Kathmandu Journals

Not Trekking in Nepal

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A November 1999 trip to Kathmandu by Ozzy-Dave

Swayambunath Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal More Photos
Quote: Talk to anyone about a trip to Nepal and the focus turns to treks through exhilarating mountain panoramas and visions of exhausting uphill battles, smelly feet and thermal underwear. True, Nepal is a "Mecca for trekkers", but it also shelters a cultural landscape as diverse as any on the planet.

Not Trekking in Nepal

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Overview

A cotton rainbow Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
The Kathmandu Valley presents visitors with a smorgasbord of cultural diversions, exciting activities and inspiring destinations. Here are some of the best we encountered: 1. Bhaktapur - a living art museum 2. Patan - some of Asia's (if not the world's) most awe-inspiring architecture 3. Kirtipur - a communist outpost stuck in a time warp 4. Chobar and its nearby gorge - stay a while and chat, you'll feel like and extra from the 18th century 5. Bodhnath - all the best of Tibet outside of Tibet 6. Pashupatinath - Hindu splendour of an unparalleled scale 7. Nagarkot - pick a clear day, the views and walks in the area are unmissable 8. Changu Naraya...Read More

Century Lodge

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Hotel

Century Lodge Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
This place must be one of Kathmandu's definitive accommodation experiences. It's like a virtual tour of the hippie days. Century Lodge was built for the hippies of the 1970s and I swear you can still hear some of them late at night if you stay here. We had a large double room with its own bathroom and gold foil door for 300Rp. I still don't know what the gold foil was for, but it looked kind of cool. There was a poster of Jim Morrison on one wall and the ornately carved teak windows opened on to a view of the central paved courtyard, littered with a few tables and chairs and the owner's pet doves. Smaller singles and doubles without a bathroom cost less - around 150Rp. The r...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 3, 2002

Century Lodge
Freak Street
Kathmandu, Nepal

Pagoda Guesthouse

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Hotel

Pagoda Guesthouse Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
Definitely the best place in Bhaktapur to lay your head, and probably one of the best in the valley that we saw. $15-20 gets you a clean, comfortable double, plenty of (real) pillows, bedspreads, fan and a hot and cold water bathroom. And the water is hot and strong - they don't forget the electric backup here. This is all pretty important because it gets quite cold here between November and March - colder than Kathmandu. The rooftop restaurant serves good food at fair prices, catching the morning sun and providing views to the Himalaya on one side and over spectacular Taumadhi Tole and the 30 metre-high 18th century Nyatapola Temple on the other. You're right in the thick of the action, b...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 3, 2002

Pagoda Guesthouse
Bhaktapur
Kathmandu, Nepal

Lotus Guesthouse/Pal Dilyak Gompa

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Hotel | "Lotus Guesthouse"

Lotus Guesthouse/Pal Dilyak Gompa Photo, Boudhanath, Nepal
Quote:
The cleanest, most spacious and beautiful rooms we stayed in anywhere in Nepal. And what makes it even more amazing is the price. Adjoining one of Bodhnath's monasteries, you'll hear - well, actually feel - the odd Tibetan horn at the strangest hour, but this place is unmissable. The constant parade of monks only adds to the atmosphere and vitality of the place. They are a busy lot - there is always something going on; prayers in the gompa, music, lessons and scripture teachings, even cricket games in the garden. The buildings are arranged around a quiet and sunny central garden with plenty of space for lounging, reading and relaxing with a good book. There's also a family (probably familie...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 3, 2002

Lotus Guesthouse/Pal Dilyak Gompa
3 Blocks From The Stupa
Boudhanath, Kathmandu

Three Sisters Cafe

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Restaurant

Three Sisters Cafe Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
We stumbled on this one soon after arriving at Bodhnath and quickly adopted it as our local for the rest of our time in this amazing Tibetan enclave. 3 Sisters overlooks the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal and never stops buzzing all day and into the night. A constant stream of passers-by, locals and travellers, cross paths in this cafe-cum-restaurant for the masses. There's two storeys. The bottom is home to the kitchen where a range of traditional and western meals are freshly prepared by a skilled band of Tibetan artisans. They like their work and it shows. The offerings even extend to a mouth-watering display of pastries and cakes baked fresh every day. Now that's gotta keep th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 3, 2002

Three Sisters Cafe
Bodhnath, Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu, Nepal

Third World Restaurant

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Restaurant

Third World Restaurant Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
The most incredible breakfasts I've ever had. On the rooftop of this eatery bordering Patan's Durbar Square you can catch the sun and a panorama of the Himalaya in one direction and almost reach out and touch Asia's most incredible architecture in the other direction. While you're doing that, you can order from a bewildering range of traditional specialties and misspelled western food that is prepared well and rushed to you by attentive staff. The momos are good, the Tibetan bread even better and who can resist the banana and mixed fruit pancakes for breakfast with a big pot of lemon tea or freshly-brewed coffee? Anywhere else in the world would charge you $50 admission just...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 3, 2002

Third World Restaurant
Patan, Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu, Nepal

Swayambunath

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Attraction | "Kathmandu, Swayambhunath, Balaju"

Swayambunath Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
THE BRIEFSix kilometres along flat terrain, with a steep climb up to Swayambhunath. From Kathmandu's Durbar Square, cross the western part of the city and the Bagmati River, climbing up to the Monkey Temple. At the bottom of the temple turn north, past a huge prayer wheel, through semi-rural suburbs and across the ring road to the Balaju water gardens with its famous sleeping Vishnu image. A Diary Extract... Breakfast at the Cosmopolitan was banana and honey pancakes and Tibetan bread. In Basantapur Square traders draped low tables with red and blue cloths. Tibetan singing bowls, beads of amber, turquoise and mountain coral, horns and prayer wheels jockeyed...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 2, 2002

Swayambunath

Kathmandu, Nepal

Walking through Kirtipur, Chobar, Chobar Gorge, Patan

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Attraction | "Kirtipur, Chobar, Chobar Gorge, Patan"

Walking through Kirtipur, Chobar, Chobar Gorge, Patan Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
THE BRIEF Seven kilometres along undulating terrain, with a short climb to Chobar. Explore the hilly streets and fascinating temples of Kirtipur, an ex-communist stronghold, then follow the trail to Chobar on the next hill. A Buddhist temple is decorated with pots and pans donated by newlyweds seeking a happy marriage. Walk east towards the river and cross a suspension bridge that provides views of Chobar Gorge and a Hindu temple below. Eagles favour this spot, attracted by the air currents and abundant wildlife. Follow the trail north through flat farming country back to Patan. A diary extract... From atop the Third World Restaurant in Patan we watched Durb...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 2, 2002

Walking through Kirtipur, Chobar, Chobar Gorge, Patan
Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu, Nepal

Bodhnath

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Attraction | "Bodhnath, Pashupatinath"

Bodhnath Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
THE BRIEF Three kilometres on flat terrain. The path starts across the road from Bodhnath's main entrance, following farmland to Pashupatinath, one of the most important Hindu temples on the subcontinent. Allow plenty of time to explore the wonderful buildings and share enlightenment with a Hindu holy man (sadhu). A Diary Extract... The heart of Bodhnath is the stupa, the largest in Nepal, and we turn prayer wheels as we walk, clockwise of course, then enter the gates and climb to the highest level. The view is through thousands of colourful prayer flags to buildings that line the streets of Nepal’s biggest Tibetan enclave and religious epicentre. Children chase e...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 2, 2002

Bodhnath
Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu, Nepal

Walking through Kirtipur, Chobar, Chobar Gorge, Patan

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Attraction | "Nargarkot (Telkot), Changu Narayan, Bhaktapur"

Walking through Kirtipur, Chobar, Chobar Gorge, Patan Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
THE BRIEF Fourteen kilometres along undulating terrain. Enjoy a Himalayan sunrise from one of the valley's highest points at Nagarkot, then catch a bus down to Telkot, referred to as Nagarkotphedi on some maps. The trail traverses forests and hilly ridges with mountain views all the way to the fascinating temple of Changu Narayan. Locals will show you the southern exit that descends through forests, villages and terraced valleys to medieval Bhaktapur - an amazing pedestrianised town showcasing some of Nepal's finest art and architecture. A Diary Extract... It was dark and cold as we walked to the Mahakali Shrine in Nagarkot – (supposedly) the best ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 2, 2002

Walking through Kirtipur, Chobar, Chobar Gorge, Patan
Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu, Nepal

Dhulikhel, Panauti

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Attraction

Dhulikhel, Panauti Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
THE BRIEF Seven kilometres along undulating terrain. After exploring historic Dhulikhel, head south through terraced farming country littered with forested hills. You will eventually find the Punyamata River, which you can follow to Panauti. The town's beautiful three- storey riverside temple to Shiva is one of the oldest in Nepal and houses many Newari woodcarving masterpieces. A Diary Extract... We met Ranjit our first day in Bhaktapur and immediately liked him. His enthusiasm for life was infectious and he had an opinion on everything. He was desperately trying to get work as a guide so we tracked him down to accompany us on our walk to Panauti in the hope w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 2, 2002

Dhulikhel, Panauti
Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu, Nepal

Exploring the Kathmandu Valley

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Story/Tip

A womans work... Photo, Kathmandu, Nepal
Quote:
Not Trekking in Nepalby Dave Underwood Talk to anyone about a trip to Nepal and the focus turns to treks through exhilarating mountain panoramas and visions of exhausting uphill battles, smelly feet and thermal underwear. True, Nepal claims eight of the world's ten highest mountains and is a "Mecca for trekkers". But it also shelters a cultural landscape as diverse as any on the planet. A landscape often overlooked by the casual visitor. A Third World country in the 21st century, much of Nepal still resists the 20th century. A melting pot of more than a dozen ethnic groups speaking fifty languages devote themselves, in harmony, to two of the world's major religions, Bu...Read More