Home to over one million inhabitants, Kathmandu is the economic centre of Nepal and is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in the country. Kathmandu is the political and banking centre of Nepal, and is a gradually modernising to become an urban metropolis with a variety of modern skyscrapers, ancient pagodas, palaces, stupas, and sculptures, all inspired by Buddhist and Hindu traditions.
The city is a feast to the senses, with a plethora of sights, sounds, colours, and smells. Its bustling heart is the place to be seen with a multitude of hippy bars and restaurants serving a mixture of western and traditional Nepalese cuisine. The tourist area of Thamel is the place to be, where you can buy just about anything you need, and then enjoy a local Kathmandu beer as the sun goes down and the town really comes to life.
The city boasts more than 2000 years of history and is home to many temples and palaces. Durbar Square is the spiritual core of Kathmandu and the heart of Nepalese identity, although the recent earthquake has damaged many of the historical building here. The square’s architecture spans several centuries and early morning is the ideal time to begin, when the Square is comes to life with Hindu women making offerings of incense and flowers to the gods.
Another must see place is the Unesco World Heritage Site of Swayambhunath which is one of the definitive experiences of Kathmandu. Soaring above the city, the ‘Monkey Temple’ is centred on a gleaming white stupa, painted with the eyes of the Buddha. The mystical atmosphere is heightened in the morning and evening by local devotees who make a ritual circumnavigation of the stupa, spinning the prayer wheels set into its base. It is a great place to watch the sun set over Kathmandu.
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Embark on a journey of extremes, striking across the starkly beautiful landscapes of Tibet, on the roof of the world, before descending into the verdant and chaotic valleys of Nepal under the ever watchful gaze of the mighty Himalayas.
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Discover Nepal, known for its exquisite natural beauty, with the iconic Himalayas running across the northern and western part of the country. Nepal is a country of highly diverse and rich geography, culture, and religions.