Today we did a sightseeing tour around Kathmandu, visiting four UNESCO heritage sites. There are 3 other people in my group, but two arrived this evening, so it was myself and a guy from Australia. He’s a photographer so I’ll definitely be getting all his photos from our trek!
We had a local guide with us and a driver. The traffic is crazy here – not like Bangkok or Vietnam where it’s so dense, but here they don’t have seperate lanes as most of the roads are dirt. Everyone just drives all over the street!
The sites we saw were gorgeous and very rich in history. 80% of Nepal is Hindu, so most of the sites focused around that religion. We saw a few temples that were gorgeous and intricate in their own way – different from SE Asia, these are ornate with hand carved stones and wood everywhere.
We actually saw a body being cremated, which is obligatory in Hinduism. There is an entire process for the ceremony and then sacrifices family members make for up to a year following the death.
We saw the “prayer flags” everywhere too. I didn’t realize that the flags represent the five elements – Blue (symbolizing sky/space), White (symbolizing air/wind), Red (symbolizing fire), Green (symbolizing water), Yellow (symbolizing earth).
One of the sites we visited was heavily destroyed by the earthquake in 2015. They are rebuilding everything but as they are UNESCO heritage sites, they have to be exactly as they were – people are carving stones, placing individual bricks, etc. to resemble the same style.
Be on the lookout for a new post around May 2nd!