Nepal combines Himalayan views, golden temples, charming hill villages and jungle wildlife watching to offer one of the world’s great travel destinations! In general we could say its a trekkers’ paradise…but still can be an amazing travel experience for all kinds of travellers!
When we decided to travel to India and started planning our trip, my eyes stuck at the map… and gues what? I wasnt looking at India but at a smaller country which borders China in the north and India in the south, east, and west while Bangladesh is located within only 27 km! So, my question was…Why not taking a trip to Nepal as well! And so it happenned!!!
As a result of its years of geographic and self-imposed isolation, Nepal is one of the least developed nations of the world. In recent years many countries, including India have provided economic assistance to Nepal. The extent of foreign aid to Nepal has been influenced to a considerable degree by the strategic position of the country between India and China.
Some Nepali facts
- Capital: Kathmandu
- Language: Nepali
- Religion: 1st Hinduism, 2nd Buddhism
- Population: 29.000.000 approx.
The most interesting fact: The national flag of Nepal is the world’s only non-quadrilateral national flag!
So let us try introduce you a part of Nepal (Kathmandu) in 2 days itinerary!
Day 1 – Kathmandu:
Arrival at the airport oh Kathmandu, the political as well as cultural capital of the country of Nepal! First impressions… ? There was a strange feeling at first sight! The second one? Lets find our luggage and get through migration process! What about the airport? If you have seen at least once in your life a documentary of a film about mountain Everest you would probably have seen the airport too! Its the same as always! Old, small and crowdy! After going through the standard procedures we met our complimentary by the hotel driver who took us to our hotel! On our first days at every city we travel, we try not to organize many things! Of course that depends on the ammount of days we afford to spend there, but lets talk about having plenty of time to be a little bit more spontaneous! So.. while driving to the hotel we stayed focused on trying to take all that pictures of Nepali people’s ordinary day. Arriving at the hotel was a great surpise to us, it was a beautiful place with great and polite staff! It was something between a cozy hostel and a sweet hotel! With all these colourful flags of Nepal it just felt like home…in Nepal!
After leaving our stuff we start exploring the city with a little map in our hands! We started our tour at the Thamel district, where our hotel was located and the most famous tourist district! First day is about feeling thew city’s vibes before getting to meet each other! We walked almost every path of the city center, all of which paths were decorated colourfully and gave you a hospital welcome to an amazing city! Of course there were some ugly things too, such us the dust, the dirt etc… but since we travelled there after visiting India, we ve been some kind of trained to see such things!
Day 2 – Kathmandu
The 2015 earthquake destroyed several temples in Kathmandu’s Unesco-listed Durbar Square, but most areas emerged unscathed. Stroll through the backstreets and Kathmandu’s timeless cultural and artistic heritage still reveals itself in hidden temples overflowing with marigolds, courtyards full of drying chillies and rice, and tiny hobbit-sized workshops.
- Durbar Square
- Kathmandu old town
- Pashupatinath Stupa Temple
- Bodhnath Stupa Temple
- Swayambhunath Stupa Temple or Monkey temple
- Itum Bahal
- Gardens of dream
- Indra Chowk Seto
- Machhendranath Temple (Jan Bahal)
Watch out though especially if you are a low budget traveller there is an entrace fee to the”durbar squares” at Kathmandu valley! The fee costs 10 USD!!! To be honest this was not welcomed by us, firstly because the mail temples at Durbar square were destroyed by the earthquake as mentioned above, and secondly coz we couldnt afford paying 10 USD everytime and everyday we wanted to pass through the squares!
What we did? At Kathmandu Durbar square, we chose to visit every rooftop we could!!! Yeah thats right, great view at no expenses! Also… great photos can be taken!!! (at other Durbar squares, like Patan’s we tried other tips..stay tuned!).
After tasting the really HOT Indian cuisine, anything less peppered seemed tasteless! In Kathmandu we prefered to eat at local restaurants. Much of the cuisine is variation on Asian themes. Other foods have hybrid Tibetan, Indian and Thai origins. Momo’s Tibetan style dumplings with Nepalese spices—are one of the most popular foods in Nepal. They were originally filled with buffalo meat but now also with goat or chicken, as well as vegetarian preparations. Remember momos! We had a lot of them!!!
We trully suggest Kahmandu Eco hotel for your stay! Beautiful place, great staff, perfect location!
The city of Kathmandu is big enough but the city center is really walkable! For those who arent so fond of walking there are those ricksaw’s ready to take you anywhere you wish! Getting around inside of Kathmandu is complicated with the city’s public bus service. Traveling from Kathmandu to other locations in Nepal is simple by /car bus or domestic air service. for your comfort book a car/coach. Kathmandu is also home to many types of public buses and minivans, some of which are operated by the city and some of which are privately owned. These can be found at many boaring stops around the city, and they travel several different routes. Kathmandu’s central bus station is located at Ratnapark, from which a bus can be boarded to anyplace in the city. To our opinion, those public buses is the best experience of real Nepal! Dont be afraid of trying them, dont expect to see any timetables just ask the locals! About prices…? Less than 0,20 USD per person per ride while the taxi may cost you 10 USD!
We ll come back to you later, with our experience in Nepali local buses!!!
Wont say anything more for days 1 and 2 in Nepal because the tour continues with Nagarkot, Bhaktapur and Patan so keep reading!
This endlessly fascinating, sometimes infuriating city has enough sights to keep you busy for a week, but be sure to explore the ‘real Nepal’ before your time runs out.