I arrived last night at around 8:30 pm. My flights were Manila(MNL)-Kuala Lumpur(KLM), Kuala Lumpur-Kathmandu(KTM). First, can I just say how jealous I am that KL airports are easily accessible by train and there’s a trip every 30 mins. My transfer from KLIA2 (Air Asia) to KLIA (Malindo Air) only cost RM2. *Side eyes NAIA airports*
If you have a long layover, mine was 7 hours, it is better to spend it in KLIA2. It’s newer and it has more shops. It’s practically a mall. You could also go to KL Central if you’re not carrying a 9-kilo backpack. Ugh. KL express round trip ticket would be RM20.
Malindo Air, by the way, is an excellent airline. No, they did not pay me to say that but just between you and me, *whispers* it’s way better than United Airlines MNL-ROR flights. The leg rooms are spacious, more choices for inflight entertainment, and a legit meal. They also have a 30-kilo luggage allowance. They are strict in implementing the 7-kilo limit for carryons…which almost cost me trouble.
This is where my story of
Air Asia allowed me to hand carry my backpack. I put a few dollars in the small pocket in my backpack’s belt and the rest of my tour money, I put in the deepest, darkest place of my backpack. Then, when I checked in for Malindo Air, they weighed it and it was 9 kilos, limit is 7 kilos. Because there is a long line, I just hurriedly opened that small pocket and grabbed whatever amount. Thinking that I would be able to get my backpack in Kathmandu anyway before I would need to pay anything.
I had several currencies in that pocket, Philippine pesos, Malaysian Ringgits, and US dollars plus my ATM card and my work permit. I took out the work permit earlier, while still in Manila, just in case the immigration officer would ask me for proof about my job.
I was wearing basic tropical weather clothes. My jacket was at the top portion of my backpack for easy access.
That was my first predicament.
When we landed in KTM, I was the only one wearing a thin shirt. I was just so glad that the temperature was 18deg Celsius and not 11deg as forecasted in my Weather app. Then, my second predicament, do I have enough money to pay for my visa? I haven’t checked which currency or how much I was able to get from my backpack’s pocket. They had a sign that they accept credit cards and I felt relieved because a card was in my pocket. When I took it out, it was my work permit! I thought that the visa would cost $50. I checked my bills and there was $40 dollars and I was already trying to figure out if the RM50 I also had in my pocket would be enough to cover the rest. When I came closer to the visa payment counter, the sign said it’s $40 for a 30-day stay. *Insert sigh of relief *
When I got to the immigration officer, he asked me about my job. Since I have a Philippine passport, he asked if I work in the Philippines. I said I work in Palau. He just nodded his head, but I can see by the distant look in his eyes that he doesn’t know where that is. He asked me what organization I work for. I said, “Surangel and Sons”. He nodded again and said, “okay, but where do you work, what organization?” I was a bit confused and then I remembered that my work permit is in my pocket. So, I just handed it to him and let him read for himself. Then, we understood each other (MU na kami, charot!). I got my passport stamped and out of the airport I went.
There was another drama related to the taxi ride to my hostel but I’m already sleepy to type that story.
So today, I went around Thamel. This was how I looked like in the taxi going to Thamel.
And this me going back to the hostel.
I went to Thamel as a bank robber and came back as an Abu Sayaff.
The roads are so dusty! So much road construction not going on. Confusing? Well there are some materials on the road for construction but no one is working.
What did I do in Thamel? I bought some hiking equipments. I bought a daypack backpack (a Deuter knockoff), a pair of trekking poles, a wide brimmed hat, knitted mitts and the head thingy (I don’t know what they’re called). I also bought an Annapurna Circuit map, a charger adapter, a sim card with data subscription. I know I might have overpaid a bit for some of the items but I don’t have energy to haggle. I just wanna it to be over and done with. I just think of it as helping the local tourism industry.
I ate in a very unassuming place that is top rated in TripAdvisor, the Thamel Doner Kebab. I had the Chicken Kebab Doner Shawarma because I love, love Persian food!
That big piece only cost $2.80! I want to go back tomorrow and have the falafel wrap.
I had a snack at the Brotchen Bakery cafe and had a lemon cheesecake and a masala tea. It was my first time to eat a warm cheesecake. They actually reheat that stuff before serving.
After that, I went back to my hostel and chilled (I love how appropriate this word is to me right now. Lol) with my roommates.
The lady in white is from Hongkong and she’s leaving tonight. She did the Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) trek. The guy is British who I have to say “say that again please” several times before I actually understood his first sentence. My ears had to adjust to his accent, no matter how beautiful it was.
On a side note, I love what the cold weather does to my hair! I did not even need to use a conditioner and it still looks a lot better than when I use tons of it in a hot climate.