Friday, January 16, 2015

My Great Friend in Kathmandu, Charu Chadha

I arrived in Manila yesterday noon. 7D/7N in Nepal, stayed in three hotels, Grand Hotel Kathmandu (4 nights) during the 3rd Asia Liberty Forum, Shangrila Village Hotel (1 night) in Pokhara, then Royal Singi Hotel (2 nights) in Kathmandu. My 8th night was at Kathmandu airport then on a plane above China airspace, Kathmandu-HK flight.

My great friend way back in 2005, Charu Chadha, editor of a dynamic publication Media 9 in Kathmandu, hosted my extended stay from Jan. 11 to 14, including my hotels in Pokhara and Royal Singi in Kathmandu.

In late September or early October 2005, I and Charu were among the 20 Asian participants who attended a one day roundtable discussion on "The Constitution of Liberty in Asia" where we discussed Friedrich Hayek's book, "The Constitution of Liberty" (1960). It was sponsored by the Atlas Economic Research Foundation and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF). Then we attended the bigger forum the next day, same hotel, the Economic Freedom Network (EFN) Asia 2005 conference.

From left: Simon Lee (HK), Mr. ____(Turkey), Chung-ho Kim (S. Korea), Colleen Dyble (Atlas then, US), Mr. You (Japan), Charu Chadha, me, Hiroshi Yoshida (Japan).

Another photo, Leon Louw (S. Africa, holding a camera) and Mohit Satyanand (India, rightmost) joined us.

I have been contributing for Media 9's Business 360 magazine for two years under the column "Free Market". When I told Charu that I wanted to attend the 3rd ALF in Kathmandu, she gladly prepared things for me, including a visit to Pokhara (flight with Yeti Airlines) and a night stay at Shangrila. Our photo at the start of ALF, January 8 evening.

The next day, our other co-participant in the Phuket roundtable on Hayek's book, Cong Minh Nguyen, now editor of, came from Vietnam. There were only three of us from the Phuket conference who attended the ALF in Soaltee Crowne Plaza.

Really nice Pokhara's ice covered mountains, seen from  Shangrila Village Hotel.

One day before I left Kathmandu, I visited Media 9 office. Two of their new staff interviewed me on many things, from free trade vs. protectionism, free market vs. forced collectivism and socialism, migration and brain drain vs. brain gain, etc.

Then lunch, then a tour of the Durbar Square and its fantastic Buddhist structures, like this one.

Few hours before I  would go the airport last January 14, Charu brought me and her friend Alice to Boudha, another famous Buddhist area in another side of Kathmandu. So many people there, both locals and foreigners.

Then Charu brought us to their house, where I met her mother, her sister and her dog. Nice  place in a good neighborhood.

I also met Charu's partner for six years now, Sandesh. Sandesh is a cool guy, a multi martial arts (MMA) fighter and athlete, he can do karate-taekwondo-boxing-wrestling all in one. We talked on many things, I should blog those things that we discussed soon.

From left, Charu's friend Alice; Zaihani Mohd Zain, owner of the nice restaurant where we had dinner, and Shanti Chada, Charu's cool mom.

What a memorable stay in Nepal after the conference. Thanks a lot Charu, Sandesh and Media 9 staff. You are all very friendly, you simply rock n roll. Cheers.

* See also, Business 360 and Media 9 People in Kathmandu, They Rock, January 14, 2015

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