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A Guide for Casual Travelers Visiting Kathmandu, Nepal

Nepal is known for trekking and expeditions in the Himalayan Mountains, including trips to Everest Base Camp. It is a great place for nature lovers who want to rough it and get away from the urban jungle. For those interested in seeing snow-capped mountains directly in front of their face, and stepping out of the comfort zone of the Western world, there are few places on this planet that will offer as much as Nepal.

But a visitor does not need to have the full inventory of mountain gear, three weeks of vacation for going deep into the mountains, or the constitution for alpine sports in order to enjoy Nepal. It is easy to visit for just a few days, take a lot of great photographs, experience the culture, and do some great shopping. This brief guide will tell you how you can enjoy yourself in Kathmandu and the surrounding valley in four or five days.

Places to Visit and Things to Do

Devote your first two days to seeing the city of Kathmandu. Lonely Planet and other guides provide walking tours, and these are useful for hitting some of the highlights without needing to hire a tour guide or wander around aimlessly. You will notice is that Nepalis live and work around ancient sites, so you will see children playing and people leaning on sixth century monuments. Historic temples and monuments are a part of their everyday lives, and are not cordoned off as they are in many other countries.

Durbar Square is the heart of historic Kathmandu, and this is where the ancient kings ruled from. Many Nepalis now trade and spend time lounging on the steps of the temples. There are a number of cafés and restaurants on rooftops around the edges that will give visitors panoramic views of the square, so having a cup of traditional Nepali tea at one of these spots is recommended. There are a number of temples and Buddhist and Hindu historic sites to the north and northeast of the square, and most of these can be seen within a three or four hour window. As you travel between these sites you will be able to peer into shop windows and see how many urban Nepalis spend their days.

A visit to Kathmandu is not complete without seeing the Buddhist temple of Swayambhunath, commonly referred to as the Monkey Temple. You can walk to the Monkey Temple in about forty minutes from the Thamel neighborhood, or you can take a taxi. Traveling from the base of the temple grounds up to the temple itself is half the journey, as there are over a hundred steps to climb, and as you move up, you will have to fend off hordes of monkeys and touts offering all kinds of goods for sale. The sellers are not very aggressive so this is not a problem, but steering clear of the monkeys is more difficult. They have gotten used to tourists and people, but keep your belongings-especially food and cameras-close to your chest as the monkeys are known to snatch them away from visitors. The colorful temple stands in the middle, with devotees making their ritual clockwise circumnavigation and offering prayers.

When you’re finished at the Monkey Temple, head over to Thamel, which is the heart of the shopping scene in Kathmandu. It is very touristy, but most of the better restaurants and shops are in the three or four long streets that make up Thamel. Many of the hotels and hostels are also in this area. If you are looking for a traditional Nepali snack or meal, look for a place that serves momos, which are dumplings filled with meat or vegetables and served with a curry dip. The buffalo momos are particularly good.

Exploring the areas outside of Kathmandu is definitely worth the effort if time permits. You don’t have to venture far to see some interesting sites. Hire a car and driver for a day for about US$40 (either through your hotel or one of the many travel agencies in Thamel) and see the surrounding towns of Patan, Bhaktapur, and Bodhnath, with the former two towns having their own unique durbar squares (durbar square essentially means the central square, so there are many durbar squares in Nepal). Similar to Kathmandu, be prepared to pay for a ticket to enter and wander around the square’s monuments. Prices will vary, with Bhaktapur being the most expensive at US$10 per person. Patan has the best durbar square in all of Nepal with its variety of temples and architecture. Bhaktapur is the best preserved historic town, so wandering through the streets here will be time well spent. Finally, Bodhnath is a beautiful temple that is a must see if you want to see pilgrims doing their devotionals, and want to take some great photos of probably the most eye-catching stupa. These three towns are about an hour apart by car, and no more than two hours outside of Kathmandu. You can take a taxi to and between all of these sites, but availability is not consistent and the few dollars you will save by not hiring a car and driver is probably not worth the trouble.

You can spend the fourth day doing an easy hike around the Kathmandu valley. One popular trekking route is to Nagarkot, which offers some stunning views of the Himalayan mountain range if the weather, mist, and clouds work in your favor and give you a clear day. The Hotel View Point is the closest to the mountain range with a good view from the roof. You can visit the restaurant for a meal and take the stairs up to the roof for a view, so you don’t necessarily have to spend the night there. The best times are typically during sunrise or sunset, but there are no guarantees. This is a popular place for a one-night stop or a day trip to see the mountain range, as there is not much else to do in Nagarkot. An organized trek through a travel agency will consist of a short one-hour drive to Changu Narayan (a temple and town), and then a three hour hike with a guide to Nagarkot. Afterwards your guide and a driver will drive you back to Kathmandu. It can all be done in a day if you start early.

Shopping

Every major temple and durbar square is surrounded by vendors selling all types of paraphernalia that appeal to tourists like scarves, brass figurines, artwork such as Thangka paintings, and handmade clothing, all for low prices by Western standards. However, be prepared to bargain if you want an even better deal, as the prices vendors will initially tell you are highly inflated. A savvy shopper willing to bargain can usually get about a third off the initial price. Just be mindful of the fact that a couple of dollars will mean much more to a Nepali than it will to you.

Thamel offers the most shops in one neighborhood. In addition to the Nepali artwork and handmade clothing, you can also find all of the maps, books, trekking gear, and knockoff Western winter clothing you need in Thamel.

Getting Around

Be prepared for combat walking in Kathmandu. There are few sidewalks, so you will have to literally jostle with motorcycles, cars, tractors, pedestrians, and carts as you walk down every street. However, walking is really the best way to see and experience Kathmandu, so regardless of the danger, it is still recommended. Another option is to flag down a taxi. These are small Suzuki Maruti white hatchbacks. They have meters but drivers don’t like to use them, so settle on a price before you get moving. Usually a hundred rupees (a little more than a US dollar) is enough for a single trip within Kathmandu, if you bargain. Whether you are walking or taking a taxi, be patient and give yourself more time than you think you need for getting from one point to another.

 

Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lake Trekking

Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lake Valley located within Sagarmatha National Park, Sagarmatha the Nepalese name for Everest and the locals Sherpa calls Chomolungma of Tibetan origin, which in both languages translates as ‘Great Mother.’

Everest Base Camp is most popular and favorite of many adventurers and travelers this world’s highest and number one peaks stand at 8,848 m / 29,028 ft high, where every trekker dream to be on the foot of this giant mountain at base camp which is above 5,365 m high / 15,000 ft high, where you will standing below tumbling Khumbu Ice Falls and glaciers.

During peak mountaineering season the place will be crowded with all colors of tents of Everest expeditions, where one view tips of Mt. Everest sandwiched between Lo-La and Lhotse including Mt. Nuptse.

The best views of Everest Base Camp is from high Kalapathar, a rocky hill top which is about two hours climb from the lodge at Gorakshep, a steep climb leads you at 5,545 m high with a breath-taking panorama of snow capped peaks with Mt. Everest at the closest within stone throw distance.

Gokyo Lake Valley is least trekked area but with commanding views above Namche Bazaar where route to Everest Base Camp and Gokyo separates, walking into serene and undisturbed areas, where walk climbs and follows Dudh Kosi river right up to its source at Ngozumba glacier around Gokyo valley with incredible views of high snow capped peaks and adding much heights a climb on top Gokyo Ri above 5,357 m high offers sensational panorama of world’s highest four 8,000 meters mountains with 6th Mt. Cho-Oyu, 1st Mt. Everest, 4th Mt. Lhotse and the 5thMt. Makalu towards east.

For more info, contact the Best Trekking Company in Nepal.

Jomsom Muktinath Trek

Jomsom Muktinath Trekking is a recognized great, a perfect sampler of Himalayan view and culture. Jomsom Muktinath Trek is being done to investigate the hundred years of age religious community, caverns, nearby tribes and beautiful excellence of the diverse scenes. This trail has been considerably more popularized. Many cabins have power and hot showers. The full Jomsom trek takes two weeks yet the trail arrange is broad.

The Trek Jomsom Muktinath begins from Pokhara, the center point of experience searcher, at that point takes one and thirty minutes drive to Nayapul. This is put from where we leave the pitched street, take well trodden street to Birethanti, Ulleri following stone advances and reach to Ghorepani . Being crisp and dynamic at a young hour in the morning, we move to Poon Hill to appreciate the dawn. This place is outstanding for 360 degree great perspectives of Annapurna massifs, Dhaulagiri, Hiuchuli and different mountains.

North of Poon Hill, the trail drops into the valley of the Kaligandaki, privately called Thak Khola. A wide range of ethnic gatherings are abiding in the valley in consummate agreement. Thakalis are the predominant gathering among them. You could separate the regular ponder following the world’s most profound chasm and 8,000 m high Dhaulagiri and Annapurna on the opposite side. The further you go , the more minor departure from view you find. Tatopani is a place, popular for hot springs and citrus natural product gardens. Numerous Hindu pioneers go to scrub down there so they can dispose of transgression. There might be the logical reason that cleaning up in hot shower could cure the skin sicknesses. The trail additionally leaves behind to Tukche, once the principle Thakali exchanging focus and Marpha, a perfect, excellent town encompassed by apple and apricot plantations, frequently taken this name while making Nepali music in light of the fact that out of its picturesque magnificence and the red, crisp apple, contrasted and the excellence of adored.

Above Tukche, the vegetation ceases to exist as we enter the Himalayan rain shadow and a sand blowing wind from the south, may change the condition of your psyche. The trail goes to Jomsom and sentimental fortification town of Kagbeni. The Nepali film “Kagbeni” is in the outskirts of this place. Geologically, we are currently on the edge of the Tibetan level, with the fundamental Himalayan chain approaching brilliantly. From Ekali Bhatti, the way parts in two ways. The higher way goes to Muktinath and the other one prompts Upper Mustang and Tibet through Kagbeni.

At long last, it’s 1000 m ascend a side valley to poplar-lined Muktinath, situated in a mainstream forest, is a sacrosanct holy place and journey site for Hindus and Buddhists.We can see the wonder of consuming petroleum gas in a little Buddhist altar beneath the fundamental Hindu sanctuary. Hindus named the site “Muktichhetra” which means ” Place of Salvation.” There are 108 water gushes in the state of pigs’ head, committed to Vishnu. The Buddhists consider the picture of Vishnu as the Bodhisattva since Buddha is the eight incarnation of Vishnu. Padmasambhava, who acquired Buddhism to Tibet the eighth century is accepted to have pondered here. His “impressions” are on a stone in the northwest corner of this holy place. A Full Moon is a favorable time to visit Muktinath.On the arrival travel, on the off chance that you might want to backtrack back through Poon Hill, we can get a handle on the great perspectives following Kali Gandaki stream south from Tatopani.

Annapurna Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

Ghorepani is a town in Myagdi District in the Dhaulagiri Zone of northern-central Nepal.It lies 17 km from the region capital of Beni at a tallness of around 2874m (9429 ft). The town exists in the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA) and contains different ” g the night before a pre-first light trek to the most noteworthy purpose of neighboring Pun Hill (3210m/10531ft.) to watch the sunrise.The put used to be a rest stop where old shippers found water(pani in Nepali) for their horses(ghora in Nepali) along these lines provoking the grouping Ghorepani.

Ghorepani lies on a significant trail interfacing a couple of various towns and furthermore the Annapurna Base Camp. From the South-East bearing, it can normally be come to by foot from the town of Birethanti in around 10 hours depending upon the trekker. Regardless, various trekkers get a kick out of the chance to overnight at one of the lower towns on their way to deal with Ghorepani. Ghorepani , covering the partition over two days owing to the steepness of the trail, the development in tallness and the gloriousness of the trademark condition. From the North-West heading, Ghorepani can be come to in around 8-10 hours starting from Tatopani. This trail experiences the towns of Shikha, Dana and Chitre.

Poon Hill

Poon Hill Trek is a champion among other objective for all the nature sweethearts and who loves to trek. The world surely understood Poon Hill lies in the Ghara VDC of Myagdi locale. It is broadly known as Annapurna Sunrise trekking.It is the perfect little scale trek for starter and for the people who have brief time to experience Nepal. Reinforcing through the Rhododendran forest, Poon Hill trekking in Nepal will allow us to feel the Himalayan Panaroma and besides give the odds to gravitate toward to the area culture. Magars incredibly Pun social order are regarding the nonnatives with their smile for long time.

In any case, Poon Hill Trek is unmistakably best known for the points of view from the poon incline. The most surprising stature is 3210 m where there is no risk of getting high height infirmity. In like manner, Poon slant offers the magnificient tremendous Himalayas including Annapurna South, Annapurana I, II, III and IV, Fishtail, Dhaulagiri, Lamjung Himal,Gangapurna, Manaslu ranges and among few others. This stunning glimse of high mountains enveloping can be mesmorise by any person who is a bit of this astonishing trek.

Ghandruk

Ghandruk is a town and VDC in Kaski District where delightful precipice of Modi Khola streams from north to south between the enormous Annapurna and Machhapuchre mountain ranges. The sweeping points of view of Ghandruk begins amidst frameworks of terraced farmland from the abyss up towards west inciting the flawless slate roofed town houses surrounded by great rhododendron boondocks toward the west. Settled at a tallness of 600ft above sea level, Ghandruk is brilliantly set against the foundation of Annapurna South, Himchuli and Macchapuchre Himalayas.

In addition, Ghandruk is home to a considerable number of British and Indian Gurkhas either serving or surrendered and furthermore war veterans who combat valiantly on different wars abroad. Because of its sheer amounts of gandrukes in one single power in the British Army one particular Gurkha regiment has the proportionate expression of Ghandruke regiment. Ghandruk is also celebrated for second Gurung Village .

Landruk

Following four whole days of trekking, walking downhill from Ghandruk town to River Camp was an acknowledged rest. Regardless, the trail from River Camp was all extreme. Fortunately, it looks us through the pleasant town of Landruk, where we had radiant viewpoints of tyhe valley.

On our last night of this leg we stopped at Austrian Camp, a touch of clearing settled in the forest and included by mountains.

Australian Camp

Australian Camp set on the magnificent incline top offers striking points of view over the valleys and stunning viewpoints of the Annapurna Mountain expand. Australian Camp, arranged on the edge and having a brain boggling point of view of Annapurna South, Himchuli, Machhapuchhre and Lamjung Himal.

Everest Gokyo Valley Trek

Gokyo valley trek is a standout amongst the most wonderful trekking courses in Nepal which offers a more quiet perspective of eastern Himalaya and Mount Everest from Gokyo Ri. The lovely Gokyo Lake, dazzling perspective of Himalayan scene from Gokyo Ri, the biggest Ngozumpa icy mass, different greenery and the rich Sherpa culture are the significant attractions of this climbing course. Gokyo valley is significantly calmer and un-spoilt contrast with the busiest Everest base camp course.

Climbing Gokyo Ri is the highlight of this whole trip which offers the staggering perspectives of the Himalaya. Four Himalayan mammoths over eight thousands meters can be seen from this spot; they are Mt. Makalu 8363m, Mt. Lhotse 8516m, Mt. Everest 8848m and Cho Oyu 8201m.

Trip Highlight

Venture inside the Khumbu Valley “the home of mountain individuals”

Experience the Sherpa culture and way of life.

Going by Khumjung town and cloister.

360 degree perspective of Himalaya from Gokyo Ri including Mt. Everest, Makalu, Lhotse and Cho Oyu.

The great Ngozumpa Glacier and Gokyo Lake.

About Gokyo Valley

Gokyo valley trek is likewise in Khumbu district reasonably the most acclaimed of all trekking goal and Populated by Sherpa towns and Sherpa societies legacy attractions, However, the Gokyo Valley Everest locale Possess numerous more impressive and lovely mountains, and in addition probably the most remunerating trekking anyplace in the Global. The Gokyo Valley Trek and Everest Base Camp is a model trek which follows in the strides of Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.

Kala Patthar

Kalapattar is otherwise called a dark rough slope. the trek begins with an invigorating 35 minutes Airstrip at Lukla, and gradually upper Khumbu to the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar, following the valley of the Dudh Kosi. It is not some time before you fast look your first perspective of Everest as it looks over the Lhotse-Nuptse edge before Namche, following a day acclimatization in Namche at that point additionally up to the Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base camp.

Trails to Gokyo Valley Trek

Trails to Gokyo Valley Trek, Most of the trails take after hundreds of years old yak trail characteristic Himalayas, there is further scope to statures as the rank more extreme takes after to Gokyo Valley Rivers and Dudhkoshi Rivers where is spans, as the trails take after regularly along stream sides. spans are developed with links wire and iron box, and level timber sufficiently solid for a vigorously loaded yak.

Equipment for Gokyo Valley Trek

Recheck your Equipment list in the wake of intending to Gokyo Valley – Everest Trek. Ensure you have enough apparatus to be warm and comfortable however without over-burdening. As a rule, you will encounter warm days and icy evenings relying upon elevation and the season of year. For footwear, best strolling boots with appropriate lower leg bolster that have been worn-in preceding the trek, and which are waterproof, warm socks, Gaiters for the winter season, free easygoing pants, Thermal Leggings, a Long skirt for ladies, pants, and Waterproof pants. For body Selection of T-shirts, and since quite a while ago sleeved shirts, ideally not cotton, Thermal shirt, warm shirt, perhaps Fleece, Fleece coat or warm fleece jumper. Windproof, waterproof external higher heights, Down coat Sleeping Bag (discretionary for icy evenings and mornings; can be procured in Kathmandu economically) and for head and hand, Wool or downy cap, or balaclava. Cap or top for sun security while trekking, Sunglasses or goggles, Warm gloves, sun cream.