Asia Forums

Post New Topic

Recent Activity

View all Asia activity »
  1. 1 China in june-July
  2. 2 Driver for a 18 day trip in Sri Lanka?
  3. 3 Seeking Help With My Sri Lanka And South India Itinerary: Rough Draft #1
  4. 4 ? Regarding Can Tho floating market
  5. 5 Recommended novel for those visiting (or who have visited ) Cambodia
  6. 6 Bali - What to do?
  7. 7 Road Scholar tour in China
  8. 8 China in July
  9. 9 Seim Reap: hotels?
  10. 10 Trip Report How to choose a hotel in Luang Prabang
  11. 11 Where to go for 3 days in SEA after business meeting in Singapore?
  12. 12 Trip Report On the road again - to Incredible India.
  13. 13 Trip Report Problems turned opportunities-Myanmar
  14. 14 Month in Cambodia and Laos - January 2017
  15. 15 Is Halong Bay too touristy or still worth the visit?
  16. 16 Where to stay in Tokyo
  17. 17 Tuk-tuk, songthew or taxi?
  18. 18 Internship in Beijing - 4 weeks Where to stay?
  19. 19 Being customs
  20. 20 Itinerary feedback please :)
  21. 21 ?driver/guide recommendation in Chiang Rai/Chiang Mai
  22. 22 Itinerary help - 10 days Japan
  23. 23 Tips in Myanmar
  24. 24 Elephant Hills or Elephant Haven in Thailand?
  25. 25 Thailand Itinerary with kids--advice needed
View next 25 » Back to the top

Trip Report Dogster: The road to Phulbari

Jump to last reply

It’s a nasty stretch of road from Thamel to Dhulikel, a pot-holed, pock-marked plod of a highway that stretches from Kathmandu to China. The air is filthy, the traffic is vile, horns and screeches, belching fumes warn the incoming of more hell to come, console the outgoing with thoughts that there must be somewhere better than this. A wise punter would just wind up the windows and think of home.

Stick with it. After about an hour of this, just as you get to Dhulikel, if you dare open the windows, you’ll find yourself breathing in real, live air. It’s no illusion. One side of this horrid Nepali tourist town is open to the valley below. Tourism has built a row of hotels pointing at the non-existent view of the Himalayas in the distance. This is the raison d’etre of Dhulilkel – the view.

‘Ptooey,’ you can say, as your car takes a mysterious right, just before the Bus Station Square. In a blink you’re off the bitumen and in the hills. Hardly a house, just a brief Bhutan of jungle, a Darjeeling of descending slopes, a Bali of rice paddies etched layer by layer in curves down the steep sides of the mountain. Yup, you’re climbing through a mountain, curving along the ridges, up, up, up from Dhulikel. The odd person will pass you on the road. Watch their expression. See that double take, that ‘what on earth are foreigners doing here?’ expression?

That’s when you know you’re in Dog-world.

Stay focused. When the big views swing from the right-hand side of the car to the left and get bigger… you’re nearly there. Well, kinda. Now is the time to offer soothing words of encouragement to your driver. The road hasn’t just got worse; it’s just got worse than that. If you can’t see anything out the window, don’t fuss. That’s not blind panic; there’s a shower coming through.

Everything goes white. The road turns to river, the rivers turn to mud. You’re driving up a mountainside in Nepal and you can’t see a thing. If you could see the view you’d be gasping. You’re gasping anyhow, but that’s just sweet Nepali fear – you ain’t stopping till you get to the top.

Note your driver’s body language. If his head is swiveling from side to side, if he’s muttering ‘no-o-o-o, no-o-o-o…’ you’ll know you’ve almost arrived. Right at the peak of despair you’ll come to the next turn off. This one goes left.

Well, what’s left of the road goes left.

47 Replies |Back to top

Sign in to comment.

Advertisement