Life in the towns
Kathmandu is growing in size rapidly - new buildings everywhere and the city invading the countryside. You need to brace yourself for the initial apparent chaos of Kathmandu streets. Bikes, rickshaws, taxis, motorbikes, animals and pedestrians all compete for space. Your senses are assaulted with the noise and smells of street life and the visual clutter of a proliferation of signs. Along the ring road small shops abound. In smaller towns there is a total mix of busy urban and country life. There is little or no privacy - people meet together, play and work outside. All human activity appears to centre around the street. Bus transport is very cheap ( less then 10p to travel anywhere in Kathmandu ) and available throughout the country. It is, however, very cramped and often uncomfortable - which is why so many travel on the roof! There are many open air stalls to tempt you with produce. Some are well stocked, others pitifully small. There are few butchers' shops and those that do exist normally display one or two live animals outside. Customers ask for a joint and when sufficient has been ordered the animal is killed and the meat lies in the open air awaiting collection. Barbers and dentists sometimes work outside. To see the photos click here.