Travel to Kathmandu, a great idea I thought in the later parts of 2018 when deciding where to go next, an ideal chance to witness a destination that is like something I have never seen before and was certainly different to what I am use to when travelling to other parts of the world. In the end, I have no regrets, because I always have little regret in terms of travel and it certainly was an eye-opening experience to visit Kathmandu, one the most interesting travel destinations I have ever been to in my life.

Personally, I felt it topped Ho Chi Minh City, in terms of chaos, or maybe I have lost the plot a little and simply forgotten how crazy Saigon had been. Yet, the Kathmandu trip opened my eyes to a whole new kind of craziness in terms of traffic on the roads, the narrow lane ways, horrible road conditions and the pesky locals asking me if I wanted to go trekking, buy drugs or check out their local Mandala paint store.

My Kathmandu travel trip was not a long one, which was a solo adventure this time. This trip was about spending some time in the city, going on a short trek into Chisapani and Nagarkot and finishing up in Kathmandu one more time before flying back home to Australia. unfortunately, on this occasion, I missed out on a Polkhara trip.

By the end of the trip, the Nepal travel experience was certainly an interesting adventure, but It was still a fantastic trip, that had moments of wanting to fly home to my family and other moments where I was continually eager to explore the tourist places in Kathmandu. At the end of the day, the temples were amazing, the atmosphere electric, even if a little in your face, and the majority of the locals were wonderful people. At the end of the day, Nepal really is a safe country to visit, it truly was. 

Let’s get into the travel diaries and the first edition of Nepal Diaries for 2019 – Travel to Kathmandu.

 

Related Article: Check out this Ultimate Guide to Backpacking in Nepal!

 

travel to kathmandu

Travel to Kathmandu and witness culture at its very finest.

 

 

Nepal Diaries 2019 – 1st Edition – Travel to Kathmandu Gets started

 

 

Taking Singapore – Silk Airlines to Fly to Kathmandu

How lucky does it get, flying with Singapore Airlines for the third trip in a row, beside the slight disappointment of it being Silk Airways in the Singapore to Kathmandu leg of the trip, but only a slight let down with not having a TV screen in front of me. It did, however, give me time to do some much-needed typing and Silk still gave me a good feed.

Flying to Kathmandu was smooth sailing, the airlines were great, it was mainly comfortable if not a little too warm, both flights departed on time and we all arrived safely, which is naturally the main thing. Upon landing in Nepal, it was time to begin exploring the different Kathmandu attractions.

Find amazing cheap flights to Kathmandu from all over the world with Skyscanner!

 

flights to Kathmandu

Going Silk Airlines from Singapore to Kathmandu.

 

 

Staying at the budget Hotel Horizon Kathmandu

When you travel to Nepal, you’ll always find hotels in Kathmandu at a bargain price. The first hotel I stayed in during my Nepal trip was the very basic, quite run-down Hotel Horizon Kathmandu. I wasn’t complaining, not when I only paid about AUD$12 per-night for a single room with a warm shower and a very fulfilling breakfast.

As far as hotels go, it was a shithole, but I would still recommend it to any traveller looking for privacy at a real bargain price, who don’t mind a sub-standard room. The Hotel Horizon was a no-frills hotel, with no daily housekeeping service, no television, no air-conditioning/heating and no tea or coffee facilities, which I missed the most. Lucky that coffee in Kathmandu was really cheap.

You can find your own rates at Hotel Horizon Kathmandu with Booking.com!

 

hotels in Kathmandu Nepal

Not one of the worst hotels in Kathmandu Nepal – The Hotel Horizon Kathmandu.

 

Helena’s Restaurant and the stunning rooftop views

Stumbling along the streets of Thamel on the first evening in the city, I came across The Helena’s Restaurant, a rooftop bar that served food and drinks. At the front of the shop before going up five flights of stairs, read a sign that said it was the “home to the best sunset views in town,” so with the sun going down over the KTM Valley for the day, I thought, why not.

The first night I wanted something a little more traditional to Nepal, so I tried the Buffalo Momos, a kind of dumpling, I can tell you now, the Momos were delicious and it went down perfectly with a bottle of local Everest Beer. Oh yeah, the views on a clear Kathmandu view, overlooking the Valley and the Monkey Temple were sensational.

 

kathmandu sightseeing places

helena’s rooftop restaurants, one of the best Kathmandu sightseeing places to drink local beer.

 

 

A Thamel City Walk

What can I say about Thamel, it’s where all the tourists go to when in Kathmandu and is the home to most boutique hotels/hostels in Kathmandu. In saying that, it meant it’s where many of the locals go to make a buck.

You can’t walk 10-metres in Thamel without being stopped in your tracks by a local and be offered a trekking trip, a taxi ride, a rickshaw ride, drugs, local souvenirs items and to check out the Mandala paintings in hope you’ll spend $500 big ones. I can tell you it all gets very annoying and it seems you get more attention being a solo traveller.

However, Thamel is the place to be and you won’t be able to help yourself to explore the unique township with narrow laneways. Inside Thamel, you’ll find retail outlets that sell local merchandise such as cashmere, singing bowls, Nepalese puppets and local souvenirs you may be tempted to buy. There is also massage parlours, café’s with WIFI, restaurants, Kathmandu travel guide outlets and a whole lot more in the busy city complex.

Once you get use to the approaches from locals, the area is really not too bad, and you’ll even make a few friends in your short stay in Kathmandu City.

Find the cheapest hotels in Thamel with Booking.com!

 

travel to Kathmandu

Looking over Thamel with the mountains in the background.

 

 

A Walk-through Kathmandu Durbar Square (UNESCO world heritage site)

To begin with, it started walk through the central part of Kathmandu city and venturing south until I reached Durbar Square. Being my first morning of my Nepal trip, the eye-opening experience well and truly began during a walk to my first lot of Kathmandu attractions.

It seemed the city was one big market place as I wandered through the crowded narrow laneways, with many locals keen to purchase the fresh produce or a range of local merchandise that were for sale all throughout the streets. It stayed that way until I reached my first sightseeing in Kathmandu City – Durbar Square.

There are quite a few Durbar Squares within the Kathmandu Valley, such as the popular locations of Patan and Bhaktapur, which I visit down the track.

For now, it’s about the Kathmandu version. The Hanuman-Dhoka Durbar Square (Kathmandu), has an abundance of temples and shrines throughout the grounds that represent the two main religions of Nepal, being Hindu and Buddhist. Up until the 20th Century it was the home to the King of Nepal, albeit these days, there is longer a royal family in Nepal.

Kathmandu Durbar Square, like many areas within the Valley, was affected the horrific 2015 earthquake that tragically killed 9000-people. During my visit, a few structures were still in the process of being rebuilt, with construction taking its time. Of course, it is still worth the visit, and for most tourist the entrance fee is 1000-rupees to wander around and capture the culture of Kathmandu, visit amazing temples, be flocked by a thousand pigeons and enjoy a coffee in a nearby café that overlooks the Durbar Square.

 

Find an amazing and affordable Kathmandu sightseeing tour with Klook!

 

Kathmandu Durbar Square

The crowds flock to Kathmandu Durbar Square.

An evening Secret Food Tour

When you travel to Nepal, you’re constantly thinking about the local foods, therefore, I purchased a brief two-hour food tour to get a feel of the local ways and the places they eat away from the tourist areas. The tour only had a guide and me included, so it made it easy to ask a lot of questions about the city and the food we were tasting.

Some food we tried was certainly unique on the taste buds, although the Nepalese favourites The Momos, Samosas, Veg Chatamari and a unique hot lemon drink had hit the spots and definitely passed the test of unique eat enjoyable foods. I enjoyed the experience and if you do get a chance to go one of the food tours in Kathmandu, take the chance to try something a little different, it won’t cost much and the guide is a lot of fun.

 

Kathmandu tour

Trying local foods with an awesome food tour.

 

 

A wander through Patan Durbar Square (UNESCO world heritage site)

Patan is around 4-km away from central Kathmandu City and it takes approximately 35-40 minutes to get there by taxi on a good day. That, in itself, let’s you know how chaotic the streets of the city really are with cars and, buses and bikes going in all directions.

Patan, which is located in the city of Lalitpur, was more affected by the earthquakes, meaning their Durbar Square was also going through a phase of construction. Again, this Durbar Square has many temples and shrines in the main grounds which again represent both Hindu and Buddhism. The main tourist attractions within Patan Durbar Square is the Ancient Royal Place (museum), the Krishna Temple and the Mul Chok courtyard, amongst many other gorgeous structures, temples and religious artefacts located in the area.

From a personal point of view, the Patan Durbar Square, while quite impressive, didn’t reach the same heights as it’s neighbour in Kathmandu or Bhaktapur, although that may be only my opinion and they obviously vary from individual viewpoints. I admit, once reconstruction is complete, my tune may change and in years to come upon return to Kathmandu, I am sure it will look better than ever.

 

Klook.com

 

Patan Durbar Square

Patan Durbar Square.

The peace and quiet in the Garden of Dreams

This is my favourite Kathmandu place, well one of, the Garden of Dreams. Not that it was the most spectacular gardens I had ever seen, far from it, but in a city like Kathmandu where you have the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, the gardens were a perfect setting to chill in nature with no one bothering you.

Surrounded by a big concrete fence that more represents a heavily protected Royal Palace, the entrance fee to the Gardens of Dreams is 200-rupee, which is only a couple of dollars and worth the admission fare. Many people visit to relax, read a book, enjoy a little more expensive coffee or meal but in lush surrounds and to take a stroll in the pleasant garden scenery.

Put the Garden of Dreams high on your Wish list of tourist places in Kathmandu when you’ve had enough of the noise in the city, it promises to be perfect.

 

Garden of Dreams

The breathtaking Garden of Dreams.

Going to Great heights at Swayambhunath Stupa – The Monkey Temple

When it comes to places to visit in Kathmandu, the Swayambhunath Stupa is compulsory for all tourists in the city.

Once you ascend the 365-steps (apparently to illuminati) to the hugely popular Swayambhunath Stupa, also known as the Monkey temple, you are hit with the incredible views that overlooks the spread-out city below and out towards the surrounding mountains seen in the distance. It certainly makes for great Kathmandu valley sightseeing and if you are arriving at sunrise or sunset, those Kathmandu Nepal views only get better.

The name of Swayambhunath Stupa is Tibetian and means “sublime trees” for all the different variety of trees that are on the hill of the Stupa. Once at the top, many people are getting their cameras out for the fantastic views in front of them ad capture a giant glimpse of the Stupa which stands high above.

At this Nepal tourist place, you can also wander further around the area and see other religious architecture such as the Statue of Peace and the Maha Manjushree Sarashwati Temple, where the large crowds often disperse and is not such an issue, but yes, there will be more steps to navigate if you decide to return to the main Stupa.

Returning is not compulsory however, as things to see in Kathmandu include the Amideva Buddha Park, which is nearby the Stupa and the home to the three Buddha statues that sit side by side to each other. Although on my visit, only one buddha was fully recognisable as the others were going through maintenance work. Such is the life when you travel in Kathmandu Nepal.

That concludes a busy few days during the first edition of Nepal diaries of my time in Kathmandu, I can tell you now, it’s the next stage of this Nepal travel adventure that things get even more spectacular with a short trek that includes stunning views of the Himalaya Mountains.

When it comes to places to visit in Kathmandu, the Swayambhunath Stupa is compulsory for all tourists in the city.

Once you ascend the 365-steps (apparently to illuminati) to the hugely popular Swayambhunath Stupa, also known as the Monkey temple, you are hit with the incredible views that overlooks the spread-out city below and out towards the surrounding mountains seen in the distance. It certainly makes for great Kathmandu valley sightseeing and if you are arriving at sunrise or sunset, those Kathmandu Nepal views only get better.

The name of Swayambhunath Stupa is Tibetian and means “sublime trees” for all the different variety of trees that are on the hill of the Stupa. Once at the top, many people are getting their cameras out for the fantastic views in front of them ad capture a giant glimpse of the Stupa which stands high above.

At this Nepal tourist place, you can also wander further around the area and see other religious architecture such as the Statue of Peace and the Maha Manjushree Sarashwati Temple, where the large crowds often disperse and is not such an issue, but yes, there will be more steps to navigate if you decide to return to the main Stupa.

Returning is not compulsory, however, as things to see in Kathmandu include the Amideva Buddha Park, which is nearby the Stupa and the home to the three Buddha statues that sit side by side to each other. Although on my visit, only one buddha was fully recognisable as the others were going through maintenance work. Such is life when you travel in Kathmandu Nepal.

That concludes a busy few days during the first edition of Nepal diaries of my time in Kathmandu, I can tell you now, it’s the next stage of this Nepal travel adventure that things get even more spectacular with a short trek that includes stunning views of the Himalaya Mountains.

Check out more information on travel to Kathmanduat GPS MyCity!

 

Klook.com

 

Swayambhunath Stupa

The monkey has no fear at Swayambhunath Stupa.

the Amideva Buddha park

The one and only of the 3 Buddhas visible at the Amideva Buddha Park.


 

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