After touching down in Kathmandu, we decided to check out the backpacker joint of Thamel. A Suzuki Maruti taxi will cost 7-9USD from the airport to Thamel, depending on how much lugguage you got.
En route to Thamel, our taxi got hijacked by a tour agent who apparently paid some money to the taxi driver as well, in hope of making a sale. After much heavy protest, he agreed to send me to the hotel first and “ok Sir we meet later, Promise? I wait for you here!” was the final shout i heard as i rushed out with my bags on to the busy dusty streets of Kathmandu.
With so much choices of accomodation here in Thamel you are sure to find cheap good places to sleep at. But since this was our first time to Kathmandu, we wanted something central and easy to find on the map in this crazy city. Welcome to Kathmandu Guesthouse, the first and oldest guesthouse in Kathmandu. I didnt know that the Beetles stayed in the same hotel back in the day (i guess with the rate im paying, im probably staying in the maids room) ! But they have 120 rooms for you to choose from. Awesome! Lets check it out. The entrance of Kathmandu Guesthouse in fact looks more like a hotel instead. It used to be a former Rana Palace housing royalty.
They have 24 hour security, and the main gates are locked by 11pm. Of course you still can still go out, but you just need to tell the security guards you are staying here. The security is much welcomed because the rickshaw and tour touts dare not come in past the main gate.
As you enter pass the open air cafe, you reach the main lobby.
The guesthouse compound is very spacious and has gardens in the middle. The greenery is very relaxing after a hectic days walk in Thamel.
And we are off to the rooms. I got the cheapest room (8 USD but there is a 23% tax on top of that).
The single room i got had a double bed in it. that could easily sleep 2 persons. The matress was the normal nepali hard cotton type mattress and the pillows were half hard and half soft, but was sufficient. Since i need the elevation, i had to use 2 pillows. The bed room was old no doubt but was reasonably clean. I was kind of worried that there might be bed bugs, but suprisingly it was clean.We were glad that the blanket was not the wooly type. We hate the wolly ones, which we found to be very dusty.
My room had a window, and a side space by the window sill where you could just sit and read a book and drink some hot tea. The windows were protected with mosquito netting so i didnt have much problems with mosquitoes at night. (And i was there during the start of the monsoon season-May)
There was light basic furniture in the room. A functional dressing table, a cupboard, side table and dustbin and 2 lights. There was no plug points though! No fan and it was all sharing toilets. Again, there are better rooms than this. This is apparently the cheapest room they have.
You need to be good to the people at the business center, as they were willing to charge my electronics over night for free of charge. And they took care of my batteries for me too, just in case someone tried to nitch them.
Outside the lobby, as you enter the guesthouse you will see an open air cafe. The food here are all hotel rates but taste quite nice.
For breakfast you have a choice of ala carte or buffet breakfast. And surprisingly they serve illy coffee here as well! What pamper!
I had the laskus special which was actually a gently fried bread topped with minced meat, yak cheese and spices. Very delicious. I downed it with a cup of hot masala tea. Ooo lala simply satisfying. Would try this meal again.
Overall, this guesthouse has a very strategic location and the rooms were reasonably priced. The only downside was it is very old. Perhaps that is the attraction that makes Kathmandu Guesthouse so famous here in Nepal. Visit their website for more information. Kathmandu Guesthouse Nepal.
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