For many, stepping off a plane into Kathmandu is a pupil-dilating experience, a riot of sights, sounds and smells that can quickly lead to sensory overload. Whether you’re barrelling through the traffic-jammed alleyways of the old town in a rickshaw, marvelling at the medieval temples of Durbar Sq or dodging trekking touts in the backpacker district of Thamel, Kathmandu can be an intoxicating, amazing and exhausting place.
To really glimpse the soul of the city, take a walk through the backstreets, and the capital’s timeless cultural and artistic heritage reveals itself in hidden temples overflowing with marigolds, courtyards full of drying chillies and rice, and tiny hobbit-sized workshops.
This endlessly fascinating, sometimes infuriating, city has enough sights to keep you busy for a week but be sure to leave its backpacker comforts and explore the ‘real Nepal’ before your time runs out.
Nepal: a year in festivals
How do you show the gods you care? Parade them through town in a 50-foot high chariot of course! Nowhere does festivals quite like Nepal, and the people of Nepal celebrate a lot of festivals, from the rice-beer-fuelle...
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Dasain (Durga Puja) – world’s best festivals
Evening at Kathmandu's Durbar Square. Image by Amos Chapple / Getty Images. Location: Kathmandu, Nepal Dates: fifteen days ending on the full moon in late September/early October. 11-15 Oct 2013...
Finding peace in Kathmandu
Kathmandu is an assault on the senses...