If you stop any expat on the streets of Dhaka and ask them where to stay in Kathmandu, they’ll respond without batting an eyelid.
I’m not even kidding – two weeks ago, a friend asked for recommendations and this is what she got:
It’s a bit of a local secret… A beautiful sanctuary of calm, fresh bread and good tea: the perfect antidote to the Dhaka crazy. Located in Lazimpat, 15 minutes (walk) from touristy Thamel, you have access to everything you could want – momos, shops, markets, beer – without the stress of navigating hawkers every time you step out onto the street.
Right outside Tings: the narrow alleys are quiet and dotted with Hindu temples
But with its beautiful outdoor spaces, loads of cosy lounge areas and nooks, why leave at all? As one friend put it: ‘I spent two weeks in Nepal last January and literally 80% of my time was spent in Tings’.
Yes, that is an actual book nook. I think I’m in love.
Off the bottom ‘hostel’ rung but still affordable, Tings is a guesthouse, not a hotel, and it’s all about the atmosphere.
The view from one of our rooms on the ground floor. Exhale.
Reserve your room ahead of time – word has got around and it books out quickly. Ollie and I left it a little bit late for our recent trip to Nepal, but the lovely staff found rooms for all our days there and the upshot was that while we had to move from room to room, we got to see what the whole place has to offer.
The ‘Garden Queen’ room
The ‘Sunny Lounge’
…We also stayed in Gallery West (lovely upstairs room) and the White Lounge (a bit swish). Stay in any of them, you can’t go wrong. Every room has its own character and charm, scattered with little details and artworks I wanted to steal (apparently a Danish artist has spent a lot of time here and many of the interesting prints are his work).
Attention to detail.
Breakfast is included and it will make your day. Fresh, home-made bread with butter and great jams, delicious muesli, fresh curd (plain yoghurt) and eggs cooked up how you like them (ask for the masala omelette). The staff, who I’ve already mentioned but deserve to be praised at least twice, are local people hired (by the expat owners) not for their experience but their personalities – the result is that the whole staff is friendly and generous with their time and knowledge.
And then there’s the tea. You can get sweet, milky chai anywhere in Nepal but what Tings has to offer is something special:
Nepal has excellent teas that you never get a chance taste in Nepal due to the tradition of chiya. We have made a small selection of our own favorite teas from Nepal and from other parts of the world – a selection ranging from the most delicate white tea to the aromatic and spicy teas.
Of course, all tea comes in an adorable array of local teapots. Of course.
Needless to say, it was a great 5 days away. When our feet were sore from walking and our brains and hearts were full with all the amazing things to see in Kathmandu and the surrounding valleys, we scurried back to Tings for refuge, calm and a beautiful pot of tea.
The cats know how it’s done. Time to relax.