Nagarkot, Nepal: A Peek at Everest and the Himalayas

As the sun was up covered by thick fog, I walked out of my chilly hostel to leave Kathmandu. It was late November of 2018 when I traveled to Nepal, a season when the mountains were starting to get frozen and I remember how cold it was. With my big backpack, I headed to a yet colder Nagarkot, a village 32 km east of the capital, known for its stunning views of the Himalayas and a distant glance of Mount Everest. 
What's good is that Nagarkot isn't that far from the capital, Kathmandu. They say that Nagarkot is sort of a breathing space for the locals who live in the city which, like most of the metropolis in the world, is tainted by overpopulation, pollution, and traffic. 
There’s no direct public transport from Kathmandu to Nagarkot. I learned that there was a need to transfer buses. Despite being a first-timer in the area and the language barrier, I braved the unfamiliar roads to get to the village. To begin with, from my hostel in Thamel, I headed to Ratna Bus Station, a central bus station in Kathmandu. 
I find the different buses and unlabeled signs at Ratna Bus Station pretty overwhelming. There’s no ticketing booth nor any signage to know which bus is which. But just like in my other travels, I always meet good people along the way. Luckily, I bumped into 3 Nepali students who helped me find the right bus, and it so happened they took the same bus too.

Funny thing was, the bus collected as many passengers as it could first, so it went back and forth in the city THREE TIMES after finally cruising out of Kathmandu! I was only expecting an hour and a half trip, but it lingered for hours. Nevertheless, it had let me see more how a Nepali commute goes, something which hits home because in Metro Manila where I live, Nepal's public transportation is cheap but overcrowded and inconvenient for the many.
When I reached Kamalbinayak Bus Station in Bhaktapur, I transferred and hopped into a smaller bus. Again, it was loaded with passengers. This time though, there were also items loaded up in the bus, from bulky plastic containers to livestock and their cages, so much that they were squeezed into every open space including the roof! I learned that the Bhaktapur-Nagarkot bus isn’t that frequent, so most people are always in a rush to get into that bus trip.
A few bumpy, dusty, and unfinished roads later, I finally reached Nagarkot. As everyone were getting off the bus, the helpful driver helped me get my backpack from the roof. Then, I walked my way up for a 20-minute trek to reach the hotel I booked. On the way, I bizarrely passed through some sort of checkpoint asking for a tourism service charge. While I paid some cash (around 300 NPR I think) to get through, not a few meters had passed when I came across another one. As the guy insisted it was a different payment, but to me seemed like a scam, I just walked past and ignored.

Despite all the inconveniences on the way, entering my room and being able to see the mountainside had paid it off. The Himalayas and fading Everest views were simply beautiful. Oh, did I mention it was even colder in Nagarkot? I think at some point it reached below 10°C!
The next day, I took the included buffet breakfast at the restaurant’s balcony area. I had such an amazing time, eating with a breathtaking sight of the mountains.
To me, Nagarkot seems a good place for meditation as it connects you really well with nature. As you can see, Nepal is a Buddhist nation, thus the teachings and practices of Buddhism are very common especially when I got to Nagarkot. I caught some people meditating in front of the mountains.
After breakfast, I trekked to check out more of Nagarkot. As I expected, I saw further how raw and simple the life is in the village. I passed by some locals who were either weaving scarves in small souvenir shops or construction workers who were building more hostels for tourists. The way I see it, Nagarkot primarily breathes livelihood through tourism, but I'm glad it has kept the peaceful environment.

I also filmed my trip in Nepal! Check it out:

What's your most adventurous public commute abroad? Did you ever get lost along the way?

Nagarkot, Nepal: A Peek at Everest and the Himalayas Nagarkot, Nepal: A Peek at Everest and the Himalayas Reviewed by Shelly Viajera Travel on 10.8.20 Rating: 5

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