll notice is that even if you are average looking or a bit over-weight, when you step off that airplane you will be made to think you are a star. You are so beautiful you can have your pick of all these awesome, handsome men in Nepal. Much of this applies to other parts of Asia, as well.

A lot of this is sincere, we look exotic and come from mysterious lands far away. However, there is a belief that finding one of us will be the best way to get out of Nepal to go to the ‘land of money.’ If you want a husband that may be someone people will say, ‘Wow, how did she land such a handsome husband?’ this is the place. They aren’t all exceptionally handsome, but they all want to go abroad.

On  more serious note, if you think you have some sort of disease or condition you can get an inexpensive test in Nepal-very cheap. I’ve never been asked for my ID, so if you’ve been wanting to get tested, Nepal is the place to do it. Check on my blog posts to learn about some medical opportunities. But don’t just show up and think you can get a safe abortion or something. Write to me.

First, please understand that life doesn’t come with a manual and all we believe comes from our family and culture. Even though there are new laws against the practice of Chaupati, there are many deep rooted beliefs surrounding the women’s monthly cycle. If you stay in the Kathmandu Valley or where many tourists pass through, it will be fine. But if you plan to go out to a rural home-stay or volunteer stay you should ask in advance what the customs are for when you get your monthly. It might be that you simply cannot go into the kitchen, but please know that you are not going to change anyone’s mind; even if they act like you gave them some sort of epiphany.

Here’s our list:

1. Don’t take the local bus outside of the Kathmandu Valley, especially the night bus. They don’t stop long enough for women to find somewhere on the side of the road/mountain to relieve themselves.

If you really must take a local bus consider bringing a feminine, urinal straw Just be sure to clean it properly-which could be a problem. What I suggest in my eBook is to bring the kind of liquid soap you don’t need a lot of water to wash, like the soap a nurse would use to give a sponge bath.

One more reason not to take a local or night bus; they are not well maintained and some of the drivers drink. You can take a tourist bus, rent a car and driver on a ride share basis or fly. Nepal has domestic airports in Lumbini, Pokhara and Everest, and other places, as well.

2. If you plan to do trekking above 4,500 meter don’t go during your monthly. 1 out of 5 people get high altitude sickness, so if you are getting over a long illness, or are having your monthly (manse) take precautions. This also applies to you if you get a bad case of diarrhea, so just remember high altitude sickness can be serious. I’ll put the link to a blog post about altitude sickness in the description. Set some rules for yourself before you go because the first symptom is reduced brain function.

3. If you have a favorite brand of tampon be sure to bring it from home. You can find one brand of tampons in the supermarket in Kathmandu or you’ll be stuck with pads, which they have in abundance, but you may not be able to even find pads in the rural villages. If you are on the trekking trail you must carry everything out. Do you really want to baby-sit used pads? Tourist trash in the trekking routes is highly illegal in a lot of areas.

4. Do not go trekking alone.
    A. We had a guest who told me story about a good friend of hers. The young woman met up with a young man from her home country and they decided to trek together. All was fine until they hit an area too dangerous for her to climb. They argued and finally parted ways at that point and the young man continued alone; has never been seen again.
    B. Another guest/volunteer told of having to spend the night on a rock ledge on a mountain because a band a men were hunting him. He feared for his life.
If you don’t want to pay for a trekking company ($75-100 per day) you should at least take a local guide. They are easy to find, but you should make sure he has a license and take a picture of it and let someone know who you are going with. Seriously, hooking up with another tourist to go it on your own is really not very smart. You can get a local guide for less than $20 a day and isn’t your life worth that much?

5. Be careful with hygiene. Wash before and after when you change your tampon or moon cup with clean water. The water in the bathroom can be polluted, so if possible, bring liquid soap from a hospital pharmacy that doesn’t need to be rinsed off. This is soap a nurse would use to give a sponge bath. Try it before you leave to make sure it won’t cause irritation. If you haven’t yet, watch our video on how to find a toilet in Kathmandu.

6. Never use the bucket in the bathroom for splashing on your privates after using the toilet. Use your own water or at least know where it comes from.

7. Trim the bushes so you won’t always need to use toilet paper or water.

8. Do not have unprotected sex. You know that, but here are a few differences:
    a. The men are not circumcised and they struggle with the same water issues. If the young man has neglected his keeping his ‘junk’ clean it can cause a lot of problems. Many of the women have fibroid cysts in Nepal, and hygiene can play an important part in this. We recently had a guest who was sleeping with her trekking guide. When she got her monthly she was at our guesthouse and for the first time she had cramps so bad she spent the entire day in bed. She couldn’t understand it, but my guess is it had something to do her sleeping arrangements.
    b. Society doesn’t speak openly about such things so there is no information for your new friend to understand disease. They still think the common cold comes from the change of weather.

9. Inappropriate dress. Every time I go out to the nearby cities like Kathmandu or Bhaktapur I see young women wearing inappropriate clothing. Yes, you can get away with it in Kathmandu, but the older men and all the women will look at you in a bad way. If you wear it out in the rural villages you will bring disrespect to yourself. The trick is to keep your legs, stomach and shoulders covered-just to the knee and you can wear short sleeve shirt/T-shirt.

10. This should have been first. Never say the ‘F’ word. Don’t even think ‘Freak-in’ will work. There is no excuse and zero tolerance for such speech in this society.

There you have it, Ama’s list for staying safe and being a good tourist.

After writing about the need for women to remain covered while out in the rural areas I thought about an option for the cool, sleeveless blouses and such. If you'd like to support Nepal's textile industry you can buy tourist pants pretty cheap, around $10-12 for top and bottom or something like I had on in the video. They are made of cotton and don't need ironing. They are light and cool and don’t take much space. This is a great souvenir to take back for yourself. If you go somewhere and stay overnight you can easily pack them. You won’t have to wear your dress-up clothes home. They make good pajamas and lounge wear.

I’m going to include these in our shopping video so I hope you subscribe and turn notifications on so you’ll be notified.

 I have to say that 90% of my friends are young Nepali men and they are really wonderful. I think they are some of the nicest people I’ve ever known. I admit I over-generalized. They are really kind, gentle and respectful. I just want you to understand on a deeper level so you’ll be safe.

OK, there you have it, Ama’s list of how to be safe and be a good girl in Nepal. I hope you took a look at our Youtube channel. It's pretty much like this blog post but more visual.
Subscribe to our Youtube Channel to get travel tips and tricks for travel through Nepal and other parts of Asia. 

If you like our tips and are looking for travelers’ insurance I think you will enjoy our affiliate link:     Shop from 10 travel insurance sites at one time here.

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.
https://www.youtube.com/channel

This blog is also supplemental to our eBook, Nepal: A Tourist's Manual. $19.95 Use Promo Code to get 50% off: WhatAboutNepal

We also have a small guesthouse in Changunarayan Village, in the Kathmandu Valley. If you have an interest in staying with us for short or long-term stays, see our website at https://StarViewNepal.com
Follow along with us
Twitter:
@FrugalTravelsNe
@KayGarnay4Nepal
@StarViewChangu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frugal.travels
Like our pages:
https://www.facebook.com/starviewretreat/
https://www.facebook.com/KayGarnay4Nepal/
https://www.facebook.com/Changu.Bhaktapur/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaygarnay/
HelpX.Net: http://www.helpx.net/host.asp?hostid=17074
Websites:
http://WhatAboutNepal.org
http://StarViewNepal.com
http://TraditionalArtofNepal.com
http://KayGarnay.org






Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Indra Jatra Nepal-Bhaktapur Style



IndraJatra Nepal 2018

At the end of monsoon the Newar people stop to thank Indra, the god of heaven, for the abundant rice crop and for the life that monsoon brings. Rather than go to Kathmandu, we decided upon a bit slower pace of Bhaktapur for this celebration. If you go to Nepal in September check the calendar to see if you can join us for this festival. For more information please see our blog post

We stayed at Sunny Guest House near the Nyatapola, 5 story Temple, which I’d recommend. Taumadhi Square-11, Bhaktapur, Nepal +977 6616094 or 9841588688
Our thanks goes out to Sharmeela Rajbhandary Mulepati for the portion of the video of the elephant. This came on the fourth day, which we were unable to see.

Thanks to Kiron Mrzn for the Music.

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel to get travel tips and tricks for travel through Nepal and other parts of Asia. 

If you like our tips and are looking for travelers’ insurance I think you will enjoy our affiliate link:     Shop from 10 travel insurance sites at one time here.

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.
https://www.youtube.com/channel

This blog is also supplemental to our eBook, Nepal: A Tourist's Manual. $19.95 Use Promo Code to get 50% off: WhatAboutNepal

We also have a small guesthouse in Changunarayan Village, in the Kathmandu Valley. If you have an interest in staying with us for short or long-term stays, see our website at https://StarViewNepal.com
Follow along with us
Twitter:
@FrugalTravelsNe
@KayGarnay4Nepal
@StarViewChangu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frugal.travels
Like our pages:
https://www.facebook.com/starviewretreat/
https://www.facebook.com/KayGarnay4Nepal/
https://www.facebook.com/Changu.Bhaktapur/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaygarnay/
HelpX.Net: http://www.helpx.net/host.asp?hostid=17074
Websites:
http://WhatAboutNepal.org
http://StarViewNepal.com
http://TraditionalArtofNepal.com
http://KayGarnay.org


#WhatAboutNepal #TravelNepal #FrugalTravelsNepal #Nepal #Kumari #IndraJatra

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

It's Gai Jatra Time! A Must See Festival for August


Gai Jatra is one of my favorite festivals in Nepal. It's actually a festival about death, but it's upbeat and profound when you understand it. Last year I found Gai Jatra to be a bit tiring and expensive. Just for a couple beers and a few more soft drinks and it was well over $20 due to ‘festival pricing.’ It was hard to get the shade sitting on the rooftop with just umbrellas over the tables.





I decided to take a room for the night and that’s what I did. We took the bus from Changunarayan to Bhaktapur and then walked to the main entrance where we had soft drinks on the rooftop of a local restaurant, Darbar Restaurant. The restaurant last year was inside the city. This one is just outside the main gate and the price difference was huge. We had mo: mo, I had veg and Sujit had buff and a soft drink each and it was just $5.

I asked Pramesh, a good friend and local guide in Bhaktapur, to get a room for me that would be good for the ceremony and he found a place for me. It was a bit rough, but there was a fan in the room. The windows didn’t have screens.

I have to say that I made the right choice about the room, at least location-wise. Ju Ju Newar Guest House, Inacho district in Bhaktapur. The guesthouse is located between Golmadhi and Datatraya Square and is directly across from the Buddhist Bihar/monastary, Jhor Bahi Bihar. This is one of the few Buddhist sanctuaries in Bhaktapur. Most of the temples are Hindu, but that’s not to say there isn’t Buddhist influence. It’s reassuring to see the two religions living together in such peace. If I ask someone if they are Hindu or Buddhist they usually answer, ‘same, same.’ 


Gia Jatra has a unique history, which I really don’t understand. This is the first day of the festival so there was the procession in the afternoon. Then, in the evening Bhirab comes and a special ceramony is done to appease Bhirab. I asked Pramesh to help me to understand the festival, which he did. 
 

One of the most revered gods in this part of Nepal is Bhirab. I read that the Newar people brought Bhirab from ancient Sumaria when they immigrated to the Kathmandu Valley. He and goddess Kali are said to be created from Shiva’s dreadlocks due to his anger. It would appear, based upon the history of the Newar bringing Bhirab so far back, that Bhirab is probably the oldest god still being worshiped in the world.

The noise of the crowd, the sounds of tambourines, drums and other instruments create a lovely ambiance. The air is filled with incense being carried by people in the procession. The people all chant in unison, dance and click their sticks together in a long line-dance. The Newar people have been celebrating this festival for hundreds of years. 

A note about our guesthouse room. This guesthouse is under new management and had just opened again for business. It's an earthquake-safe building and really lovely. They have a huge reception area that's nicely decorated. However, we had two beds, but one blanket (of course another was promptly delivered upon request). The room had not been vacuumed, nor had the bathroom been cleaned. The bed had what looked like a clean sheet. Also, the blankets were cheap with polyester fill, too heavy for summertime and not big enough for the bed-of course no top sheet. 

I hope you enjoy the video portion of this blog, as well. Have you ever been to the Gai Jatra Festival in Nepal? Please comment and subscribe.

Tips for this festival: 

One bit of advice about staying in budget guesthouses in Nepal. Get a sleeping bag liner. Sheets are not always changed between uses. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring a pillow case. ‘Oh well, I won’t die.’

Leave your passport, ATM cards and most of your money in your guesthouse room before going to any festival with a big crowd. One time I got pick-pocketed and they got money from my fanny pack I wear in front.

Be aware people will be drinking pretty heavily by the evening and drunk behavior is no stranger in Nepal. There can be fights breaking out and such. Fortunately, people are not allowed to carry guns and the police work the crowd pretty well.  

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel to get travel tips and tricks for travel through Nepal and other parts of Asia. 

If you like our tips and are looking for travelers’ insurance I think you will enjoy our affiliate link:     Shop from 10 travel insurance sites at one time here.

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.
https://www.youtube.com/channel

This blog is also supplemental to our eBook, Nepal: A Tourist's Manual. $19.95 Use Promo Code to get 50% off: WhatAboutNepal

We also have a small guesthouse in Changunarayan Village, in the Kathmandu Valley. If you have an interest in staying with us for short or long-term stays, see our website at https://StarViewNepal.com
Follow along with us
Twitter:
@FrugalTravelsNe
@KayGarnay4Nepal
@StarViewChangu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frugal.travels
Like our pages:
https://www.facebook.com/starviewretreat/
https://www.facebook.com/KayGarnay4Nepal/
https://www.facebook.com/Changu.Bhaktapur/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaygarnay/
HelpX.Net: http://www.helpx.net/host.asp?hostid=17074
Websites:
http://WhatAboutNepal.org
http://StarViewNepal.com
http://TraditionalArtofNepal.com
http://KayGarnay.org













Saturday, August 11, 2018

Child Labor in Nepal-Is it a problem?


Is child labor a thing in Nepal? Yes, indeed. Unfortunately, child labor/exploitation is here, but the government is making laws to help children, lower castes and women. It's wonderful to see the progress. One third of the parliment is/must be women and lower caste, as are our board members at Kay Garnay for Nepal, our NGO, etc.

There is a young boy, 14, who is working nearby full-time. I expressed a desire to have the boy work here and learned that he would need to go to school and other laws are in place to protect him. That was actually my point, to help the boy to have a better life. It's just good to know the government is finally onboard with it. Realizing he'd have to go to school, he declined my offer.

There is only one road to and from Changunarayan, so I often survey the surrounding area. One day, after quite a long time since I'd seen children in the brick fields, there they were! I was mortified! I soon learned about this part of Nepal's culture. The families are very poor and travel with their children. During certain times of the year they come here and work as a family in the brick factories. These factories are being phased out due to pollution issues. It's a problem for the authorities; this issue and it's on a steep decline.



Our friend of Kay Garnay for Nepal, Pema from Dulpa, told me many stories about his life up near the border of Tibet. Families live in abject poverty, so at certain times of the year the children need to climb down the steep mountains looking for yarsegumba, a fugus/plant consumed by Chinese at a high price. This is often the only money the family sees and sometimes the children fall down the mountain to their death. Poverty also causes families to give up children to be educated in Kathmandu in orphanages. Everyone loves to volunteer and give money to orphans. The problem is the children seldom see the benefits of your financial gifts and are exploited. We do not support the orphanage industry.  Here's an older blog post I wrote that will provide more information on the subject.

Sexual molestation of anyone under 16 years old comes with a 16 year prison sentence in Nepal and human traficking is down due to the attention and support the world has provided. What is the real reason for such exploitation in the first place? Poverty. Our agency, Kay Garnay for Nepal, is working to provide a solution to such issues through job creation and exporting handcrafts. I've been exporting high quality, custom painted thangkas for over 5 years  online. I'm really proud of the website and have to say it's all due to our web developer, Livio, and his hard work. He is working from his heart to help the artists and our local thanka painting school. 

WhatAboutNepal.org If you live in a location where winters are harsh you'll find our handcrafted, knitted hat/glove sets to be an excellent value. Only 100 hats can get us started building our first home. Check out first home we built in the village at Dada-Home.org



Although the school system is truly abysmal, all children must attend school through the 10th grade and it's getting better, too. I've heard many stories about Nepali schools, both government and private, that I'd consider 'unteaching' due to the trauma inflicted in the children. One would expect capitol punishment for misbehaving, but I've heard stories of students being slapped for not knowing the correct answer. One friend even told me some teachers will have a student who knows the answer slap the child who does not.

Bottom line: Child exploitation can happen in even the world's best countries. Does it happen in Nepal? Yes, of course. However, Nepal is successfully combatting this issue. If poverty is the cause of such exploitation then tourism is certainly the cure and Nepal is one of the most hospitable, tourist-friendly, budget destinations on the planet. Come to Nepal. It's a destination of a lifetime.


Subscribe to our Youtube Channel to get travel tips and tricks for travel through Nepal and other parts of Asia. 

If you like our tips and are looking for travelers’ insurance I think you will enjoy our affiliate link:     Shop from 10 travel insurance sites at one time here.

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.
https://www.youtube.com/channel

This blog is also supplemental to our eBook, Nepal: A Tourist's Manual. $19.95 Use Promo Code to get 50% off: WhatAboutNepal

We also have a small guesthouse in Changunarayan Village, in the Kathmandu Valley. If you have an interest in staying with us for short or long-term stays, see our website at https://StarViewNepal.com
Follow along with us
Twitter:
@FrugalTravelsNe
@KayGarnay4Nepal
@StarViewChangu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frugal.travels
Like our pages:
https://www.facebook.com/starviewretreat/
https://www.facebook.com/KayGarnay4Nepal/
https://www.facebook.com/Changu.Bhaktapur/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaygarnay/
HelpX.Net: http://www.helpx.net/host.asp?hostid=17074
Websites:
http://WhatAboutNepal.org
http://StarViewNepal.com
http://TraditionalArtofNepal.com
http://KayGarnay.org





Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Nepal, A Retiree Winter Retreat


After 9/11/2001 my eyes opened and I started educating myself as to the political landscape of my country, USA. Yes, we all went through this, I know. Although I always wanted to travel the world and go to Africa, that wake-up call made me commit to that goal at a deeper level. My kids were young and my husband was in heart failure and not a likely travel companion to start with.

It wasn't until 2010 that I was able to get out, but it was life changing. I highly recommend a solo travel abroad-preferably one way. When I landed in Nepal I just fell in love with the place-everything!
Don't wait for 2020. You can come this winter.



Being as I'm looking at the world through a widow's lens, I see Nepal a bit differently than many of my more financially substantial counterparts. I see Nepal as a way to go from rags to riches without having to get more income.

But it isn't for everyone. First, the roads are not great and some of the potholes are big enough to get a car stuck. When you go to Kathmandu you have to use a mask to keep the pollution from bothering you too much. No one seems to follow through on their promises, but I'm expected to-even when they don't, and the list goes on. It's a big adjustment and it's not because the people are bad. They are really wonderful to tourists; it's just culture.

What's my point? My point is that for Americans who stuggle in the winter time to stay warm, get enough help to not have to shovel snow and have such high deductibles on insurance they cannot afford to take care of their dental issues or want to explore alternative medicine or get testing. No, I'm not saying to come here to get open heart surgery or anything like that done. There are many issues regarding infections and such that make it a foolish choice if there is another option. But putting up a crowdfunding project for medical help isn't always the only solution.


My badly sprained ankle

That being said, a person can get a root canal fixed for less than $200, usually a lot less. If you want to pay $30 you can, but it won't likely be very good. But you can go to a modern hospital with state-of-the-art equipment in Nepal and get care that is almost the same as in developed nations. Yes, almost; think 1995. As I've written about elsewhere, during one dental visit, the radiologist came to take me to get x-rays and I noticed he was wearing gloves. Wonderful! But as I followed him to the x-ray room he met a friend and actually shook hands with him! Did he change his gloves? No, although I'm sure he would have if I'd have asked.


Another issue was due to my going during the winter time to get my teeth cleaned. Good news: it was only $6. Bad news: they had no heating of the water they squirted into my mouth for 30 minutes. It was so cold it hurt! You see what I mean?

I've been pleasently surprised on a number of occassions and my teeth are in better shape than when I'd neglect them for so long back home due to the cost. There are MRI slice equipment where you can do an entire body scan for around $100. Although I tried to get a doctor to let me take one, if there is a medical need they will easily provide a prescription. If aneurysms run in your family you'd do well to have such a scan-and other reasons. What I like about Nepal's medical testing is the fact that no one asks for ID; it's completely anonymous.

So, what are you supposed to do? Show up and ask for a dental clinic? Well, you could probably do that, but I have a better idea.

I love caring for people and if you read the reviews on our guesthouse, Star View in Changunarayan, you will see the reviews I get on the way I personally care about our guests. My suggestion, recommendation is to come for the winter and stay with us or elsewhere and get such things taken care of.

The weather and view from our guesthouse on Oct. 30, 2017

I put out an offer of $800 a month all inclusive of private room, meals and transportation, even airfare. This would be on a 5-month agreement, but if it didn't work out a person could just pay back for the flight and be on their way. I would help them to find another place to stay. The only commitment would be on my part. If you pay for airfare we can give you a private room with private bath and all the food prepared for you from just $500 a month.

What would a person do here? Actually, there are a lot of things people spend their time doing, such as volunteering in the government school or helping our farmers start organic farming. Others write their memoirs or do internet projects; it's a great place for digital nomads. We have broadband internet, filtered water, refrigerator, back-up electric, room heaters, room servicing, solar water heating and just about whatever you need. We even have a HAM radio and antenae for your use.

"But what about all my bills and obligations back home while I'm away," you ask? If you understand that Facebook is not 'the internet' you are lightyears ahead of most of the population in Nepal. Therefore, you can get creative about how you can travel while producing some value along the way to help supplement your income. Here is a rather long list of ways a person can travel while earning a bit. Jason Swain is a blogger and online worker who's explored many an online money-making scheme and such. The life of a digital nomad isn't for everyone, but it might help supliment your travels or use one of these ideas to help you save up to travel: https://www.basedbachelor.com/entrepreneurship/how-to-make-money-while-traveling/

Tourists are able to stay here for 5 months per calendar year, so coming in November and staying until the end of March can get you out of the worst part of winter for most people. Such a schedule could easily be a way to save a bit of money and give you a special time of not having to worry about things.

I'm 65 years old and have been blogging about the virtues of Nepal for 7 years now. I'm from the US and lived a fairly middle class lifestyle throughout my life and know the importance of handwashing, etc. Having someone on your side to help you through all the cultural nuances will make your stay a real retreat with mild weather, sunshine everyday and activities that will enrich your life.



My goal is to have our guesthouse be like stepping back to the West when you are inside. However, that would be a gross exaggeration if I were to claim that. However, in a country where almost 20% of tourists get stomach issues, we haven't gotten anyone sick due to food preparation in over 3 years. Yes, it happens, but I eat the same food as my guests, so it's a major problem for our staff if that happens. Three years is major in Nepal!

As more and more benefits are taken away from us in America, I think it's time to rethink our later years and think outside the box. When you go back in the spring you will have done all the needed medical testing and maybe a few visits to some unconventional healers. You'll have a whole new smile and new reasons for smiling. You'll have prescription meds to take home and we can send you more when you run out. Then you can show your doctor the test results and save a lot of money.

I have many connections on Twitter with people in the #Resist movement. For anyone serious about the US elections and political climate, book your flight for right after the election as a reward for your hard work. If the Dems win it will take a while to get whatever we lost back, if at all. So, you deserve a break and Nepal is calling (If you are a trumpster I apologize in advance. I can be pretty annoying, so I'm happy to help you find somewhere).

I know there are millions who would benefit from this offer, but I only have room for 4, at the most. Any inquiries are welcome to contact me at FrugalTravelsNepal@gmail.com
Subscribe to our Youtube Channel to get travel tips and tricks for travel through Nepal and other parts of Asia. 

If you like our tips and are looking for travelers’ insurance I think you will enjoy our affiliate link:     Shop from 10 travel insurance sites at one time here.

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.
https://www.youtube.com/channel

This blog is also supplemental to our eBook, Nepal: A Tourist's Manual. $19.95 Use Promo Code to get 50% off: WhatAboutNepal

We also have a small guesthouse in Changunarayan Village, in the Kathmandu Valley. If you have an interest in staying with us for short or long-term stays, see our website at https://StarViewNepal.com
Follow along with us
Twitter:
@FrugalTravelsNe
@KayGarnay4Nepal
@StarViewChangu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frugal.travels
Like our pages:
https://www.facebook.com/starviewretreat/
https://www.facebook.com/KayGarnay4Nepal/
https://www.facebook.com/Changu.Bhaktapur/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaygarnay/
HelpX.Net: http://www.helpx.net/host.asp?hostid=17074
Websites:
http://WhatAboutNepal.org
http://StarViewNepal.com
http://TraditionalArtofNepal.com
http://KayGarnay.org












Wednesday, June 13, 2018

4 New Ways to Help Changunarayan Village Rebuild




After 3 years with our Kay Garnay for Nepal, registered NGO, things are finally starting to move. You see, no matter what I want to do, I cannot actually do anything. I need a helper. Even something as simple as making a phone call is exasperating, not just for me but the person on the other end of the call. I can only ask, not micro-manage and there is always a wedding, festival or family member in the hospital. Now they are pushing me.

That being said, we have so many projects starting now-It’s invigorating. First, we have a new website that has a lot of info about Nepal. We are uploading the book I wrote for everyone to read for free, one chapter at a time as we get it updated. I had the eBook for sale, but I’d rather more people read it and have a better time in Nepal. http://WhatAboutNepal.org It's all free.

 If you want to buy from an affiliate link on our site we'll be offering some extra values. For example, we have a travel insurance finder affiliate link. If you find the right travel insurance there we can give a free room for the night at Star View Guest House as a ‘thank you’ gift. We hope to also have a Hotel booking site, as well as a few trekking guides we feel comfortable enough to recommend. But most of all, it will be everything you ever thought you’d want to know about Nepal-and then some.







We are also starting two women's initiatives, the first is for handmade,100% woolen hats and gloves. The second one is for hand-loomed pashmina, all excellent quality. If you live in a cool climate you'll love what we are doing. We are making micro-fiber lined, 100% wool hats and gloves for  a donation from $30, possibly including shipping. Today was the first day for the training. I guess that's why I'm all excited about it. Things move incredibly slow in Nepal and now it’s like the floodgates have opened.

We have a volunteer coming later this month who has experience in women’s workshop initiatives. She’ll be taking the lead and using her talents for the women in Changunarayan making pashmina scarves. We’ll be offering them at exceptional values to our sponsors. I am unable to use the business model many social initiatives use. They keep the women poor while getting an inflated price from their generous donors.




Our model is just the opposite. First, if you look at competitive products on the internet for hand-made, 100% wool hats you’ll find them for at least $45 plus shipping, but we are just starting up and really need sales. We can send you a hat and glove set for just $30 and we will be able to get the initiatives running with a break-even cash flow or maybe even earn a bit. We will be starting the women off with a normal salary they would get if they got a non-English speaking job in Kathmandu and would have to ride the bus for 3-4 hours per day. Now they can just walk up the hill to Star View Guest House. They have a room with a TV and box of DVDs for when they get beyond the beginner level. We also provide the women lunch and a home baked snack with their tea break. Next, we provide the women with a commission on each of their share of the sales so this should double their salary. The hours they need to work is just from 10 to 4 with lunch and tea breaks.  I’m sure this is much better than ‘fair trade’ guidelines.

Other than selling the pashmina and wool hat/gloves as a fundraiser for our own needs, we have an unusual proposition for any of our readers who’d like to help us. We have a fundraiser for the hats/glove sets for Western countries' high school football teams, bands, orchestras or cheerleaders. We'd love to find a student who would like to earn a trip to Nepal after graduation. We can even put the money in a bank account at 9%. We would purchase the ticket from here and give the cash after the student arrives.

We’ll custom make your high school colors with the initials on each piece, 100% high quality wool over micro-fiber lining. The hat will be the ‘Mohawk’ style in your school’s official colors or choose from other styles. The gloves will have open fingers with a cover and button. When we get the pashmina workshop going we can add a monogrammed scarf to complete the set. We can sell these in lots of 100 for a 50% split on retail of $60 without pashmina scarf. We ask 20% deposit with the balance 60 days after delivery, via Paypal invoice. This is not only an excellent value price-wise, but something that is in high demand for sports fans. If you have connections to a high school club or sports team please let us know. Let us know your ideas and suggestions, as well.



We also had an awesome guest stay at Star View and sent us start-up money for a Mt. Bike Rental concession for the village. We’ll had the bikes delivered already and they are quite nice. Actually, Rupak and his friends rode them from Kathmandu for us. I offered them lunch for their kindness. I know they love to go on rides and would do it for free, but still, we appreciate it.
Here the bikes are.

So, as we were working on the how’s of the project Anoj came by and wants to take the mt. bike concession as a ‘Tourist Information Desk.’  Anoj is a very kind villager whom I know I can trust with tourists to be honest and sincere and who doesn’t drink. We can do a lot of things for the village with 7-8 Mt. Bikes and an information center to help tourists stay in Changunarayan longer. We are so grateful to Parel, our donor for making this happen.

I’d like to thank everyone for your support, whatever it may be. Please follow along with us and help us by sharing our message, buy a hat and glove set, or click on one of our affiliate sites for original thangka paintings and hand-carved masks, travel insurance, etc. Seriously, the links aren’t even up yet, but I just wanted to share our plans. Nothing moved for 3 years and now everything is coming together.



Subscribe to our Youtube Channel to get travel tips and tricks for travel through Nepal and other parts of Asia. 

If you like our tips and are looking for travelers’ insurance I think you will enjoy our affiliate link:     Shop from 10 travel insurance sites at one time here.

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.
https://www.youtube.com/channel

This blog is also supplemental to our eBook, Nepal: A Tourist's Manual. $19.95 Use Promo Code to get 50% off: WhatAboutNepal

We also have a small guesthouse in Changunarayan Village, in the Kathmandu Valley. If you have an interest in staying with us for short or long-term stays, see our website at https://StarViewNepal.com
Follow along with us
Twitter:
@FrugalTravelsNe
@KayGarnay4Nepal
@StarViewChangu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frugal.travels
Like our pages:
https://www.facebook.com/starviewretreat/
https://www.facebook.com/KayGarnay4Nepal/
https://www.facebook.com/Changu.Bhaktapur/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaygarnay/
HelpX.Net: http://www.helpx.net/host.asp?hostid=17074
Websites:
http://WhatAboutNepal.org
http://StarViewNepal.com
http://TraditionalArtofNepal.com
http://KayGarnay.org








Sunday, May 27, 2018

Why Changunarayan Village, Nepal Should be on your Bucket List


One of my favorite places to visit has been Changunarayan since the first time I rode on the back of a motorcycle up a dirt road to the village. It was like stepping into a story book. There were monkeys and an ancient, outdoor museum with idols and shrines so old and yet so beautiful. As I walked up the steps to the ancient temple the merchants were quite friendly without being overly pushy like the ones in Thamel, Kathmandu. It was lovely after getting there, but it was actually a dirt road for a couple miles.


That was in 2011. In 2012 I had another day helper who suggested a day-trip to Changunarayan. "Oh, no! I can't do that road!" "No, Ama," he explained. "There's a road now." I loved this sacred, ancient village even more with a new, paved road.

That was when I met Sanjay and Kamal, a couple of thangka artists with a little thangka school. They were so friendly and kind we soon became good friends. They always treated me with such kindness and respect and would come over to cook a meal with me or to take me to Kathmandu. Since then they've become family to me, in more ways than one, but that's another story.            

Kamal and Sanjay gave me this lovely thangka as a gift.

I began inviting my guests and tourist friends to meet these lovely guys and create their own souvenirs. They have a 3-day thangka painting course that everyone loved doing. It's still only $7 for each 3 hour lesson and we provide a 25% discount on our rooms for those taking the course. Many tourists spend weeks learning this art style and since our guesthouse is legally Kamal's, we can provide a nice package.


The temple was so beautiful. After passing the merchants and craftsmen along the steps, the temple had long buildings, patis, that created an enclosure for the many temples and idols inside. It was a nice energy shift as I came through the tunnel entrance. This ancient temple is the oldest Hindu temple still in use in Nepal. There are many festivals celebrated in Changunarayan each year, so be sure to check the Nepali calendar before you book your flight. Here's one coming soon.

There are also many ancient ponds and random shrines you'll discover along the way, almost as if stratigically placed, as you scout out the area. The Nepali have no understanding of trespass, so if you cut through somewhere, as long as you don't damage anything, you will be met with a smile. There is a pine forest an INGO planted several years ago, which is quite nice and we have several trekking routes with lovely 1-day destinations.

I always liked buying souvenirs in this village. The prices are quite a bit better than in Thamel and you can often meet the artist or craftsman. Another of the friends I met here is Furba. He has a woodcarving shop and can even teach this craft with lessons. They aren't quite as popular as the thangka lessons, but are quite a unique piece of art to take back home. The wood is a local, fast growing tree that is not endangered. It's also fairly light compared to many woods, so if you see one you like it might fit just fine for your flight home.

One of the most popular gods in this village is Bhirab, the incarnation of Shiva birthed from his anger. Well, Bhirab is probably the oldest god still being worshipped because the ancient Newar people brought him here from ancient Babylon or possibly even before. Furba gave me one of these masks as a gift and I was pleased to put it on the wall. Well, the energy in the flat completely shifted and was much calmer. I mentioned it to my day helper and he told me Bhirab 'eats' anger. Although he looks fierce, if you are open to eastern spirituality, you might like his energy.

If you meet one of our local trekking guides they will tell you about many of the epics from the Hindu sacred scriptures that happened right here in Changunarayan. In fact, this is a village of miracles and myths. If you go up to the temple you'll find a huge rock that is halfway to becoming an elephant. As the legend goes, the craftsmen started making the statue in his rock carving shop. But when he went the next morning to work on it, it was gone. He found it up at the temple and brought it back to continue his work. The next morning it was gone again and that's where it remains, up in the temple courtyard.


Bhairab slayed a demon right here, posibly on our hilltop, although it was most likely at the site the temple was built upon. Shiva lived an incarnation in a village just down the hill from Changunarayan. We have a museum where you can learn more.


Come through the temple and go down the steps at the back. Don't worry about having to climb back up; there is a road that goes around it. You'll come to the hilltop where there are a couple of benches to catch the sunset or views of Kathmandu and tips of the Himalayas. Watch the falcons soaring by, swarms of parrots, sparrows, silver crows and local birds. Star View Guest House sits here overlooking the hilltop, so we get the fresh air, gentle breezes and nice views. If you have a place to stay, don't worry. You'll enjoy the hilltop and you're welcome to come to Star View to fill your water bottle at no charge. We have an RO filter system.

Four years ago I decided I needed an entire building as my home. Kamal found this building and it's just like heaven to me. I can sit up on the covered rooftop and visit with guests, write content for our websites and social media or have a meal while I look out at the beautiful Kathmandu Valley and listen to the lovely birds and other village sounds. http://StarviewNepal.com

If you come to Nepal I hope you'll take time to come to Changunarayan. It will be one of the highpoints of your time in Nepal.