Nepal and Singapore- 2018

Discussion in 'Asia' started by Doogle, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio and Surprise,Arizona
    10/3/2018. Lumbini Hotel Gautam Buddha $17. 128 miles

    I rode less than a mile and lost my gloves. I quickly retraced my route but they were gone. The road to Lumbini was mostly paved. Good road with a curve every 50-100 feet. I stopped twice for a drink and a snack.
    2018-10-03 Road to Lumbini06_1538566197125_7.JPG

    2018-10-03 Road to Lumbini03_1538566194488_2.JPG

    It took 4 hours to get here. The last 30 miles changed drastically. From mountains to boring flat land. It reminded me of Africa. Men herding there buffalo and women carrying baskets on their backs with most of the weight supported by their heads. And it was hot at this elevation.

    My GPS got me to Lumbini. I don't see a town. A gas station, 2 hotels, and a few other buildings. I'll find things tomorrow.My hotel and looking out the back door.
    2018-10-03  Lumbini. Hotel Gautam Buddha01.jpg

    2018-10-03 Road to Lumbini04_1538566194947_3.JPG
    #21
    forgorin and BillUA like this.
  2. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio and Surprise,Arizona
    10-4-2018 Bharatpur Hotel Image $8. 99 miles

    The Lumbini complex was only a mile from my hotel. I left my gear at the hotel so I wouldn't have to worry about anyone stealing anything. Check out time was noon. There are 30 some monasteries in the park. Mostly from other countries. But many were built by the government. And many are under construction. I went to several.
    2018-10-04. Lumbini, Nepal11_1538656964811_38.JPG

    2018-10-04. Lumbini, Nepal17_1538656950521_9.JPG

    Mayadevi is the number 1 attraction here. It indicates the exact spot that Buddha was born. As popular as this spot is, I was the only one in the building. Well, me and the 3 guards. No photography allowed inside.
    2018-10-04. Lumbini, Nepal61_1538656948717_5.JPG

    Outside there were many stuppas that were 2 centuries BC. They don't maintain things the way you would expect for a UNESEC site.
    2018-10-04. Lumbini, Nepal75_1538656970711_51.JPG


    I went back to the hotel at noon and loaded my gear. I rode to Chitwan. They have a National Park here with jungle animals. I'll probably skip it since I saw enough animals in Africa a couple years ago.
    #22
    forgorin and BillUA like this.
  3. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio and Surprise,Arizona
    10-5-2018 Nagarkot Hotel Sunrise Moon Beam $16. 121 miles

    I was on my way at seven am. It was good pavement most of the day. I'm in Nagarkot, about 20 miles east of Kathmandu. It's a small mountain town.
    2018-10-05 Nagarkot04_1538746711443_3.JPG

    It's over 6000 feet elevation and my unheated room is cold.
    2018-10-05 Nagarkot05_1538746711997_4.JPG

    I'm on the third floor with a good view of the mountains. Unfortunately it has been raining or cloudy since I arrived.
    2018-10-05 Nagarkot01_1538746710672_1.JPG

    2018-10-05 Nagarkot02_1538746712558_5.JPG

    I have an exit plan. Gayle booked a flight for me to Singapore on Wednesday. I will be there 4 days until my flight back to L.A. Then I'll fly to El Centro for the winter.
    #23
    forgorin likes this.
  4. wera688

    wera688 V-Stromer

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    135
    Location:
    Newnan GA
    excellent! great pics and trip. Hope to see you soon
    #24
  5. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio and Surprise,Arizona
    10-06-2018 Kathmandu Regal Airport Hotel $25. 28 miles

    The snow capped mountains were beautiful this morning. But all I saw was heavy cloud cover. Even if it was clear, Mount Everest is 100 miles from here. It would be a white speck. I considered riding closer. But even then I would still be 60 miles away. And still probably have no line of sight to the mountain. I routed my GPS to the airport. I decided to do the $200 Everest flight. I don't have high expectations for the tour. It may be cloudy or raining. And the flight doesn't circle Everest. It only gets to 20 miles out.

    My GPS takes me about 5 miles and suddenly says can not calculate route. I think it's going the wrong direction anyway and turn around. Glad I did. I forgave the little digital almost genius. We've been through a lot together.

    I booked a flight for tomorrow at 6 am with Veti Airlines. Then after almost being hit from behind by 2 guys on a motorcycle, I got a room a mile from the airport. I booked it for 2 nights. Even though I'll probably be back in time for breakfast tomorrow. The flight is only about 1 hour.
    #25
  6. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio and Surprise,Arizona
    10-07-2018 Kathmandu Regent Airport Hotel $25 18 miles

    I went to the airport at 5:45 am and boarded with 17 other passengers.
    2018-10-07 Everest flight-Yeti Airlines 36_1538881461911_10.JPG

    We were in the air about 5 minutes when we started seeing snow capped mountains. We each got a pamphlet showing the names and shapes of the mountains in the range. You wouldn't have a clue without it. I was on the left side of the plane. So I saw the mountain range on the way to Everest.


    2018-10-07 Everest flight-Yeti Airlines 14_1538881469719_31.JPG The people on the right side saw the mountain range on the way back. Each person also got to go into the cockpit and take pictures. I had the worst timing for that. We were just about to turn around and go back. When I was in the cockpit, I had to lean over the pilots back and take pictures through the dirty side window. The view was better from my seat. Mount Everest is slightly to the left side of center here.
    2018-10-07 Everest flight-Yeti Airlines 21_1538881468640_28.JPG

    After we turned around and headed back, the stewardess poured a glass of wine for everyone to celebrate. It was a good flight and I'm glad I did it.
    2018-10-07 Everest flight-Yeti Airlines 33_1538881466500_22.JPG


    When I returned to the hotel I rode down to Pashupatinath Temple again. There are some sacred ancient caves there. Some famous Buddhist monks lived and meditated there. I didn't see them (the caves) when I was there last week. This time I went in a different gate. This time I discovered it cost $10 to enter.

    There were cremations going on. On the other side of the river there were several groups of people. They were having small ceremonies. It was for a family member or friend that was cremated exactly 1 year ago and at the same time of the day.

    The Narayanhiti Palace was recommended to me as a place to see. So it was next on my list to see. A terrible waste of time. After paying $5, they require me to leave phone or camera in a lock storage area. No pictures allowed inside. It may be a safety issue. In 2001 the king, queen, and other family members were killed here. Bullet holes are still evident in the walls. The other reason cameras might not be allowed in is because everything is so worn out looking. Couches, carpet, bedding, and chairs all should have been replaced or refurbished 30 years ago. It was like many of the foreign owned hotels in America.

    I returned to my hotel and found my room hadn't been cleaned. I like the hotel. But I pay the same price the second day as the first. I'd like another bottle of water, one more cup of coffee, and 6 more sheets of toilet paper. So I decided to eat at another hotel. The Airport Hotel has a rotating restaurant on their roof. It's 200 feet from my hotel. I spent my evening there.
    #26
    BillUA likes this.
  7. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio and Surprise,Arizona
    10-7-2018
    Pashupatinath Temple caves. I tiny little room behind that gate.
    2018-10-07  Pashupati  area and caves08_1538906530366_30.JPG

    Not much sunshine in there.
    2018-10-07  Pashupati  area and caves09_1538906534379_40.JPG

    This is somebody's home. It's just above one of the small caves.
    2018-10-07  Pashupati  area and caves13_1538906529331_28.JPG

    The small ceremonies for people cremated the previous year.
    2018-10-07  Pashupati  area and caves07_1538906532442_35.JPG
    #27
    forgorin, wera688 and BillUA like this.
  8. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio and Surprise,Arizona
    A few more pictures from yesterday.
    2018-10-07 Everest flight-Yeti Airlines 19_1538881468181_27.JPG

    2018-10-07 Everest flight-Yeti Airlines 30_1538881463949_15.JPG

    2018-10-07 Everest flight-Yeti Airlines 18_1538881459212_2.JPG

    From the caves looking back towards the cremation areas.
    2018-10-07  Pashupati  area and caves15_1538906535702_43.JPG
    #28
    forgorin and BillUA like this.
  9. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio and Surprise,Arizona
    10-8-2018 Kathmandu Kathmandu Airport Hotel $31 1/10 mile

    I moved down the road a hundred yards. I reserved a room on Bookings.com. I wanted to stay in the hotel with the revolving restaurant on their roof. The one I went to last night. The Airport Hotel. I reserved the Kathmandu Airport Hotel. Not the same. It's about 100 feet further down the road. It's good enough. I still went back to the revolving restaurant.
    20181008_171231.jpg

    That was the only place I went today. The only excitement I had today was watching 2 boys fly a kite. The restaurant is 100 feet up.I saw a kite way above me. I went outside to see who was flying it and from where. I spotted the boys on a house roof.
    20181008_171748-1.jpg

    A couple times the kite came close to me. I acted like I was going to grab it. The boys giggled each time. Then I think they tried to buzz me. It cost them. 3 times the kite got hung up. Lucky for them I could get to the kite and string and free it up.
    #29
    BillUA likes this.
  10. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio and Surprise,Arizona
    10-9-2018 Kathmandu Hotel Marinha $26 16 miles

    I moved to my 3rd hotel here by the airport. The hotel I stayed in last night was decent. But there was a smell in the bathroom that I didn't like. Hotel Marinha is off the main road a hundred yards and down some narrow alleys. It's rated 8.8 on Bookings.com. By 11 am I moved into a very nice room there. Hot water, toilet paper, WiFi, soap and shampoo, water bottles, and a headboard that lights up.
    2018-10-9 01_1539141337016_3.JPG

    I decided to take the bike back today so there would be time to deal with any surprises that might come up. The hotel will let me stay in my room until I leave for the airport tomorrow afternoon. The flight is at 5:15 pm. And they will shuttle me there.

    About 1 pm I left to take the bike back to Bikemandu. I stopped in Durbar Square and took a couple pictures.
    2018-10-9 03_1539141337375_4.JPG

    2018-10-9 06_1539141339846_10.JPG


    When I got to Bikemandu nobody was there. I called and said I wanted to return the bike early. About 1/2 hour later Amar and his wife came. Extremely nice people. I had a rear turn signal that broke somehow. I think from vibration on the rough roads. Then it fell on the exhaust and melted. I had to pay for that and to fill the gas tank. Then Amar returned my deposit and called a cab for me. The cab let me out at the airport entrance, 100 yards from my hotel. I wondered around for 15 minutes before I found it.

    In the evening I ate at the hotel restaurant. I've seen many menus with sizzler this and that. I asked what it was but didn't get past the language barrier. I ordered it anyway. Now I know what the chicken sizzler is.
    2018-10-9 12_1539141338290_6.JPG

    I will fly to Delhi with a 6-7 hour layover. At 1 am I fly to Singapore. I will get there at 9:30 am.
    #30
    wera688 and BillUA like this.
  11. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio and Surprise,Arizona
    10-10-2018 Singapore

    At 5 p.m. I flew from Kathmandu to Delhi. A 2 hour flight with a 6 hour layover. At 1 a.m. I flew to Singapore. I arrived at 9:30. At 11 a.m. I was checked in to my room at the Village Hotel Katong. It's about 3 miles from the city center. After a quick shower and a little rest I was ready to go into town. But it started raining like I haven't seen this year. It cleared up about 4 p.m. and I got a bus in to town. It's a beautiful city. I went to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. It's a 1000 feet high building with the best view of everything. It cost $8 billion dollars to build. Construction finished in 2009. It cost about $17 to go up. And well worth it.
    2018-10-11  Singapore 08_1539272657818_1.JPG

    2018-10-11  Singapore 25_1539272663450_10.JPG


    It overlooks the Gardens by the Bay, which is another sight I wanted to see. I wanted to see it from ground level. But didn't have time for both places. I think it has an entrance fee also. I think the Gardens are mostly about the light show at 8 p.m. I think.
    2018-10-11  Singapore 16_1539272659238_3.JPG
    2018-10-11  Singapore 32_1539272665368_13.JPG
    #31
    wera688 likes this.
  12. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio and Surprise,Arizona
    10-12-2018 Singapore Scarlet Singapore Hotel $115

    After taking a bus to China Town and finding the Scarlet Hotel I went to the ferry docking area. I moved to be closer to town. I was 5 miles from the center. Now I'm 1-2. On my way to the ferry, I walked through some of Chinatown.
    2018-10-12  Garden by the  Bay- Singapore 67_1539363046758_11.JPG


    I found the MRT underground rail station and bought a ticket for Batam City, Indonesia. It was about a 1 hour ferry ride. My expectations for the destination weren't high. And it's a good thing.

    After disembarking, I went to the information counter and got a map. There was a mosque nearby. And there was an area with old houses on stilts by a river. I went through a shopping mall before walking around the mosque.
    2018-10-12  Garden by the  Bay- Singapore 44_1539363080805_70.JPG

    I was uninterested in this area. I went back to the ferry terminal and asked for the next cruise back to Singapore. It would board in 20 minutes. Barely enough time for me to find a beer and drink it. It was a close call. But I did it. With no Indonesian money I had to use my credit card. The beer alone didn't reach the minimum for credit card usage. It was 30,000 Indonesian rupees? 2 Snickers brought it up to 50,000. I hope that isn't like dollars or Gayle might have to go back to work. Either way there is a happy ending to this story. I drank a beer in Indonesia and got on the ferry in time.

    When I got to the Harbor Point Terminal I took the subway to the Gardens by the Bay. I got there 5 minutes before the light show started. It's more impressive from the ground. But there are so many trees, it is difficult to see everything.
    2018-10-12  Garden by the  Bay- Singapore 24_1539363056957_27.JPG

    2018-10-12  Garden by the  Bay- Singapore 19_1539363079540_67.JPG

    Afterwards I went back to Chinatown. I stopped and ate on Chinatown Food Road before walking back to my room.
    #32
    wera688 likes this.
  13. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio and Surprise,Arizona
    A few more pictures from yesterday. I went KFC for my American chicken fix. They discourage the use of 1 time plastic. I'm okay with that. But when they give me a spoon that only fits the mouth of a Barbie doll, I'm not happy. If they want to save plastic, give me a reusable metal spoon.
    2018-10-12  Garden by the  Bay- Singapore 53_1539363076117_61.JPG


    I saw these buildings from the ferry as we left Singapore. I guess it gets really hot here and the heat warped them. Or it's time for me to get glasses.
    2018-10-12  Garden by the  Bay- Singapore 47_1539363060011_32.JPG

    The hill in Batam Indonesia when you leave the terminal.
    2018-10-12  Garden by the  Bay- Singapore 40_1539363056361_26.JPG

    Eating out in Chinatown
    2018-10-12  Garden by the  Bay- Singapore 02_1539363075572_60.JPG
    #33
    forgorin and wera688 like this.
  14. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio and Surprise,Arizona
    10-13-2018

    After eating shrimp dumplings at the Chinese Food Street, I took the train to Woodlands.
    20181013_175948.jpg

    From there I got on a bus to go to Johor Bharu, Malaysia. Checking out of Singapore took half an hour. Then, back on the bus,cross the river into Malaysia, get off and go through immigration. I squeezed in to the huge room and tried to figure which mass of people to move with. There were probably 2000 people crammed in the room. I went to an official and asked how long the wait was. He said 4 hours. I said I didn't have that much time. A woman took my passport and escorted me around to the return line. In 5 minutes I was in line for the bus back into Singapore. 10 minutes later I was on the train going back to Chinatown. A wasted day. The only thing I saw in Malaysia was a huge funnel of people gasping for fresh air.

    I stopped at the Buddha Tooth Relic Museum on the way to my hotel. I didn't see the tooth. But rumor has it. ......
    20181013_181926.jpg

    20181013_181643.jpg

    And I saw this display on my way home.
    20181013_175948.jpg
    #34
    forgorin likes this.
  15. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio and Surprise,Arizona
    10-14-2018 LAX Airport Sheraton Hotel

    My 2:30 flight was 4 hours with a 2 1/2 hour layover in Manila. Then a 13 hour flight to LA. I left LAX customs about 7:30 p.m. I had to ask the hotel shuttle driver if it was a.m. or p.m. I really didn't know . I took a shower and came down to the lobby. At the Sheraton you need to be in the lobby to use WiFi unless you pay $6. World Class hotel. Squeeze every nickel out.

    Anyway, here is a wrap up of my trip.
    EUROPE
    Riding in Europe with Steve was great. It's a very picturesque area with great riding. I would recommend that ride over India or Nepal. Especially if you could get Steve to go with you. The BMW 700 was a great bike for that ride .

    INDIA
    I should have done more research on India. The place I rented from weren't outright crooks. But they tried some confusing tactics a couple times, to cheat me out of money. Then wanted me to pay for an oil change when I brought the bike back. I had a list of issues with them.
    I wouldn't start in Delhi. I would start in Manali. Or better yet, Leh Ladakh. That is a very scenic area. You ride through mountain passes in India. In Nepal, you seem to need to hike to them. The riding in India was for me, the most dangerous in the world. By far. English is spoken everywhere. The people were quite helpful when needed.
    I went south of Delhi to Agra, to see the Taj Mahal. One of the wonders of the world. I'd like to know who voted for that. It was okay. But to me, it's like calling a Ford Fiesta a luxury car. If you're in the area you need to go be disappointed, just because of it's status and claim to fame.
    When riding in India I kept my helmet shield down most of the time. The particulate in the air stings your face if you are going a medium speed. I was in India near the end of the monsoons. I had quite a bit of rain. But never a terrible downpour. And no day long rains.

    NEPAL
    I should have rented the bike for 2 weeks instead of 3. The Honda 250 cost twice what a Royal Enfield cost. But it was worth it. The air in Nepal is as dirty as it was in India. But Nepal was a much better place to visit. The riding was much less dangerous. ALL the people were friendlier. The Indians were good people. But in Nepal, they were a level above. I don't know how many times I stopped to figure my next route, and someone would ask where I was going. Great people. And again, English everywhere. They understood what I was saying. I didn't always understand what they were saying. I found more things of interest to see in Nepal. My big disappointment was not being able to ride over high passes.

    SINGAPORE
    I stopped in Singapore on the way back home. I thought if I'm half way around the world, why not stop and see what's there. I loved it. If I'm ever in the area again, I'll stop and revisit. I think people obey laws there. I think it was on my immigration card that stated "death penalty for drug pushers". I may post a picture of that if I find the form.
    #35
    two_dogs and wera688 like this.