Category Archives: Backpacking Nepal

Breakfasts around the world while backpacking- by backpackies

As you travel and backpack around the globe, you will soon learn that breakfast is not having it at a ‘FAST FOOD’ joint!
Rather it is more about being more adventurous and heading out to find and eat what the locals have for breakfast.
Here is a list of what some people in their country eat. 🙂

backpackies breakfast

Are you dreaming about the Mc Donalds breakfast in your sleep??

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A full English Breakfast – it must have beans, sausages, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, hash browns and toast. Of course, it should all be knocked back with a cup of tea, but black pudding is optional as far as I’m concerned.

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Breakfast in Iran – it usually features some sort of naan bread with butter and jam. When a light breakfast just isn’t going to hit the spot Iranians eat halim. Halim is a mixture of wheat, cinnamon, butter and sugar cooked with shredded meat in huge pots. You can eat it hot or cold. You can also see the Iranian version of an omelet here too.

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A Cuban wake up meal – usually consists of sweetened coffee with milk with a pinch of salt thrown in. The unique Cuban bread is toasted and buttered and cut into lengths to dunk in the coffee.

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Polish Breakfast – known locally as Jajecznica, a traditional Polish breakfast consists of scrambled eggs covered with slices of custom- made kielbasa and joined by two potato pancakes.

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 Quick Spanish breakfast – Pan a la Catalana, or Pan con Tomate, in Spain is simple but really delicious. Just rub some bread with fresh garlic and plenty of ripe tomato, then drizzle with olive oil and salt. Top with cheese, ham or sausage for an extra bit.

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A yummy Moroccan breakfast – usually consists of different breads with some chutney, jam, cheese or butter. They have a really delicious crumpet-style bread which they make in huge slabs for you to tear a bit off, and a semolina pancake bread called Baghir – both are really tasty.

backpackies backpacking asia

A healthy Hawaiian breakfast – I couldn’t imagine Hawaiians eating anything but fruit to be honest. Of course, there’s the bagel but I’m sure they’d burn the energy from that off in a few minutes on their surf board anyway.

Nope! Sweedish people do not eat Sweedish meatballs for breakfast!

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Swedish breakfast – often involves a Swedish pancake, known as a Pannkakor. It’s a thin flat cake made from batter and fried on both sides – much like a crepe. It’s usually served with a sweet, fruity filling.

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Icelandic breakfast cuisine – a hearty and hot breakfast to fight off the dark, icy mornings is what’s needed here. Hafragrautur, or oatmeal, is served with a sprinkle of brown sugar with a few raisins or nuts on top, perfect.

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Breakfast in Portugal – a delicious and simple affair with stuffed croissants and plenty of coffee served in the sun.

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Wonders of Nepal through our eyes, by backpackies

Nepal is definitely an experience you would want to try out at least ONCE in your life time. Or maybe once is not enough as well!

The food, the people, the smell, culture and sheer natural and historical beauty is enough to take your breath away. With so much to share and tell, we decided the best way to show it to you is to put up pictures of the trip. After all pictures speaks louder than words.
So here we go…

backpacking nepal

Even Bart can do Everest. SHAME ON YOU!

backpacking nepal

Nepali flags flying proud for sale at the souvenir shops

backpacking nepal

Buddhist Stupas are everywhere

backpacking nepal
There are so many old temples in Nepal that you would walk by one and not even notice that it was a historical site. Some Nepali people use part of the temple to store their goods and some even use it to hang their washing.
And somehow somewhere along the streets you will manage to find a fresh fruit stall. (The freshness of the fruits are somehow dubious)

backpacking nepal

fresh fruits stall that also make juices.

Nepali locals playing a game with some stones picked up from the road side and a play board drawn crude on a stone slab.

backpacking nepalPuppets of Ganesha the Indian Elephant headed god can be seen sold along the streets. The Nepali people are very spiritual at heart.

backpacking nepal

puppets of Ganesha on sale

Internet and IDD/STD international phone calling service can only be found in touristy areas. You would be lucky to find one which hasn’t been affected by the daily load shedding. (Every day, for about 3-4 hours, Nepal faces electricity cuts)

backpacking nepal

IDD/STD phone call and internet center

Vegetables sold by the road side which look really miserably. The carrots are the size of my last finger!

backpacking nepal

woman buying vegetables by the road side in Kathmandu City

A national security guard guarding a government building in Kathmandu.

backpacking nepal

One of the worlds most elite special forces, The Gurkha. Gurkha guard on alert

backpacking nepalA temple in Kathmandu Durbar square. This temple is at least a few hundred years old.

backpacking nepalForeign and local tourists flock to this spiritual square to pray and admire the beauty of the temple.

Below is a giant statue of a guardian animal protecting the temple grounds. Locals also pay homage and respects to the guardian as well by offering lights, flowers and a red type of dye which is dotted on the statue after prayers.

backpacking nepal

A guardian temple lion status

backpacking nepalIts amazing to see in the Durbar square in Nepal have so many different types of temple structures. If you notice, the left white structure and the right structure has different architecture.

backpacking nepalTo pay homage and respect to the spirits and deities, the locals would put the red dye on the stone to show respect.

backpacking nepal

cute hand woven cotton hats with cartoon characters

backpacking nepal

Most of the temples have intricate wooden carvings like these

backpacking nepal

The famous stupa at Boudanath!

backpacking nepal

One of the temple structures at the Durbar Square

Locals are seen climbing on top of the temple structures and sitting down there chatting to their friends totally unaware of the harm they are inflicting on to the intricate temple structures.

backpacking nepal

A local woman preparing a dish of dried up wheat, mixed spice potatoes, beans, and buffalo meat

The buffalo meat was pretty tough to chew. But otherwise it was pretty tasty. We wouldn’t lie to you and say it tastes like chicken!!

backpacking nepal

countryside in Nepal on our hike up to Changu Narayan Temple

backpacking nepal

Locals sitting down by the road side, to prepare temple offerings.

backpacking nepal

Temple offerings - Incense, flowers, butter lamps

patan durbar square

Patan Durbar Square

In the square it self you can see so many different architecture present. The amount of detailed carvings and attention given to the decorations on the temples are just astonishing.

nepal temple

Nepali winged guardian which can be seen praying facing the temple

backpacking nepal

this temple is a few hundred of years old

backpacking nepal
Woman selling flowers and butter lamps to devotees.

backpacking nepal

view from Nagargot Nepal

Nepal is such a beautiful country, the nature, people and culture. If you have the opportunity, make the time to visit Nepal.

We took so many pictures of Nepal and this is only a fraction of it. Please join us on our facebook fan page at backpackies is on facebook, to ask us anything on travel in Nepal as well as to share with us your travel experiences.

 

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White Water rafting down the mighty Bhote Kosi in Nepal by backpackies

We decided to get physical during our trip to Nepal.  “Visiting Stupa’s and visiting the toilets due to diarrhea does not count”!

White water rafting down a grade 4 rapid sounds like just the sufficient amount of adrenaline rush we needed!!

“No no! You should try rafting down Trisuli River first” our Nepali tour guide was trying unsuccessfully to get us to back down on our idea of rafting down one of Nepal’s wildest rivers. Never the less we paid 90 USD for a 2 day one night trip to raft down Bhote Kosi River (per person). We had to walk to the travel agent the next morning as early as 5am. Our travel agent was giving me some shit about wanting to collect 100USD deposit for an extra sleeping bag. He had earlier promised us that the initial 90 USD would cover that. But in the morning he tried to cook up some story about, all the sleeping bags in Kathmandu were all rented out and he had to pay a deposit to secure the only ones.

The hell with it we said. Its your fault! We shouted and ran off to the van which sped off to where our hearts would soon be screaming out from the river soon enough.
We had to make a few stops, apparently to pick up some food for the trip. We actually thought they were buying some snacks for themselves on the way.

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

stopping by the road side to get some fresh fruits for the trip

The countryside was very beautiful and refreshing, a complete change to what we have been breathing in Thamel. Choked up smoke and dust everyday got me sick for a day.

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

This building here is an apartment dedicated to keep chickens. And i mean the ones that you chop up, fry and eat. We figured that because meat was expensive in Nepal, that Nepalese had to secure their chickens in houses and lock them at night when they go to sleep.

After about 2 hours drive we stopped for some cha and to stretch our legs.

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

a short break by the road side for every one to stretch their legs

Halfway up our journey, we came across this strange sight. First we noticed a broken down lorry by the side of the road with 2 guys lying motionless on the road. Then the next diversion was, a cow came charging straight towards our van! He hit our van, straight on and went off another direction. Still shocked, we thought that the cow had hurt the 2 men lying on the road.
It turns out that the 2 men were actually sleeping in front of their lorry while waiting for the mechanic to come repair it!! WTH! If the brakes on the lorry were to fail, they would have been crushed by the lorry!

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

PEEKABOO!! this silly person is sleeping in front of his damaged vehicle!

Then we stopped for a much-needed toilet break!

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

toilet break by the road side toilet which is shared by locals and mostly bus drivers

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

you literally need to hold your breath when you do your business

Then the rafting begins. We start unloading.

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

starting point of the river

We all worked together to inflate the raft.

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

group photo before the hard work begins

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

cruise-y ride down the river

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

rafting down upper Bhote Kosi

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal
The waters looked clean enough from afar. But upon closer inspection….

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

The villagers just dump their rubbish into the mighty river

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

parts of the river is a sad rubbish dump

We saw some dead chickens, shoes, plenty of clothes and rubbish floating along with our raft. How Nepali! 😀

rafting in nepal

Some local boys seeking help from our guide to get across the river

Rafting in Nepal

all fresh vegetables and fruits are washed with iodine to kill germs

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

and lunch is served

This view is of the valley where we stopped for lunch. The waters were shallow and you could just go in for a swim. But after seeing the Sh*t that goes in the water, we think not.

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal
After about 3 hours of rafting, we had to stop at the camp site for the night. (Honestly, we didnt really expect the sleeping in a tent part). We thought we were sleeping in a real hotel or guesthouse!

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

stopping for the night

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

guides preparing dinner

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

dinner is served

The dinner was surprisingly lavish. We had mushroom stoup to start with, then boiled vegetables, chips and spaghetti.  We had to walk another 10 minutes to the nearest village to buy the beers. That night, we slept like a log. Must be all that rowing and peddling.

Caution: The only toilets they have do not have showers and are only taps which get their water from the river. We tried to bath, but when the water turned yellow, we decided to just wipe up and try to sleep. Wet wipes are really handy to bring along trips like these!

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

Morning breakfast at 6am

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

trying out the sweet local mangoes which were really sweet and tasty!The trick is to cut the mangoes horizontally, then twist the mango, and the seed just plops out on one side and you can eat the other side. (Like what you see in this picture)

rafting in nepal

some locals fishing in the river

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

view from the bridge near the village above the river

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

school children going to school using a suspension bridge above

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

villagers doing some fishing. These guys were considered decent. Some only wore their underwear to go fishing. No, unfortunately Nepali women stay at home to sew.

We did some body boarding where we jumped off the raft to go for a swim (with our backs facing upstream). We also stopped at a big rock to jump off it. It looked really simple but when you are up there. Man…… was it scary.

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

jumping off a huge rock

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

rafting bhote kosi nepal

Maneuvering the raft pass some boulders

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

rafting is a team effort

rough grade 4 rapids


rafting in bhote kosi river nepal

The second part of the raft was really enjoyable as we rafted for about 3 hours continuously.

getting friendly with the locals

At the end of the trip, we were fed again with lunch before packing up and heading back home. The locals there were really friendly and if you have any spare food, do pass it on to them. Some of them live such a simple life, that baked beans and bread are a treat to them!

Our conclusion is that, if you are the adventure type. You should definitely take on Bhote Kosi river the rainy season. For more backpacking information, do join us on facebook at backpackies or surf www.backpackies.com for more information.

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Kathmandu Guesthouse,Nepal Review by backpackies.com

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.

Kathmandu Guesthouse Thamel Nepal

Entrance to Kathmandu Guesthouse

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.

Kathmandu Guesthouse Thamel Nepal

Water spouts near the entrance that is an immitation of the bronze dragon spouts at Durbar Square

As you enter pass the open air cafe, you reach the main lobby.

Kathmandu Guesthouse Thamel Nepal

Lobby area which seems to be quite cosy, and the LCD tv plays international channels

The guesthouse compound is very spacious and has gardens in the middle. The greenery is very relaxing after a hectic days walk in Thamel.

Kathmandu Guesthouse Thamel Nepal

The inner compound of the guesthouse

Kathmandu Guesthouse Thamel Nepal

Scenery of the hotel grounds

And we are off to the rooms. I got the cheapest room (8 USD but there is a 23% tax on top of that).

Kathmandu Guesthouse Thamel Nepal

Corridor to the rooms

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.

kathmandu guesthouse thamel nepal

Single bedroom

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)

kathmandu guesthouse thamel nepal

a simple side table and dressing table

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.

kathmandu guesthouse thamel nepal

there is no plug points in the room so to charge your electronic you need to go to the business center downstairs

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.

kathmandu guesthouse thamel nepal

outside the guesthouse is a shaded restaurant

kathmandu guesthouse thamel nepal

wooden stairs connecting the upper floors

kathmandu guesthouse thamel nepal

buffet breakfast in the morning

For breakfast you have a choice of ala carte or buffet breakfast. And surprisingly they serve illy coffee here as well! What pamper!

kathmandu guesthouse nepal

the coffee outlet

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.

kathmandu guesthouse nepal

having laskus special breakfast and masala tea

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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YangLing Tibetan Restaurant Kathmandu, Nepal review by backpackies. Momos and more!

Everybody always want to try the specialty of each country that they visit!

Its the same as wanting to see GO GO girls in Thailand, shake spongebobs hand in Dreamworld Australia, milk cows in New Zealand or Kiss Mickey Mouse in Disney land! (Well maybe not everyone)

That is exactly what we did in Kathmandu! We asked around on what was the best food we could find in Nepal, and the answers we got were
1) Dhal Bhat (Rice with Dhal- lentil curry). Nepalese seem to eat this day and night and then day again…365 days….a year
2) Momos (small dumplings – steamed or fried)
3) Sandwhich (Nepalese think its a specialty. You can find a lot of these sandwhich shops by the road side)
4) Thali set (Steamed rice with lentil curry- available veg or non veg curries as well)

Lets go for the one with the funny name first. Moh Moh…. (NO its MOMO!!)
Best Momos in town here we come (To all Nepali people reading this, please, we know your mother or grandmother or girlfriend makes better momos than this place. You already told us. But unless your mother wants us to review her kitchen then please allow us say for now that these are REALLY REALLY nice momos!)
Fellow backpackies, welcome to Yangling Tibetan Restaurant.
And i think i was the only one in the coffee shop taking so many pictures. (anyways they always think im japanese because of my small eyes)

yang ling nepal

Narrow entrance to Yang Ling Tibetan Restaurant Nepal

Yangling Restaurant is located on Saatghumti Chowk. The entrance is like the top picture. You will need to look around to find it, because in Thamel, you would notice that there are alot of sign boards up on the buildings of the narrow streets.

The dining place is on the second floor and its cool because you get to see the hustle and bustle of the streets from the dining place.
Its madness down there during peak hour (if there is any). It’s nice to just sit in the restaurant even for a cup of Nepali tea. Enjoy the percussions from the streets down below with the constant honking, shouting and tooting….

yang ling restaurant thamel

Dining on the second floor overlooking the mess on the street below

Below is the menu. Besides momos, they also serve fried noodles, soup noodles, rice and tid bits.

best momos in nepal

Great momo selection

To start things off, i ordered a cup of ginger tea instead of the normal masala tea i usually order. i wanted to try something different. Something warm because it had been raining the whole day.

yang ling tibetan restaurant thamel

Hot ginger tea with real ginger bits in it!

Wow, the ginger wasnt as strong as i expected it. They put real ginger bits in the tea, unlike the ginger powder in other shops. You need to add sugar to your liking. Overall the tea was very pleasant, but it did get stronger towards the end.

I also felt like having some soup and it was a toss between chicken or mushroom, and when the waiter told me they had Chicken Mushroom, it was awesome!

yang ling tibetan restaurant thamel

Hot Chicken Mushroom Soup to warm the tired soul

Oh man, when the soup came, it smelt soooooo good. Oh, the red colouring on the top was just me. I added some chilli powder so that this picture looked more interesting. (disclaimer: in actual fact there is no red powder on the soup)

But my gawd the soup tasted super nice. Not too strong, not too weak- because you know sometimes cook’s tend to make soups that have very strong odour -like really mushroomy!? This soup was just fine. Oh and actually it tasted better with the chilli powder. It had a little spicy taste to it.
Then since i was writing an article about this place, i ordered 2 different types of momos. The normal fried ones and the chilli momos.
Of course there is also the steamed momos as well which was just too much for a small asian boy like me. Below is the fried momos served with some half spicy dip.

yang ling tibetan restaurant thamel

fried chicken momos served with a semi spicy dip

yangling tibetan restaurant nepal

This is what a momo looks like inside

yang ling tibetan restaurant thamel

Spicy chilli buff momo

The spicy chilli buff (buffalo) momos, were also fried, and stuffed with buffalo minced meat and some onions and vegetables. They were fried with red chilli, tomato, capsicum and onions.

yang ling tibetan restaurant thamel

Yang Ling Tibetan Restaurant - Momos and more!

Overall this place is a nice place to sit down and have a decent meal. This place is open from morning till about 5pm. It is closed on Saturdays.
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