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Why fly to Kathmundu?
From ancient, mystical temples to beautiful gardens and hippie beaches, Kathmundu is a city for the senses. Once your flights hits the tarmac be ready for your senses to take flight, let it all register later.
The capital of Kathmundu sits in the Kathmandu Valley and is flanked by four mountains. Through the city run eight rivers and lovely parks are dotted throughout.
The city is home to numerous sites important for followers of the Hindu and Buddhist tradition including Baudhanath stupa and Pashupatinath temple among others. Many of these temples and stupas fall in the city's UNESCO World Heritage site zone. Regardless of your religious affiliation you should visit just to appreciate the ancient craft work that has made artistic masterpieces out of these sites.
In the center of the city sits Durbar Square, which is also part of the UNESCO distinction, and is where four buildings representing four ancient kingdoms sit. The city's strong historical traditions have kept alive a vivid culture of art that can be seen throughout the city, from nook to alleyway.
Other places to visit include the National Library of Nepal as well as the Srijana Contemporary Art Gallery for a taste of new Nepal. For a bit of a getaway from the buildings head to the Garden of Dreams. The stage of draping, silky leaves and plush grass frilling the lovely lotus pond is a nice way to witness another dimension to Kathnundu. While you are out and about, remember that swinging monkeys will be a common sight and are nothing to be afraid of.
Additionally, the city is home to numerous beaches and that was part of the reason Kathmundu became a hippie-trail hub in the 60s, The old hippie vibe is updated now, but the beaches are as they always were, soft and beautiful.
The capital of Nepal has a lot to give and you will likely leave a little bit of yourself there too among the temples, in the quiet corners or somewhere in a freckle of sand on the beach like many before you have.
The temperatures are fairly mild in Kathmandu, the summers hit the 20 highs, but this is also when the monsoon season hits so welcome humidity. Winters are Western fall jacket weather with numbers in the low teens and into the high tens. Spring and fall are in between, but rain is sporadic through the year.
When to fly to Kathmundu
The summers are a popular time to visit Kathmandu and as a result flight ticket prices are fairly high. The New Year in Nepal falls in April, which means festivities and also a busy tourist season since the former (or maybe still current) hippie crowd lands on the city to celebrate in what is really a fun festival. The Diwali festival is celebrated from mid-October to mid-November and this also results in a hike in flight prices and getting around the city can also be difficult due to the crowds.
Although temperatures are quite nice, the tourist numbers tend to decline post September, which is a great thing for travellers that aren't worried about getting their holidays in, in the summer. If you book your flight into Kathmundu in the first three months of the new year, you should also be able to score some deals.
Getting into Kathmundu
Your gateway into spiritual solace is found at the Tribhuvan International Airport. From the airport you can use the taxi service or have your hotel arrange a car for you.
Getting around Kathmundu
Once you get into the city proper you will notice there are many things to see and do within walking distance. However, if you are going a distance, perhaps heading to explore the Kathmandu Valley area you can hire a car and driver or take a taxi. The city also has public and private bus service that run the gamut when it comes to comfort, you could find yourself seated next to an animal on some of the inter-city buses. Minibuses are also available, but it could take you an hour to get to somewhere it would take a taxi 10 minutes. Bike rental is huge in the city and a great way to avoid bus crowds and explore the city.
- Head to Thamel for slightly Westernized dining and shopping options where you will find all the traditional and sometimes tacky but always fun souvenir gauntlet of chains.
- Visit Pahupathi for its religions vibe mixed in with dreadlocked preachers. The site is quite old and a religious destination. However due to the sheer numbers that descend, the area has turned into a year round festival of explorers, devotees and music. The monkeys in this area are pretty cheeky and you will likely find yourself talking or yelling at one of them (even though as you read this you think the idea of doing so is rather ridiculous).
- Compare flights to Kathmandu from Australia on AirfaresFlights.com.au.
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