I read up on Kathmandu before I came. I looked at all the books, and the internets and the Weather Channel. I read blogs, talked to friends, and straight up did my homework on this place.
However, there are a few things I wish I had brought with me, and that I recommend everyone bringing with them for travel in Nepal. A lot of them are hygiene based. It’s dusty and polluted like you would not believe here, and simple things, like not having dirt on your face, kinda matter.
I have been spending a lot of time on motorcycles and its certainly the most fun way to get around. Driving up in the mountains yesterday got a little breezy and my one long sleeve shirt didn’t really cut it. Also worth noting, anything you wear on the road, becomes the color of the road. Don’t wear white, like I did.
I found some of these here, in a generic brand, and they are so needed. It’s a blast whizzing through the little alleys in KTM, but those little alleys are filled with about 500 years of dust, pollution and cooking smoke.
My friend Lin has me hooked on this stuff from Dr Bronners, but I picked up the cheap version here with all the horrible chemicals. Sometimes you have the make the choice between cancer-inducing toxins and Giardia. Spending a lot of time in markets and exchanging cash for all the pretty things means nasty hands. You just can’t eat buffalo momos with nasty hands.
I always have one with me in the Penh and forgot to stash in my favorite Salt and Sundry tote that has been with me everywhere.
Chap StickI have a lip balm I use before bed that smells nice and makes me feel fancy, but it doesn’t last more than a few minutes outside here. My favorite is still good old Chap Stick, with SPF. The sun is fierce here, even if it’s not so hot.
Off to trade all my money for fabric and dumplings.