Day 158: Country #17
After seeing different older corners of the city, I was ready to explore the central area on my own by foot.
I weaved through various streets to reach Narayanhitu Palace Museum, the former residence of Nepal’s royal family. The lavish interiors and grandiose spaces revealed a period before the Maoist (communist) party established a political uprising and assassinated the royal family less than a decade ago, which turned Nepal into a democratic republic form of government. I learned later that the palace entry fee goes toward the royal family and their effort to reestablish monarchial rule.
Then I headed south to Ratna Park, observing daily life as I tried to avoid breathing in the dusty air being kicked up by all the vehicles, ironically, thinking how a little mud would be nice. A stop at Sherpa mall along the way gave me a chance to get a breath of fresh air.
Then I headed west toward the Maru neighborhood, a old district which contained a number of ancient buildings damaged by age and possibly earthquakes. None of the sites were open, for safety reasons even though there was a somewhat hefty entrance fee, which was not well enforced because the neighborhood could be accessed from many streets. I stumbled into the area without passing any ticket booths.
After passing through, I headed south toward the Bishnumati river, and crossed the foot bridge then walked along Museum Marg (street) until I ran into the Army Museum and Chlauni Museum, across the street from one another. I learned about the royal family’s decorated military leaders, then about Nepal’s religious history. As it began to rain, I found a student ID card on the ground and decided to return it later, then made my way north to a different foot bridge to get back to the city center. Along the way, I found a pretty nice multi story apartment complex and got permission to get on the roof to take an awesome picture of the city.
When I got back, I was informed about a one day delay in the visa application for Bhutan and agreed to stay a little longer.
Many tourist sites in less developed places are not well maintained nor blocked off. Be careful when climbing them to look for a good picture.