As a girl from Mandalay, the old royal city of Myanmar, I was very surprised at the small wood carvings at the temples in Kathmandu. I learned that this was typical of the Newari architectural style, which is elevated on platforms that form pyramid-like structures.
While travelling around the city I noticed that, like Mandalay, many people used motorcycles for transport, and there were also lots of small taxi cars. Traffic was very congested in some parts of the city.
One of the benefits of the workshop was that we did not spend all day sitting inside, but went on some interesting fieldtrips: one to a waste management project and the other to a cocoon plantation. This gave us the chance to experience village life in Nepal, and the locals welcomed us with their traditional songs and dances. They also provided detailed and educational explanations about their work.
It was a happy unforgettable moment when the participants joined the little girls from the village in dancing and singing their cheerful songs in the sun. The villagers painted our foreheads with red dots and also draped us with garlands as a symbol of welcome.
The field trips were worthwhile, even though they involved a bit of trekking, which I found exhausting. Some of the other participants in the workshop were in much better shape than I was, and they kept going even when I felt I would not be able to move forward another inch.
It didn’t help that I came from the lowlands of Mandalay and was unaccustomed to walking through hills like those in Nepal, but the mountainous country did provide a beautiful, snow-capped backdrop to my suffering.
The souvenirs that I saw during the trip were also very appealing, as was the artwork. I wanted to buy everything I saw, including the metal healing bowls.At times I was so intent on looking at the artwork that I almost lost my way while walking.
My stay in Nepal was all too short. The country has so much to offer, and I had so little time. Someday I’d like to go back and try some of the many adventures available for travellers, including rock climbing, bungee jumping, jungle safaris, mountain biking, rafting and paragliding.
For Myanmar nationals, Nepal gives 15-day visas at a cost of US$25. I would highly recommend the trip, and I would suggest staying as possible to see and experience as much as you can..