Shopping Spree in Thamel – Kathmandu, Nepal

I love shopping — who doesn’t? It’s been months since I wrote about a post titled Getting Lost in Nepal. I concluded the article by saying Nepal is a magical place — the culture is rich on many levels, and I enjoyed my visit very much. I’ve always hoped to return to Nepal and explore more. Fortunately, I had another opportunity to revisit Kathmandu, unfortunately, it was even a shorter visit — it was a layover. However, that doesn’t stop by to get restless feet across the city, had some Nepalese food, and got my shopping fever taken care of!

In this series:

I landed in Kathmandu in the late morning. Since I didn’t have cell coverage, I arranged transportation with the hotel I booked. Yes, I actually booked a room even though I didn’t spend a night, because there is no luggage storage facility at the airport, and I thought it was the most logical way to get room to store my luggage, and even had a shower before my next flight.

I stayed at Pilgrims Guest House in Thamel, which wasn’t a fancy place. But it was perfect for what I needed. The booking process was done through It was super easy and only cost me $15.75 per night to be exact. The taxi ride I arranged with the hotel charged me around $5, which was paid to the hotel upon arrival. All I needed to do was show up at the arrival hall and look for the driver holding a sign with my name. I know landing in a foreign country where a few people speak English may sound daunting, but it wasn’t the case. Surprisingly it was straightforward and well organized — that’s the adventure, the fun part!

I arrived at the hotel, checked in, and got my key. I then stored my luggage and headed out for lunch. I was sort of in a rush because I had limited time on my layover. So I picked a random Nepalese restaurant across the hotel.

I sat down on the table, and that was when I got a notification that my flight American Airlines flight from Hong Kong to Dallas was delayed for 16 hours. Oh, that’s just great — it ruined my lunch! But for a wild reason, I had a gut feeling that AA would do this.

So instead of enjoying my Nepalese lunch, I was busy calling the AA call center, relying on free wifi to get everything sorted out. Unfortunately, I got the usual “there is nothing we can do” answer for the first few calls. I have to say it was an adventure getting my flight rebooked as usual, but that’s going to be another story for the last installment in this series.

So my lunch was just ok. I don’t know if it wasn’t all that great, or I was just too distracted talking to AA agents. Regardless, it was still a delightful lunch experience!

After lunch, I strolled around Thamel for shopping. Initially, I was going to get many things, such as the singing bowl and more Thanka paintings, but because of the issue with my flight, I had to go back to the hotel and get things worked out.

Despite the rush, I managed to pick up several Thanka paintings, and I had them hung beautifully in my mancave. 🙂

Since I still have about an hour and a half before I needed to get back to the airport, I managed to get a full body massage and a hot shower.

I arrived at the airport around 9 pm and still had about 2 hours to spare. Though upon check-in, Cathay agent couldn’t issue my AA boarding pass — there was an issue with my ticket. He advised me to check back with AA once I arrive in Hong Kong. It turned out that the AA agent I talked to previously who assured me everything was good to go didn’t reissue the ticket.

What a mess!


It was a short but sweet layover. I’ve always enjoyed the thrill of getting lost in some parts of the world. Among of all adventures, I think my top two were my trips to Georgia and Azerbaijan. So if you have some time, I think I’d recommend you read them. 🙂

One comment

  1. That’s a cool little adventure. It reminds me of the 16-hour layover I had in Hong Kong (not as exotic, haha). I booked a room in Kowloon and contacted a local ahead of time, through Craigslist, to show me the city. The “guide” ended up ditching early and I completed my exploring on my own. It was an adventure as well.

    Loving the posts!


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