After 50 Years, Kathmandu's hippie buses reach end of the road
In the 1960s and 1970s, Western travelers seeking enlightenment in South Asia brought with them German-made Mercedes Benz buses to get around on their own.
But, many travelers ran out of cash and were forced to sell their buses to the locals of Kathmandu. Nepalis quickly and completely embraced the Mercedes 508 and 608D models and adapted them for public transportation.
Now after over 40 years of service, these buses are being decommissioned by the Nepali government, because they are too old, leaving locals saddened and in some cases, angered.
Their drivers embrace the hippie life with decorations and stickers that reflect an earlier era in which Western travelers roamed Kathmandu and South Asia in search of enlightenment.
This man has been driving his bus for well over 20 years. He says he bought this 1976 model from a Westerner who was out of money when he was traveling in Kathmandu.
Rajendra Pokhrel has been driving his Mercedes 608D for 27 years. He has not missed a beat of his Mercedes since he started driving. His seat is highly personalised, after years of use.
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