Himalayan Coffee and Nepali Thali

Before I really finished descending Anadu Hill, I stopped at a shop. A grocery store which sell some snacks, mineral waters, as well as soft alcoholic drinks. A small shop which spread smell of coffee aroma from the roasting stove at right.

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Somersby with 5% alkohol….Popular in Pokhara.

Himalayan coffee bean”, said the seller when I watched how he roasted coffees. For some people, passion is everything. Like this man, he was willing to released  his Japan citizenship and chose to be Nepalese for his love of Himalayan coffee.

I take it“, I pointed to 250 gram coffee package and bought it.

—- **** —-

Mr. Tirtha, your country is unique. Some Nepalese faces are like Indians, sometimes I find them similar to Chinese”, I said when Mr. Tirtha who began to step on gas pedal away from the hill.

Yess…. Nepal is flanked by India in south and China in north. So some Nepalese have mixed marriages”, he said with a friendly smile answering my question.

We moved northeast around Phewa Lake to bak to hotel which was 6 km away. Upon arrival at New Pokhara Lodge, I thanked to Mr. Tirtha who had been accompanying me since 4 am in my Pokhara exploration. I handed over 5.000 Rupee as service fee, that means I only needed to spend a transportation budget of 1.600 Rupee because I used this taxi with other three backpacker who staying in the same hotel.

Having not lost the feel of New Years celebration on Lakeside Road, I returned to explore the outskirts of Phewa Lake after bathing and stretching my legs. This time, I was starving and had to dinner. There was still promise in myself after whole day conversation with Mr. Tirtha. Yes… .I would taste Nepali Thali.

Street foods seem not to be able to dampen my hunger, I rushed into a restaurant. I sat on its inside to get warm air, then greeted by a sweet female servant. It didn’t take long to choose. “Nepali Vegetarian Thali and Orange Juice“, I told to her after seeing the menu which I was reading. Nepalese food for 300 Rupee and juice for 150 Rupee to close my day that night.

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@Bellas Garden Restaurant.

—-****—-

The evening turned to morning, I sipped hot tea and finished the breakfast menu in hotel courtyard. Then returned to the room and shouldered my blue backpack to get ready to say goodbye to Mr. Raj. I shook his wrinkled hand and repeatedly patted his upper arm.

Me: “Thank you Mr. Raj for your kindness and hope to see you again next time ”.

Mr. Raj: “Be careful, Donny. Thank you for stopping by in New Pokhara Lodge ”.

I know Mr. Raj was still forcing himself to work because his last son is still studying at Kathmandu University. Because of his work, he still looked fit.

This time, Mr. Tirtha came for the last time to give me a taxi service. We both headed for Tourist Bus Park, the bus would take me to Kathmandu.

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Can you look more elegant…. Hufft, Donny!

Ponytail at Shanti Stupa

 “Preparing your leg to climb Anadu Hill!“, Said Mr. Tirtha while clenching his right fist forward.

Yes I knew. At the end of that time, I had to conquer hundreds of steps to enjoying the beauty of 47 years old pagoda, one of eighty pagodas of peace which scattered all over earth.

Riding northwest, the tiny taxi engine grunted nearly 20 minutes to complete 3.5km journey. Arriving at parking area, Mr. Tirtha showed me where to started climbing.

It took a long time to conquer all stairs. Gasping….I leaned against a railing for a moment on the way. Slowly drinking my remaining mineral water, I took a break while enjoying the beautiful faces of Nepalese girls who kept passing by. Nepalese girls were slender who love to have long black hair, brown skin and a face which is typical of South Asia. It would be lucky if you find the slanted eyes….beautifully authentic….Ouch.

Like lightning, I stuttered when a Nipon girl passed me and smiled while saying a short “Hi“. Automatically my lips smile at her while watching her closely. I was still stunned as she climbed further and further away. “Who and Why?“, I kept asking myself.

Oh, my gosh…..That ponytail beauty with the surname Kawaguchi who sat on my left on Thai Airways flight TG 319“, my memory snapped my reverie. She had disappeared around the corner. I was determined to look upstairs later.

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The statue made on November 5, 2001.

Starting to enter a large courtyard and were greeted by a statue of Mr. Meen Bahadur Gurung, Deputy Minister of Defense of Nepal who was instrumental in developing the stupa.Path to stupa.

The path to stupa.

World Peace Pagoda is known by another name as Shanti Stupa. Shanti is Sanskrit which means peace. So basically this is a peace monument which builts in the form of a stupa. This stupa was built by a Buddhist order from Japan who named as Nipponzan-Myohoji.

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Standing at an altitude of 1110 m above sea level.
The room behind the stupa.

The front court was silent, there was only one kind of hum sounded by a monk in a room. Silent and sacred. Meanwhile, on the far side was the southern edge of Phewa Lake and Himalayan indentation, which was extraordinarily attractive.

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Pokhara from the top of hill.
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Phewa Lake and the Himalayas…. Pokhara assets.

My heart stopped when a red helicopter suddenly took a sharp dive into the lake. This was the first time I saw a helicopter fall and sharply hit it.

My breath suddenly stopped, but finally able to quickly suck the air back when helicopter was able to align its muzzle with lake surface. Damn…. It was just a paid adrenaline game, of course visitors around me were ignoring it….Oh, Donny.

The liar helicopter.

My eyes searched all directions looking for Kawaguchi’s whereabouts. Pounding hope to find her. 15 minutes already….. I haven’t even seen her.. Maybe she had rushed back, I was lost the opportunity to apologize because I didn’t remember it well….

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A fake smile behind my disappointment.

It was late afternoon, time to go back to hotel.

L See the situation of Shanti Stupa here: https://youtu.be/wSOfTsqJjX8

7 Tourist Attractions in Pokhara

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Visiting Nepal is synonymous with visiting the Himalayas. And all travelers know that the Himalayan gate is in Pokhara. It has been a long time since this city, nicknamed as “Gem of Himalaya”, has opened itself to show its beauty around the world.

This had put Pokhara on the top list in my visitation to South Asia region. Not Kathmandu, but Nepal’s second largest city which is located in northwest valley of Pokhara, this was what made me hurry for a moment to leave the capital city of Nepal even though it had only been arrive a day before.

Out of context as a solo-male traveler, I firmly believe that Pokhara is one of the best solo travel destinations for female travelers also.

Here were seven tourist attractions which I visited in Pokhara:

1 Sarangkot.

Being the closest vantage point to enjoy the Himalayas had placed Sarangkot as a special place to visit for travelers who didn’t have much time to hike that famous mountains.

Early arriving in the morning and sat at the viewpoint ahead of dawn. Enjoying colors gradation which hit ice layer at Machhapuchhare peak. Undoubtedly the golden color would fascinate you.

2. Bindhyabasini Temple

Descending from Sarangkot with its background of iconic Phewa Lake, I immediately headed to a Hindu temple where the Goddess Bhagwati worshiped, which was 7 km east of Sarangkot. Exactly at 08:14 hours. the temple was already so busy with visitors and also congregants who had come to pray.

Temple location which was on a hill made me freely gaze in observing dense residential housing with Himalayas background which turn blue with white ice at its peak.

3. Old Bazaar/Purano Bazaar

Now I was moving about 2 km southward down the road to a commercial place which dated back to the 18th century. The market was dominated by Newar architecture with red brick motifs with a lane which was only enough for two vehicles passing each other.

9:15 am….It was too early for Pokhara people to trade. As far as the eye could see, my memory was spoiled with market streets view which were flanked by classic buildings on either side of road, then at the end of road, there were dammed with Himalayas face whose timeless beauty.

Because the market was so quiet, no one bothered me in enjoying Jalebi in the middle of street.

4. International Mountain Museum

After returning to hotel for breakfast. Then, I continued visiting a museum which was dedicated to Himalayan climbers who never again safely descended.

By paying 450 Rupee, I was treated to a gallery which displayed a photos series of snowy peaks around the world which was followed by the peculiarities of various ethnic Nepalese inhabitants, then closed with several heroic stories of Himalayan climbers.

5. Tashiling Tibetan Refugee Camp.

For those who haven’t had a chance to visiting Tibet, then feel its nuance by visiting Tibetan people in Tashiling. This village was inhabited by Tibetan refugees who migrated because of political intrigue.

They made a living by trading in their new home. Many travelers shopped for souvenirs at this place. I myself took time to lunch with a bowl of noodles for 150 Rupee at one of their food stall.

6. Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave.

Located near from Tashiling, the cave which was located right on a side of Siddhartha Rajmarg road, its ticket fare about 100 Rupee. Circling down the stairs in red main building, I came to the mouth of this cave. Continuing along the curves of narrow humid alleys which lead to the main cave room with a view of swift waterfall which was peeking out from longitudinal slit on a side….Very beautiful.

7. World Peace Pagoda

Late in the afternoon, I arrived at my final destination. By another name, Shanti Stupa, this pure white pagoda was a painstaking climb on Anadu Hill. A Japanese heritage site of worship symbolized peace which uphold silence. Not allowing a slightest noise was a norm which must be obeyed during a visitation.

A natural decoration in the form of Himalayas with the ground of Phewa Lake in a view side became even more perfect with appearance of Pokhara City which was seen from above.

So, if you visit Pokhara, make sure to visit these cool places.

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