Kathmandu Journals

Sanctuary at the Top of the World

An October 1998 trip to Kathmandu by Alan Ingram

Annapurna South Peak Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal More Photos
Quote: Accounts and photographs of trekking around the Annapurna Himal ( one of the classic treks ) and to the Annapurna Sanctuary ( one of the most popular treks ) in the Nepal Himalaya. Details and photographs of sightseeing in and around Kathmandu.

Sanctuary at the Top of the World

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Trekking Lodge at Chomrong Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
Sightseeing the magnificent, medieval, multi-tiered, pagoda-style temples in the Durbar Squares of the old cities of Kathmandu, Patan and Baktapur, the great Buddhist stupas of Swayambunath ( the "Monkey Temple" ) and Bodhnath, the major Hindu Temple of Pashupatinath with its burning gats on the Bagmati River all World Heritage Sites. Haggling for bargains in the crowded street bazaars of Asan and Thamel. The splendid panorama of the Annapurna Himal from Phewa Tal in Pokhara. Trekking through terraced paddy fields, picturesque hill villages, dense bamboo and rhododendron jungle and the deep gorge of the Modi Khola river valley. Traditional fa...Read More

Puska Hotel

Hotel

Puska Hotel Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
One of the many budget / no-star hotels / guesthouses in the popular Thamel area of Kathmandu. Good location.

Two wings with central courtyard and roof terraces. Basic rooms with double or twin beds and private shower / toilet. Rooms with shared bathrooms also available. New wing preferable to old one.

Friendly and helpful staff.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 11, 2001

Puska Hotel
Thamel area
Kathmandu, Nepal

Quote:
One of the many inexpensive but good quality restaurants in Thamel. Extensive Chinese-Thai menu. Good service - friendly waiters. Nicely decorated in Chinese fashion - predominately in red and yellow - propitious colours for good luck and prosperity. Typical table size is for 4 but a few larger ones available. Preferable to the other chinese restaurants in Thamel. My favourite delicacies are the tomato egg drop soup or chicken sweetcorn soup followed by chinese roast pork and plain boiled rice or american chop suey. However I much prefer a pot of Nepalese Dudh Chia ( milk tea ) to the insipid, weak as water, chinese tea.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 13, 2001

Chinatown Restaurant
Thamel
Kathmandu, Nepal

Asan

Attraction

Asan Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
The 6 narrow streets, that radiate from the open air fruit and vegetable market surrounding the 3-storey high pagoda at Asan toll are probably the busiest in Kathmandu and are lined with a multitude of shops selling all kinds of household goods, clothing and footware.

While items are mainly for local trade they include some of interest to visitors such as metalwork, woollen sweaters and rugs.

Prices are generally cheaper than the inflated ones of the tourist oriented shops in Thamel but hard bargaining is still required for best prices.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 12, 2001

Asan
Between Durbar Square and Thamel
Kathmandu, Nepal

Durbar Square

Attraction | "Patan Durbar Square"

Durbar Square Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
The Durbar Square (central square) of the ancient royal city of Patan is comparable to, but different from, that of Kathmandu and is also a complex of medieval temples.

Originally a separate entity, Patan is now a suburb of the ever expanding metropolis of Kathmandu and is easily reached by bicycle or tempo/taxi - a good day's outing.

Many tourists prefer to stay in Patan as it is quieter and less congested than Kathmandu.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 12, 2001

Durbar Square

Kathmandu, Nepal

Durbar Square

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Kathmandu Durbar Square"

Durbar Square Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
Durbar Square is the central square in the old section of Kathmandu. It is also known as Hanuman Doka. Enclosed by magnificent medieval, multi-tiered, pagoda-style temples with intricately carved, erotic, temple-struts it is a World Heritage Site and a mandatory first stop on any visit to Kathmandu. Kumari - the "Living Goddess" resides in one of the temples. The Old Royal Palace forms one side of the square and is now a large museum open to the public. The adjacent square of Basantapur is an extensive open air "antiques" and curio / souvenir market. Freak Street, the old haunt of the original ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2001

Durbar Square

Kathmandu, Nepal

Swayambunath

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Swayambunath Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
Known also as the "Monkey Temple" due to the hordes of monkeys frequenting the temple and its surroundings, the huge stupa of Swayambunath perched high on a hilltop on the outskirts of Kathmandu provides a fine outlook over the city and the great white wall of the Himalaya lining the northern horizon.Gained by a short walk from Durbar Square, followed by a never ending flight of stairs, Swayambunath can also be accessed on its far side by taxi or tourist bus. An archetypal structure with its hemispherical base, all-seeing eyes of Buddha on the four sides of a rectangular column looking to the four points of the compass and conical spire bedecked with fluttering prayer flags Swayambunath is ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 13, 2001

Swayambunath

Kathmandu, Nepal

Pashupatinath Temple

Attraction | "Pashupatinath"

Pashupatinath Temple Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
On the outskirts of Kathmandu, close to the international airport, Pashupatinath is the main Hindu Temple with its burning gats on the banks of the Bagmati River.

Access is only permitted for Hindus but views of the extensive temple complex are gained from terraces on the opposite side of the river.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 13, 2001

Pashupatinath Temple
Banks of the Bagmati River
Kathmandu, Nepal

Bodhnath

Attraction | "Bodnath"

Bodhnath Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
Situated on the outskirts of Kathmandu near the airport and within walking distance of Pashupatinath the great Buddhist stupa at Bodhnath is one of the largest in the World and the centre of Tibetan / Sherpa culture in Nepal. The circumference is ringed with prayer wheels and merit is obtained by making a clockwise circuit of the monument - even more if done prostrate! It is bad luck to go in the wrong direction.

The outer rim of the courtyard enclosing the stupa is lined with stalls selling handicrafts and other curios / souvenirs.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 13, 2001

Bodhnath
Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu, Nepal

Ancient Town of Bhaktapur

Attraction | "Bhaktapur"

Ancient Town of Bhaktapur Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
Easily accessible by bicycle, taxi or trolley bus from Kathmandu the centre of the old royal city of Bhaktapur with its cluster of tall, medieval, pagoda-style temples is now a conservation area. Renowned for the intricate wood-carvings on the ornate temples - in particular the "Peacock Window".

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 14, 2001

Ancient Town of Bhaktapur
Newar
Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

Mountain Biking

Attraction

Mountain Biking Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
Hiring a mountain bike from one of the several hire shops in Thamel or Basantapur ( off Durbar Square ) is inexpensive and enables day or half day trips to worthwhile objectives on the outskirts of Kathmandu:-

1) Budhanilkantha - statue of the "Sleeping Vishnu" on his bed of snakes. ( 1/2 day )

2) Temple of Bajrajagoni at Sankhu. Can also visit the Changunarayan temple and Gokarna country park on route. ( 1 day )

3) Medieval city of Bhaktapur ( 1 day )

4) Daxinkali - sacrificial temple for chickens and goats on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

The temple at Chobhar Gorge can be visited on route. ( 1 day )

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 14, 2001

Mountain Biking
Around Kathmandu
Kathmandu, Nepal

Annapurna Base Camp and Rakshi Peak

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Macchapucchre Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
Annapurna - " Goddess Mother of the Harvests " - is, like Everest, a secluded peak. Although its 8000 metre summit may be glimpsed from Phewa Lake in Pokhara, protruding on the far horizon between the protecting bastions of Hiunchuli and Macchapuchre, a six-day trek over terraced hillsides strewn with picturesque villages and through the deep, dark gorge of the Modi Khola is required to reach the yak pastures and vast, glacier-filled amphitheatre ensconced at the foot of the world's tenth highest mountain. Named "the Sanctuary " by Colonel Jimmy Roberts, the pioneer and founder of organised trekking in the Nepal Himalaya, this was the site of the base camp of ( Sir ) Chris Bonington on h...Read More
Nepal Himalaya Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
The 220 mile trek around the great, semi-circular, multi-summitted Annapurna massif takes some 20 days to complete and is one of the classic journeys through the Nepal Himalaya. Starting amid lush, sub-tropical rice-paddies the route follows the course of the Marsayangdi Khola (river) on primitive trails through small farming settlements and alpine forests of fir and pine to the arctic tundra of the yak pastures surrounding the medieval village of Manang nestled beneath the huge ice-fall tumbling from the giant, 7,000 metre Gangapurna. Beyond Manang, the crux of the trek is the high-level crossing of the snow-covered Tharong La to reach an arid, wind-swept, mountain-desert region in ...Read More