Thursday, September 19, 2013

Nagarkot-Amazing Views Even During Monsoon

Written by guest author, Day Wong, Hong Kong, China

I took the bus from the tourist bus park at the top of the hill in Bhaktapur. It took about an hour to get there and the bus stopped at the spot where many guest houses and restaurants are located. If you want to go to the top to see the best view it will take at least an hour to an hour and a half from there, but it was an asphalt road and a fairly easy walk, although mostly uphill. 

The local buses didn’t leave until 7 am, even though there were many buses already on the road going elsewhere. I took advantage of the wait by having breakfast at a nearby local restaurant. 

They call it the ‘tower’ and along the way I noticed several military lookout areas. Nagarkot became popular during the recent uprising with the Moaists, so there isn’t much culture there. The tower at the top, although would have been an even better view, was broken so it would be very difficult to climb up to the top, anyway.

An interesting thing happened on the way back home. A local Nepali man, the owner of a local restaurant stopped to give me a ride on his motorcycle. I went to his place and had a cup of coffee while I enjoyed the most spectacular view of the Himalayas I could imagine. 

Be sure you ask where the bus is going because many only have the writing in the Nepali script instead of English. Like Amanda wrote in her book, be sure to ask more than one person to make sure you are on the right bus. 

On this day, only one day after Indra Jatra it was quite cloudy. The local, Newari count on the god Indra to provide the rain and he never seems to disappoint them; the day was quite cloudy, but what majestic clouds! 

I had a great time and got back just in time for lunch. I highly recommend taking a morning or evening to see the majestic views from Nagarkot. They say you can see Mt. Everest from there, so I can safely say I saw it although I’m not sure which mountain it was. From what I understand you cannot even see Everest from Pokhara. Be sure to take a local guide with you so he can point it out for you. It would also make a great start to the trek to Namabuddha, but this first trip to Nepal is only going to be for 15 days. I will definitely come back to Nepal with a much longer holiday. A little latter in the year, after the monsoon is finished would make the view so much better, even though it was spectacular on this day.

One more lesson learned. Check to see how much the bus ride should cost. Locals pay 35 NRs. but the special, 'tourist price' for me was 50. 

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