I got a fairly cheap Air Arabia flight from Istanbul to Kathmandu via Sharjah, my second time flying to the Subcontinent with this nice budget airline that gets you a day-long layover in the UAE. Since my flight arrived in Kathmandu late in the evening, I wanted a quiet place to stay for the night within walking distance from the airport. I decided on Shechen Guest House, which is in Boudha, east of Kathmandu just off the ring road.

Shechen Guest House is run by Shechen Gompa, one of a number of Tibetan exile monasteries in Boudha. It is frequented by Westeners looking for contemplative or at least unnoisy lodgings. Nice clean sheets, attached bathroom and breakfast for 1300 Nepali rupees a night (~ 11€). There’s a lovely garden in the centre of the property, and a great big bookcase whose biggest attraction for me were some Lonely Planet travel guides from the 1980s (my, how the brand has changed).

The next day (I awoke to very hazy skies), I walked into the centre of Boudha. This is dominated by Bou­dhanath Stupa, built in the 5th century AD and circumambulated this morning by several tens of pilgrims. Many of the signs on shops are written in Tibetan alongside or instead of Nepali.