going Kathmandu (p3) - the agent, the hotel and Thamel
Note : been away for the past few days for a 'residential' company's training, and didn't bring my laptop with me. hence, the delay on the entry.
friend saw one of the guys was waiting across the road outside the arrival hall and holding paper with my nickname 'agip roslan'. he introduced himself as 'Basu' and as the representative from the AboveHimalaya Trekking Co. to pick up us to Thamel. He got us to wear the garland, as welcoming us to Nepal.
|Namaste ...Welcome to Nepal|
we left the airport and headed to our hotel in Thamel. i tried to make a conversation with both Basu and the taxi driver, but it seemed that both spoke and understood little. hence, we just had a chat between us, while observing the busy day of Kathmandu, that welcoming us.
|the busy road of Kathmandu|
we finally entered Thamel, and one thing that struck me was the honking from by all the vehicles that passing the narrow street of Thamel. it was over the top...#pening sebab bising giler.
our hotel - Shree Tibet Family Guest House, located at one of the narrow lanes of Thamel. the taxi and us had to bear with the traffic as we stopped in front of the hotel to take out our luggage etc. the check-in was a breeze since everything was arranged already by the agent. i only needed to do a quick registration, and then was given the key to the room. one of the staff helped to carry our heavy luggage to the 4th floor of the hotel. Basu waited us at the lobby as we'd be going to the AboveHimalaya office to settle few errants there.
our room at Shree Tibet Hotel was basic, but at least it has en-suite bathroom with hot water etc. after left our luggage etc. and refreshed ourselves, Basu then took us to the office to meet Mr.Puru, the boss. the office located at one of the shop-lots, somewhere in Thamel. Basu walked fast, and i didn't have the chance to snap the photo of the route etc. as to keep the pace.
The meeting wasn't that welcoming. Mr. Puru, either was trying to break the ice with a joke or not, suddenly quoted ' ah..you guys, i don't make much profit with you guys'. WTH? after months of 'friendly' communication through 65 emails etc. , the best 'joke' he could do was that. anyway..to think back, actually, the reason i chose AboveHimalaya was because they quoted the cheapest, among the others that i contacted, and they have a good rank in TripAdvisor. probably, that explained such remarks...
#tapi perlu ke layan tetamu cam tuh? (sentap jap seminit)
personally, i don't like him. he seemed arrogant, and cold when entertaining us. probably because of the reason he quoted before, and/or also possibly because we are not the blonde and blue eyes people?
anyway, we settled our TIMS card registration, paid the balance etc. and then he told me that we'd meeting our trekking guide at Pokhara Airport when we arrived on the next day. he asked whether we wanted to change our money to nepalese rupee, as all the transactions later would be in nepalese rupee. lorrr...all the while he didn't tell us about this, and even some of the local transaction that he told me to happen, was quoted in USD, when we were emailing before.
so important note - change your money to nepalese rupee once you arrived. malaysian money is also accepted at the money changer here. i didn't check the rate at the airport, but probably you can do some changes there if you happen to need the taxi service from the airport etc. the rest, change it at the money changer in town/Thamel etc.
he offered us a good rate at 98 rupee for 1 dollar, compared to 95 rupee for 1 dollar at the money changers that we saw around Thamel. so we got a good deal and changed some of our money with him. we then left the office and went back to the hotel. it had been a long day, and we were starving already. it was getting dark, as maghrib there was around 440pm. after had quick rest, shower and had our pray, we went out hunting for dinner.
anyway...some info regarding Thamel, from wikipedia
Thamel is distinguished by its narrowstreets crowded with various shops and vendors. Commonly sold goods includefood, pastries, walking gear, music, DVDs, handicrafts, and clothes. Travelagencies, and budget hotels, restaurants also line the streets. There are manyrestaurants in Thamel that serve Traditional and continental cuisine, althoughprices tend to be significantly higher than non-tourist areas. Food hygiene isgenerally better, despite the overall lack of sanitation in Nepal.
Thamel also acts as the pre-base camp for mountaineers. It boasts a wide range ofmountaineering gear shops, foreign money exchange booths, pubs, clubs, andnightlife along with the numerous travel agents and guest houses. All in all,Thamel is home to a wide range of audience of the Nepalese population forentertainment and employment purposes. On Wednesday, 28 September 2011, Thamelwas declared a full Wi-fi zone in Kathmandu.
|Thamel at Night|
Anatolia was the only halal eateries that i know and popped up when i did google search, for the past few months. so that was our mission for the night. Luckily, the hotel manager knew the place and told us the direction to the restaurant. it sounded easy as what he told us - outside, you turn left, and then left and then right after you see yada yada yada...
bam. i was confident with my understanding on the info given, hence made our steps to the place....