Nepal

6 Great Day Trips around Kathmandu

Most trekkers heading out to Everest or Annapurna save at least one day on the end of their treks for Kathmandu. If you are wondering what are the best sightseeing options here are 6 great ideas to get you started. 1.    Swayambhunath or Monkey Temple The Monkey Temple lies on a hill top about 20 minutes walk from Thamel.  Walk-up the 365 steps to the stupa at the top which is a important pilgrimage place for Buddhist and enjoy the birds-eye views of Kathmandu. The stairs are home to numerous monkeys that are said to be holy and are quite used to humans. Make sure to keep a safe distant as monkey bites are serious, but you can certainly get some great pictures. It takes no more than a few hours to enjoy the Monkey Temple. When you reach the top of the stairs you need to pay an entrance fee of 200 Rs. If you are coming from Thamel in a taxi the charge should be no more than a few hundred Rupees. 2.    Kathmandu Durbar Square and Freak Street The Durbar Square of Kathmandu is one of the easiest places to visit in Thamel and one of the […]


Categories: Kathmandu

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Kathmandu’s Temple of Monkeys

If you are looking for something to do in Kathmandu before heading out trekking the Monkey Temple is a good way to spend a few hours. Laying just to the west of Kathmandu it’s only a 30 minute walk from Thamel. To reach the Monkey Temple it’s a steep climb up a series of 365 stairs. It’s one of the highest points in Kathmandu and offers expansive views across the city. The site itself is situated on a small hill top and consists of a large central stupa surrounded by a myriad of shrines, temples and small shops that specializes in paintings, singing bowls and a variety of religious artifacts.  Also known as Swayambhunath the site is a popular pilgrimage spot for Buddhists. If you get up before dawn you might catch a glimpse of the many Buddhists and Hindus alike who climb to the top to make homage.  


Categories: Kathmandu, Nepal

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A Day Trip to the Ancient City of Bhaktapur

If you have a few extra days in Kathmandu before your trek to Everest or Annapurna you are probably wondering how to best spend your time. A great option is a day trip to the ancient city of Bhaktapur which lies only about 20km east of Kathmandu and can be reached in 40mins from Thamel by car.   Visiting Bhaktapur reminds me of visiting one of Europe’s medieval cities as it’s actually a place of “living history.” Over 200,000 people still inhabit its narrow streets and ancient brick buildings decorated with elaborate carvings.  A number of both Hindu and Buddhist shrines can be found in Bhaktapur although the population is 90% Hindu. In practice most of the inhabitants practice both religions with equal intensity.  Bhaktapur is the most Hindu of the three main cities of Kathmandu Valley (Patan is more Buddhist and Kathmandu a mixture of both). Bhaktapur was the capital of the Malla Kingdom from the 12th to 15th centuries and after the 15th century became an independent kingdom alongside Kathmandu and Patan. As the capital of the Malla Kingdom it was clearly an important and wealthy city judging by the architectural richness of the many buildings, temples and […]


Categories: Kathmandu, Nepal

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Celebrate Holi! Nepal’s Most Colorful Festival

If you want to experience one of Nepal’s most lively and colorful festivals you can think of planning your trek to Everest Base Camp at the same time as the spring festival of Holi. One of the most important festivals celebrated during the year by Hindus in both Nepal and India.  The festival marks the start of spring and the triumph of good will.  Nepal is dominantly a Hindu country so this is one of the most important festivals of the year as well as an official holiday. The night before Holi starts with bonfires which are lit right on the city streets. If you are in Nepal you won’t see this so much but if you happen to be in Mumbai or some cities in India these are quite common and quite impressive and some estimates that over 30,000 fires burn across India lighting up the night sky in anticipation of this event. I remember one time taking off on an airplane from Mumbai and seeing the impressive site of all the fires in the streets below and smoke rising from the city. The fire is lit to celebrate the death of Holika a demoness who is said to […]


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Everest vs. Annapurna Base Camp Treks

Everest or Annapurna Base Camp. If it’s your first time in Nepal you might be wondering which is the better trek? Having done both I would right out the gate say Everest Base Camp. However, if your worried about acclimatization, scared of flying small planes or don’t like colder temperatures then Annapurna Base Camp might be a better option. Here is a short review of both treks and the pros and cons of doing each. Keep in mind at the end of the day this is a bit subjective and that they both deserve to be included in a list of the world’s greatest treks. The first thing to consider is the scenery of each trek. The trek to Everest Base Camp I think wins by a good margin. One of my favorite things about the trek to Everest Base Camp is that from you are almost in direct view of some amazing peaks. On the first few days of the trek you can get a view of peaks such as Thyangmoche, Kusum Kanguru and Thamserku. Once you past Namche Bazaar you are in almost always in direct view of Everest or one of the other giant peaks like Ama […]


Categories: Annapurna, Everest, Nepal

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