This post is an excerpt taken from the original blog post by Brianna. You can read the original blog post here.
Brianna is a native Michigander who fell in love with the world and its cultures in 2007, when she moved to Sydney, Australia. Since then, she has been on a mission to travel worldwide.
Many travel adventurers don’t have adequate time to explore the capital city – Kathmandu. Before heading to the mountains, they can hardly manage a day to roam around and experience the chaos of Kathmandu Valley. So for those of you who want to experience the best of Kathmandu in just a day, here are few tips to make the most of Kathmandu in just a day by Brianna.
Start Your Morning Off Right and Early
The finest way to start your day in Kathmandu is to start early. Brianna writes, “Kathmandu has a surprising amount of bakeries that offer delicious pastries throughout the day. Grab a tasty roll and follow it up with a hot coffee or a bottle of mango juice! Eat outside and watch the shop owners begin their day. Be observant in your bakery of choice- some of them will offer discounted items at the end of the day. “
The Famous Monkey Temple – Swayambunath
Kathmandu is full of incredible temples and visiting them in the cooler temperatures of morning can really soothe you down. Swayambhunath temple is one of the most serene temple that Kathmandu boasts. The temple also offers you amazing picturesque view of the Valley.
To learn about upcoming festivals in Nepal, you can visit the official site of tourism board Nepal.
Bouddhanath Stupa, an iconic Buddhist monument, which was destructed due to the earthquake last year has now been entirely refurbished and is now open for public. Boudhanath, the largest stupa in Nepal, is considered the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet, making it the centre of Tibetan culture in Kathmandu. Thousands of domestic and international tourists visit the shrine annually. Brianna writes, “As you wander around the giant white mound, the colorful eyes of Buddha watch over, and the prayer flags flap over head. People will walk around the whole stupa three or more times, reciting their mantras. The smell of incense is thick in the air. It’s truly an incredible experience”
Durbar Square is basically the generic name used to describe plazas and areas opposite the old royal palaces in Nepal. It mostly consists of temples, idols, open courts, water fountains and more. Before the Unification of Nepal, Nepal consisted of small kingdoms, and Durbar Squares are most prominent remnants of those old kingdoms in Nepal. In particular, three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley, belonging to the three Newar kingdoms situated there before unification, are most famous: Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square.(info:WikiPedia)
You might even get a chance to see the Kumari(living goddess) if you get lucky.
Garden of Dreams(Kesar Mahal)
Brianna writes ,”By late in the afternoon, you may be exhausted by the hustle and bustle of the city. Between the sounds of cars and motorbikes honking, and the smells of cigarettes and exhaust fumes, you may be looking for a bit of a break. That’s why you’ll head to the Garden of Dreams. This small botanical area in the city is sounded by high white walls, which seem to block out the craziness of the city outside. Wander around the museums or just take a nap on the grassy lawns. “
Thamel – The Ultimate Tourist Hub
End your day in the ultimate tourist hub Thamel!! It has been a hotspot for tourists since the late 1960s. Thamel is an exciting corner blended with uniquely glocal spaces to the viewers. This area mainly offers mysteriously local dimensions of cultural diversity representing remnants of Kathmandu Valley’s dynamic sociocultural credo of life. Visitors can outlook the imprint of the global dimension of human life at the same tiny space.
Brianna writes ,”Pick up those Nepalese souvenirs for friends and family. A singing bowl for dad. A beautiful yak wool scarf for mom. Maybe even a small statue of your favorite Hindu god! Enjoy the chaos of the market vendors as they call out to you and show you their wares. Challenge yourself as you barter for your purchases and feel the rush of getting a real bargain!”