Exploring the historical city of Bhaktapur in a day.
“Did he say Bhaktapur?”
“I think so… Quick! Run!”
We ran (literally ran, busses don’t stop over here) to hop on the local bus, hoping it was the right one. The only way to know where busses are going here is listening to the guy hanging out the bus door, he’ll tell the destination over and over very quickly:
“Bhaktapur! Bhaktapur! Bhaktapur!”
So we cram in and all boundaries concerning personal space are broken down. Nepali music is blasting and wind rushes in open windows, through which we excitedly spot monkeys.
I meet a guy who speaks understandable English. “It’s Mother’s Day! I go to see her!” He explains the sights of Bhaktapur and makes sure I know the bus fare so I don’t get ripped off. He also points sights out to me along the way:
“they’re making pasta!” He points to a roof full of racks with pasta hanging up.
“They go to see their mothers!” He points to women holding gifts.
“Bhaktapur city!” We have arrived…
To enter Durbar square we got charged 1500rps; we complained, we decided that it would be worth it and at the end of the day we all agreed it was.
We got lost in the little streets, looking in little stalls, taking in the aromas of street food, wandering around the ruins (Bhaktapur was severely damaged by the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, over 200 people in the area died in the disaster.)
Amongst the the ruins and shops, temples are nestled and locals are kind and ready to greet us with smiles and a ‘namaste.’
We step into ‘the peacock shop,’ a cute, dark and dusty little shop selling books and prints amongst other things, made out of handmade paper (which you can see bein made in a workshop out the back.) The cashier was great, telling stories, making jokes and talking with such passion about his culture.
We stop for cheap vegetable momos (dumplings that they sell EVERYWHERE around here) and get ‘King curd’ for dessert.
We search for the cheapest curd and end up at a little place near Durbar square (just before the bus stop) and it costs 40rps! (We had previously seen it priced at 120rps.) entering the store I ask the guy sitting on the front step, “King curd?”
Her grins and replies, “best yogurt in the world is in Bhaktapur.”
So we all are sure we have found the right spot. We head in and sit down in a very, very dark, tiny room. The yogurt arrives in little pottery cups and I’m convinced: this is the best yoghurt in the world.
I had worried that Bhaktapur wouldn’t be worth the visit due to the damage from the earthquake- I was wrong. The ruins are eye openers and the charm of Bhaktapur has a tight grip that the shake of the earthquake didn’t loosen.
We take a bus back to Kathmandu, get lost and end up in a taxi, exhausted but happy.