Madira at Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square

Early morning….No doubt, I exchanged 1.000 Rupee with a pink-white ticket as an access to enjoying the history of Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square.

Walking on andesite-covered Layaku Marg Street which looking gray color and the thin dust which thrown by the cleaning staff’s broomsticks, I was ready to entering ancient Nepal are which was still in the form of a kingdom.

The temple to worship “Goddess of Science” I passed passed and then I met a crowd of people who were busy burning incense, sowing flowers and then putting their palms together on their chests facing a black six-armed statue which was believed to be the embodiment of Lord Shiva the Destroyer.

Saraswati Temple.

Meanwhile, the incense traders in Indorapur Mandir courtyard made this area very crowded if was compared to other areas in Kathmandu Durbar Square. In harmony with a busyness of hundreds of pigeons were eating their breakfast which was given by travelers who have come first in this area.

Kaal Bhairav ​​with golden crown as embodiment of Lord Shiva.

Roof layers of all temples look the same and took me to Majapahit fiction atmosphere likely in Indonesian cinema. The atmosphere of Hindu Knights which was very thick that morning, was able to throw me for a moment from a world which was fanatical with technology.

Corn kernels were sold to pigeons.

The Royal Palace of Malla which was later used by Shah Dynasty was an important icon in Kathmandu Durbar Square. Because the statue of Lord Hanuman was guarded at front gate, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square. Some people call it as Basantapur Durbar Khsetra because this palace was located in Basantapur area.

That was the gate.

After gate, the spacious palace courtyard welcame. Known as Nasal Chowk. Nasal means dance, referring to Lord Shiva who danced Tandava Nataraja when destroying the obsolete universe. This plaza-like courtyard was surrounded by palace buildings on all four sides.

White building on west side of palace.

Meanwhile on south side of courtyard was a sign of a project funded by Ministry of Commerce of People’s Republic of China to renovated the palace which was badly damaged after a tectonic earthquake which was resulted from the collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates in the Himalayas in 2015.

The Nine-story Basantapur Tower which has collapsed.
The room in which there was a statue of Lord Shiva who was dancing.
Sun Dial, the timepiece before clock invention.

Then, on north side, there was the architectural form of Newar with striking green windows. Nicknamed as Sisha Baithak which its functions as a work audience room. On the lower floor of this building, there were rows of king photos. And two palace guards were seen pacing with their rifles around this building.

From left were King Rana Bahadur Shah (third King of Nepal) and his son King Girbanayuddha Bikram Shah (fourth King-pictured at right)
With Guard Police at Sisha Baithak before leaving the palace.

I left the palace while throwing my thanks and goodbye to Guard Police. Suddenly his friend who had just arrived said to him in Nepali, I guess it reads “Where is he from?”, because the policeman who I took the photo with said simply “Indonesia”.

One tip when you are in Kathmandu Durbar Square area is to try to understand one by one buildings which you pass, because every building there has an amazing function and historical value.

Again I found a unique building. A temple which studded with Shwet Bhairav ​​which was believed to be the most powerful embodiment of Lord Shiva. Hidden in wooden curtains and waiting for the Indrajatra Festival to fully reveal itself to the people of Newar. When the festival arrived, Madira (alcohol) will be emitted from his mouth as a form of blessing for humans.

Shwet Bhairav.

It was noon….The sun was now starting to penetrate every gap in the square, warming my body which had been exposed to the cold since morning. It was time to move on to next destination.

Next I would show you the beauty of a goddess in Hindu and Buddhist mythology in Nepal.

Yups….Follow me!

Indra Chowk before Kathmandu Durbar Square

Got ready for breakfast….

Unusually, a slightly luxurious breakfast had been prepared on the top floor of Shangrila Boutique Hotel. Fried rice sprinkled with diced buffalo meat, two slices of sausage and a sheet of beef eye egg. Two layers of toast with a sheet of cheese were also prepared. Then they closed with a cup of hot black coffee.

A full stomach and I was ready to enter the past Nepalese glory that will be implied in every inch of area in Kathmandu Durbar Square, one of three famous Durbar Square in Nepal. “Durbar” itself means “palace”. So actually Durbar Square is a palace square in general.

Walking in Amrit Marg, the warm morning sun eased my steps when I must defeat 9 degrees Celcius air which was still reluctant to move up. While coughing had inhabited my throat since a day ago due to dust which continued to be uncontrollably inhaled. “It’s okay, tomorrow I fly to New Delhi, surely air will be cleaner there,” I thought to calm myself. This belief kept Ambroxol tablets which I brought from Jakarta still intact.

Now I was starting to enter a number of narrow intricate turns. Andesite-floor streets lined with a row of sun-blocking shophouses and spreading of irregular signboards. Even in Jyatha Marg, it was decorated by the very tangled knotted strands of electric cables.

Nepalese electric officer must be adept at dealing with electrical damage.
Gemitir flower trader on the edge of Chandraman Singh Marg.

It was time to step out at last intersection before entering the famous Indra Chowk area. It was 10 a.m. but shops along Chandraman Singh Marg were still closed. Meanwhile, motorbikes which were passing could be counted in a matter of fingers.

Pedicabs which started their services.
Tasting boiled peanuts.

A few steps, the area which I headed for was in front of my eyes, intersection of five streets with very high activity. The rumble of morning trading which stunned me to observe it from a intersection side. This was Indra Chowk, an area which for centuries had been a famous trading center in Kathmandu district. Anyone who wanted to hunt for Nepalese clothes, souvenirs or tasting local food then just came here!

Pedicab base at Indra Chowk.

Entering intersection area from north side via Chandraman Singh Marg, I could see other four roads which made up the intersection, namely Siddhidas Marg (from Northeast), Watu Marg, Sukra Path, and Siddhidas Marg (from Southwest). All five lead to a broad circle with an iconic view of Aakash Bhairav ​​temple.

Aakash Bhairav yang bersejara The historic Aakash Bhairav ​​became Nepal’s first king’s palace.

Stepping back, away from the noise of Indra Chowk while holding Dhaka Topi which I bought from a shophouse, a less crowded street greeted me again.

Siddhidas Marg.

On this street, there was an interesting spot. Public knew it as Makhan Tole. A famous art spot in Kathmandu. There were many fine arts works here and of course many travelers chase them.

Makhan Tole Gate.

From Makhan Tole, it only took 5 minutes walking to Kathmandu Durbar Square.

Finally I arrived.

Let’s explore what were in Kathmandu Durbar Square …….

Bollywood Dance in Thamel

I was put in the first floor room to the right of Shangrila Boutiqe Hotel’s reception desk. Putting my 45 litre backpack and took my boots off, after some time, I let the warm water splash my tired body after almost half a day of hard journey in a road trip leaving Pokhara.

Not wanting to be trapped in boredom at my room, I started stepping red carpeted stairs to hotel’s roof. At above, a young man who standing at cash counter greeted and offered me a special restaurant menu. There wasn’t special menu which I ordered, I would just spend the evening with a cup of hot tea and enjoying the charm of Thamel area from above.

Shangrila Boutique Hotel restaurant.

Until my adventure desires teased. It felt like a loss if I didn’t move closer to the road and directly enjoying the atmosphere. Thamel was really special. Imagine, the streets were dedicated every night especially for their country’s guests. Each end of the road was guarded by police who wouldn’t allow motorized vehicles to passing through. Thamel was always crowded with travelers to spend the Kathmandu’s night.

I started out on the street.
Evening before dark.

Still dusty….I walked along the streets lined with pashmina outlets, souvenirs, restaurants, money changers, hotels or tourism agency offices on either side of it. Tips for you….If you aren’t interesting in buying pashmina, then don’t try to bid it, the seller will ask you to transact in their outlet and they are the best negotiators and I make sure that you will go out from their stall with carrying one of their wares.

Wallet’s teasers.
Typical colorful flags like on their shrine.

I had a little trouble in finding dinner menu because I purposely avoided a restaurant menu. I struggled to find a food stall for dinner. Exiting and entering some alleys until finally I found it, really far into the alley. Luckily, this food stall provided momo. To completing this Nepalese typical food, I ordered a small glass of honey lemon mixed with ginger slices which made me feel warm.

Nepalese momo.

Back on the street after almost an hour sitting at the food stall. Passing a different road, I stopped at an intersection and turned to the right. A crowd with music kicking off Chaksibari Marg. After approaching it, it turned out that a group of dancers were practicing Bollywood dance. It was also fun to directly see the dance.

They practiced for a film.

Getting colder, I left the crowd and headed straight for the hotel. But because of a tourist area, some bar waitress stopped my steps. Now a young man spoke to me and offering me to spend a warm evening at a bar. “You can enjoy our band performance“, he said. I who have never entered a bar in my life, starting to be tempted, “Okay, there’s nothing wrong to try“, I thought.

As a result, I started walking on the steps of Sisha Bar & Restaurant. It was true, a local band with 4 millennial youth members with 1 female vocalist was singing local pops which made me excited to sit down and enjoying the show. Until I drank two large portions of hot lemon with honey for enjoying the band show.

Beautiful and unforgettable evening in Thamel

Wrong Seat in Pokhara-Kathmandu Tourist Bus

Mr. Tirtha still accompanied me to speak, we leaned back in his tiny taxi while observing the bustle around Tourist Bus Park. Several hawkers took turn getting on and off in all small sized-buses offering their wares.

A while later, Mr. Tirtha widely spread his arms and we lightly hugged as a substitute for saying “thank you and see you later”. I entered a bus on half an hour before departure. It would be better because Mr. Tirtha could immediately continue work with his taxi.

The conductor showed me a seat where I should sit. At second row behind driver which was limited by a glass screen. Now situation became tense, when an Indian spouse argued with the conductor. They felt were aggrieved because a ticket agent in Kathmandu had promised them to giving them a front seat. The conductor casually snapped back, “This is Pokhara, Not Kathmandu”. Instantly situation was silence. I just realized, that spouse wanted my seat…. Hahaha, even though I was asked to exchange, I didn’t refuse either. Seriously.

Three European tourists in the front seat near driver had fun playing cards the whole way.

Three and a half hours after departure on 7 am, bus stopped for breakfast break for 20 minutes after an hour earlier, bus had once done 15 minutes of toilet break. Hotel’s breakfast which Mr. Raj prepared on the last morning seemed quite effective for me to didn’t spend any consumption budget this time. Come on!, let me showed you how the restaurant which I stopped at:

Buffet eating!
That was the cost.
The hat which used by the cashier was called as Dhaka Topi.
Yups, I still full….Just drank a coffee.

I felt hungry at lunch break on 1:30 p.m., enjoying a thali (Indian wide plate) of food which I picked up from buffet table for 400 Rupee and drink a free-orange juice which was given to all passengers since our  departure in Pokhara.

For free….
I got on the white one.

My watch pointed to 15:34 hours. The last toilet break was the most memorable part. Taking the time to explore area around the rest area. I moved towards a side of road and enjoyed panoramic view of valley and ravine below.

Most trucks in Nepal are Tata Motor.

Impressed with situation on a side of road, I entered a small alley and saw a glimpse of local residents activities who living on a side of road. Observing a banner which stucked in a concrete wall, I tried to slightly open an outer skin of Nepal’s politics.

Nepal is a parliamentary republic which has four main political parties. The Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) became the winning party in Nepal which placed two important figures, namely Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli as Prime Minister and Bidhya Devi Bhandari as President of the country.

That’s the symbol of CPN.

Back in bus seat, this time, my journey encountered a terrible traffic jam when it descended the last hill nearing Kathmandu border. Looked like a traffic jam in Cianjur on the weekend (Cianjur is tourist destination near my home).

The bus arrived in Kanti Path Road on 17:08 hours. Excessive fatigue persuaded me to immediately looked for Shangrila Boutique Hotel in Thamel area. I walked through many narrow alleys and asking to local people to find the location. Only walking for 20 minutes, I finally found the hotel.

I handed over 2.300 Rupee as the rate of staying per night. This time, I would spend 2 nights in Kathmandu to enjoy the city.

Tourist Bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara

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Bus queue at Kanti Path Road.

Enough with 300 Rupee for 10 minutes, riding a taxi from Thamel to Kanti Path Road. If you weren’t afraid of getting lost, you could also walk for 20-25 minutes.

My imagination told me that a bus which I was chasing would standby at a travel agent office. But the reality was far beyond presupposition. All buses from various travel agents lined up along Kanti Path Road.

48 minutes before departure, I took time to have a light breakfast because this was a long journey which I myself didn’t know how the travel time management was.

BG’s Coffee Shop which had opened on a side of Kanti Path Road.
You could also have breakfast on sidewalk, guys….Wouw, a child was pious to help his father in selling food.

I already ordered the ticket via email from Jakarta for 750 Rupee, it was just the payment was do at departure location. It was a strange transaction which I encountered for the first time abroad. Now the problem was only one, I had to be transferred to another bus because according to ticket seller, a bus which I ordered was fullseat (it seemed that this was their strategy, catching passengers via email first and regarding which bus would be placed on, that was the next business….Hahaha, smart).

Amazingly, I was only given a ticket and then asked to independently find a bus along Kanti Path Road based on a number plate on the ticket. I confidently executed his order. It was just that, just walking for 5 minutes to looking for it, I started to get overwhelmed….Yes, it was puzzling!….Nepali numeric was different from Latin numeric!.

Worse …. Now half an hour to departure began to be count down. Armed with no communication access, I returned to starting point of searching to ask ticket seller who seemed to be concurrently as bus coordinator. Dizziness was made by him because I couldn’t find him. I showed my ticket to several people around, they just shouted “wait!…. wait!”. Trying to disguise my panic with 15 minutes remaining to departure time, my eyes closely watched crowd one by one to find the person who I was looking for. Yes, I recognized green color of his winter beanie and a polyphonic phone necklace around his neck. I approached and asked him to help me in finding the bus which was referred to in the ticket….Yes, he only briefly said “Looking for light green bus….Row number three from the front”. Seeing her busy and impossible to accompany me in looking fo the bus, I immediately ran towards front row.

Finally, a light green bus departed at 7 o’clock. Armed with a liter of free mineral water, I sat in the back seat with Korean students who would then have a friendly conversation throughout 8.5 hours journey to Phokara.

Bus interior.

Along the way, the bus would stop four times.

Twice for toilet breaks for 15 minutes, i.e 1st break stop on 9:30 hours and 4th break stop on 14:30 hours.

Apart from toilet breaks, bus would also stop twice for meals, each with a duration of 20 minutes. 2nd break stop for breakfast on 10:30 hours and 3rd break stop for lunch on 13:30 hours. I paid a little attention to restaurant cashier table. It was seen that if how many of food was taken, passenger would pay for 450 Rupee.

So sweet….
You have to be fast if you didn’t want to be left by bus.
I didn’t even have time to chew it….I swallowed it in my mouth.

During the trip, I was really fascinated when I was presented with views from right side. Leaves were turning white because of thick dust from streets, giant billboards which were displayed in the middle of rice fields, suspension bridges which connecting hills, rafting along river and bustling Chandragiri Cable Car tour. Even I could be made to smile by residents behavior in sunbathing in 9° C air while playing carom or some of them surround fire which was lit in house yard.

.

Dust….Look!
Rice fields also became commercial land.
Do they have neighbors?….

Slowly bus climbed, descended and circled mountains with ravines on the right. I wasn’t too worried because bus was slowly running. A thing that then made me realized that most of cars, trucks and buses in Nepal came from Tata Motor manufacturer, India.

Look at trucks in mining area along Kathmandu-Pokhara.

I thought bus which labeled with “Tourist Bus” word wouldn’t pick up passengers on streets, it turned out that its little conductor had picked up passengers twice, but the better ting was no one stood up in bus.

The trip was stopped due to a wheel leak on 15 minutes before reaching Pokhara. The conductor was a teenager who struggling to change bus wheel, luckyly three taxi drivers came to help. In this condition, I still managed to do transactions at a street market to get a bag of oranges for 100 Rupee. But repairing took too long time and didn’t fast finish, so I was finally transferred to another bus.

Old taxis but exclusive.

In Pokhara, bus would stop at Tourist Bus Park with a view of the Himalayas behind it…..pretty amazing.

Ignoring many offering from taxi drivers, I rushed to a travel agent office, not far from where I got off. Yup….I took initiative to immediately order a return ticket to Kathmandu because later I would fly to New Delhi via Tribhuvan International Airport. This travel agent offered three types of ticket prices, ranging from 650 to 850 Rupee depending on bus quality. Not taking it long, I chose the cheapest price.

Tourist Bus Park.

Let’s Explore Pokhara!

Check out a video which was related to this article here: https://youtu.be/sSDNtAYx0tQ

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Sweet Spicy Sour Panipuri at Swayambhunath Stupa

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First destination in Nepal.

Receptionist: “Mr. Donny Suryanto from Indonesia? ”, greeted me when he got closer to his desk.

Me: “How do you know me?“.

Receptionist: “Yes Sir, we are waiting for you. Our last room which we have. And you have kept it via Booking.com

Me: “Yeaa wright….Hahaha, excellent”, Simultaneously signed a confirmation sheet with a smile.

I entered Holiday House Hotel room for 1,100 Rupee. Planning to stop overnight in Kathmandu. And next morning, I left for Pokhara to enjoy the Himalayas.

Limited time forced me to hurry up. Without taking a bath and immediately took a folding bag to fill it with important items, then heading to Swayambhunath Stupa.

Now I walked along narrow streets of Thamel with inevitable suction of dust with every step. Distinctive smell of dust was obscured by pungent smell of incense which slowly diminished by small embers in pashmina stalls.

I approached a driver who was wiping his tiny taxi from dust, then started a transaction to Swayambhunath Stupa which was 3 km away from hotels where I was staying. I deliberately canceled to walking because I was worried that it was getting late.

Rows of stupa in Swayambhunath.

400 Rupee was my agreement with him. During trip, Nepali pop songs, which I never understood, made my head nod in following its tune. Every now and then the driver who was the owner of that taxi looked at me with full of smiles and finally we nod together.

Taxi driver advised me to get off at top gate of shrine. He said it took a long time if I had to tread from bottom gate. After I agreed to his suggestion, that tiny taxi slowly drove in a circle following Swayambhu hill contour and dropped me off right at front gate.

Exploring between stupas.

Security: “Where are you come from?

Me: “Indonesia, Sir

Security: “Oh, I know…. I know…. Jokowi“.

Me: “Hahaha great….You know that

Security: “He is very famous here“, he said while tore my entrance ticket for 200 Rupee.

Swayambhunath’s main stupa.
Look at those sharp Buddha eyes!

It was true, according to its nickname, i.e “Monkey Temple”, area around stupa was often found monkeys which cheering up tourists arrival in front courtyard. Crossing “the peace pool” which full of coins which were tossed by travelers. It was said that they believe their prayers would come true if they throw coins. I continued up the stairs to worship’s main place at hill top.

Rotate it and your prayers would be answered.

Congregation took turns coming and turning prayer wheels one by one…. Of course they hoped that Buddha would grant their request.

Around the stupa, souvenir sellers offered their merchandises to tourists. Souvenirs made fro metal which dull because of were exposed by dust didn’t deter tourists to buying and owning them.

Lots of souvenir were requested by my frends….

Passing through each groove around stupa, dogs as guard animals looked limp and some of them were asleep anywhere. Meanwhile, thousands of colorful prayer flags neatly lined up on a rope which centered on stupa and stretched out in various directions.

Cute.

Meanwhile, on other side, there was a sunset which splashes the city with a reddish-yellow spectrum. Combination of religious nuances and natural beauty which really spoiled the eyes.

Kek BandLike Bandung City which was seen from Bukit Bintang, right?

Exiting at the same gate, I took time to walk down street, watching activity of street food stalls. My steps stopped when a husband and wife who selling panipuri were busy. Then I redeemed a portion for 100 Rupee and started to enjoying Nepal’ street food for the first time. Spicy taste mixed with sweet and sour, also strong aroma of curry made me a little slow to swallow every piece of panipuri which I bought. In the end, that seller spouse laughed at me when I chewed that snacks while glaring.

Must taste Nepal’ street food.

After enjoying this famous South Asian folk-style snack, I stopped a taxi which had just dropped its passengers. It was time to go to hotel, took a shower and got ready to enjoy dinner on my first night in Nepal.

Bye Swayambhunath….Got ready to go to Pokhara tomorrow.

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Old Transportation from Tribhuvan International to Thamel

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Invoice of Nepal’s Visa on Arrival.

Thai Airways TG 319 was perfectly parked in Tribhuvan International Airport’s apron at exactly 14:08 hours. There wasn’t aerobridge which greet me, one by one passengers descended the stairs on either side of plane door.

Aviation security: “Hi, Sir….Please, directly stepping to airport building!“, While stepping closer while hold a handy talky and his hand clearly pointing at my face….Assertive with a dark skin and thick mustache.

Tribhuvan-Thamel pre-paid taxi invoice.

Me: “OK, Sir….I’m sorry“, without thinking, I put a black Motorola E4 into right pocket of Emba’s brown pants whixh I was wearing.

In the end, I failed to capture my face image along with Thai Airways TG 319 in one frame because of it. Then I began to enter in passengers queuing who entered into terminal building.

Wow….music in the taxi was cool.

My hands tightly gripped my backpack’s shoulder harnesses and my face saw from side to side, paying close attention to Tribhuvan’s interior, which momentarily felt like I was passing through a temple room. Red-brown brick patterned walls with several carved decorations were scattered in every corner of room. Then I was greeted by a line of Visa on Arrival application machines on left side. Without any command, I understood and immediately took a queue at machine in the middle.

In the queue, I was intrigued by behavior of a son who was inputting visa data for his mother who not tall. He ordered his mother to step closer.

Ring road situation towards Thamel.

Snap 01….Just her forehead which was captured….Failed.

Then he told his mother to tiptoe.

Snap 02….The photo was 100% her face….Failed again.

A second later, his mother while looking at me with full of smiles, stood on top of small cardboard which she was still carrying a while ago.

Snap 03….Yeaaaa….It worked.

Similar to India’s streets, yes?

I immediately went to payment counter after successfully printed out the VoA application form. No needed to queue long, I got my visa after handing over USD 25 to female staff who wearing blue saris and on middle-aged age. “Oh, Indonesia. Welcome to Nepal and enjoy your trip. ”, She said when ending our immigration transaction.

Now I was getting closer to arrival hall exit gate. Before I actually went out, I took very slow steps to read whole information in a hallway. Instantly I quickly stopped at information board which displayed transportation rate to several areas in Kathmandu. Finally, I was relieved to find the word “Thamel” which became my next destination. It was only cost 700 Rupee (USD 6) to got in a dull red minivan which could accommodate 4 passengers and its last row seats were removed and changed as luggage.

The dust was incredible.

Ticket seller: “Where will you go, Sir?” Asked to me while holding a wad of red transaction notes.

Me: “Thamel, Sir“.

Ticket seller: “Do you want private booking or shared booking?“.

Me: “Is there someone who is ready to join with me?“.

Ticket seller: “Come!… .Come!”, he asked me to follow him and out through airport door.

Competition in tourism services in Thamel area.

After a while, I finally entered an old car which looked like a Suzuki “Carry” (Carry is a brand from Suzuki manufacturing in Indonesia) from the 80s. The car slowly drove leaving Tribhuvan and down a dusty road. Yes, only dust which I remembered in the first time when I had to tell about this “Land of a Thousand Temples”.

At an intersection, the car stopped and was entered a man who dressed in dapper Bollywood style and accented with extraordinary English. Offers all kinds of tour packages, from hiking, rafting, trekking and canoeing. It was common knowledge that Nepalis were competing to earn money from their tourism excellence which was famous for the beauty of Himalaya. I told him that I had bought all tour packages which I was going to take while stayed in his country from Jakarta via online. Even though, in fact I never had any tour packages which I prepared. I prefered to follow my heart and foot in my Kathmadu and Pokhara exploration.

Hotel Holiday House for 1,100 Rupee (USD 9.4) per night.

Passing the Ring Road route, I continued to be stunned by road view which at a glance resembled to old Indonesia. Thamel, which was only 6 km away from Tribhuvan, was finally reached in 25 minutes.

Now I entered a famous tourist area in Kathmandu. Dropped down in an alley and taxi driver showed me which way to head towards hotel which I had booked.

Welcome to Thamel !

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Thai Airways TG 319 from Bangkok (BKK) to Kathmandu (KTM): White Blanket of Himalaya

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Thai Airways TG 0319 flight route: Bangkok-Kathmandu.

After Fajr, I rushed to find flight information board to make sure my connecting flight would be on time or maybe it would be delayed. I found it in main transit hall corridor.

My flights was on schedule….Nice.
The boarding pass which I’ve held since leaving Soekarno Hatta International Airport.

As a follower of eating on time, by 06:00 hours, I was busy to looking for halal food. Now only halal which would be the my requirement….Because I couldn’t choose a menu with street food price, of course. Exploring 3rd floor of Suvarnabhumi, I finally stopped at Silom Village.

Couldn’t find a “Halal” logo….Finally, I stopped at a “Non-Pork” restaurant.
My menu: fried rice chicken served with salted egg for THB 220 (USD 7.34)

I closed breakfast that morning by sipping a cup of warm tea which was able to expel the wind in my body after a night of cold sleep in the main corridor of transit hall and continued at prayer room.

Then I headed to gate C10 to wait for Thai Airways TG 319. This time I only needed to step one more floor via escalator to reach the gate.

Corrido into gate.
Those were gates at Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

While waiting for boarding time, it was better to charge my smartphone as the only documentation tool which I carried….As usual, I was the amateur backpacker. I also tried to reread an itinerary which I was ready to use for my exploration in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

Interesting spot in departure hall area.

My boredom in seeing planes in Suvarnabhumi International Airport runway was broken by presence of Thai Airways, BOEING 777-200 type. Paid close attention to loading process so that I didn’t feel boarding time arrived on time.

Thai Airways TG 319 was preparing to immediately fly for 3 hours 33 minutes.

Entering aircraft cabin and in a blink my eyes became fresh. Apart from the beauty of flight attendants, also because airplane seats have colorful seat covers. Plane cabin looked like colorful candy.

TG 0319 cabin.

I sat at right side of cabin and flanked by two young girls. On the right, a Chinese girl who I didn’t know what her name was and a Japanese girl on the left whose her surnamed was Kawaguchi….Very beautiful with her ponytail.

I sat down while feeling a little sorry for being unable to quickly choose an airplane seat after online ordering ticket. This caused my opportunity loss to sit in a ideal position for photographers, i.e window seat. Because this flight would be very close to some of peaks of Himalayas which would show off their snow blankets.

When that moment happened, almost half of passengers stood up and faced to right window. It was the position where I sit. I couldn’t take pictures very well and prefered to still sit and recorded brief flight sessions right over Himalayas in my brain memory. It was still beautiful memorized, until this article was published….Amazing flight.

Started to filling out an immigration form which was given by a cabin crew.

The landing process was equally attractive. The view presented residential building of Kathmandu residents which were dominated by brownish square shape. Now I was ready to set foot in Tribhuvan International Airport which had become a gateway to Nepal for the last few decades.

Aviation security: “Hi, Sir. Please, directly stepping to airport building!”, He said, forbidding me to take a selfie image under Thai Airways.

Me: “OK, Sir….I’m sorry“, I answered with a little annoyed….Hmmh.

The arrival hall which wasn’t too luxurious and was only equipped with an old screening gate, made me smile because I felt like on Indonesia’s 80s era.

Then I submitted a Visa on Arrival application at visa issuing machine and then paid for USD 25 at a counter which was guarded by elderly female staff, I finally entered Nepal.

Let’s following my adventure in Nepal!

Are you looking for a flight ticket from Bangkok to Kathmandu? You can buy it through 12go Asia. This is the link:  https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

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12 Hours Staying at Suvarnabhumi International Airport

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Through aerogbridge, I immediately headed to transit hall to waiting for next Thai Airways connecting flight. The time was 23:15 hours. I tried to find an information center location to ask about the most comfortable place to rest at Suvarnabhumi International Airport.


Me: “Hi, Ms. Where is a better place for rest and getting food ?, Transit hall or departure hall?

Staff: “I think you will be better staying in transit hall. Departure hall is very crowded than you think. There is food court in transit hall, so don’t worry ”.


Me: “Oh, okay Ms. Thank you”.

Finally, her suggestion led me to immediately enter the transit hall. Smoothly passing a ticket and passport checking counter, then I quickly ended it through a x-ray screening.

Entering transit hall.

I would spend a night for 12 hours until Thai Airways flight TG 0319 went to Kathmandu. Arriving at transit hall, I immediately looked for the best spot to closing my eyes. The situation was still busy, it wasn’t possible for me to find a row of empty chairs to stretch out my legs.

Finally, it took about 1.5 hours to explore the entire transit hall.

Midnight began to pass, slowly the airport began to lose its visitors. The long row of blue benches seemed to be empty. Some cleaning services were seen starting to wipe that benches with perfume and sterilizer. They seemed to know my signs to immediately use that benches which looked like a springbeds in my eyes.

Finally I found an empty seat.

Really soundly asleep with backpack as pillow until dawn. Slowly, sound of passengers in their morning flight started to interrupt my “Nepal dream”. I woke up but still feeling sleepy, I decided to look for a prayer room and hoped to continue my dream.

Electric Information Board.
The prayer room was empty and tempting.

Fajr time in Bangkok was on 05:20 hours. While waiting for it to arrived, I swiftly took a sleeping spot at the back end of mosque. But this time, I had to curl up due to the coldness of room due to prayer room’s large AC.


A few hours later, congregation’s footsteps began to often be heard entering the room. Fajr time was approaching. It couldn’t sleeping anymore, get ready to do Fajr in congregation.

I was happy to be able to pray with Suvarnabhumi’s moslem workers in Bangkok. I mingled with security, immigration staffs until airport polices. After praying, I had a little conversation with one of immigration staff. A thing that I caught was that Bangkok’s moslems account for about 10% of total population of the capital. That percentage was ranges from 800-900 thousand people.


As dawn has passed, it was time to clean myself in toilet then got some snacks for breakfast before TG 0319 taked off on 10:30 hours to the capital of Nepal.

Let’s had breakfast…!

Next Story—->

Tourist Bus dari Kathmandu ke Pokhara

Antrian bus di Kanti Path Road.

Cukup dengan Rp. 40.000 untuk menunggang taksi selama 10 menit dari Thamel ke Kanti Path Road. Jika tak takut tersasar, kamu juga boleh menempuhnya selama 20-25 menit dengan berjalan kaki.

Imajinasiku mengatakan bahwa bus yang sedang kukejar ini akan standby di sebuah kantor travel agent. Tetapi kenyataannya jauh diluar perandaian. Semua bus dari berbagai travel agent berbaris menyemut di sepanjang Kanti Path Road.

48 menit menjelang keberangkatan, kusempatkan bersarapan ringan karena ini adalah perjalanan panjang yang aku sendiri tak tahu bagaimana manajemen waktu perjalanannya.

BG’s Coffee Shop yang sudah buka di sisi Kanti Path Road.
Bisa juga sarapan di trotoar, gaes….Duh, anak sholeh bantu bapaknya jualan.

Tiket sendiri sudah kupesan via email dari Jakarta seharga Rp. 92.000, hanya saja pembayaran dilakukan di lokasi keberangkatan. Transaksi aneh yang kujumpai pertama kali di luar negeri. Kini masalahnya hanya satu, aku harus dioper ke bus lain karena menurut si penjual tiket, bus yang kupesan sudah fullseat (sepertinya ini memang strategi mereka, menjaring penumpang via email terlebih dahulu dan perihal akan ditempatkan di bus yang mana, itu urusan belakangan….Hahaha, cerdas).

Hebatnya lagi, Aku hanya diberikan selembar tiket lalu diminta untuk mencari bus secara mandiri di sepanjang Kanti Path Road berdasar plat nomor yang tertera di tiket. Penuh percaya diri kuiyakan perintah itu. Hanya saja, baru saja berjalan 5 menit mencarinya, aku mulai kewalahan….Ya puyeng lah!….Numerik Nepal kan berbeda dengan numerik latin!.

Parah….Kini setengah jam menuju keberangkatan mulai dihitung mundur. Tak berbekal akses komunikasi apapun, aku kembali lagi ke titik awal pencarian untuk bertanya kepada si penjual tiket yang nampaknya merangkap jabatan sebagai koordinator bus. Kelimpungan dibuatnya karena aku tak menemukan batang hidungnya. Kutunjukkan tiketku kepada beberapa orang di sekitar, mereka hanya manyahut “wait!….wait!”. Berusaha menyamarkan kepanikan dengan 15 menit tersisa menuju waktu keberangkatan, mataku lekat mengawasi satu persatu kerumunan orang untuk menemukan orang yang kucari. Yes, aku mengenali warna hijau penutup kepalanya dan kalungan handphone poliponik di lehernya. Kuhampiri dan memintanya menolongku menemukan armada yang termaksud dalam tiket….Beuh, dia hanya berucap singkat “Looking for the light green bus….Row number three from the front”. Melihatnya sibuk dan tak mungkin menemaniku mencari, aku segera berlari menuju barisan terdepan.

Akhirnya armada hijau muda bertolak tepat pukul 7. Berbekal seliter free-mineral water, aku terduduk di kursi paling belakang bersama mahasiswa asal Korea yang kemudian akan bercakap akrab sepanjang 8,5 jam perjalanan menuju Phokara.

Interior bus.

Sepanjang perjalanan, bus akan berhenti empat kali.

Dua kali untuk toilet break selama 15 menit yaitu break stop ke-1 pada jam 9:30 dan break stop ke-4 pada jam 14:30.

Selain toilet break, bus juga akan 2 kali berhenti untuk makan masing-masing berdurasi 20 menit. Break stop ke-2 untuk sarapan pada jam 10:30 dan break stop ke-3 untuk makan siang pada jam 13:30. Aku sedikit memperhatikan meja kasir rumah makan, terlihat bahwa sedikit banyaknya makanan yang diambil, penumpang secara merata membayar Rp. 53.000.

Duh imoetnya….
Harus cepat kalau ga mau ditinggal bus.
Bahkan aku tak sempat menguyahnya…..Masuk mulut langsung telan.

Selama perjalanan pula, aku sungguh terpesona ketika tersuguh pemandangan dari sisi kanan. Dedaunan yang memutih karena tertutup tebalnya debu jalanan, papan-papan iklan raksasa yang terpanjang di tengah pesawahan, jembatan-jembatan gantung penghubung antar bukit, kegiatan rafting di sepanjang sungai dan ramainya wisata Chandragiri Cable Car. Bahkan aku bisa dibuat tersenyum dengan tingkah warga yang berjemur di tengah hawa dingin 9°C sembari bermain karambol atau beberapa dari mereka mengelilingi api yang dinyalakan di pelataran rumah.

Debu….Lihatlah !
Sawah pun menjadi lahan komersil.
Punya tetangga ga tuh?….

Perlahan bus menaiki, menuruni dan mengelilingi pegunungan dengan jurang di sebelah kanan. Aku tak terlalu khawatir karena bus berjalan pelan. Satu hal yang kemudian membuatku tersadar bahwa kebanyakan mobil, truk dan bus di Nepal berasal dari pabrikan Tata Motor, India.

Lihatlah truk di area pertambangan di sepanjang Kathmandu-Pokhara.

Kupikir moda bertuliskan Tourist Bus ini tak akan mengambil penumpang di jalanan, ternyata dua kali kondektur ciliknya menaikkan penumpang, hanya saja tak sampai ada yang berdiri.

Perjalanan sempat terhenti karena terjadi kebocoran roda pada 15 menit sebelum mencapai Pokhara. Kondektur belasan tahun itu pontang-panting untuk mengganti roda, beruntung 3 sopir taksi datang membantu. Dalam kondisi seperti ini, aku masih sempat saja bertransaksi di sebuah pasar tumpah untuk mendapatkan sekantong jeruk seharga Rp. 13.000. Tetapi perbaikan yang terlalu lama dan tak kunjung usai, akhirnya aku dioper ke bus lain.

Taksi jadoel tapi ekslusif.

Di Pokhara, bus akan berhenti di Tourist Bus Park dengan pemandangan pegunungan Himalaya di belakangnya…..cuannteeekkkkk luar biasa.

Tak mengindahkan serbuan para sopir taksi, aku bergegas menuju sebuah kantor travel agent tak jauh dari tempatku turun. Yup…Aku berinisiatif untuk langsung memesan tiket balik menuju Kathmandu karena nantinya aku akan terbang ke New Delhi melalui Tribhuvan International Airport. Travel agent ini menawarkan tiga jenis harga tiket yang berkisar dari dari Rp. 80.000 hingga Rp. 105.000 tergantung dari kualitas bus. Tak ambil pikir panjang, aku memilih harga termurah.

Tourist Bus Park.

Yuk Explore Pokhara!

Lihat video terkait artikel ini disini: https://youtu.be/sSDNtAYx0tQ