I believe, Nepal sounds very exotic to many people and at the same time very adventurous, because we may imagine to trekking up in a high mountain, hoping to see unusual wild lives or even a Yeti !, crossing various hanging bridges etc….I also believe that many of you would love to visit this amazing country at least once in your life time.
If you are a beginner and have less or no experience traveling to an exotic country, you will be able fulfill your dream by taking small steps at a time. In my opinion, go to Kathmandu for 4-5 days to get your first impressions, breath the air at 1,450 m. elevation on the top on Swayambhunath Temple (The Monkey Temple), taste the local food and learn how to negotiate in Thamel district, and most importantly appreciate simplicity of life along the way while walking on foot outside Kathmandu. Later, you can always decide whether you will come back to do trekking or not. As for me, I will most likely come back to Nepal.
Here is what I learnt while I was visiting Kathmandu….
When to go:
The best time to visit Nepal is between March – May, and September – November, because the temperature is perfect. It isn’t during the monsoon season, and hence you have good chances to see beautiful mountain views.
How to get to Kathmandu City:
The best option is to organize with your hotel for a pick-up service. It will save you a lot of time and energy!
Where to go:
Many beautiful buildings are located in the old city and close to Thamel district. I would recommend you to travel by foot and roam around, because this is how you explore those magical scenes which hidden all over the city including UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as;
The famous Durbar Square
This is the highlight of Kathmandu. This complex is located in the old city and influenced by Hindu and Buddhist religious. As of April 2018, several temples have been restored since the Earthquake in April 2015, so you will be able to see this amazingly beautiful complex.
Akash Bhairav Temple
Outside the old city Kathmandu, there are 2 beautiful places: Swayambhunath Temple and Boudhanath. Both are influenced by Hindu and Buddhist religious, and produced such powerful artistic and architectural fusion between 1500 and 1800 AD.
To the west of Kathmandu is where Swayambhunath Temple (The Monkey Temple) is located. The complex consists of a stupa and various shrines and temples. It is an ancient religious architecture atop a hill in the Kathmandu Valley. Here you can also see a spectacular view of Kathmandu.
View to Kathmandu
By the way, do not tease the monkeys. They can be very aggressive!
To the northeastern of Kathmandu is where Boudhanath Stupa is located. It is the largest spherical stupa in Nepal. Boudhanath complex is surrounded by various roof top café and hence you can pick one and enjoy an amazing view of Boudhanath Stupa.
View from a Café
About 15 km. from the heart of Kathmandu is where Bhaktapur is located. Bhaktapur has the best preserved palace courtyards and old city center in Nepal and is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as well. You can take a taxi from Kathmandu to Bhaktapur and it should cost around 2,000 rupee for a round trip or 3,500 rupee round trip in case you want the driver waits for you.
Below are images from around Kathmandu….
At last you can appreciate simplicity of life along the way while walking around. The Nepali are kind, the food is awesome. It’s another place where you can learn and experience life out of your comfort zone! It’s another eye opening trip.