unexpected kathmandu

My first trip to Nepal, when I had decided to check Everest Base Camp off the bucket list, I had two days (total) to explore Kathmandu. Initially, I didn’t like it. After being in the mountains for two weeks, Kathmandu seemed so polluted, loud, and chaotic.

Upon my second trip to Nepal, the time I had decided to trek the Annapurna Circuit, I had really started to like the crazy city.

Third trip here, and I’m sold. I really enjoyed my quick little stay in Kathmandu. The dirty chaos because vibrancy and liveliness. The pollution smelled like adventure, like the entirety of my whirlwind trip in the beautiful country. The loud horns, shouts, and construction became white noise.

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I didn’t actually have loads of time to explore. I was mainly running errands before heading out to Pokhara, where I’m currently living (for two-ish months). Within the free time that I did have to see the city, I decided to go explore some old and new.

The old being Durbar Square, a place I return to every single time I am in Kathmandu. Durbar Square is such a little nugget of culture. Touristy? Maybe. But an absolutely fabulous place to people watch, zone out, and find yourself drawn into.

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Entry into Durbar Square is 1000 rupees- for tourists only. Somehow, I have blended in and escaped the fees every time I’ve been here. I’ll pay up next time!!! If you DO have to pay, I recommend hiring a guide or bringing something to read about the history of this place. I’d only blindly walk around if you end up not paying.

The new, although not *actually* new, was Swayambunath! Swayambunath is a beautiful beautiful temple, about an hour walk away from the part of Thamel that I was staying in. It’s taken me five (yeah, 5!!!!) times in Kathmandu to get here, so this was an entirely new experience.

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It was worth the walk, but don’t tire yourself out! There are stairs up to the temple.

A lot of stairs.

Foreigners have to pay a 200 rupee entrance fee. It’s well worth it. Enjoy your time up there, sit and have some tea! There’s an incredible view from the top.

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Kathmandu, you just found yourself another admirer. And just in time for Valentine’s Day.

17 comments

  1. Nepal is on my list as well of places to visit. I enjoyed your post and some of your photos were really outstanding.
    I hope you don’t mind me asking, how was it with the high altitude? Did you have problems?

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    • Fire and Ice at entrance to Thamel, best Pizzas on the planet. Opposite is Himalayan Java coffee house great for sofa relaxing and wifi. Next door is Himalayan Bank with usually the best exchange rates in the city.

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  2. Reading your blog and reminiscing about my short stay in Nepal years ago! I am still hopeful that I will return to Nepal and stay a little longer – I didn’t get to Pokhara, and trekking is also on the list! Thanks.

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