Help for Tourists Needing Long-Term Housing in Nepal

Everyone seems to think tourists are ; nothing can harm them. The truth is that problems can crop up while traveling that there is just no way to prepare for. No matter where you are, when financial issues come the best thing is to take a couple months off and live like a local.  But that doesn't mean you need to your health, safety or quality of life. Get settled into your own little flat/room. Now hunker down, get a few online jobs and get back on your feet.  Two can live here for about $500 a month pretty easily. The problem is, up until now, there hasn't been anyone helping the tourist to do that. We are using the furniture from Star View Guest House to help travelers. Being down on your luck isn't the only reason you might want to settle down in your own little flat or room. No, it isn't always about money. I have seen how difficult it is for travelers, whether traveling for pleasure, volunteering or digital nomad travelers to stay in Nepal on the ultra cheap. You&…

New Chapter for Star View Guest House

First, I'd like to say, 'thank you' to all our guests through these past 5 years. It's been wonderful meeting so many people from so many places. Who would have thought a widow from the US could go to a little country like Nepal and have such awesome adventures?

My goal for the guesthouse was to have a place for myself and other westerners to stay where we could be shielded from the dangers and annoyances of life in a developing country. Yes, I did manage to do that. We managed 5 years without getting anyone sick from our kitchen germs. Not bad. However, and it's a big 'however,' it's been push, push, push. 'Don't use the cleaning cloth from the floor on the counter.' 'When we are running low on milk, bread or other supplies please put them on the list and buy them before we run out.' 'Don't use the same cleaning cloth for the toilet as for the sink.' 'Please don't take a nap on the rooftop without asking.' A…

Small Guesthouses in Nepal-What You Need to Know-What You Can Expect

Especially Americans and Europeans from more developed parts of Europe, you'll need to understand a few differences in accommodation and the standard of care you'll receive in countries like Nepal.

As much as it pains me to admit, we recently had a couple of guests who were disappointed in the quality of our little guesthouse. The first one swore she paid online when in reality she did not. She actually didn't pay and I think I even paid for her taxi ride here because she didn't have Nepali money. The worst part was that she gave us a 3.8 review for our room with a TV, private bath and a lovely view of the Himalayan foothills. Yet, she never complained while she was here. Now I realize it was probably a well-thought-out scam to get free housing. If you lie first you can blame the other person of making something up because of a bad review.

Small guesthouses usually have a stairwell right up the center of the building like ours. With 4 rooms on each floor i…

10 things to do in Changunarayan Village

Shortly after I got to Nepal someone invited me to do a home-stay in his village. Somehow I thought there would be something to do. He managed to convince me to commit to 3 nights. It was quiet, peaceful and grandma ground some coffee beans on an ancient grinding wheel for my morning coffee, so I guess it was memorable after all.

Changunarayan isn't like that. It is also the last stop on the bus route, but Changunarayan is only an hour bus ride, it's close enough to see Kathmandu on most days. My friend's village is an 8-hour bus ride and the bus only comes once a day. Buses come to Changunarayan every 30 minutes.

Whether you stay with one of the village families with a home-stay, one of the Nepali guest houses or Star View, depending on what level of comfort you like, here are 10 things to do in Changu:

1. Rent mountain bikes to ride for a day or two. There are biking trails all along the Valley Rim Route. The bikes are 800 NRs. per day each. Call 015141181 to reserve yo…

Having a Healing Experience in Nepal

People come to Nepal to trek and see the sites, but may completely miss the opportunity to have a spiritual or healing experience. The Vipasana meditation retreats are available in a few monastaries; we are happy to help arrange something for you while you are here. These are usually for a donation only.

There are also lesser known things to do. There are shamen in various traditions from Hindu and Buddhist to lesser known, indigenious methods. The majority of  these people don't speak English, so you will need to have a Nepali guide take you. I went to a few of these healers with mixed results. One time I went to a Nepali man in a dark room up a few flights of ancient, wooden stairs. I sat on the floor while he treated others by giving them special oils, herbs and religious instruction. Then there was the main treatment, hitting the patient with a broom.

I didn't really have a complaint, but had been dealing with intermittent pain in my right shoulder joint from riding on th…

Dinnertime at Star View Guest House


Making Star View Even Better

Seems another tourist season has come and gone. It was pretty good and I enjoyed seeing Thamel lined with tourists on a couple of occasions, especially since there are no cars in the shopping district streets.  We've been doing repairs and upgrading the property by painting the common areas, but that's not all. We finally tiled our problematic kitchen wall. We couldn't figure out what to do with it so we tiled it from floor to ceiling. It looks so nice and clean now with the added benefit of having a place to write our shopping list.
Our other improvements are on our rooftop terrace. We got our wrought iron chairs delivered. I found a small shelf to get all our coffee/tea time things off the table. I finally found cups that don't break without a whole lot of effort. We don't use plastic, other than for food canisters, and no aluminum; cups and glasses can get pretty pricey.  We have started the tradition of serving complimentary coffee and homemade dessert each af…