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Kathmandu

Nepal

1/5 Multi-tiered temples and terrifying deities dot Kathmandu's Durbar Square
Multi-tiered temples and terrifying deities dot Kathmandu's Durbar Square
2/5 Hindu holy men at Pashupatinath in the Kathmandu Valley
Hindu holy men at Pashupatinath in the Kathmandu Valley
3/5 Prayer beads and other religious paraphernalia for sale at a bazaar stall in Kathmandu Nepal
Prayer beads and other religious paraphernalia for sale at a bazaar stall in Kathmandu Nepal
4/5 The huge stupa at Boudhanath
The huge stupa at Boudhanath
5/5 Temple in Kathmandu's Durbar Square
Temple in Kathmandu's Durbar Square

Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is the country’s only large city, its political, commercial and cultural hub

Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is the country’s only large city, its political, commercial and cultural hub. Like many Asian cities, it is rapidly developing and struggling with the pressures that urbanisation brings but the old city with its narrow winding streets, medieval temples and palaces remains a fascinating showcase of a rich culture, art and tradition.

Though the main inhabitants are the Newars, Nepal’s master craftsmen who also controlled the trade route between India and Tibet, Kathmandu is a melting pot of peoples and religions. The natural place to begin sightseeing is Durbar Square where it’s easy to spend hours exploring the Old Royal Palace, temples decorated with erotic carvings and the 12th century Kasthamandap rest house from which the city takes its name. The surrounding lively lanes are great places for people watching and shopping for religious paraphernalia before heading to the small hillock on the western edge of the city and the ancient Buddhist stupa at Swayambhunath, an area home to hundreds of Tibetans in exile, as well as rhesus macaques, leading to its nickname, the Monkey Temple.

There is a good choice of accommodation in the city but generally standards are not as high as in many other capitals. Even some of the four and five star hotels could benefit from some updating and power shortages are common to all, but vastly superior to those faced by homeowners and businesses.

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A few of our favourite places to stay:

Large gardens surrounding the Yak & Yeti Hotel, Kathmandu

Hotel Yak and Yeti

Huge gardens around the Yak and Yeti belie the fact that you

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A sitting area overlooking the courtyard garden, Dwarika's

Dwarika’s

In 1952, when the late Dwarika Das Shresta found carpenters

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View other places to stay in Kathmandu

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Who to talk to

Andrea Hulme

Andrea Hulme’s travel experiences could fill a small novel; from a bit-part in a Tamil movie, to leading expeditions in Kyrgyzstan and negotiating landslides along the Karakoram highway.

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At Natural High, we've had long experience putting together trips in Africa that really work. Whether it's intimate bushcamps in out of the way places, or a private lodge in one of Africa's top-billing wildlife areas, light mobile camping or remote island escapes, we know there is a lot to choose from. We're absolutely confident that we can recommend the right places for you.

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