One of the things that Western tourists look forward to when visiting tourist attractions in Asia are the aromatic and spicy foods. Eating and drinking in Kathmandu is not an exemption. A typical Nepali meal includes a tasty serving of rice, dhal (dried lentils, peas or beans), curry (vegetable or meat), vegetable dish, chutney and curd. This is available in all restaurants within the tourist district of Thamel. Perhaps the most popular local food is the momo, a dumpling that is similar to those offered in the Tibetan mountains. Chicken momo or buffalo momo is perfect with steamed rice, vegetables and beer. Also popular is chiya, a milky spice tea that is perfect when relaxing.
Valley living has never been as full of vim as in Katmandu. This is the capital of Nepal, the very heart of this mountainous and snowcapped country. Here, all those drawn in by the mystique and topographical attractions of this majestic land get to see what wonders humans have managed to carve out even amidst the tallest peaks in the world.
What usually surprises first-time tourists to the city is the age of some of the tourist sites in Katmandu. It may be difficult to imagine such a natural fortress as this—its walls the very mountains themselves—as being a place where man has long lived, but Katmandu has been populated for literal millennia. This seemingly hidden valley has been known to men for thousands of years and has hosted its fair share of their achievements… as indeed may be seen in the archaeological sites of importance in the ancient city. The square that holds the structure that gave the city its name, Kathmandu Durbar Square, has been alive and in use by locals for over a thousand years.
Katmandu’s attractions are mostly spiritual, but powerfully so. The city is awash with temples and shrines and the surrounding terrain is ideal ground for even the most exacting ascetic or soul-searcher. There is something about this place that makes it ideal for asserting or discovering the self, baring it raw to others and to whatever gods may be interested.
It is this self-confident, self-conscious communion with nature and oneself that one really discovers the beauty of being in Katmandu. This is a place where everything, from the mountains and the sky to the structures around you, seem to only enhance your joyous affirmation of your own life and self. In Katmandu, even the very air seems to be sweeter, even if only because this is a place where one usually rediscovers an appreciation for even that simple joy.
Nepal is a developing Asian country that is marred by political and social unrest and instability involving China and its own government. The local government of Kathmandu, however, strives to keep its tourism industry afloat since this is an important contributor to the economy of the capital city and the country as a whole. With the help of the local police and health centers, Kathmandu guarantees safety and good health to its visitors, which regularly arrive in hordes. City hospitals and medical centers are doing a good job in maintaining health in Kathmandu.
The most important hospital is Bir Hospital, which was established in 1889 by Bir Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana, then Prime Minister of Nepal. It is a modern [Read more…]
Garden attractions are always popular among tourists, even for those who may have not loved gardens originally. In most cases, gardens and parks offer a kind of relaxation that no other city landmarks can give. In the capital city of Kathmandu, Nepal, the most beautiful garden is called Garden of Dreams, and it is aptly named indeed.
Located at the very heart of the city, the almost 7,000-square-meter-wide Garden of Dreams is a historic neo-classical garden that was established by Kaiser Sumsher [Read more…]
When people hear Nepal, the first things to come to mind are the Himalayas, Asian religions and exotic Eastern culture. The mere mention of the country’s name raises curiosity and a longing to experience Eastern charm and mysticism. The country does not disappoint since the culture and festivals in Kathmandu are among the most colorful and unique in South Asia.
Kathmandu is Nepal’s capital. It is also the largest, busiest and most tourist-friendly. Any and all tourist activities in Nepal begin in Kathmandu. The city itself is a leading tourist attraction for its many palaces, temples, structures and streets that have remained untouched through the centuries. There are no modern structures here but the ancient architecture and Mother Nature’s charm are enough to make up for the country’s lack in modern facilities and comfort. There is also much to be desired in infrastructure. Many of the roads, including the major ones, are potholed and unpaved, making local travels slow and uncomfortable. Yet, tourists continue to pour in. [Read more…]
Kathmandu is a magical city in Nepal that is stacked with ancient sites and temples. Located in Kathmandu Valley, the central figure of this enchanting city is the ancient Kasthamandap or Wooden House within Durbar Square, which has been in use by Kathmandu residents and worshippers since 1000 AD. There are a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nepal, including this famous square. There are no modern facilities here; tourists come for the ancestry, magic and mysticism. Getting to Kathmandu may be done by plane or on land. No matter how one does it, it is about time to know how to get to Kathmandu.
Getting to Kathmandu by air involves a number of flights from Asia and Europe but not from North America. The Royal Nepal Airlines, official carrier of Nepal, travel regularly from London and Paris, passing through Dubai in the Middle East. Lufthansa also travels direct from Frankfurt to Kathmandu. Other airlines that fly from Europe to Nepal are Pakistan International Airlines, Bangladesh Biman and Aeroflot, with a layover at Karachi, Dhaka or Moscow. There are also direct flights from Bangladesh and Bhutan on board Druk Air. [Read more…]
Shopping in Kathmandu is a top reason why local and international tourists come here. Very popular are the city’s unique and cheap handicrafts, jewelry, clothes, local fabrics, decorative metal, knives, Pashmina shawls, rice paper, tea, pottery, carvings of wood, woolen carpets, and colorful Buddhist paintings called Thangkas. Shopping, as well as all urban and tourist activities, happen in the tourist district of Thamel. Although the capital city lacks the usual modern comforts and facilities found in major Asian destinations, tourists will have a heyday shopping in this beautiful city. Below are a few tips on where to shop in Kathmandu.
Most of the shopping happens in the local market between Asan and Indra Chowk. Available here are an assortment of clothes, textiles, handicrafts, spices, local produce, and so on. The complex is made up of a maze of shops, including up-market stores selling carpets, art pieces, antiques and rare souvenir items specifically sold to tourists. Located in the southeastern side of the city, the market is often (and much more on Saturdays) packed with locals and tourists since it is not far from the Bahar Mahal Revisited Complex, one of the leading tourist attractions that used to be the palace of the Ranas. Also found nearby are the Singh Durbar government offices. [Read more…]