The Booby Traps of Kathmandu

by Rosemarie John on September 22, 2013

“Watch it!” yelled Joe. It was yet another loose electrical wire that had fallen and stood hanging some one feet from the ground. Engrossed in photographing the city life, I hadn’t noticed what was positioned right in front of me on the “pedestrian” walkway we were on.

If he hadn’t yelled, I would have tripped and fallen onto a pile of garbage that was stashed in a pothole on the side of the road. We were barely in the city for 2 hours and I nearly had a messy mishap. The rest of our city exploration was focused on avoiding such booby traps. In a way, we felt we were on an obstacle course. We took it in stride as we soaked up the ambience of the chaotic city that is Kathmandu.

Any visitor to this mystical land experiences awe and annoyance in equal measure. The anarchic traffic jams, overflowing garbage, stench of animal faeces, wobbly electrical poles, gaping potholes and unpaved roads are the ugly side which is bound to at times outshine the beautiful. But what is an adventure if it doesn’t include a few crazy moments?

Have you been to Kathmandu? What was your experience manoeuvring the streets like?

Dangling Wires of Kathmandu

More dangling wires in knots

The dangerous electrical poles

Wires on the main street

A typical scene in Thamel

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Shirley September 26, 2013 at 1:04 am

I haven’t been to Kathmandu and these descriptions are intriguing enough for me to put it on my bucket list. I agree with what you said, besides, every good thing has a bad side in it. Nice photos by the way. 🙂


Eleanor Middleton February 3, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Great Photos. I’ve been living in Kathmandu and I still frequently trip over in the streets, or almost hit my face on some barb wire (scary). Actually I wrote a blog post about the streets of Kathmandu where I said “Sometimes Kathmandu resembles an obstacle course of sorts, as many streets do not have intact footpaths, and construction often blocks the way of pedestrians.” so it made me smile that you also said that “we felt we were on an obstacle course”.


Rosemarie John February 3, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Hi Eleanor, you must be coming across much more booby traps than we did in the few days there. Would love to read your post. Could you paste the link here? Hope you’ve memorized your daily obstacle course by now 😉


Eleanor Middleton February 3, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Oh! I honestly thought I put the link in my first comment. Here:


Rosemarie John February 4, 2014 at 2:13 am

Haha, no worries… just read your piece, left a comment there too! 🙂


Lesley Peterson April 23, 2015 at 7:29 am

Wow. Official and unofficial standards vary everywhere which is why I’m a huge fan of travel health insurance:) Kathmandu sounds a challenge but looks amazing–love your photos!
Lesley Peterson recently posted…Visions of Mughal India and Howard Hodgkin paintings at Aga Khan Museum, TorontoMy Profile


Rosemarie John April 23, 2015 at 8:07 am

Yes… travel insurance! Don’t leave home without it. LOL But you are right, the main reason for travel is discover different aspects of life in different cultures. Love it.


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