If you follow a few travel message boards you will see the ‘dress code for women’ question pop up from time to time. That and teaching a few classes on cultural made me a bit more sensitive to the question. So here I go with what I saw in Nepal. Personally, me being from India, decoding the dress code in Nepal is not much of an issue, we are quite similar. I personally I think Nepali women are better dressed but then for me a jeans and a well worn T-shirt is haute couture. So don’t go by what I say.
Women at Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal
So this first picture is from Thamel, Nepal which is the tourist hub and these three Nepali girls were walking through, as you can see in various western dresses. The pictures I use in this post are clicked either at Kathmandu or Pokhara. Kathmandu is the capital city and Pokhara a bigger tourist place. However even on my treks I found younger local women wearing jeans and trousers quite commonly. And if it is not cold T-shirts are fine everywhere.
A Nepali Woman in her Traditonal Attire, Pokhara, Nepal
At Phewa Lake in Pokhara you will find boat women plying tourist boats and some of them dress in their traditional dress. However, a lot of local girls would I am sure use them only for special occasions, so obviously no one expects tourists to wear it. Also dresses would be different by region and clans I guess.
Local Women at Phewa Lake, Pokhara, Nepal
For example, people from nearby villages come to Pokhara in their boats and you can see the women less traditionally dressed as they came for some personal work and were returning to their village by boat.
A Group of Nepali Women at Pokhara, Nepal
Then there was a group moving together and you can see people wearing everything from a Sari, to Salwar Kurta to trousers to long skirt, all in the family or the group.
Local Girls at Pokhara, Nepal
Now don’t you agree that Nepali women have a great sense of dressing and they look like young people anywhere in the world? And both of them look so sure of themselves!
A Local Girl Busy with her Mobile, Pokhara, Nepal
And then there was this girl who was all eyes only for her cell phone, she was so busy! So wearing knee length skirt is also fine, at least in Pokhara and Kathmandu.
A Tourist at Pokhara, Nepal
And then there was this tourist who seemed to be in a rush and quite comfortable with her attire as was the local girl in the other picture.
Sari and Jeans, Pokhara, Nepal
So while in countries like Nepal, India, Sri lanka people still dress traditionally, it is not that it is the only way to dress. You can find people in a sari and a couple in western attire in the same frame.
Shorts, Jeans, and Comfortable Trousers, Pokhara, Nepal
And it is not that no one wears a shorts! As I said all the pictures were either clicked at Pokhara or Kathmandu which gets a lot of tourists. And I hope seeing some of these images would help you decide how the local women and tourists dress in these places at Nepal. Hope it will help you decide what to wear in Nepal.
Swayambhunath at Kathmandu is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site at the Kathmandu Valley. It was part of my day tour of Kathmandu after coming back from my trek to the Everest Base Camp. When I entered the premises I encountered this wishing fountain and this girl was sincerely making a wish!
No I didn’t wish for anything, I could trek successfully up to the base camp and that was enough for me for a while. Here are the wishing coins that you are supposed to buy to throw in the bowl in middle of the fountain. It was not an easy task. Your wish would come true only if you could aim the coin into that bowl.
I have seen lamas playing football, talking on cell phones and eating in restaurants, heck one was even wearing a shirt that said Chick Magnet! But this was the first time I saw a lama manning a fruit stand!
This is the main premise of the Swayambhunath.
And this is how the Kathmandu City looks from the elevation of Swayambhunath.
Once again when I was there it was mid day and I had washed out skies but I now do look at the pictures more kindly.
I had a few spare days in Kathmandu when I trekked to the Everest Base Camp in May 2012. While going to the trek I refused to venture out anywhere as I was just too tired and I wanted to complete the trek first. But on the return I was persuaded by Puru (the owner of the trekking agency I went with) to take a tour of Kathmandu. It included a trip to Swayambhunath, Boudhanath, Pashupatinath and Patan. Today I will post some pictures from Boudhanath. It is a religious stupa for Buddhists but it is quite a fascinating site even if you are not religious.
When I visited Boudhanath it was a grey sky that greeted me. But imagine clicking pictures when there is a blazing sunset around this site! Boudhanath along with 7 other places in Kathmandu Valley are part of UNESCO World Heritage Site. The above picture has been clicked from the rooftop of the monastery within the complex.
I could climb the stairs and go around the stupa. Only the upper most structure is out of bounds. It is very crowded but as it is so huge it is still a very peaceful experience.
The stupa is completely surrounded by shops selling souvenirs and restaurants. I didn’t go to any restaurants but I did buy two earrings from a small shop.
And there were these lovely flowers in large numbers at the stupa. And I am now kicking myself for not clicking a picture that could show the large numbers that were present.
When I saw these pictures after the trip I didn’t feel like posting any but now that a few months have gone by I think they are not that bad!
This is Patan at Kathmandu, Nepal. Patan is a UNESCO World Heritage site and I visited it after completing my Everest Base Camp Trek. It is an ancient town that has been restored and preserved. Narrow lanes around it sell souvenirs and food.
But I remember it for another reason. You see the picture? So many people were having a quite afternoon sitting and doing almost nothing. Most of the vacations I take, I cram it so much with activity that I yearn for one where I do nothing. Have you ever taken that kind of a vacation? I can’t remember any.