Category Archives: Travel

Chhori’s visit to the Zoo in Nepal

The last time we went to zoo was when we went to Nepal with my then 6 months nephew. This time we wanted to take the little girls, Chhori and our niece, there.

The zoo is located a few kilometres away from the city centre, Kathmandu. It is the only zoo in Nepal but there has been about talk about opening another zoo somewhere else as well.

We went there with AS’s mum, his two brothers, sister in law and niece. We really wanted the girls to have a good time. As it was Saturday afternoon, as expected the zoo was busy with many families coming for an afternoon out. It was a warm sunny day which was great.

The zoo is arranged according to taxonomy, with mammals, birds, reptiles and fishes all occupying different parts of the zoo. There are also playground rides, picnic lawns and boat rides on the lake.

The zoo houses some 780 species including the critically endangered white-rumped vulture and Chinese alligator and six endangered species: Asian elephant, royal Bengal tiger, one horned rhino, wild buffalo, gharial and yellow headed turtle.

Along with these animals, there was a hippo that was lazily sunbathing, a hyena, a giant deer, peacocks, white-napped crane, two big rhinos, monkeys, water buffalo, chimpanzees, leopards, bear, tigers, lions as well as golden pheasants, silver pheasants, chukar, kalij, parrots, owls. They also had a small reptile collection which featured a common cobra, an Indian rock python, snakes and a turtle.

As we walked from one enclosure to another, I could see the girls’ excitement. They would make noises of the animals that we saw or count the birds.

Chhori loves to look at real animals as she can hear them make noises and she gets really excited. I am so glad that she got time to spend with our families in Nepal and the girls did bond well despite fighting from time to time.

After the whole tour of the zoo, we were all tired so decided to go to a nearby restaurant for our favorite momo and Nepali food.

I have mentioned before that Chhori loves momo and she was over the moon in Nepal getting to eat so many times. In one occasion, she surprised us all by eating 8 momos in one sitting.  I guess she is showing us her Nepali side.  🙂

I hope everyone is having a great week. Take care till next time.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

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Chandragiri hill

When we were in Kathmandu this time, we didn’t get time to go out of valley but we still managed to go to a few places within the valley. One glorious sunny morning we started a trip to the newly opened Chandragiri Hill.

Located 16 km from Kathmandu, Chandragiri hill is in Thankot and it took us around 30 minutes to drive there. They have recently introduced cable car to the top of the hill making it good place for a family day out. We bought our tickets a few days in advance from Bhatbhateni supermarket so we didn’t have to queue up once we reached there.

When we reached the base of the hill, I was already very happy to see an amazing view of the surrounding mountains and hills. We quickly caught a cable car to the top. The ride is around two and a half kilometres long taking us around 9 minutes to reach the top.

When we reached on the top and came out into the open area, we were welcomed by the beautiful Himalayan range. The panoramic views of Kathmandu Valley and the Himalayan range from Annapurna to Everest makes you feel as if you were seeing the whole of Nepal from this hill. I am so glad we got there early in the morning because; the view from the top was worth it.

People used to trek for hours to get to the top of this hill to watch the same view which we were lucky enough to enjoy with the new cable car ride in just a few minutes.

On top of the hill there are restaurants, a kids’ play area, a resort, a multipurpose hall and shops as well.

Once we enjoyed the view of the beautiful landscape, we decided to walk further up to the temple of Lord Shiva, Bhaleshwor Mahadev.

We prayed to the god, went around the temple and then to the nearby restaurant to have our lunch.

It was Shivaratri that day so there was only vegetarian option on the menu. We all enjoyed the lunch and kids had a good time too.

After lunch we went to the other side of the hill which is where the kids’ play area is. I was so glad that they had thought things through and had so many different things for kids to enjoy including slides, rides, see-saw, climbing robes, swings etc.

Chhori and our niece spent more than an hour there and didn’t want to leave as they were having so much fun.

We all had a great time too with the whole family and it was definitely one of the best outing place to go near Kathmandu.

If you are looking for a good escape from the city and don’t have much time in Kathmandu, this day trip is highly recommended.

If you like to hike, you can still do so using the route from Matatirtha-Chandragiri- Chitlang. This hike takes you through forest and hills offering scenic views of Kathmandu valley and through Chitlang taking around 5-6 hours to complete the entire hike.

This much for today. I will come back with more posts from Nepal soon.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Chhori turns 2: the celebration party

We decided to have a party to celebrate Chhori’s birthday with our friends and family after puja. We started planning when we were here in Sydney with my in laws so we had a venue booked months in advance. I also found photographer via Facebook so they were booked for the day as well.

I am sure anyone who is trying to book an event from overseas goes through lots of frustrations when you can’t find the right vendor to execute your ideas. I had the same problem when we planned our wedding and it was no different this time.

We had no idea what was available in Nepal in terms of decoration so I bought everything I could think of from here and I am so glad I did. Because when we got there, I couldn’t get the things that we wanted.

As the venue and photographer were sorted, the next big thing was cake and decoration. I bought the Dora cake topper from here so we got the baker to do a cake with those. I was pretty happy with the cake.

We also ordered cupcakes which did not turn out as planned. The cupcake was not the pink colour we wanted and it was not decorated as we had explained but I guess we shouldn’t have set our expectation too high since everyone seemed to use their own ideas instead of following ours 😦

The biggest problem we faced was not finding a person to do helium balloons. After searching and talking to so many people, finally when I put out a call for help on Facebook and a friend gave us the number of a guy who did the balloons. We got the number just a day before the party and I was so worried on what to do until then.

The other big problem was our outfit. I had this vision to have me and Chhori wearing similar colour outfit and AS can have tie to coordinate with us. It turned out choosing the outfit was not easy as I planned because there are too many choices. Finally after going to a few boutiques, I settled on golden and fuchsia pink lengha and Chhori was getting fuchsia pink princess style gown.

It took many visits to get the dresses right fitting but the end result was perfect. I loved them.

It was a big job to find fuchsia pink tie in Kathmandu. The shop keepers had millions of other suggestions on the tie if they didn’t have the one I needed. But finally we found a shop that sold one and was super happy with it.

When the day of party arrived I was happy as most of the stuff were sorted. I got my make-up done and got dressed and got Chhori ready. AS was busy getting the decoration finished and picking up the cake.

He has always been so supportive of my ideas and when I plan, he helps me to make my plans come true. I think we complement each other well.

The photographers were already at the venue when we arrived. I was glad to see all the decoration looked as we planned. The hall was looking beautiful with hundreds of white and pink balloons floating around.

We had a few hours left before the guests arrived so we took photos of Chhori, us and with our parents.

 

Slowly, the venue started to fill with family and friends. I hadn’t met many of them for a while so it was great time for all of us.

After a couple of hours into the party, we cut the cake and then on to the dance floor as usual.

I had been teaching Chhori to dance to the Nepali move song “Sirai ma sirbandi” for the last few month but I didn’t know if she would dance or not. But she made us so proud by dancing to the song with all the right moves and steps. She actually danced twice to the song and we got some amazing photos and video of that. She was looking totally adorable and princessy in her cute outfit.

All our relatives were dancing and enjoying themselves as well. It was a really happy occasion for us to celebrate the birthday of our beautiful daughter with our close family and friends.

By 10 pm the guests had dinner and stared to leave. Chhori was really tired and was fast sleep on the sofa. It was a long day but we were very happy with the end result.

Chhori was spoiled by everyone with gifts, dresses and money. I know Chhori doesn’t understand much yet but we have some great photos and videos that she can go through when she is a bit older.

I will write more about our trip to Nepal in the next post. Till then take care.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Chhori turns 2 – Birthday Puja

One of the main reasons for our visit to Nepal this time was to celebrate Chhori 2nd birthday in Nepal with friends and family.

In Newari culture, for reasons unknown and out of tradition handed down from generation to generation, the first birthday of a child is not celebrated. When a child is born, we have chhaiti, nwaran then pasni. After pasni, the big celebration is second birthday, which is known as Nirbuni.

Time goes by so quickly and our little munchkin turned a BIG 2 on 20 Feb.

As we were in Nepal for the celebration, we followed Newari culture to perform her birthday puja.

In Newari culture, we make Yomari every even birthday 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12. Yomari is a delicacy of the Newars. It consists of an external covering of rice-flour and an inner content of sweet substances such as chaku (Molasses). Click here for the recipe.

We had planned things in advance for this and were happy that things came together as planned on the big day.

On her birthday, in the morning, MIL prepared for birthday puja with sagun (traditional plate typically consisting of a boiled egg, smoked fish, a “bara”, haku chhoila” and “aila” and “dhau”) .

We had other relatives who were invited for the occasion including my parents, uncles and aunts.

The puja started with tika and yomari mala (garland) from my MIL followed by ritual to pour bits of rice, radish, coins, and cucumber in a small container from her head. This is believed to drive any evil spirit.

Then it was followed by Sagun and gifts to her.She was really spoiled with gifts like dresses and jewelleries.

My parents had come with my relatives to celebrate Chhori’s birthday with lots of food which included rotis, fruits, sagun and gifts.

After my MIL my mum and aunt did similar puja. Tika and sagun was followed by gifts to Chhori, me, AS and to my in laws.

Chhori loved the whole process except when the yomari garland was put around her neck as the string annoyed her and she wanted to take it out. She was happy with so many people around us that day for the whole day. We really had a great time with all the relatives.

After all the puja was finished, we had cake smash for her too. What a difference a year can make. When we had done the cake smash on Chhori’s first birthday, she was happy to be messy and smashed the cake well, which gave us some amazing photos but this year she definitely has become a big girl.

At first she just used her finger to taste the cake and then asked for a knife to cut the cake when asked to smash it. Nevertheless we had a great time and she had a lot of fun sharing a piece with everyone.

The day was long but fun and exciting.

We had her birthday party on another day so I will write more about it in my next post.

Till then, take care everyone and happy Monday.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Arriving in Kathmandu

As I mentioned before, I was excited and scared going to Nepal. Not for anything else but just for Chhori as she is so young and I wasn’t sure if she would be OK or not. But on the flight from KL to Kathmandu, I didn’t feel any anxiety or confusion. I was just happy to go to Nepal and meet our friends and family.

The flight was a short one, only 4 hours and Chhori handled it well. It was a really nice feeling to see the Himalayan range and the beautiful landscape from the plane window as we got closer to Kathmandu.

I knew Chhori wouldn’t understand much but I was happily explaining to her that we were going to birth place of her parents.

As we landed, cleared immigration and took a lift to ground level of airport, we were welcomed by a chaotic scene with so many people that it was hard to walk around.

Apparently, 10 different flights had landed at that time in Kathmandu and as they were only 3 luggage carousel everyone was confused and running around looking for their luggage. I was so thankful that AS and my dad were with us and looking for our luggage while I had to look after a very curious toddler trying to touch everything and anything.

Finally we found our luggage and made our way outside. AS’s brothers were there to pick us up and we were happy to be away from all the chaos.

Every time I return to Kathmandu I see so many changes and it was the same this time too. All the roads and buildings bring back so many memories.

Chhori was having the time of her life in the car as there was no car seat and she could move around. She was meeting with her Kaka (uncle) and kaki (aunt) and cousins for the first time.

My FIL and MIL were very happy to see Chhori after a year. It was so nice to see the grandparents – grandkids relationship.

In next few days, we went and met other relatives including AS’s grandma and my grandma who are great grandmas for Chhori. I am so happy that she got to meet them.

The sad thing to see was that they have aged so much in the last 3 years and that their health had deteriorated a lot.

We did have a great time with all our relatives and I was happy Chhori was having an amazing time with them.

I am going to write more about our Nepal trip soon in another post. Till then, take care everyone.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Exploring Kuala Lumpur

Apart from Batu Caves and Petronas tower, we managed to go to a few more attractions around KL. To most of the places we caught a Grab car and after visiting the attractions we also found really nice places to try Malaysian cuisine. I still can’t forget all the yummy food they serve especially the variety of fish and meats. I think vegetarians might have a bit of trouble finding options to their liking though.

King’s Place (Istana Negara)

Due to my own lack of research, when we decided to visit King’s palace I was bit disappointed to know that you can view the palace only from the outside. The only plus side was that it is close to other attractions like the National Museum and the National Mosque so you can do some more right after viewing the palace.

You can only see the front gate, a bit of the garden and the front of the palace. As you can’t go inside, all tourist can do is take photos in front of the gate and with the guards. As I have mentioned many time, it is really hot in KL and the poor guards are in full dress uniform.

Kuala Lumpur City Gallery

We didn’t go inside the Kulala Lumpur City Gallery as Chhori was sleepy and was in no mood for it. Instead we took some photos with the “I heart KL” sign and went to the nearby Merdeka Square to rest and have lunch.

As it is so close to other attractions, it is worth going to KL city Gallery to take photos outside even if you are not planning to go inside.

Merdeka Square

Merdeka Square is a historical ground In KL where they celebrate their Independence Day. It is surrounded by museums and historical houses.

It has a 100 meter flag pole proudly flying the Malaysian flag.

Victoria Fountain

The Victoria Fountain was a gift from England to the kingdom of Kuala Lumpur in the 1800’s. It has very beauty details and looks amazing.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building

Sultan Abdul Samad Building was built in the 1800’s and is arguably the grandest display of Moghul architecture in KL with 41-meter high ‘Big Ben’ clock tower. It now houses the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Communication of KL.

Jamek Mosque

We walk past the Masjid Jamek and it is the biggest mosque that is also said to be the first brick mosque to be built in the city.

Petaling Street

We went to Petaling Street just to browse as we didn’t want to buy anything. They sell lots of imitation branded stuff like watches, perfumes, bags for quite cheap but the quality is suspect.

Overall we had a great time in Malaysia and I was so glad to be able to share this holiday with my parents. From KL, we caught a flight to Nepal to start our holiday with friends and family. I will write more about that in my next post.

Take care everyone,

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

On top of Petronas Twin Towers and Suria KLCC

I believe KLCC Petronas Twin Towers is one of the must visit areas in Kuala Lumpur and I was excited to take the whole family there. On my last visit, we made a mistake of not buying the tickets ahead of time which meant we wasted a few hours waiting for our turn. This time I bought our tickets from Sydney for our preferred day and time and we didn’t have to wait to go to the top of the tower.

The Petronas Twin Towers were the tallest towers in the world from 1998 until 2004, when Taipei 101 in Taiwan was built.

These towers are one of the main tourist attractions in Malaysia and tourists can visit organized tours to Sky Bridge and the Observation Deck.

I have to admit, the visit is very organised with many staff coordinating the tours so visitors can enjoy the views and take photos.

When we arrived a few minutes before our visit time, we were given lanyards to wear and wait for others in the queue to go up. We were given brief safety instruction and we were on our way to Sky Bridger on the 41st floor which was 170 meters above the ground.

 

The Sky Bridge connects the two towers together and is a double-decker structure with Level 41 being for visit operations and Level 42 being for private use by office tenants.

The sky-bridge is designed to not be physically attached to the two towers allowing for swaying of the buildings during high winds.

We were told we had 10 minutes to enjoy the views and take our photos. It was enough time for us to observe our surrounding and take photos. Chhori was having the time of her life running around and looking out the glass windows.

Once our time was up, we assembled again and were taken to another elevator which took us to the 86th floor to Observation Deck where we got 15 minutes.

While we enjoyed the view, one of their staffs came around and took a few photos from their cameras. He was nice enough to take some from our cameras too.

Chhori as usual was exploring every corner of the room. I am so glad kids can have so much fun no matter where they are.

As we finished on the Observation Deck, we went back to ground floor through souvenir shop where you could buy merchandise and also buy your photographs taken earlier by the staff.

Overall we have a great time going to the Petronas Twin Towers.

After the tower, we decided that we would do a quick shopping in the mall. It was close to Chinese New Year so we saw lots of decorations still hanging everywhere.

I went and bought a few shoes and went out to the KLCC Park where we managed to capture some nice photos with the towers in the background.

By then it was lunch time so we went out and had our lunch. I have always loved Malaysian cuisines and it was a treat to be able to choose from so many options. AS and my parents loved the food as well.

I will write more about our trip in my next post, till then take care everyone.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO