Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Nepal Day 5: Thamel

(Clicking on any of the photos here will bring you to where they are posted on my Flickr site, or you can view the entire set by clicking here.)

I've been in Kathmandu for a few days now and have been avoiding Thamel. When I visited last year, I visited Thamel several times to shop, see what was available, compare prices, etc. After the first few visits I grew tired of the shop keepers hawking their goods, following me down the street, trying to pull me into their shops to buy any assortment of trinkets. This year I packed my photo gear and prepped myself to say, "NO, THANK YOU," in a most convincing manner.
Ready for Thamel

The first place I stopped was a jewelry store, right at the entrance to Thamel. Last year I met a deaf man who works there, Moshin, and I had wondered if he'd still be there. The second I stepped into the shop one of the men who works there said, "Karin! Are you Ms. Karin? I remember you!" No kidding. Not only does Moshin still work there, but the whole shop still remembered me from my visits last year. We sat and talked for a while, in English and a mixed up version of Nepali and American Sign Languages. How fun! Since it was Saint Patrick's Day, while we talked my friends from Kiss decided to hang out out and check out some green gem stones (peridot?).
Kiss checking out peridot for St Pat's Day

With my eyes forward, looking for potential photos, and well prepared with my, "NO, THANK YOU," I finally ventured into Thamel.
Police at Thamel Entrance

Street scenes from Thamel, stores...
Thamel Street Shops
Thamel Street Shops
Yarn Shop
Bong House
Pilgrim's Bookshop
Himalayan Java coffee shop


When I walked past these guys they yelled out, "Hey! Let me take your money!" I give them points for honesty, but am still not giving them my money...
Not getting my money. :)

People spotting in Thamel...
Police in Thamel
Selling Flutes
Thamel Hippies
School Children
School Children
I spotted some stone carving that I thought would make good souvenirs. Then I heard the tap-tap-tap of work being done in the shop. Stepping back into the shop I saw these two young men working on some new pieces. I asked if I could take some pictures of their work, and we started talking. They learn this trade through their family, not at a school. They are brothers, from a very small village south of Mt Everest. With no work in their village, they've travelled to Kathmandu, hoping to sell their hand made items. I gave them 500 rupees and asked for three small stones to bring back to my boys, "From you brothers in Nepal, to my boys who are brothers in the US." I will most likely go back and buy more from them before I return home. 
Stone Carvers

Stone Carvers
Stone Carvers

Butcher and street food vendors (I couldn't even look at or process these pictures yesterday when I was suffering from my third day of "Montezuma's Revenge".)...
New Anjal "Cold Store"
New Anjal "Cold Store"
Butcher, sharpening knife
Street Food Vendor
Street Vendor, Nepali Tea
Street Vendor, Nepali Tea

I walked around Thamel and the area a little more, took some photos, then met my friends and had a nice dinner at an Indian restaurant. Unfortunately I was already feeling sick, so wasn't able to eat much. It was a very nice place, though, amazing service, dinner by candlelight and live entertainment. I'm so glad I took photos throughout the day, because they help to keep the memories alive. It's also very nice to be able to share these memories with my boys, too. :)
Indian Restaurant

It was a long, wonderful day, even with the tummy upset. I still have problems looking at any food pictures, though. I keep wondering about what I ate or drank that made me so sick. I went to bed hoping I felt better in the morning. Didn't feel much better, but not much worse. With only a piece of bread and some water, I went out exploring on Day 6, and visited Swayambunath (Monkey Temple), the National History Museum and the National Military Museum. I'll process those pictures and post them next. I have taken many, many photos, but am just feeling better now, catching up with processing and posting them. But what a fun adventure!


  1. You will never forget this trip for all sorts of reasons...hope you are feeling better...sending warm hugs!!

    1. Thanks, Terri! Getting better. We're enjoying some rain today. Tomorrow I hope to finally post photos from Swayambunath (Monkey Temple), and will head out to Patan Durbar Square. You are right, I will not forget this trip. I very much like Nepal. The photos do help to keep the memories alive, too. :)