Friendly Guest House didi really knew customer service to the tee! She went above and beyond to make our stay faultless. I don’t think she likes to stay still or maybe it’s all that she has to do that keeps her moving every second. Boil the water, peel the potatoes, wash the dishes, rush to quickly say Hello to another bunch of tourists passing by, calculate the bill and she did it all with a smile. In between her kitchen runs, she’d shout out Sarang Haeyo and other words that I assume she learned from her guests. Didi’s guest house is one of the first as you walk into Lama Hotel Village. If you are trekking along the Langtang Valley enjoy your stay there and say Hello to friendly didi and her husband. Oh and Friendly Guest House didi’s name is Karmu! She has been saying Hello to trekkers for the past 30 years.

This is Cheten didi, standing on the terrace of her newly reconstructed Hotel View Point in Kyanjin Gompa. Her silent personality comes across strong and at times, serious. As the only woman running the three storey hotel, she’s not only the manager but she’s also the cook, the cleaner, the handyperson and owner of this hotel. Didi shared that she was at Ghoda Tabela when the earthquake struck, taking away the previous hotel and her loved ones. I admired her not only for her strength but her steely personality. Waking up in the morning to prepare the most diverse list of breakfast that ranged from omelette, chow-mein to snickers momo would be challenging for anybody but Cheten didi. During a quiet moment, I told didi to make an off-season menu with a limited range of food items so she doesn’t have to end up making Italian, Chinese to Nepali food all by herself. She told me about her kids, some who live as far away as Europe.

As we walked from Syafru Besi towards Lama Hotel, we came across bajey near the Bob Marley Hotel. His welcoming nature was on full display as he saw our group approach. Simple interactions like these are what I love about travels. Hearing me speak Nepali, he quickly asked where my gau was. He also shared about a friend of his from Taplejung. Bajey’s farm land and the lodge along the trail keeps him busy and away from the rest of his family who stay in Thulo Syafru. With a stay at his lodge out of the question, some of us grabbed a bottle of fizzy drink that bajey had left to attract trekkers like us.

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