Last year we visited the beautiful city of Bhaktapur, twice. We fell so in love with the place that after our Annapurna trek we returned to make a short film there.
Set in the Kathmandu valley, Bhaktapur feels nothing like crazy hectic Kathamandu city. Populated by Newar people, the earliest inhabitants of the Kathmandu valley and its surrounding areas, Bhaktapur is so full of ancient culture, a visit there feels like stepping back in time. Among other things, Newar people are known for their contribution to the arts and this becomes apparent as soon as you set foot in the city.
Beautiful wooden temples – many of which are still being rebuit after the 2015 earthquake – are not just available for tourists to poke about in, they are the backbone of daily life. Early morning rituals, cobbled streets, secret pathways as well as a totally different language and cuisine from the rest of Nepal are just some of the things that make Bhaktapur such an exciting place to visit.
Kampot was beautiful. Kampot IS beautiful. You know when you go somewhere and you just get that feeling of contentment? That feeling that this is exactly where you’re meant to be and that you have everything to be thankful for? Well, Kampot was that place for us.
Had we taken note of the Lonely Planet guide’s wishy washy review of Weligama and not instead trusted our friend Luis’ advice, we may have simply passed through this utter gem of a place. The Lonely planet pretty much writes off the whole place as having a bit of a crap beach and loads of fishing. In fact, as we approached, I felt the need to warn Tom about the impending fish slaughter that we would be faced with 24/7.
What we actually experienced was 5 days of utter joy. We had only planned to stay a couple of nights, but extending it to 5 was a no-brainer. Weligama is very popular with surfers, as is its sister towns of Mirissa, Unawatuna and Midigama. Strewn across the coastline are hostels, guesthouses and restaurants all offering lessons and boards to sun kissed foreigners in surprisingly skimpy summer-wear. Many places offer cheap and basic accommodation right on the beach, which is pure bliss for surfer dudes and dudettes (Tom and I are neither of those, yet). If however, you drive away from the main strip, towards Jungle Beach you end up at the glorious Dinsara Pearl Villa, a family run guesthouse named after owner Noyel’s 3 year old son.
Because the guesthouse is positioned up the hill, it has the most wonderful view over Weligama Bay. A sprinkling of coral reefs means that although the water flows across to the beach over to the left, the waves break quite far out, in front of the guesthouse. Sea views really don’t get much more tranquil. So inspiring was the view that we both felt compelled to get creative. I wrote a tune and Tom made a video of the place for Noyel to put on his website, for which we were rewarded with a free night’s stay and some free grub.
HIYA, we're Tom and Amy. We left the UK in Feb 2016 to explore what the rest of the world has to offer. Amy left her job teaching music and Tom left his making videos. We hope to fill this blog with a combination of musings, creative offerings and useful advice. Let's be inspired! x