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 […]


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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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Last Updated: Saturday, March 7, 2015 – 7:20pm Most Recent: Its Saturday now at 7:20pm and local news is indicating the runway is clear. Flights should resume shortly according to television coverage in Kathmandu. ———Full Story The only international airport in Kathmandu has been closed since Wednesday morning when a Turkish airliner partially missed the runway. Fortunately, all the passengers on the Turkish flight were evacuated safely but a portion of the wing remains on the runway forcing its closure. Flights won’t be resumed until this aircraft has been removed from the runway. Currently a specialized aircraft removal team from India is making some progress and expects to clear the runway by noon today with flights resuming several hours after. For our guests travelling into the country and those looking to leave one of the most frustrating aspects of this ordeal is the lack of information and what appears to be a poorly organized response by the authorities. The first plan on Wednesday was to remove the Turkish airliner with two large bulldozers that were in close proximity to the airport. However, Turkish airlines objected to this procedure and the plan was called off after in the late afternoon. A […]


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The Weather and Climate of the Himalayas

If you have not been to the Himalayas before you might make the mistake of thinking the climate is fairly uniform across the entire mountain range but nothing could be further from the truth. If you’re planning a trip its key to understand how the weather changes throughout the year in each part of the Himalayas. The Indian monsoon is the main driver of climate and the impact of the monsoon or lack of it is of key importance for predicting the weather. A monsoon is best described as a seasonally reversing wind system. It works because during the hot part of the year the sun warms up the earth’s surface causing the atmosphere to rise and as it does it pulls in moist air from the ocean. When the sun is no longer heating the surface during the winter this mechanism reverses and a generally dry subsiding air mass dominates. The monsoon first reaches the Himalayas in far eastern India, Bhutan and Nepal in early June and remains over these regions for the longest time. For this reason, the western Himalayas in contrast to the eastern Himalayas are much drier and the monsoon starts later in the year. When […]



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