Friday, August 5, 2011

Even more Bhaktapur!

We've already introduced you to the tangy deliciousness of Bhaktapur curd (link) and to the racy carvings of the animal sex temple (link).   But what about, you know, that UNESCO World Heritage stuff?
Hmmm.... let me consult my guidebook.
[DSM: Nice seatbelt]
[JLM: Nice parasol]
Bhaktapur is located 13 km from Kathmandu.  Founded in the twelfth century, it was the capital of Nepal until the mid-fifteenth century.  Bhaktapur's Durbar Square is similar to Kathmandu's Durbar Square - only with fewer people, fewer touts, and a much more peaceful atmosphere.
Hardly anyone there.  Heaven.

"I think I can see your sex statue from here."
"Oh, man. I'll never live that down."

Immediately after this photo was taken: "You got a rupee for me?"
A 1000 year old elephant statue really makes for a great jungle gym
Platonic friends.
Special friends.

The back streets of Bhaktapur are cobblestoned, peaceful and charming, full of fluttering prayer flags, adorable children and surprising decorations.

Bhaktapur is also known for its pottery and its decorative masks.  Clay pots, candlesticks, ashtrays and more are laid out to dry all over the town, but especially centered around Pottery Square (actual name, I think), where huge kilns made of grass are fired up on every corner.  We were even invited to try our hand at the pottery wheel.
Pots are laid out to dry in the sun
Two women haggle over the price of a pot
Splitting wood for fuel for the kiln fires.
This looks like a tough job.
A friendly pottery professional
I am really bad at this.
We shared a Ghost moment.
It was a lot like this. But more Nepali.
Trying one of Bhaktapur's famous masks on for size.
If you go:  Bhaktapur is an easy 45 minute mini-bus ride from Kathmandu.  The admission price for the city, however, was perhaps the highest we've encountered anywhere in Southeast Asia - over $10 USD.  I think it was well worth it to experience a Kathmandu Valley town that we enjoyed a million times more than Kathmandu itself.

More Bhaktapur photos are available here.

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