This post is the first in an an ongoing series called “What A Trip!” which will detail readers’ experiences of places that they have visited. I think it’s always a good idea to get viewpoints of places from lots of different perspectives. I don’t want to have multiple authors for the blog and, so instead, this series will look at reports/interviews from different travellers.
Kathmandu in Nepal is a very easy entry point if you want to climb the Himalayas. The Himalayas tower over Kathmandu dominating it. The flight into and out of Kathmandu gives amazing views of the Himalayas.
It is a colourful, chaotic and beautiful city rushing headlong into the modern world. The hippies that extolled the virtues of Kathmandu in the 1960’s are making way for trendier travellers.
You will hear mention of the Kathmandu Valley which is formed by 3 cities, Kathmandu, Paktan and Bakhtapur. Khatmandu is the largest of the three and the political and cultural capital of Nepal. Kathmandu is believed to have been founded in AD 723. Thamel is the tourist area of Kathmandu but it would be a shame if you didn’t see more of the city than Thamel.
Kathmandu Valley has lots of interesting sightseeing options. Swayambhu or the Monkey Temple, is one of the seven places UNESCO has listed as a world heritage site in the Kathmandu Valley. The temple is sacred to Buddhism, and as you would expect from its name, filled with monkeys. Boudha Stupa is also both sacred to Buddhism and another UNESCO world heritage site. Kathmandu Durbar Square which is full of palaces and temples is another of the UNESCO world heritage sites. The Narayanhiti Palace Museum is the former residence of the kings of Nepal which is now a museum after the 2009 abolition of the monarchy. Swapna Bagaicha or the Garden of Dreams is a peaceful, pretty enclave close tot the Palace Museum. Constructed in the 17th century, Pashupatinath is an important Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva in his form as lord of the animals.
If you don’t feel like doing anything adventurous, you can book a one hour flight to see Mt Everest which will take you on a morning flight to the mountain.
Nepal is moving back towards stability after a few years of political unrest (such as the 2009 abolition of the monarchy) and is a beautiful place to visit.