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Kathmandu

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Durbar Square, KathmanduDurbar Square, Kathmandu
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Durbar Square, Kathmandu

Kathmandu (????????) is the largest city and capital of Nepal and the namesake of the Kathmandu Valley. 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.

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kathmandu Travel Guide :

Kathmandu

Understand

Kathmandu is said to have been founded by king Gun Kamdev in 723 AD. According to legend, the area was a lake in the past, but the Hindu god Manjushri cut open a hill to the south and allowed the water to flow out, making the region habitable. The origin of the present name is unclear, but one of the more likely theories is that it was named after Kastha-Mandap ("temple of wood" in Sanskrit), after a pagoda carved from the single tree on the order of King Laxmi Narashingha Malla in 1596.

Kathmandu

Get in

Visas are available on arrival for citizens of most countries. In April of 2004 the cost is $30 for 60 days. There are no trains to Kathmandu and renting a car or motorbike without a driver is very difficult. One passport photo is necessary for the visa form. Those without a passport photo on hand can get a picture taken at a booth opposite the immigration desks.

Kathmandu

By plane

Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport (http://www.tiairport.com)' (KTM) airport is the largest, and only international, airport in Nepal. Most flights arrive via Delhi or Bangkok, with very few direct flights from outside of Asia. From Delhi, Indian carriers Jet Airways, Air India, and Sahara Air offer daily flights to KTM. Nepali carriers include Royal Nepal Airways and Cosmic Airlines. Several other international airlines also fly from Delhi to KTM. Because of the recent (Aug. 2005) drop in tourism due to the current political situation, many airlines have been offering discount airfare from Delhi to KTM. Foreigners purchasing tickets in India should expect to pay around 25-50% more for airfare than Indian nationals. The price for a RT ticket from Delhi to KTM purchased in Delhi on Cosmic Air as of (Aug. 2005) was USD $150. However this does not include the airport service charge levied at Tribhuvan International when you leave the country (a mandatory 1695 NRS for foreigners). This raises the total cost of the ticket price by USD $25.

Kathmandu

To and from airport

Many hotel and guest houses offer complimentary pick up and delivery from the airport. Taxis are also available. As always, one should negotiate the price beforehand with the driver. A taxi ride to Thamel should not exceed 150 NRS.

Kathmandu

By bus

The other option for arriving in Kathmandu include buses from India (usually Varanasi or Lucknow) and other parts of Nepal such as Chitwan National ParkChitwan National Park and the trekking hub of Pokhara. You can enter from MahendranagarMahendranagar at the extreme East, but you need a visa before hand.

Other options for entry into Nepal are limited.

Kathmandu

Get Around

Map of central KathmanduMap of central Kathmandu
</a
Map of central Kathmandu

The first thing many visitors may notice about Kathmandu is the general lack of street names (except for major roads such as Tri Devi and Ring Road) and address numbers. In most cases directions are given relative to the nearest chowk or tole (an intersection or square, often with a market) or a noteworthy building such as a temple or restaurant. In the tourist district of Thamel, the Kathmandu Guest House and Hot Breads bakery are two main landmarks.

It is possible to get across the city by foot, but it is not always a pleasant walk and you may want to consider a rickshaw for anything more then wandering around a specific area. Rickshaws are motorised or bicycle driven. Negotiate on a price before you get in, if you can't agree, just look for another driver. Prices go up after dark and in less busy areas.

There are also buses and taxis for longer trips (see Kathmandu Valley for information on getting to Patan and Bakhtapur), but they are not usually used just for getting around town.

Kathmandu

See

  • Swayambunath - the "Monkey Temple" great views over the city. 25 mins. walk from Thamel. Pay a fee to enter at the front steps or slip in free on the ramp on the south side.
  • Bodhnath Stupa - the spiritual heart of vajrayana Buddhism in the city. The stupa is especially spectacular at night when adorned with candles. Remember to walk around it clockwise and spin the prayer wheels clockwise. The restaurants around the stupa offer good views of the area.
  • King's Palace- Gian fruit bats hanging from the tall trees and 20 foot-tall bamboo around the otherwise modern (and well secured) palace are a sight-- especially around sunset when they depart en masse..
  • Thamel Chowk - lots of restaurants and shops.
  • Freak Street - Historic home of western hippies seeking enlightenment, but now just a few restaurants and hotels.
  • Nasal Chowk Statues, temples and the Rana museum.
Kathmandu

Durbar Squares

The heart of Kathmandu this ancient square crowded with palaces and temples, including the current incarnation of the Kasthamandap or "Wooden house" that gives the city its name. The square has been in active use since the construction of a palace around 1000 AD.

Enter from Freak street side for free. Magical in the very early morning, Durbar Square can be an exhausting experience due to the overwhelming number of young men offering to be "guides." Be firm with saying "no" if you are not interested, but realize that looking at a map, or even standing still for a moment will be an invitation to a dozen other would-be "helpers".

There are more than a dozen buildings and statues of note in this small areas. They include:

  • Taleju Temple One of the oldest temples in the square, this three-roofed temple with its pyramid shaped bases, is an example of the typical Newari architectural style.
  • Ashok Binayak
  • Shiva Temple
  • Maju Deval
  • Narayan Temple
  • Shiva-Parvati Temple
  • Kumari Palace- home of "the Kumari", or living goddess, a young girl. South side of Durbar suare,
  • Bhagwati Temple
  • Saraswati Temple The Goddess of Knowledge and Learning
  • Krishna Temple
  • Sweta Bhairab Statue shown only during the Indra Jatra festival.
  • Kal Bhairab
  • Indrapur Temple
  • Vishnu temple
  • Mahendreswar Temple
Kathmandu

Do

Kathmandu itself has limited activities for visitors beyond the amazing sightseeing and general experience of being there', but it is the starting point for numerous adventures in the rest of the country including trekking, rafting, jungle adventures, and more extreme sports.

Kathmandu

Yoga

  • Healing Hands Center 1 (http://www.ancientmassage.com/index.html). Classes in yoga, massage, mation. Day, week, and month long courses.
  • Satyananda Yoga Centre 2 (http://faculty.washington.edu/swittet/Satyananda/) Group and individual courses. Yoga Camps.
Kathmandu

Festivals

Festival just outside KathmanduFestival just outside Kathmandu
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Festival just outside Kathmandu

Kathmandu and Dubar Square is the center for many of Nepal's festivals. Note that many businesses are closed for all of these holidays-- and often a few days before and after. Dasain in particular tend to shut down much of the city for October.

  • Tihar, Festival of Lights (Also called Diwali) A five day festival which takes place each year on the fifteenth day of Kartika ( around the end of October/start of November) celebrated by all Hindus with ritual house-cleaning, lanterns, candles, and fireworks. The Nepali version tends to be more picturesque and less explosive (literally) than those celebrated in India.
  • Holi is celebrated in March with splashes of water and colored powder that is both good luck and very messy.
  • Bikram New Year's (April) A day of pilgrimage's (often from Kathmandu to the holy Bungmati river that separates it from Patan)
  • Teej, the most important women's festival, is celebrated in September with married women dressed in their red marriage saris visiting male relatives and unmarried women and girls staying up all nigh to celebrate and pray for their future husbands.
  • Indra Jatra Harvest festival held in Kathmandu's Dubar Square for 8 days each September. The Goddess Kumari is paraded in her sacred chariot.
Kathmandu

Buy

  • Silver Note that jewelers from Bangkok come to Kathmandu to buy wholesale silver with Indian-processed semiprecious gemstones. The wholesale price of silver is published on the front page of the "Himalayan" newspaper (1 tola= 11.6 gm) so buyers can get an idea of the metal cost of the piece, apart from the labor cost. Silver is almost invariably near the stamped "92.5%" sterling, as claimed.
  • Clothing Kathmandu is a great place to shop for clothes. Flowing hippie gauzes, Monk's robes in saffrons and maroons, funky neon trancewear, hemp clothings, dozens of elegant silks and 'suiting and shirting' are available in all qualities and prices. Tailors can be hired at reasonable fees and quality is high. Handwoven Nepali fabrics are $1-3/m and available in endless patterns and colors. Anything, from bags to mountaineering equipment to cocktail dresses can be made to order and tailored to perfection. The alleys around Indra Chowk, between Thamel and Durbar sq., have dozens of fabric shops and tailors, much more dedicated to customer satisfaction than the hurried and expensive shops in Thamel. Warning: If having clothes made to wear later at home, get measured BEFORE trekking, if you want them to fit when you return to your normal size!
  • Cultural artifacts Be advised that there are a lot of counterfeits, sly salesmen, and plastics presented as wood. Most real antiques are illegal to export. Genuine antiquities may have been looted from temples. Patan, sister city of Kathmandu, is known for the quality of her bronzes. Read "Shopping for Buddhas" available in book stores, if you are.
  • Pashminas These Cashmere-like scarves and shawls can be purchased for a fraction of the price of those in Europe or North America. Look for those produced by the Tibetan refugee camp just outside of Patan or other charitable organizations.
  • Cameras A lot of people find Kathmandu a good place to buy a camera. There are shops in Thamel, and around New Road.
Kathmandu

Books

Kathmandu is a great place to stock up or trade in reading material. Used bookstores cover everything from backpacker favorites to classics to local history and culture.

  • Pilgrims in Thamel (next to the Kathmandu Guest house) is the largest and most well established English language bookshop in Kathmandu. They have great sections on Buddhism (a whole room devoted to vajrayana), as well as an encyclopedic selection on books devoted to subjects on Nepal. Customers are invited to take an on-sale book into the restaurant for a free read.
  • Tibet Book Store, Thamel (on the road leading in from the palace) - good selection of books on vajrayana and Tibet studies.
  • Second Hand - The alleys of Thamel are full of second hand book shops. Check around for a good price, as they do vary immensely. Return read books for 50% buyback or store cr.
Kathmandu

Eat

One of Thamel's Many Rooftop CafesOne of Thamel's Many Rooftop Cafes
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One of Thamel's Many Rooftop Cafes

Traditional Tibetan dumplings, momos have been borrowed to become tourist tapas. Try them fried or steamed stuffed with buffalo, chicken, or veggies with a Tuborg or San Miguel beer. In a local place expect to pay 25 rs for a dozen momos, 45-75rs in a tourist place. Also a good place to sample Newari and Tibetan dishes.

Besides the aforementioned momos tibetan cuisine includes a variety of other dishes, some based around a noodle soup, like a thukpa. A nepali set meal will usually include rice, dhal, vegetable/meat curry, a vegetable dish, chutney and curd. Expect to pay around 120-280 NRS at a touristed place, much less at local places. Chia (similar to the Indian chai), a milky spiced tea, is ubiquitous and good for a break to calm one's nerves.

Kathmandu

Thamel

There are dozens of tourist restaurants clustered in the Thamel district serving everything from Middle Eastern to Mexican food. Indian and Nepali dishes are always the best tasting-- and best priced. Don't hesitate to state your preference for spiciness. A good place to sample Korean food. Travelers who venture into smaller places are often rewarded with better prices and friendlier staff. Inspect your bill and count your change at the places frequented by short trip tourists.

  • Tashi Delek. Tibetan restaurant with extensive menu and good Mexican/ Italian dishes. Open late. Across the street from the postcard shop, near hotbreads corner. 100-300 Rs.
  • Northfield Cafe. Basic pub grub and Nepali attempt at Mexican. Popular with English teachers and Peace Corps. A few doors up from Kathmandu Guest House. 100-300 Rs.
  • Third Eye. Thai food in a nice building and outdoor garden. 250-500 Rs.
  • Green Ice. Amazingly good Indian cuisine, Thamel Chowk upstairs with the green windows overlooking "Kukuri Crossroads".
  • Just Juice and Shakes. Popular with Israelis and Longtimers. Great coffees and , yes, juices and shakes. Two eggs on toast: 20rs. 10m down the alley across the street from the music shop, near Pilgrim's bookstore curve.
  • Everest Steak House. Traditional pre-or post-trekking feast: Massive steaks cooked just right, about 300rs will stuff you. Just off Chhetrapati, the pagoda-cum-roundabout.
  • Helena's Rooftop Restaurant. Excellent food, great service, and modest prices. Apparently it's the tallest rooftop restaurant in Kathmandu, and the views from there of the city (especially at night) are fantastic. Serves Western and regional cuisine - chicken tikka massala will set you back around 250 rupees. From Chhetrapati, pass the Everest Steak House on your right, and turn the next left. Helena's is about 2 minutes walk up this road on your right.
  • Fire & Ice. A popular western haunt, and for good reason. Serves traditional Italian-style stone-baked pizzas, which are delicious. Certainly pricier than most, however - a cheese & tomato pizza will cost around 250 rupees, whereas a hawaiian will cost 350 rupees. Chocolate ice cream with added chocolate on top is definitely to be recommended, and will cost about 145 rupees. From Chhetrapati, go past Everest Steak House on your right, and then turn first left. Pass Helena's on your right, and then turn first right. Continue up this road to the end, and go right, then immediately left to basically continue in the direction you were going. Fire & Ice is not far before a fairly major road junction (by Nepalese standards), on the right-hand side. You should be able to see the white sign pretty high up on the building as you're walking in this direction. If you get lost, just ask.
  • Rum Doodle. Excellent food at modest prices, including live music on most nights. Carry on straight past Helena's, around the "chicane" (where the road bends then straightens out again) and turn the next right (it should be signposted, though the sign's fairly small). Everest summiters can eat here for free!
  • Hot Breads. Past Helena's, opposite the right-turn junction towards Fire & Ice, Hot Breads sells fresh pastries (pan au chocolats, cinnamon bakes) from about 30 rupees each, which you can eat on the roof along with a selection of drinks. The place to go for breakfast at least once.
  • KC Across street from "Helena's Restaurant", & 1/2 block toward King's Palace from KTM Guest House. Safe salads, vegetarian & Brown Rice dishes, sizzling steaks, and 'Pumpkin Pie' - not a desert, but an entre', made with pumpkins & almonds. Outdoor balcony overlooking the street, and indoor dining on 2 or 3 levels.
  • BK's French Fry heaven in Thamel. Opposite Funky Buddha Bar.
  • Roadhouse Cafe Wood fired pizza, similar to Fire and Ice. Fantastic Decor. Good coffee.
  • Sandwich Point is a small sandwich bar with a wide range of fillings including beacons, ham, chicken and sausage. To get to Sandwich point, turn left on the second intersection of thamel arriving from Himalayan Java. It is located on the left just a few meters down the road.
Kathmandu

Outside Thamel

Yes, there is a whole world waiting outside Thamel!

  • Freak street has a few good eats, too, such as the Ganesh restaurant halfway along the street next to a small shrine. Try the cakes at the tiny, bright blue "Snowman" cakeshop. Sit and check out the walls while you eat. Sensational.
  • Angan (on the corner behind the King's statue roundabout) A great place to have sanitary ice cream (35rs.), Nepali traditional sweets, or try out a delicious freshly prepared Masala Dosa (curry in a crisp savory crÍpe, 55-65rs.) or other South Indian food alongside Kathmandu's Bourgeoisie. Sweets in the front, Fastfood restaurant in the back. This is the heart of the Nepalis' upmarket shopping district, where New Road and Dharma Path meet. Walk west from here on the pedestrian street to Freak st., the outdoor craft market, the old 'Red Palace', and the many temples of Durbar square.
  • Bakery Cafe There are several outlets of this chain restaurant all around Kathmandu and Patan. A great place to have momos, beer and sizzlers (steak with butter sauce and noodles).
Kathmandu

Boudha

  • Stupa View Restaurant is a vegeterian restaurant that, as the name implies, offers good views over the stupa. It's a little expensive (think 200Rs+ for a meal), but the quality of the food and service is good.
  • Three Sisters also offers views overlooking the stupa and kora. The food is cheaper than at Stupa View (think 120Rs+ for a meal), but the quality of the food and service is also a little lower.
  • Regency is located in the back streets about a two minute walk from the stupa (with the stupa on your right, turn left into alley after passing Stupa View Restaurant, and take the next right. The restaurant is few doors down on the right) and is where the locals eat. The food is good and you can easily satisfy your appetite for well under 100Rs.
  • Mike's Breakfast is a brisk 15 minute walk from Thamel Taxi Stand, but confusing with one-way streets. Take a rickshaw or taxi the first time, & mark it on one of the free hotel KTM maps. The best pancakes in Nepal, and now other meals, too. Mostly outdoor tables under bamboo shelters, + available indoor screened dining.
Kathmandu

Drink

Butcher shop in KathmanduButcher shop in Kathmandu
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Butcher shop in Kathmandu
Kathmandu

Coffee

Nepal is also a coffee producing country, though the people are famously tea drinkers. Most often coffee comes as a dishwater-colored cup of instant, however, good coffee IS available. The first thing to remember is that people who don't drink coffee don't understand coffee. When ordering, try ordering "Strong coffee", as opposed to just "Coffee", to minimise those dishwater blues. Also note that cafes here don't follow the equal espresso, milk and froth rule. Expect your cappucino to be anywhere from very little froth in large cup to something laced with whipped cream. And there is little difference between latte and cappucino. Places to look for ground coffee, either drip or espresso, are:

  • Just Juice and Shakes. Coffee drinks, espresso, Cappuccino, and juice and shakes, sweet rolls, etc., too. See 'Eat' above for location.
  • Himalayan Java. Everything you ever wanted in a coffee shop, great coffees, meals, deserts, newspapers, sofas, Large screen TV, even a guitar on the wall that says, "Play me!" Meet the teenage elite of Kathmandu here. Upstairs, the last building on the left as you leave Thamel heading for the Royal Palace. Also has an outlet near Ravi Bhawan, opposite Lincoln School.
  • Saturday Cafe over looking the stupa at Boudha has good ground coffee, which you can enjoy surrounded by books in the second floor book shop or on the roof-top terrace.
  • Mike's Breakfast Get unlimited refills of fresh ground drip coffee for Rs.75.
Kathmandu

Bars

Beer and mixed drinks are available at almost every bar and restaurant. For a quick drink and cheap cultural experience try the local 'Nepali wine' (raksi) or 'Nepali Beer' (chang) neither of which taste anything like their namesakes. Ask for these at local places. San Miguel, Everest Beer and Tubor beer are the principal beers served in Kathmandu.

  • Sam's A cozy nook upstairs with years of wisdom or random song lyrics scrawled on the walls. The usual drinks and usual ex-pat crowd.
  • Maya Cocktail Bar. 2-for-1 specials on mixed drinks at happy hour, 4-8pm in this friendly spot. Next to Star Hotel.
  • Maya Pub. Laid back sports bar version of Cocktail Bar. Free popcorn and 2-for-1 happy hour drinks.
  • Euro Rock. Pool hall and pub popular with Peace Corps volunteers and long time ex-pats.
  • Jump Club. Locals and ex-pats as well as tourist crowd; one of the few dance clubs in Kathmandu.
  • Fire Club. Another dance club, uninspired DJ or a two-year-old tape? Upstairs from the "Irish Pub" near Hotbreads corner.
  • Tongues and Tales. Chilled, smoke-friendly cocktail bar with comfortable seating and good music. Upstairs, (look for the sign at the doorway) halfway downhill on the road between Hot Breads corner and Steak House street. A good place to hear about parties.
  • New Orleans Cafe. Opposite Kathmandu guest house, live music on many nights. Described by its manager as "the most happening place in Kathmandu". Make of that what you will!
  • Full Moon Club. Above Just Juice and Shakes. Full Moon is one of the more happening spots in Thamel right now. The crowd is a convivial mix of young Nepalis and expats. Occasional live music
Kathmandu

Sleep

Virtually all tourist accommodations are located in Thamel, near the Kathmandu Guesthouse. Upscale hotels tend to be a few blocks away on Tri Devi Marg near the Royal Palace. A few guest houses still remain on Freak Street below Durbar Square, they tend to be somewhat cheeper, and a bit less well cared for than Thamel, but the neighbourhood is more quiet and there are fewer touts.

Prices can range from $1 - $350 for a double room.

Kathmandu

Budget

  • The Star. Made famous among travellers and expats in the book "Escape from Kathmandu" but otherwise your basic budget accommodations. Double and single rooms with or without private bathrooms. Friendly staff. Mail drop for repeat/longterm clients. Gate locks around midnight. $2-$5.
  • Cozy Corner. Just next door to the Star. A very basic double room with shared bathroom and cold shower. Safety deposit boxes at the front desk. No lock out time. $1-$5.
  • Thorong Peak, Thamel. (+997 1 4253458).Rooms for 250 Rs. (Double) and up. You get much more than in other just houses for that price.
Kathmandu

Mid-range

  • Kathmandu Guesthouse 3 (http://www.ktmgh.com/kgh/default.php), Thamel. (+977 1 4700 004, 4700 977) The original guesthouse now with rooms ranging from basic to almost-fancy. Restaurant and bar. The axis on the compass of Thamel, all other addresses are given in relation to this hotel. $17 and up.
  • The Garuda. Private bathrooms, sheets, towels, etc. Some rooms with AC and balconies. Located near Kathmandu Guest House, Thamel. $10-$25
  • Shechen Guesthouse4 (http://www.shechenguesthouse.com/index.html). (+977 1 4479009) in the grounds of Shechen Monastery in Boudha has clean and good quality rooms with private bathrooms for about US$15. The guesthouse also has garden with restaurant/coffee shop facilities, and is within a five minute walk of Bodhnath Stupa.
  • Hotel Harati 5 (http://www.hotelharati.com) (+977 1 4257907, 4257758). Located on the main street from/through Tamel into Durbar Square (which is about 5-10 minutes away on foot, or a 50Rs rickshaw or taxi ride). Clean, hygienic and comfortable rooms, including en-suites with hot showers most of the time. The website quotes rooms from $50, but this is almost certainly negotiable.
  • Hotel Utse 6 (http://www.hotelutse.com) (+977 1 4257614, 4228952) Located in Jyatha, Thamel. The hotel has a quaint and homely Tibetan theme and rooms are also clean, hygienic and comfortable. The hotel has a restaurant on the ground floor that serves Tibetan/Chinese/Continental cuisine (open 6 A.M. to 10 P.M), in addition to a rooftop terrace. There are standard/deluxe/super deluxe rooms from $15-35 USD. Deluxe rooms include attached shower/bath with 24 hr hot water and cable T.V. Great value for the money.
  • Pushkar Guest House Lakeside -6, Pokhara +91 61 525 053, +91 61 526 229 (Mr. Krishna Paudel You can find it about 150 metres past the main Lakeside crossroads on your right hand side. You'll notice a steep staircase running up to the rooftop restaurant... ) A relaxed and comfortable guest house with a variety of rooms to suit all budgets, a rooftop restaurant (BEST breakfasts in Pokhara with great crusty brown bread!) overlooking the lake and with awesome views of sacred "Machhapuchare". Your friendly host is Krishna, who manages the hotel with his father Boom. Krishna speaks many languages and is very knowlegable about trekking. Thouroughly recommended, he is trustworthy, hard-working, a fantastic host and properly qualified trekking guide.

The Puskar Guest House has its own Carrom Board and you are welcome to play your own music on the rooftop stereo. A very reasonably priced place to stay, with good service.

Kathmandu

Splurge

  • Hyatt Regency. Actually a few miles outside of town in BodhnathBodhnath. A lovely building in the traditional Newari style with swimming pool, spa, and several restaurants. $300 and up. Pick-up and drop off from airport or downtown.
  • Hotel d'Annapurna. Four-star international hotel with all the amenities. Located on Durbar Marg.
  • Yak and Yeti. A five star hotel located in a converted palace on Durbar Marg.
  • Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza is a five star hotel in Tahachal, western side of Kathmandu. It also has Al Fresco, the most authentic Italian restaurant in Kathmandu.
  • Dwarika's A five-star hotel in Battisputali. It also is considered a heritage site. Clients include those who come specifically for it from around the world. Truly one of a kind. After turning right from Tribhuwan International Airport, turn left in Gaushala. The hotel is located furthur on the road on the left side. You can't miss the very traditional looking builing which seem to emerge from no where.
Kathmandu

Get out

  • The Kathmandu Valley holds a number of nearby sites and cities for day-trips or overnights.
  • Pokhara, 5-8 hours by bus, is the a pleasant little city on a lake (though quite overrun with backpackers). Many visitors stop here for a few days on the way to or from treks and rafting trips.
  • Chitwan National ForestChitwan National Forest Jungle low-lands of western Nepal are a popular place for safaris, complete with Elephant rides, rhino and tiger spotting, and jungle walks.
  • Everest region, within a short flight from Kathmandu, you can be trekking under the protective gaze of snow capped peaks and watching yak caravans carrying goods over mountain passes from Tibet.
  • Go on a Mountain Flight and see the magnificent Himalayan range the easy way - from the air. It's always a good idea to book early, especially in the 'Tourist Season' from August to October.
  • Take a hike up the Shivapuri Hill, north of the city and see Bishnu Muhan, a small spring from where river Bishnumati originates. Stay for a night at the Shivapuri Heights Cottage.
Kathmandu

Stay Safe

Canadian Consular Affairs (http://www.voyage.gc.ca/dest/report-en.asp?country=205000), UK Foreign and Commonwealth office (http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket%2FXcelerate%2FShowPage&c=Page&cid=1007029390590&a=KCountryAdvice&aid=1013618386271,), and The US State department (http://travel.state.gov/nepal_warning.html) all discourage non-essential travel to Nepal due to an ongoing military conflict between Maoist and the government. Visitors should avoid public demonstrations and register with their consulate on arrival. Although tourists haven't been directly targeted with politically motivated violence, it is easy to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The frequent strikes are a major inconvenance for tourists as all transportion stops, and shops and restaurants close. Following the news and government warnings is important, be sure to check on current road conditions before leaving Kathmandu.

While in Kathmandu, always keep an eye on belongings, violent crime is rare, but pickpockets are not. If your hotel room door doesn't have a good lock or safe windows, store valuables on your person or in a hotel safety deposit box at all times. As with any large city, avoid walking alone in unlit areas.

Kathmandu

Contact

Internet cafes are almost stacked on top of each other in Thamel and around the stupa at Boudha, from about 15Rs an hour.

  • Dharana Cyberspace, in an alley off the Boudha stupa circumabulation circuit. An especially clean facility with fast computers.
Kathmandu

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