Sunday, November 22, 2009

Paranoia and Awe in Bhaktapur Nepal

Bhaktapur. This photo only courtesy of

I never thought of dodging admission fees, but for some reason that I cannot reveal (it would implicate people that I respect), I did it today.

Foreigners who visit this old royal city are slapped with a hefty entrance fee of 750 nepali rupees; most other sights require somewhere between 100 to 300 NPRs. Comparatively speaking, this price is offensive, but I was more than willing to pay it. When I finally got inside without shelling out 750, I was in constant fear of getting caught! The old city's majestic Durbar Square teems with checkers who overzealously double check on the population of foreigners. I didn't wanna get caught! And I didn't enjoy feeling like a fugitive. I had an impulse to suddenly rush back to the ticket booth and hand out my 750. Indians pay only 50. My advantage was that I supposedly could pass for a Nepali (locals use the term "Mongolian"). I blend with the crowd up until I open my mouth and out pops a flurry of Uncle Sam. I hated being paranoid. I don't lie well. It was so unnecessary because I could afford it! But oh well... there are things that go bump in the dark, and this was one of it.

After a drink of coca cola at the swanky Cafe Nyatapola (the majestic temple nearby was called Nyatapola), I left the square with tail firmly tucked under. Such is the foibble of "breaking the law". And I don't advise it at all!

I was also able to visit the sacred temple at Swayambhunath, the "monkey palace", but that's for another post. Writing this entry on a freezing night, at 10:30, is already a challenge. So I shall call it a day.

Bhaktapur's Pottery Square. this photo only courtesy of's sabrina.

12 kilometers southeast of the capital is the Newari-rich cultural gem of an ancient royal city Bhaktapur, with an area thats barely 7 hectares.

This is the Eye in the Sky.

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