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Pai to Chiang Mai to Kathmandu

Pai was good for another few days after I last posted, I didn’t do much and ended up visiting a few bars, met a few cool people. Pai is definitely worth the visit and was a good shout from my cousin, despite its sleepy days.

I got the bus out of Pai bus station (they run through national holidays like the water festival, despite what everyone says) for Chiang Mai – from here I hopped on a plane to BKK where I first heard news of the ash cloud. Bangkok airport was pretty rammed, tourists originally bound for Europe made the quiet airport not so quiet. I had booked an overnight stay (flight to Nepal was next day) in an airport hotel (Grand Residence) which included hotel transfers, I met the concierge who was supposed to sort this out who promised me a 10 minute wait – but another couple had been told the same yet had waited over an hour – we decided to just get a taxi. Turned out so did half of Europe and it took us 4 hours to get a taxi, BKK taxi’s made a killing that night.

3 hours sleep in a hotel later I woke up again and got driven in an E class Mercedes from the 1980’s to the airport, blacked out windows and leather seats that had probably seen more use than any bus. The hop from Bangkok to Kathmandu was a short 3 hours 40 minutes or similar and we were put into a holding pattern for about 40 minutes that gave us circling views of the Himilayas. Not all that bad really.

Kathmandu wasn’t that different to how I had pictured it, the week before when I had booked the ticket – pretty grimey, busy and smelly – huge chimneys where presumably waste or coal was burnt speckle the horizon as you fly in to land. Customs didn’t seem to care what I had in my bags but getting a visa took a while. Converting a few hundred dollars into Nepalese rupee’s also wasn’t such a great idea as the majority of hotels etc. prefer to be paid in $$, so if you need to pay in rupee’s then the rate is theirs to choose! I stayed in an average place just of Thamel, the tourist district. $25 for a room which would do for the night – the next morning I was getting a bus for Dumre.

Thamel restaurant ornament.. :/

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One Comment

  1. alex
    Posted May 25, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Thamel backstreet Hotel is a nice place to take rest. I went once.

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