30 Seconds: Chitwan Village Night Fall

As sort of a second installment of my recent stay in Chitwan, here’s a follow up video to The Bridge.

Most evenings, we like to sit by the river with a glass of wine, fight off the mosquitoes and watch the sun go down. Across the same bridge, a ten minute walk away, is the nearest village. On our second to last night there, we took a stroll over and shot the evening routines. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:  

More Chitwan River Life


I just made my fourth trip down to Chitwan for a few days, staying at our favourite spot, Sapana Village Lodge.  There’s lots of things I like about Sapana, but one of its greatest attractions is how it makes me comfortable with hot water showers, comfy chairs and places to relax, but doesn’t cut me off  from local life.  From a comfortable reading spot, I can watch everyday life going past me on the river.  Locals are washing clothes, fishing, or just using the river to get around.  Abundant bird life hovers overhead.  Majestic cranes, ibis, storks, hornbills, sunbirds, night jars, and the beautiful asian paradise flycatcher are all here, swooping down to the water to drink.  (We come to Chitwan to see the amazing elephants and rhinos, but for sheer variety and volume, you really can’t beat the birds.)  I find it so relaxing.  I love the wild life and the river.  They keep me coming back for more.


This was our first visit during the rainy season, and the river was very swollen. Recent flooding had washed away the small bamboo bridge that was here before.


The swollen water raced by. It wasn’t very deep, but it was fast, rushing reeds and branches away in its current.


One of many white ibises that stopped by for a visit.


He caught something. I didn’t see what it was.




Back from his early morning chore of collecting feed for the other elephants.  What tusks!


Mom and baby are still fine since our last visit and still loving their daily baths!

Chitwan River Experience

Chitwan is about a five hour drive from Pokhara –on a good day– with no delays or divisions. We left on a good day. About an hour later than planned, after five hours of straight driving, we got into Chitwan around 1pm. It was a fascinating change of scene once we took the turnoff at Mugling and went up and over a mountain, descending into the flat, warmer terrain of Chitwan district.


Thatched roofs….


…mud houses….


…and wide open terrain that made me feel like I was in the wild, wild west about 100 years ago.

The temperature was a bit warmer and it felt like a different country.  And it was mustard seed season, with brilliant fields of yellow as far as the eye can see.


We settled in our hotel room and then headed down to a table next to the nearby river to watch the world go by.  I just loved the terrain.  From our hotel table we could watch everyday life and the river interact.  Everything was going on.  People walked or cycled from a nearby town to the main road, through the resort.  Others washed their clothes on the banks, children played in the water, and women collected river reeds which I guess were being harvested to make baskets.  With my binoculars I watched birds –  especially herons — hanging out on the river banks.


Crossing the simple bridge, going back to town


We also attracted the attention of some very cute local kids who came over to have their photos taken


Why is it that kids everywhere do the same pose for the camera?!

Later, we took a canoe trip out on the river. There were six of us in the canoe, with a guide and an pole-pushing oarsman, and it was the most unstable boat I have ever been in. The water wasn’t that deep…perhaps waist-height…and as we wobbled around in the dug out canoe, lurching at the slightest move, getting wet wasn’t really the concern. I wasn’t even really concerned about getting our cameras wet once I spotted what was on the banks of the river:




Alligators…now they were a concern! As the oarsman balanced himself at the back of our boat, he took small, gentle stabs at the water to direct us downstream. For our part, we tried to manage the water coming into the canoe from a very small leak, and all of us tried not to twitch or move suddenly, as any action seemed to escalate down the canoe and threaten us with capsizing.


Heading out in the canoe


Mmmmm…they look wobbly in that canoe. I wonder if I can be bothered?……


Precariously punting down the river. This ain’t Oxford!

The funny thing was that we felt protected inside the canoe. As though the alligators couldn’t have tipped us over if they wanted to. However, they did seem more interested in basking in the sunlight, and it was eerie how none of them moved. Not even a little bit….not even the blink of an eye.

Scary as it was, I loved being out there and seeing the peace, wildlife and danger of its banks. I especially liked our time at the hotel and how close we were to the water.  It may be a lot less enjoyable in the summer with humidity and bugs, but in December it was warm and clear and bug-free.  I look forward to returning.