Author Topic: A Last Minute City Guide to Kathmandu  (Read 12227 times)

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A Last Minute City Guide to Kathmandu
« on: June 19, 2010, 08:02:28 AM »
 posted by: Jennifer Gregory on July 11, 2009

Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is considered the largest city in
the country with a population of 600,000. The city’s infrastructure is
far more developed than it was several hundred years ago, when it
competed with Bhaktapur and Patan for recognition as a royal city.

Image Credit: Wonderlane

While the city of Kathmandu is now considered to be modernized there
are still some very significant problems mirroring those found in third
world countries. As the city becomes more populated the people are
finding it more and more difficult to keep up with air pollution, water
pollution, and even basic hygiene.

Image credit: aNantaB

Despite its problems, Kathmandu is still a beautiful city. Once the
base point for those wishing to prepare for trips up Mount Everest,
tourists are beginning to see that the city has much more to offer.
When to Visit Kathmandu

Image credit:ilkerender

The weather in Kathmandu varies greatly with every passing season.
The city sits at an elevation of approximately 1,300 meters and the
winter months are often incredibly cold. The only visitors who flock
towards Kathmandu during the winter months are those who enjoy skiing
and other winter sports.

Image Credit:*saipal

The summer months, while rainy and humid are better for visitors who
want to explore the historic attractions within the city. The
temperatures are relatively cool and the rainfall contributes towards
the beautiful green countryside surrounding the city. Make sure you pack
 your rain gear before heading out to Kathmandu.
Safety Considerations in Kathmandu

A few years ago the United States government issued a safety warning
to citizens who wanted to travel anywhere in Nepal because of the
nation’s continuing political unrest. The city of Kathmandu, however,
has always had a Tourist Police force in order to ensure that those
visiting the city would be safe. The force is made up of 41 officers who
 spend their time patrolling tourist attractions, hotels, and airports.

Image Credit:Jeff Bauche._.·´¯)

Make sure you approach a Tourist Police with any problems you
encounter while in Kathmandu. The police suggest you keep your personal
paperwork on hand at all times and make sure your embassy knows you are
in Nepal. They also suggest you avoid creating your own tour plans and
instead stick to local tour groups.
Transportation throughout Kathmandu

It won’t be difficult to find transportation once you’ve arrived in
Kathmandu and you may find that renting a car is really unnecessary. The
 city has plenty of well-cared for public transportation systems
including a public bus system, taxi cabs, and plenty of bicycle rental

Those who choose to travel by taxi should look for vehicles with
black license plates and signs as they are officially licensed taxi
cabs. You should not end up having to pay more than 20 to 200 Rs (or
$.25 to $2.50 USD) for any ride within the city.

Image Credit:mikeemesser

The city itself operates a public bus system as well as a minivan
system. While there are privately owned systems, the city-owned ones
tend to be safer. All you have to do is go to Ratnapark, the central
station, and from there you can get anywhere else in the city.
Things to Do in Kathmandu

Start your trip to Kathmandu with a trip to the Royal Palace of
Narayanhiti. The palace is the notorious scene of the June 2001 massacre
 during which the Crown Prince of Nepal shot the entire royal family to
death and then shot himself. The palace is a great place for tourists to
 learn about the architecture of the city as well as the history of the
royal families. Plan to visit the palace between Thursday and Monday as
it is closed on Tuesday and Wednesdays.

The Boudhanath is another popular attraction in Kathmandu. The stupa
is said to be the place where the bones of Buddha are buried.
Traditionally, those who wish to pay their respects to Buddha and the
other great sages will walk around the building in a clockwise manner
and those who make the walk 7 times will have their wishes granted. It’s
 not uncommon to find tourists walking counter-clockwise and while it is
 considered disrespectful many locals will ignore foreigners doing so
because they understand that they are often uneducated regarding the

Artists visiting Kathmandu should visit the Tesring Art School in the
 Schechen Monastery. Inside the school students learn about Thanka
paintings – the sacred paintings used by Buddhists to portray their
messages. Thanka painting methods are very detailed and students can
spend up to six years learning how to master their arts. Visitors to the
 school must be respectful as they tour through the halls where
dedicated students are learning their crafts.

Image Credit:nirats

Kathmandu is a city vibrant with history and culture. Take your time,
 follow all safety regulations, and – most important – enjoy your trip!