We found the following electronic guidebook provided some really special insights for our trip to this ancient city: Tiny Little Insider's Guide to Kathmandu.
It gave us a whole new perspective and away from the crowds. Hope you enjoy, too!
Whenever I travel, I am very much eager to taste the local cuisines. I have tried different types of food in different places and also cooked some of the cuisines at my home. I am uploading some pictures of the foods I have tried in Nepal so far and will continue to upload more in future.
Coming from a long travel around India, Kathmandu looks an idyllic place. Nepalese do not ask you so many questions about your family or your university qualification, or if you are married, as the Indians use to do.
I would spend no less than a week in Kathmandu. I found an excellent hostel at a fair price in Thamel area.
One of the excursions that I made on a hired bicycle based on Kathmandu was to the Valley. Every day I used to explore a new place, such as Patan (the old capital), Bhadgaon, Bodhnath, plus Kirtipur and the Monastery of Kopan, where I expected to find the Spanish boy (born in Granada, Spain) Osel Hita, supposed to be the reincarnation of the Lama Yeshe. But he had recently moved to Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh, India) and could not see him.
The excursion that impressed me more was the one that I made to the holy Pashupatinath, the Nepali Benares. I saw how they burned the dead. It was a tragic vision.
Visit, learn from and be inspired by Social Entrepreneurs, Artists, Activists or other Changemakers. The tours feature visits to innovators and passionate boat-rockers who create decent jobs, educate, provide health services, preserve nature, restore cultural heritage and more. They do all that based on business models, not charity. Visiting them is a motivational experience particularly for those (and only those should really go on such a tour) who want to create change themselves. Networking events are included and will connect you to other awesome people of your choice. Last but not least, the organizers love to share their experiences and contacts if you like to invest, partner, volunteer, learn..
This is an important Buddhist temple and is a landmark of Nepal. After visiting the temple, you could just sit on the raised platform there and spend sometime relaxing there. The fluttering of the prayer flags, chanting of Buddhist prayers are all very relaxing.
Lord shiva is also called Pashupathinath . This is an important temple for the Hindus. The temple is beautiful. It is located on the banks of the river Bhagmathi. Non Hindus are n to allowed inside the temple. However they can go to view the river and the cremation rituals that are followed on the banks of the river. Every evening at 6.30 there is an aarathi that takes place on the banks of the river. It is a spectacular sight to behold. There is music, chanting and an elaborate offering of incense, lights and camphor to Lord Shiva. You can view it standing on the bridge.
Non Nepalis and non Indians are required to pay a sum of 1000 Nepali rupees to enter this space.
There is much help needed in Nepal. There are many NGOs that do good work in the areas of Education, health and environment. They provide volunteers cheap and clean accommodation, food in exchange for the help rendered. This is a noble way of spending your holidays and seeing a new place and getting to know the culture .
Nepal has many Hindu and Buddhist religious temples, monasteries and monuments. It is a good place to study religious influence and rituals.
The art and architecture and customs and practices are influenced in a big way by religions and it fascinating to understand and study these.
Trekking is cheaper in Nepal. There are many trekking routes, experienced guides to take you. Trekking equipment is also available in plenty and compared to the western countries it is cheaper to buy it here.
Day 1 – Arrive Kathmandu, settle into hotel, Pop into your agents. Meet your guide / porter/guide and get him to take you on a visit Durbar Square so as to asses his suitability.
Day 2 –Tourist bus to Pokhara, then taxi to Kande and trek to Australian Camp and overnight there.
Day 3 – Continue your trek through Dhampus and down to Phedi and catch a taxi / bus back into Pokhara, afternoons sightseeing including Devi Falls and boating on Fewa Tal
Day 4 – Private car to Kathmandu, visiting Bandipur en-route, then take the cable car to Manakamana, lunch there, then back down on the cable car and continue your journey to Kathmandu
Day 5 – Sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley and overnight at Bhaktapur
Day 6 – Early morning Mountain flight and flight home (If your international flight departs early and you want to take The Mountain Flight you will have to squeeze this into day 5)
Day 1 – Arrive Kathmandu, settle into hotel, Pop into your agents. Meet your guide / porter/guide and get him to take you on a visit Durbar Square so as to access his suitability.
Day 2 –Tourist bus to Pokhara, then taxi to Phidi and trek to Dhampus for your overnight.
Day 3 – Trek to Ghandruk
Day 4 - Trek down to Naya Pul and bus back to Pokhara
Day 5 – Sightseeing / Relaxing in Pokhara
Day 6 – Morning flight back to Kathmandu and overnight at Bhaktapur.
Day 7 – Visit Bodnath and Pashupatinath, afternoon shopping in Kathmandu
Day 8 – Swayambhunath and taxi to airport for your flight home
(Trek can easily be followed on the downloadable map in link)
If you can fit a Buddha Air Mountain flight in when you are in Kathmandu – perhaps on your last day, and see Everest then this is also a Great Idea
Good Luck and Happy Travels
The Hot Springs at Jhinu are a delight and shouldn’t be missed if you are trekking in the area – But to take full advantage of them takes a little advanced planning, so hence this “Tip”
This is my favourite viewpoint for photographing Pokhara – But you do need a clear day.
Get up Early, cross Phewa Tal by boat then allow around ¾ of an hour to walk up to the Peace Stupa – If you have Good Luck then you will see views like this
After a week spent relaxing in beautiful Pokhara I felt the urge to do something energetic - mostly because Pokhara seemed to be constantly filled with intrepid hikers, either on their way to or from the famous Annapurna trek. While eating cinnamon buns, reading and occasionally hiring a bicycle to cycle the surrounding area was a perfectly lovely way to spend my time, I did feel a little lazy compared to the adrenaline junkies constantly crossing my path. As soon as one such trekker mentioned leeches in trees on their trek, I decided rafting was the option for me.
There are many companies in Pokhara offering rafting trips - take the time to do some research, taking into consideration safety considerations such as life jackets and the experience of your guide. The trip I took was a two day - one night trip, with overnight camping. As it was the last trip of the season (due to rising river levels because of seasonal flood / monsoon), the white water was a little more extreme than usual, but good fun. I was on my way to Sauraha to visit Chitwan National Park, and rafting provided a good alternative to the bus - and given Nepal's bus safety record, an arguably safer one! The scenery is spectacular.
I stayed in Sauraha, a small town just outside of Chitwan National Park. Chitwan is the first National Park in Nepal, and attained UNESCO World Heritage list status in the 1980s. Located in the Terai, the Park is home to one of the last populations of single horned Asiatic rhinoceros.
From Sauraha it is easy to organize a trip into the Park. I decided to go by elephant back - mostly because the rhinos are apparently comfortable around the elephants, which makes getting close to them easier. The downside? The wooden seat arrangement on top of the elephant is really uncomfortable - especially if your elephant breaks into a trot at any point! That said, it was an enjoyable and interesting way to experience the Park, and it certainly resulted in getting close to rhino.
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Windy Hills, Nagarkot, Bhaktapur, Nepal
Good for: Couples