Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Today I took a tempo to Lalithpur, a.k.a. Patan, one of the other two capitals in the Kathmandu Valley. The Nepali tempo is a unique form of public transport: 3-wheeled, the back has two opposing benches large enough to hold 10 Nepali-sized adults with a reasonable degree of comfort. And best of all in this smog-choked valley (you should see the black gunk I clean out of my nostrils each evening), they run on electricity. The 4-5 km ride cost 9 rupees, or about 17 cents US.

I already visited Lalithpur a while back with Alex, but that day we'd walked the whole way (6km from our guest house), stopping regularly en route, and we were starving by the time we reached Durbar Square around 3pm. After we'd eaten (and taken about a gazillion photos from our rooftop cafe), it was quite late and the sun was well on its way down. Let's just say that I felt a tad rushed.

I got off 0n the main road and made my way along the narrow streets and brick alleys of the old town roughly in the direction of Durbar Square. Lalithpur is wonderfully atmospheric, all brick and intricately-carved wood, with tiny lanes opening into large courtyards. Bathing tanks, stupas, shrines and temples abound, and they're often filled with people doing laundry, kids playing, and men gambling. I took a different route than I had last time, and discovered a whole new set of such wonders. By the time I boarded a tempo for the ride back to Kathmandu, I'd taken over 80 photos :S


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