Getting Around

Nepalese traffic

Well, my experience with traffic in Nepal is like I believe most of the visitors to this country, is limited to Kathmandu, the capital. That experience is definitely one of the most memorable adventures in itself. I took a cab from the airport to my hotel, conveniently named the Kathmandu Hotel. By the time we got there I was coughing and sneezing, desperately searching for a handkerchief that would serve as a mask.  The air pollution was significant and affecting normal breathing. Every second passerby was wearing a mask. During my first two days in Khatmandu, I didn’t do much walking around except for a night walk to the local market. Again, cars, moped, bicycles were going all possible directions with no regards to road codes. Locals and tourist knew it and everyone was looking after each other back. No accidents.  Two days later I was on my way to the airport from where I was flying to Lukla for my 10 days Himalayan Trek to the Everest Base Camp.

Once I got back to Kathmandu and my hotel, I had a week to properly explore the city. I decided to walk across all Kathmandu embracing the ‘beauty of Nepalese traffic’ from a pedestrain point of view.  I believe I walked some 30 miles in total. The golden rule was ‘to go with the flow.. of other incoming vehicles’. Quick, agile and decisive moves between cars, mopeds, motorcycles, and all crossroads, roundabouts, and junctions are yours. Do not hesitate or slow down, the drivers, believe it or not, ‘take care of you’ and make sure you DO cross this busy, wide, dusty road.

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Traffic

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This is one of the major roundabouts manned by a traffic officer. Even though he was trying to do his best at controlling it I couldn’t see much of it. No rules were the only rules. Or it seemed. This man was there for a reason, surely.
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It might have looked chaotic and dangerous but in some way, these road users knew what rules to follow to successfully cross it, turn, stop, drop off or pick up a friend.
A long zebra crossing was a true relief to see. Again, do not hesitate if you see a ‘small window of opportunity’ take it and cross it!
What we have here. Ahh, yes, my first night stroll down and up the roads of Kathmandu. Busy and dusty roads with beaming lights of bikes.
Sometimes it looks as if a collision was about to take place. Nothing of this sort happened. Tailgating was not uncommon.

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