Capital of Nepal, small country between China and India, located in the middle of a valley. It is a city with a lot of personality that will not leave anyone indifferent, its streets, temples, squares and parks entertain any traveler with a little curiosity. The Nepalese, with their sympathy, friendly ways and hospitality, make one feel welcome.
In short, Kathmandu is a city that offers many places to visit and activities to do; it resembles almost all the rest of the Asian capitals because of the chaotic: buses, rickshaws, cars and motorcycles struggle to find their space, unlike it is not a large city. A must to experience this chaos and the energy that the city gives off is the Thammel neighborhood, famous for walking through its alleys, this is where you can find the biggest offer in accommodation, restaurants and shops to buy a little of everything, from typical handicrafts, textiles and pretty conventional clothing, to everything you need to go hiking or mountaineering. Venture through the narrowest streets, in the small markets and hidden temples, there are thousands of things to discover. A place that I recommend to make a stop is Or2K, the decoration, music, atmosphere, food and service, will make you want to return; as soon as you arrive you have to take off your shoes and you will sit on cushions or small stools around a table with candles, which makes the atmosphere more intimate despite being always full of people.
Nearby is the Durbar or Basantapur Square, maybe not so charming but it is impressive because of its size, it can take you a whole morning to visit it; the temples and buildings of different times crowd throughout the plaza. It is a complex of structures with the Royal Palace that extends over about five hectares. One of the great pleasures of this city is spending a few hours observing how life takes place in the capital from the top of one of the terraces.
Kathmandu has two of the most sacred temples in the country and you cannot miss them:
* Swayambhu or Monkey Temple: One of the most famous in the city, it is an old religious complex located on top of a hill to the west of the city. As its name says there are usually many monkeys, which are considered sacred. This sanctuary occupies a central position in the Tibetan Buddhist and to visit it will have to climb its 365 steps, during the sunset is one of the best moments.
* Temple of Boudhanath Pashupatinath: The most important and oldest of the Valley, it is the largest spherical stupa in Nepal and the most sacred site in the country. It is located about 11 km from the Thammel district. For those who like or do not mind getting up early, every morning at around 7 there is a ritual in which people walk around the stupa while the famous Om Mani Padme Um mantra is repeated and pots of paint are spilled on the stupa. It is common to see monks everywhere, you will observe some who are nomadic and little tattered, in reality they are the sadhus, who dedicate their existence to religious life and make pilgrimages from temple to temple, they have only what they can carry.
And if you want to take a break from the bustling activity of the capital, relax among the beautiful and wide green spaces of the Garden of Dreams, a good place to rest, walk or have a drink after having been walking through the alleys of the neighborhood of Thammel. Ratna Park is another green space option, it was built for children and is named after King Mahendra’s second marriage. In it you can witness many young people practicing the country’s favorite sport, cricket, as well as people exercising and next door there is an open-air market with different stalls.
Something that no one should miss is tasting the most typical dishes of the Nepali culture, cooking is one of the most authentic ways to get in touch with a different culture: The traditional Dal Bath (cooked rice, lentil soup, vegetables and potatoes ) which is basically what the Nepalis always eat. The momos (also called gyoza or dumplings) with different shapes and ingredients (sweet or savory). The rotis (a kind of bread cooked in artisan ovens). The different curris of vegetables, potatoes, cheese, etc … (Aloo Gobi, Aloomutter, etc).
When you travel to Kathmandu do not miss the opportunity to delve into some of its traditional houses, visit the many sacred spaces or contemplate the unspoilt nature that you will see in all its splendor around the city. Those passionate about adventure sports and mountaineering will discover in this city one of their favorite destinations, do not miss visiting what could be considered the Capital of Heaven, surrounded by 8 of the 14 highest mountains in the world, including The Everest.