Start Point: D2HawkeyeServices (Kathmandu)
End Point: D2HawkeyeServices (Kathmandu)
Total Distance Traveled: 216+10
Participants: Rudra, SharadP, BinayaA, AnupS, AnupB, KapilP, NishchalS, SantoshK, Pradipna, Shiram, Nilesh and Vishnu
Creative Support: SuyeshN
I had heard a lot about Khasa since my childhood and finally I got the opportunity to visit one of the business hubs of the region. The word Khasa has been synonymous for place where one can buy varieties of items at pretty low price. So there we were, 13 of us, geared to hit the road to Khasa and planning to buy goods for family, girl friend, boy friend etc.
We started the trip from the premises of D2HS and hit the road east bound passing the Banepa valley en route to Khasa. Once we had left the city we were all streaming on the road beautified by the presence of waterfalls and hills. For someone like Anup Basnet, it was a wonderful sight to see as he had come from the US after 16 odd years. For others too, the sight of Himal and the sound of waterfall were breathtaking. The time of the day being morning made everything pleasant and warm. But all these wonderful beauties were not able to subside our hungers and so we stopped at Sharmeli’s Hotel to take some breakfast. Well for all those who have been to Sharmeli’s know exactly how warm a reception they receive. We too received a warm smile and greetings full of love. Rudra, Vishnu, Kapil, Santosh and some others had been to Sharmeli’s previously during Hiking sessions as well. So we were no new customer. She hurriedly got the breakfast ready. Here are the items we had for breakfast.
Chewra (Beaten Rice), Kukhura ko masu (Chicken), Saag, Keraou ko tarkari and Chiya (Tea)
So with empty vessels full, the chaps were ready for the road ahead.
The road now went through the foothills of Bhote Koshi. We stopped there for about 15 – 20 mins to visit the famous Last Resort. The suspension bridge from where many take the jump of their lives is a huge one. The sight of Bhote Koshi from the bridge was scary and at the same time breathtaking. The slightest of imagination of jumping from the bridge send the shivers down my spine. It certainly needs loads of courage and ample amount of self-confidence to bungee jump from there. Some of us vowed to return to Bhote Koshi for a bungee while others silently slipped into the van and showed their intents.It couldn’t get better than that. Now everyone had the adrenaline pumped up. Good for the journey.
So now we were inching towards the Tatopani bazaar. We passed Khadi Chaur on the way to Tatopani. Tatopani Bazaar is again another famous area, famous for the natural hot water. Rumor has it that once you bathe in the hot water, all your skin related diseases will be gone. Gone in like jiffy. So we went downstairs and washed our faces with the hot water. It certainly was warm and felt good. Thus with the sprinkle of water in our memories we moved ahead.
Finally we reached the border. We parked our vehicle and strolled towards the much hyped Khasa. The Nepal-China border is separated by a bridge called Miteri Puul (Friendship Bridge). After about 15 minutes walk we reached the check point atop the bridge. There were two neatly dressed Chinese Army personnel. One of them was checking the people crossing into China and the other was checking the people crossing out of China. The scene was pretty much similar to all the borders of Nepal except for one strange thing. Read it folks. It certainly left us awestruck.
Rudra and I hadn’t carried our citizenship cards. Rudra had his passport with him but I didn’t have any document that suggested I was Anup Sharma for real. As expected, at the checkpoint we were asked to show our relevant identity document. I had none so was out of the line but Rudra had his passport and he showed that to the Chinese Army. But the army personnel refused to let him in. He asked Rudra to get a Visa stamp in the passport. We were utterly and unpleasantly shocked. We had no other option than to fall back and think of an alternate way. Santosh suggested that we go to the Nepalese Customs Office (NCO) and get a document signifying that we are indeed Nepalese citizens. So we went back to NCO and asked the official there to get us a document. Surprisingly that document only had our names and nothing else. The document requested the Chinese Army to let the three persons in. So with that document we again marched to the Miteri Check Point. Then came the most interesting part of the entire trip, the Army official looked at the document and allowed us in. We were relieved but at the same time awfully shocked as well. That document could be used to let anyone in. The army didn’t validate the document with us. He simply let us in. Now what kind of checking and border control is that? This was amazing. While crossing the check point I marked another interesting stuff. The army was counting and remembering the no. of people crossing into China. Amazing!!!!!
Now we were all into Chinese territory. I in particular was inside China with no identity at all. This was always at the back of my mind while in China. So I was kind of unsecured. But soon this insecurity was about to be washed away. The shopping spree was about to begin. All of us now started visiting one shop after the other. Those who had previously visited Khasa suggested looking for mobiles, blankets and comforters in particular. Likewise we started scanning the market and buying whatever was needed. A mobile worth Rs 14,000 odd was available there at Rs 6,000. What more could you ask for? Shopping began in full fledged form. Of all the members, Nishchal was the one who bought maximum items (from Comforters to Blankets and shawls to jackets).
It certainly was a new experience to someone like me who had visited Khasa for the first time. So if I go to visit next time around, I will definitely buy some more stuff from there.
So after roaming around for three hours, we hit towards Nepal. At the end of the shopping spree we were all very hungry. Driven by the eternal force of hunger, all of us went to Tatopani to look for a good restaurant. Finally we found one in the Tatopani Bathing spot itself. The spot was a vantage point for many reasons.
a. A good place to eat and drink
b. A spot which provided excellent view of the river
c. A spot…. better ask Nishchal about this point…
Nishchal was busy taking snaps of the place. Why wouldn’t he? After all, the entire place had a majestic look and feel. There was a different aura of love in the air. Rudra couldn’t resist going for a hot water bath. Seeing Rudra going for the bath, Vishnu and Sharad also went for the bath. They both entered the same bathroom showing their respect for each other and their friendship. And yes, Anup Basnet also went for a dip. Rest were trying to play some eye games, sipping coffee and chatting about the trip.
Finally, the lunch arrived. The flavor of saag and chicken was irresistible. The combination of chewra and pickle along with that of saag and chicken made everyone voracious. The hunger was unleashed and everyone was gobbling the food like they were hungry for ages. In fact after such a long tour, we were hungry from the bottom of our tummies. So we ate like there was no tomorrow.
The images of Khasa, the flavor of various items that we ate on the way, the warmth of Chinese people, the aura of love, the sound of waterfall and river, the camaraderie of the tour members, the taste of political discussions, the rage of youthfulness, the adrenaline rush, the enigmatic view of Khasa, the conspicuous consumption of Khasa items, the uncompromising yet liberal Army at the check point and above all a great trip. That is what’s in my memory today. I bet a million dime, that must be in the memories of all those who went to Khasa that day from D2HS. C’est la vie at Khasa.
Long live Khasa and the trade that’s going on in there. Our economy definitely has some sort of dependency with Khasa. Even the harshest of the skeptics would agree to that.
01 Nature’s restroom
02 Sharmilee’s green
03 On a story of previous night
04 Moving out from 0 KM
05 Thought Vishnu was in the van!!
06 Bolero Road
07 2nd Highest Bungy station
08 Bridge to the last resort.
09 Niks is tired of this world
10 Kapil is thinking of following Niks
11 Open to locals too
12 Diamonds are forever
13 Famous Dolal Ghat
14 Ad Hoc Bridge
15 Chinese Architecture
16 Nilesh leading the team bk to the Van
17 Santosh, Kapil, Nilesh
18 The hill beyond the resort
19 Honey huntings in Nepal
20 Descending towards TatoPani (Hot Springs)
21 what to buy, too many choices
22 Salman Khan
23 Dilip Kumar
24 Rudra in his walking speech mode.
25 Photographer and the author
26 Looking down at the pilgrimage
27 Moon at afternoon. (only in China)
28 The hill beyond is Nepal and in frontis Nepal
29 Forests in China look different from Nepal
30 Snow Peaks spotted in China
31 Vishnu and Sharad thinking of turninginto monks
32 Can you spot a village on the Nepal side.
33 International Hiking
34 Rudra with his body guards
35 A bridge to Khasa (China)
36 New Supermarkets emerging and its darn cheap
37 Shopping in China
38 Lower khasa Market
39 Chinese defense strategy against Nepal
41 Clearer view from Niks Camera
42 Anyone for white water rafting.
43 Something wrong with my new coat. I was cheated
44 These are all my kids
45 Cozy and loaded on the way back.