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Paragliding Pokhara Nepal – Flair Travels #2

Posted by on Jun 24, 2015 in Nepal, Sports, Travel

Paragliding Pokhara Nepal – Flair Travels #2

 

 

I’m pretty sure every human being in this world would wonder how it feels to fly. To be momentarily suspended on air, your feet of the ground and you float for more than 5 seconds.

Well, like everyone else, I dreamed to fly.

When I went to Nepal last October, I browsed through the activities I could do during my stay.

Apart from seeing the tallest mountain on earth, Mt. Everest, I just had to do something for the first time – flying!

Well, paragliding to be specific.

I have told my friends who went to Nepal to try paragliding. It is really safe and one experience you will cherish.

Here are the things you need to do to make this experience come true.

– Book your flight a few days in advance. We went on October when it’s peak season and slots do fill up.

– For paragliding, a pilot will be paired to you and both of you will be strapped in for flight. So don’t worry. you don’t need to be experienced in anything to do this. all you have to do is ride.

– We booked through Himalayan Encounters and sometimes in a city you are not familiar with, it is best to have a travel agent or a tour guide.

– They have four scheduled times to fly during the day. It also depends on the weather and winds for best time to fly. Don’t worry to much about this, trust that they will tell you the best time to fly.

– We met at their office that will take us about 25 minutes uphill to the Sarangkot mountain top where you are already 1,400 meters above sea level.

– After driving, you need to hike up a little bit, this was my warm-up. There’s a point where vans can’t have access to, so off you go and walk!

– They will prepare the shoot and your seat/strap.

– I suggest you take the option with photos so you can document your flight! I mean this is a pretty expensive activity, might as well document it to last forever! They have go pro cameras that will capture your moment. You can bring your own gear too if you want, I had my DSLR strapped to my neck the entire time.

– This costs only additional $22 dollars or 1700 Nepali Rupees

– Bring sun glasses – the sun is harsh

– long sleeves and pants if you want to protect your skin from the sun. It was windy and chilly in October so it’s okay,

– and bring sunscreen!

– So once the shoot and you’re all strapped in, the pilot will be by your back and he will tell you to run towards the cliff!

– WHAT?

– Did I tell you I’m afraid of heights? Yes very much so! But I somehow found a way to overcome this. I stop thinking and just do it!

– These pilots are trained and I trust them. SO RUN I DID!!!

– I didn’t think of anything else but just running towards that cliff! i was too nervous and stunned to document this moment and did not take a video or photo of it :(

– and next thing I knew, i was running with my feet not touching the floor already. I was flying!!!

– hallelujah!!!

– As you enjoy the ride, take photos, enjoy the view of the himalayas :) Enjoy flying atop Pokhara Lake, but don’t wonder about where you’re gonna eat later because if you have a not-so-adventurous stomach, you would feel like vomiting mid way. AND I DID!

– Apparently, this is normal, so the pilot just asked me to tilt to my left and be free to barf. yes.

Here are the signs when the pilots can tell if someone is about to barf mid air:

1. Silence

2. Head bops more than usual

3. They curl with their tummies and clinch fist

4. They ask questions like – how long are we gonna be flying or when/where do we land?

As for me, I just told him directly – hey I need to vomit

– If you are more adventurous (or crazy lol) you can ask them to do a few tricks for you like summersault on air or do a 360 rollercoaster thing. Whatever – do whatever floats your banana boat!

– The pilots can control the height of the shoot. You can fly higher, and of course you need to fly lower if you’re ride is about to be done for landing. You will land at the space near the lake. So I’m thinking, In case I fall, I fall into water.

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Kantipur Temple House, Eco-Hotel in Thamel Kathmandu

Posted by on Jan 14, 2013 in Featured, Nepal, Travel

Kantipur Temple House, Eco-Hotel in Thamel Kathmandu

On our last day in Nepal, we were booked at Kantipur Temple House in Thamel Kathmandu. It is walking distance to the shopping center and night life of Thamel, but at the same time, quite situated away from the chaos which was just perfect.

After our long drive from Pokhara and exploring the places on the way like Bandipur and the Trisuli River, Niraj of Himalayan Encounters invited us for dinner and took quickly around Thamel.  Here I got to see the markets still alive at night bustling with tourists and people enjoying then night.  It was a Monday night though and Niraj said, it is more active on the weekends.

We wanted to get a massage after the entire day’s activities but we decided to head back to the hotel to rest and relax.

 

First Impressions

I’ve already seen pictures of Kantipur Temple House and I was very excited to stay in this hotel mainly because of the architectural design and its features.

Outside view of the hotel and its hallways

We arrived at the hotel at night and even though it was quite a bit dark to judge the entire building, I felt like I wasn’t only in a different country, but I felt like I just stepped inside a time capsule.  It has modern facilities but the design and structure preserves the traditional nepalese architecture. 

The Hallways are quite dramatic.

*cues Game of Thrones theme song cover by Jiggypuff*

C’mon hit PLAY!

 

The hotel seems like a temple on the outside that serves a tranquil setting.  But you can also take advantage of the beautiful landscaped gardens and pation because it has ample space for dining and meeting areas.  The rooftop terras has panoramic views of Kathmandu and the surrounding hills. 

 

Our room

I actually felt like I was in the TV series “Game of Thrones” or one of those movies set in medieval time.  The rooms are appointed with heating and hot showers.  Wifi is free in common areas like reception, restaurant and garden, but sometimes the signal goes up to our room.

Game of Thrones? Should be Khaleesi and Khal Drogo’s room or something

The room doesn’t have air conditioning facilities.  They provide fans in summer and electric blankets and hot water bags during winter.  It was autum when we were there so the room temperature was just comfortable even without using A/C or electric blankets even.  

 

Our bed with electric blankets. Take note of the deco above the headboard.  There are detailed carvings by hand, a common craft in Nepal.

They also don’t provide televisions in the hotel rooms.  This forces you to INDULGE in your holiday experience away from modern chaos.  You have no choice but to enjoy your vacation and have quite a few serene time for rest.

The Patio – view from our room.

 

Door to our room. Wooden Floor.

 

“No Plastic Policy” – they don’t give you water bottles, instead they serve you free water inside these jars :)

 

Social Responsibility

One feature that’s quite unique for Kantipur Temple house is that they are one of the finest eco-hotels in Kathmandu.  Apart from the aforementioned no A/C, no TV policy, they also care for environment preservation and this is their priority while providing their customer’s needs.

Kantipur Temple House is an eco-hotel with a social responsible philosophy.  The hotel tries to protect the environment and preserves the cultural heritage of Kathmandu Valley.  In doing this, they do the following:

  • Solar heated water is provided to all guests for bathing.
  • Towels and bed sheets are not changed everyday unless specifically requested.
  • A green purchasing policy using local materials and food has been adopted.
  • Traditional architecture and construction methods are used in building and maintenance.
  • “No plastic philosophy” is maintained.
  • Purchases made for the restaurant are done without using polythene bags.
  • Mineral water bottles are not sold to guests, instead free water is provided in jugs.
  • An in-house waste management system of biodegradable waste is set up.
  • Employment opportunities are given to locals.
  • All staffs are encouraged to volunteer on clean ups of heritage sites.
  • There are no televisions/bathtubs/AC/central heating system to avoid excessive energy consumption. We use traditional and energy saving mediums for comfort like hot water bags, electric blankets.

 

Restaurant

There’s really nothing special about the restaurant.  Like most hotels in Kathmandu Valley, they offer Nepali, Indian, Chinese, Thai and Continental cuisine.  

One notable thing about the food selection though is that the restaurant provides an Organic selection and offerst most of the food fresh and home-made.

 

Other Facilities

They offer the usual:

Free Wifi Service in the common areas like reception, restaurant and garden.
Free Use of Internet in the Hotel’s Computer Center
Tailor-made guided tours to Kathmandu Valley’s cultural heritage sites.
Exclusive tours all over Nepal, from city tours, rafting and trekking.
Laundry Service
Restaurant Room Service

 

Hang-out areas

 

The Hotel’s cat :)

 

Purrrrr!

 

Outside the tall gates of our hotel – MONKEYS!

Wild monkeys are as common as stray dogs in Nepal.

 

Here’s another beauty. A GRAY CAT! First time I’ve ever seen one by this color.

 

 

View more photos of Kantipur Temple House here.

 

Visit my other blog posts about Nepal here.


Book at Nepal Hotels via Agoda.com

 

agoda-com-image

Hotel Booking through Agoda.com

You can book through Agoda.com via FlairCandy.com! Book just right below the title post :)

 

Registered tour guides for hassle-free trip

 

Himalayen Encounters

Tour Guides: Himalayan Encounters

PO Box 21218(Courtyard Kathmandu Guest House), Thamel, Kathmandu, NEPAL
Tel: +977-1-4700426, 4700335

Fax: +977-1-4700354

info@himalayanencounters.com

himalayanencounters.com

 

Til the next blog post…

Namaste.

Flair Candy

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Waterfront Resort, Lakeside Pokhara

Posted by on Oct 20, 2012 in Featured, Nepal, Travel

Waterfront Resort, Lakeside Pokhara

Nepal is a great place to be at.  Whether you’re looking for an adventure, retreat, discovering a new place and it’s people, a photogenic landscape you can capture, explore your inner being and know about a great culture, then Nepal is definitely a place you need to visit!

Pokhara is one of the towns in Nepal.  It is the second destination of tourists after Kathmandu.  There are many ways you can go to Pokhara from Kathmandu, which I listed out on my previous post here.

We flew from Kathmandu to Pokhara and right where we landed, it has that feel of “Boracay” in Nepal.  Of course, Nepal is land-locked and it doesn’t have any ocean or sea surrounding it.  It has lakes, waterfalls and rivers though.  Beside Phewa Lake (Fewa Lake).  Beside the lake, there is a “City Centre” and it has little shops, restaurants, hotels, traveling agencies and even yoga places.  Oh, they have Tattoo places there too!  That’s where I got my first Tatt!

This town was full of tourists and reminds me so much of Boracay.  It’s totally different and less crowded, but I would say, it had that sort of feel.

 

A 10-minute ride from the city centre would take us to our hotel in Pokhara.  The serene hotel that lies on the lakeside – Watherfront Resort.

 

Waterfront Resort, Lakeside Pokhara

Our hotel was not far from the city center (10 minute ride).  The town is even walkable as I would see some tourists walk or jog from our hotel to the city.  If you don’t want to walk, the hotel has a van that you can ride to the city 3 times a day.  If I’m not mistaken, 11am to 5:30pm.  Also, they have FREE pick-up and drop-off to the airport.

Like I said, Waterfront Resort is not far from the city center, yet its location is away from pollution and noise.  It was a perfect place to unwind, relax, enjoy the view, and be with nature without having to go far the center.

We wakeup to morninings that light up the lakeside and the hills where the Peace Pagoda rests.  It’s pretty chilly in the mornings and you will see fog covering some parts of the mountain in a mysterious way, then it will slowly unfold at around 9am to reveal the mountain, the lake and the Pagoda.

You will also see local fishermen taking out their rods or paddling their boats with their nets.

Mid morning, the land warms up and you will see paragliders coming to land beside the hotel.  Quite a relaxing sight especially when you dip in the pool or enjoy a cappuccino on your own balcony.

Oh, and when you do visit Pokhara and stay at Waterfront, bring a book!  It really has a great view and simply, you just want to spend time taking it slow with the scenery.

 

Location

Pokhara’s Waterfront Resort lies on the tranquil rural northern shore of the beautiful Phewa Lake. With supremely comfortable, air-conditioned en suite rooms, each with a lake-view balcony, it is the perfect place to relax and unwind.  Nepal’s main source of energy is hydro-electric (through waterfalls) and they say it’s not enough to power all communities so at night, you will experience a bit of power surge and black-outs.  Waterfront is equipped with power generator so you wouldn’t have to worry about this.

 

View Larger Map

 

Commuting and Transportation

Pokhara’s Waterfront Resort is just a 10-minute ride from the airport, and just a 15-minute walk from the busy tourist hub or 5 minutes in a taxi. There’s no need to walk: the hotel provides free shuttle service into Lakeside at intervals throughout the day.

 

Facilities

Waterfront Pokhara is fairly a new hotel when we stayed there.  Despite the complete ammenities that they have, the manager said, they will still improve a lot of things for this place.

Their current facilities in house include:

  • 24 hours house keeping service
  • 24 hours reception
  • 24 hours cashier and foreign exchange
  • Swimming Pool
  • Massage and beauty parlour
  • Parking
  • Boating
  • Multi cuisine restaurant and bar
  • 24 hours laundry service
  • Group 4 security guard
  • 24 hours generator backup (full silent Kuboto generator)
  • Free airport pick-up and drop
  • Internet room and WiFi
  • Illy coffee bar
  • All room lake view
  • Travel desk and counter

In-Room

  • 40 inches LCD TV with cable
  • 24 hours hot and cold shower
  • Bath tub
  • Toiletry set
  • Modern style bathroom
  • Hair Dryer
  • Tea coffee maker
  • Complimentry tea
  • 2 bottles of mineral water
  • Ironing

 

    Activities

    • Boating in Fewa and Begnas Lake
    • Pokhara local sightseeing
    • Peace Stupa Hike
    • Paragliding
    • Ultra-light flight
    • Biking Tours
    • Hiking Tours

     

    Lush Experience

    Overall, we had a great stay here at Waterfront Resort in Pokhara.  We stayed here for three days and we had a hard time leaving.  The staff of the hotel were very helpful and would address our concerns quickly.  They would help with our questions regarding activities around the area and enjoying Pokhara.  It’s pretty sweet when the staff suggested restaurants we should try and then the next day, follow-up on us if we liked it.  

    Management and staff are very friendly, it seems like they don’t treat us as costumers but as friends.  I can see it also when they talk to other tourists and foreigners currently staying at their hotel.

     

    Popular Tourist Spots Nearby

    Phewa Lake

    Devi’s Falls

    Mahendra Cave

    Sarangkot Hill and Himalayas

    Annapurna

    Senti Gandaki Gorge (Uniquely deep but narrow river)

    World Peace Pagoda

     

     

    Restaurants you need to visit


    Once Upon a Time

    Olive

    Moondance

    Mike’s

     

     

     

     

     

    Book Waterfront Resort Hotel via Agoda.com

     

    agoda-com-image

    Hotel Booking through Agoda.com

    You can book through Agoda.com via FlairCandy.com! Book just right below the title post :)

     

    Registered tour guides for hassle-free trip

     

    Himalayen Encounters

    Tour Guides: Himalayan Encounters

    PO Box 21218(Courtyard Kathmandu Guest House), Thamel, Kathmandu, NEPAL
    Tel: +977-1-4700426, 4700335

    Fax: +977-1-4700354

    info@himalayanencounters.com

    himalayanencounters.com

     

     

     

    Til the next blog post…

    Namaste.

    Flair Candy

    More Photos

    Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

    Read more about Nepal

    Nepal Visa on Arrival Requirements and Application

    Touchdown Nepal: Important Reminders

    Boudha Stupa Kathmandu Nepal

    Dwarika’s Hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal – Indulging in the Nepali Culture

    Insights in Nepal

    In Transit: Kathmandu to Pokhara and the Going Around the Nepal

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    Pashupatinath Temple and the Bagmati River in Kathmandu, Nepal

    Posted by on Oct 14, 2012 in Featured, Nepal, Travel

    Pashupatinath Temple and the Bagmati River in Kathmandu, Nepal

    You go to Nepal for a lot of reasons. I can name a hundred reasons but I’m going to highlight this one reason why I came to this country – Spiritual Health.

    Spiritual, not religious. Trips like this opens my soul to another light, a different perspective. On our first day in Kathmandu, we visited the biggest Stupa in the world! On our second day, we went to the Pashupatinath Temple they shortly call “Pashupati” and the Bagmati river.

    “Pashupati” is the local name of one of the Shiva gods, mainly the Lord of Cattle.

    In Hindu and Buddhism, they have thousands of gods, but mostly broken down into 3 categories namely:

    • Brahma – the creator
    • Vishnu – the preserver
    • Shiva – the destroyer

    It was enlightening how the people live simple and humble lives valuing their relationship with family, friends and their gods. The main point of all this is beyond religion, but more of the morals these people value.

    One of the tour guides of Himalayan Encounters even asked me what my religion is – all I could say is “LOVE.”

     

     

    Pashupatinath Temple

    One of the biggest Hindu temples of Lord Shiva is found in the banks of the Bagmati River in Nepal. It is the Pashupatinath Temple. It is found on the Eastern part of Kathmandu, just near our hotel Dwarika’s and the airport.

    The temple is listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. Believers in Pashupatinath (mainly Hindus) are allowed to enter the temple premises. Non-Hindu visitors are allowed to have a look at the temple from the other bank of Bagmati river. It is regarded as the most sacred among the temples of Lord Shiva (Pashupati).

     

    Bagmati River

    The Bagamti river separates Kathmandu from Lalitpur and flows right doen Kathmandu Valley. This river is very holy both to the Hindus and Buddhists. Our guide said, 80% of Nepali are hindu and the rest are Buddhists, Muslims, etc.

    Cremation ceremonies happen on the banks of this river.

    According to the Nepalese Hindu tradition, the dead body must be dipped three times into the Bagmati river before cremation. The chief mourner (usually the eldest son) who lights the funeral pyre must take a holy river-water bath immediately after cremation.

    Many relatives who join the funeral procession also take a bath in the Bagmati River or sprinkle the holy water on their bodies at the end of cremation. The Bagmati River is said to purify people spiritually.

    A priest leads the mourning ceremonies

     

    Details and going to Pashupatinath Temple and the Bagmati River

    Location: Pashupatinath Temple, Pashupati Nath Road, Kathmandu, Central Region, Nepal

    View Larger Map

    Transportation: cab ride to this place usually ranges from NPR 100 – 400 (Php 50 – 200) depending on the traffic and wheere you’re staying.

    Entrance Fee: NPR 500 (Php 250)

    Bonus: monkies and dogs are everywhere to greet you! Beware, monkies might rob you of your food

    Spiritual Leaders: for a little donation, you can have your photo taken with these spiritual leaders.

    Book at The Dwarika’s Hotel via Agoda.com

     

    agoda-com-image

    Hotel Booking through Agoda.com

    You can book through Agoda.com via FlairCandy.com! Book just right below the title post :)

     

    Registered tour guides for hassle-free trip

    Himalayen Encounters

    Tour Guides: Himalayan Encounters

    PO Box 21218(Courtyard Kathmandu Guest House), Thamel, Kathmandu, NEPAL
    Tel: +977-1-4700426, 4700335

    Fax: +977-1-4700354

    info@himalayanencounters.com

    himalayanencounters.com

     

     

    A cow chillin’ – Killing a cow in Nepal is punishable by law (imprisonment if I’m not mistaken)

    Cows freely roam even in the streets of the city.

     

    Puppets

     

    The mother and baby monkey

     

    Overlooking the Pashupatinath Temple atop a hill

    Uphill.

    Walk atop the cliff to get a good view :)  It’s also relaxing here, makes you want to just sit down, enjoy the cool breeze and read a book.

     

    Mourning temples for the Royals or families in high ranking positions.

     

    A lion in the body of a dog. 😛

     

    Colorful powder found mostly in temples

     

     

     

     


    More Photos:

    Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer


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    Nepal Visa on Arrival Requirements and Application

    Posted by on Oct 13, 2012 in Nepal

    Nepal Visa on Arrival Requirements and Application

    Nepal visa on Arrival Requirements and Application for Filipinos and for everyone else in the world (except for those indicated otherwise, please check here.)

     

     

    Reminders in Preparing Documents for VISA on Arrival for NEPAL.

     

    1.  Make sure to call your local Nepal Embassy and ask for requirements.

    The visa requirements in any country change from time to time.  Even if you think you know the requirements, just make sure and call the local Nepal Embassy and ask.  If you don’t have any Nepal Embassy in your country, this website gives you an email address you can contact with.

     

    For the Philippines.

    We used to have Nepal Embassy in Makati, but we don’t have one anymore.  The nearest Nepal Embassy is in Malaysia.  But don’t worry.  Nepal issues VISA on arrival.  Just make sure you have the following requirements (as applies to all)

     

    Nepal Visa on arrival requirements

    • VISA fee. Depends on how long you stay. (might change from time to time but I got my 15-day pass for USD25)
    • Original Passport
    • Photocopy of passport (sometimes not needed but provide one just to be sure)
    • Passport size ID with white or blue background
    • Application form (provided in the plane or upon arrival)

    All foreign nationals, except Indians, need visas to enter Nepal. Multiple entry visas for 15 days (US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency), 30 days (US$ 40) or 90 days (US$ 100) can be obtained from any Nepalese embassy or consulate. You can also get a visa on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport , Kathmandu or at the Immigration Office at the entry points of Nepal.

    Tourist visas can be extended for a period of 120 days at the Immigration Department in Kathmandu or Pokhara.

    However, nationals of the following countries will not get visa on arrival at the immigration entry points of Nepal: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iraq, Liberia, Nigeria, Palestine, Somalia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. They need to obtain visas from Nepalese embassies or diplomatic missions in their respective countries prior to their arrival in Nepal.

    Gratis (Free) Visa for 30 days is available only for nationals of South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka for the first visit in one visa year (January to December). However, a visa fee is required for its extension beyond the 30 days.

    Indian nationals do not require a visa to enter Nepal.

    For more information, please, contact Department of Immigration, Kalikasthan, Kathmandu, 

    Tel: 00977-1-4433934 / 4429660 / 4438862 / 4438868, 

    Email : mail@immi.gov.np 

    Web: www.immi.gov.np

     

    *source: http://welcomenepal.com/promotional/faq

     

    2.  Nepal Immigration for VISA on arrival only accepts a few currencies. 

    They don’t accept Nepalese Rupee for Visa on arrival.  Weird but they don’t.

    They only accept USD, Australian Dollars, SGD, MYR, Japanese Yen and other major currencies.

    NEPAL IMMIGRATION doesn’t accept PESO!

     

    It is best, to bring US Dollars to be sure

     

     

     

    3.  Don’t bring Philippine PESO!

    You can’t exchange your peso for NPR anywhere in the city! Not even at the airport!

    So you need to have it exchanged to USD first if you don’t have USD.

     

     

    How to book budget flights to Kathmandu: AirAsia offers flights to Kathmandu twice a week from Kuala Lumpur.  Otherwise, there are also premiere airlines if you decide to travel lavishly.  You can fly to Kathmandu from Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

    You can book your hotels to Kathmandu conveniently with my favorite and trusted online accommodation booking facility Agoda.com They have all the hotel listings you need from budget to luxury!

     

    Read more about Nepal

    Nepal Visa on Arrival Requirements and Application

    Touchdown Nepal: Important Reminders

    Boudha Stupa Kathmandu Nepal

    Dwarika’s Hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal – Indulging in the Nepali Culture

    Insights in Nepal

    Read More

    Dwarika’s Hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal – Indulging in the Nepali Culture

    Posted by on Oct 11, 2012 in Entertainment and Lifestyle, Featured, Food, Nepal, Travel

    Dwarika’s Hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal – Indulging in the Nepali Culture

    It was a bit tiring going to different airports and riding different flights.  Although, it also feels awesome that I am able to do this!

    After a tiring trip, I usually book a hotel that’s very comfortable so I can rest well for my next set of activities in my itinerary.  This time, we were booked at Hotel Dwarika’s and we got more than just the comfort I needed, we got so much more!

    Our hotel was booked via Agoda.com and Himalayas Encounters.  This hotel is a heritage boutique hotel.  Although they say it’s boutique, it has about 80 rooms as of to date.

     

    The History of Dwarika’s and the Passion to Preserve Culture

    This hotel is very rich in story.  Hotel Dwarika’s was built because of a fortunate accident, or we call it Serendipity :)

    The founder of the hotel, the late Dwarika Das Shrestha found that over the times, Nepalese people would destroy old houses and use the old wooden carvings as firewood.  Mr. Dwarikas thought it was sad that this was being done and started to collect parts from the buildings demolished, particularly the windows.  In turn of the salvaged parts, he gave the men new lumber.

     

     

    He displayed his collection in his house and found that many people come over to see it.  With that, he thought of buying a land that was then all grassland and a bit far from the city center.  Today, Kathmandu already expanded and Hotel Dwarikas is now situated at a nice place in the city.

    He envisioned this new guest house would allow more people to appreciate Nepal’s ancient cultural history, giving the restored treasures a new lease of life.  Now, the Dwarika’s hotel is not only some place where the guests could stay, it’s also a living museum boasting of a rich Nepali heritage.

     

     

    Around the hotel, you will be amazed by the great structure and the guest house’s features.  We felt at home.  Like in the Philippines, we received a warm hospitable greeting from the hotel staff. 

     

     

     

    Pancha Kosha Himalayan Spa

    Jyoti, the manager of The Hotel Dwarika’s, explained to us that "Pancha" means “Five” and the word Kosha means “sheath” or shell. Therefore, pancha kosha means five sheaths of the human body.

    The Pancha Kosha Spa utilizes a variety of indefenous Himalayan herbs and treatments.  It draws upon an ancient and traditional knowledge of care giving,  the Nepali way.

    Nepali massage is usually a form of massage that has its roots within the Ayurvedic healing tradition, while integrating and incorporating local healing techniques and modalities of the Himalayas. I got the Ayurvedic massage.  It was great to have after long hours of flight.  I think we had a total of 6 flights for this trip.

     

    Price: NPR 3,000 (Php 1,500)

    Opening hours: 8.00 – 20.00

     

    Zen time!

     

     

     

    Krishnarpan Traditional Nepali Restaurant

    When in France you say "Bon Appetit," in Nepal, you say "Krishnarpan."

    When you want to try authentic Nepali food in one seating, I suggest you try Dwarika’s Krishnarpan courses.  Dining here was definitely an experience for us.  After our arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, we went directly straight to our hotel.  Famished as we were because of the long flight, this meal was something we were really excited for.

     

     

    Krishnarpan is a Nepalese specialty restaurant.  Food is served in centuries old plates and bowls by charming hostesses dressed in different ethnic wear.  You have a few options and it starts from 6 course meals and goes up to 22 courses!

     

     

    As this restaurant is always fully booked, a prior table reservation is essential.  Outside guests of the hotel are also free to dine here, provided they made reservations.

    Some of the ingredients of the different dishes are prepared with fresh produce from Dwarika’s own farms, which utilise toxin-free and environmentally friendly production methods.

     

    Price: USD $32 for a 6 Course meal that goes up to USD $55 only for a 22 course meal

    I say, GREAT VALUE for a meal like this!

     

     

    Lumbini Lounge and Library

    I think this feature is really quite unique and would be loved by bookworms, travelers and filmmakers, or simply, just by people who want to explore more about Nepal’s culture. 

     

     

    When it gets a bit chilly, they have a fireplace cozy enough for you to just stay, and read a book.  Going in makes you just want to stay there and hang out.  The other great feature of this library is that they have Film-showing every night at 7:30.  We only stayed for the night and was a bit sad that we weren’t able to view the documentary for the day.  It was all about Mt. Everest.  It was a documentary you would definitely want to see before you step out of the ahotel and explore Nepal.

     

    I really appreciate this feature and I hope Dwarika’s will continue to show more cultural films for their guests.

    I will be back 😉

     

    Price: FREE

     

     

    Toran Restaurant

    This is where we had our breakfast.  You can also have lunch and dinner here.  They seerve continental food.  Watch out for their juice and drinks bar.  They make good Lassi and they also prepare fresh fruit juices from a surprisingly variety of fruits.

    Price: USD $18 – $28

     

    Although you need to check your booking. Because breakfast might already be included.

     

     

    Fusion Bar

    The bar at Dwarika’s.  It is best to chill here at night, especially on Friday nights where they have live bands and BBQ.  It’s a prelude to as fun, mystical evening in Nepal where you can gt a variety of exotic cocktails snd aperitifs.

     

    Mako’s

    They also have Japanese fine dining experience.  They serve duing ounch and dinner.  I will try this on my next visit *crosses fingers.*

     

     

    Other ammenities of this hotel include the open air courtyard, Pool, Lohn Hiti function room, business center and gift shop.

     

     

    The Dwarika’s Hotel, Kathmandu, Nepal

    Room prices: starts at USD $210

    Website: www.dwarikas.com

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/thedwarikasgroup

     

    Book at The Dwarika’s Hotel via Agoda.com

     

    agoda-com-image

    Hotel Booking through Agoda.com

    You can book through Agoda.com via FlairCandy.com! Book just right below the title post :)

     

    Registered tour guides for hassle-free trip

    Himalayen Encounters

    Tour Guides: Himalayan Encounters

    PO Box 21218(Courtyard Kathmandu Guest House), Thamel, Kathmandu, NEPAL
    Tel: +977-1-4700426, 4700335

    Fax: +977-1-4700354

    info@himalayanencounters.com

    himalayanencounters.com

     

    More Photos

    Hotel Dwarika’s

    Krishnarpan Dinner

    Pancha Kosha Spa

    Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

    Read more about Nepal

    Nepal Visa on Arrival Requirements and Application

    Touchdown Nepal: Important Reminders

    Boudha Stupa Kathmandu Nepal

    Dwarika’s Hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal – Indulging in the Nepali Culture

    Insights in Nepal

    Read More

    Boudha Stupa Kathmandu Nepal

    Posted by on Oct 7, 2012 in Nepal, Travel

    Boudha Stupa Kathmandu Nepal

    It took us about 10-15 mins from our Hotel Dwarika’s to Boudha Stupa despite the traffic.

    If you are a Filipino, you’re already used to this traffic.  But You’d have to be careful and  look left and right.  They drive on the left side of the road.

     

    Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu

     

     

    You pay NPR 150 (Php 75)  upon entry.

     

    It was very nice and relaxing inside.  You get to see different people of different nationalities, going around the Stupa Temple.  Some are meditating, some offer prayers and some chant a mantra.

     

     

     

    When you look above the Boudha Stupa, it would look like a giant mandala or a diagram of the Buddhist cosmos.  You will see that everywhere.  Some shops offer Thaka workshops where they teach you how to draw this.  There are many symbols to this temple.  There are five Buddhas that personify earth, water, fire, air and ether (five elements) which is represented in the architecture.

     

     

    Our guide Prakas from Himalayan Encounter also told us that there are 13 rings from the base to the top – a symbol of the path to enlightenment.  13 rings first before you reach “Nirvana.”

     

     

     

    People usually come here every day after work.

     

    Around the Stupa are shops.  you can buy souvenirs. 

     

     

     

    There are also coffee shops and boutique restaurants by the rooftop where you can chill and have a nice top view of the Stupa with the rocky mountains in the background.

     

    This is the prayer wheel.  You pray, in my case I made a wish and rotated three times around it.  You can buy a miniature version of this as a souvenir.

     

    This is a very photogenic place.  It is very colorful and I’m sure tourists who love to take photos would be very happy.

    We were happy we didn’t have to fuss around Kathmandu, thanks to the very friendly and helpful people of Himalayan Encounters.  Our trip was hassle-free indeed.  We didn’t have to worry about transportation or where to go, they took care of it.  Nepal is really a great country to visit.  However, it is not very convenient to commute around here.  Your best way around Kathmandu is to ride a Taxi Cab which is not expensive.  Your budget per trip just around the city would be around NYR 100-300 (Php 50-150).  Your option is to rent a car for the day which is around USD 40.  This would be best if you need to go to different places and you need to save time trying to figure out your way to each destination. 

     

    agoda-com-image

    Hotel Booking through Agoda.com

    You can book through Agoda.com via FlairCandy.com! Book just right below the title post :)

    Himalayen Encounters

    Tour Guides: Himalayan Encounters

    PO Box 21218(Courtyard Kathmandu Guest House), Thamel, Kathmandu, NEPAL
    Tel: +977-1-4700426, 4700335

    Fax: +977-1-4700354

    info@himalayanencounters.com

    http://himalayanencounters.com/

    Read more about Nepal

    Nepal Visa on Arrival Requirements and Application

    Touchdown Nepal: Important Reminders

    Boudha Stupa Kathmandu Nepal

    Dwarika’s Hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal – Indulging in the Nepali Culture

    Insights in Nepal

    Read More

    Insights in Nepal

    Posted by on Oct 5, 2012 in Art & Photography, Featured, Nepal, Travel

    Insights in Nepal

    Great Culture, Friendly People

    Nepal is a great place to visit! It is very rich in culture. The people here are very friendly and helpful and they live simple lives.

    Healthy People and Preserved Culture

    One thing I noticed is that I haven’t seen any much obese Nepalese person yet. I am amazed and I think I know why. Nepal’s culture is well preserved. You can see it in the architecture and the way people live. It is not modernized unlike its neighboring countries. Their capital Kathmandu doesn’t have tall skyscrapers which I appreciate.

    And since they don’t have much Western Influence, they don’t have any fast food chains around, not even in the airport!

    Vegetables and organic food. You can see it when you visit the market. Nepal also has a rich land, rich nutrients and the crops and animals benefit from it which in turn, benefits its people. Not much of food processing he and they eat lots of vegetables!

    Also, I bet walking along the Himalayas gives them a great deal of exercise.

    Boudha Stupa Kathmandu Nepal Mt Everest 061

    This is how they carry vegetables they sell around. Strong people. Wow!

    Boudha Stupa Kathmandu Nepal Mt Everest 101

    Just a normal day in Nepal

    Religion, Exercise and Health

    I have learned from our tour guide Prakas of Himalayas Experience travel agency that The people here live in prayer – daily. They walk around the Boudha Stupa and walk around 3 or more times. It would take 1.5 – 2 km to do this.

    Some people who wish for a big thing even go around the circle doing something similar to the exercise “burpees” where you repetitively go up and pray then go down and lie on the floor face down in a sliding motion and then push back up, and repeat.

    I walked around the stupa more than 3 times maybe and it was a very relaxing experience.

    The energy of the people in prayer is so positive that it can’t help but affect my energy in a very positive way too!

    Boudha Stupa Kathmandu Nepal Mt Everest 065

    Boudha Stupa in Kathmandu

    Boudha Stupa Kathmandu Nepal Mt Everest 042

    People walk clockwise and say their prayers, wishes and mantra.

    Boudha Stupa Kathmandu Nepal Mt Everest 029

    Burpees? Nope. It is actually a form of prayer, and most of them do it 365 times.

    Not a lot of Filipino Tourists

    I’ve seen a few Malay, Chinese and Singaporeans. There are a lot of European and Westerners here, but not a lot of Filipinos.

    They don’t even exchange your Peso. Not anywhere! So you need to have it exchanged or use your USD instead or other major currency.

    Second day in Nepal

    This is just my second day being here in Nepal, and yet I am enlightened in so many ways. I am writing this inside the local airport, ready to board the plane Buddha Air to Pokhara as arranged for us by Himalayan Experience.


    Pancha Kosha Spa by The Dwarika’s Hotel
    Pancha means 5. Kosha means “layers” (of the body)

    We feel refreshed after getting a Nepalese massage at our hotel Dwarika’s. It cost us NYR 3000 or PHP 1500. Not bad for a great service at a 5 star hotel.

    It was a pleasant stay for us. We tried the 6 course Nepalese meal during dinner and it was an experience. Lots of vegetables and sauce andwe tried new things. I will list down in detail on my next posts.

    Book The Dwarika’s Hotel in Nepal via Agoda.com
    Book your tour packages and activities with the help of Himalayan Experience

    If you do, let them know you found about them through my website flaircandy.com

    Til the next blog post…

    Namaste.

    Flair Candy

    Read more about Nepal

    Nepal Visa on Arrival Requirements and Application

    Touchdown Nepal: Important Reminders

    Boudha Stupa Kathmandu Nepal

    Dwarika’s Hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal – Indulging in the Nepali Culture

    Insights in Nepal

    Read More

    Touchdown Nepal: Important Reminders

    Posted by on Oct 5, 2012 in Art & Photography, Featured, Nepal, Travel

    Touchdown Nepal: Important Reminders

    It has always been disorienting for me to travel in different time zones especially when my phone doesn’t automatically update the clock settings! 

    Anyway, I couldn’t care much about the time anyway.  It sort of stopped for me right when I saw Mt. Everest by the plane!

     

    The Himalayas and Mt. Everest view from AirAsia X plane

     

    Good thing I decided to bring my 70-300 zoom lens I got to zoom in!

     

    About to land in Kathmandu Airport

     

    Touchdown Tribhuvan International Airport

    Forgot to take a picture with my seatmate Ron!

     

    I only have this photo of him:

    Ron of fliptravels.com

    We were riding car rental of well known travel agency in Nepal Himalayan Enounters.  If you can afford, and especially if you are traveling with a group, it is best to book your activities with trusted travel or tourist agencies in Nepal.  Going around the different tourist attractions in Nepal would mean city transfers from time to time.  Booking with an agency will save you much time in traveling around since they can take care of your land service or air flights to any other parts of Nepal.  Kathmandu is a nice city, but going around Pokhara, Lumbini, Chitwan, Damal and other towns is also one sight to see!  They don’t have trains and bus stations might be a headache logistic wise as a tourist… possible, but it would take much of your precious time.  Also, don’t forget to take safety precautions when going around Nepal.  Book with trusted and registered Nepal travel agencies.

     

    Traveling Alone in Nepal

    A lot of tourists go and travel alone in Nepal.  Like any other places you usually visit around the world, it is generally safe but you should take safety precautions as a tourist all the time.  That’s the general rule wherever you go.  I’ve heard stories of people being afraid of traveling to Nepal, but upon touchdown and going around the city, I felt safe.  The people of Nepal are very friendly and helpful.  I don’t know if traveling via an agency gave me more of that safety feel, but like I said just be generally cautious.  When I travel alone wherever I am, I usually don’t go out at night anymore since I’m a girl. 

     

    Is it safe for lone women to travel in Nepal?

    Now that I’m here, I could say YES! PROVIDED you follow safety and common precautions! (like when you travel any other country)

    I have been asking this question myself because I was planning to go solo for this trip.  But luckily, I have accompany with me so I didn’t have to worry.  But to those traveling alone, I say just be prepared and do your research well.  I was with a girl on the same flight.  She’s Singaporean and she’s traveling around Nepal alone.  She’s very nice because she offered to lend me Singapore Dollars because Nepal Visa application doesn’t accept Philippine Peso nor Nepalese money.  (I will list more reminders in bullet points below). 

    I did my research about this as well because there are fears about going around as a lady.  I’ve read forums about girls traveling alone and they feel safe going around Nepal.  However, just be mindful of getting tour guides.  They recommend you book through trusted and registered travel agencies.  If you can, book lady tour guides.

    Again, I recommend Himalayan Enounters because I have traveled with them and I am very satisfied with their service.

     

    Don’t trek alone.

    Unless you join a group of other tourists.  Usually, you can contact travel agencies again and ask to join a trip.

    Dress appropriately.

    I couldn’t stress this part well enough.  Avoid showing skin.  Wear jeans and loose shirt. If you’re wearing leggins or “jeggings” or yoga pants type of thing, make sure to wear a long top to cover your curves.  Dress conservatively!  Especially when you visit temples as well.

     

    Don’t go out at night.  Just use your common sense Smile with tongue out  It would help a lot.

     

    Reminders in Preparing Documents for VISA on Arrival in Nepal

    Tips apply to all tourists around the world.

    1.  Make sure to call your local Nepal Embassy and ask for requirements.

    The visa requirements in any country change from time to time.  Even if you think you know the requirements, just make sure and call the local Nepal Embassy and ask.  If you don’t have any Nepal Embassy in your country, this website gives you an email address you can contact with.

    For the Philippines.

    We used to have Nepal Embassy in Makati, but we don’t have one anymore.  The nearest Nepal Embassy is in Malaysia.  But don’t worry.  Nepal issues VISA on arrival.  Just make sure you have the following requirements (as applies to all)

    Nepal Visa on arrival requirements

    • VISA fee. Depends on how long you stay. (might change from time to time but I got my 15-day pass for USD25)
    • Original Passport
    • Photocopy of passport (sometimes not needed but provide one just to be sure)
    • Passport size ID with white or blue background
    • Application form (provided in the plane or upon arrival)

    All foreign nationals, except Indians, need visas to enter Nepal. Multiple entry visas for 15 days (US$ 25 or equivalent convertible currency), 30 days (US$ 40) or 90 days (US$ 100) can be obtained from any Nepalese embassy or consulate. You can also get a visa on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport , Kathmandu or at the Immigration Office at the entry points of Nepal.

    Tourist visas can be extended for a period of 120 days at the Immigration Department in Kathmandu or Pokhara.

    However, nationals of the following countries will not get visa on arrival at the immigration entry points of Nepal: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iraq, Liberia, Nigeria, Palestine, Somalia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. They need to obtain visas from Nepalese embassies or diplomatic missions in their respective countries prior to their arrival in Nepal.

    Gratis (Free) Visa for 30 days is available only for nationals of South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka for the first visit in one visa year (January to December). However, a visa fee is required for its extension beyond the 30 days.

    Indian nationals do not require a visa to enter Nepal.

    (For more information, please, contact Department of Immigration, Kalikasthan, Kathmandu,
    Tel: 00977-1-4433934 / 4429660 / 4438862 / 4438868,
    Email : mail@immi.gov.np ;
    Web: www.immi.gov.np)

    *source: http://welcomenepal.com/promotional/faq/

     

    2.  Nepal Immigration for VISA on arrival only accepts a few currencies. 

    They don’t accept Nepalese Rupee for Visa on arrival.  Weird but they don’t.

    They only accept USD, Australian Dollars, SGD, MYR, Japanese Yen and other major currencies.

    NEPAL IMMIGRATION doesn’t accept PESO!

    It is best, to bring US Dollars to be sure

     

    3.  Don’t bring Philippine PESO!

    You can’t exchange your peso for NPR anywhere in the city! Not even at the airport!

    So you need to have it exchanged to USD first.

     

    How to book budget flights to Kathmandu: AirAsia offers flights to Kathmandu twice a week from Kuala Lumpur

    Otherwise, there are also premiere airlines if you decide to travel lavishly.

    Book your hotels to Kathmandu conveniently with my favorite and trusted online accommodation booking facility Agoda.com They have all the hotel listings you need from budget to luxury!

     

    Signing off for now, as I want to enjoy my hotel here in Kathmandu Smile

     

    The 5 star Boutique Heritage Hotel Dwarika’s

    I will share more about the rich features and story of this hotel soon!

    Read more about Nepal

    Nepal Visa on Arrival Requirements and Application

    Touchdown Nepal: Important Reminders

    Boudha Stupa Kathmandu Nepal

    Dwarika’s Hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal – Indulging in the Nepali Culture

    Insights in Nepal

    Read More

    Off to NEPAL, Kathmandu, Pokhara to see Mt. Everest

    Posted by on Oct 4, 2012 in Featured, Nepal, Travel

    Off to NEPAL, Kathmandu, Pokhara to see Mt. Everest

    I found a computer somewhere in our Hotel 😛 I’m currently in KL and while it’s very hot here, I’m so excited for the autumn weather in Nepal.

    And I’m so excited I just need to write a blog post! Like I highlighted in this post, I will be staying in Kathmandu and Pokhara area. My mode for this trip is relaxation and maybe some slight meditation 😛

    And so with Agoda.com, we booked the following hotels. Hotel accommodation is a huge part of my trip this time. Sometimes I hop from one place to another when I travel, but this time, since I want to enjoy the view and get comfortable, this is where I will stay.



    Water Front Resort in Pokhara, Nepal



    Hotel Dwarika’s in Kathmandu, Nepal



    Kantipur Temple House in Kathmandu, Nepal

    I wrote more about my trip here and how easy it is to go to Nepal these days also thanks to AirAsia new flights to Nepal!

    Read More