Deeya Maskey, a celebrated dancer and theater artist, is a popular face in Nepali television and movie industry. Currently she is judging a reality television show Himalayan Roadies. Anuska Joshi of Image Nepal talked to the widely-traveled celebrity on travel-related topics. Excerpts:
What do you find most striking about Nepal?
Himalayas. I have not climbed the mountains yet, but the layers of mountains that I see always amaze me. ‘Nau Danda Pari’ (literal translation “nine hills away”), as the Nepali saying goes, actually holds true so beautifully.
What is the best place you have travelled in Nepal?
Well, there are lots of places. Bhojpur is very amazing. It is very rural, but the layers of hills and view from there is enthralling. I could see clouds in my eye level. The culture there is also very enriching. There are virgin areas like this relatively untouched by tourism which is so beautiful. There is a football ground surrounded by jungles in all sides.
One scenery that took your breath away.
It has to be Muktinath. I was there recently with the Roadies shooting team. The scenery and landscape there is amazing.
Your favorite place to hangout.
It’s Mangal Bazar near Patan Durbar Square, which is also my hometown.
What is your favorite food?
Dal Bhat and Gundruk
Anything you learn during travel?
I would say adaptation. Travel taught me to be adaptive. You have to adapt yourself with the places you go. When I went to rural places for shooting, I adapted to the basic facilities there. You generally tend to block yourself from adapting, but once you adapt, life can be amazing. I can now easily stay anywhere.
Which is your favorite foreign destination?
Hong Kong was my favorite destination as a teen. It was very fun. But now, it is France. France is very artistic. As an artist, France was an amazing experience for me. From the way people talked about movies and art to the paintings in the museum, especially of Van Gogh, everything is exceptional about France.
Which is the foreign destination that you visited recently?
South Korea. I could not stay there for long, but the place is very good.
Which country is in your bucket list?
Bangkok. Do you know why? (laughing) It has been three years since my marriage and I haven’t gone for a honeymoon! I really want to go there!
If you could travel the world with one person, who would that be?
Of course my mother! I have not been able to travel with her much.
Your dream celebrity travel partner?
Any favorite books or music to listen while travelling?
I don’t prefer books. I like romantic or travel music. (Singing) ‘timi jaane siligudi ma jane Sikkim tira!’ (a Nepali folk number by Kalimpong-based singer Bipul Chhetri)
How much do you shop while travelling?
Very much. In fact, too much. I don’t really know how to shop. I just pick whatever and whatever ha ha.
Do you have any favorite fictional place?
My favorite actress is Gong Li. I would love to travel the places, heritage shown in her movie, which was around the medieval time. I would love to see that medieval China with her.
If you could promote one place, which would it be?
It will be far-west – Baitadi and the Karnali region. And Lalitpur — my birthplace.
How do you maintain health during travel?
I eat very less and completely avoid oily and spicy food. I prefer fruits and don’t take street foods at all.
What are your must-haves during travel?
My mobile phone and a bag with my stuffs.
What do you consider before deciding on travelling?
(laughing) Nothing, I’m not a person who plans. I am very spontaneous.
What would you other visitors to Nepal ?
This is a really beautiful place. I have not seen weather like this anywhere else. It is very pleasant. Come and see yourself.