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Bungamati and Khokana – could these be the last bastions of non-touristy Nepal?

I decided to head to Bungamati and Khokana, two ancient Newari villages in the Bagmati region of the Kathmandu Valley today. I went on the recommendation of a few Nepalese friends and I am so pleased I did. This is why I love travelling independently. I have only been on three organised yours in my life. While I have lead many, many trips, when I am not working as a leader I prefer to explore places independently. Today made me feel happy about that part of my genetic makeup.

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The pano I shot above was with my phone of the main square in Bungamati. Leading off from here was the gateway to a path that led me further through the village with its ancient buildings, corn sheafs drying next to windows.

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and chillies drying in the sun.

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I made a small detour into a side square and encountered possibly the cutest little girl I’ve met here playing with a bucket.

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I then returned to the main track for a solo walk of about 20 minutes through terraced fields of wheat, to Khokana.

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Of the two towns I probably liked Bungamati the most as it was smaller and had so much charisma. Still, I was at my most happiest today – padding around the fields, chatting with the locals and taking pics.

During my travels I often like to take small gifts for children that I meet but with my recent relocation to the UK I struggled with getting gifts for children here because I don’t believe in giving sweets or money to them. I am also not in Australia to buy them little clip on koalas so I brought a Fuji instax mini with three lots of film. The camera cost me $100 and a pack of 15 shots cost $20. It has been a massive hit!!!! In this pic the little boy is holding the pic I took of him and his sister. The kids love it! normally i would try to take addresses and send the photos i took to whoever I photographed but sometimes the language barrier is huge making it hard. Seriously that camera has been the best thing I have brought with me. I can give people their pics straight away. I plan to save the other shots for Tibet next week 🙂 . I just wish I’d bought more film with me!

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I left both villages very reluctantly to go back to Kathmandu to start work. I did, however, make a brief stop in Patan for lunch.

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This will probably be my last blog post until I return from Tibet and can download my DSLR pics which are a much higher quality than these images.

My work leading the western Tibet expedition starts with the arrival of my first guests tonight.

One thought on “Bungamati and Khokana – could these be the last bastions of non-touristy Nepal?

  1. Erick says:

    OMG Mary, I am so envious!! I have awalys wanted to see Mt. Everest. I have been fascinated with that mountain and the pull it has on man to summit it. The amount of people that will risk their lives to stand on it’s summit…a place where no human should be going due to the lack of oxygen. Wow.. what a great experience you just had. Thanks so much for sharing!

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