Kathmandu Travel Guide

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Kathmandu Overview

Even the descent into Kathmandu airport is something special, spiraling around the valley amid the clouds, catching a glimpse of the Himalayas from high altitude, and then swirling over the mish-mash of rooftops before you finally touch down. You’ll soon find yourself on a surreal and colorful buzz, shooting down the city streets on a winding rickshaw, or drifting amongst the flowers and icons of the exceptional temples.

Durbar Square is the very heart of Kathmandu, and – a few souvenir shops aside – looks unchanged for centuries, with the countless temples still engulfed in incense smoke. Just off Durbar Square is the old hippie hang out of Freak Street, still displaying its local oddities and the perfect place to pick up a slice of chocolate cake or amble amongst quirky souvenir stores.

The main backpacker district’s shifted these days, though, to Thamel, where the nightlife closes early but still manages to rock, and westernized restaurants with sport on big screens dominate the horizons. The Monkey Temple nearby makes the perfect escape; a towering stupa on a hilltop, with startling valley views and a gentle breeze that brushes away a morning hangover. The monkeys here have evolved into entertainers, and slide down the banisters or beg for fruit amongst the colorful Buddha icons and golden buildings. Watch your juiceboxes, they are excellent at snatching these prizes out of hands of unsuspecting children! They've yet to figure out the use of the straw, though.

Of course, the options traveling on from Kathmandu are immense. From the endless (and often lengthy) hikes through the Himalayas to cycling the Kathmandu Valley, or whitewater rafting, exploring the stunning world heritage sites at Patan (a town just South) or Pashupatinath (the Hindu temple mecca) making your way over to lakeside Pokhara (6 hours bus ride to the West) and eying the panoramas from a chair on a comfortable rooftop, or heading down to the sticky south to hang out with the hippos and elephants at Chitwan National Park. You can also visit Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha.

You might find you spend a lot of your time in Kathmandu planning, recovering or generally thinking of the rest of Nepal (which, let’s face it, is a pretty unsurpassably special country). Make sure you schedule some time for the city itself, though, which is lively and crammed full of handsome history.

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Patan, some says it Lalitpur one of city of Kathmandu valley famous for their ancient art, crafts, pagodas, temples etc. It is small town but very beutifully jewelled with lots of temples, co…
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Located 14km east of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur is a historical Newari town that can be visited as a day trip. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the town was once the capital of Nepal during…
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