Hidden temples overflowing with marigolds, courtyards full of drying chilies and rice, and tiny hobbit-sized workshops embedded within a developing-world city that rushing into a modern era of concrete and traffic with the grand scenery of the Himalayas. Those are the views that you could only experience in the city of Kathmandu. This capital city of Nepal is surrounded by valleys filled with many historic sites, ancient temples and shrines, as well as an impressive village true to its tradition. Mingle along with the locals and animals amidst Durbar Square monuments, browse the shops to find interesting works from local artisans or join the fans of cross-country mountain lover in the bustling Thamel district. Whatever you do, spending your holiday in Khatmandu can be an intoxicating, amazing and exhausting experience you’ll never regret.
Kathmandu is the largest city as well as the capital of Nepal, which its name is derived from the Kathmandu Valley which the city is located. Once thought to be the fabled and inaccessible Shangri-La, Kathmandu is now a hub for independent travelers as well as a growing vacation spot catering to all budgets.
Getting to Khatmandu is practically easy. Most flights to Kathmandu arrive in Tribhuvan International Airport, the largest and the only International airport in Nepal, via Delhi or gulf countries such as UAE & Qatar, or Bangkok. For the best round trip, flight rate is under $1,700 USD for the 17 hours flight. It is best to take connections in Bangkok or Delhi. You may also arrive in Khatmandu via cheap bus service from nearly all parts of Nepal. Unfortunately, the buses are some of the slowest and least comfortable in South Asia due to poor roads and frequent delays. However, you may be able to see countless extremely beautiful sights by looking out the side windows of the bus.
Once you get in, there are a whole plethora of things you can do or see in Kathmandu. Whatever you do, Make sure to hit all three Durbar Squares in Kathmandu Valley. Durbar Square is the plaza opposite the old royal palace in the three main cities in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal: Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. There is a $10USD fee to enter that goes to the preservation and restoration of these uniquely beautiful and sacred landmarks. They are the best places to see the old Nepali architecture and the first place travelers should visit. Other places might be worth to visit as well. Buddhist stupa of Swoyambhunath and Bouddhanath or the Lord Shiva’s temple of Pashupatinath with a tiered golden roof and silver doors might be a good choice.
In almost every corner of Kathmandu, you will always be able to feed yourself a food named “MoMo”. It’s a delicious, juicy and mouth watering steamed dumpling that is good for all. Mostly it is stuffed with meat and you can order it from various expensive hotels to local street eatings in Kathmandu. If you are looking for a good and cheap place to stay, there are Hotel Silver Home, Shree Tibet Family Guest House, and Hotel Florid Nepal which are the recommended accommodations. And if you wanted to buy some souvenirs, remember that everything is negotiable in Khatmandu. If you want the best deal, my advice is always be prepared to walk away, as there are many people offering similar products and services with varying prices.
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