After a pleasant week in Pokhara I returned to the big city. Soon after I got back to the Potala Guest House I was walking over to a friend’s gem and jewelry shop when I encountered a parade of school children. They were all wearing their traditional clothing so I had to stop and take some photos.
I took the Greenline Bus to Pokhara and was there for Holi, which was a bit more laid back than Kathmandu would have been. I like using the Greenline Bus Company for several reasons. First, it leaves an hour later than the cheaper Tourist buses, and second, it includes a buffet lunch in the ticket price. Lunch is always served at a very nice riverside hotel about half-way between Kathmandu and Pokhara. Being a buffet, it is easy to just select the vegetarian options.
This year, due to a scheduling conflict, I couldn’t get to Kathmandu in time for the big Losar party or the Shiva’s Slaves Run, but I did arrive during Losar and got some great shots of the Boudhanath Stupa with it’s new top and strung with colorful lights.
Zamskhang Palace Ruins
Tegar, Nubra Valley
Nubra Valley, also called the Valley of Flowers, is situated in the northeast corner of Ladakh, near the Tibetan border. At one time it was located on the southern Silk Road trade route between Yarkhand, in Xinjiang, and Leh, the capital of Ladakh. This obscure corner of the Himalayas is reached from the capital by traversing the Khardung La, at 5,602 meters it is referred to as the “highest motorable pass in the world”. A special permit must be obtained in Leh before the journey can even be attempted.
In early January 2017 I traveled to Koh Phayam again. It was still one of my favorite obscure islands in Thailand, and it hadn’t changed much in the intervening nine months. No cars allowed and I stayed at PP Land once more. It’s quite isolated, even by Koh Phayam standards, and I appreciated it even more after I had a chance to see the more populated beaches.