Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nepal Day 11: Pokhara Street View

Pokhara's lake shore area is mainly catering to tourists.  The area is purposely kept very clean, the roads are more proper.  Part of the reason may be also the royal palace is located in that area too.  However, once you go out of the major tourist area, then it is another story.  The roads are more dusty, the buildings are more run down. 

In the morning, we went to look for the Tourist Bus Terminal, which Abi said it was 10 minutes walk from our guest house.  Wow,  Abi walks a lot faster than me.  His 10 minutes turn out to be many more minutes.  Along the way, I had to ask quite a number of people for directions.  Luckily, Nepalis are in general very kind.  They are happy to direct me to the right direction. 

At one time, I was a bit lost at a traffic junction.  A van driver behind us asked us whether we were looking for a taxi.  When I told him that we were looking for the Tourist Bus Terminal, he smiled to tell us it was just 200 meters away and pointed us to the direction. 

So as I walked to the tourist bus terminal, I also captured some random street views.  I sincerely hope that I am capturing part of the history of Nepal, and when I return the next time, Pokhara have changed for the better.

I thought the Tourist Bus Terminal should be some building with a big car park for all that tourist buses.  To the contrary, there is hardly anything at the tourist bus terminal, not even a sign in English saying hey, this is the tourist bus terminal, man.  Nothing but a dusty empty land.

Do you see that piece vacant land there beside the 3-story building?  That's where the tourist bus terminal is.  I doubted my judgment at first, until I asked someone there to confirm it was indeed the tourist bus terminal.  It is rudimentary, but functional.  The bus terminal is only crowded and full of life in the morning, before 7.30am.  7.30am seems to be the time that ALL the tourist buses will leave.  After that, the bus terminal returns to its emptiness and quietness.

There is hardly any modern building in town, let alone Singapore type of shopping centres.  People there in general still seem to be very poor.  I don't quite understand.  Nepalis are in general hard working.  And they have been ushering in western tourists since the 1970s.  After so many years of tourism development, why is this country still so poor?  However, WJ, my friend who just paid a visit to Tibet last May, told me that Nepal is in many aspects better than many parts of Tibet, in terms of tourist facilities, and hospitality.  Sanitation facilities such as toilet is rudimentary in Nepal, but it is still one class better than Tibet. 

In that case, more so Nepal should be a bit more rich than they are now.  I sincerely wish Nepali people having a better life in the not too far future.  They deserve a better life for their hard work. 

You can find a complete list of blog entries about my Nepal trip here.

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