Wow, the tourist area of Kathmandu is insane! After spending weeks in the wilderness and small, somewhat sleepier towns, Kathmandu is a slap in the face. Cruising down the road in Thamel (the tourist ghetto), you are bombarded with hanging signs, and even walking becomes an obstacle course, choosing where to eat is overwhelming, and avoiding tour operators trying to sell you Everest Base Camp hikes requires athletic ability.

Tourist ghetto - Thamel

Bombardment by sign!

A little shopping

Most people arrive into Nepal through Kathmandu however, we were doing just the opposite. It is an excellent spot to arrange trekking, stock up on fake North Face gear and get ready to head into the wilderness, but we had already done that.

So for us, Kathmandu was a place to do laundry, catch up on email and eat yummy food. We overlapped with Dave and Jesse again for a few days, visiting the famous Monkey Temple which is an impressive stupa overlooking the whole city, and splurging on gigantic servings of dal bhat (typical Nepali food), for their last meal in the country. We also had a great meal with Ted’s friend and former boss John Watson from Colorado, who happened to be passing through at the same time (we actually planned to overlap for a night in Bandipur, but those damn strikes got in the way!). All and all, a nice and easy way to spend our last few days in Nepal.

The very long staircase to the Monkey Temple

Jesse low-fives a buddha

The only friggin monkey we saw at the "Monkey Temple"!

Swayambhunath - aka the Monkey Temple

The Kathmandu Valley, from Swayambhunath

Favorite picture from Swayambhunath