Cold season in Kathmandu? Not at Tings!

The average night temperatures in Kathmandu gets down to 2 °C-  3 °C

… BUT it feels like a freezer – especially if you stay in a place without Heating.

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… I practically ran upstairs to my room after picking up a couple of beers and some snacks from the corner store. And I quickly discovered that the room must have been a recently-converted meat locker — I could see my breath, it was so cold and damp. The brick and cinder-block buildings in Kathmandu have little-to-no ventilation or heat and never seem to shed the cold from the night before. I climbed into my sleeping bag, slid it under the quilt and reached for the remote.

There wasn’t much on –it’s true the world over– and I found that my favorite channel was one that showed devotional videos. They featured background images of waves crashing in the moonlight and would pan the camera all around and zoom to and fro, but there’s really only so much you can do to jazz up a video of a chanting 80 year old man. Eventually I found the one English-language movie channel and suffered through half of Keanu Reeve’s remake of The Earth Stood Still and then RoboCop.

While watching RoboCop, I learned why it’s a mistake to stay in the heart of the Thamel district: the world’s worst classic rock cover band fired up at a bar down the alley and I was quickly overpowered by a painful rendition of Smoke on the Water. The guitarist was actually pretty good but the drummer had the wrong set-list and was playing Sweet Home Alabama. The singer was truly awful, screaming and slurring the lyrics in a pitch that had every dog in town howling.

I really shouldn’t be so tough on the guy, in retrospect, as he seemed to be self-administering a steak knife vasectomy at the same time and that level of multi-tasking takes real talent.

Johnny the Vagabond, 2011

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We have traveled and lived in Kathmandu so long that we sometimes forget how it is to arrive here for the first time

So I couldn’t help smiling when I read My first night in Kathmandu on the travel blog Johnny Vagabond. Especially about the surprise (or chock) it was to find out how cold it gets when the sun is gone. Sitting in your warm flat or in your local cafe in Down town Copenhagen with temperatures < -10 C reading about night temperatures of 3 C in Kathmandu’s cold season didn’t frighten us – especially when it gets around 20 during the day time.

But the first evening/nights/mornings in Kathmandu in the winter was as big a surprise to us, that is was for Johnny. The problem is that almost all houses in Nepal are brick houses without the isolation we’re used to, with leaking windows, and no heating at all. Most restaurants are freezing cold which means that you’re deep frozen when you get to your Hotel or Guest House and climb into your freezing cold bed looking forward to the coming morning when the first beams of the sun reach the valley and slowly make the thermometer climb to more human levels.

We know what we’re talking about. Due to last years gas & petrol blockage at the Nepal/Indian border we lived without gas heating at Tings, and with open fire cooking for 5 months. Like the rest of the country  😦  Luckily the blockage stopped, and Tings is again probably the warmest place in Kathmandu 🙂

Tings… Probably the warmest place in Kathmandu

Having experienced how cold it gets December – March we took an important (and expensive) decision right from the start: We want Tings Kathmandu to be a warm and cozy place where our guest don’t get stressed and frightened by the cold. 

  • We have gas heaters in all rooms and lounge
  • Our hotel guest only common kitchen/working/chilling space on the top floor has the best fireplace in town.
  • All rooms have Western European Down duvets
  • If needed (for cozyness) you can get hot bed bottles to warm up your bed
  • Our very popular winter menu has a selection of classic winter items: French Onion Soup, Rillettes de Wild Boa, Confit de Chicken and for drinks: Mulled Wine, Rhum Grogg and the local classic Hot Lemon & Ginger with or without Honey and/or rhum.

Johnny is a traveling vagabond like us

When it comes to location and music Johnny obviously reached the same conclusions as we did: Thamel is an interesting travelers HUB – but you don’t necessarily have to stay there – Hench Tings’ location in walking distance from Down Town).

And now you also know why we NEVER allow reggae, rock and pop at Tings. The horrible cover bands that drove Johnny crazy with their lousy versions of long forgotten Western classics is insane. Instead we encourage our musician friends to play their own fantastic local music while at the same time inspiring them by playing Western music they never hear elsewhere… jazz, EDM, World etc.

But that’s another story… 🙂

The most important issue right now and the following 3 months is the heating.

If you’re planning to be in Kathmandu during that period, remember to ask about the heating in your hotel before you book.

And if you’re desperate – come by Tings for an hour or two… maybe Ally will feel sorry for you and share his warmth in your lab….

Warm Hugs,

Thomas

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If Ally fells sorry for you and jump to your lap – FORGET ABOUT HEATERS 🙂

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